I realize that we regularly write articles on English origins of New England ancestors of the 17th century, but what is my proof that my great-grandfather who appeared in Pennsylvania is the same man from Slovakia?
On my grandparents' marriage license from Carbon County, Penn., Paul Hollick "Jr." names his parents as Paul and Christine Hollick [no maiden name]. His death certificate from Florida names his parents as Paul Hollick and Christine Michaels. This all leads to my grandfather's birth certificate from Pennsylvania which is for "baby boy Holicy", father: Paul Holicy and mother: Tini McKoletz. I would never have found that except that I knew his birth date. I also love the Irish inversion of my Slovak great-grandmother's name of Kristina Michaelec into Tini McKoletz (which if you pronounce out loud, is the same name).
This information lead me to the 1910 U.S. Census which shows this family [Clearfield Co., ED #83, Sheet #8A]. It also tells me that Paul and Christine immigrated in the year 1900. That lead me to the Ellis Island and N.Y. Passenger ships lists which shows Paul and Christine arriving on 22 December 1900 on the S.S. H.H. Meier from Bremen. The manifest clearly shows that they were from Tura Luka (listed as T. Luka).
The wrinkle comes in the form of Paul's death certificate from Pennsylvania in 1911. His parents are given as John Holicz and Christine Migliafec. That information is incorrect as we shall see.
So, there are many methods of putting someone back into Europe accurately and in this example we have a couple who married prior to coming to the U.S. So, finding their marriage record is clearly the way to go. And in Tura Luka, we have Pavel Holic and Kristina Michalec marrying on 22 May 1899. His parents are not given, but hers are and they correspond and agree to the same names she uses on her second marriage record in Pennsylvania, as well as her death certificate.
It does say that Paul is a widower. A quick look at the death register showed a Zuzanna Holic who died on 6 April 1899, the wife of Paul Holic and maiden name Bartek. That lead to the marriage record of Pavel Holic and Zuzanna Bartek on 29 June 1883. That lists Pavel's parents as Matej Holic and Kristina Simek. That lead to his baptism on 4 May 1860. He is with his mother in the 1869 Hungarian Census, where she is a widow. So Matej must have died between 1860 and 1869.
All of this holds together. His age is given as 23 in 1883 on his first marriage and then 39 in 1899 on his second marriage. He is listed as 40 on the ship's manifest in 1900 and as 55 in the 1910 census.