Year: 2009


Randy Seaver at Genea-Musings came up with this fun post on Saturday. I thought I’d give it a try.

Here is your SNGF assignment for the evening (if you choose to accept it – this is not stump the genealogist or even Mission Impossible):

1) List your 16 great-great-grandparents in pedigree chart order. List their birth and death years and places.

2) Figure out the dominant ethnicity or nationality of each of them.

3) Calculate your ancestral ethnicity or nationality by adding them up for the 16 – 6.25% for each (obviously, this is approximate).

4) If you don’t know all 16 of your great-great-grandparents, then do it for the last full generation you have.

5) Write your own blog post, or make a comment on Facebook or in this post.

Some of this was tough due to the fact that a lot of my ancestors were born in either Prussia or Pomerania, which touched into both Germany and Poland, but I estimated as close as I could. Here are mine:

16. Frank J ZALEWSKI Sr. was born on 4 Sep 1858 in Prussia. Frank died on 8 Aug 1941 at the age of 82 in Milwaukee, Milwaukee Co., Wisconsin. Anna A LINDNER and Frank J ZALEWSKI Sr. were married in Jan 1885 in Poznan Province, South Prussia (Poland). [POLISH]

17. Anna A LINDNER was born on 27 Nov 1865 in Prussia. She died on 11 Apr 1939 at the age of 73 in Milwaukee, Milwaukee Co., Wisconsin. [POLISH]

18. Joseph TROKA was born on 17 Nov 1871 in Poland/West Prussia. Joseph died due to being hit by a drunk driver on his way to church on 1 Jan 1962 at the age of 90 in Milwaukee, Milwaukee Co., Wisconsin. Clara SZULTA and Joseph TROKA were married on 29 Jan 1894 in St. Hedwig, Milwaukee, Milwaukee Co., Wisconsin.  [POLISH]

19. Clara SZULTA was born on 6 Jan 1876 in Poland/West Prussia. Clara died on 19 Jul 1959 at the age of 83 in Oak Creek, Milwaukee Co., Wisconsin. [POLISH]

20. Thomas J CORRIGAN was born on 3 Mar 1855 in Mara Township, Brechin, Ontario, Canada. He died of a stroke on 25 Jul 1915 at the age of 60 in Ashland, Ashland Co., Wisconsin. Emma Jane FIRMENICH and Thomas J CORRIGAN were married on 18 Apr 1892 in Sanborn, Ashland Co., Wisconsin. [IRISH]

21. Emma Jane FIRMENICH was born on 23 Jun 1873 in Wrightstown, Brown Co., Wisconsin. She died on 28 Apr 1941 at the age of 67 in Ashland, Ashland Co., Wisconsin. [GERMAN/FRENCH/UK]

22. Frank F BRAATZ Sr was born on 17 Apr 1867 in Germany. Frank died on 10 Jul 1948 at the age of 81 in Ashland, Ashland Co., Wisconsin. Margaret K STEARNS and Frank F BRAATZ Sr were married on 4 Jun 1891 in Bear Creek, Outagamie Co., Wisconsin. [GERMAN]

23. Margaret K STEARNS was born on 30 Aug 1866 in Württemberg, Germany. She died in 1943 at the age of 77 in Ashland, Ashland Co., Wisconsin. [GERMAN]

24. Johann THIELKE was born on 26 Oct 1843 in Schwerin, Mecklenburg, Germany. He died on 24 Apr 1927 at the age of 83 in Grafton, Ozaukee Co., Wisconsin. Wilomene C “Minnie” RATHKE and Johann THIELKE were married on 21 Jun 1891 in Milwaukee Co., Wisconsin. [GERMAN]

25. Wilomene C “Minnie” RATHKE was born on 1 Sep 1857 in Pommerania, Prussia. Minnie died on 26 Jun 1929 at the age of 71 in Wisconsin. [POLISH/GERMAN]

26. Carl F H “Charles” LAST was born on 26 Sep 1851 in Doeringshagen, Pommerania. Charles died on 5 Jun 1926 at the age of 74 in Port Washington, Ozaukee Co., Wisconsin. Augusta Johanna Wilkelumire LUEDTKE and Carl F H “Charles” LAST were married on 25 Feb 1883 in Milwaukee Co., Wisconsin. [POLISH (Doeringshagen is in current Poland)]

