Month: July 2009


I had some inspiration yesterday on a new look for my family site. Previously, the family site design just copied this blog design (with some tweaks) to make it easier. I had an idea to show off some of the great photos I have in my collection to visitors of the site. Last night and today I put it all together and it is live now.

The main photo at the top puts the spotlight on a few pictures. Currently, there are only 3 photos rotating through that area. I will add more as I find good photos to use. The photo also includes a line of information about the photo and usually a link to get more info on the individual or family.

Then I broke the main areas of the site into three categories: People, Memories, and Explore. “People” points you to the areas that deal more with the people, such as the “Surnames” area. “Memories” points you to areas like “Photos” and “Headstones.” “Explore” takes you to areas like “Places” and “Notes” so you can just browse around.

The inside pages don’t look as nice. I need to sit down and try to figure out what exactly to do. They take most of the design, but it doesn’t work as well by itself. Plus, a lot of the areas I’d like to tweak are hard to access due to the family tree web software I use. Don’t get me wrong, he developed it very nice. It’s very easy to customize, but some small areas are hard to pinpoint.

I also tried to keep it visible to people with monitor resolutions at 1024×768 and above (the common standard) but it may go a bit over at 1024 exactly. It won’t cut off any content, but it may have a horizontal scroll bar. Anyone above 1024×768 will see it fine.

Take a look at the main page and let me know how you like it. If something looks strange, let me know.

I developed it using no HTML tables, which people should try to do. Using no tables can sometimes cause issues in older browsers. I tested it in 3 of the most recent browsers: Mozilla Firefox 3.5, Google Chrome, Internet Explorer 8. I’m pretty sure it breaks horribly in Internet Explorer 6, but I really don’t care. I know for a fact a lot of the images will look bad in IE6 since I’m using transparent PNG files, which IE6 doesn’t support, but they look wonderful in everything else. IE6 is extremely old and out-dated (2001!) and I don’t plan on spending hours trying to fix it’s problems. People using IE6 should get an alert message asking them to update their browser. I’m not sure on IE7, but I hope it works overall. I didn’t do anything drastic in the design. IE7 is pretty good, overall.

It makes me feel good. One of the few times I had inspiration and finished (most of) it that quickly.

I know it’s a day late. I was oot and aboot yesterday so I didn’t get a chance to write it. I went to Milwaukee’s Germanfest because I heard they have a nice area of family history stuff. They did, but unfortunately, they didn’t have any info on my family. It didn’t hurt to try.

THIELKE is one of the four big surnames in my family tree along with ZALEWSKI, DEBROUX and CORRIGAN. Just like ZALEWSKI, I usually find a lot of THIELKEs when searching, even in this area, but they’re never connected as far as I know. Here is what I have so far.

The furthest THIELKE I have is Henry Peter THIELKE: b. Oct 1813 in Mecklenberg, Germany. Sometime (I assume) before 1840, he married Marie D C SPECHT in Germany. They immigrated to Wisconsin sometime between 1854 and 1856 since Charles “Fritz” THIELKE was born in Germany in 1854 and then Herman THIELKE was born 1856 in Wisconsin, according to the 1860/1870 census records.

That’s about all I have on Peter and Marie THIELKE. There isn’t much more on their headstones and I can’t find any vital records for them at the Wisconsin Historical Society. I did find their burial records at the Ozaukee County Historical Society, but that just gives death dates and causes.

I have more information on their son Johann or Hans, who is my great-great-grandfather. He was born 26 Oct 1843 at Schwerin, Mecklenberg, Germany, which narrows down a location. Now, I don’t have a record of Johann being married until he marries my gg-grandmother, Wilomene C RATHKE on 21 Jun 1891. This would make Johann almost 50-years-old at the time. It’s not far-fetched that it’s his first marriage, but it seems strange. Wilomene was previously married to a Franz HOLZ before she married Johann.

Johann and Minnie lived in the Grafton, Ozaukee Co. Wisconsin area where my great-grandfather, Arthur Frederick THIELKE was born. Arthur is the only child I have found for Johann and Minnie, but I have yet to talk to my grandfather about this. He may know more.

My next steps will be to do some more direct research in the Schwerin, Germany area. Searching for THIELKE is almost as hard as finding ZALEWSKI. Here are all of the ways Johann’s name is spelled just in the census records.

