Many years ago I received an emailed picture of a birth record which seemed to be my Great Grandfather, John Pakledinaz. However, the image I received was poor and some of it was not very legible (for the times, it was a good image taken from microfilm). I put this in my database with the intentions of finding that record for myself and reinvestigating to make sure that was the actual record of my Great Grandfather. Well, that time has come. And with the advances in technology and the digitizing of records by many institutions and companies, my search is all online. In this case, it is the Family History Library which has digitized these records and I can view from the privacy of my own home. And the images are very high quality and pretty easy to read, maybe even better than having the actual physical record right in front of me.
Anyway, the below image is that record, downloaded from the FamilySearch.org website. My Great Grandfather is entry #20 on the right side of the page, born 16 Ozujak (March) 1885. Now, you might be looking at this and saying that person is name Ivan, not John? Well, you are correct, but Ivan would turn into John in English. Below is a snippet from that record with just John's information. Here is a transcription of the record:
Entry #20, born and baptized on 16 March 1885, Name: Ivan, Legitimate child, parents: Markus Pakledinac, Peasant Farmer, and Elizabeta Bankovic, legally married. They are Roman Catholic and live at house #38 in Tompojevci.
But how do I know for sure that this birth record for ‘Ivan’, is indeed, my Great Grandfather, John? I will probably never be 100% positive, but I can get pretty close to that with a little evaluation of the sources that I have.
1. The name John is an English version of Ivan. I looked at the internet and found a site called Behind the Name and I used this to verify that John is an English version of Ivan. I talk about this more below.
2. Birth Date: 16 March 1885. John listed his birth date on the following sources as 16 March 1885; World War I draft registration card, World War II draft registration card. Those are the primary sources I have that tells me that this birth record matches John. Also, I have found John in the US Census of 1910, 1930, and 1940 and calculations of his age in these census say that he was born in 1885. Census is not very reliable for birth dates but they do help to add more reliability to the other sources I have.
3. Location: Tompojevci. The baptism/birth record I have says that this family lived at #38 in Tompojevci. I found the manifest that shows when John immigrated and his last permanent residence is Tompojevci. I wrote about that previously: Ship's Manifest. The only thing that can be refuted between the records is the first name, again. The manifest shows his name as Johannes, however, as in Ivan, John is an English version of Johannes. Ivan (Croatian), Johannes (Latin), John (English); all the same. NOTE: I will have to do another post on my analysis of the manifest and show how I prove that the person on the manifest is my great grandfather.
4. Parents of John: Marko Pakledinac and Elisabeta Bankovic. The marriage certificate of John and Anna lists John’s parents as Mark and Elizabeth Pakledinac. My source is a secondary source, it is a certificate issued in 1951 from records of the church. I need to follow this up and actually look at the original church records. However, There is no reason for me to believe that the information could be wrong, but I will validate when I can.
Conflicting information: I only have one source that conflicts with the birthdate of John and that is his death certificate. It says his date of birth was 16 March 1884, one year off. I dismiss this as an error in record keeping/documentation. It is secondary information given by John’s daughter. Nothing else in any record says he was born in 1884 – everything says 1885.
Final Conclusion: The baptism/birth church record shown here is, in fact, the record of my great grandfather, John Pakledinaz.
Please leave a comment and let me know if I’ve missed anything or if you have anything else to add.
Thanks for reading and keep diggin’ for that family.
NOTE: I’ve written a follow up to this post (Old Country Church Records) with more evaluation of the record collection and tips on how I deciphered the records.
 "U.S. World War I Draft Registation Cards, 1917-1918," database and images, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 26 Jun 2014), John Pakledinaz, Registration Card 1131 A, Serial Number 563.
 "U.S. World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942 [Database on-line]," database and images, Ancestry .com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 27 Jun 2014), Registration for John M. Pakledinaz; Serial Number u1273.
 "New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1957," online images, Ancestry.com (http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=7488 : accessed 1 Oct 2013), manifest, Kaiser Wilhelm de Grosse, 3 August 1905, Passenger #22, Pakledinac Johann.
 Campbell, http://www.behindthename.com/name/john.
 St. Joseph (Youngstown, Ohio, Mahoning), John Pakledinaz and Anna Hinterhauser Marriage Certificate (1951) marriage, issued May 7th; Chancery of the Diocese of Youngstown, Youngstown.
 Michigan Department of Health, Death Certificate Local File No: 3509 (Detroit Department of Health) (1957), John J. Pakledinaz; Michigan Vital Records Office, Lansing.