Category Archives: Families

Dobosz Family Relations

“I have attached some photos that I have from my deceased cousin that I am trying to identify the people in. I hope you can put these on your site in hopes someone would recognize the people in the photo.

“The photos were all taken around the Chicago Heights, Harvey, Calumet City areas in the early 1900’s. Some may have belonged to the Dobish (Dobosz) and/or the Raczykowski family at some point a long time ago.

“Surnames I am researching in the southern areas of Cook County include: DREJAS, DOBOSZ / DOBISH, SOBOTA, and MACKIEWICZ.”


If you can identify anyone in any of these photos or help with the family research, please email Tami.


Misc. Family Photos

DAVIS family – early 1900s
famdavis These pictures were in the photo collection of former site coordinator, Carol Schatz.
 Frannie Lonquest
 famlonquestfrannie   Contributed 08 Mar 2014 by Norma
Lowell Blake MASON – 1895
fammason1895 The information handwritten on the back of this photo is “Lowell Blake Mason, 2 years old – 1895.” Photo was taken by F.W. Hoffman, Chicago, Illinois. I am in possession of the original photo, but he is not a family member. I found this photo at an antique store in Pamona California. If this person is part of a family that you are researching, and you would like to have the original photo, please contact the Site Coordinator.Contributed 14 May 2003 by Carole Magnuson
John Piasecki Family
fampiasecki   From left to right: James, John, John, Thomas, and MaeContributed 08 Mar 2014 by Norma
Harry & Marie Pietrzak Wedding – 30 Apr 1938
fampietrzakwedding   Tom Piasecki, Joe Brecks, Frank Browiarczyk, Ray Langner, Harry Pietrzak (groom), Vincent “Gabby” Pietrzak, John Piasecki II, Edwin Zaleski, Dick Luczak, Celia Tomazkcwiecz, Dolores Lasciewski, Florence Panzak, Harriet Tomazkcwiecz, Marie Langner Pietrzak (bride), Dolores Langner, Beatrice Jacques, Florence Anderson, Mamie Levenarchek
Contributed 08 Mar 2014 by Norma
Charles and Anna (KRUEGER) RICHARDSON – 1927
25th Wedding Anniversary
Front Row: unknown, Ida (Krueger) Richardson, unknown
Second Row: Daniel Richardson, Charles & Anna (Krueger) Richardson, older couple unknown
Third Row – unknown lady
Back Row – William Richarson, unknown, unknown, Anne Veals, unknown, unknown, Anna (Witthans) Richardson
Front row: empty chair, Charles & Anna Richardson, older couple unknown
Second row: Daniel Richardson, unknown, Edward Veale
Third Row – unknown, unknown, Ann Veale, unknown, unknown, unknown, Ida (Krueger) Richardson, Anna (Witthans) Richardson, unknown
Back Row: unknown, Daniel Richardson, William Richardson, unknown, unknown

Charles and Anna (Krueger) Richardson lived at 9510 Peoria in Chicago. He was a Chicago Police Officer.
Charles was the older brother of Daniel and William.
Daniel married Anna Witthans and had a son, Daniel (my grandparents and father).
William married Ida Krueger (sister of Anna).

If you recognize any of the unknown people, please contact the Site Coordinator.

Contributed Sep 2005 by Danielle (Richardson) Sullivan.


Contributed 29 Apr 2000 by James Norman Blazier

Unknown Wedding – 1936


If you recognize any of the wedding party, please contact Site Coordinator

Marjorie WATSON – 1908
famwatson1908 The information handwritten on the back of this photo is “Marjorie Watson, age 8 months – December 1908.” Photo was taken by J.E. Waters, Chicago, Illinois. I am in possession of the original photo, but she is not a family member. I found this photo at an antique store in Pamona California. If this person is part of a family that you are researching, and you would like to have the original photo, please contact the Site Coordinator. Contributed 14 May 2003 by Carole Magnuson

Letter from Bernard McDonnell (1846)

25 Sep 1846
Letter from Bernard McDonnell in Galveston, Texas,
to his brother, Charles McDonnell, in Chicago, Illinois

My Dear Charles,

On Mrs. McD arrival here in Texas I sent on a power of attorney to you to sell my lot, and in two weeks after I wrote another letter to you to neither of which I have received an answer as yet. I am therefore led to believe you have not received either of them. I have been anxiously awaiting an answer, every mail comes in I have go to the post office but got no letter. I received some newspapers from you and have sent you some Galveston papers in exchange. It gives me great pleasure to see the Chicago papers. About three weeks ago I received a letter from Nicholas, they are all well except Peter Doyle who has hurted the spine of his back by a fall from a load of hay belonging to my mother which leaves Ellen in much poverty, Nicholas appeals to me in her behalf for some relief which is out of my power to render at present of account of my building so much this summer. I have built a two-story house 43 X 36 the lumber of which cost from $22 to $40 per thousand.

I have sent Nicholas’ letter on to Mary by the Steam Ship New York which got wrecked fifty miles from this city and lost the mail bags and nineteen passengers and of course the letter is gone. There has been above a hundred thousand dollars in cash lost on her which the merchants belonging to this place was sending on to the north. Write to me as soon as you receive this and let me know whether you have received the power of attorney or not, in order that I may send on another to you if that has been mislaid through the post office. I have been expecting the money for the lot before this to lay in my winter stock. It would be of the great service to me at this time as I have laid out the most of the cash I had on hand in the building. My calculations were made that I would have the money by this time and that was the reason that I lost no time in sending on the power of attorney on Mrs. McD’s arrival so that you would have the whole summer to make sale of it. You will therefore see the necessity I’m under of selling as soon as possible although I do not want to make a sacrifice of it. I want it to sell for whatever any lots in the neighborhood is bringing or near it.