Johann THIELKE, John TILKIE, John TISLKE, Hans J M THIELK (marriage certificate), Joachim THIELK, John THIELKE, and Johann TIELKE. I also found Peter and Henry Peter and their last name as TILKE.

Looks like today may be a THIELKE research day, since I’ve now dusted off all of the information.

July 26th

1751 – Married – Pierre François QUINET & Thérèse DARD – Pierre and Thérèse are my 7th-great-grandparents on my father’s side. They were married in Menoux, Haute-Saône, France. I am related to them through their son Antoine QUINET, who was born in 1757.

1919 – Married – Arthur Frederick THIELKE & Madora Martha Louise LAST – Arthur and Madora are my great-grandparents on my mother’s side. They married marred in Port Washington, Ozaukee Co., Wisconsin. They had four children, including my grandfather, LeRoy. Arthur passed away in 1964 and Madora remarried. She passed away in 1979. They are both buried at St. Paul’s Cemetery in Grafton, Ozaukee Co., Wisconsin.

July 28th

1900 – Died – Henry STEARNS – Henry is my 3rd-great-grandfather on my father’s side. He was born 19 Apr 1835 in Württemberg, Germany. He married Margaret SCHUMACHER in 1862. He immigrated with his famiyl to Wisconsin in about 1873 where he lived until he passed away.

July 29th

1734 – Died – Genevieve PAILLARD – Genevieve is my 8th-great-grandmother on my mother’s side. She was born 10 Dec 1685 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. She married Louis CHEVREFILS-BELISLE in 1705. She passed away in Montral, Quebec, Canada.

July 31st

1758 – Born – Mary Marguerite BOILLAGEON – Mary is my 6th-great-grandmother on my mother’s side. She was born at Laperade, Quebec, Canada. She married Charles Francois CLOUTIER in 1782.

1886 – Died – Jean-Baptiste LAURENT – Jean-Baptiste is my 3rd-great-grandfather on my mother’s side. He was born 18 Jan 1825 in Biez, Chaumont-Gistoux, Wallon Brabant, Belgium. He married Olivine Marie ST. LOUIS on 7 Sep 1857 at Little Chute, Outagamie Co., Wisconsin. He passed away at Phlox, Langlade Co., Wisconsin and is buried at St. Joseph’s Catholic Cemetery in Norwood, Langlade Co., Wisconsin.

Here is one of my favorite photos.

Click for larger
Click for larger

It was taken a few years ago at Forest Home Cemetery in Milwaukee. I had gone in the fall and the colors make it look really beautiful and peaceful. The cemetery itself has a lot of visuals like this due to the fact that it is very large and full of large trees and monuments. Unfortunately, I took the photo a long time ago on an old camera and I no longer have the original. This one is in decent condition, but I wish I had a larger, higher-quality one.

I know it sounds like a show on National Geographic, but it’s not. I’m not sure why I didn’t this earlier, but it’s never too late to try. After finding my ZALEWSKI family’s passenger record, I originally decided to see if I could find them in Baltimore city directories since it seems like they spent a few years there. This finally took me back to the Milwaukee City Directories since there are no online versions for Baltimore from 1889-1892.

Ancestry has a lot of Milwaukee City Directories online scattered from like 1880 to 1939 with most of 1880-1900 available. I started with 1889 to see if the ZALEWSKI family made it there yet, but they did not. I first found Frank ZALEWSKI in the 1892 (well, two actually, go figure.)

(more…)

One of those documents that I had my sights set on for the last 10 years of genealogy research is the passenger list containing the ZALEWSKI family when they left home and came to America. According to notes I had from a previous researcher, “…[Frank and Anna] left Poland from the Baltic port of Danzig and entered the United States through the port of Baltimore, Maryland…in 1890.” I’ve searched everything I could find online for this since I’ve been researching. I’ve tried every possible spelling of Frank’s name (Franz, Francizek, etc) and don’t even get me started on the different ways to spell ZALEWSKI (add in the many different ways to pronounce it.)

I decided to give it another try by locking down certain items using Ancestry.com’s search box. I tried locking in “Frank” and then locking in “1888-1892” then I tried locking down “Baltimore” and so on. I dare not lock in “Zalewski” since it never works. I then tried his wife, but nothing. Next I tried their first child “Martha” since her name is more than likely the same. Their next child Angeline has been written many different ways from Amelia to Angel. No hits on “Martha Zalewski.” Next, I thought I’d give “Salewski” a shot since I’m pretty sure ZALEWSKI and SALEWSKI don’t have the same soundex code. Guess what my first hit was? “Martha Zalewski, Baltimore, November 1889, age 3.” Dead on.

