Month: June 2009

This week brings another random cemetery shot. For every photo of an actual headstone from my family tree, I have dozens of generic cemetery photos.

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This photo is from St. Mary’s Cemetery in Port Washington, Ozaukee Co., Wisconsin. [Find-a-Grave link] My great-grandparents Leon & Mildren (Van Price) DEBROUX are buried here along with some of their other family. It’s situated in some trees and on a hill facing west. When you come into Port Washington on Interstate 43, you can see the hill in the distance.

When I’m not researching my family history, I like to dabble in video games as I’ve posted about before. A recent game that was released the The Sims 3. The Sims games have been around for a few years, so most of you probably already know about them.

The Sims 3 is a strategic life simulation video game in the popular and critically acclaimed The Sims franchise, originally created by Maxis. The games in The Sims series lack any defined goals. The player creates virtual people called “Sims” and places them in houses and helps direct their moods and satisfy their desires. Players can either place their Sims in pre-constructed homes or build them themselves.

I know it doesn’t sound that fun to play, but it can be. Depending on which traits and personality you give your Sim, many crazy things can happen. Anyway, the game keeps track of the genealogy of your active family pretty well. Though, it doesn’t let you see other family’s genealogy unless you’re playing them, which I wish they would allow. I started by creating myself and my wife as Sims. It’s usually the first thing I do since it’s natural. I kept the game at normal speed, so it plays pretty quickly in terms of your Sim’s lifespan. I’m already into my 5th-generation, so my great-great-grandkids.

I took some screenshots of the genealogy, though I had to cut-and-paste some of it together since it doesn’t show you more than a few generations and once. It also changes based on your active Sim.

My Sim-Family Tree
My Sim-Family Tree

As you can see, my wife and I only had one child, Zeus (What? You don’t like his name?) It’s my fault we only had time for one child due to the way I created us and spent time learning the game. By the time he was born, we were both “Elders” in the game and couldn’t have any more children. Zeus had two twin daughters with his wife, Daisy and Violet. When it came time to choose a new active family, I went with Daisy. She went on to have two children, Alexis and Brian (named after his great-grandfather.) Currently, I am actively playing Alexis’ family and she now has three children, Odin, Ronnie, and Freya. (I seemed to have went with a Norse god theme, didn’t I?)

I’m going to try to see how far I can go and how far it will keep track. The other family in the tree (inside of the black box) are children of my character. See, I died a natural death (while I was making hot dogs for dinner, no less) and so did my wife. All of a sudden, my son gets a letter saying if he can bring the remains of a loved one to the Science Lab, they may be able to bring him back. Well, I tried it and even though it said it failed, there I was. I was a ghost, but there I was. It automatically moved me into my son’s house, but I moved that character into his own house. It turns out the game reproduces automatically to keep the city feeling more alive (no pun intended.) So, even though I “live” by myself, I somehow had two daughters. Plus, I don’t think I am going to die again. I’ve lived through like 4 more generations.

It’s interesting to say the least. I thought it was a clever tie in to genealogy when I saw that. I’ll keep you posted if any other neat things come up. You can see some other screenshots I posted over at our gaming blog, Sideshow & Syrana (though she posts much more than I do.)

I can even visit my ancestors in the cemetery. If I go at night, I may even be able to talk to their ghost. I have yet to try that in real life.

Augusta (Luedtke) Last

June 29th

1725 – Died – Louis QUINET – Louis is my 9th-great-grandfather on my father’s side. He was born about 1635, probably somewhere in France. He married Marguerite BROSSIER and had four children. He passed away in Contréglise, Haute-Saône, France.

June 30th

1675 – Died – Louis DEGUITRE – Louis is my 9th-great-grandfather on my mother’s side. He was born 26 Jan 1647 in Cogne, Aunis, France. In 1665, he married Renee DESEINE.

July 2nd

1892 – Born – Edna G FIRMENICH – Edna is my 3rd-great-aunt on my father’s side. She was born in Ashland, Ashland Co., Wisconsin to Mathias & Pauline FIRMENICH. She passed away on 11 Feb 1981 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

July 3rd

1705 – Married – Louis CHEVREFILS-BELISLE & Genevieve PAILLARD – Louis and Genevieve are my 8th-great-grandparents on my mother’s side. They were married in Montreal, Ile de Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

1743 – Born – Anne Modeste ROBICHAUD – Anne is my 6th-great-grandmother on my mother’s side. She was born in Port Royal, Arcadia, Nova Scotia, Canada. In 1768 she married Jacques Joseph GRIGNAC.

