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Madison County Genealogical Society

Minutes of the Meeting - June 9, 2011

The June 2011 meeting of the Madison County Genealogical Society was held at the Edwardsville Public Library on Thursday, June 9, at 7:00 pm.

President, Robert Ridenour, called the meeting to order.

The following reports were presented.

Financial report for the month of May 2011, as follows:

In the Library

Elsie Wasser reported that the Society had received the following:

Descendants of Miss Maria(h) Ives, 1805 New York - 1868 Illinois and Her Spouse Lorenzo Dow Plant 1804 North Carolina - 1861 Illinois written and donated by Saundra Morris, Lincoln, Nebraska

The History of Railroads in Edwardsville, Illinois by William J. Harteau

The Buchanans of Ohio by Jim Buchanan - Donated by Elsie Wasser

Edwardsville - Postcard History Series written and donated by Cheryl Eichar Jett

Images of America - Route 66 in Madison County written and donated by Cheryl Eichar Jett

Revolutionary War Pensions by Lloyd deWitt Bockstruck - donated by Elsie Wasser

Added to the Family Vertical File:
Charles (Karl) Duelm by Barbara Hitch
Johann Nicholas Deck by Jean LaFountain, Waseon, Ohio


Do you have a family member that is interested in (or even obsessed with) genealogy? A membership in the Madison County Genealogical Society would be a very thoughtful gift. A gift card will be sent to the recipient of any gift membership.

The following memberships are available:
Individual/Family Annual Membership $20.00
Patron Annual Membership $30.00
Life Membership $250.00

Contact our Secretary, Barbara Hitch, at, about a gift membership.

June Meeting

On June 9, 2011, the meeting of the Madison County Genealogical Society was held at the Edwardsville Public Library. A presentation titled Finding Your Czech and Bohemian German Ancestors was given by Dan Vornberg, a retired environmental professional. He has mid 19th century Bohemian and German ancestors, along with a heavy dose of early Colonial ancestors. Genealogy has been his life-long hobby and he has been giving talks on methodology for a number of years. Dan is active with the St. Louis Genealogical Society.

The Czech Republic church records from the seventeenth century up to 1900 have been collected in a group of archives. Thirty years ago the information was available to Americans through a protocol of writing the Czech Embassy in the US. Now, many of those records are being made available on the internet. Regardless, of how you access them, there is a high probability of finding your Czech and German-Bohemian ancestors in those records, which allow a researcher to systematically work their way back into the seventeenth century. This applies without regard to the social status of the persons. If the ancestors were tradesmen and not tied to the land, the Central European system of recording births, marriages, and deaths makes it possible, in some cases, to follow internal migration from parish to parish, if the family moved in search of employment.

Finding the place of origin (hometown) of your ancestor is very important if you are to be successful in tracing your family roots back into the seventeenth century. There are several sources that could give you this information:

Passenger arrival lists
Passport applications to return for a visit
Jan Habenicht's History of Czechs in America
Church Records
Family Keepsakes
County Histories
Family Histories
Berni Rula/Soupis Index of 1654
US Agricultural Census 1850, 1860, 1870

There are many other sources that you will want to check:
Immigration and Emigration under "Passport Applications" and "Passenger Arrival Lists"
US Federal Census

Wiki familysearch website for the Czech Republic: "Czech Republic": Republic
Click on Online Databases for information on Church books from the Archives
Click at the top "Try the new site"
On map click on Europe
On list pick Czech Republic includes Moravia (or Slovakia or Hungary)
Then pick Regional Archive or countrywide Marriage Records or Baptisms
Under Regional Archives pick parish if records have been scanned yet
Then pick appropriate record and year range
Or pick Czech marriages or Czech baptisms to search Czech Republic wide.
The database is growing.

A Handbook of Czechoslovak Genealogical Research by Daniel M. Schlyter, Genun Publishers, Buffalo Grove, Illinois 60089 (copy at St. Louis County Library Special Collections)

Administratives Gemeindelexikon der Cechoslovakischen Republik (Administrative Gazetteer of the Czechoslovak Republic), issued by das Statistische Staatsamt. Prague: Rudolf M. Rohrer, 1927, 1928 (Ref 943.7 E5a; Vol. I on FHL film no 496719 (includes index for Bohemia from Volume II) and Vol II on film no. 496720).

Czech Republic Website including links to Online Parish records. Newsletters keep you up to date on data that is being added.

History of Czechs in America by Dr. Jan Habenicht with a foreword to the English edition by Paul M. Makousky. Translation to English by Miroslav Koudelka, Olomouc, Czech Republic. Czechoslovak Genealogical Society International, 1996.

Genealogical Guide to German Ancestors from East Germany and Eastern Europe Edited by Arbeitsgemeinschaft ostdeutscher Familienforscher e. V., Herne, Germany, translated by Joachim O.R. Nuthack, Edmonton, Canada, and Adalbert Goertz, Waynesboro, Pennsylvania, USA. Published by Verlag Degener & Co, Inh Gerhard Gessner, 1984. Newstadt/Aisch, Germany. (copy at St. Louis County Library Special Collections)

"Czech Research Outline" by Shon R. Edwards:

An update of the Czech and Slovak records being digitized has recently been added to the website: "Records being Filmed/Digitized in the Czech and Slovak Republics":

This presentation was well received and generated several questions.