I’ve conditioned myself not to get too excited until I can strongly prove it’s the correct document. As soon as I saw the list of family members: Franz, Anna, Martha, Amela, I knew it was the right family. Everything matches up from ages to names. Plus, there was one more name: Elsa Salewski, aged 6 months. According to later census records, Anna is listed to have has 9 children with only 8 living. Also, looking at the order of children, there is a larger gap from Angeline in 1887 to Marianna in 1891. Frank and Anna seemed to be working off of the one child every two-years plan throughout their lives. Elsa must not have lived much longer since she is never listed with the family outside of this listing.

Unfortunately, this doesn’t get me much more information except much tougher evidence for their arrival and departure. The list just has them come from “Germany” and go to the “U.S.A.” and Germany could mean anything back then.

The ship was the “S.S. Weser” which departed from Bremen, Germany. This looks to be the ship here with a photo. Here is their snippet:

Zalewski Family - 23 Nov 1889
Zalewski Family - 23 Nov 1889

So, I guess the moral of this story is that it does pay to go back over everything you’ve searched. Try looking at it from another angle.

This is a headstone photo I found in my grandmother’s photo album. It’s the headstone from my great-grandmother, Emily (TROKA) ZALEWSKI in 1959 at Holy Cross Cemetery in Milwaukee. It’s unique because this current headstone no longer exists. My great-grandfather, Joseph ZALEWSKI, remarried later on and his new wife is now buried in that plot also. A new, flatter headstone is now in it’s place.

1959

If anyone happens to have ancestors buried in the Cedarburg, Ozaukee County, Wisconsin area, you’re in luck. I just noticed that Cedarburg has most of their cemetery records available online. This only includes city cemeteries, not church-related cemeteries (with included Find-A-Grave links.)

The records (as of this writing) are from October 2007. They include maps of some of the cemeteries and also much information on the burials. For the burials, it includes: burial date, name (include first, last, middle initial), birth date, death date, cemetery, section, lot, and grave number.

Clara Szulta
Clara Szulta

July 19th

1959 – Died – Clara (SZULTA) TROKA – Clara is my great-great-grandmother on my father’s side. She was born 6 Jan 1876 in Poland and immigrated to Milwaukee with her parents in 1881. She married Joseph TROKA in 1894. She passed away in Milwaukee three years before her husband.

July 20th

1817 – Born – Charlotte (STRASSMAN) LAST – Charlotte is my 3rd-great-grandmother on my mother’s side. She was born in Germany. She married Johann LAST in Germany before immigrating to Ozaukee County, Wisconsin. She passed away on 20 Apr 1900 in Grafton, Ozaukee County, Wisconsin. She is buried at Union Cemetery in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

July 22nd

1845 – Died – Leonardus CRAYBECK – Leonardus is my 5th-great-grandfather on my mother’s side. He was born 25 Oct 1782 in Genk, Limburg, Belgium. He married Florentina Francisca KNUDDE in about 1812. He passed away at Hoofdplaat, Zeeland, Netherlands.

July 23rd

1737 – Died – Francois GRIGNAC – Francois is my 9th-great-grandfather on my mother’s side. He was born about 1657 in France. In 1688, he married Marie Anne Carignan DUCLOS. He passed away at Cap Sante, Port Neuf, Quebec, Canada.

July 25th

1634 – Married – Noel LANGLOIS and Francoise GRENIER – Noel and Francoise are my 11th-great-grandparents on my mother’s side. They were married at Quebec, Canada.

1915 – Died – Thomas J CORRIGAN – Thomas is my great-great-grandfather on my father’s side. He was born 3 Mar 1855 in Orillia, Ontario, Canada. He married my great-great-grandmother, his second wife, on 18 Apr 1892 in Sanborn, Ashland Co., Wisconsin. There is a story going around about the day Thomas died. The rumor is that when he was having a stroke, the doctor was riding by on his horse to deliver a baby. One of Thomas’ children ran out a started waving their arms at the doctor, but thinking it was just a friendly wave, he just waved back and kept on going. Who knows if this is true. What is true is that his wife, Emma Jane, was at the hospital getting ready to have their last child, Sadie, when Thomas died.