1863 – Born – Augusta Johanna LUEDTKE – Augusta is my great-great-grandmother on my mother’s side. She was born at Storkow, Pommerania (which, according to some basic research, I think this is now located in western Poland and named “Storkowo.”) She lived to be over 100 years old and passed away on 14 Jul 1963 in Grafton, Ozaukee Co., Wisconsin.

July 4th

Happy Independence Day!

1836 – Born – Friedericke C HENKE – Friedericke is my 3rd-great-grandmother on mother’s side. She was born in Germany. She married Herman RATHKE and had 3 children. She passed away in 1908 and is buried at Union Cemetery in Port Washington, Ozaukee Co., Wisconsin.

Wordless WednesdayThis photo is of three of the Corrigan sons of Thomas & Emma Jane Corrigan. Maurice (my great-grandfather), Edwin, and Hank. Maurice passed away in 1990 at the age of 91. Hank passed away in 1986 at the age of 79. Edwin was the Corrigan that lived the longest out of all 9 children. I met him a few times at family reunions. He passed away only a few years ago in 2005 at the age of 95.

So, I’m coming to the end of my family tree tombstone photos. So, instead of trying to find a new one of those to post, I thought I’d post some general cemetery photos. While visiting the cemeteries to find the stones of my ancestors I’d sometimes just take random photos. Some of them turned out pretty good. Cemeteries photos can come out beautiful or sometimes even creepy, depending on the season as seen below.

This photo was taken at St. Francis Borgia Cemetery in Cedarburg, Ozaukee Co., Wisconsin. This is the cemetery my grandfather is buried at. I had stopped there in early spring before winter had loosened it’s grip on the area.

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There are a few Flickr groups dedicated to cemetery photos that are interesting to browse if you’re into that sort of thing. I have submitted a few of mine to some of them. A few of them are: Graves, Tombs, and Cemeteries, Graveyards, and Autumn in the Graveyard.

June 21

1891 – Married – Johann THIELKE & Wilomene C RATHKE – Johann and Minnie are my great-great-grandparents on my mother’s side. They were married in Milwaukee Co., Wisconsin. Minnie was previously married, as I found out in the census and passenger lists, to man named Frank HOLZ. I think this was Johann’s first marriage. I’m  only aware of them having one child, my great-grandfather Arthur.

1931 – Born – Robert John ZALEWSKI – Robert is my great uncle on my father’s side. He was born in Milwaukee as my great-grandparent’s last child. I know I met him at some point in my life, but I don’t remember him too much. He lived in the Balitmore, MD area. He passed away a few months after my grandfather in 1999.

June 23

1809 – Born – Sophia Elizabeth STRASSMAN – Sophia is my 4th-great-grandmother on my mother’s side. She was born in Wahmbeck, Hanover, Germany. She married Friedrich MUHM in 1844 in the state of New York. She passed away on 23 Nov 1869 at Germantown, Washington Co., Wisconsin and is buried nearby at Christ Evangelical Cemetery in the unincorporated Dhiensville, Washington Co., Wisconsin.

1873 – Born – Emma Jane FIRMENICH – Emma Jane is my great-great-grandmother on my father’s side. She was born at Wrightsown, Brown Co., Wisconsin to Mathias & Pauline FIRMENICH. She married Thomas CORRIGAN on 18 Apr 1892 and together they had 9 children. She passed away on 28 Apr 1941 in Ashland, Ashland Co., Wisconsin and is buried there at St. Agnes Cemetery.

June 24

1678 -Married – Leonard PAILLARD & Marie Louise VACHON – Leonard and Marie are my 9th-great-grandparents on my mother’s side. They were more than likely married in Quebec, Canada because my notes indicate, “June 24, 1678, he signed his marriage contract in front of the Aubert notary. He married (Marie) Louise Vachon. From this union were born eleven children, six boys and five girls.”


June 26

1929 – Died – Wilomene C (RATHKE) THIELKE – Minnie is my great-great-grandmother on my mother’s side. She was born 1 Sep 1857 in Pommerania, Prussia. She married, her second, my great-great-grandfather on 21 Jun 1891. She passed away in Wisconsin and is buried near where I live at St. Peter’s Cemetery in Grafton, Ozaukee Co., Wisconsin.

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Another photo from my wife’s family collection. This is a photo of her grandparents. Her late grandfather, Keith Moran, and her grandmother Barb (Collins).  You can tell that Keith worked a lot with his hands since he has huge arms.

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Click for larger image

This is another photo I scanned recently from a Zalewski Genealogy booklet. Back row: Mary (Gierszewski), My great-great-grandmother Anna (Lindner), my great-grandfather Joseph & Martha (Strelka) — Front row: Frances (Cybela), Helen (Stroinski) & Angeline (Pierzchalski) – Milwaukee, Summer 1925