Month: March 2009


Today’s headstone is that of my 3rd great-grandfather, Ignatius SZULTA. If you think his name is unique, you should see his wife’s name, Nepomuncema SYLDAKT. Talk about a mouthful. My polish isn’t very good, but I’m pretty sure his surname is pronounced like “Schulta.” I don’t even know where to start with his wife’s surname.

Ignatius (or Ignatz) was born 1 Feb 1849 in Poland (or Poland Austria as listed in the census.) He married Nepomuncema in 1875 back in Europe. Their first daughter, my great-great grandmother was born there, also. They immigrated to America in about 1882 and landed in Milwaukee, Wisconsin where they finished their lives. Ignatius died 25 May 1922 and was buried at Holy Cross Cemetery in Milwaukee.

Click for larger image
Click for larger image

[ Find-a-Grave Entry | Cemetery Entry ]

This week in my family history. It’s a bit of a slow week here in the Zalewski Family Genealogy weekly history.

March 8

1787 – Died – Anna Catherina CROXAnna is my 6th great grandmother on my mother’s side. She was born 11 Jun 1757 in Genk, Limburg, Belgium and married Wilhelmus van CRAYBECK in 1778.

March 9

1817 – Born – Claude-Françoise QUINET – Better known as Frances or Francesca, she is my 4th great grandmother on my father’s side. She married William Henry THOMPSON in 1839 in New York and then moved to Granville, Milwaukee Co., Wisconsin. Frances passed way on 31 Jan 1899 in Wrightstown, Brown Co., Wisconsin.

March 14

1731 – Died – Pierre LAFOND dit PEPIN – Pierre was my 8th great grandfather on my mother’s side. He was born 28 Apr 1688 in St. Francois Xavier, Batiscan, Quebec, Canada. He married Marie Jeanne LEFEBVRE.

1764 – Born – John Baptiste III ST. LOUIS – John is my 5th great grandfather on my mother’s side. He was born in Yamachiche, St. Maurice, Quebec, Canada and married Catherine GIGNAC.

I received a new marriage certificate copy in the mail today for what I suspected was my gg-grandparents, Johann THIELKE and Wilomene RATHKE. It was listed on the Wisconsin Vital Records site as Hans J M THIELK, but the spouse and dates matched up. It turns out that Hans can be used as a shortened version of Johann or Johannes, so there you go.

This was a good find since it listed two new surnames that I had not yet discovered, those of both of my ggg-grandmothers. I haven’t had a lot of luck in the past on getting the married couple’s mother’s surnames. It usually just lists it as their married name or it’s just left blank. Fortunately, this certificate had both of the listed.

Along with my gg-grandfather, my gg-grandmother is listed as Wilm. Holz C. RATHKE. This also helped cement it since I found out she was married previously to a Frank HOLZ and had immigrated over with that family. It lists Johann’s parents as Henry P THIELK, which I didn’t have. All of the information I have found (including his headstone and census) lists his name a Peter, so I’m assuming that is what the “P” stands for. Johann’s mother was listed as Maria D C SPECHT. I had his mother down as Marie, so that matches up, but I had no surname for her.

It’s lists Wilomene’s parents as Hermann RATHKE (which I have) and Fried. C. HENKE. I have her mother down as Friedericke from her headstone and census, but no last name.

Also, listed under “Witnesses” are a Frank HENKE and a William HENKE. I can only assume that these may be Friedericke’s brothers. Though, it’s possible that they’re some other relation, so I made notes in Rootsmagic to keep an eye out.

So, that was a productive vital record. It’s really nice to get those. Now to piece all of this new information together.

This topic is going around the genealogy blogosphere, so I thought I’d give it a shot.

I know for a fact that there are other people out there with the name Brian Zalewski and even including my middle name, James. I’m pretty sure there is even one in this state. Growing up the only Zalewski (besides family) in the area, you always thought there were no more. It turns out the Zalewski really isn’t an uncommon Polish surname. Milwaukee is filled with them and so is Detroit, Michigan. I have yet to connect to any of them, but that is another topic.

Over at Behind the Name, it says:

BRIAN, m Irish, English. The meaning of this name is not known for certain but it is possibly related to the old Celtic element bre meaning “hill”, or by extension “high, noble”. It was borne by the semi-legendary Irish king Brian Boru, who thwarted Viking attempts to conquer Ireland in the 11th century. He was slain in the Battle of Clontarf, though his forces were decisively victorious. The name was common in Ireland before his time, and even more so afterwards. It came into use in England in the Middle Ages, introduced by Breton settlers. It subsequently became rare, but was revived in the 20th century.

That probably explains why I haven’t seen many Brians in my genealogy research. More information over at Is This Your Name? says:

According to the US Census Bureau, 0.737% of US residents have the first name ‘Brian’ and 0.0016% have the surname ‘Zalewski’. The US has around 300 million residents, so we guesstimate there are 35 Americans who go by the name ‘Brian Zalewski’.

