CGSI Quarterly Meeting - March 2005

Family History Research Panel Discussion

Plymouth Creek Center, Plymouth, MN 55447

A panel of people who have done a lot of family history research shared their research experiences including their approach, unusual findings, recommendations, researching in archives, etc.

Title: The search is as interesting as the results

  • Initial triggering of interest in family history
  • Discovering the ancestral village
  • Meeting collateral relatives in the Czech Lands
  • Tackling the Czech language
  • Networking
  • Planning the family sesquicentennial

Speaker: Dave Pavelka has traced his branch of the Pavelka family back to the 1600s. Pavel Pavelka, Trubar (about 1650 to about 1725) is the earliest known forbearer. He has located many of the descendants of the immigrant, Frantisek Pavelka (1821-1899). Frantisek Pavelka immigrated in 1853. Dave served on the CGSI Board of Directors and is a past President of CGSI.

Title: Using the Czech regional archives
In 1991, Ken became the first member of his family to return to the Bohemian Forest. He made contact with cousins in Germany, and traced his family chart back to 1750 through research at the Plzn regional Archives. Upon returning he wrote, with Bob Paulson, the booklet Border People, the first published account of German-Bohemian emigration to the U.S.
Speaker: Ken Meter’s maternal ancestors were German-Bohemians who emigrated in the late 1880s from the Sumava Mountain area, near the border between Bavaria and Bohemia. Farmers, millers and woodworkers, they settled in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Ken now serves as Education director for CGSI, and has spoken at annual meetings for both CGSI and FEEFHS.

Title: Czech genealogical research – beyond the vital records.
Overview of my research experience. Included are details of some of the findings that have helped me learn about some of my individual ancestors, sources of that information, and types of records in both the Czech archives and CGSI library that may help you learn about your ancestors.
Speaker: Gene Aksamit has traced his Aksamit family in Bohemia back to about 1635 . While serving as Library Chair for CGSI and during his genealogical research, he became interested in the many records beyond the vital records that can be found in the Czech archives.

Title: Publishing genealogical, historic, or cultural works
Al will share his thoughts on publishing various forms of genealogical publications with specific recommendations on self-publication of formal books. He’ll also make some recommendations on conducting research in villages in the Czech lands.
Speaker: Al Kranz caught the genealogy bug in the early 1970s while helping his wife with her New England genealogy. By the mid-1970s, he met his cousin and future co-author, Helen Vavra. They started extensive research and collection of photographs on their Dvorak family and other Dvoraks in the Hopkins/Minnetonka area. Al also conducted research on his father’s ancestors from the Rhineland and Luxembourg. By 1988, Al and Helen’s intent to publish genealogy charts on Dvorak families turned into a publication entitled Dvoraks of Minnetonka Township Minnesota. Since then, he has continued research on various family lines and has dabbled in research on Scandinavian and Italian ancestry pertaining to this son-in-law and daughter-in-law.