Category Archives: Illinois

My Afternoon at The Archives

Today, I took some time out of my busy day to actually do bit of researching for my Jonas line. One of my goals is to NBC able to prove/disprove is Wilhem Jonas (my great-great grandfather) is related to Johann Jonas (who lived in the same general area and who’s children share the names of Wilhelm’s).

A few months back, I found the index record for both of their naturalization records on At that time, I printed each index out knowing I would go to find their actual paperwork at IRAD. This morning, I decided today was that day. After I found the print outs of the index, I grabbed a quick lunch and set out on my mission.

Once I got to IRAD and requested my film, I sat and searched through the first roll of film. I was so upset because the index told me exactly what page I should find the record on and it was no there. I rewound the film, set it to the side and moved on tithe next roll. This roll was supposed to hold the record for Johann Wilhelm’s, I went to the page it listed and did not find him. I scrolled through every book that was on this roll and found zilch! I was disappointed, to say the least.

I went back to the desk and spoke with the lady that was kind enough to assist me. We again looked at my ancestry index print out and decided we would try another volume. The index showed it should be volume 76 and I had already been through 73-76 and found nothing. So, looking at the printout, I suggested we try 78. The 8 could easily have been mistaken for a 6.

While the lady looked for that roll of film, I went back to my first roll to see if Wilhelm’ would make an appearance. When I first started rolling through the film, I did not understand that there were multiple books on a film. I quickly went to the second book and then rolled forward to get to the correct page number, and there he was, Wilhelm’s Jonas! I was so excited. I printed off the paperwork and got ready for the next roll.

                    165 United States of America State of Illinois, Cook County Pleas, before the honorable EW Burke one of the Judges of the Circuit Court of Cook County, at a term thereof begun and held at Chicago, in said county and state, on the third Monday (being the 15th day) of October in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred 4and the Independence of the United States the one hundred 19th. Present, Honorable EW Burke one of the Judges of the Circuit Court of Cook County. Jacob J. Kern States Attorney, James H. Gilbert Sheriff. Attest Frank J Gaulter clerk, On the 23d day of October A.D. 1894, being one of the days aforesaid, came Wilhelm Jonas an alien, into court, and applied to be admitted as a naturalized citizen of the United States, and it having appeared to the satisfaction of the Court that the said applicant has resided within the limits and under the jurisdiction of the United States, for and during the full term of five years last past, and one year and upward immediately proceeding date hereof, in the State of Illinois, and that during said term of five years he has sustained a good moral character, and appeared to be attached to to the principle contained in the Constitution of the United States, as well disposed to the good order, well being, and happiness of the same, and two years and upwards have elapsed since the said applicant filed the declaration of his intention to become a citizen of the United States, according to the provisions of the several Acts of Congress heretofore passed on that subject; and he having now here, in open Court, taken and subscribed the oath required by those laws to support the Constitution of the United States, and to renounce and abjure all allegiances and fidelity to every foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty whatever, and more particularly all allegiance which he may in anywise owe to Emperor of Germany whereof he was heretofore a subject. It is Therefore Ordered and Adjudge, by the Court, that the said Wilhelm Jonas be, and he is hereby admitted to all and singular the rights, privileges and immunities of a naturalized citizen of the United States, and that the same be certified by the Clerk of this Court, under the seal of said Court accordingly.


Searching roll number 3, I was able to easily locate Johann Jonas. I printed his information and moved forward. I wanted to find the intent and petition paperwork as well.

In order to find the intent and petition paperwork, I needed to look at a tool that is a handwritten, alphabetized book that has been filmed. Not an easy task! After about 15 minutes, I had to give up because I needed to get to school to pick up my daughter. So, I asked the nice lady if they can pull the rest of the paperwork for me and mail it to me. She said that she would handle it for me.

I love the way that IRAD handles things for upon. They will search for me, free of charge, and print everything out. When they mail it to me, there will be a bill for printing fees. $1 for the first page and .20 for each additional page. Not too shabby if you ask me. The only real problem I the amount of time it will take. Which is usually 4 – 6 weeks.

But, to get this paperwork, I will wait patiently. I have many other records waiting for me to transcribe them. I need to get to work, soon!


Surname Saturday: Jonas Update

William (Wilhelm) Jonas b. abt 1863 in Germany,
m. Marie Lustgens b. abt 1863 in Germany and they had 14 children.

