Saturday, September 26, 2015


I attended my fourth naturalization ceremony this past week as a representative of the Daughters of the American Revolution. I love going to the ceremonies because it makes me feel closer to some of my ancestors that I know went through similar processes. The ancestors I know underwent the process are my great-great-grandparents, Josef Reaber and Christine Konecny.

The 1920 census lists naturalization years as well as immigration years for everyone. Both Christine and Joseph appear in the census as having been naturalized just a few years after arriving in America. The two arrived independent of one another in the late 1880s to early 1890s. In the 1920 census, they are both listed as being naturalized in 1894.
Clipping from 1920 Census
The couple did not get married until 1908, so I assume they did this individually on their own, perhaps even before meeting each other. I do not know if they were in fact naturalized the same year or if they just guesstimated, as Josef often seemed to do with his immigration year, but it's the only reference I have to go on.

According to my great-great-granduncle Josef Konecny, the Bohemian Virtuoso, his father got naturalized after arriving in the States. I believe this is how he and Christine achieved their status as Americans. Children under 18 in the household of a naturalized American also become citizens at the same time.

Unfortunately, there were several John Konecnys who were naturalized in the early 1890s in Cook County, Illinois! Thanks to the passport application of Josef, I have it pinpointed to one who was naturalized on 21 Oct 1896.
Clipping from Josef Konency's Passport Application
I would like to travel to Chicago at some point to see if I can find any additional records (or perhaps even a photograph!) for him at the immigration department or archives. In the meantime, this is all I have.
Naturalization Record Index for Johann Konecny
The other thing in Josef's passport application I found, which is a little upsetting to me, is the relationship between him and his sister, my great-great-grandmother Christine (my namesake). It seems she was not very nice to her brother for whatever reason, and I'm not very proud to share a name with her because of it. Hopefully there is more to this story than what he shares, but this is what I have to go on.
Clipping from Josef Konecny's Passport Application
  • 1920 Chicago, Cook County, Illinois U.S. Federal Census (accessed on Ancestry)
  • Naturalization Record Index, Johann Konecny (accessed on Ancestry)
  • Passport Applications for Josef Konecny (accessed on Ancestry)

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