Jennifer Holik

WE HELP YOU TURN YOUR LOVE AND PASSION INTO OPPORTUNITIES

Profile:

Jennifer offers expert World War II, historical, and genealogical research, analysis, and writing services. She has the rare expertise to:

  • Locate, analyze, and interpret World War I and World War II records across all branches for military personnel, from individual soldier records, company records, and unit records.
  • Reconstruct service history, even when the records burned!
  • Piece together multiple puzzle pieces of a soldier’s story.
  • Help you locate information you didn’t realize you had.
  • Connect clients with researchers and tour guides in Europe to learn more about your soldier’s story or visit the battlefields.
    • Can’t visit Europe? She can go where you soldier was to document the journey.
  • Help you plan a trip to Europe to walk in your soldier’s footsteps.
  • Write and publish a book about your family or soldier.
  • She provides every client with a written analysis, fully sourced, report of the service history of their soldier with all documentation located.

Jennifer is an acclaimed author dedicated to uncovering WWII history by piecing together biographical stories of soldiers’ lives that have never been told before.  She has a rare talent for telling WWII stories in an emotive way:  lending a ‘new voice’ to this period of history by shedding light on a soldier’s relationships with their loved ones, family and friends.  In portraying the human side of warfare she reveals in a poignant, heartfelt, original way what it was really like to have a son, brother, best friend or spouse go off to fight this incredulous war and risk making the ultimate sacrifice for liberty and freedom.

As a researcher and writer based in Chicago and the Netherlands, her unique talent bringing to life a soldier’s story by new research techniques, provides a rare glimpse into a soldier’s personal life.  The facts she unravels about his web of relationships provide family members a chance to revisit their soldier’s never-told-before story and ‘personal war journey’ in a new way.  In doing so, it allows family members to live their soldiers’ pain and glory – memorialize their stories through writing – ultimately, serving as a tribute to their sacrifice; and a testament to our great country.

Your Speeches:

Jennifer speaks to groups in the U.S. and Europe on topics related to genealogy; World War II research and writing; and the healing that comes from discovering the past. She has spoken at events for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois, Pritzker Military Museum & Library, 80th Infantry Division Reunion, 104th Infantry Division Reunion, Rotary groups, genealogy conferences, and European military museums, including CRASH ’40-’45 Museum, National Liberation Museum 1944-1945, Tilburg 2015 Liberation Day Event Netherlands. Some of her topics include:

  • The Day That Lived in Infamy Beginning WWII Research
  • Beyond Pearl Harbor Advanced WWII Research
  • Stories of the Lost American Soldiers and Graves Registration during WWII
  • Navigating World War II Records on Fold3
  • Finishing the Story Exploring the lives and records for three soldiers
  • Writing the Stories of War Learning how to organize research materials and write the story of your soldier

Testimonials:

80th Infantry Division Reunion

We were thrilled to have Jennifer Holik speak at 97th Reunion of the 80th Infantry Division in Alexandria, Virginia on August 19, 2016. (During WWII the 80th was part of Patton’s Third Army, commonly referred to as, “Patton’s Workhorse Division”).  Jennifer did a fantastic job in breaking down how to find critical military information for the families of soldiers from WWII.  She has done all the homework on how to make what can be an overwhelming process, seem much easier. She has helped countless families retrace the footsteps of their fathers and grandfathers on the battlefields of Europe and in the Pacific. During her speech, she told numerous stories of soldiers and had our entire group captivated.  If you’re looking for a speaker for an upcoming event, I can highly recommend Jennifer.  You will not be disappointed!

Bill Black

National Commander

80th Division Veterans Association
The Liberators
Jennifer Holik at the National Liberation Museum 1944-1945, Groesbeek, the Netherlands

On October 28th 2015, we had the privilege of receiving Ms. Jennifer Holik in our museum for her workshop ‘The Liberators. Doing research into the lives of WWII soldiers’. The workshop was well attended by a range of historians – by hobby or profession, local history groups and people with an interest in their own family history. It was clear that Ms. Holik had her work cut out for her and she did not disappoint us.

Right from the start, Ms. Holik presented us with a wealth of information, checklists and constant reminders to be thorough and double check every fact against every other source. Wise words. She provided insider knowledge on what you could find in various archives, how to receive an answer quickly when corresponding with archives and when to spend that extra money on traveling to an archive or hiring a local researcher. Amongst all this practical information were touching examples of the lives of soldiers she had researched and the discoveries she had made during her search, which added a personal touch to all the data. A reminder that these were not mere names and numbers but very real and often dramatic human lives.

The level of her workshop might be best described as ‘intermediate’: very well suited to the student or historical hobbyist. Experts heard much that was familiar to them and a handful of valuable new tricks, while visitors who were completely new to the field of history had a hard time keeping track of the wealth of information. Luckily for them, Ms. Holik was kind enough to provide hand-outs and a lot of extra information on her website, as well as in her books.

We were very happy to have Ms. Holik’s workshop in our museum and were very satisfied with the result. There is no shortage of historians who like to talk about their own discoveries, but very few who take the time to teach others how to research history for themselves. It is fitting that this important work, opening up the field of history to those who do not have the opportunity to become professional researchers in universities, should focus on World War II. Every family has its own World War II stories that will never find a place in the official history books. Ms. Holik offers a toolbox to help those families write history books of their own.

Rense Havinga, curator at the National Liberation Museum 1944-1945, the Netherlands
Finishing The Story Program – Schaumburg Township District Library
As the Genealogy Coordinator at the Schaumburg Township District Library, I frequently am in contact with genealogy program speakers in our area.  Jennifer is one of the speakers that I invite to present her programs at our library to our audience.  Over the years Jennifer has provided multiple programs to our genealogy enthusiasts at our library.  Over the years I have seen Jennifer provide top-notch deliveries of all her programs.  Her visual materials are stunning.  Her speaking mannerisms draw in the audience.  Her knowledge of the particular genealogy subject being presented is deep.

Jennifer is a prolific author and seems to have focused her writing skills on telling the stories of her World War I and II military ancestors through her multiple published works.  Jennifer recently presented to our audience one of her military topic presentations titled “Finishing the Story”.  I can only say that she WOWed our audience with her personal stories of her military ancestors.  Her authority on World War I and II military research and resources is so incredible at this stage that I would consider her one of the best resources in our area on this topic of research!

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