Family Treasures

My great-grandfather Ory Thomas Davis.  For the better part of my life, I knew very little about my ancestry.  My mother's family, in general, did not seem to have a particular interest in genealogy.  Interestingly, my mother and her two sisters seemed to have an acquired ability to not ask questions.  My great-uncle George Brown was, and this is being delicate, a shady character.  My dad told me that when he was dating my mother, George would dominate the conversation and pepper it profusely with the salt of a sailor.  My dad said he was actually shocked at the non-stop filth that poured out of his mouth.  He worked for the railroad in Chicago and was fairly high up.  From everything I know, he seemed to have more money than he knew what to do with.  In other words, he was a mob guy.  The great mystery to me is why they all lived in the same house.  My grandfather had a good job.  But, George had this huge house and in our family, the elderly are taken care of.  No nursing homes ever, for either side of my family.  So, George and Esther took care of their mother.  My best guess is that my grandmother, George's sister, took care of their mother and George was quite free with his overabundance of money.  The way my grandmother dealt with having three little girls living with the king of debauchery was to tell them not to listen to Uncle George.   Now, I can't really speak for my two aunts, but my mother  had an amazing gift for just shutting out anything unpleasant.  Thus, I never learned much about her side of the family.  I mean, we (Whitny and I) have researched it back a few generations, but they were mostly Scottish and for some reason, their names were all pretty similar and it's just very difficult to get very far...we may still.  I just choose to believe that I am descended from William Wallace until I find out different.

I really felt so stymied by my genealogical efforts that I basically gave up, until just a few years ago, fate stepped in and I found the road to trace Ory Thomas Davis, my great paternal grandfather, and from everything I have learned...just a great man.

These pencil sketches were done by Emma Goerke.  

This is from my dad's mother's family.

My great-grandfather's receipts for his grave in the Bohemian Cemetery in Chicago
These are some remnants that I found from the side of our family I know the least about.  It is really a shame actually, because the little I do know would lead one to believe there were some pretty interesting people in the family tree.  This is the cover of a Passport for Marie Waskoosky and her three daughters.  Marie was my great, great grandmother and her daughter, Katarina was my great grandmother.  She was my father's grandmother on his mother's side.  The reason we know so little is that they lived in the Kingdom of Bohemia, which was the greater part of what became Czechosolvakia  in 1918.  Not only am I not fluent in Czech...many of the records were destroyed in WWI and WWII.  When this passport was issued to Marie in 1885, Bohemia was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and Emperor Franz Joseph I was on the throne.

In the Name of his Royal Majesty Franz Joseph 1
Franz Joseph I, in 1869
Austro Hungarian Passport
Though it appears there is a lot of information here, it is basic description of  where Marie is from and her general appearance and where she is going.  According to this, she was born in 1830, the same year Franz Joseph was born.
Her three daughters are included in Marie's passport

This is a good example of how this kind of research gets confusing.  Marie, who it says was born in 1858 has the last name of "Tochler", so older family members always assumed she was a widow.  However, when you do this kind of research, you learn fairly quickly how much information was lost out of laziness of the customs officials.  Rosina and Katarina have quotation marks, indicating that their last names possibly were also Tochler.  Katarina was always known as"Knocky" sp???  I have no idea why, I just remember everyone in my parents' generation called her that.  Asking her about family history was just something that wasn't done.  I have no idea why that was either.  I never knew her.

What is interesting to me is that all the women on this side of the family came over alone.  I don't know if they met the men here or exactly how that all played out.  The family name eventually became Pavlik.  I have a shotglass that says James Pavlik, Chicago World's Fair 1893.  Turns out, that was my great grandfather, Wenceslaus in "Good King.....much more interesting than James.