CategoriesBig NewsThielke

Thielke Brick Wall Down

Another one of my long-standing brick walls was the origin location of my second main surname, Thielke, my maternal grandfather’s line. For the longest time, the most detailed origin location we had was Schwerin, Germany, which by itself is a city, but also can be considered a larger area. Though, another record indicated Baden-W├╝rttemberg which is on the complete opposite site of Germany.

Searching in some of the old 1819 Mecklenburg-Schwerin Census records did find some Thielkes, but nothing else to go on. At least we knew roughly the general area.

Last night, since I was working on some of the other Thielke lines to try to pad things out, I decided to run another FamilySearch search on my furthest ancestor, Henry Peter Thielke. I used WikiTree’s RootsSearch option which just makes it easier by automatically plugging in all of the vital data for me and searches FamilySearch.

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CategoriesMilwaukeeThe Zalewski ProjectZalewski

Zalewski Lines of Milwaukee, Wisconsin

During the research into my own ancestry, I ran across a few other Zalewski lines in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin area. As one does in genealogy research, I wondered if they were related to me. It turns out that at least one of those lines was related to mine, but the others have not yet been connected. Recently, I spent some time digging into those other lines a little bit and they are now somewhat better organized.

This also helped me start the Zalewski Name Study page over at WikiTree which will hopefully help Zalewski families connect to each other either through paper genealogy or DNA.

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CategoriesGeneral

Cliff ‘Em All

A few weeks ago, WikiTree sent out it’s weekly email. As always, it has a list of notable people that you can click on to view their ancestry. You can also see how you’re related to these people and other fun things. I’m almost always connected through my wife’s ancestry, so not directly genealogically.

That specific week it was notable musicians like Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin. I was also curious about other musicians I enjoyed growing up. One that came to mind was Cliff Burton. He was the bassist in my favorite band of all time, Metallica. He played with them on their first three albums, but tragically died when Metallica’s tour bus crashed in rural Sweden during their 1986 Master of Puppets tour.

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CategoriesMilwaukeePhotography

Milwaukee Orphaned Photos

A few years back I happened to pop onto eBay and was just casually browsing and searching for genealogy-related items (like my surnames) and I ran across a collection of old cabinet card photos from the Milwaukee, Wisconsin area. Since it wasn’t too expensive, I bought it and then, as it sometimes happens, it sat with my genealogy stuff for a few years. This year I decided to look through them to see what I could find.

They may have been orphaned in many ways. More than likely they were held by an old family member who passed away and no one knew what the photos were and gave them to someone else or an antique shop, etc. I really enjoy the positive vibes of solving the mystery of these forgotten photos and returning them to family.

Fortunately, most of them had names written on the back. I spent some time sorting them and finding connections between some of them just based on their names and faces.

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CategoriesFeaturedPersonalZalewski

20 Years

20 years ago. April 18th, 1999. That dates holds a few key moments in my life and in my genealogy research. My paternal grandfather, Richard Zalewski, passed away on that day. He was the first grandparent I had lost, so it was a life milestone. Also, I always use that day as the day I started my voyage into genealogy. I’ve told that story before.

Last year I made the realization that it was the same amount of time from when I was born to the day he died and that same day until last year, 19 years. I had known my grandfather as much as I was without him. So, now the realization is that this year the balance is tipping in the latter direction.

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CategoriesFamily TreePolishZalewski

With A Little Help From My Friends

As I mentioned in an update post last week, I was able to take back my Zalewski line back a few more generations. Here’s how that went down.

A few years back, I had found Frank and Anna’s marriage record in the Polish Civil Archives. That record listed his parent’s names and his birthplace which was listed as Krottoschin. This got me one more generation back, but with little more info besides names and a location.

Using sites like Kartenmeister and Google Maps, I quickly was able to find the location and it’s modern equivalent. It is now Krotoszyny, Biskupiec, Warminsko-Mazurskie, Poland. Not be confused with the more popular one in the Poznan area that I kept running into.

What I couldn’t find were any church records for this location. Civil records were available, but those didn’t start until 1874. Frank was born in 1858. I’ve always had great luck at finding record listings for almost any location using FamilySearch’s Catalog, no matter how small. For some reason Krottoschin wasn’t even listed on their site. I was at a loss and disappointed.

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CategoriesBig NewsFamily TreeZalewski

An Amazing Genealogy Week

As you know, if you a reader of this site, I’ve been trying to track down information on my Zalewski line as long as I’ve been doing genealogy. For the longest time it was always my shortest line, ending at my great-great grandfather, Frank Zalewski. This week changed a lot of that and during the excitement I almost totally forgot about RootsTech, which is crazy.

I plan to add more detailed posts this week about how exactly I found this new information, but here is a quick overview. [Update: the detailed post is now up. You’ll find the link at the end of this post, so keep reading.]

A few years back, I found Frank’s marriage record to his wife Anna in the civil archives which listed his parent’s names and his birthplace. This got me one more generation back, but with little more info besides names and a location.

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CategoriesFunPhotography

Colorized Photos

Getting some of my old black and white family photos colorized is always something I wanted to do. There are some amazing artists out there would can do an amazing job.

I ran across a video on YouTube today that showed some people colorized versions of the photos they had and some of their reactions are wonderful. Like someone said in the video, black and white videos just seem “very old” and sort of disconnected to you, but adding color to them does something to you psychologically where is almost feels more real and recent.

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CategoriesFamily TreeFeaturedMysteries

One More Generation

I was just reading up on this week’s WikiTree member of the week. Sometimes I learn new things or find new people to talk to about certain locations or subjects. In the post, she mentions using a site called ofb.genealogy.net. I thought I’d check it out since it is supposed to be good for German ancestry, which I have a lot.

From there, I found their GEDBAS site, which is like a database of family trees submitted by people. I searched most of my German surnames until I tried my LAST family and saw an entry for my 3rd-great-grandfather, Johann LAST.

His entry didn’t have any more information than I had since it looked to be pulled from the parish registers of Batzwitz/Barkow where I originally found his baptismal record from 1825. The record showed that he was born illegitimate and only listed his mother, Dorothea Sophia LAST.

What caught my eye on this record is that it listed a father for him, a man named Johann Friedrich Gottlieb SCHMITT. Interesting.

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CategoriesGenetic Genealogy

DNA Clustering Using the Collins Leeds Method

The wonderful DNAGedcom software recently added an option to build a chart using the Collins Leeds Method (CLM). Here is a good write-up by Kitty Cooper about the nuts and bolts of the CLM.

Basically, what it does is use your list of Ancestry DNA matches and the ICW file (those matches that share other matches with you) and builds a chart showing all of this in a nice visual format.

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CategoriesGenetic GenealogyMysteries

The Swedish DNA Mystery

Now that I’m pretty sure that I have my DNA at every possible location available to collect new matches, I’m coming across interesting things. I currently have two mysteries related to my DNA matches that I’m working my way through.

On a side note, I found the amazing free DNA Painter site that lets you “paint” your chromosome matches on both sides (paternal and maternal) which makes it very easy to see how people may connect, especially if you’re a visual person. Blaine Bettinger does a great walk-through video about it, if you’re interested.

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