Search for content in message boards

I could use some help from Streator residents finding info on Vojtko family.

I could use some help from Streator residents finding info on Vojtko family.

Posted: 1172129252000
Classification: Query
Surnames: Vojtko
My name is Jami Russell. My mother, Paulette Russell (maiden name Pavlick) grew up in Streator.

My grandmother, Pauline Pavlick was a Vojtko before she married John Michael (also known as Michael John) Pavlick.

I'm trying to do my mother's maternal family tree as the Pavlick one has been done by another family member. I've got two huge roadblocks though.

1: The people who'd remember majority of the information I need are dead.

2: When my grandma was dying, my uncle, John Pavlick, went into her house and took everything he could lay his hands on. If he hasn't destroyed any papers or photos, I sincerely doubt with the bad blood between the rest of the family and him due to his death bed thievery he'd allow me any access, even if all he did was photo copy the information.

I'm waiting for the spring thaw so another uncle who still lives in Streator, Michael Pavlick, can go to both the old St. Stephen's cemetary and the new St. Stephen's to get the dates I need. (I already tried Find A Grave and orbituary search engines.)

Here's what little I do know. My great-grandfather was named Andrew Vojtko. He was married first to Maria Vojtko, my grandma Pauline's mother. Maria died when my grandma was four years old from kidney failure. She had several other children besides Pauline, but I'm unsure as to their names. I think, however, that some of the names were Andrew, Stephen, and Ann(e). There was one other girl after my grandma who was two when Maria died.

Great-grandma Maria Vojtko's maiden name was possibly Husar or Huasar, or something akin to that that begins with the letter H.

Andrew Vojtko's mother was also named Maria Vojtko and apparently died when ran over by a wagon (or buggy). Both she and my great-grandma are buried side by side in the OLD St. Stephen's.

Great-grandpa remarried to a widow with children of her own. Her first name was Helen. She was an evil, abusive woman who starved and beat the Vojtko children badly. While treating her own kids like royalty. She and Andrew did not have any children of their own. Probably a blessing. They are buried together in the new St. Stephen's cemetary.

Grandma was born in either 1910 or 1911. So great-grandma would've died around 1914/1915.

I know this much about both the Pavlick and Vojtko sides - both sides originated in Russia. They left to escape persecution and changed their names several times. Sometimes just one or two letters, sometimes the entire name. (The name Pavlik - the C was added at Ellis Island - could only be traced as far back as Austria. We have confirmation however that they were originally Russian Jews who changed their name and coverted to Catholic in an effort to stop getting beaten up and killed by bigots.) Both sides settled briefly in Austria, then lived in Slovania long enough to be considered Slovalk. Then both sides came to America via Ellis Island. Grandma and grandpa Pavlick were born in America, grandpa in Ohio, grandma, I believe, in Illinois.

Great-grandpa Vojtko worked for the railroad in Streator. I'm not sure as what but I do know he often didn't get home until way after one in the morning.

I'm hoping with this I might come across some remaining Vojtkos who might have information to help me. Or someone who has to go to either St. Stephen's anyway despite the snow who could spare five minutes to look up at least Andrew Vojtko's grave. (I don't expect anyone to make a special trip. Not with the snow. And I doubt anyone will be going to the old St. Stephen's anytime soon.) But if not, that's okay. I can wait until uncle Mike can get up there.

I've gotten what little I know in my family tree. I'm having a hard time proving my great-grandma even existed. So little is known about her other then she had bad kidneys - as do most of the women in our family - and that Maria had "long, black hair." I don't even know if she married great-grandpa before or after leaving Europe. So I don't know what name to look for her under the Ellis Island records. Plus the name Vojtko was changed at least as many times as the name Pavlick. So what it was before they even came to America I can't be sure.

Any help to put me on the right track would be greatly appreciated. I am a complete beginner here and honestly don't know what I'm doing. I'm in California and can't afford to travel. All I've got is my uncle Michael to rely upon plus some census records a woman was kind enough to find for me, though I can't make sense out of them. My hopes is to trace them as far back into the European line as possible, and see if the same holds true of the Vojtko line as the Pavlick. (It's really important to me to know this. I can't explain why because I'm not sure myself. Just that I long for the sense of heritage on my maternal side that I have on my paternal side - the Russell family tree has been done too so I'm not even going to bother filling it out here farther then my paternal grandparents.) I'm currently awaiting the results from the National Geographic Genographic Project - though of course that cannot give me any names, just a location where my maternal line started.

I don't know if any of grandma's siblings had children or not. I know one sister died childless. Hopefully though I have one or two Vojtko cousins alive, well, and currently on this site.

I anxiously await a reply.

Re: I could use some help from Streator residents finding info on Vojtko family.

Posted: 1172284399000
Classification: Query
Surnames: Vojtko
I've gotten more information if this will help. Still longing for a reply. This is what my uncle sent me.

The family of Andrew and Maria Vojtko is like this

Andrew Vojtko Jr.

Anna Vojtko Sergott married to August "Auggie " Sergott . Lived in
Chichgo most of their lives
moved to Streator later in life and died there.

Mary Vojtko Wantlin

Frank Vojtko ( got drunk one night walked home passed out in the front
yard .
Police came by seen him tried to pick him up , he struggled and fought
them , police beat him to death;.

