Month: March 2010


My grandmother told me a story about her great-grandfather. I posted about it almost three years ago, but I just stumbled upon some more evidence for it. Here is the story from my grandmother about Charles Ludovicus VAN PARIJS (who changed his name to Charles Van Price in America.)

Charles Van Price was born in the early 1800s and came to U.S. in 1874. He traveled to Dousman, Wisconsin in Waukesha County. He worked for Mr. Dousman, later moved to Little Chute, Wisconsin, then to Phlox, Wisconsin in 1887. While staying with his daughter, Effie, in Waukesha, Wisconsin in 1922, he went grocery shopping for her and was never seen again. After investigating, it was assumed that he returned to Holland from Milwaukee. He sold his land earlier, and was now one of the wealthiest men in that part of the state. His daughter found he had withdrawn all his savings (a very sizeable amount) and probably left for Europe. They traced him to Antwerp, Belgium — then all trace was gone. He was never heard from again.

I tried to find any sort of trace of him in Belgium. Maybe he’s listed on a death record or a cemetery listing, but I never found anything. I was re-adding all of Charles’ census record information into my family tree, since I never actually put in the exact source info in the past, when I ran across a listing for a “Charles O. Price” in the Applications for US Passports database that closely matched him on Ancestry.

There were actually two applications listed which looked to be a year apart, but they match pretty closely. The first one says that he was born on June 6th, 1844 in Isendick, Holland. The information I have is July 6th, 1846 in IJzendijke, Netherlands (Holland) which is almost a match. It also says he lived most of his life in Phlox, Langlade Co., Wisconsin which is the area where Charles and his family did live. He mentions in the application that he is planning to go to the Netherlands to “visit my brothers” and that he will return in 3 months traveling on the boat, Finland, from New York on August 5th, 1922.

What is odd is that there is a second application right after the first one for a Charles O. Price born on June 6th, 1844 in Izendag, Holland. This one lists Charles’ father as Jacob Price. That matches with me as I have his father as (his original name) Jacobus Bernardus VAN PARIJS. This one also notes that he lived in the Little Schute[sic] & Antigo, Wisconsin area which is also near Phlox. It also notes that he owns a previous passport which was obtained on July 24th, 1922 (the previously mentioned application.) Now, this application says that he intends to “visit my brother” in the Netherlands and stay for one year leaving from the port of New York. This one does not list a ship or a date. It almost seems like he didn’t actually go in 1922, or maybe that he went for 3 months and then went back in 1923 when this second application was made. Obviously, according to stories, never came back after that one.

There are a few notable and even oddly humorous things on these applications. The first thing is that when describing Charles’ physical appearance, under “Nose” it says “Quite Large.” Also, how on both documents the birth places are completely different (at least in spelling), the immigration dates don’t match, and the living locations aren’t exactly the same. On both documents he uses a witness that has known Charles for awhile. H.A. Friedman swears that Charles is a good dude and that he should get a passport. In the first document in 1922, H.A. says that he, a “native” American, has known Charles for 15 years. In the second application in 1923, H.A. says that he, now a “naturalized” American, says that he has known Charles for 20 years. Great Scott! Has Charles invented the flux capacitor?

Though, one wonderful thing about this document is that the applicant is required to attach a photo of themselves. The first document’s photo is not very good, but the second one is much clearer and it is the first time that I’ve seen Charles. I’m not sure if my grandmother has ever seen a photo of her great-grandfather, so I’d love to show this to her.

I still don’t know what happened to Charles after he arrived in Belgium or the Netherlands, but at least this does prove that he planned to go back. Maybe it makes more work. Oh well, isn’t that how Genealogy works? The two documents are shown below. Click for larger copies. The first half of the first page and last half of the end page are from other individuals, so please ignore them.

Weekly history for my family tree. As always, you can view these manually at the Dates & Anniversaries page.

March 29th

1890 – Died – Maria (BRAATZ) KLEGIN – Maria is my 3rd-great-grandmother on my father’s side. She was born 15 Feb 1842 in Schoenwalde, Germany. I’m not sure which Schoenwalde, since there are a few, but I am working to narrow it down. She married Wilhelm BRAATZ in Germany and then emigrated to America in about 1868 with their first son, Frank BRAATZ. She is buried at Little Wolf Cemetery in Manawa, Waupaca Co., Wisconsin.

March 30th

1832 – Married Johanna Peter FIRMENICH & Anna Marie VOISSEL – Johann and Anna are my 4th-great-grandparents on my mother’s side. They were married in Buervenich, Rheinland, Pruessen. Together, they had 6 children including my ancestor, Mathias FIRMENICH. Six of them were born in Prussia and only Charles was born in Wisconsin after they immigrated in 1847. Johann died in 1872 in Brown Co., Wisconsin and Anna probably died sometime before 1860 since that’s the last time she is in the census records.

