Further Adventures in Family History

I’ll admit it: I might have a problem. Each Sunday, Denisa and I sit down to do “just a bit of family history.” This time, I even suggested we set an hour time limit so that we wouldn’t lose our whole Sunday. But the thing is, I get into the research a little bit, and the next thing I know, it’s dark out. (And not just because of Daylight Savings Time.)

Oh well. At least I’m having a fun time, right?

Yesterday’s adventure was focused on delving further back into Denisa’s Križan line. A couple of months ago we’d done a bunch of work and discovered that her great-great grandfather, a preacher in a small town, had been married twice. We found a bunch of information on his families, but when we tried to find information for his parents, we figured out that he hadn’t been born in that town. He must have moved there when he was assigned to be the preacher. We had an idea as to when he was born (they included his exact age when he died), but there were no birth records in the town for him, so we figured we were stuck.

Yesterday, I decided to try again. (Well, scratch that. I forgot that I’d tried the first time. Same thing, right?) I did a search for Karel Križan, and quickly remembered I’d hit a road block before. When I searched online for his name, I only came across the same records I’d found before. Except this time I noticed that in one record he’d been listed as Karol, not Karel. So for kicks, I switched the search to Karol Križan.

This time, I found the birth record for Carolus Križan, born in the right year as the man I was looking for. And when I went to that birth record, I found that he was born on the right day, as well. I wanted to call it right then, but Denisa was still skeptical. Križan is a common name in Slovakia, and it could be possible that two people with that name were born on the same day. Could I somehow prove it further?

So I figured maybe Carolus was married in the same town he was born in. I checked the marriage records for him. Nothing in the right years. To be thorough, I kept checking a for year or two after what I thought would be right. We discovered a Jan Križan had been married in 1857 in that town. And one of the witnesses for the marriage? Karel Križan, the local preacher from a village. The same Karel who’s Denisa’s great-great grandfather.

So that was a pretty great feeling. It meant we now had the name of Karel’s parents and where he was born. We used that to find the names of all 9 of his brothers and sisters. Unfortunately, the records in that town got pretty crummy a bit further back, so we weren’t able to find the names of his grandparents. Maybe one day.

But the cool thing is that Karel was born in a town that’s literally right next to where Denisa’s brother now lives. And we had no clue about that until yesterday. I love cool coincidences like that.

Anyway. Maybe that’s not incredibly interesting to anyone else, but it was to me. Then again, I’m a librarian. I love me some good research, and I’d never thought I’d be able to do cool family history research like rhis, since my Mormon family got to all the easily accessible stuff decades ago.

Looks like I had to marry into it. 🙂

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