Pre-1900 Czech Marek Families of Chicago
This is very much a work in progress.
I am a descendant of Josef Marek and Marie Wolf, who arrived in Chicago about 1880, apparently following their son who had come earlier. There were many Marek families in Chicago before 1900 census, and I think it is highly likely that some of them were related to each other. This web page is an attempt to foster the discover of those connections that may have existed. This main page will contain summarized information about the families, with links to pages and images with supporting information. -- Wesley Johnston
IMPORTANT NOTE: I am using the term Czech, but the families may have been from Slovakia or Moravia. Since Czechoslovakia did not yet exist, I am capturing all the families whose origin was Bohemia or Austria in the census.
- Pre-1900 Czech Marek Families of Chicago
- The Earliest Known Mareks in Chicago
- The research steps and their progress
- Related Links - My Own
- Related Links - Others
Pre-1900 Czech Marek Families of Chicago
The Earliest Known Mareks in Chicago
I want to stress the word "known" and not just the word "earliest". It is very possible that there were Mareks in Chicago before these but that I do not yet know about them.
I know of only two Marek families who were in Chicago before the 1870 census.
"B. Marek" appears in the 1865 Illinois State Census of Chicago, with 7 members of the family: apparent husband (age 40-49), wife (30-39), son (20-29), daughter (20-29), son (under 10), and 2 daughters (under 10) - I do not know who this was, since no B. Marek appears in the 1870 census nor in the 1871 city directory.
Anna Marek and her husband Jan Landa came to Chicago in 1867. Anna was the daughter of Josef and Marie (Wolf) Marek, born Sep 1847, probably at Vysoký Újezd (Beroun). Jan died in 1881. The 1900 census shows Anna bore 7 children, all of whom had died. So there are no descendants of this family. However, Anna's brothers Frantiek and Josef came to Chicago in 1871 and the rest of the family in 1880, and there are many descendants of Anna's siblings.
The research steps and their progress
I am doing the research in the following steps, with no particular deadline, since this has to compete with higher priorities.
Note that the spelling of these families in the census are not all "Marek", due to non-Czech census takers writing down whatever spelling they thought they were hearing, but they all appear to be Czech Marek families.
- Find all the Czech Marek families in the 1880 Chicago census.
This step is done and is in a spreadsheet. Click here for the spreadsheet (Excel 2007 format).
These are these families, listed in order of enumeration district:
- Joseph (43) & Mary (40): Louisa, Mary, Joseph, Frank, "Ladieslaw", Josephine, "Tilliery", James P. - 564 Center Street - arrival sometime 1858-1864
- Francis (32) & Annie (27): James, Emma, Mary, Julia - 564 Center Street - arrival sometime in or before 1873
- Antoine (34) & Marie (28): Antoine, Mary - 76 Fisk Street - arrival sometime in or before 1877
- Joseph (43) & Frances (42): Mary, Theresa - 194 19th Street - arrival sometime 1866-1880
- Wenceslaus (24) & Mary (22): Jaroslav - 111 Fisk Street - arrival sometime before Sep 1879
- James (27) & Katie (24): no children - 140 18th Place - arrival sometime before 1880
- Peter (25) & Anne (23): Barbara, Peter, "Frntski" - 717 Allport Street - arrival sometime 1857-1874
- Mike (30) & Mary (24): no children - 746 18th Street - arrival sometime in or before 1880
- Joseph (25) & Mary (23): Joseph - 80 Liberty Street - arrival sometime 1857-1880 - This is the brother of my ancestor, Katerina Marek, and son of my ancestors Josef Marek and Marie Wolf, all of whom apparently arrived - with the other siblings - later in 1880.
- Annie (16) - servant in house of Joseph & Rosa Novak at 145 Bunker Street - arrival sometime 1869-1872 - maybe the daughter of Frank & Annie at 142 Bunker Street
- Frank (51) & Annie (44): Joseph, Charles, Frank, Antonie, Mary, John, Annie - 142 Bunker Street - arrival sometime in or before 1877
- Albert (37) & Barbara (37): Lizzie - 201 Taylor Street - arrival sometime 1866-1880
- Antoine (45) & Ida (43): Annie - 194 Ewing Street - arrival sometime 1868-1880
- Mary (22) - servant in house of Antoyn & Elizabeth Schager at 371 Halsted - arrival in or before 1880 - maybe daughter of Antoine & Ida?
- Annie (61): John - 119 Forquer Street - arrival sometime in or before 1880
- ?Fr? (23) - a tailor boarding at 404 West Lake Street - arrival sometime in or before 1880
- Raphael (53) & Amilia (47): Raphael, Amelia, William, Emma - 230 Larrabee Street - arrival sometime 1860-1863
- Find all the Mareks in online Chicago city directories up to 1900. See how this information fits with the 1880 census information.
This is done and is included on a separate page. Click here for the web page that shows the images of all the city directory entries.
- See if there were any Mareks in the Chicago censuses prior to 1880.
There were none found in the 1860 census. The earliest are in the 1865 and 1870 censuses.
- 1865 Illinois State Census
- "B. Marek" appears in the 1865 Illinois State Census of Chicago, with 7 members of the family: apparent husband (age 40-49), wife (30-39), son (20-29), daughter (20-29), son (under 10), and 2 daughters (under 10) - I do not know who this was, since no B. Marek appears in the 1870 census nor in the 1871 city directory.
- 1870 US Federal Census
The 1870 census shows only three families, two in Ward 9 and one in Ward 8. (The 1870 census did not record addresses.)
- Ward 9
- Albert "Marak" - age 30, born Bohemia, drives bread cart - Mary (20 Bohemia, Keeps House) - Frank (5/12 Illinois, born Jan. 1870)
This appears to be the same Albert Marek who is shown in the 1871 city directory as a teamster, employed by William Kaspar. The 1871 city directory shows them living at 79 Dekoven, in Ward 9, with 2 males and 1 female.
- Franz "Marak" - age 38, born Bohemia, laborer - Anna (33 Bohemia, Keeps House) - Joseph (12 Bohemia, School) - Charles (9 Bohemia, School) - Frank (7 Bohemia, School) - Antonia (5 Bohemia) - Mary (1 Bohemia)
So this family had just arrived, since their 1-year-old daughter Mary was born in Bohemia.
- The family appears in the 1880 census (with 2 more children) at 142 Bunker Street. Frank also appears in the 1880 city directory at that address as a laborer.
- This is probably the same Frank who appears in the 1892 city directrory as a laborer at 165 Bunker. At the same address, Charles appears as a teamster, Frank Jr as a wood carver, and John as a policeman.
- The father Frank appears in the 1900 city directory at 952 South Troy.
- The father Frank died 27 Jun 1909 at 952 Troy Street and was buried at St. Adalbert's and thus among the Cathol. Thus the family was apparently among the Catholic and not the Free-Thinkers of the Chicago Czechs.
- Ward 8
- Joseph "Marick" - age 44, born Bohemia, plasterer - Franisca (33 Bohemia, Keeping House) - Mary (7 Bohemia, at school) - Teresa (4 Bohemia, at home)
The family appears, with no changes in membership, in the 1880 census at 123 West 19th Street, where Joseph is shown as a tailor. The 1880 city directory shows him as a tailor at the same address. So far that is the last information that I have on him.
- Find the information in the 1900 census (Chicago or elsewhere) on the 1880 and prior census families.
- Find all the Czech Marek families that are new in the 1900 Chicago census (those that were not present in the 1880 census).
- Add the information from the Bohemian National Cemetery and Denni Hlasetel obituary indexes.
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Last updated November 15, 2011 - Added pre-1880 census and earliest known
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