Monday, January 30, 2017

Motivation Monday: RootsTech thoughts, plans, dreams, fears, etc.

I will be going to RootsTech 2017 in a little over one week for the first time in my life. I have never done this before, though we used to live in Utah. But we had the excuse of being poor students.

In 2009 I was working as a teacher at BYU StarTalk Arabic, the second year they had it. We had to share one of the buildings on campus with a genealogy conference, and I remember laughing to myself and saying under my breath, "This is not a convention of genealogists, but of old fat people." I actually got in really big trouble for saying that, because one of the administrators of the program heard me. I'll never forget her response. She got really defensive, "These people are some of the nicest people I have ever met! How dare you talk about them like that!"

I remember thinking, "I don't doubt that! I never thought they weren't nice!" By this time, I was pretty well steeped into my own genealogy (I started this addictive hobby when I was a junior at BYU, in 2007). 

I guess that was my dark Czech humor coming out, though. 

Anyway, I just started to realize what RootsTech is: COMIC CON for genealogists.

Which means it's going to be like, swag central.

I'm going to meet all the random bloggers and writers, and frankly, I'm a little bit intimidated about it right now because normally I just have like one, two, maximum three people together with me in my private, magical little genealogy world.

But this is like, thousands…the conference center seats 22k.

I got invited to a "genealogy bloggers going to rootstech 2017" Facebook group and apparently people there have been getting ready for this event for months and months. There's like… Giveaways and after parties and all kinds of other ridiculous insane things that make me laugh as a first reaction, and give me butterflies in my stomach as a second reaction.

For example, I laughed out loud when I saw this. A genealogy “after-party”?!

I guess to be honest, I feel slightly scared and nervous. Like a tiny fish in a big pond.

But, I have zero expectations for what I hope to get out of this, besides a fun and interesting trip. So it will be successful no matter if the only interesting thing is a visit to the crowded FHL. Though I'm sure that will not be the only interesting thing.

Not by a long shot...

Actually, I've started making a list of the things I would like to have changed by some of the big tech companies regarding Czech genealogy. More about that later - but if you have any ideas, please, please, please let me know! I might actually have a chance to tell the bigger fish how they could make our ocean a lot better.


Thursday, January 26, 2017

Workday Wednesday: Rychtář

Written by Kate Challis and Lukáš Svoboda who blogs here.

Your Czech ancestors almost certainly had some kind of contact with the village rychtář. Who was he, and what exactly did he do?

Czech: fojt or šoltys
German: Richter, Vogt, Schultheiss 
Latin: judex, scultetus, advocatus

There is no simple equivalent translation into English, therefore it is often translated as judge, mayor, reeve, or bailiff.


Rychtář played an important role in the manorial administration until 1848. They were the last link in the chain of command in the village.


Rychtář were the head of their community, and also had authority by virtue of their association with the nobility. They were in charge of the village/municipality’s economy, and saw to it that the manorial lord’s rights were exercised, especially the robota and collecting cash taxes. Later, their duties included other tasks such as issuing tax levies, military related duties, and other tax obligations. Every Saturday, the rychtář of the estate met in the landlord’s office, where for, example, work was organized for the next week and important issues were addressed. Their tasks included counting cattle, organizing the robota, dealing with minor conflicts, border disputes, estimating the value of the property of the deceased (or proactive/conscientious) landlords.


All rychtář were themselves partially exempt from robota duties, as well as other levies. It really depended on the rychtář himself, whether he found an acceptable balance between the interests of the nobility and those of the people who actually lived there - and upon whose help he (the rychtář) relied.


He was responsible for executing the estate’s decisions, for assessing a property’s value for purchases/exchanges/inheritance purposes, and he was also endowed with minor judicial power. In a way, his was a precarious job. He was the middle man between the manorial lord/nobility and the peasants. The Burgmeister (konšel) was often the assistant to the rychtář.


