FC: Baker Family History | "Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow."
1: Table of Contents Caren's Photo Introduction Page 2-3 The Baker Family Name 4-5 Baker Family Tree 6-7 Cline-Minarik Family Tree 8-9 Immigration/Migration Journey 10-11 Heirloom Conclusion 12-13
2: That's me, Caren Baker-Gastello, wearing the green hoodie. My extended family includes my mother-in-law and two nieces.
3: I have many notable experiences, but none surpass the birth of my 3 sons: Giovani, Dom, and Joseph. I am also a Godmother to 4 girls (the youngest, Talitha, in photo with me). Nothing beats being a wife and mom to the men in my life! My interests include anything I can do with my family: cooking, hiking, biking, vacations...I love it all! My family has inspired and supported me in my goal to be an elementary school teacher. I left a 20 year career in real estate to obtain my degree and credential...another notable experience; all of which would not be possible without the rest of my story.
4: As previously mentioned, my name is Caren. I was given this name because my grandfather, Ray, loved the name. I was supposed to be Moriah (of Paint Your Wagon fame), but when I was born, my mom said that I did not look like a Moriah. She didn't have a name for me so she gave the job to my grandfather. When my grandfather told her what name he wanted, she thought it too plain and decided to spell it with a "C". Therefore, I have always been Caren with a "C" to my friends and teachers. My middle name is Marie; no special meaning but I like it fine. I like my name; the only trouble it ever gave me was when people confused it with Carmen instead of Caren. The trouble I got was from my last name when kids would call me Caren "Bake-a-Cake". Now, I laugh about it.
5: Listed as the 38th most common last name in the United States and 37th most common in England, Baker has historic ties surpassing 1,000 years (The New York Times, 2012). One of the most well-known facts about last names or surnames is that they were most often derived from one's occupation: Baker is one such name. The last name Baker is exactly what one might think it is; someone who bakes bread, pastries, or other bakery shop treats. However, what one may not know is that the name Baker actually means "one who uses heat"; therefore, the name applies to such occupations as brick maker (The New York Times, 2012). In any case, it may be coincidental that many people with the last name Baker just happen to be good cooks; my family included. In addition to the commonality of the name Baker, history shows the name originating on the borders of Scotland and England "before the Norman Conquest" (Swyrich Corporation, 2012, p. 1). Historical reference is made to many clans of Bakers in Scotland, England, and Ireland; however, because the name is associated occupation, it is believed that the various clans of history are independent of one another (Swyrick Corp., 2012, p. 1). When such clans were forced to promise loyalty to the Protestant crown, many fled to parts of British Columbia, Newfoundland, and eventually America, especially Philadelphia. There is even some mention that many of America's early presidents hailed from ancestors of Baker clans.
6: Where it all began...
7: This is my dad Forrest "Skip" Baker (Born 5/25/1942 Auburn, CA) | Grandpa Wilfred Baker and Grandma Ruby Chase Baker (Wilfred Born 8/19/1914 Melrose, Wisconsin) | Great Grandpa Newell Baker and Great Grandma Mary Hodges (snd Grandpa Wilfred, Aunts, and Uncles) (Newell born 7/9/1871 Loyal, Wisconsin) | Great great Grandfather Josiah and Great great Grandmother Clarissa Bliss (Josiah born 8/14/1833 Hanover, Pennsylvania)
8: This is my beautiful mom, Pamela Ann Cline (Baker). Born 7/4/1949 in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Her family history is not as known as my father's side, but what I do know is very important to me.
9: This is | This is my Grandma Stasy Minarik (Cline) (born in Chicago 3/5/1930) whom I have always called Nanny. Next to her is my Grandpa Ray who died when I was 3. I don't know much about my Grandpa Cline's family except that his father, Rosco, was born in Urbana, Illinois 4/20/1880 and had 3 children. His wifes name was Mary Emma Ellis. My Nanny's father came over from Czechoslovakia arriving on Ellis Island. My Nanny's mother's name was Mary and she came over from Austria, also arriving at Ellis Island. They had 4 children, but Mary died young and my Nanny's life changed forever. My nanny left home at 15 because her stepmother was abusive.
10: Mary Kobida's (Minarik) Journey to Freedom | Living in Austria during Nazi regime was a nightmare for devout Catholics. Mary Kobida’s (my great grandmother) family went to church every Sunday and many times during the week before Hitler gained control of both church and state. Many families in Austria were enduring abuse at the hands of Nazi military. Catholics were feeling pressure to support Hitler; though, his practices went against the church’s teachings. The Pope’s public disapproval of Hitler’s practices made Catholics in Austria and all over Europe a target. Mary did not know just how much a target her family was until her father and mother were killed. Mary, only 17, had one choice but to make the journey that so many were making because of the dangers associated with living under Nazi control; she boarded a ship for America. Mary arrived in Ellis Island on May 30, 1920. I have the ship records and Ellis Island register as documentation. Mary eventually met and married John Minarik from Czechoslovakia, who also arrived on Ellis Island in 1920. My grandma is not sure how they met. My grandma Stasy was born in Chicago so we know that Mary and John migrated to Chicago where they had two children. My grandmother remembers the reason they moved to Chicago was because my grandfather was a farmer and he bought farmland in Chicago. We also know that they further migrated to Michigan because that was the last place my grandma lived with her parents. Michigan is also where her mom died of eclampsia, a complication of pregnancy, in 1942. After my great grandmother died, my great grandfather married again, and the woman he married was abusive. My grandma Stasy left home at 15 and never returned. She stayed in Michigan, which is where my mom was born.
12: The last part of this assignment, my family history project part 1, asks me to reflect on an artifact as a family heirloom that has personal meaning to me. When I first began this project, I thought that I would have difficulty finding information on my family because I knew so very little. My sons have a deep heritage in their father’s Peruvian and Mexican background; I always thought I brought little to the table by way of history. I was wrong. My family has an interesting and far-reaching history that I am proud to say, now that I know it, is my identity. I have beautiful photos to represent my Baker family tree and I also know, after joining Ancestry.com, that I have family that came from Wisconsin and even Kent, England. I never had information related to my mother’s side of the family and now I know that I am Czechoslovakian and Austrian and that I had relatives that came over by ship to Ellis Island. This is all rich history that I am proud of, which is why I choose this book, my project, as my most cherished heirloom. The many hours I put into developing this book included phone conversations with my mom and dad and time spent talking to my only living grandparent. Time spent that I could tell really meant something to her as it did to me. I feel that this book is not only a tribute to my mom and dad, their mom and dad, and their grandparents but also my boys who never knew that their mom’s family was so cool! This book is the heirloom I will be passing on to my future grandkids as they begin asking questions like “where am I from”; in which, I now know the answers. I would like to thank Dr. Hanna for giving me this assignment. I would also like to thank my mom for starting so much of the legwork involved in ancestry. I would like to thank my dad for sharing his enthusiasm for family. And, last but definitely not least, I would like to thank my Nanny whom I cherish more than she will ever know.
13: Dedicated to my boys...you are truly Heinz 57 and be proud of it.