Saturday, August 24, 2013

Surname Saturday–Lucas and Luksys


As far as our maternal side, this surname has been the biggest brick wall.

My Grandfather, Joseph Lucas, whom I have written about in a previous post, is the son of Roman Luksys and Catherine Paskruba.

Roman Luksys can also be found as Raymon or Raymond. He was born approximately 1880 in Poland and listed his native tongue as Polish. He immigrated about 1904. He said, in the 1920 census that he put in his first papers for naturalization. I have not found them. Their first stop in the states was Worcester, Massachusetts where their first three kids were born, Marvella (1906), Joseph (1907), and Edward (1909). Then they moved to Detroit, Michigan where their next two kids were born, Anthony (1912) and Theodore (1915).  They changed their name to Lucas sometime between 1912 and 1920.

Catherine can also be found as Katie or Katherine. I did write a little bit about her in this Census Sunday Post. She was born about 1883 in Poland and she listed her native tongue as Polish. Catherine’s maiden name is Paskruba and she married Roman about 1900. She immigrated with him in 1904 or maybe followed the year after.

That is it, that is all I have been able to come up with for this family. I have followed every clue at least once and did write about them in my Ancestor Appreciation Day Post. I will not stop until I find their origins in Poland.

Do you maybe have a connection to this family?

Thanks or reading and keep diggin’ up that family.


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Pakledinac-IRISH? What to do with Disproven Info!

I did not think Pakledinac sounded like an Irish name? Nor does Hinterhauser sound Irish. But to my surprise, in the 1930 Census, John Pakledinaz and his wife Anna (Hinterhauser) were born in Ireland and actually spoke Irish. Hmmm??


Obviously this is a mistake. Unless the enumerator was drinking a little too much when they passed by the Pakledinaz household that day, I am chalking this information up as false probably due to a communication gap – John and Anna were not native English speakers and probably had hard accents.

I know it is false because many other sources have John from Croatia (the now term) where his native tongue was Croatian and Anna from Austria-Hungary where her native tongue was German.

So, what to do with this information?

I could basically ignore it and just act like it isn’t there; that may be the easiest thing. But, what of future researchers who get my information? If I do not mention this and basically do nothing with the information then couldn’t that discredit anything else I have. It would be like I missed it – then that would bring the question of what else have I missed.

Document and move on!

The correct thing to do, as far as I am concerned, is to document the information within your database and list your analysis as to why this is false. I use Legacy Family Tree so I use the advice I got from Geoff Rasmussen on the Legacy Family Tree website. I will add events for both John and Anna for Nationality and Language Spoken but I will edit those events and put Disproven Nationality and Disproven Language Spoken (see screenshot below).  I will then add my analysis or


reasons for why this information is false.This also goes on to show how to record conflicting and alternate information.

Whichever database or software you are using to record your family research may have a different way of recording disproven information but the important thing is that the information is recorded in your research.

How do you record disproven or alternate information?

Thanks for reading and keep diggin’ for that family.


Saturday, August 17, 2013

Surname Saturday–Hinterhauser


The Hinterhauser name comes to us from Germany. Martin Hinterhauser, my 5th Great Grandfather, was born on 9 February 1751 in Kartung-Sinzheim, Schwarzwald, Baden. This little village is located off Autobahn 5 in Germany, just south of Karlsruhe in the current German State of Baden-W├╝rttemberg.

Martin is one of our Immigrant Ancestors. In 1786, Martin and his 1st wife, Franziska Binder, traveled down the Danube river where they stopped in Vienna on 22 May. Martin said he was a peasant farmer and carpenter, he was 35 years old and a Catholic. He was on his way to the Batschka region of Hungary, to a town called Fillopowa, which is now called Backi Gracac and located in Serbia.

It is in Filipowa that Franziska must have died as Martin married my 5th Great Grandmother, Katharina Morlock on 24 April 1787. They moved to the village of Brestowatz, not far away from Filipowa sometime around 1789 and this is where Martin died on 27 September 1793.