The rychtař was often chosen by the nobility, mostly from among the ranks of the larger landowners of the village. Surely they must have taken into account the personal morals of the candidate, and his loyalty to the manorial lord. Often, the title of rychtář was “loosely” inherited within one family; it was still the manorial lord’s decision whether or not it would stay in the family. We see this in the Kačenových family in Radosice. If the rychtář was truly the right man for the job, then the everybody respected him, from the nobility, to the local villagers (those who were farm posessors), including those in the surrounding villages. As a result of his position of respect and esteem, he was often invited to stand as a witness in various official meetings and in the drafting of documents.  The badge of rychtářské power was so called “right of rychtář.”  This was a wooden cane braided with leather straps and adorned with shiny buttons, insignias of power and dignity.  It was given to him after he was sworn in by the landlord. This was a symbol of his power and authority.


Usually the rychtář lived on a property that was larger than the others in the town/village, perhaps by 2-3x. Often the rychtář had certain privileges, such as brewing and/or selling alcohol. To this day, many pubs in the Czech Republic have the word “rychtář” in them.


For example, this one in Ruzyně

Here is an example of the rychtář (here written in German as “Richter”) witnessing a 1799 purchase contract from Vítkovice


richter.jpg
Mikolaš Rochel, Richter

Here we see an example illustrating how the village rychtář/Richter’s responsibility was to step in and solve minor disputes amongst villagers. Because his word was considered final, and respected as such, he was able to step in and resolve the issue of whether or not the shares of the inheritance had been paid. We see that in this 1702 inheritance dispute in Kout na Šumavě, a compromise was reached.


German transcriptionEnglish Translation

Nachdem Verkäufer allbereits vor eine geraume Zeit mit Todt abgangen und des Käufer welcher kürzlich gleichsah gestorben, hinterlassene
Wittib behaupten wollen, dass die. 60. f. rs. von ihrem gottseel[iges]: Mann bezahlt worden sind,
die hinterlassene Erbe, aber nichts darum
wissen wollen so ist heute dato bei Richter
[…]
und Geschworen zwischen der Wittib und den Erben
der gütl[iche] Vergleich dahin geschehen, das
die Wittib ihnen 4. Erben annoch 8 f in
4. Jahres jedes mahl auf Michaeli 2 f
herausgeben solle, womit dann der gänz[liche]
Kaufschilling vergnügt wäre, dergestalt
das vor Zeuge[?] auszulöschn kann, als
dem Verkäufer bezahlt aber … 42 f
Restiert noch 8  
diese Ernen zu erheben
Wolf Slama ……. 2
Hanns Jaxamit …… 2
Ursula Jaxamitin ……. 2
Thomas Jaxamit …… 2
                                 f 8 f

Gauth dem 19n April 1722
Ao 1726 d 22 Janu erweist Käuferin
an die zu Rest verbliebene 8 f bezahlt
zuhaben als
dem Wolf Slama ……. 2 f
         Hanns Jaxamit …… 2
         Ursula Jaxamitin ……. 2
         Thomas Jaxamit …… 1 rest 1 f
                                   7 f

After the sellers have already passed through death a considerable time ago and the buyer who also died, the surviving widow [of the buyer] claimed that the [sum of] 60 f rs were paid by her deceased husband, however [also] the surviving heirs did not know anything about that[.] so today [before] the Richter
[...]
and sworn assistants on today’s date[,] the settlement of property between the widow and the heirs has been concluded [thusly:] that the widow should give them, the 4 heirs the remaining [unpaid amount] 8 f for [the next] 4 years, always on [the feast of St] Michael 2 f., and thus the whole purchase price would be met[.]
In this way[,] in the presence of witnesses[, the following sum] can be deleted [and considered] as paid to the seller … 42 f
Remains [to be paid] still 8 [f]
These heirs have [the following claims]
Wolf Slama ……. 2
Hanns Jaxamit …… 2
Ursula Jaxamitin ……. 2
Thomas Jaxamit …… 2
                                 f[azit] 8 f

Gauth on19th April 1722
On January 22th 1726 the buyer proved that from the remainder  of 8 f [she] paid as [follows: ]
to Wolf Slama ……………. 2 f
    Hanns Jaxamit ……….. 2
    Ursula Jaxamitin …….. 2
    Thomas Jaxamit ……... 1 rest 1 f
                                           7 f

You never know; perhaps you will discover that your Czech ancestor was the rychtář. Wouldn’t that be an interesting discovery?

