Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Bit by Bit

It was a good thing I had those newspaper archives to rely on, when trying to piece together the story of those ten Laskowski grandchildren and their wedding days. Since most of the ceremonies fell within the decade of 1930 to 1940—with one even occurring afterwards—it was hard to track such details as maiden name of those brides marrying into the family.

One marriage I had been alerted to, thanks to the 1940 census, had shown me the first name of grandchild Albert Lasko’s wife—Mildred—but, of course, did not reveal her maiden name. For whatever reason, I had not been able to locate the record on The Italian Genealogical Group’s website—remember, this site is not just for Italians!—but with some perseverance, the day was won with a simple search on historic newspapers.

While there are several subscription sites that may entitle the persistent to search to their heart’s content through the archives of major newspapers—and even some small town titles—I try my best to seek out those free sites first. When searching in the greater New York metropolitan area, that means relying on the portal at the Brooklyn Public Library, and the donation-based site, Old Fulton New York Post Cards.

Yes, a “post card” site can deliver newspapers to your digital front door.

So, off to hunt for any sign of Albert A. Lasko’s wife Mildred, I was successful in a roundabout way. While I never found any wedding announcement in any of the available New York City or Long Island newspapers, I did find an entry for a Mildred A. Lasko in The Brooklyn Daily Eagle.

In the November 27, 1946, edition, amidst the death notices buried on page nine, there was an entry for a Louis H. Hoyer, who had died the day before. This, it turns out, was the erstwhile Heinrich Hoyer who had entered life in Brooklyn sixty years prior. Now, husband of Meta (also showing as Mary and Mamie in census records) and father of Mildred and her brother Walter, he had just made his final exit.

Since the 1940 census had shown the young couple, Albert and Mildred, without any children, I wondered if there were any arriving after that point. I headed over to to do a blank search with nothing entered but the fields for father’s and mother’s last names: Lasko and Hoyer. Sometimes, that tactic will help flush out data for me, but in this case, it did not work. Perhaps the lack of any mention of grandchildren in Mildred’s father’s obituary was not just an editorial oversight.

While I’m still unable to find anything more on this unknown cousin of my father—other than a Social Security Death Index record showing last residence for each of them being in Columbia, Maryland—finding this one additional piece of information will suffice for now. Genealogy is definitely a process of adding a little bit here and a little bit there. This research is not a sprint—even though momentarily, we can seem to be overpowered with an avalanche of discoveries. It is more often a slow and steady meander through the wild woods that camouflage our family tree.   


  1. Slow and steady wins the race... but it isn't very exciting :)

    You have a "ton" of cousins with those ten Laskowski grandchildren!

    1. When one is desperate for details--any details!--slow and steady can indeed be exciting! You just have to mix it with a good dose of patience :)

  2. Replies
    1. I keep having to remind myself, though. I like my genealogy in the fast lane ;)


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