Unknown Jonas 

Augusta Jonas b. 1883 d. Nov 1958

m. Carl Freiburger before 1930

Emma Jonas b. 16 Jan 1887, Niles, Cook, IL d. 15 Jul 1959

m. Gustav Felske before 1904

Helen Felske b. 1904

Florence M. Felske b. 1905 d. 1970

m. Carl F Braun

Walter Felske b. 1907 d. 1986

Edward Felske b. 1911 d. 1979

Fred  Felske b. 1916

Annie Jonas b. Sep 1888

Wilhelmena (Minnie) Jonas b. Mar 1890

m. William Seifert 13 Mar 1909

William August Seifert 29 Jul 1910, Chicago, Cook, IL

Theodor Seifert 18 Nov 1911, Chicago, Cook, IL

Martha Seifert 15 Jan 1914, Chicago, Cook, IL

Louisa (Betha) Jonas b. 14 Jan 1892 Niles, Cook, IL d. May 1973

m. Charles Klopp 21 Oct 1913 Morton Grove, Cook, IL d. Sep 1944

Norine Klopp b. 1911 d. 1973

Robert C Klopp b. 1929

William Jonas b. Apr 1893 Cook, IL d. 22 Aug 1911 Cook, IL

Martha Jonas b. Dec 1894 Cook, IL d. 11 July 1911 Cook, IL

Otto Jonas b. Nov 1896 d. 1957

Ella Jonas b. 12 Apr 1898 d. 11 Oct 1956 Cook, IL

m. Frederick Jaeger 26 Nov 1918 Chicago, Cook, IL

Ruth Jaeger b. 29 Jan 1917 d. 18 Feb 1993 Chicago, Cook, IL

Margaret (Ida) Jaeger b. 1 Jan 1919 d. 15 Apr 1980 Chicago, Cook, IL

Dorothy Jaeger b. 24 Mar 1920 d. 28 Aug 2002 Chicago, Cook IL

Irene Jaeger b. 31 Oct 1923 d . 2 Mar 1993 Chicago, Cook, IL

Max Jonas b. Dec 1899 d. Aug 1969 Morton Grove, Cook, IL d. 4 Aug 1969

m. Jeanette Fudacz 21 Jun 1937

Matilda (Tillie) Jonas b. 16 Mar 1902 d. 29 Apr 1917, Morton Grove, Cook, IL

Margaretha Jonas b. 24 Aug 1904 Morton Grove, Cook, IL

Theadore Jonas b. 17 Dec 1906 Morton Grove, Cook, IL

I believe the unknown child is John Jonas who married Ida Vick. They are buried close to William and Marie Jonas in Niles, IL. But, I do need to find the connection to bring the families together. One of the witnesses for the marriage of John and Ida Jonas  is Emma Jonas. Emma is child #3 of William and Marie, if John does fit into this family, he would be child # 1 or 2.

Do you have any Jonas relations? My research into this family has been very recent and I would love to connect with anyone that has is a relation to the above mention people.

Amanuensis Monday: Obituary of Frank McAvoy

Chicago Tribune 15 May 1955

McAvoy – Frank McAvoy, 1255 Addison street, suddenly, beloved husband of Rose. Services Monday, 1:30 p. m. at funeral home, 3552 Southport avenue. Interment Irving Park.

Tombstone Tuesday – The Jonas Brothers

Ok, so it is not THE Jonas brothers. But they are Jonas brothers none the less.

Max H. Jonas


F3 US Navy

World War 1

Dec 4 1899

Aug 4 1969

Otto F Jonas



Otto and Max Jonas are both interred at Ridgewood Cemetery; Des Plaines, Cook, IL. Section 6, plot’s 216 and 255.

Photo ©Terri O’Connell 2011, taken 25 Nov 2011.

Amanuensis Monday: Girl Ends Her Life


While Despondent She Takes Carbolic Acid.

Chicago, July 11. _ Despondency over  a love affair is believed by the police to have caused Martha Jonas, 17 years old, 3248 Winnemac avenue, to swallow carbolic acid at her home early today.

She died at Ravenswood hospital at noon.

The girl was found unconscious in her bedroom at 1:45 o’clock this morning by her sister, Miss Augusta Jonas, who called the Summerdale police. They took her to the Ravenswood hospital. A bottle which had contained the poison is said to have been found in the room.

The girl was resuscitated at the hospital and policemen sought to learn why she had taken the poison, but she refused to talk about her act.

Miss Augusta Jonas said that her sister had not complained of being ill. She told the police the girl has been receiving attention from a young man and this led to the belief that she took the poison while despondent over a love affair.

