How many ways can Bartunek be spelled?
Researching immigrants tends to be an exercise in
frustration patience. I am not sure if the spelling changes are due to clerical errors, language differences or the fact that my relatives just wanted to make their last name easier to spell, but there seem to be as many spellings of their names as their are documents. The spelling of Bartunek is one of the things that has made tracing my genealogy difficult.
I have been spending some time working on the mysterious Bartunek side of the family. I have made some progress of the family from the time they came to the United States. I have searched state census records, federal census records, and even ship records.
In the process of finding the trail of the Bartunek’s migration from Bohemia to the states, I have found a whole lot of spellings of the name. Some don’t even remotely resemble the last name Bartunek, other than the fact that the name starts with a B!
For example, in the manifest for the Senator Iken, coming from Bremen, Germany in June of 1867, the last name is spelled as Bartevirieg. I am pretty sure this is Josef Bartunek, for a number of reasons I will talk about another time.
Of course by the time the 1870 Federal Census rolled around, the name was different. This time it was Baldonek. Again, for various reasons, I am sure it is Josef Bartunek.
And by the time 1900 rolled around, the name was Barbanicke (per the indexing) or Bartanicke. Of course by this time, my grandmother Mary was already married to Joseph Vodraska. I know these are my relatives, because they were in Ellsworth County, Kansas. Mary Bartunek was already married to Joseph Vodraska and was neighbors to her parents.
I think there are several other spellings of Bartunek out there, but I am too lazy to go into them now. I did want to share some of the variations. Is it any wonder people hit brick walls and give up? I am so happy I have persisted and found some great information, though!