Been Around Awhile

I assume my great-great grandmother (whom also wins the award for the longest name in my family tree) Augusta Johanna Wilkelumire LUDKE has seen many things in her life. She was born in Prussia in July 1863, right smack in the middle of the American Civil War. A war which would shape the country she would someday grow old in. She was also born just weeks before automobile maker Henry Ford.

She married my great-great grandfather Charles Carl LAST in 1883 in Wisconsin and had a total of 16 children. Sixteen! (as far as I know) I know it gets cold here in the winter, but they must’ve had some really cold ones in the late 1800s.

She lost her husband in 1926, yet she lived on for another 40 years and sadly passed away just shy of two weeks after her 100th birthday on July 14th.

Cedarburg (Wisconsin) News — Wed 26 June 1963

Mrs. LAST, 100 Years Young

There will be an “open house” for immediate friends and relatives of the family at Columbia Hall, on Thursday afternoon, July 4 from 2 to 5 for Mrs. Augusta LAST who will 100 years young on the 3rd of July. Given by her children, they will later meet from 7 to 9 in the evening at the home of Mr & Mrs Arthur THIELKE, 1320 – 13th ave., Grafton, where she is now making her home.

So far, she is the only centenarian in my family tree. I have yet to interview my grandmother and even my mother about her. I imagine, due to everything that she lived through, that she was probably a tough, old woman. I can respect that. One-hundred years is a very long time. Rest in Peace, Augusta.

About Brian Zalewski

I started genealogy research about mid-1999. My grandfather had passed away in April of that year. Since then I’ve done a lot of research not only for myself, but for friends and other relatives. In 2006, I married the love of my life, Darcy, and welcomed the birth of our daughter, Aerissa Jean, in 2010 and our son, Xander Lee, in 2012. I can’t wait to tell them stories about all of their ancestors.

Additional Resources

A Featured Post

Life in Rural Wisconsin

I came across a very interesting letter in my genealogy collection. I’m not really sure how I got it, but I assume it’s from my grandmother. It’s a letter written by my great-great Uncle Edwin Corrigan that he wrote to another relative. In the letter, he describes his life growing up in rural Ashland, Wisconsin […]

Comments

  1. Brian, my sister-in-law’s maiden name is LUDKE (original spelling LUEDTCKE – meaning “little people”), and her ancestors came from Prussia, also: Stettin (German spelling; I can’t remember the Polish spelling).

    Anyway, I’ll ask her if your ancestor’s name sounds familiar!

    Miriam

  2. Yeah, I’m never really sure how to spell that name. I’ve seen it so many different ways. (LUEDTKE, LITKE, LUDKE, LUDTKE, etc)brianjz

  3. And what do you know. I found their marriage certificate on the Wisconsin Historical Society website today. Tried a different county. We’ll see if it has any useful information when it arrives.brianjz

  4. Raymond and Ruth Litke says:

    I have been working on Litke Family genealogy for about 30 years. I am very interested in your Augusta Litke Last. The name “Augusta” was used several times in the family tree. Many of them lived well into their 90s. I know they came from Poland, but I am not certain exactly where. They settled in McLeod County, Minnesota about 1874. Originally sent to Detroit c. 1873.

  5. Raymond and Ruth Litke says:

    More comments on Augusta Litke Last. I’ve been trying to connect John Litka and wife Franciska Litka to our Joseph. This John appears on the 1880 U. S. Census for Cook County, IL. His dau, Augusta Litka, born Poland abt 1876. Probably not connected to your Augusta, b. 1863, but the names are nearly identical to the family of Joseph Litke.

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  1. [...] member whose life lasted the longest in Brian Zalewski’s family tree. Brian’s post Been Around Awhile over at Zalewski Family Genealogy tells what he knows about his great-great-grandmother, the only [...]

  2. [...] member whose life lasted the longest in Brian Zalewski’s family tree. Brian’s post Been Around Awhile over at Zalewski Family Genealogy tells what he knows about his great-great-grandmother, the only [...]