I’m not sure how I was given my name. I doubt I was named after any family members, since I have no people with the name Brian or even James in my research. I do know that if I was born a girl my name would’ve been Sarah.

Click for larger image
Click for larger image

This is one of the newest photos I was able to scan. I finally got some photos from my mother’s side and this one was a good one since it has 3 generations back starting from my grandparents. This was taken in 1948 on my grandparent’s wedding day.

The names from left to right: my gg-grandather Peter VAN PRICE (Van Parijs), my great-grandmother Mildred (VAN PRICE) DEBROUX, my gg-grandmother Minnie (MUHM) VAN PRICE, my grandmother Marjorie (DEBROUX) THIELKE, my grandfather LeRoy THIELKE, my great-grandfather Leon DEBROUX, my gg-grandmother Augusta (LUEDTKE) LAST, and my great-grandmother Madora (LAST) THIELKE.

Getting the idea from Julie at GenBlog, here is my list of most wanted names, places and faces.

NamesPlaces
ZalewskiMilwaukee, Wisconsin
Poznan, Poland
ThielkeOzaukee Co., Wisconsin
Württemberg/Mecklenburg, Germany
LastOzaukee Co., Wisconsin
Doeringshagen, Pommerania
FirmenichAshland Co., Wisconsin
Granville, Milwaukee Co., Wisconsin
Cologne, Germany
DeBrouxLanglade Co., Wisconsin
Brussels, Belgium
TrokaMilwaukee Co., Wisconsin
Poland

Most Wanted Faces

Been searching for almost ten years to find any relatives (parents/siblings) for Frank J ZALEWSKI, so that I can trace my line to other ZALEWSKI lines. Right now, it’s a little family island.

Peter THIELKE information back into Germany. THIELKE is a somewhat popular name there, so hoping to connect to other researchers.

Peter FIRMENICH family information. Records inidicate they lived in Granville, Milwaukee Co., Wisconsin, which is only a few miles from here. Wondering if some of them are buried close by or where they lived. Can’t find info in the early 1800s census.

Peter THIELKE was my 3rd-great-grandfather on my mother’s side. Peter came to America with his wife Marie (maiden name unknown) sometime between 1854 and 1856. I figured this since their son Charles “Fritz” was born in 1854 in Germany and their son Herman was born in Wisconsin in 1856. Their second son, Johann, was my 2nd-great-grandfather. They settled in Grafton, Ozaukee Co., Wisconsin and lived there for the rest of their lives. Peter and his wife Marie are buried at Union Cemetery in Port Washington, Ozaukee Co., Wisconsin.

Click for larger image
Click for larger image

[ Find-A-Grave Entry ]

This week in my family tree history.

March 1

1653 – Died – Joanna (Pansars) CREIJBECK – Joanna was my 10th-great-grandmother on my mother’s side. She was born about 1610 and passed away in St. Lambertus, Herck, Belgium.

1818 – Born – Jacobus Franciscus KREBBEKX – Jacobus was my 4th-great-grandfather on my mother’s side. He was born in Hoofdplaat, Zeeland, Netherlands and married Maria Sophia SCHALLOIR.

1974 – Died – Helen A (Stroinski) ZALEWSKI – Helen was my great-great aunt on my father’s side. She was born 24 Sep 1897 and passed away in Milwaukee, Milwaukee Co., Wisconsin.

March 2

1826 – Died – Florentina Francisca (Knudde) CRAYBECKFlorentina was my 5th-great-grandmother of my mother’s side. She was the mother of Jacobus listed under March 1, which, as you can tell, shows all of the last name spellings I came across in the vital records. She was born about 1788 and passed away in Hoofdplaat, Zeeland, Netherlands.

March 3

1855 – Born – Thomas J CORRIGAN – Thomas was my great-great-grandfather on my father’s side. Thomas was born in Mara Township, Brechin, Ontario, Canada to William and Mary (MCCANN) CORRIGAN. His first wife was Ellen FERGUSON. When she passed away, he married my great-great-grandmother, Emma Jane FIRMENICH. Thomas’ first family was the subject of this week’s Wordless Wednesday.

March 5

1754 – Born – Wilhelmus van CRAYBECK – Wilhelmus (who has an awesome name) is my 6th-great-grandfather on my mother’s side. He was born in Genk, Limburg, Belgium and married Anna Catherina CROX.

March 6

1707 – Married – My 8th-great-grandparents on my mother’s side, Petrus van CRAYBECK and Elisabeth BROUCKX were married in Genk, Limburg, Belgium.

March 7

1888 – Born – William H LAST – William was my great-great-uncle on my mother’s side. He was born in Grafton, Ozaukee Co., Wisconsin.