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Back Issues of SPJST's Věstník are online!

Hey! While looking for something completely different, I stumbled across something I absolutely must share with all of those who have some kind of connection to Texas Czechs.

When Czechs immigrated to Texas, they brought with them deep and abiding love of literature, education, and culture. After all, Jan Amos Komenský was a Czech. It would have been a terrible sacrifice for the first generation of immigrants - not only the prospect of frontier, pioneer living, but especially the knowledge/fear that their children would not have the same opportunities for education as they had had in the Old Country. Indeed, the school records don't lie (if only I understood them better!); we have a huge pile of evidence that our Czechs were educated before coming to Texas.

After arriving, Texas Czechs started to create all kinds of fraternal organizations. One of the largest that still exists today is the SPJST. If you're a Texas Czech, you have probably been to one of their lodges for some kind of activity, like a barbecue or a dance (and let me tell you, those 80 year olds danced circles around my husband and I when we went there a few years ago! I'm not exaggerating even a tiny bit, guys.)

SPJST, or Slovanska Podporující Jednoty Státu Texas had a journal, aptly named Věstník and you can read many of its back issues online at this website (issuu.com).

It looks like some of the issues go back to the 1930's, which is really great! There are also newer issues, and it seems to stop ~2001. It does not look like a complete collection, though the site is a little obtuse to navigate, so I could be wrong.

This is the exact reason why I am so obsessed with learning Czech. I really want to be read this.

Notice that this journal only was published online in 2015. From many of the biographies, histories, and articles I have read, I know that there are dozens (or perhaps more) of similar journals and newspapers - many of which are in Czech - that have not yet been digitized and made available to the public.

The best part about this site is that it's free! I haven't played around with their search engine yet, but it looks like there are other journals and magazines here to read. But this one is a real gold mine; there is an extremely high likelihood that your Texas Czechs were members of the SPJST, and as such, they probably had stuff published in their magazine. Remember, these old, local publications were something like the Facebook of our day. They published things like, "So-and-so came to town and paid the publishers a visit." "So-and-so is in the hospital."


An ad for a play in Czech called, "Where are my dollars?" Apparently Texas Czechs were not only interested in publishing, but also in the theater!

And don't let the age fool you; sometimes these kinds of old publications are much more gory and graphic than you might find in today's publications, describing in great detail every aspect of a bloody crime, or a terrible tragedy, etc. I am really excited to try to unearth such treasure in Věstník, and I hope you have fun playing with it, too!


And here is a letter reviewing a different play, and how pleased he was to see it, etc. Imagine if your ancestor were in this play, how it would feel for you to have this extra bit of information coloring the details of their lives!



Monday, January 16, 2017

Census Records have Discrepancies, AND THAT IS OKAY!


Image may contain: 1 person, text
I'm participating in a genealogy panel on Dear Myrtle's blog. Here's what I wrote this week:

In this chapter, Rose describes some specific points that researchers must consider when dealing with certain common record sets. It makes sense that these examples are North America-centric, since the GPS is a standard created by the Board for Certification of Genealogists, an American genealogical organization. How do her methods apply to a Czech-American genealogy research case using just US Census records?
It is difficult to trace Czech surnames through US Census records because of the wide range of spelling variation both by the census taker and the indexer. Unless you are very lucky and the record was written in sharp, clear, legible writing, or either the census taker/indexer has some knowledge of Czech surnames, you will run into spelling variation with these names. For example, there are many spelling variations with the surname Rajnošek, and none of them include the original Czech spelling. Compounding this problem are the actual name variations.

