This is me in Prague, July 2016.

 This is me hiking Lysá hora, the highest mountain of the Beskydies!

This is me with krtek. 

This is Vratimov #14. It is either the exact property of my ancestors before they immigrated, or it belonged to a different branch of the Vašíček family. That is what we are trying to figure out now. If only that tree stump could answer my thousands of questions. It almost certainly would have been there when my ancestors left in 1880.  

And this is me when I first learned the word zajíc, or "hare." Yes, I chased that hare through that wheat field. And yes, that is the same field (or very, very close to the field) that my ancestors farmed in the tiny town of Rakovec near Vratimov, which means "crawdad."

I'm on Google+

...and also Facebook!

Here is a link to my personal genealogy blog: Czech out my Ancestors!
Me and Danny at Hukvaldy Castle.

My name is Katherine Elizabeth Vasicek Challis. But I go by Kate. I have a BA in French Teaching with a minor in TESOL K-12 (BYU '09). I taught Arabic to grades 6-9 at a charter school for a little over two years. I currently stay home with my four children, ages 2-7. I also teach Chinese students English online, which has been extremely rewarding.

I am married to the most wonderful man in the world, Daniel Richard Challis (Danny) whom I love with all my heart (even though he is not Czech!).

I have always enjoyed old things. As a young girl, I loved to look at the oldest photographs in our family photo album. I have always kept a personal journal.

This interest became a passion as I went to BYU and began to learn more about the genealogical research processes. I took a class on Family History while an undergraduate. I began to spend all my free time between classes at the BYU Family History Library, looking at microfilms and books. My husband and I started spending our weekends on expeditions to places like the Daughters of the Utah Pioneer Museum, the Utah State Archives, and of course the amazing Family History Library in Salt Lake City.

Since 2007, I have been actively researching my own family, with a special focus on my Czech Ancestry. I have been able to solve many difficult problems and trace my direct line ancestry back further than anyone had previously thought possible. I have made contact with distant cousins here and in Moravia, and have become highly proficient at reading and analyzing Czech Parish Registers. I understand the history and culture of the Czech lands, and the motivations for immigration. I specialize in finding the village of origin for Czechs immigrating to the United States.

It was this deep interest and passion that inspired me to delve into my genealogy. On the way, I discovered that I have to learn Czech, which you can read about here. Can you say "voda se třpytila"?

I am positive that my skills can help you discover more about your loved ones of the past.

Memberships, Titles, and Projects
  • Member of Czechoslovak Genealogical Society since July 2016
  • Member of the Iowa Genealogical Society since October 2013
  • Member of the National Genealogical Society since May 2013
  • Local LDS Family History Center Consultant since 2012
  • Member of Texas Czech Yahoo Group since 2008
Classes and Conferences Attended
  • 3S Genealogy Symposium hosted by the Friench Simpson Memorial Library in Hallettsville, TX (2012)
  • Texas Czech Genealogy Society Conference "Bugs 'N' All" 2011
  • Family History class at BYU, Winter 2007

Lectures and Teaching Experience
  • "Intro to Familysearch Family Tree." 1/2 hour presentation and 15 minute hands-on workshop to an audience of 20+ people at the LDS church, July 2013
  • "Finding Czech Parish Records Online: Moravia-Silesia Region." 3 hour presentation and 3 hour hands-on workshop to an audience of 30+ people at the Czech Heritage Society - Harris County Chapter's Summer Genealogy Meeting, July 2013
  • "How to Use Familysearch.org to Submit Your Ancestor's Names to the Temple." 1 hour presentation to an audience of 100+ people at the LDS church, May 2013

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