LeRoy & Marge (DeBroux) Thielke Wedding, Port Washington, Wisconsin - 1948

Birth Location Pedigree

This little pedigree looks like it has been sweeping Facebook recently, so I thought I’d put one together on my family. I first saw it on my feed from Miriam at AnceStories.

Click for larger

Click for larger

If it’s hard for you to view that whole image, you can also view it via Google Sheets here.

It was neat to see all of the birth locations of my ancestors back to my 3rd great-grandparents all in once place. Only 2 “Unknown” entries, which is pretty good (on my surname line, of all places.) I also always assumed my maternal line has been in Wisconsin the longest since they arrived in the early 1850s. It actually looks like one of my paternal ancestors, Pauline (THOMPSON) Firmenich was born in Wisconsin in 1849, only one year after it became an official state.

Back to my great-grandparents, all of my ancestors were born in Wisconsin, with the exception of my grandfather. He was born in Chicago when my great-grandparents lived there for a few years in the 1920s. My earliest US ancestor is my 3rd great-grandfather, William CORRIGAN, who was born somewhere in the US in 1823. It is assumed probably New York, but we’re not sure. They stopped in that area before continuing on to Canada.

Unknown Photos

One of the things I received from my grandparent’s house within the last few years is an album full of very old, but unlabeled photos. While on one hand, it’s awesome. The photos are in great condition and there are dozens of them. On the other hand, I have no idea who these people are. Most people I could talk to about it are no longer with us. Fortunately, my grandfather’s older sister, my great aunt Eleanore, is still alive at 94. I really need to get myself over by her and talk with her.

old-photo-album

Front cover of the album

The album is in pretty good shape overall for being very old. Most of the photos are of the Cabinet Card variety, but there are a few Tintypes included. The Cabinet Cards are from photography studios mainly in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, but also from Connecticut and Port Washington in Wisconsin and as far away as Chemnitz and Rostock in Germany.

I’ve been able to scan all of the photos, back and front, so I shouldn’t need to keep moving them around. A lot of the pages are pretty fragile and some of the photo holders are ripping and breaking. There are both large and small photos.

An example of one of the pages.

An example of one of the pages.

I”m going to try my best to determine what I can about the photos. I hope to take you on the journey with me as I post my findings here. It may be as simple as visiting my great aunt and her telling me who everyone is (wouldn’t that be nice?) At the very least, I will get each of the photos posted online with as much info as I can. Maybe someone, somewhere will know more about it.

I am a Cousin!

Photo credit: Deseret News

Photo credit: Deseret News

AJ Jacobs made some headlines inside and outside of the genealogy community back in 2014-15 by setting out to have a Global Family Reunion. His mission is to connect everyone in the world to each other in one human family tree. He wrote a bit about it in a NY Times article.

On WikiTree, you can see how you connect to AJ (and many others) using their site since they built it to be one large tree. I recently finally connected my tree to his and no surprise that it was via my French-Canadian line. Once I connected my CLOUTIER ancestors to their father, my connection was complete. Now, this is not a direct “cousin” as we genealogists know it, but just a “degree of relationship” connection. It’s more like six-degrees of Kevin Bacon (whom you can also see if you connect to, I do, too.)

I am 29 degrees from AJ Jacobs, so “I am a cousin!” and I am unfortunately more than six-degrees from Kevin Bacon (27). If you want to know how you connect to them, or even me, start filling in your WikiTree lines. The site is very easy to use.

Solidifying the French-Canadian Line

Cloutier cousins

Cloutier cousins

I haven’t spend a lot of time on my personal family tree in awhile. I always seem to work on the same people over and over, which is fine, but if you keep hitting that same brick wall sometimes you get discouraged and take a break.

Instead, I have decided to do more work on my French-Canadian line. When I originally entered a lot of this information many years ago, I didn’t exactly source everything like I do now. This line connects me to some big French-Canadian family lines including CLOUTIER, ST LOUIS, and MANSEAU. This is a line that I know I have a lot of cousins on, and I know a lot of them show up consistently in my DNA matches lists. I’d like to confirm a lot of this information before using it elsewhere.

The gateway ancestors I always start with are my maternal 4th-great-grandparents, Ephraim ST LOUIS and his wife Marie DesAnges MANSEAU. So far, I’ve confirmed a bunch of births and deaths using FamilySearch’s family tree and I am finding a lot more solid sources (thanks to the old Quebec parishes for keeping records.)

Hopefully, this turns out to bring in more information I never had.

Off To War

"Hank", "Cheety", and LeRoy Thielke. Taken in Burton, England, our last Sunday in England. February 1945.

I’ve begun to start transcribing a lot of the documents that I have collected over the years. I’m starting on the letters that my grandfather, LeRoy Thielke, wrote home during World War II. The first letter I grabbed was the one he wrote to his mother when he was being shipped off to Europe. It’s heartbreaking […]

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Thoughts on Being Without Grandparents

19820000-Grandpa-GrandmaThielke-Eric-Brian

With the death of my maternal grandfather this week, I hit one of those sad life milestones. I now have no more living grandparents, and it’s an odd feeling. I was fortunate to have all four of my grandparents throughout most of my life. I got to spend time with all of them. My children […]

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Take Care, Grandpa

LeRoy Thielke

LeRoy Arthur Thielke 16 November 1925 – 1 November 2015 Today we lost a wonderful, hard-working, funny man, my grandfather, LeRoy Thielke. Growing up, he was one of the funniest people I knew, and his wit and sense of humor was still sharp until the end. The bright side is that he wasn’t without the […]

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Revisiting the Connection

Joseph Zalewski

The other day I happened to run across the Digital Collections of the Milwaukee Public Library. As any genealogist does, I got lost in it for an hour or so. I then found their WWI Military Portrait collection and searched for “Zalewski.” I found entries for my great-grandfather, Joseph Frank Zalewski. While it did not […]

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