Saturday, June 28, 2014

Sixty Minutes to Better Genealogy!

     I will be at the Newberry Library today for Day 2 of Sixty Minutes to Better GenealogyThese focused, sixty-minute sessions are designed to help illuminate important topics for your genealogical project and help push you through a particular question in your research.  This is my fourth year presenting for the Newberry’s summer series. 

     I will be presenting: What’s New on the Internet, Ancestry Primer, Fold3 and FamilySearch and RootsMagic.  It appears that there will be a full house as well as a full day! 

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Villa Park Vittles

I found this old cookbook Villa Park Vittles (from 1948-1949) in my grandmother’s things.  Her name, Merle K. Bollenbach, is written in pencil on the inside front cover.  I read through the book, indexed it, scanned all the pages and then donated the book and computer files to the Villa Park Historical Society.

The cookbook is the creation of the American Home and Education Class of the Villa Park Woman's Club, Mrs. C. Scott Parnham, Chairman, dated 1948-1949.  The title page also lists all the Officers of the Woman’s Club at the time.  I recognized a number of the names as friends of my parents and grandparents.

I was most interested in the names and the ingredients of the recipes.  One stand out was Sugarless Dessert submitted by Mary West on page 37.  Coincidentally this lady was a member of my church, so I recognized the name.  It is true there is no refined white sugar in the recipe; however it calls for 30 marshmallows!  It includes chocolate, whole milk and whipping cream and sounds yummy, just do not be fooled by the name!  The book also has a number of versions of Tuna Casserole and molded salads (not all with Jell-O). 

Villa Park is celebrating its 100th birthday (anniversary?) as an incorporated village this year.  Maybe someone will want to try some recipes in honor of the occasion.

Contributors to the Villa Park Vittles Cookbook

Anderson, Sally
Ashford, Pauline
Ashton, Maryon
Beckstrom, Claire
Benthin, Irene
Bentz, Betty
Betz, Lillian
Bond, Virginia L.
Burhen, Marion
Butts, Mrs. R. K.
Clark, Synneva
Conlin, Mrs. H. M.
Cormier, Mrs. H. H.
Cornelius, Ruth
Cortesi, Mrs. L. R.
Custard, Marion
Dammann, Virginia
Denzler, Mrs. Frank
Doty, Cornelia
Douglas, Mrs. W.
Dresser, Marguerite G.
Dykema, Marion
Elsasser, Ruth
Enzweiler, Marge
Featherstone, Helen
Filewicz, Frances
Gee, Dottie
Gibson, Adrienne
Gilbert, Mrs. Eva M.
Goerlitz, Mrs. David
Goodman, Ruth
Graf, Agnes
Grubb, Mrs. Edwin W.
Gutzmer, Mrs. E. R.
Hamel, Frances
Hart, Virginia Callahan
Hass, Edna M.
Herzog, Gertrude
Holloway, Dorothy
Hook, Virginia
Huston, Candce E.
Jans, Mrs W. C.
Kane, Fleada
Keel, Mrs. Earl
Kessel, Dorothy
Kirchner, Alice
Knapp, Mathilda
Legler, Mae
Leonard, June
Lipton, Mrs. Edwin C.
Little, Mrs. R. E.
McArthur, Catherine M.
McFarland, Blanche
McGowan, Alyce
McKee, Mrs. Robert M.
McNamara, Leah
Mellete, Emma
Mellete, Frances
Mitchell, Mrs. A.
Modjeska, Selma
Moore, Alyce
Morlock, Mrs. Hazel
Mudd, Marina
Nabers, Mrs. Bernard
Nagel, Beth R.
Nelson, Mrs. Robert
Neville, Doris
Olliver, Mrs. L.
Parnham, Henrietta
Pohlmann, Ida E.
Rankin, Margaret
Rink, Dorothy M.
Ronske, Mrs. John
Ross, Mildred
Schroeder, Marge
Sears, Grace
Smith, Harriette
Smith, Jane
Smith, Mrs. Minor B.
Snyder, Mrs. R. B.
Sorensen, Mrs. A. J.
Stoltz, Lorene
Timreck, Eleanor S.
Towne, Mrs. C. H.
Tweedle, Gertrude
Urban, Mrs. Hugh
Vangsness, Jane
West, Mary
Wilson, Charlotte
Wilson, Claudine
Winans, Myrtle
Wisner, Rhea
Wright, Mrs. D. F.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Looking for Paul Primas

I have been looking for my great-grandfather Paul Primas for a long time.  When I started my family history research for a school project in 6th grade, he had already been gone for over 50 years. 

What I knew about Paul Primas when I began was that he was my grandfather Oscar Primas’ father and my father’s grandfather.  I knew he had a wife who lived for over 20 years past his death.  He had five children, four boys and one girl.  I was told he was from a town called Nekla in what is present day Poland but was Prussia when he lived there. 

I wrote to my grand-uncles who still survived and asked for more details.  There was another son who died young.  Paul’s wife was Emma Natalie Stroschein.  They had been married in Prussia before they made the trip over.  Her parents were Ludwig and Susanna Stroschein.  I was never told anything further about Paul.

Later I learned that Paul and Emma had come to the US in about 1887.  They came to Chicago yet three of their children were born in Wisconsin.  Paul died in Chicago in December 1906 at the age of 46 years old leaving his wife with five children ranging in age from 18 years old to 9 years old (my grandfather).

Paul Primas' sons:  Otto, Fred, Frank and Oscar c.1948

Over the years I have been searching, researching, writing letters and trying to find out more about Paul Primas.  As a teenager I wrote to the German Consulate to ask how to find records I was looking for and was told all the records were lost in the war (World War II) and any that did survive were now behind the Iron Curtain and unavailable.  I kept looking and asking.

As more information came on-line, I started to get little hints and clues.  He arrived in Baltimore, not Ellis Island.  He came with his wife Emma and their son Franz on the ship Köln from Bremen  I found his citizenship was granted in Dunn County Wisconsin, even though his Declaration of Intent was filed in Cook County.  In the 1891 City Directory for Chicago he is listed as a tailor.  Based on his children’s birth records, between 1893 and 1897 when he was in Wisconsin he was a laborer in the lumber camps.   In the 1900 US Census he and his family are living at 156 North Kedzie in Chicago and he is listed as a janitor.

In 2012 I decided I needed to go to Poland and try to find out more information about my elusive great-grandfather Paul.  I still had many questions.