US Census year
How names were indexed on FamilySearch
Image extract
1940[1]
Anton Rainosek
Filomena
Ivan
Mary
Jerome
Leona
1930[2]
Anton Rainosek
Philomena
Rosa L
Elvin
Edward
Mary
Ivan
Edith
Jerry
Leona
1920[3]
Anton Rainosek Sr.
Minnie
Anton Jr.
Mollie
Rosie
Emil
Alvin
Edward
Mary
Ivan
Edith
Jerome
Caroline Zavisek, servant
1910[4]
Anton Rainouk
Filomana
Cecilia
Egner
Anton
Amelia
Rozalie
Emil
Albin
Karoline Zanisak, servant
1900[5]
Anton Rainosek
Filemone
Cecilia
Ignaz
Anton
Caroline Favichak, servant
1880[6]
Albert Reinacheck
Veronica
Martin
John
Carl
Johanna
Fanny
Anton

Notice that in this example, no single US Census record is exactly the same as the others - and this is just examining names! How many other variations occur when considering dates and places? What could account for this discrepancy? How can Czech genealogy researchers be confident that they are connecting the right family?
Except for the 1940 census, where the person reporting the information to the census taker was indicated with a circled X (in this case, Anton himself), the informant remains unknown. “For the information to be considered primary, it must be furnished by someone with firsthand knowledge or a participant in the event.”[7]
Notice that all post-1880 censuses have consistent surname spelling for this family (whether or not it was indexed correctly!) - “Rainosek.”  Only in 1920 was the census taker for this area of rural Fayette County a Czech, one “Anton P. Kallus.” Notice that this is also the only year that Filomena’s name is shortened to “Minnie” - the diminutive name by which she was probably known to Mr. Kallus.[8]
Notice that Anton was born in Texas. He was an educated man who consistently was recorded as speaking English, owning his farm, and even employing a servant (whose name is never consistent on these records). Anton was the only child born in America to Czech immigrants. Because this was the mother tongue of his parents, he certainly he grew up speaking some Czech in his home. Anton’s wife Filomena was a Czech immigrant who arrived ~1882; she certainly also spoke Czech. Anton and Filomena probably also spoke Czech with their children in their own home, but it is also likely that, being born in America and thus having access to English speakers his entire life, Anton spoke more English than his father. Is that one reason why his surname is spelled consistently as “Rainosek” rather than phonetically as “Reinacheck?” Did he understand that census taker’s instructions better than his father?
Anton’s father, the first generation immigrant in this family, died in 1902 which means he was enumerated on the 1900 census. Indeed, we find him next door to his son Anton, a 72 year old widower who is listed as neither reading, writing, nor speaking English.


What is genealogical identity?

“Genealogists should understand what genealogical identity is before trying to prove it.”[9] This example shows that names - while certainly important identifiers - are not always the most reliable markers of identity, especially when compounded by inevitable linguistic hurdles involved with the transfer of information between two different languages. In fact, the real reason why these families are so clearly linked together has much more to do with relationships. Notice the consistency in the ordering of the children, with only slight name variations. Czech genealogy researchers need to place more emphasis on identifiers such as dates, places, and especially relationships, while allowing a degree of flexibility and error tolerance for spelling variations introduced by the non-native Czech speakers who were usually stewards of their records after they arrived in America.

[1] "United States Census, 1940," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:KWVZ-Z5Y : accessed 16 January 2017), Anton Rainosek, Justice Precinct 1, Fayette, Texas, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 75-4, sheet 9A, line 31, family 158, Sixteenth Census of the United States, 1940, NARA digital publication T627. Records of the Bureau of the Census, 1790 - 2007, RG 29. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 2012, roll 4032.

[2] "United States Census, 1930," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:HT7T-JT2 : accessed 16 January 2017), Anton Rainosek, Precinct 1, Fayette, Texas, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) ED 5, sheet 4B, line 72, family 94, NARA microfilm publication T626 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 2002), roll 2331; FHL microfilm 2,342,065.

[3] "United States Census, 1920," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MC94-9KS : accessed 16 January 2017), Anton Rainosek Sr., Justice Precinct 1, Fayette, Texas, United States; citing ED 49, sheet 6B, line 94, family 136, NARA microfilm publication T625 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1992), roll 1803; FHL microfilm 1,821,803.