Article from

Date: 1911-07-12; Paper: Morning Star

Two Willies

Recently, I had found where my paternal great-great grandparents were buried. I headed off to the cemetery that day, with not much time to really spend there. Luckily, it was a smaller cemetery and with two of us looking, we were able to not only take a lot of cool, fall cemetery pictures, but we found the grave site as well. See William and Marie Jonas and Surrounding Jonas Grave for pictures from the cemetery.

I really did not have much information to start on and no clue about the family. My research was truly census records and 1 birth record, for William and Marie’s daughter Ella. Other than that, I really had nothing. Here and there, I would get lucky and find a record, save it and hope that the next time I would be able to find a little more.

A year or so ago, I found a death record for William Jonas, William and Marie’s son (one of the their 14). Anyhow, when I found the grave of William and Marie I was so excited because of the surrounding Jonas graves. One of them belonged to Willie Jonas and he had died young. I did not give it another thought. Was excited to find his grave, I took a picture and moved on to the other stones. How exciting two finds in one day!

Well, that is until a few days later when I started updating my information. I noticed there was a few years difference from the grave and the death certificate. I then turned to FamilySearch to see if maybe there was another William/Willie out there. And behold, a death index, this one for Willie Jonas!

Death Certificate for William Jonas

And, here is the index for Wilie Jonas:
Name: Willie Jonas
Titles and Terms (original):
Death Date: 23 Feb 1916
Death Place: Des Plaines, Cook, Illinois
Gender: Male
Marital Status:
Race or Color:
Age: 22
Estimated Birth Year: 1894
Birth Date: 28 Apr 1893
Birthplace: Ill
Father: John Jonas
Father’s Titles and Terms (original):
Father’s Birth Place: Germany
Mother: Anna Gilsaw
Mother’s Titles and Terms (original):
Mother’s Birth Place: Germany
Burial Date: 26 Feb 1916
Burial Place: Town of Niles
Digital Folder Number: 4007972
Image Number: 1085
Film Number: 1530530
Volume/Page/Certificate Number: cn 9
Collection: Illinois, Deaths and Stillbirths, 1916-1947

So, lets break the information down.

William Jonas b. Apr 1893 d. 22 Aug 1911, Chicago, Cook, IL.

Willie Jonas b. April 1893 d. 23 Feb 1916, Des Plaines, Cook, IL

Both William and Willie were born in April of 1893, what a coincidence. Or is it? From here, I moved into census work to look into Willie’s family. I want to know more about them.

I find it very interesting that this Jonas family lived in Main Township, Cook County, as my Jonas family lived in Niles, Cook, IL. For those that do not live in this area, they are only a few miles apart. This got me wondering if the family is related. Looking at the census record above (and a few others as well).

John and Johanna had at least 8 children, they are:

Charles b. Aug 1879

Minnie b. 1884

John Jr. b. Apr 1888

Anna b. Apr 1890

William b. Apr 1893

Fredia b. 1873

George b. 1875

Mary b. 1877

William and Marie had 14 children, they are:



Emma b. 16 Jan 1887

Annie b. Sep 1888

Wilhelmena (Minnie) b. Mar 1890

Louisa ( Bertha) b. 14 Jan 1892

William b. Apr 1893

Martha b. Dec 1894

Otto b. Nov 1896

Ella b. 12 Apr 1898

Max b. Dec 1899

Matilda b. 1902

Margaretha b.24 Aug 1904

Theodore b. 17 Dec 1906

(I should add that one of the unknown children I believe is Augusta, I get this information from an Aunt and I did see mention of her in a newspaper article surrounding the death of Martha. I just do not know if she is child 1 or 2.)

Going through the children’s names, I have to really wonder about a family relationship between John (Johann) and William (Wilhelm) Jonas. Their children share the names of William (both born in 1893), Minnie (born 1884 and 1890), and Anna/Annie (born 1888 and 1890).

I have started a new tree on ancestry just for Jonas families in IL and I have made contact with one woman who descends through John and Johanna and she is supposed to mail me copies of the information she has on her family to see if I can make some sort of connection between the two. At this point, I only have a gut feeling I have. As I go through these two families and try to figure everything out, I will continue to report my findings.

Tell me, what do you think about these two families?