27. Augusta Johanna Wilkelumire LUEDTKE was born on 3 Jul 1863 in Storkow, Pommerania. She died on 14 Jul 1963 at the age of 100 in Grafton, Ozaukee Co., Wisconsin. [POLISH (Storkow in is current Poland)]

28. Joseph DEBROUX was born in May 1865 in Grand Chute, Outagamie Co., Wisconsin. Joseph died in 1918 at the age of 53 in Wisconsin. Mary Philomene LAURENT and Joseph DEBROUX were married on 8 Sep 1891 in Langlade Co., Wisconsin. [BELGIAN]

29. Mary Philomene LAURENT was born in Dec 1865 in Little Chute, Outagamie Co., Wisconsin. She died on 18 Sep 1956 at the age of 90 in Wausau, Marathon Co., Wisconsin. [BELGIAN/FRENCH CANADIAN]

30. Pieter Franciscus VAN PARIJS was born on 21 Jan 1874 in IJzendijke, Zeeland, Netherlands. Pieter died on 22 Sep 1962 at the age of 88 in Kenosha, Kenosha Co., Wisconsin. He was also known as Peter Van Price. Minnie M MUHM and Pieter Franciscus VAN PARIJS were married on 17 Jan 1898 in Shawano Co., Wisconsin. [DUTCH]

31. Minnie M MUHM was born on 12 Jul 1879 in Norwood Township, Langlade Co., Wisconsin. Minnie died on 6 Jul 1959 at the age of 79 in Port Washington, Ozaukee Co., Wisconsin. [GERMAN]

So, doing the math, that makes my ethnicity: Polish – 40.625%, German 30.1875%, Belgian 9.375%, Dutch 6.25%, French 6.25%, Irish 6.25%, Unknown UK Area (Scotland/England/Ireland) 2.0625%

Well, that comes to 101%, but it was a pretty random estimate so I’m glad it was even close to 100%. As far as I know, I have no English ancestry. One ancestor is listed as being from Ireland, Scotland and England in multiple census records, so it may be possible.

Joseph Zalewski - WWI - Click for larger
Joseph Zalewski - WWI - Click for larger

August 9th

1671 – Married – Nicolaes van CRAYBECK & Helena WAGEMANS – Nicolaes and Helena are my 9th-great-grandparents on my mother’s side. They were married at Kuringen, Belgium.

August 10th

1732 – Died – Louise DEGUITRE – Louis is my 8th-great-grandmother on my mother’s side. She was born 5 Aug 1667 in Cogne, Aunis, France. She married Jacques Robidas dit MANSEAU in 1692. She passed away at Baie-du-Febvre, Yamaska, Quebec, Canada.

August 11th

1692 – Married – Alexis RICHARD & Claudine LANGLOIS – Alexis and Claudine are my 9th-great-grandparents on my mother’s side. They were married at Neuville, Port Neuf, Quebec, Canada.

1736 – Died – Vincent DUCHARU – Vincent is my 8th-great-grandfather on my father’s side. He was born about 1660 at Menoux, Haute-Saône, France. He married Claudine HANRYOT in about 1670. They had 6 children, including my ancestor, Anne Françoise DUCHARU. He passed away at Menoux, Haute-Saône, France.

August 12th

1697 – Died – Guillaume PEPIN – Guillaume is my 10th-great-grandfather on my mother’s side. He was born about 1607 at St. Laurent, Saintonge, Xaintes, France. He married Jeanne Mechin dit DE FRONTIGNY in about 1645. He passed away at Trois-Rivieres, St. Maurice, Quebec, Canada.

August 13th

1715 – Died – Marie Madeleine ROUSSEL – Marie is my 8th-great-grandmother on my mother’s side. She was born 23 Nov 1676 at Trois-Rivieres, St. Maurice, Quebec, Canada. She married Gabriel BENOIT on her birthday in 1693. She passed away at Baie-du-Febvre, Yamaska, Quebec, Canada.

