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Brother Jacob

The thirty-fourth ancestor in my 52-week challenge is another non-direct relation, but a line that I do spend a considerable amount of time on. It is Jacob ZALEWSKI, the (almost certain) brother of my great-great-grandfather, Frank J Zalewski whom I’ve written about a lot. I do a lot of research on Jacob and his line to possibly figure out the parents of Frank and Jacob, and in turn, my Zalewski line.

Zalewski stone

Jacob & Pauline Zalewski, with daughter Anna. Edward and his wife Kathryn are on the other side.

I ran across Jacob’s name by looking through the Milwaukee City Directories and noticing a Jacob that lived with and nearby Frank for many years. After some more research and a surprise email from a descendant of Jacob who knew my great-grandfather, I’m 99% certain that Jacob is Frank’s brother.

All I know is that Jacob was born around December 1863, but his birthplace, like Frank’s, is unknown except for it being listed as “German Poland.” He immigrated to the US a few years after Frank and his family arrived in 1889. Jacob’s information was found within the New York Passenger Lists from 1891. He arrived on 17 September 1891 aboard the Rhynland. His place of residence of Gottschalk (now Goczalki) matched up with Frank’s. He arrived as a single man and sometime between arriving and November 1892, he married Pauline Wondkowska. Their marriage record is one of those documents I want to get my hands on as it may list Jacob’s parents, but I cannot find it. I’ve searched through just about every Polish church in Milwaukee for the record, but no luck. It’s possible that they were married somewhere else, but I have no idea where. I’ve also had some issues tracking Pauline’s family.

I did a good chunk of what they call “descendancy research” on Jacob’s line, working my way down the tree, to find possible living descendants. I found a bunch whom I still have contact with, but not much luck getting more detailed information. Jacob did pass away in April 1918 at only age 54, so I imagine not a lot of information is remembered about him.

Jacob’s family also intertwines with the Gwiazdowski family that I found. I know they were also involved with Frank’s family according to some documentation. The fact that I found them also involved with Jacob’s family solidifies the connection between Jacob and Frank some more.

This post is 34 of 52 in the “52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks” Challenge” begun by Amy Johnson Crow.

Arnold & Shannon

The thirty-third ancestor in my 52-week challenge is my wife’s maternal 3rd-great-grandmother, Rosina Winslow (Arnold) Shannon.

Multiple census sources note that she was born about 1824 in New York State (info says Three Mile bay in Jefferson County.) Her obituary in the Stevens Point (Wisconsin) Journal says that she was born in “West Canada” which is more than likely “Canada West” in terms of the 1851/52 Canada Census. Both of those locations are quite close physically as Jefferson County is very close to the Canadian border. Her parents are unknown to me, but they are both noted to have been born in New York State.

Sometime in 1838, she married Nathaniel SHANNON in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, which is right across the border from New York. In the 1852 Canada Census, the family lived on Wolfe Island in Ontario which is right on the border within the Saint Lawrence River. According to her obituary, the family left Canada and arrived in Wisconsin in about 1856, settling in the Portage County area. Nathaniel and Rosina had 10 children, including my wife’s ancestor, George Washington Shannon, whom I wrote about earlier in this series.

Nathaniel passed away in October 1878. Rosina passed away many years later on December 20th, 1899. An interesting note is that her son, Rudolph, died on this same day. I first thought maybe it was some sort of accident that took their lives together, but it seemed to be unrelated sickness. Rosina died from dropsy (now known as edema) and heart failure, while Rudolph died of pneumonia. She is buried with Rudolph at McDill Cemetery in Whiting, Portage, Wisconsin, near Plover and Stevens Point.

This post is 33 of 52 in the “52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks” Challenge” begun by Amy Johnson Crow.

Living on in Chromosome 6

The thirty-second ancestor in my 52-week challenge is my paternal 3rd-great grandfather, Michael TROKA. Michael is one of the few ancestors that I have confirmed as an ancestor with my DNA matches on chromosomes 1, 6, 9, and 11 as I talked about in my last post.

I don’t know when Michael Troka was born. The first documented information I have found for him is his marriage to (as it says in this document) Justyna GRABOWSKA in Lipusz, which today is located in Kościerzyna County, Pomeranian Voivodeship in northwestern Poland.

Michael and his wife has 12 children in Lipusz from about 1860 to 1881, including my great-great-grandfather, Joseph Troka, who was one of the previous ancestors I wrote about.

Many of their children later left Poland and settled in Milwaukee, Wisconsin including Joseph, his brothers Mathias and Thomas, and his younger sister Maryanna. There are probably more, but I have yet to dig deep into that line of research.

This post is 32 of 52 in the “52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks” Challenge” begun by Amy Johnson Crow.

Chromosome Mapping

After getting my DNA tests completed and for the past few years pouring over that data using tools like GEDMatch, and most recently, Genome Mate, I’ve started to accumulate Most Recent Common Ancestors (MRCA) with some of my DNA matches. How to figure those out is another post entirely.

Granted, I don’t have a lot of confirmed MRCAs, yet, but I do have a few. You can use this data to make a chromosome mapping. Genome Mate does this for you in the software, but there is also a web version (seen below) that will do it for you. This will paint all of the segments on your chromosome that match those ancestors. Once you get a lot of confirmed MRCAs, the mapping looks really cool. Mine is getting started.

Click for full version.Do your own here: http://kittymunson.com/dna/ChromosomeMapper.php

Click for full version. Do your own here.

As you can see, I only have 2 MRCAs confirmed, one on each side. My paternal 3rd-great-grandparents, Michael Troka and Josylna Grabowska and my maternal great-great-grandparents, Carl Last & Augusta Luedtke.

The Troka connection is not yet fully confirmed, but the information we have is pretty solid. The Last connection is confirmed as I’ve matched up family trees with a 3rd cousin I found via a 23andMe match. I have a few more matches in progress that are close to finding information on our MRCA. It can be tough work sometimes, but there is hope of finding all new ancestors.

The Zalewski Wall

Frank Zalewski, Sr

The thirty-first ancestor in my 52-week challenge is the ancestor that I’ve probably written about more than any other, my paternal great-great-grandfather, Frank J ZALEWSKI, Sr. Unfortunately, this is probably the shortest line I have. He was the inspiration for me to start a lot of my research, this blog, and my Everything I Know About […]

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Jean Baptiste

The thirtieth ancestor in my 52-week challenge is my maternal 3rd-great-grandfather, Jean [John] Baptiste LAURENT. He was born in 1825 on January 18th. A birthday he shares with another famous person. Me. He was born at the small town of Biez in the Chaumont-Gistoux municipality in Walloon Brabant, Belgium. Chaumont-Gistoux is located on the KW-line, which […]

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The Siege of Yorktown

Surrender_of_Lord_Cornwallis

The twenty-ninth ancestor in my 52-week challenge is my wife’s paternal 5th-great-grandfather, Carey TONEY. There are a few birth dates listed, but most are usually either in October 1757 or 1763 in Buckingham County, Virginia. According to a newspaper article about Mr. Toney: He joined the American army in the revolution; passed through several campaigns; was […]

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The Last Thielke

Peter Thielke Headstone

The twenty-eighth ancestor in my 52-week challenge is my maternal 3rd-great-grandfather, Henry Peter THIELKE. He is the last ancestor that I have information for in my Thielke line. I am hoping to find more information about him back in Germany to expand my Thielke line. The most documented date of birth for Peter, as he […]

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