[4] "United States Census, 1910," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/M2MF-NSM : accessed 16 January 2017), Anton Rainouk, Justice Precinct 1, Fayette, Texas, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) ED 51, sheet 7B, family 137, NARA microfilm publication T624 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1982), roll 1552; FHL microfilm 1,375,565.

[5] "United States Census, 1900," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M3GQ-M6L : accessed 16 January 2017), Anton Rainosek, Justice Precinct 1 (all west of LaGrange/Weimar Valley rd. & Colorado River excl. LaGrange cit, Fayette, Texas, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 30, sheet 11B, family 182, NARA microfilm publication T623 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1972.); FHL microfilm 1,241,634.

[6] "United States Census, 1880," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MFNH-J7Q : 14 July 2016), Anton Reinacheck in household of Albert Reinacheck, Precinct 7, Fayette, Texas, United States; citing enumeration district ED 58, sheet 93A, NARA microfilm publication T9 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), roll 1303; FHL microfilm 1,255,303.

[7] Christine Rose, Genealogical Proof Standard: Building a Solid Case, 4th Edition Revised, (San Jose, California: CR Publications) 2014, 22.

[8] Diminutive names are extremely common in Czech, not only for names but also for proper nouns.

[9] Stephen B. Hatton, “Thinking about Genealogical Identity”, National Genealogical Society Quarterly, Volume 104, No. 3, September 2016, 215.




Friday, January 13, 2017

In which I prove that Watson is valuable to Sherlock

Image may contain: 1 person, text













I'm partipating in a fun genealogy panel on Dear Myrtle's blog. I want to polish the first piece I wrote before sharing it on my blog, but here's what I wrote this week.


You can watch it here. My part is from 46:34-1:04



Rose’s Casebuilding Scenarios

In this chapter, Rose describes two scenarios:


1. After a reasonably exhaustive research, there are no conflicts. Next step: write a coherently written conclusion.
2. After a reasonably exhaustive research, there still are conflicts. Next steps: be sure you really have found all relevant data, then weigh its credibility. Rose implies that the coherently written conclusion comes next.


Rose implies that though weighing the data’s credibility is technically subjective process, it is possible to be done logically and skillfully. “Assigning weight is subjective. It is a skill that is developed over time, with experience, and based upon a knowledge of all aspects of the elements of evidence. Eventually, as we continually collect, scrutinize and analyze, it becomes second nature.” [1]


Experts can be blind to discrepancies


Personally, I feel like it is not always easy to distinguish between these two situations, because the more knowledge and understanding we gain in our locality area of expertise, the less likely we are to even consider discrepancies as such. Having an intimate knowledge of the patterns of how people from a specific place at a specific moment in time lived can blind us to what outsiders might view as a “discrepancy.”


“Write-as-you-go” is important to me


I do not think writing should only happen post-research. It has been my own experience that the writing process itself causes me to be a better researcher. I use google drive to organize my research, and while I use spreadsheets as a form of meta-organization (organizing research logs, organizing finding aids, etc.), I prefer a free-form document for logging my research. Google Docs is a format that promotes writing in full sentences. I find that the cells of Google Sheets are too small for me to logically develop my thoughts.
However, I think it’s likely that Rose does not believe that all writing should occur after the research has been collected and analyzed, but rather only the actual conclusion itself. Because this is such a crucial process for meeting the GPS, I wish that this distinction would have been more explicit in her book.


Example of Expert Blindness


Here is an example of what is technically a discrepancy, but would not even be considered as such by Czech genealogy researchers.
Spelling conventions were not standardized in Czech until the mid 19th century, but because they were under the rule of the Austrian Empire (and after 1867/1868, the Austro Hungarian Empire) until 1918, many of their official records were kept in German. It is common to find German spelling of Czech names through the registers. It is more important to compare how surnames are said than to rely on spelling.  
For example: Valentin and Josef were the twin sons of “Johann Waschiczek”, born and baptized 17 January 1866 in Vratimov, Moravia[2].


Notice that the other words on this 1866 birth record for Josef and his twin brother Valentin are also written in German, for example Zwillinger = twin, Gärtler = farmer on a piece of land less than ~11 acres, Schmied = smith, and dessen Eheweib = his wife.


