Catherine Dvorak Novak Sternhagen
I am looking for information about Catherine Dvorak born about 1830 in Bohemia. She may have been married to a man with the last name Novak. He probably died before 1863. Catherine had a son, Frank Michael born about 1859 in Bohemia. In 1863 Catherine marries Fritz Sternhagen in Fayette County, Iowa. Fritz and Catherine live in Washington Township, Winneshiek County, Iowa until 1874 when they move to Tyndall, Bon Homme County, South Dakota.
On the baptism record for their son, Bedrich (Fritz Jr.) in 1870 at St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church, in Winneshiek County, Iowa the godparents are listed as Mathias and Anna Dvorak.I suspect that Mathias Dvorak is a relative of Catherine's -- possibly her brother.
To confirm this connection I have been searching for information about Mathias Dvorak.I have found a marriage record for him at the same church. Mathias marries Anna Novotny on 8 June 1868.Fritz Sternhagen is a witness.
On the 1870 census for Calmar, Winneshiek County, Iowa there is a Mathias Dvorgic (Dvorak) age 27 born ~ 1843 in Bohemia, Ana age 19 born ~1851 in Bohemia (wife), Mary age 1 born in Iowa (daughter), and Ana Novoten (Novotny) age 57 born in Bohemia (mother in law).
There is also a marriage record for a Mathias Dvorak and Anna Sikora on 1 July 1874 in Spillville, Winneshiek County, Iowa, and a birth record for a Frank V Dvorak on 11 July 1880 to these parents.
So far I have not found Mathias/Mathew Dvorak and his family on any other census record.
I am trying to find out who Catherine Dvorak's parents are, where she was from in Bohemia, if she was married to Mr. Novak and what happened to him, and whether or not Mathias Dvorak is her brother.
Yesterday I found an immigration record that seems to fit for Mathias Dvorak.There is a record for Matias Dvorak (this is how it was indexed on ancestry.com) age 20, born ~ 1841 arriving at the port of Baltimore in July 1861.He is aboard the ship "Ferdinand" and which left from Bremen, Germany.His last residence and place of birth are listed as Bohemia.
The interesting thing is that he is traveling with his parents and siblings: Matias Dvorak age 50 born ~1811 (father), Anna Dworak (indexed this way) age 50 born ~1811 (mother), Caroline age 30 born ~1831 listed as daughter, Wenzel age 15 born ~1846 listed as son, Marie age 9 born ~1852 listed as daughter, Rosalia age 4 born ~1857 listed as daughter, and Farnk age 2 born ~1859 listed as son.
On the 1870 census for Calmar, Winneshiek Couty, Iowa there is a Mathias and Ana Kovachik (Dvorak but indexed as Kovachik).Mathias is 60 and Ana is 61 and both are from Bohemia.On the 1880 census for Washington, Winneshiek County, Iowa there is a Mathias Dworak age 69, wife Anna age 69 both from Bohemia.On the 1870 census they are living close to Mathias Dvorak Jr. and his wife Anna Novotny.On the 1880 census they are living close to where Fritz and Catherine Sternhagen had lived.
Other records I have found are a marriage record for Wenceslaus Dvorak and Mary Tanka on 30 June 1868 - married by the same priest who baptized Bedrich Sternhagen and married Mathias Dvorak and Anna Novotny.Also a marriage record for Mary Dvorak to Mattias Houzka on 10 June 1873, and one for Rosa Dvorak who married Frank Colansky (Polanski) on 24 Nov 1873.
One last record -- a grave stone with Matej Dvorak 1810 - 1883 and Anna Dvorak 1811- 1901 in St. John's Cemetery, Winneshiek County, Iowa.
This is pure speculation but could this all be one and the same family as on the ship "Ferdiand"? Could Caroline really be Catherine?And Frank who is born in 1859 really be the GRANDSON of Mathias and Anna, and possibly be Caroline/Catherine's son???
If Frank is really Mathias and Anna Dvorak's son then she would have been about 48 when she had him --- not too old to have a child, but still.Even with Rosalia she would have been 46 when she had her -- not impossible of course.
Is this too far fetched?I don't know where the information came from that said Catherine Dvorak was married before to a Mr. Novak.I have no proff of that one way or the other.Is anyone researching this family?I'd love to hear from anyone with ideas, information -- where do I go to search for clues to untangle this web???
Thanks for your help!Kathy Vacek