Happy 38th Anniversary Michael Daniel Butka


Today I celebrate thirty eight years with the love of my life and heart, Michael Daniel Butka. This post concentrates our first year together.

Butka Stearns 1977-1978

This is a page from the scrapbook I created for my husband to celebrate our first twenty five years together. This one page is power packed with memories.

It tells the story in pictures of our first year together. I blogged previously about how we met.

Top photos above the “film strip”are:

The first Apartment we lived in as a couple, 44 Center Grove Road, Randolph, New Jersey. [We did share an apartment in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, with his roommate from April to June 1978, Michael moved to this apartment in June while I stayed with a friend on Pease Air Force Base until I graduated from New Hampshire vocational Technical School Practical Nurse program in August.]

Our first Christmas Tree purchased on the way home after spending our first Thanksgiving together with his family in Milford, Connecticut.

The “film strip photos include:

Starting at the top- Taking our vows with the Justice of the Peace in Kittery, Maine, 29 April 1978;

Michael’s family- father, Daniel Zigmund Butka (1928-1987); June Stearns Butka, Michael Daniel Butka; brother, Stephen Paul Butka (1958-2001,) sitting brother-in-law, Daniel DellaGioia and sister, Danielle Marie Butka DellaGioa. Michael’s mother, Loretta Dula Butka was unable to attend. She was caring for her ill mother, Francis Kotch Dula (1909-1986.) Photo taken by my father, Nelson William Stearns (1930-1988.) Photo taken at Sagamore Court Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

My family- June Stearns Butka, Nelson William Stearns (1930-1988) and Shirley Beatrice Pease Stearns (1935-2001.) Photo taken by my husband, Michael Daniel Butka on our wedding day at our Sagamore Court apartment.

Blank film strip was in the middle separating our wedding photos from our graduation photos from college.

Michael Daniel Butka graduation photo from New Hampshire Vocational College Technical School Drafting Program.

June Stearns Butka graduation program from New Hampshire Vocational College Technical School Practical Nursing Program.

The bottom photo is Atlantic City, where I took my Nursing State Board Exam.

Our first year together was amazing and eventful. We met in the fall of 1977 at a yearbook committee meeting. Started dating 23 Jan 1978. Married 29 April 1978. Graduated officially June 1978 [I stayed until August 1978 doing my community nursing internship at Pease Air Force base hospital.] We honeymooned in New York City and New Jersey while Michael was interviewing for a job at Bell Lab’s, Whippany, New Jersey. Michael moved first in June and I followed in August to 44 Center Grove Road, Randolph, New Jersey. We started our new jobs, Michael at Bell Labs Whippany in June and I started working in August for Dover General Hospital, Dover, New Jersey as an Floating Nurse until I passed my stated boards. I took my State boards in October and knew the result the week before Christmas. It was a very Happy Christmas, that year. Early in 1978 we found out we were pregnant with our first child [I had a miscarriage in early fall of 1977- in my first trimester.]

Our first year together was a roller coaster of life events, adjustment, lows and highs that provided a strong base, as a couple, for the years to come. Our love, respect, communication and support of each other in the good and bad times has never faulted.

I dedicated this post to the love of my life and heart, Michael Daniel Butka. Happy 38th Anniversary, Mike. I look forward to each and every day we have together. May there be many more years to share.

Love and Hugs,

Your loving wife, June.







Genealogy Organizational Challenge

Genealogy Organization is a Challenge

Old School Files
Old School Files 

My partially organized files.


I spent Saturday with two very organized people, Lisa Alzo and Thomas MacEntee. Their “Getting your Genealogy Groove Back” Boot Camp. It was a very information and helpful presentation.

I spent Sunday attempting to familiarize myself with some of the organizational tools they discussed. It was a mixture of “old School” and new Technology, at least new to me.

This morning I spent it organizing the old school way. My thoughts were, How can I use the new technology if I don’t have myself organized with what needs to be entered into the computer program.

In the photograph above the top bind holds my webinar folders that still need a little tweaking. They were mixed in with the folders in the lower draw. The lower draw is now organized with my family folders only. I have decided to continue my Surname way of organizing.

The major Surnames for each of my family lines include the sub-surnames by married. I organized this way as a reminder of who married into the family line and where. (To date I have 99 surnames in total, with 349 shaky leafs on Ancestry to research.)
My husband Major Surnames are:
Parental side:

Maternal side:

Misc.: Two Unknown Surnames (one for each line) I still need to verify before adding to my list

My Major Surnames are;
Paternal side:

My Maternal side:

Computer Files to date

My computer files to date

Now I’m off to organize the familiar computer technology I currently use. I will take the save items and place them into the correct family line folders in the same manner I did with the old school files. Once this is completed I can then take one old school folder and one computer folder; compare the information and enter it into the research log that I learned about during “Boot Camp.” Once I have entered all my research, I will find the gaps I have in my family tree. Those gaps will become my “To Do” List.

