Sunday, January 15, 2017

The Czachorowskys | From Prussia to Chicago: 1880 to 1890

The Czachorowskys are a conundrum. They seem to simply 'appear' in Chicago around 1868. Claiming to be from Prussia I have yet to determine their actual origins. Or their point of entry into the United States. Or why they chose Chicago. As I set out to research one family I discovered others. Curiosity getting the best of me, this turned into the study of five Czachorowsky families living in Chicago c. 1870.  It is my hope with this series to make some discoveries to either link these families together, or prove they are not related. This is a real-time research project, I have not worked on this cluster before. I plan to share my discoveries and my frustrations in hopes that more eyes on the evidence will result in some sound conclusions. Join me as I explore these families, maybe we'll make some discoveries together!

Chicago 1880 to 1890

We open this decade with the three Czachorowsky families still residing in their original homes. Anton is the most steadfast. He appears to have a steady job as a house mover. Bernard disappears again and Leo seems to be restless.

Oh, by the way, did anyone find anything interesting in the Catholic Church records last week? It's a bit of an eye strain, isn't it? Scanning all those records. I happened upon something interesting! From a hint on another researcher's Ancestry tree I discovered a citation for a marriage record at St Francis of Assisi - guess what!? I found Paulina (Anton's sister) Czachorowsky's marriage! She married Nick Ballmann on June 22nd 1871. We'll follow her story later ..... it might be exciting!

As there were no census records, and the city directories weren't showing anything new or (too) surprising, I turned to the newspapers. I found Leo running for constable of West Town (8th Ward) on the Democratic ticket in 1877.  

Daily Inter Ocean April 3, 1877

Anton's daughter Paulina died on July 5th 1887. She was 22 years old. Oh, and look - they did not have a church service. Curious?

Daily Inter Ocean July 8, 1887

Also in 1887 one of the Czachorowskys filed a lawsuit: 

Daily Inter Ocean Nov 21, 1887 
Maybe it was Anton, here he is filing one in 1893:

Daily Inter Ocean July 7, 1893

Oh, wait. Bernard filed one in 1885 an 1891!

Wow! $4,000 was a lot of money back then! (Still is) Google tells me it's equivalent to $102,214.08 in 2017 money! Holy cow! Maybe that's why Bernard tended to disappear ..... (and maybe he liked the horses a little too much?) Interestingly, these are some of Chicago's heavy hitters of the time, I'd be curious to learn more of this relationship.

Back to the City Directories, we see a few moves we would not have known about with census records alone. And some funny spellings of names ...

1882, here the mystery Frank shows up for the first time. Anton is Albert this year. (Unless there's a new Czachorowsky brother! Oh no!)


1883, looks like Leo and Mary moved! 446 S Halstead is now the family home, and Mary's business.


 1884, Frank's back! Leo's latest occupation is 'driver'. This could mean several things, a person who oversaw convict work parties, a train or coach driver or a horse driver, as in harness racing. (Remember Bernard's involvement with the Driving Park?) Bernard didn't make this edition.


1885, oh well, now what?! Who's Bernhard? Or Bennie? (also a driver) Is this the same (mystery) Frank or Anton's son Frank? Point of interest - Colorado Av is the street the Chicago Driving Park is on ..... hmm...


Chicago Driving Park on Colorado Av

1887, Benjamin? Antoine? The only constant is Mary.


1888, Looks like Anton may have moved out of the house. I wonder if it had anything to do with the death of his daughter? Or could this be Bernard? Anton was never a carpenter before. Leo and Mary are back living on Canal, and Leo is now an insurance agent.


1889, Bernard's back! And another Frank has appeared. Looks like Leo's son this time.


1890, this makes sense. Bernard is here, Anton (Anthony this year)  with sons Bernard and Frank; Frank A, Leo's son; Leo - now an inspector for the water dept - and Mary. Good old Mary.


So, this week closes without too much new information, but perhaps a few hints. My take-aways:
  • Who is this 'mystery' Frank? Is he related somehow?
  • Why did Leo move away from Canal St for four years, then move back?
  • Why did Anton board at a different location (still keeping his home address) for a season?
  • Might there be some city of Chicago employment records on Leo?
  • Should we dig deeper in the St Francis church records?
  • Would a trip to IRAD answer any questions?
  • What about Chicago Driving Park?
What do you think? Are there clues in this week's information that might lead us to check other sources?

The Decade In Review

......until next time!

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