Year: 2009

Here is one of my favorite photos.

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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.)


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’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.


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.

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This is a photo of Jacob HUIZEL (middle) and two unknown women. Jacob is my wife’s great-great uncle. The reason for the “One-Arm” title is that we found an earlier photo of Jacob and on the back it just said “Uncle Jake” and under it was written “(one arm)”. There are a few photos like this one, but it’s always hard to tell if he does only have one arm. If I would take a guess, it would be his right arm since you can see his left one. Family mysteries, huh?

Here is another generic cemetery image. I took this one a few years back on my first trip to Forest Home Cemetery in Milwaukee. It is probably one of the most interesting and beautiful cemeteries I’ve seen yet. This one came out nice in the fall. I wish I could find my originals. These copies aren’t of very good quality.

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I did a basic post on Forest Home Cemetery as my first post of the Graveyard Rabbit of Southeastern Wisconsin site.

July 12th

1879 – Born – Minnie M (MUHM) VAN PRICE – Minnie is my great-great-grandmother on my mother’s side. She was born in Wisconsin. She married Peter VAN PRICE in about 1895 and had 6 children, including my great-grandmother, Mildred (VAN PRICE) DEBROUX. She died on 6 Jul 1959 at Port Washington, Ozaukee Co., Wisconsin and is buried at Union Cemetery.

July 13th

1627 – Married – Guillaume TRAHAN & Francoise CHARBONNEAU – Guillaume and Francoise are my 10th-great-grandparents on my mother’s side. They were married at St. Etienne, Chinon, France. They immigrated to Canada and passed away at Port Royal, Arcadia, Canada.

1720 – Born – Paulus VAN CRAYBECK – Paulus is my 7th-great-grandfather on my mother’s side. He was born at Genk, Limburg, Belgium. In about 1748, he married my 7th-great-grandmother, Maria TRUIJEN. He died 23 Sep 1781 at Genk.

1876 – Died – William “Curly Bill” CORRIGAN – William is my 3rd-great-grandfather on my father’s side. He was born either in New York or on the trip from Ireland. I’ve seen both. On 14 Nov 1848, he married Mary MCCANN. He passed away in Mara Township, Brenchin, Ontario, Canada.

July 14th

1963 – Died – Augusta (LUEDTKE) LAST – Augusta is my great-great-grandmother on my mother’s side. She was born 3 Jul 1863 in Storkow, Pommerania, which located in the western part of today’s Poland. She married Carl LAST in 1883 and had 16 children. She died just 2 weeks after her 100th birthday in 1963.

July 15th

1610 – Born – Herman VAN CREIJBECK – Herman is my 10th-great-grandfather on my mother’s side. He was born in Hasselt, Limburg, Belgium. In 1632, he married Joanna PANSARS at St. Lambertus, Herck, Belgium. He passed away on 13 Dec 1649 at St. Lambertus.

July 16th

1810 – Born – Ephraim Gadiou dit ST. LOUIS – Ephraim is my 4th-great-grandfather on my mother’s side. He was born in Yamachiche, St. Maurice, Quebec, Canada. In 1831, he married Marie DesAnges MANSEAU. He later moved to Phlox, Langlade Co., Wisconsin where he passed away on 27 Mar 1892.

July 17th

1920 – Born – Irene (ZALEWSKI) LUTZENBERGER – Irene is my great aunt on my father’s side. She was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to Joseph ZALEWSKI and Emily TROKA. She passed away in June 1996 and is buried at Holy Cross Cemetery in Milwaukee.

July 18th

1965 – Died – Frances (ZALEWSKI) CYBELA – Frances is my great-great-aunt on my father’s side. She was born 15 Apr 1895 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to Frank ZALEWSKI and Anna LINDNER. She married Edwin CYBELA in 1916. She passed away in Milwaukee at the age of 70.

”]Wordless WednesdayThis is a photo of the 3 youngest daughters of Mathias & Pauline (THOMPSON) FIRMENICH; Ida, Edna, and Claire. As it is noted, I’m assuming this photo was taken in the Summer of 1912, which would be two years after the death of their mother, Pauline. It was probably taken in the Ashland/Sanborn, Wisconsin area since they are located there in the 1905 Wisconsin Census.