There is nothing of any importance from the army. They are on the march to Monterey and every vessel passes by here from Orleans is crowded with horses, mules and army accoutrements of every description.

Mrs. McD sends her love to you all, remember me to Ed Cosgrove.

Your affectionate Brother,
Bernard McDonnell

Mrs. McDonnell requests of you to let her know how Mrs. McDonnell and all the children are. I received a letter from Mary some six weeks since. She and husband are well.


Contributed Feb 2004 by Eileen Johnson

Family Charts

Your Family Group Sheet or Descendants Chart of a Cook county ancestor could be posted here with a link to your email address. Please be sure to remove references to any person still living, then contact us to let us know you would like to send us a submission.

Descendants Charts

ASHEIM, Clas (1-page pdf file) submitted by Jeffrey Crowell
BRUNOW, Ferdinand (2-page pdf file) submitted by Jeffrey Crowell
LANGNER, John (3-page pdf file) submitted by Norma
PANTKE, August 1-page pdf file) submitted by Jeffrey Crowell
PREVENAS, Demetrios (2-page pdf file) submitted by Norma
RETZLAFF, George (1-page pdf file) submitted by Jeffrey Crowell
WOTKE, Herman (1-page pdf file) submitted by Jeffrey Crowell

Family Group Sheets

CHMURA, Stanley (1-page pdf file) submitted by Norma
DOLECKI, Frank (2-page pdf file) submitted by Norma
DREJAS collection (7-page pdf file) submitted by Tami
PIETRZAK, Martin (2-page pdf file) submitted by Norma

Pedigree Charts

WOTKE, Theresa (4-page pdf file) submitted by Jeffrey Crowell

O’Leary Family Collection

This collection is not the O’Leary family of the 1871 Chicago fire.

1885 A Pioneer Gone

Another long and useful life has ended. Another pioneer has departed. John O’Leary has gone. John O’Leary was born in the City of Cork, Ireland on the twentieth of November, 1805. In his sixteenth year his family moved to London, where he remained until 1834. During the period of his residence in London he married Miss Margaret T. Masterson, who still survives him. In 1834 he came to this country and after a two years’ residence in New York moved to Chicago and three years later to Ridgeville or what is now known as Evanston. Here he bought a large farm, which he worked until 1851, when, having his family here, he went to California and engaged in mining, at which he was remarkably successful. He returned to Evanston in 1853, having made the trips both to and from California overland in wagons. Since 1853, his residence in Evanston has been continuous. From the time of his return from California until 1870 he was actively engaged in farming and since that time has been in the real estate business. In politics, while he took no active part, he was a democrat, and his religion was that of a devout Catholic. Mr. O’Leary was probably the oldest pioneer of Evanston and one of the oldest in Illinois. It will be remembered that at the business men’s picnic two years ago he and his wife were presented with handsome gifts in honor of the fact that they were the oldest married couple in Cook County. Mr. O’Leary was the father of nine children, of whom seven are left to comfort the bereaved wife and mother. They are: Mrs. Brennan (Mrs. Gerhard Brienen), Mrs. Ellen Lynch, Miss Maggie O’Leary, Messrs. David P. O’Leary and William O’Leary, all of Evanston; Arthur C. (A.C.) O’Leary of Denver and Daniel O’Leary, who is at present in Oklahoma.

Contributed 1997 by Maryl


09 Jul 1900

Mrs. Margaret O’Leary, who died early on Saturday morning at the age of 90 years, was the first woman to live in Evanston.

Mrs. O’Leary was perhaps better posted on the history of the city than any one now living, and her reminiscences and memoirs contributed to the Evanston Historical Society will be of great value.

Her life was bound up in that of the city in whose progress she was intensely interested. Her public spirit and zeal for the prosperity of the city made her respected by all. When she came to what is now known as Evanston in 1840 there were only seven or eight inhabitants, and the place was without a name. It was simply known as the northern district of Peoria County. A few years later it was called Ridgeville, being named from the ridge in the western part of the City of Evanston, which is still the highest point for miles around. It was in the (eighteen) fifties, after becoming a part of Cook County, that the present city was named Evanston.

Contributed 1997 by Maryl
Source: Chicago Tribune


30 Sep 1900 David Philip O’Leary interview

John O’Leary came to Chicago in 1836. Soon after he bought a farm of 40 acres at Sunnyside and lived there from 1837 to 1840. While living here many of thos who settled at Evanston passed their house in teams. They stopped and made their acquaintances and when the O’Learys themselves moved to Evanston they found them settled on their various farms. Among them were Edward Murphy, John Carney, Hathaway and others. In 1837 John O’Leary bought 160 acres in Ridgeville (situated in part where Calvary Cemetery now is) and in partsouth of the Cemetery and north of the present Chicago city limits. In 1840 he moved to Ridgeville. In 1859 he sold 40 acreas to Calvary Cemetery, this being the year the Cemetery was established.

David Philip O’Leary, one of John O’Leary’s sons, was born in Evanston. His middle name was given him for Philip Rogers, a neighbor (Note from Maryl: Philip Rogers was also his uncle, being married to David Philip O’Leary’s mother Margaret Maserson O’Leary’s sister (Mary Ward Masterson Hickey Rogers)). John O’Leary took up his first piece of land from the government. Later he bought other land of Wm B Ogden and Edward Devlin. The latter was a brother of John Devlin, the first sheriff in Chicago. David P O’Leary was born June 26, 1853. Oct. 24, 1900, D. P. O’Leary says that his father John O’Leary started for California in November 1850. He thinks he did not go with the party made up of the Crains and others. He returned Aug 22, 1852 having been fairly successful in gold mining. While he was there he sent home $1,000 and brought $1,600 with him.

Contributed 1997 by Maryla