April 1st

1829 – Born – Marie Desiree (LOOD) DEBROUX – Marie is my 3rd-great-grandmother on my mother’s side. She was born in Piétrebais, Walloon Brabant, Wallonia, Belgium. She married Jean Joseph Desire DEBROUX in 1854 and had one child, Victorie, before emigrating to Wisconsin in the 1850s. They were known better as Desire and Desiree in Wisconsin, as records and their headstones show. Desire passed away in 1912 and Desiree in 1919. They are buried together at St. Joseph’s Catholic Cemetery in Norwood, Langlade Co., Wisconsin.

I received this photo from another researcher that is also looking into some of my Polish family. They also just happen to cross with my ZALEWSKI family. This is a photo she sent me that is from July 1941 that includes my great-grandfather, Joseph ZALEWSKI, on the right and my great-uncle Robert ZALEWSKI in the middle. I’m not sure who the other man is at the moment, but he looks sorta familiar. It says it was taken at “the lake” but I’m not sure where that is. There are a lot of lakes around here. My grandfather, Richard ZALEWSKI, is probably away at Navy school in Florida around this time. Robert and Richard’s mother, Emily, would have just recently passed away unexpectedly in May 1941 from a stroke.

I like how my great-grandfather looks like he just stepped out of The Sopranos with that big ol’ cigar in his mouth. Well..a Polish version, like The Sopranskis or something.

Click the photo for a larger version.

Thanks to a higher amount of Polish records online and the help of some of the usual friendly genealogists (Thanks, Al and Rita!) I have traced a few of my Polish ancestors back to Poland.

I now have the baptism location of my 3rd-great-grandparents, Ignatz Peter SZULTA and Nepomuncena SYLDATK. Ignatz was born in Bukowa Góra in the Sulęczyno Parish of Kartuzy County, Pomorskie, Poland. Nepomuncena was born nearby at Gowidlino in the Sierakowice Parish. Their first three children, including my great-great grandmother Clara SZULTA, were all born in Sulęczyno before the family emigrated to America. I also found Ignatz’s parents, who are Anton SZULTA and Marianna MALSZYCKI and also Nepomuncena’s parents, who are Jacob SYLDATK and Tecla KREFFT.

Rita also found information that my great-great-grandfather, Joseph TROKA, was probably from Lipusz which is a village in Kościerzyna County, Pomeranian Voivodeship, in northern Poland. The one family that still eludes me is my ZALEWSKI family. I have not yet been able to trace them back to Poland/Prussia. All I have is that Frank and Anna ZALEWSKI were married in the Poznan Province, but I have no source information on that besides it being listed on a family tree I have. I also know that they immigrated from the Port of Bremen, Germany, but that doesn’t really help pinpoint anything. I’ve checked the Poznan Project website and haven’t run across anything, but hopefully someone indexes their records at some point.

Breaking down these brick walls piece by piece, while aggravating at times, is really very fun. Plus, I am meeting some great people. Hopefully we will help each other more along the way.

This is as Irish as I can get today. I don’t have many pictures of my CORRIGAN ancestors before this time. This is the Thomas CORRIGAN family with his wife Emma Jane FIRMENICH (who is also part German and French.) My great-grandfather, Maurice CORRIGAN, is their oldest son. My guess is that this picture was taken sometime around 1913 in Ashland, Wisconsin since their last child, Sadie, was born in 1915 and Lenore looks pretty young. This is also close to the time when Thomas died since he had a stroke just as Emma Jane was giving birth to Sadie. Thomas’s grandfather, Michael CORRIGAN, came over to Canada from Ireland in about 1821.

The dates and anniversaries for my family for this week in March, though it’s not a very busy week. As always, you can find info for any day using the Dates and Anniversaries page.

March 14th

1764 – Born – John Baptiste III GADIOU St. Louis – John is my 5th-great-grandfather on my mother’s side. He was born at Yamachiche, St. Maurice, Quebec, Canada. He married Marie-Catherine GIGNAC in 1790 and had 4 children. He passed away on 16 Mar 1836 at Yamachiche, St. Maurice, Quebec, Canada.

March 17th

1960 – Died – Angeline R ZALEWSKI – Angeline, also sometimes known as Amelia, is my great-grandaunt on my father’s side. She was born 6 Jul 1887 in Poland Germany. As with the Zalewski family, I’m not exactly sure where in Europe the family is from.  She immigrated to America with her parents in 1889 and settled in Milwaukee. She married Martin PIERZCHALSKI in 1912. She passed away in Milwaukee and is buried at Holy Cross Cemetery there.