Yes, it is time consuming to organize these records. In the long run I will be saving time. I have already found duplicate name records with different information in them. I will be able to grab the correct file, find the information I’m looking for without hunting and pecking throughout my paperwork or computer. I will set up my Research Log by major surnames: Consistency, Organization and staying with what is familiar will be my organization tools from now on.

Thank you Lisa Alzo at http://www.lisaalzo.com/ and Thomas MacEntee of Hack Genealogyhttp://hackgenealogy.com/ for all the little tidbits of information on how to organize.

Bye for now. I’m off to organize and get ready to Post my next #52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks blog about Arthur W. Place, my great grandfather, one of my great grandmother, Tina May Hutchins, four husbands.

Polish American Names- Please Help

Researching my husband family tree is a slow process for several reasons that I will not list to save face for several family members. Today’s stumbling block is regarding the name changes made after coming to America. I have taken a photo of two Pennsylvania census records.  It is my strong belief that they are both the same family. I know that the 1910 family is my husband’s. I am not 100% sure the 1900 one is.

Pennsylvania Census Records
Pennsylvania Census Records



The comparison concerns on the censuses are:

  1. Joseph Butka’s birth years 1900 reads Jul 1861 (38)      1910 abt 1864 (46)
  2. Joseph birthplace 1900 Russia, Poland                                1910 Russia
  3. Parents birthplace same issue as Joseph’s
  4. Home: 1900 Conyngham, Luzerne, Pennsylvania            1910 Newport, Luzerne, Pennsylvania
  5. Immigration year 1900 was 1888                                             1910 was 1889
  6. 1900 census name concerns were Bronislana age 10; Boleslaw age 7; Wyadyslaw age 3

Assessment of the census Data:

  1. Like most census an age range of difference may be common depending on when the census was taken in relationship to the birth month. Taking this into consideration the age will not be a concern at this time. The purchase of a birth certificate is placed on my “To Do” list once I’m sure of the correct Joseph. The same age difference could be attributed to Mary’s 1900 age 36 and her 1910 age 44.
  2. Having recently listened to Webinars about researching across the “pond” and European ancestor, (I did not write down the webinar presenters names at the time or the resource at the time of viewing, for that I apologize to them), I know that Poland was part of Russia. This eliminates the birthplace concern for Joseph and his parents; it is most likely the same place.
  3. I used Google Maps to research the location of Conyngham and Newport areas of Luzerne County Pennsylvania. They are in the same area; redistricting over the years makes the location most probably the same address location.
  4. In regards to the immigration date; I added “find Joseph Butka immigration records to my “To Do” list. A cursory search on Ancestry.com showed too many for me to verify which one was my Joseph for this blog post. I did find a possible match for Joseph at Ancestry.com

It looks like a second visit to the United States and most likely his immigration date. A Josef Molcan [Motran] is listed as his brother-in-law residing in Pittsburg Pa.

Source Citation: Roll: T840_26; Line: 14.Source Information:

Ancestry.com. Philadelphia Passenger Lists, 1800-1945 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2006. Original data: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1883-1945. Micropublication T840. RG085. Rolls # 1-181. National Archives, Washington, D.C. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1800-1882. Micropublication M425. RG036. Rolls # 1-108. National Archives, Washington, D.C.


  1. In regards to my final concern on the census, I Googled Polish given names finding a great site for listed English translations; http://polandpoland.com/common_polish_names.html .

Bronslana = Bernice/Bertha; she would be age 20 on the 1910 census. Not finding her in Joseph’s home is not a concern. She most likely is married or hired out.

Boleslaw = William/Bill; he would be age 17; there is a William age 16 on the 1910 census

Wladyslaw = Walter/Edward; he would be 13 on the 1910 census. There is an Edward age 13 listed.

Caroline on the 1900 census most likely is the Carrie, a nickname for Caroline, on the 1910 census.

Zigmund age 10 on the 1910 was not born when the 1900 census was taken, but shortly after or early in the New Year.  Zigmund is my father–in-law’s middle name. He was named after an uncle.

I found a marriage certificate for my father-in-law’s parents that confirms that Joseph and Mary are William’s parent’s born in Russia Poland. William was 23 years old when her married Lottie Boberick. William was born in Pennsylvania further confirming the arrival of his parents in America before 1890. He is most probably the William listed on the 1910 Luzrene County Pennsylvania census. William and Lottie were living in that county in a town called Nanticoke, where several relatives still live today.


Based on the above assessment I feel that they are the same family.  Once I have received the document on my “To Do” list and they confirm they are my family, I will add them to my Butka-Stearns Family Tree.


I am open to any suggestions or discussion on the validity of my argument that they are the same family.


Resources for the Blog post include:

  1. Ancestry.com
  2. Google Search
  3. http://polandpoland.com/common_polish_names.html
  4. Family records and interviews