Saturday, February 1, 2014

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: George Sedor (1882-1963)

I am expanding my definition of ancestors this week to include cousins. My research efforts the last few weeks have been driven by my renewed interest in DNA matches. I have been scouring, with success, Old Fulton NY Postcards,, and FamilySearch for easily accessible records that will provide a paper trail linking my father to some new matches.

I was told that my grandmother Anna Pereksta had two maternal first cousins in Binghamton, NY where she lived after emigrating to the United States.

This photograph from one of her photo albums is labeled "Mom and Mr. Sedor (first cousin) at Saranac". My aunt had later told me that this was George Sedor. However, given the abundant numbers of George Sedors or Szidors or Citars or Sidors or Scidors appearing in Broome County, NY census records, I still wasn't sure which George to claim. 

So I was particularly pleased when one of my father's matches listed Sedor and Binghamton in his profile. He turned out to be descended from George Sedor and Mary Zubal. Having a name for one of the George's wives was all I needed to zoom on in a specific George. I corresponded excitedly with one of my match's cousins for several days comparing notes and histories.

Sedor, George. Photograph. 1949. Digital image. Privately held by Susan Popp Clark, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE,] St. Louis, MO. 2014.  And then we exchanged photographs. I sent her the photograph of our grandparents in taken at Saranac Lake after the Spanish Flu epidemic. She sent me a photograph of her grandparents and their children in 1949. As wonderful as the census data and newspaper articles are there is something altogether different about having photographs. Especially when there is shared DNA.

There he is. George Sedor, my first cousin, twice removed. Another one of the pivotal people in our history. Yes, as my new-found cousin pointed out, like my grandparents, he started life as a peasant and spent his working life making shoes in a factory. But his children's lives were far different than if he had remained in the Carpathian village of his birth.

His obituary tells the story.
Father of 4 Firemen, Sedor Rites Thursday
Survivors Include Chief 
Funeral service will be held Thursday for George Sedor, Sr. of 5 Jones Street, father of Binghamton Fire Chief John A. Sedor and three other Triple Cities firemen.
Mr. Sedor died yesterday morning at Wilson Memorial Hospital after a long illness. He was 81 years old.
Born in Czechoslovakia (then Austria-Hungary) in 1883, Mr. Sedor came to America at the turn of the century. He was a retired Endicott-Johnson employe.
MR. SEDOR was married to the late Mary Zubal and was a member of the Holy Spirit Catholic Church.
He is survived by three daughters, Mrs. Gregory (Anna) Cytch, Linden, N. J. and Mrs. John (Mary) Hlopko and Mrs. Robert (Helen) Tobey, both of Binghamton; five sons, John, George, Jr., and Steven, all of Binghamton; William, Jersey City, N. J., and Andrew, Endicott.
Also a sister, Mrs. Anna Gabok, Auburn; 17 grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren, and several nieces and nephews.
George Sedor, Jr. and Steven are members of the Binghamton Fire Department. Andrew is a member of the Endicott Fire Department.
FUNERAL SERVICES  will be held at 8:30 a.m. Thursday at the Greskovic Funeral Home, 161 Clinton Avenue, and at 9 a.m. at Holy Spirit Catholic Church. Burial will be in Holy Spirit Cemetery.
Friends may call at the funeral home tomorrow and Wednesday from 2 to 4 and  to 9 p.m. The Reverend Alexander P. Maczkov, pastor of Holy Spirit Church, will hold prayer services at the funeral home at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

Written for Amy Johnson Crow's blogger challenge 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks.

Anna Pereksta and George Sedor photograph, c. 1919, Popp Family photographs and papers, 1930-1990; privately held by Susan Popp Clark, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE,] St. Louis, MO. 2005.  

Sedor, George. Photograph. 1949. Digital image. Privately held by Susan Popp Clark, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE,] St. Louis, MO. 2014. Published with permission of the owner of the original photograph.

 "Father of 4 Firemen, Sedor Rites Thursday," Binghamton Press, 16 Dec 1963, Evening Edition, p. 21, col. 7; digital images, Old Fulton NY Postcards ( : accessed 23 Jan 2014), Historical New York Newspapers.


  1. Very cool! Love pictures and using cousins to finesse the main line is something I've been doing for years. One of the only ways to narrow things down!

  2. Do you know the origin of the Sedore name? My grandson's mother is a Sedore (not from Binghamton, but from the Hudson Valley. The immigrant ancestor was George Sedore, based on census records it looks like the family may have been from Hungry. I haven't done too much research into the family, but I did find him listed as a member of the local Slovak Catholic Church.

    1. I have not seen Sedore as a surname. Sedor is very common in the areas that were part of the Hungarian Empire. If your Sedore was a member of a Slovak church you might try searching the 1995 Slovakian Census to see how often and where the surname appears.

  3. Oh, this makes me smile a huge genea-smile for you!! All your diligent research, along with some blood, sweat and spit, is paying off in a well earned way. Woo Hoo!

  4. DNA, cousins, photographs = an unbeatable combination.


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