3 Replies Latest reply on Jan 4, 2022 4:04 PM by Susannah Brooks

    Searching for grandmother Nellie Pektus' siblings

    Rachel Weninger Newbie

      I'm looking for the older sibling(s) of my grandmother.  Parents Anton and Agnes Pektus from Lithuania.  Immigrated around 1912 to the Chicago Illinois area.  Grandmother born in 1907 and one sister (Vera) born in 1910.  She had at least one older sister and I'm searching for her name.  There could possibly be two older sisters.  Any older siblings would have been born in Lithuania and came over around the same time to the US

        • Re: Searching for grandmother Nellie Pektus' siblings
          Zachary Dabbs Tracker

          Dear Ms. Weninger,

          Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!


          We searched the National Archives Catalog and located the and the Population Schedules for the 1920 Census, the Population Schedules for the 1930 Census, and the Population Schedules for the 1940 Census  in the Records of the Bureau of the Census (Record Group 29) that may contain information about the Pektus family in Illinois. The 1940 Census schedules are digitized and available using the Catalog. For more information about the non-digitized schedules, please contact the National Archives at Washington, DC - Textual Reference (RDT1) via email at archives1reference@nara.gov


          You may wish to search Ancestry or FamilySearch for online access to the 1920 and 1930 U.S. Censuses. There may be a fee for using Ancestry. Instead, please check for access at your local library as many library systems subscribe to these sites, making them free for their patrons.


          Another potential resource for information regarding the Pektus family is the naturalization records. In general, naturalization was a two-step process that took a minimum of five years. After residing in the United States for two years, an alien could file a "declaration of intention" ("first papers") to become a citizen. After three additional years, the alien could "petition for naturalization" (”second papers”). After the petition was granted, a certificate of citizenship was issued to the alien. These two steps did not have to take place in the same court.


          Beginning September 27, 1906, the responsibility for naturalization proceedings was transferred to the Federal courts. Naturalization indexes, declarations of intention (with any accompanying certificates of arrival), and petitions for naturalization will usually be located at the National Archives facility serving the state in which the Federal court is located. No central index exists. Records of Federal courts in Illinois are retired to the National Archives at Chicago. For more information about these records, please contact the National Archives at Chicago (RM-CH) at chicago.archives@nara.gov. If you wish to request a search of the available records please include the name of petitioner, such as Anton Pektus and known variants; date of birth; approximate date of entry to the US; approximate date of naturalization; where the individual was residing at the time of naturalization (city/county/state); and country of origin.


          Due to the continued impact of COVID-19, you may experience a delay in receiving an initial acknowledgment as well as a substantive response to your reference request from RDT1 and RM-CH.  We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience as we balance mission-critical work and the safety of our staff during the pandemic. Please check NARA’s web page about COVID-19 updates for the latest information.


          You also may wish to contact the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) regarding the records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). All INS records are now overseen by USCIS. USCIS maintains duplicate copies of court records (including the certificate of citizenship) concerning naturalization proceedings created from September 27, 1906 through March 31, 1956 within Certificate Files (C-Files). Beginning on April 1, 1956, INS began filing all naturalization records in a subject’s Alien File (A-File). C-Files and certain A-Files may be requested through the USCIS Genealogy Program.


          In addition, we suggest that you review NARA’s Resources for Genealogists, as well as the History Hub Blog titled Suggestions and Advice for Family History Researchers. Also, the FamilySearch Research wiki for Illinois Genealogy may be useful.


          We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your family research!


          • Re: Searching for grandmother Nellie Pektus' siblings
            Susannah Brooks Pioneer

            Best that I can tell from the limited information that you gave, the surname for this family is Petkus (a fairly common name), not Pektus.

            The information in two censuses varies greatly as to where the chlldren were born.

            In the 1910 census (indexed on Ancestry.com as Petters, but clearly Petkus on the actual image) the family arrived in the US in 1905.  It states that Agnes had given birth to 8 children, 4 of whom are living at the time (3 are in the household). The last child listed as Eranica is 1 yr old and born in Illinois.  I'm fairly certain that this is Veronica, later called Vera.

            In the 1920 Census it states that both Nellie and Vera were born in Illinois and that their mother arrived in 1906 and their father arrived in 1899.  

            In the 1930 Census it states that Anton arrived in 1896 and Agnes in 1899. 

            In the 1940 Census Agnes is a widow, living with her daughter Nellie and her family.  This census states that Nellie was born in Wisconsin.

            • Re: Searching for grandmother Nellie Pektus' siblings
              Nancy P Wayfarer

              I don't have the exact answers but I did find some info.


              Here is the 1920 census:



              Here is the 1930 I believe:



              This is not a 100% certain because they list Vera as Veronica and the immigration dates changed a bit.  In my experience, that doesn't necessarily mean that it isn't them.   In my own research, I have found a lot of the Census have errors. 


              The immigration time seems to change around a bit.  The 1920 census says Anton came over in 1899 and his wife came in 1906.  According to the census, both Nellie and Vera where actually born in Illinois.  Their parents are "older" parents so it stands to reason that they are the youngest of their children.  I have not had any luck finding any others though. 


              This may be Anton's immigration information.   Things don't match up exactly but that doesn't necessarily mean anything.  It could be an errors on the person that took the information or the person who inputted the information from the original document.  You will have to do some more research to confirm or deny it. 


              Anton Petkus in the Russians to America Passenger

              Data File Name: Anton Petkus

              Gender: M (Male)

              Birth Date: 1875

              Origin Country: Russia

              Destination Place: IL

              Arrival Date: 18 Mar 1895

              Passenger Record: 6561075 Additional: 00043503

              PhoeniciaHamburgStaying in the USASteerage

              Reconciled Origin Country: Russian Federation

              Reconciled Destination: IL

              Collection Info: 35