Wordless Wednesday – A Knight in Shining Armor

This Week in Genealogy

This week, I will be moving out from behind the safety of my desk and computer and actually going to two genealogy meetings. The first one I am going to attend is Genealogy Program at the Schaumburg Township District Library. This meeting takes place on Tuesday, 11 Oct 2011. The subject has been changed to “All Things Genealogy” from “Family History Research in Illinois and Wisconsin,” which was to be given by Maureen Brady. Maureen has had a death in the family and the Genealogy Program of the STDL will be looking to re-book this talk with Maureen in the future. Doors open at 7pm and meeting begins at 7:30. Hope to meet new friends and maybe see some old ones.

On Saturday, 15 Oct 2011, I will also be attending the CSAGSI meeting in La Grange, IL. This program is titled “Chicago Czechs – Then and Now.” Program starts at 1:30pm and is held at the First Presbyterian Church at 150 S. Ashland Ave.

I am excited to see what both of these groups have to offer and it is always nice to get together with those that do not get that glazed over look when you start talking about the dead folk in your family.

Hope to see some of you there!

Wedding Wednesday – Fred Jaeger and Ella Jonas

Marriage License

Marriage may be Celebrated , in the County of Cook and State of Illinois, between Fred Jaeger of Chicago, in the County of Cook and State of Illinois, of the age of 25 years, and Miss Ella Jonas of Chicago, in the County of Cook and the State of Illinois, of the age of 20 years.

Certified by H. Sterling Pomeroy, Judge of the City Court of Kowance*, Ill. serving in the Circuit Court of Cook County on 26 November 1918.

Registered and filed 23 December 1918.

*Having been born and raised in Cook County, I have no clue where Kowance is. I have done a little bit of research on the internet and the only thing it brings up is Kewanee, IL which is in Henry County. Henry County is no where near the city of Chicago. Hopefully, someone reading might be able to give me a clue as to where this town was.

My favorite female ancestor, Rose Springer

Lisa Alzo of The Accidental Genealogist has put together a great list of writing prompts for Women’s History Month. The first prompt asks if you have a favorite female ancestor, one you seem drawn to or would like to learn more about. Write about the key facts or what you would like to learn. Outline your goals and what potential sources you can check.

I have two females that I would like to know more about, it was a hard choice. My decision is to write about my Great Grandmother, Rose/Rosa May (Springer) O’Connell McAvoy, the reason I decided on Rose is because she is the closest generation to me. 

Rose/Rosa May Springer was born 30 Mar 1888, in Maine. Her Mother’s name was Mary. She had a sister named Sophia and a brother named William. I currently do not have information on her father.

About 1897 Rose married Dennis O’Connell. They were both Catholic and raised their children in the Catholic Church. Rose gave birth to 4 children, with 1 child dying in infancy. The surviving children were:

Ambrose Lawrence 17 Dec 1905 – 28 Feb 1975

Linus Joseph 5 Mar 1908 – 31 Oct 1980

Theresa May abt 1909 – 1990

The fourth child is still unknown at this point. 

Dennis and Rose lived in a few different places. Son Ambrose was born in Berlin, NH while Linus and Theresa were both born in the state of New York. I have traced Rose in the following locations:

Moreau, Saratoga, NY

Glens Falls, Warren, NY

Chicago, Cook, IL

In 1917, Rose’s husband Dennis signed the World War 1 draft card and then proceeded to move to Canada, where he died in 1950. Rose continued to raise her children alone in NY until the 1920’s when her boys rode the rails to Chicago. She soon followed with daughter Theresa. By 1930, Rose is found remarried to Frank McAvoy. Within the past year, I have found the gravesite of Rose and Theresa just blocks from my home.

What would I like to know about Rose?  How can I find the information?

Who is her father? Check for her birth information, some type of index or registration list for Maine 

Where did Rose and Dennis get married? An exact date would be good too. Find marriage record, in either NY or NH

When and where did Rose and Dennis get divorced? Assumption would be NY which is where they last lived together. Would have to check with the courts. I am unsure of this process since I do not have any dates.

What happened to Frank? He is not in the same cemetery. Check with his family. They are connected on my family tree. I sent a request for information once, I need to follow-up.

What happened to her fourth baby and where is that baby buried? Again, back to NY check Moreau, Saratoga County which is where the family was living in 1910.

There are many other questions I have, but  research would never answer them. They would be more of the personal questions that only Rose would be ale to answer.

This was a great exercise, not just to put information out there. But because Lisa has prompted me to think about where I can find the answers to the questions I have. Thanks Lisa for putting thought into the prompts for this month. I look forward to doing as many as possible. 

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