Josef followed his sisters to Texas in 1881 and his name is spelled, “Josef Vasicek” on both the declaration of intent[3] and his naturalization record[4], both from 1894. Upon arrival to the United States, Czech immigrants universally lost the diacritical marks in the spelling of their names.


Here is Joseph Vasicek with his wife Agnes on the 1910 census in rural Wharton County, Texas[5]. Notice that his given name is spelled, “Joseph” and his surname is spelled, “Vasicek.” The enumerator of this census was one, “John L Raider,” - not a Czech. It is likely that whoever was the informant helped the enumerator spell the name: Joseph, his wife, and his older children all knew how to read and write.


Sometimes this lead to surname spelling changes as well. In this case, the spelling seems to be changed from Waschiczek to Vasicek, but that is only because the scribe of Josef’s birth record chose to write his surname in German. However, other siblings’ names were written with the Czech spelling, “Vašíček.” For example, see Josef’s older sister Marianna Vašíček’s 1872 marriage to Anton Koberský in Vratimov, Moravia[6].


Notice that Marianna’s surname on her 1872 marriage is spelled “Vašíček.” Whether to write in Czech or German was largely the whim of the scribe.


Czech researchers will find a tendency for older Czech records to be written in Czech more often than in German, with a lot of local variation. Which language was used depended largely on the subjective opinions and feelings of various people in charge, in particular, estate administrators and parish priests. 18th century records and earlier are often written at least partially in Latin, as well. Czech researchers tend to consider Latin, German, and Czech words as interchangeable, without significant meaning behind their variation.  
This same blindness towards spelling discrepancies extends to given names, for example: “Jan” vs. “John” vs “Johannes/Iohannes.” One is Czech, the other English, the last Latin, but all are the same name. It can be difficult for Czech researchers to even notice that others might not find the two completely interchangeable. No matter how it looked on paper, Jiří, Georg, or Georgius, they would have called their son Jiří, or perhaps one of its dozen diminutives. Never in their life would the person have been called “Adalbert” or “Adalbertus”, regardless of what the records say, it would have been, “Vojtěch.”


Scenario Two: Černoch becomes Cernosek


Here is another example of a surname change that is not so straightforward.
My friend was researching his Černošek line. His goal was to find more information about his immigrant ancestor, Anton Cernosek [sic]. Unsourced information on Familysearch showed that Anton was from the Moravian village of Frenštát.
In a compiled genealogy[7], we read:


“All the emigrants of this family name were born or emigrated under their original family name, Černoch. After their arrival in the USA [the] majority of them (unlike the emigrants of the same family name from other villages, e.g. Tichá and Veřovice) changed their original family name Černoch into Černošek. The reasons for this change have been unknown up to the present day and we can only guess that one of them may have been a little bit pejorative meaning of this word translated into English (černoch = negro).


ČERNOCH, Antonín was born in Frenštát [house] # 539 on Jan. 16, 1837, his parents were Ignác Černoch and passport to America was dated on Aug. 18, 1880. He received his passport No. 6768/1880 on Aug. 31, 1880. There is a note “America 1880” on the Census of Frenštát citizens. he arrived in Galveston on the ship America on Sept. 29, 1880 (as Cernoch Ant. with family). He was registered on the Censuses of Fayette Co. in 1900 (as Cernosek born in Jan. 1837, his arrival in 1880) and in 1910 (Cernosek age 72, arrival in 1880). After his wife’s death he remarried Marie Konvička Přadka, a widow of Jan Přadka (she was born in Frenštát on Jan. 9, 1843, she died on March 12, 1923) on Nov. 21, 1886 in Hostyn. Antonín died on Oct. 1, 1920, he was buried in Ammannsville cemetery (as Cernosek 1837-1920).”