The next few generations of Hinterhauser's would move around the region between the villages of Fillipowa, Brestowatz, Weprowatz until my 3rd Great Grandparents, Phillipp and Magdalena Hinterhauser settled in the village of Milititsch. It is here that our next immigrant ancestor would be born.

Anna Maria HinterhauserAnna Maria Hinterhauser, born 28 February 1890 in Milititsch, Batschka, Austro-Hungarian Empire. She is my Great Grandmother and wife of John Pakledinaz. Anna, at the young age of 19, would risk everything to find a new life in America. She made her way across Europe to the port of Le Havre, France and boarded the S.S. Mexico on 7 August 1909.

She arrived at Ellis Island on 20 Aug 1909. She paid her own passage and had $15 in her possession at the time and said she was a servant. She said she was traveling to Trenton, NJ to join her cousin. Not sure if this is an error at Ellis Island but Anna's brother, Adam, was already living in Youngstown, Ohio and this is where Anna found herself. Her and John met through Adam and were married just five months after Anna's arrival in America.

Thanks for reading and keep diggin’ for that family.


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Morals and Ethics of the Family Historian

There has been some discussion on a couple other blogs this week about how we, as historians, should deal with things we find that might not be 'politically correct' in today's standards. You can read the discussion over on Genealogy’s Star blog and he older post over at Dear Myrtle’s blog so I will not get into the specifics of that discussion. But, those discussions tie into recent discussion I have had in a couple of my history classes - does the historian have moral and ethical responsibilities in their work? And if so, who is the historian responsible to?

Jonathan Gorman, Professor of Philosophy, wrote an article titled "Historians and Their Duties" which talks about this subject and which we used in class to discuss the topic. Gorman basically says that historians do have an ethical and moral responsibility to our audience and it really boils down to telling the truth.1 I have not really given much thought to our moral and ethical responsibilities, but the class and blog discussions made me start to think about it and I have come up with my perception and thoughts.

First, the morals and ethical values are going to differ depending on who you are, your society, your religious preferences, your era, etc... People throughout the world are going to have different viewpoints on what is morally and ethically acceptable. As historians, we need to keep that in the back of our mind and try and keep our own moral and ethical values out of our written word, as much as possible - just like we try to keep our own bias out of our work.

Second, we have to remember that we are researching and writing about the past. The moral and ethical values can be very different for someone who lived in the 19th century. When we are researching and writing about those in the past, we have to try and think within the context of whom we are researching. What did they consider as morally acceptable? For instance, if we are writing about the experiences of our female ancestors from 100 years ago, we have to realize that what women were expected to do and what they were excluded from doing is very different than what we think today. It doesn't matter if we disagree with how women were treated in the past, we have to interpret and then write from the perception of the people of that time.

One last thought that can plague the family historian and one that, I think, separates us, the family historian, from other historians. We are generally researching and writing about our own family. We have a true emotional connection with the people we are writing about and we have an even more emotional connection with our intended audience - other family members. As we discover facts and stories about our distant ancestors, we will probably discover things that they did that were perfectly acceptable in their time, like owning slaves, but are completely forbidden in modern times. Or we may find information that living family members may not want to know. We have to decide what to do with those facts.

For instance, maybe one of your living ancestors was adopted and you have uncovered who the biological parents are. Your  ancestor has never had any interest in knowing who their biological parents are. Do you include the information or discreetly hide it? What if the scenario is a little more complicated. Maybe your adopted ancestor is not still living so you think maybe it is OK to share what you found about the biological parents. Before you do that, did you think about the other adopted siblings of your ancestor? Did you think of the biological mother or father? They have lives and families that may be dramatically affected by your findings?

As an academic historian, I would say that we have to include those facts because if we do not then we are not telling the true story of the past. However, as the family historian, we have to consider our audience and that Great Grandma Edna may be crushed to hear such a story. It may not be acceptable to some people in the family, who are still alive, to have 'shady' characters or 'black sheep's' in their past.

There is no true 'right' answer to these moral and ethical concerns that will apply to everyone. I think it really comes down to each of us, the family historians, to be able to face ourselves each morning that we wake up and know that we did the 'right' think - whether we cover up a 'questionable' ancestor or post it out there for the whole world to see.

