Follow Friday – New Ricigliano Chicago Ancestors

I haven’t posted in a while about the work I’m doing on the people from Ricigliano, Italy, although a lot of people left comments in those posts. This morning I received another comment referring to a specific blog where a woman named Anne is trying to identify over 100 of her mother’s old photographs. Not only are photographs involved but also original documents.

Please visit Anne’s blog Welcome to DorothyDe and browse her photo gallery. Can you help identify any of the individuals there? Please try and then if you would be so kind as to come back here and leave a comment as to which photos you identified, it would help others researching these same families.

Who was DorothyDe? Dorothy DeLeonardis was the wife of George Halston. Dorothy’s parents were John DeLeonardis (1895-1960,) who ran the Loyola L newsstand, and Carmella Saracco (1893-1979.)

On another note, I am still running the genealogy program at Casa Italia in Stone Park, IL. This fall I will be putting out a call for original photos and documents to be donated to the Rigi Collection. I have most of the other files in the archive organized.

Please stay tuned!

© 2014, Jennifer Holik, Woodridge, IL

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“The Tiger’s Widow” and “Stories from the Battlefield” Book Launch

July 22, 2014 – Chicago, Illinois.

Jennifer Holik announces the release of two of her latest books. The Tiger’s Widow the second book in the Stories of the Lost series. And, Stories from the Battlefield: A Beginning Guide to World War II Research.

Widow_Cover3The Tiger’s Widow Synopsis:

Love knows no boundaries of time and space or life and death. It exists forever in our hearts as we remember and honor those who have gone before us. Through those memories we pass life lessons on to the next generation. We teach others there is light after darkness, hope after despair, and love is the glue that puts shattered hearts back together. This is a story of five hearts separated by time and space; hearts which would meet in the perfect moment. It is a story about never ending love that lived on even after death.

Join me on a journey that spans 72 years and several continents. This is the story of the life of Virginia Scharer Brouk, the wife of Flying Tiger, Robert Brouk. Virginia picked up the pieces of her life and joined the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps, later known as the Women’s Army Corps (WAC,) to take up the fight after Robert was killed in a plane crash. Virginia’s story is of life, loss, war, and the connection of hearts filled with love.


Stories from the Battlefield: A Beginning Guide to World War II Research Synopsis:

StoresBattlefield_6x9_webSynopsis: All the records burned! We hear this over and over when we think about World War II research. Yet there are many records and resources available to get you started. In this short guide, you will learn the basics of World War II military research and what to look for in your home sources. Then we will explore components of personnel files, death records, and other associated records in this short book.

This guide is meant to be a starting point for World War II research, not an exhaustive examination of all the military branches and records available. In 2015 I will release the first in a series of in-depth books on World War II records, the first being Stories from the Battlefield Volume I: Navigating World War II Home Front, Civilian, Army, and Air Corps Records. Please visit my website for more details on the release dates.

Coming in 2015!

Volume I: Navigating World War II Home Front, Civilian, Army, and Air Corps Records

Volume II: Navigating World War II Accident Reports, Internment and Prisoner Records, and Death Records

Volume III: Navigating World War II Navy, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, and Merchant Marine Records

Volume IV: Navigating World War II National Guard Records

The Tiger’s Widow and Stories from the Battlefield are available through the author’s website: where you can also find the World War II Toolbox!

About Jennifer Holik

Jennifer is a genealogical, historical, and military researcher. Jennifer lectures throughout the Chicagoland area on World War II records and stories, women during World War II, kids genealogy, and Italian genealogy.

As a researcher and writer she can help you research and piece together the stories of your ancestors, particularly if they served during World War II. Jennifer is also on staff at the World War II History Network where she assists with the genealogy group.

© 2014, Jennifer Holik, Woodridge, IL

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Follow Friday – Camp Butner Society

James Camp Butner

Camp Butner, NC, January 1944

Did your soldier train at Camp Butner in North Carolina during the war years? One of mine did, James Privoznik, who I wrote about in my book, Stories of the Lost.

There is now an official society that is taking membership to help raise funds to acquire an old building and restore it and obtain Camp Butner memorabilia. The membership form is attached if you are interested in becoming a member. TCBS_Inc_Membership_Form.pdf

For more information, see their FaceBook Group and read this article about the society.

On another note, when you research and write the stories of your military ancestors, don’t forget to include history of the camps at which they trained. Many camps and bases have websites with history and photographs.

© 2014, Jennifer Holik, Woodridge, IL


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