1715 – Married – Pierre LAFOND & Marie Jeanne LEFEBVRE – Pierre and Marie are my 8th-great-grandparents on my mother’s side. They were married at Batiscan, Champlain, Quebec, Canada.

1977 – Died – Sister Mary Clarentine TROKA – Sister Mary was born Frances TROKA on 31 Mar 1910 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to Joseph and Clara (SZULTA) TROKA. She is my 3rd-great-aunt on my father’s side. She took her first vows on 2 Aug 1935. She passed away in Wisconsin in 1977.

August 14th

1782 – Born – Pierre-Jean QUINET – Pierre-Jean is my 5th-great-grandfather on my father’s side. He was born at La Paroisse de Contréglise, Département de Haute-Saône (Franche-Compté), France. He married Marie-Francoise GRANGIER in 1811. They had 9 children including my ancestor, Claude-Françoise, who was also known as Francesca. They immigrated to the United States first settling in New York. They made their way to Canada where their daughter, Emilie-Francoise was born. According to research, they made their way to Wisconsin in about 1844. They are found in the 1850 census in Mequon, Ozaukee Co., Wisconsin and then in 1860 they are found in Fredonia, Ozaukee Co., Wisconsin. Pierre-Jean passed away on sometime between 1860 and 1870, presumably in Wisconsin.

1872 – Died – Johann W G LAST – Johann is my 3rd-great-grandfather on my mother’s side. He was born about 1820 in Prussia. Between 29 Mar 1865 and 14 Jun 1866 he was stationed with Company K, 50th Infantry Regiment Wisconsin during the civil war. He passed away in Ozaukee Co., Wisconsin and is buried with a soldier’s headstone at Union Cemetery in Port Washington, Ozaukee Co., Wisconsin.

August 15th

1853 – Born – Nepomuncema SYLDAKT – Nepomuncema, also known as Annie, is my 3rd-great-grandmother on my father’s side. She was born in Poland (Austria) according to census records and also wins the strangest name award in my family tree. She married Ignatius SZULTA in about 1870. Her name always confused me until I ran across this entry at Wikipedia on John of Nepomuk, whom I assume the name comes from. She passed away on 22 Dec 1925 at Milwaukee, Wisconsin and is buried there at Holy Cross Cemetery.

1981 – Died – Joseph Frank ZALEWSKI – Joseph is my great-grandfather on my father’s side. He was born October 1892 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the first boy of his parent’s 5 previous children. In 1917 he registered for World War I and was stationed with the 86th Division, Company B, 331st Machine Gun Battalion as I found out in my previois research. When he returned he married Emily TROKA and became a Milwauke City Police Officer until he retired in 1951. He passsed away at Cedarburg, Ozaukee Co., Wisconsin and is buried at Holy Cross Cemetery in Milwaukee.

Click for larger
Click for larger

Thanks to the power of the Internet, I came into possession of this digital photo. I saw via Ancestry.com’s new “Member Connect” feature that another user was researching my 3rd-great-grandparents, Mathias & Paulina Firmenich. I contacted her and we traded information and then she sent me this awesome photo.

As far as I know, my grandmother doesn’t have a photo of Pauline or of the rest of the Firmenich family. That would make this photo the first time I’ve seen Pauline. She had died early on, in 1910, so I assumed there were no good photos of her. I guess I was wrong.

I am told the photo looks to be taken in 1895, probably in Ashland, Wisconsin where the family lived. I’m guessing on the names of the rest of the family here, but using the family list as it looks to be (using the youngest children.) The males in the back are probably Frank and Henry, but I can’t tell which one is older. I assume the two older women in the back are Emma Jane (my gg-grandmother) and Mary. The girl in the middle looks to be the oldest of the younger girls, so I assume it’s Rose. Then from left to right it looks to be Ida, Edna, and Clara. Edna would be the one that looks really bored in the middle. The nice lady who gave me this photo descends from Edna.

The only one missing would be the oldest, Albert. Four of Mathias and Pauline’s children, Hattie, Edmond, Sarah, and Anna, died in 1885 due to an outbreak of what looks to be Diptheria.

