Can We Break the Brick Wall of Europe?

We face difficult challenges in genealogy research, which we sometimes call brick walls.  “Can We Break the Brick Wall of Europe and find our European cousins?” is our brick wall.

The Fantastic Four

Our prospects for breaking the brick wall that keeps us from identifying European ancestors are enhanced by a group of individuals I christen the “Fantastic Four.”  Beth Gamache and her friends at the Lisbon Historical Society have earned that nickname.  Her friends are William Cizmar, Earl Williams, and Charlie Hall. Collectively, the four are dedicated to ancestry research. Their philanthropic willingness to help others is a blessing. 

The team will soon add a fifth member from Lisbon Historical Society to its ranks.   Obtaining details of John P. Elcik, Sr. parents and siblings has long been one of our goals, and a breakthrough event happens.  Charlie Hall sends us baptismal records for John’s siblings and introduces yet another spelling for our surname, “Ilycsik.”

Deeb Fredrick Keamy

Charlie’s mysterious friend Deeb Fredrick Keamy writes:

“Slovakia was part of the dual monarchy of Austria-Hungary but was administered by Hungary. The Ilčík family was from Parchovany, Slovakia. In the latter part of the 19th century, the priests in Parchovany kept Hungarian sacramental records. In Hungarian, the surname came before the personal name.”

He adds that he has found baptismal records in Parchovany for children of Ilscik János (Ján Ilčík in Slovak) and Erzsébet Bárán (Alžbeta Baran in Slovak.)

  • Ilcsik György (Juraj Ilčík in Slovak) baptized Apr. 20, 1866
  • Ilcsik János (Ján Ilčík in Slovak) baptized Dec. 28, 1867; as John P. Elcik died May 24, 1941 at Lisbon Falls
  • Ilcsik Anna (Anna Ilčík in Slovak) baptized Jan. 31, 1870
  • Ilcskik József (Jozef Ilčík in Slovak) baptized Nov. 26, 1873; as Joseph P. Elcik died May 31, 1838

Baptismal records are a genealogy breakthrough. We now have the proper spelling of the surname and the town in Europe to use in future research.

Zlatica Beca

Responding to questions placed on the Message Boards, Zlatica Beca finds the baptism record for my Great-Grandfather under the spelling Janos Ilcsik.  She also Identifies Erzsebet Baron, aka Elizabeth Baron, on a Social Security claim document. But most precious of all, Zlatica, looking at my DNA profile, finds we are 5th-8th cousins with shared DNA: 9 cm across two segments. Awesome. One of my goals has been to find a European Ancestor. “Hi, Cousin! Did you note our tree is named MyCousins?”

Later, I learned that Zlatica lives in Ohio, USA. A small matter.

Zlatica will go on to be a great help. She speaks Slovak which gives her the last word.

Can We Break the Brick Wall of Europe?

We can’t be sure, but we are optimistic. By identifying the correct spelling of the surname as “Ilyscik” or “Ilcsik,” the odds of success increase.  And now that we know to search in Parchovany, Slovakia, the odds are even better.