Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Jost Family in Inzenhof, Austria: My Tallest Brick Wall

[Note: One of my genealogy goals for 2011 is to find my elusive 16th great-grandparent. To do this, I need to list everything I know and don't know about my great-grandmother. This is the only way I will find more about her mother.]

My great-grandmother is Cecelia Yost, though I believe her name is really Cecelia JOST.

What I know:
I retrieved the following facts from her death certificate:
Birth: 6 December 1892 in Inzenhof, Austria
Death: 23 Sep 1932 in Nuevo, Riverside, California
Father: John Jost (also possibly Johann Jost)

Federal censuses say she immigrated to Lehigh County, PA in 1909. She was a cigar maker in Allentown in the 1910 census.

By the 1920 census, she is married to Albert Turk. I was hoping a marriage record would list Cecelia's parents' names, but Lehigh County Historical Society has no record of the union. It cost me $30 to find that out, so I've been gun shy about further requests. I have not contacted repositories in the surrounding counties yet. If anyone is able to search in this area, I may consider purchasing your services. Contact me.

The 1930 census provide no clues, and Cecelia died a year later. Her youngest daughter (my grandmother) does not remember her mother. She believes Cecelia had relatives (possibly sisters) in Pennsylvania.

I made an initial inquiry on the Ancestry message boards in October 2010 and received some great leads. I need to follow up on these. I also need to scour the Burgenland Bunch website, especially the list of Jost researchers. There are several people researching Josts who settled in the Lehigh Valley, as well as some who came from Inzenhof!

My attempts to research this name in Pennsylvania so far have been unsuccessful. There are simply too many Yost / Jost folks and I don't have enough details to make my ancestors stand out. As for passenger lists, there are several possibilities for my Cecelia Yost / Jost. I'm wondering if I'm just spinning wheels trying to research Pennsylvania and maybe it's time to cross the pond to Austria in search of an answer.

The next step I'm going to take is to contact some of these Jost researchers and see if they have my Cecelia in their trees. After that, I need to analyze the passenger lists and study all the possibilities for my great- grandmother. I need to look at their destinations, look the contact person on this end and see if there's a paper trail anywhere that could lead to my Cecelia (and possibly other relatives).

I don't believe Cecelia's parents made the trip to the United States, though the answer to the identity of my 16th great-grandparent may be here.

Well, there you go, my tallest brick wall to date. If you have any advice or expertise in Austrian research, please comment below. I'm also interested in any historical resources for this area in the late 1800's. Given Inzenhof's proximity to the Hungarian border, I'm thinking I need a basic history lesson.

1 comment:

  1. im a yost and my name was origanaly jost until the germans moved to america and they changed it because the americans couldnt pronounce it. well at least thats what i was told!