Joseph Vojtko wife was Mary

Stephen Vojtko wife May

Pauline Vojtko Pavlick husbaand John Michael Pavlick , known as Mike

Margaret Vojtko Danko , husband Andrew Danko known by his nick name
some called him Pinky

That is what I know

Re: I could use some help from Streator residents finding info on Vojtko family.

Posted: 1172284618000
Classification: Query
Surnames: Vojtko
One last little bit of information from my uncle Mike. I had always heard that great-grandpa worked for the railroad, but I guess that was wrong.

"Grand pa Vojtko worked for the Streator Brick Yard .
In Europe He was a taylor and had the skill to
make coats of furs and was a very fine taylor

Uncle Mike"

Re: I could use some help from Streator residents finding info on Vojtko family.

Posted: 1172423796000
Classification: Query
Surnames: Vojtko, Voytko, Witko, Danko
Another bit of information I recieved - an obit for a great-aunt of mine.

Pantagraph, The (Bloomington, IL) - August 22, 1993


Deceased Name: STREATOR - Margaret M. Danko

STREATOR - Margaret M. Danko, 78, formerly of 805 Porter St., Streator, died at 11:53 a.m. yesterday (Aug. 21, 1993) at St. Mary's Hospital, Streator, after a lengthy illness.
Her funeral Mass will be at 10 a.m. Tuesday at St. Stephen's Church, Streator, Monsignor Peter Bolerasky officiating. Burial will be in St. Stephen's Cemetery.
Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Monday at Solon Funeral Home, with an Eagles Auxiliary ritual at 6 and the rosary recited at 7.
She was born Sept. 14, 1914, in Streator, the daughter of Andrew and Maria Husar Vojtko. She married Andrew L. Danko on Aug. 26, 1930, in Streator. He died Aug. 24, 1977.
Surviving are four sons, Lawrence, Donald, Andrew and Richard Danko, all of Streator; a stepbrother, Joe Elias, Streator; a stepsister, Margaret Farkas, Streator; 17 grandchildren; and 33 great-grandchildren.
Three sisters, four brothers, two stepbrothers and an infant grandchild preceded her in death.
A Streator resident her entire life, she retired from Sunstar Foods in Streator. She was a member of St. Stephen's Church and its Altar and Rosary Society and the Eagles Aerie 645 Auxiliary.


Pantagraph, The (Bloomington, IL)
Date: August 22, 1993
Edition: FINAL
Page: E6
Record Number: 0F21D6DF5B0E25C7
Copyright (c) 1993, Pantagraph Publishing Co.

Re: I could use some help from Streator residents finding info on Vojtko family.

Posted: 1172935985000
Classification: Query
Surnames: Vojtko, Ellias
I only have census data on Andrew Vojtko but if your at all interested in the "step-chilren (which were mostly Helen's step-children) I do have some that I can share.

Re: I could use some help from Streator residents finding info on Vojtko family.

Posted: 1172937710000
Classification: Query
Surnames: Vojtko, Voytko, Witko
Well, Helen's step-kids would include my grandma Pauline and her brothers & sisters.

I'm hoping, actually, to find out where in Europe (as in city & country) great-grandpa and great-grandma lived before coming to America. So I can trace them back to their origins.

I actually found my living relatives here on Which helped me fill in a lot of my family tree. It's just a question now of being able to work back into Europe. If only I could find some Vojtkos (Voytko/Witko) who might have the information it sure would help.

Re: I could use some help from Streator residents finding info on Vojtko family.

Posted: 1173142751000
Classification: Query

All of it is a great family history but what no one seems to know is when they came to America and from where.
Surname DANKO, HUSAR, VOJTKO and PAVLIK list in area code 051, Eastern region of Slovak Republic.
I did not go thru the whole region.
If she is a direct descendant of the ancestor that came from "old country" then maybe her church baptismal certificate might have her parents place of birth.
Found a BOLERAZSKY and BOLERASKY in Slovak Republic.

Re: I could use some help from Streator residents finding info on Vojtko family.

Posted: 1173188279000
Classification: Query
I can't tell you for sure, but if it's a similar area to Helen's first husband, I would check Slovakia. Also, If you can get the IL marriage records for your immigrant ancestors many of them actually list the village they were born in, and those from the church all do in my experience.

Re: I could use some help from Streator residents finding info on Vojtko family.

Posted: 1173201404000
Classification: Query
I didn't think about getting getting great-grandpa and evil-step-great-grandma's wedding certificate. (Andrew & Maria were married before they came to America.) I should've thought about that but because he and Helen never had children together and because she was so terrible to my grandma and my aunts & uncles I kind of dismissed her.

Re: Vojtko, Danko

Posted: 1173203227000
Classification: Query

This is a side note. I was going thru my Jednota newspaper and I came upon an article about Msgr. Peter E. BOLERASKY who in 2005 marked 50th Anniversary of Ordination.
His father was born in Drahovce, Nitra region, SK and his mother in Oravaka (misspelled in the article), Orava region, Slovak Republic.
In 1957 he was named assistant pastor of St. Stephen's in Streator. He was made pastor of St. Stephen in 1974 and remained there until his retirement in 2001.
per page

Find a board about a specific topic