EDGAR AMAYA

Preserving the lifework of artists and families through writing and investigating

Hi!


My name is Edgar, and I’m a professional genealogist based in Salt Lake City, Utah. My goal is to help people uncover their family history and roots.


I began writing at an early age. As a child, I collaborated with Young Authors and worked with Gallery 37 as a teenager. Since 2001, I’ve written articles, reviews, interviews, prose, music, and poetry.

CHECK: Publications


My journey to the present involves these places:

1. San Luis Potosí, Mexico (The Beginning)

My parents met in Chicago and fell in love. They went to my father’s hometown, San Luis Potosí, for a few years. I was born there but left at age two. I would not return until May 2015, over 30 years later. I was fortunate my family gave me such a welcome return. As I embraced my grandfather, he tearfully told me that he thought he’d never see me again.


That month I spent seeing the sites of my hometown, state, and beyond. I had a great adventure in La Huasteca Potosina. Being in a rowboat with my aunt and cousin, we navigated through the clear water and into waterfalls.

Enchiladas potosinas is one of the regional dishes. They are one of the best things I’ve ever tasted. My grandmother kept them constant. She and my grandfather gave me access to their photo collections. I was delighted to scan all of them. Each box contained photos going back decades and into their childhoods. 

A visit to El Saucito Cemetery allowed me to pay respects to two aunts and one uncle who died in their infancy. They are all at rest together. Other relatives buried there include my great-grandfather and great-aunt.

2. Chicago, Illinois, United States (Ever-Present)

Chicago is my family’s motherland, where all of our national flags ended up uniting and entwining. Both maternal great-great-grandmothers (2GG) made a home here: Rozalija Radović came from Croatia via Pittsburgh. Konstancya Wróblewska was born in Indiana to Polish immigrants. These two women lost their first husbands young. Each laid the foundation with their strength and resilience. Those traits are still present in the family today.

My great-grandfather, Anthony John Bolke, from the Polish side, was born in Chicago in 1890. My great-grandmother, Anna Kasun, from the Croatian side, was born in Pittsburgh in 1902. They gave me my grandmother, Eleanor Elsie Bolke. 

I grew up in the McKinley Park neighborhood. The park and area named for it have secure attachments to my memories. The clock tower of the Central Manufacturing District building still overlooks a lagoon full of Canadian geese. 

When grandma Eleanor died in 2003, she left a lot of mysteries and questions. I wanted to know where she came from and who she was. I knew that my grandma had eight siblings, and their mom died when she was an infant. All of the people I mentioned in this section are at rest in Holy Cross Cemetery in Calumet City, Illinois.

The Chicago River is a testament to Chicago defying the odds. If a force of nature that strong can reverse, so can I! For a while, I enjoyed a fantastic view of it meeting Lake Michigan. The river reaches back into my old neighborhood, forming the infamous “Bubbly Creek.”

3. Badia del Vallès, Barcelona, Catalonia (Rebirth)


In 2013, I crossed the Atlantic Ocean for love. I didn’t realize at the time that several ancestors had done the same. Moving there was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Living in a small city was a reset after a lifetime in Chicago. Some of my favorite nearby places were the Montjuïc Cemetery, the city of Girona, the village of Cadaqués, the Tibidabo Mountain, and the Sagrada Família Cathedral.

During my three-year stay, I wrote and published Diving Deep for Sea Shells—the biography of legendary jazz harpist Stella Castellucci. I got married to Antoni Maroto, a language professional. I also had a fantastic opportunity to work on the archives of artist Lydia Lunch.


Barcelona was my passport to seeing so much more of the world. While living there, I got to visit Andorra, Belgium, England, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, and Spain.

4. Coolspring Township, Indiana, United States (The Roots)

For my birthday in 2019, I took a road trip across the Illinois border and into Indiana. At that point, my husband and I have been living in Chicago for three years. Along with my sister and niece, we went to see some family sites. First, we visited the La Porte County Historical Society Museum. 

A stop at St. Mary’s Church and Cemetery in Otis was moving. My 2GG Konstancya Wróblewska was married there. Many of her family’s christenings, marriages, funerals, and burials happened there. Her parents Jan Wróblewski and Marianne Korpal are buried behind the church.


Wróblewski Farms is nearby. I had only learned recently that my direct ancestors founded them in 1871, and that family members still operate it. Just dropping in, we were able to meet some of them.

5. Salt Lake City, Utah, United States (Present Day)

Writing and researching prompted me to create my family history. I decided to study genealogy and build my business as The Bookish Genealogist.

My husband and I decided it was time to try another city in this vast country of ours. By the summer of 2019, we had moved to Salt Lake City. This choice not be beaten for its access to genealogical records and beautiful landscapes. Here we share our home with two birds – a dusky conure named Dusty and a green-cheeked conure named Phoenix.


Some favorite sites include:

• Family History Library 

• Ronie’s For The Love of Birds

• Tracy Aviary

• Great Salt Lake

• Loveland Living Planet Aquarium

Your Trusted Partner


My own family research prompted me to study to become a genealogist. After earning a Genealogical Research Certificate from Boston University, I’ve been providing freelance services to businesses and individuals.


At present, I’m working toward becoming a certified genealogist through the Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG).​ I also continue to educate myself by attending events and taking courses on my areas of expertise.

As a professional genealogist, I adhere to APG’s Code of Ethics and Professional Practices. That ensures your trust to get the best results and protect your family’s information.

I’m happy to help you put together the pieces of the big puzzle we call family tree. Feel free to request more information by clicking below.

 
San Luis Potosí – El Saucito

San Luis Potosí – El Saucito

Chicago – McKinley Park

Chicago – McKinley Park

Barcelona – Arc de Triomf

Barcelona – Arc de Triomf

Girona – Temps de Flors

Girona – Temps de Flors

Chicago – Navy Pier

Chicago – Navy Pier

LaPorte – Historical Society Museum

LaPorte – Historical Society Museum

Otis – St. Mary's

Otis – St. Mary's

The Great Salt Lake

The Great Salt Lake

Salt Lake City – FHL

Salt Lake City – FHL

Salt Lake Valley

Salt Lake Valley

 

SUMMARY

QUICK FACTS

  • Mexican-born, lifelong Chicagoan based in Salt Lake City, UT

  • Published author with 20+ years of experience as a writer

  • Background in culinary and performing arts

  • Future BCG Certified Genealogist

  • Specialized in preserving the lifework of artists and families

  • Focus areas include the American Midwest and Eastern Europe

CONTINUING EDUCATION

  • Discovering Your Roots – An Introduction to Genealogy (Samford University)

  • Find Your Polish Ancestors (Family Tree University)

  • Foundation for East European Family History Studies Conference (Salt Lake City)

  • Genealogical Research Certificate (Boston University)

  • Rootstech Conference (Salt Lake City)

MEMBERSHIPS

  • Association of Professional Genealogists

  • Chicago Genealogical Society

  • Polish Genealogical Society of America

  • South Bend Area Genealogical Society

  • Utah Genealogical Association

  • Utah Jewish Genealogical Society

 

(+1) 847-868-3604

Salt Lake City, Utah, USA

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© 2020 by Edgar I. Amaya – All Rights Reserved

LaPorte – Historical Society Museum