So, the moral here (I look to be on a moral kick recently) is to connect and contact everybody that you can that may be researching a common ancestor. You never now what you’ll find. *Cue Forrest Gump and his chocolates*

Courtesy of britmum@Flickr
Courtesy of britmum@Flickr

I tried, but I couldn’t come up with a joke for that. “Polish Flats” are common here in the Milwaukee area. I’ve recently been exploring the area where my great-great-grandfather, Frank Zalewski, and his family resided when they immigrated to Milwaukee in 1891. Frank and his family’s first house was located at 902 Pulaski Street in Milwaukee. They are noted to live there until about 1898 when they moved to 900 Fratney Street.

According to researchers at UWM in Milwaukee, “A ‘Polish flat’ is an American workers’ cottage that has been raised to create a new basement floor, thus becoming a modest two-story flat.” [More information here.] The Pulaski street area is full of these types of houses. They even built them two or three-deep at certain points, so it makes finding the right house a mess. You can see on this Google Maps link just how crowded they built these houses.

I assume the house on Pulaski street is still standing. Unfortunately, the city of Milwaukee underwent a massive address overhaul in 1931 and most of the addresses in that area have changed. There is no common mathematical equation used to figure out the new address, since they based it on measurements. I did find a guide on how to find the general range of the new address, which should be in the 1800 range now.The 1930 census still lists the old addresses, so that doesn’t help.

From the 1900-1930 census, the family of Jacob Zalewski lived at 902 Pulaski. This is the man I assume is some relation to Frank, possibly a brother, since they both lived there for years. Jacob passed away sometime between 1913 and 1920 according to census records. His wife Pauline was living there in the 1930 census with her children. The earliest city directory available at Ancestry after 1930 is the 1937 directory. I checked under Zalewski and it lists Pauline as passing away on December 30, 1936 and lists no address. There are three listings for Zalewskis on Pulaski street: Jacob G, Leo, and Joseph. These are three names of Jacob and Pauline’s sons, though they are also popular Polish names. They all live from 1758 to 1762 Pulaski Street. If I had to take an educated guess, this is probably where Frank Zalewski lived when he came to Milwaukee. Here is a view of it at Google Street View (you’ll need to find the house pushed way back, Google doesn’t automatically point at it.) I also happened to find another photo of it while searching for Pulaski Street information.

I drove through the area at my lunchtime on Monday since it’s only a few miles from where I work. It’s very hard to get around if you don’t know the area due to a lot of one-way streets. Now that I have a better idea, I may make another trip for some photos.

Photo:

Frank Zalewski, Sr
Frank Zalewski, Sr

Looks like the beginning of the week is a bit slow.

August 5th

1667 – Born – Louise DEGUITRE – Louise is my 8th-great-grandmother on my mother’s side. She was born in Cogne, Aunis, France. She married Jacques Robidas dit MANSEAU in 1692. She passed away on 10 Aug 1732 in Baie-du-Febvre, Yamaska, Quebec, Canada.

1731 – Died – Francois ROUSSEL – Francois is my 9th-great-grandfather on my mother’s side. He was born about 1646 in St. Leonard, Beaumont le Roger, Normandie, France. He married Madeleine PEPIN in 1671. He passed away at Baie-du-Febvre, Yamaska, Quebec, Canada.

August 6th

1987 – Died – Margaret Lenore CORRIGAN – Margaret is my great-great-aunt on my father’s side. She was born 10 Jan 1912 at Ashland, Wisconsin to Thomas J CORRIGAN and Emma Jane FIRMENICH.

August 8th

1774 – Married – Joseph Robidas MANSEAU & Catherine LaFond MONGRAIN – Joseph and Catherine are my 6th-great-grandparents on my mother’s side. They were married at St. Antoine de la Baie-du-Febvre, Yamaska, Quebec, Canada. They had 11 children before Joseph passed away in 1776.

1941 -Died – Frank J ZALEWSKI, Sr – Frank was my great-great-grandfather on my father’s side. He was born 4 Sep 1858 in Prussia. He married Anna LINDNER in 1883 and immigrated to America in 1889. He worked as a City Laborer most of his life, mainly in the Parks department. He passed away in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and is buried there at Holy Cross Cemetery.

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.