According to an article about Galveston immigrants, an image of the passenger list for the 1880 voyage of the S. S. America does not survive, however it was common for newspapers to print the names of the incoming passengers[8]. The Czech immigrants on this particular ship, the S.S. America arriving in Galveston in 1880, were listed in an article in a Wisconsin newspaper, which was then republished in a genealogical magazine in 1987[9]. We should find a copy of that genealogical magazine, and so that we have a second-hand instead of third-hand account.
Notice that Dr. Šímiček found Anton Černoch’s passport application. That means it exists somewhere in the Czech archives. Next steps include obtaining a photograph of it, perhaps by hiring a Czech researcher with easier access to the archives. These records are a low priority for digitization, so waiting will not be a great option.


Final thought: If you haven’t found conflicts, you probably haven’t finished your research.


While writing this paper, I realized that it was really difficult for me to come across anything in my own research that clearly meets Rose’s first scenario. This is probably because the more sources one consults, the greater the likelihood for conflicts to surface. In a way, this is similar to how each subsequent transcription of an individual record allows for further introduction of errors.
Because all the possible information about a human being can never be consolidated into one document, researchers must consult many high quality sources and analyze them with intelligence and care. The more one learns about one’s research locality, the better one becomes at deciphering the meaning of the records. And yet, it can still be quite helpful for experienced researchers to collaborate with novices whose virgin eyes are not yet biased by unsourced knowledge.

[1] 
Rose, Christina, Genealogical Proof Standard: Building a Solid Case 4th Edition Revised, (San Jose, California: CR Publications) 2014, 15.

[2]
Roman Catholic Parish of Vratimov (Vratimov, Ostrava-město, Moravian-Silesia, Czech Republic), Inventory Number 3078a, matrika zemřelých, raoyených, a odanných pro obce Vratimov a Kunčice [Deaths, Births, Marriages for the municipalities of Vratimov and Kunčice] 1837-1893, unpaginated, Valentin and Josef [Waschiczek] entry [twins], 17 January 1866; digital images, Regional Archives of Opava, Archivní Vademecum (http://vademecum.archives.cz/vademecum/permalink?xid=29e3f91ac933f2f4:-46dc1ec8:1360587349b:-7fa2&scan=397 : Accessed 9 January 2017), electronic page 397.
[3] Fayette County Court, Records of Declaration Vol D:136, Josef Vasicek; FHL microfilm 967983.
[4] Fayette County Court, Naturalization Records Vol 1:338, Josef Vasicek; FHL microfilm 967978.
[5] "United States Census, 1910," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-25140-7393-42?cc=1727033 : accessed 9 January 2017), Texas > Wharton > Justice Precinct 5 > ED 169 > image 27 of 40; citing NARA microfilm publication T624 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
[6] Roman Catholic Parish of Vratimov (Vratimov, Ostrava-město, Moravian-Silesia, Czech Republic), Inventory Number 3078a, matrika zemřelých, narozených, a odanných pro obce Vratimov a Kunčice [Deaths, Births, Marriages for the municipalities of Vratimov and Kunčice] 1835-1893, unpaginated, Anton Kobierský to Marianna Vašíček entry, 30 July 1872; digital images, Regional Archives of Opava, Archivní Vademecum (http://vademecum.archives.cz/vademecum/permalink?xid=29e3f91ac933f2f4:-46dc1ec8:1360587349b:-7fa2&scan=503 : accessed 9 January 2017), electronic page 503.
[7] Šímiček, Josef, The Pilgrims for Hope: Volume II, 2004, page 34. Dr. Šímiček was a local doctor who became interested in tracing Czech emigrants from his home town of Lichnov, Moravia and the surrounding areas. He spend over 4 decades compiling 6 volumes of books about Texas Czech immigrants with detailed family trees. Before the parish registers were digitized and made available online ca ~2012, Šímiček’s books were one of the only sources American family historians could rely on. The work has a list of source citations (though they are not connected to individual facts) and after poring through the volumes that I own, I have found only a few minor errors in facts. The book is written in English, and though it is apparent he is not a native speaker, the ideas are clear.
[8] Konecny, Lawrence H. and Clinton Machan, German and Czech Immigration to Texas: The Bremen to Galveston Route, 1880-1886; (http://www.nebraskahistory.org/publish/publicat/history/full-text/Czech_05_Bremen.pdf : accessed 9 January 2017).
[9] ibid.