What do you think our moral and ethical responsibility is as family historians? Have you found information similar to what I’ve described? What did you do with it? Let us know in the comments.

Thanks for reading and keep diggin’ for that family


1 Johnathon Gorman, "Historians and Their Duties", History and Theory, Theme Issue 43 (December 2004), 115

Black Sheep photo courtesy of Leon Riskin on Flickr

Skeleton photo courtesy of Andrew Ballantyne on Flickr

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Slow and Easy - With a Few Distractions

Cypress Gardens-4Its been a week or so since my restart. Things are going pretty good and I think I can pat myself on the back.

I have been able to start on my photo organizing adventure using Photoshop Lightroom and have been making some ok progress reviewing information in my genealogy database. 

I said I was going to start with our parents but I started with our Great Grandpa Pakledinaz. Not sure why I started with him, but at least I started. I use Legacy Family Tree as my database so I want to make sure I am taking full advantage of the software and entering sources correctly and as intended by the software. So, as I go through each entry in my database I am also verifying the source and entering it correctly.

Even though I would much rather be on the search for new information, I am very glad that I am taking a back-to-basics approach. I have only reviewed a few things so far, but I am finding holes in my previous research and finding new things out. For instance, in 1910 our Great Grandma Pakledinaz stated that she spoke German and not English on the census. I knew she spoke German from talking with family, but I did not know that she immigrated to the States (1909) not being able to speak English. Adds a new dimension to the struggle she must have faced uprooting herself and traveling thousands of miles to start a new life at 19 years old. Kind of puts some things in perspective for me and I really want to find out more about her life. Which leads to the difficulties of this week: I have come down with and must battle RDS (Research Distraction Syndrome).

I have been quickly diverted so many times this week into doing actual research and not sticking with my plan of just working with what I have. I find myself entering the 1930 Census information and notice I do not have the 1940 downloaded yet, so off I go to to check it out. Before I know it, I’m looking at military records, public data records, etc… And not for John Pakledinaz, but for any and all other Pakledinaz that comes up in a search. I must stop this – I would be much further in my restart, if it weren’t for RDS.

I am making a new pledge to fight and refrain from RDS until I can get what I already have completed, which I am guessing will take about 1 year. Sounds like a lot but I have a lot of information also.

For those that have tried what I am doing, do you find you come down with RDS? Let us know in the comments section how you fight RDS.

Thanks for reading and keep diggin for that family.



Census Sunday–1930 Who is Frank Goodman?

That was the first question that popped into my mind (after I picked my jaw up off the ground) when I searched and found my Lucas line in the 1930 census. Then I wondered, “Why is Great grandma Lucas living with him?”, Oh Wait!  Because she is married to him? WHAT?!? What happened to Great Grandpa Lucas?? Ok, is this the right family? – YES, there is Grandpa Joe Lucas and his brothers, all listed as sons.
1930 US Census -Frank Goodman
So, after calming down somewhat and scanning the census again just to make sure I read things correctly, I called my mom. She knew nothing of a Frank Goodman and she also never knew her Grandpa Lucas as she was told he died before she was born.
This census has brought a few questions, obviously. What happened to Great Grandpa Lucas? Was he already dead at this time or did they divorce?
Who is this Frank Goodman and why didn’t the family know about him?
All of this occurred before the 1940 census came out and I have been at a standstill about answering these questions (mainly due to a lack of research time). Once the 1940 census hit I found Great Grandma Lucas again but not under the name Goodman as in 1930. She is now listed as Katherine Lucas, head of household and widowed. That answers the question of why the family doesn’t know or remember Frank Goodman; he wasn’t around for very long. However, it presents many other questions about him and the relationship with Great Grandma Lucas, which will be explored in another post.
The questions concerning Great Grandpa Lucas still remain also. I do not know what happened to their marriage or what happened to him. These are the mystery’s that keep our search interesting and fun.
Census records, as we all know, are great sources for our family search. They can answer many questions but they can also present many more questions and mysteries for us to follow up on, just as this 1930 census has for my Lucas ancestors.
What surprising information did you uncover from a census? Was it known to family?
Thanks for reading and keep diggin’ for that family. Smile

