Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Hungarian Marriage Project Update: 09 Jun 2010

I had taken a 2 1/2 month break from extracting marriage records, but I'm back at it again. Today I have added the Roman Catholic parish of Ibrány from Szabolcs county. This addition to the database adds 520 marriages from 1801 to 1894. This brings the Hungarian Marriage Project well over 12,600 marriages! You can search the Hungarian Marriage Project here:

Hungarian Marriage Project

If you have have records to contribute to Hungary Exchange, don't hesitate to contact me! Your contributions will helps others! :)

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday - János Cserpák

I was at the Mount Olivet Catholic cemetery yesterday, which is on the south side of Chicago. I was originally looking for my half-uncle's great-grandmother, Anna Felton nee Vearon or Vieron. I found her lot easily enough and she unfortunately didn't have headstone or marker. Neither did the random three other people completely unrelated to her, that were around her. Quite sad.

While walking back to my car I stumbled upon a headstone of a fellow Hungarian: János Cserpák. His headstone stated he was born on 22 Jul 1903 and he died on 20 Mar 1922 at the age of 18 years old. I snapped two pictures of his headstone; one of the headstone and one of the picture on the top. You can see them below:

During the car ride home I got to wondering what he could have died from so young. I got home and went onto FamilySearch's Record Search and searched for him in the Cook County, Illinois Deaths, 1878-1922. I found his death certificate listed under John Cherpak. In Hungarian, "CS" is pronounced "CH" as in 'chug'. The Americanized spelling of his name makes perfect sense.

John died at his home, 916 East 92nd Place in Chicago, on 20 Mar 1922. He was buried two days later in Mount Olivet cemetery on 22 Mar 1922. The cause of death is listed as "Lobar pneumonia" for the duration of 4 days and the secondary contributor was "cardiac failure". It's sad to think that something as common as pneumonia is so easily cured with today's medicine. He was listed as 18 years old and was a machinist at the "Nickle Plate R.R." His parents are listed as Jacob Cherpak and Mary Turk. John and his parents were listed as being born in "Austria". His father was the informant for the death certificate.

I found the Cherpak family in the 1920 census living at 916 East 92nd Place in Chicago, Illinois:
Cherpak, Jacob, Head, 52, married, immigrated 1911, alien, Hungary
Cherpak, Mary, Wife, 41, married, immigrated 1913, alien, Hungary
Cherpak, John, Son, 16, single, immigrated 1913, alien, Hungary
Cherpak, Anna, Daughter, 14, single, immigreated 1913, alien, Hungary
Iheri, Jacob, Boarder, 48, married, immigrated 1912, alien, Hungary

Jacob was a carpenter for the railroad shop and John (2 years before his death) was an apprentice at the railroad shop. Looking at the whole census page, every single family was Hungarian.. it must've been a predominantly Hungarian area that they lived in.

I was then able to locate John with his mother and sister in the Ellis Island passenger manifests. They were listed as Cserpak Mária (30), Cserpak János (9) and Cserpak Anna (7). They were of both Hungarian nationality and race. Their last residence, which happened to also be their place of birth, is a town called Vencsellő. They were residing with Mária's mother Anna Turk. (John's death record stated his mother's maiden name was Turk!) They were traveling to their husband and father Cserpak Jakab in Chicago. Vencsellő was in Szabolcs county of Hungary and was actually not too far from where my family came from. Vencsellő is roughly an hour North-East of Tiszadob and Büdszentmihály (now Tiszvasvári). Today, Vencsellő is combined with the town of Gáva and called Gávavencsellő (how original, huh?).

I've actually been researching in the Reformed church records of Gáva with my friend Sharon for her noble Bakó family, for the past few weeks. What are the odds? :)