Double Whammy! Another Genealogy Jackpot!

As a genealogist you can find small tidbits about family almost anytime of the year.  If you are lucky there will be a huge break through every year or two.  I have hit the big time twice in the last two months.  The genealogy gods have been showering me with kindness this year!  My first great find about finding the signature for my 6th great-grandfather can be found here.

I have been trying to identify a hometown in Hungary for over a year now for my mother-in-laws paternal line.  We are planning a family trip to Hungary this summer so there has been a lot of work done to identify the family and where they came from.  So far my mother-in-law’s paternal grandfather is a concrete wall reinforced with rebar.

I have been working her maternal great-grandparents line as my last hope for finding a place to visit in the homeland.  They are John Nagy and Elizabeth Varro from Hungary.  On Ancestry.com, I found an entry in the Naturalization Indexes for several men named John Nagy.  I was pretty sure I found “my” John since he lived at the same address as my John Nagy did in Whiting, Indiana.

Back in early December 2012 I sent a request to the Indiana State Archives for the naturalization paperwork.  Thankfully, when I sent the request I noted it in my research log.

Fast forward to April 2013.  As I am getting ready to visit my parents in Virginia and do some research at the Daughters of the American Revolution library, I notice on my research log that I still have not received a reply from Indiana regarding John Nagy.  I sent them a follow-up email to check where in the queue I was since our trip to Hungary in August is fast approaching.  I received a reply that they had misplaced my original request and would look at mine quickly.  I then received another email a week later informing me that the only courthouse in Lake County, Indiana they do not have in the Indiana State Archives is the one I need.(Of Course!!)  I was so grateful because the email included information about who I needed to contact to get the records I was looking for.

My next step was to contact the Northwest Indiana Genealogical Society with my request for John Nagy’s naturalization paperwork.  Sure enough within 2 weeks a self-addressed envelope was delivered to my mailbox.  Genealogy Jackpot #2!

The Declaration of Intention lists his town of birth and his signature!!

Nagy, John signature

Even better, his Petition of Naturalization is a goldmine of information.  John Nagy was born in Jablonca, Hungary 15 February 1862.  He met a woman named Elizabeth who came from the town of Tenestene, Hungary. They were settled in Jablonca when they had their first child, Mary (my husband’s great-grandmother) in March 1890.  In late July 1890, just four months after Mary’s birth, the family boarded the Red Star Line in Antwerp, Germany.  They arrived in New York City, New York the 8th of August.  The family continued their travels to outside Chicago and settled in Whiting, Indiana.  They had five more children between 1896-1905.

Nagy, John Naturalization Petition

Holy Moly!  We have a town to visit on our trip this summer.  Jablonca now resides on the Slovakia side of the Hungary/Slovakia border.  It is about a three-hour drive outside of Budapest to the northeast.  I am so excited!!  My kids, my husband, and my mother-in-law will all get to visit a town of their direct line in Hungary/Slovakia.

Jablonca satellite view
View of Jablonca, Slovakia from Google Maps

Treasure Chest Thursday – Catharine Offerman Pope Death Certificate

Catherine Offerman in my husband’s 2nd great grandmother.  She was born in Germany in 1865.  She immigrated to the United States in 1887 or 1888 with her husband, John Pope.  They lived at 3335 26th Street in San Francisco.  Catherine died a horrible death.  She received 2nd and 3rd degree burns on her body after gas on the floor of her home caught fire.  I am told by my husband’s grandfather, who was 5 at the time of the accident, that Catherine was cleaning the floor with the gasoline.  The house burned down and was rebuilt.  I scanned the copy of the death certificate (below) from the genealogy stash at my husband’s grandfather’s house.  I plan on visiting the San Francisco Library to see if there were any articles written in the newspaper about the fire.  Hopefully, I will be able to add more to this story at a later date.

3335 26th Street, San Francisco, CA
Left: in 1989. Right:early 1900’s before burning down.

State of California, Department of Public Health, Vital Statistics, Standard Certificate of Death # 32-005460

1. Place of Death: Dist. No 3801, City and County of San Fransisco, Franklin Hospital
2. Full Name: Catharine Pope
3. Sex: Female
4. Color or Race: White
5. Single, Married, Widowed, or Divorced: Widowed, wife of the late John Pope
6. Date of Birth: August 27, 1865
7. Age: 66 years, 4 months, 24 days
8. Occupation: At Home
9. Birthplace: Germany
10. Name of Father: C.H. Offerman
11 Birthplace of Father: Germany
12. Maiden Name of Mother: Anna Hink
13. Birthplace of Mother: Germany
14. Length of Residence: 45 years, in California 45 years
15. Informant: Per Mr C H Offerman, 547 Guerrero Street
16. Date of Death: January 21st, 1932
17. Cause of Death: Second and third degree burns of body. (One half body area) Accidental ignition of gasoline.
18. Special Information, Former Residence: 3335 26th St.
19. Place of Burial: Cypress Lawn Burial
20. Date of Burial: Jan. 23, 1932
21. Undertaker: H F Suhr Co, 2919 Mission Street