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Surname Saturday–Pakledinaz–Pakledinac

John and Anna PakledinazPakledinaz joins the family as my maternal great grandfather, John Pakledinaz. John is one of our immigrant ancestors and it seems that he hails from the town of Tompojevci, which is located in Croatia now, where he was born 16 March 1885. He emigrated from there back in August of 1905 on board the SS Kaiser Wilhelm. He said he was joining his cousin, Jakob Pakledinaz, in Youngstown, Ohio.
Youngstown is where he met and married my great grandmother, Anna Hinterhauser in 1910. They moved to the Detroit area sometime between 1912 and 1914 where they would live out their life.
Not much is known of the Pakledinaz family prior to John. I was able to get a record of a baptism from the church records near Tompojevci, which I am pretty sure belongs to our John. And this gives me his parents names: Markus Pakledinac and Elizabetha Prankovic. He has the cousin, mentioned earlier and he also had a brother, Joseph (Josip). Joseph changed their name to Parker sometime between 1910 and 1920 and in 1920 they lived in Ohio, this is where I lost most of the family. I know that their daughter, Cecelia Mathis moved to Detroit at some point. I know this because in 1957 she was assaulted on Wayburn street in Detroit. She died a couple of days later from the wounds received in the assault - her assailants got away with a whole $2. 
    The cousin that John came to join is Jack (Jakob) Pakledinaz, but none of the family remembers there being a Jack. He and his family also lived in Ohio and emigrated from Tompojevci around 1901. 
    There is one burning question and story within this family. One of John's daughters had heard that the family, back in Croatia, owned vineyards. Joe, John's brother, was supposed to be taking care of those. However, the story goes that Joe sold all the vineyards and kept the money, which caused, understandably, some rift within the family. 
    We may never know if this story is true or anything further of the Pakledinaz family as that part of Croatia was ravaged by the wars in the Balkans. From what I have been told of the records for the area, most were destroyed during the war. I have some information on other Pakledinac's from the same are in Croatia but just do not know how they fit in. I am lucky to have the birth and baptism records I found and if this is all I can get, then I am happy. However, it will not stop me from searching and maybe we can uncover clues which will lead to more discoveries of this family.
    What direct family line has given you the most trouble? What did you do to help breakdown those foreign brick walls?
    Thanks for reading and keep diggin’ for that family.

    Sunday, August 4, 2013

    A New Start

    It has been a very long time since posting, almost 2 years to be exact. Not that I have not been thinking of the blog or my family history pursuits, these are on my mind nearly everyday. However, life events sometimes take over. I have retired from the military and with this came a move from Germany back to the states and a job search. Found the job but it was not where we expected. We planned on living in Michigan, my roots, but the job has taken us to South Carolina.

    We are now finally settled in our new location, the kids are in a school that they like, and it just may be the right time to commence this journey again.

    This does not mean that I have unlimited time to research and write. I still have a full time job and I am also pursuing a Masters Degree. Add the time with the family and time management is going to be a must for me.

    My re-start will consist of a re-evaluation of sources and information beginning with our parents and then moving on down the line; an almost from scratch re-start but not quite as extensive as Kellie over at the Leaves of my Family Tree blog. I will also start a project to get control of the many family pictures I have accumulated over the years. Some are already digital but many are not so I will be spending much time at the scanner. I will be using Adobe Lightroom to manage this photo collection. I already use Lightroom as another hobby of mine is photography so that is no cost to me. I got the inspiration and idea to use Lightroom from The Family Curator.

    So, I am planning on knocking out a post at least every other week or so. I hope to do more but I need to be realistic about what I CAN do and not what I WANT to do.

    So, how many more of you out there have restarted after a long break? What advice can you give?

    Thanks for reading and Keep Diggin’ for that family.


    By the way, I did update my Surnames list so check out that page.


    Photo from: Next TwentyEight