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My maiden name is Kotora.  I have found that my grandfather came from Czechoslovakia, that he joined the military in the US.  I never got to talk to him when I was younger, I just never thought to ask him anything.  Now that I am older I wish I would have.

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What other info do you have about him? If you haven't tried yet. I'd go there. They have a number of Kotora's in the military section.
I have but but can't find any information on where @ in Czech he was born. I have a birth date but it was from the states so I have no clue if that is when he was born. He was in the Army & I found the most current information like when he passed & where he lived when he passed but no other resources after that. I have hit a dead end.
If you can find him on the ship passenger list for his emigration you will often find an origin town in Czechoslovakia. All of my grandparents and their siblings who came over after 1900 have theirs clearly marked on theirs.

You want to check both sides of the voyage as well - almost without fail all of my family leaving Czechoslovakia sailed out of Bremen and into either New York or Baltimore. (On my wife's great grandfather's record leaving Bremen I also discovered his father's name as nearest contact back home.)

Of course, if you can find his US Naturalization documents they should have some good info as well - especially the Declaration of Intention and Petition for Naturalization.

If he did sail into NY, to help with finding him on the voyage I'd suggest using the forms on the site - you can try different info you do have in different ways using the Ellis Island Gold Form, for example.

Here's a search for Kotora using the gold form:

Also, if you don't find his crossing documents for some reason (it happens) don't forget to look for any others from his family that may have came over - they may have the origin town as well!

Finally - you may be able to request his military service records at - see their site for what's available and what you may be able to ask for:
I am going to try all this & want to say thank you for helping me. See I don't know if he has family he came here with, that's the hard part. My father has no clue. He told me that both grandparents were in the Slovak Republic Air Force. Then when starting my research I found he was in the US Army. He doesn't know my great grandfather's name, or any information on my grandma's side. But thank you & I will try all your suggestions & let you know if anything works out.
No luck. I am finding nothing & when I do find something it is the information I already have. Thank you for everything.
I'll let you know if I think of anything else - I am fortunate on my Czech side that my Mom did a wonderful job of putting info together so I have only just reached the point where I am going to need to do some deeper digging back in the Czech Republic.

But, you might take a look at the few bookmarks I have compiled recently relating to Czech ancestry and culture - there may be someone at one of those other genealogy sites that can help.

My Czech bookmarks on Delicious:
All of my genealogy bookmarks are here:

On my Irish side I've had to chip away at odd resources to dig up a lot of people (no pun intended) or to verify that the records I found were for the right people. For NY City and the 5 boroughs we're lucky to have the site that has indexes of births, marriages and deaths that provide clues to jump to the next level.
I am in the process of ordering LDS films for several birth and death certificates to see if there is any origin information on them. It certainly takes time, but has been worthwhile.

Also, don't discount the usefulness of a really broad search on the surname - it may help you find locations or resources you might want to focus on for further investigation.
And don't forget to try every possible combination of mis-spellings of the surname when searching. My last name has been mis-enumerated and mis-transcribed in several amazingly wrong ways.

When I did the generic Google Search for "Surname Kotora":

One of the hits was this one which has someone looking for a Kotora about 1/2 way down the page, as well as quite a few other links that might be interesting.

Good luck!





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