This is a photo of my Grandpa, Richard Zalewski, and my younger brother, Joel in 1986. I’m assuming it’s around Easter since that’s where the photo was in the album. I like the fact that they’re wearing matching shirts, or as we called them, “Grandpa Shirts.”

Here are the weekly events in my family history for this week. As always, you can browse them yourself on the “Dates & Anniversaries” page.

March 7th

1888 – Born – William H LAST – William is my great-granduncle on my mother’s side. He was born in Grafton, Ozaukee Co., Wisconsin, the third child (of 16) of Charles and Augusta (LUEDTKE) LAST. He married Johann SCHMITZ in about 1913 and had two children. He passed away 10 Aug 1965 in Port Washington, Ozaukee Co., Wisconsin and is buried there at St. Mary’s Cemetery.

March 8th

1787 -Died – Anna Catherina CROX – Anna is my 6th-great-grandmother on my mother’s side. She was born 11 Jun 1857 in Genk, Limburg, Belgium. She married Wilhelmus van CRAYBECK in 1778 and had 4 children. She passed away at 30 years of age at Genk.

March 9th

1817 – Born – Claude-Françoise QUINET – Claude-Françoise, better known as Francesca, is my 4th-great-grandmother on my father’s side. She was born at Menoux, Département de Haute-Saône (Franche-Comté), France to Pierre-Jean & Marie-Françoise (GRANGIER) QUINET. She married William Henry THOMPSON in 1839 at Syracuse, Onondaga Co., New York. They later moved to Granville, Milwaukee Co., Wisconsin where they had 9 of their 10 children. The last child was born in Morrison, Brown Co., Wisconsin. Francesca passed away on 31 Jan 1899 at Wrightstown, Brown Co., Wisconsin and is buried there at St. Paul’s Cemetery. A few years ago, we tracked her final resting place down and I did a post on it.

The DeBroux surname first enters my family tree as my maternal grandmother’s maiden name. The surname itself is Belgian, at least when I trace it back from America. According to Ancestry.com, the surname along with the preposition de (‘from’), denoting someone from either of two places called Broux, in Rhône and Vienne. Both Rhône and Vienne are located in France, which a lot of my Belgian and Dutch surnames tend to originate from.

I’ve been able to trace it back the early 1800s. First through my great-grandfather, Leon DeBroux, who was born in 1901 in Phlox, Langlade Co., Wisconsin. Another piece of information for the DeBroux surname is that the DeBroux family seemed to have settled mostly in Wisconsin, which is good for me. Leon’s father was Joseph DeBroux, who was born in May 1865 in Grand Chute, Outagamie Co., Wisconsin. The Grand Chute and Little Chute area is a very high-percentage Belgian and Dutch area. It’s obvious by all of the “Van” and “De” surnames and businesses in the area.

I originally had Joseph’s parents listed a Desire and Desiree DeBroux. I know it sounds like they were a traveling folk duet, but I’m pretty sure they were just normal people. Even though they sound like a unique name combination, I had no luck in finding any more information about them…until. I ran across a site called “Netradyle” (which is all in French) that seems to be a location of a lot of Belgian vital records. Thanks to Google Translate, I was able to find my way around and after some searching I found my DeBroux family. It turns out that Desire and Desiree were their middles names. They probably used them to separate themselves from the others since it seemed that every family named their children either Jean Joseph or Marie. I know why, but it does confuse things now.

So, it turns out the Desire’s full name is Jean Joseph Desire DeBroux and he was born 16 Feb 1830 in Piétrebais, Walloon Brabant, Wallonia, Belgium, which is a small town in central Belgium just east of Brussel. Desiree’s full name was Marie Desiree LOOD. After that I was only able to find Jean Joseph’s parent’s names, but not any specific information from the records on the site. His parents were Jean Joseph DeBroux (go figure) and Anne Catherine LANGELE.

I did some mapping of the DeBroux family using Google Maps, in case you wanted to see all of the locations. It may include other parts of my maternal line, too.

Any other DeBroux families out there?

Here are some good geneablog reads for this week from around the tubes.

  • Sadly, Elyse’s mother passed away this week. Elyse posted a wonderful, heartfelt post about her mother on her blog, Elyse’s Genealogy Blog. Send your thoughts and prayers her way this week.
  • Jasia at Creative Gene wrote an interesting post about genealogy as therapy. I know that it can help me calm down and zone out during tough times.
  • Randy Seaver at Genea-Musings was puzzled, as was I, about some of the genetic genealogy claims on the last episode of “Faces of America.” He analyzes the info in his post.
Click for larger

This is a photo from my grandmother’s 8th Grade class in November 1939. My grandmother, Mary Jane CORRIGAN, is in the 3rd row from the left and 4th from the back. Her twin brother, my great-uncle, Tommy is also in the class. He is the boy the in the far bottom right corner, closest to the camera.