The past two weeks have been busy ones with travel and catching up from being away. I took a week off work to drive up to South Bend, Indiana to visit my relatives and do some genealogy research. I had a few specific items I was searching for on my trip and had high hopes. Little did I know what a truly successful trip it would be and what a wonderful time I would have with my family. More about that in a later blog post though. For now I’d like to focus on some new information that I unearthed.
In Michigan City I stopped at the library to check where to find the original record of the Declaration of Intent for my Great Grandfather Myer Krueger. I had been so excited last year when I learned that he had come to the US in July of 1901 and had arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania from Liverpool, England.
Unfortunately I have had no luck finding his passenger record. I knew that perhaps the source of the information might have further detail. According to the abstract, the full source is available at the La Porte County Courthouse in La Porte. I was hopeful that I might find it, but doubtful since I had written to the Clerk of Courts previously and they had not found the original. So for my own peace of mind I decided to go and look for myself.
Upon arrival at the courthouse I started by going up to the Health Department to request death records for several ancestors. I had wanted to confirm death dates and names of their parents if possible. I left my list with the lady at the desk and she said that it would probably be tomorrow before they knew for sure what they had on file. Luckily I wasn’t far from South Bend so I knew that it would be easy for me to come back. I then asked who I would need to see about the naturalization records. She directed me to the Circuit Clerk of Courts and so I headed that way. After passing through the metal detector I made my way to the Circuit Clerk and waited in line behind several couples who were completing applications for marriage licenses. I wasn’t sure I was in the right place, but I was directed to come around to the side door where I was asked to sign in. I was amazed at the room crammed with tons of old record books and boxes. The sheer possibilities of what could be stored there blew me away. The lady showed me where all the naturalization records were located and I began to search the indexes of each book.
After reviewing a half dozen books I came across the record for Myer Krueger. I was so excited! To add to the joy of finding it was the fact that it listed his place of birth! Finally, we knew that he was born in Lachawitz, Minsk, Russia! The tears filled my eyes as I realized the new avenue of exploration in my family research and could hardly contain my excitement. I had brought my computer and scanner so I was able to scan a copy for myself.
I could hardly wait to get online to check on JewishGen.org for the current day name of the town in Belarus.
I then found this site dedicated to the Shtetl of Lyakhovichi. Needless to say, I’m excited at the prospects now that I know where he came from.