Year: 2011


I haven’t been posting much lately since I haven’t had a lot of time for research. The holidays are busy with work and..well..holiday stuff. There are a few other things going on that are making it hard to find the time. I just wanted to wish everyone a Happy Holidays and a wonderful start to 2012.

I am participating in this week’s “Sunday’s Obituary” with my great-great grandfather’s obituary. I’m told that he received a larger obituary since he worked for the city of Milwaukee. From The Milwaukee Journal on Saturday, August 9, 1941.

FRANK ZALEWSKI

Frank Zalewski, 82, of 2630 N. Buffum st., was found dead on the floor of his home late Friday afternoon by his son, [my great-grandfather] Joseph, a police officer, who came to visit him. He had been living alone since his wife died two years ago. Death was due to natural causes, according to coroner’s assistants.

Mr. Zalewski was born in Germany and came to this country 51 years ago. He worked for the department of public works for 39 years, retiring six years ago. He and his wife celebrated their golden wedding anniversary in 1935. Funeral services will be held at 8:30 a.m. at St.  Casimir’s church, with burial in Holy Cross cemetery.

Survivors include two sons, Joseph and Frank, jr., and five daughters, Mrs. Angeline Pierzchalski, Mrs. Mary Gierszewski, Mrs. Frances Cybela, Mrs. Helen Stroinski and Mrs. Agnes Walczak.

You can actually view the obituary in the newspaper using Google’s News Archive website. I found it when I searched for “Zalewski” in their archives. Fortunately, he had a larger obituary that was picked up by Google’s character recognition software. Most of the normal obituaries aren’t picked up.

After some research, I think I’ve traced the marriage of my great-great grandparents, Frank Zalewski & Anna Lindner, to Parafia św. Barbary w Świętem (or the Parish of St. Barbara at Święte.) According to a translation of their Polish Wikipedia entry:

The parish was founded in about 1300 by the Teutonic Knights. During the Thirteen Years’ War the church was destroyed and the parish declined. The present wooden church was built in 1723 on the land of the owner of the village – Waclaw Kozlowski. The last thorough renovation of the church took place in the 1990s.

Also according to their (wonderful) website, this church is the largest wooden structure in the area and one of the largest in Poland.

Their website has a great photo gallery of the church, inside & out, including the adjacent cemetery. They also have a very cool gallery of the cemetery on All Saints Day, November 1st, 2011. The photo above is from that gallery. Click on it to view more photos from that day.

It’s very cool to see the actual church from across the world that your somewhat distant ancestors were married in and baptised some of their children in.

Update 11/5/2014: I made another run-through of this translation and am fixing a few things.

I recently took another shot at translating an entry from the Slownik Geograficzny. This time I worked on translating the entry for Święte, which is the town where my great-great grandparents were married and some of their family had lived.

Here is my translation. You can find the original entry by visiting the University of Warsaw’s website that allows you to view the original book with a Firefox plugin. You can also view it on this site, without a plugin, though the site is in Polish so you may need some translation.

The translation is a work-in-progress and is obviously not completely perfect. I am grateful for some help from Al at Al’s Polish-American Genealogy, who has translated many entries himself. I will mark the words or phrases that I am confident are wrong or are not even translated as I could not find any information on them, with italics. The rest, while they may not flow very well, are mostly right and just need some small tweaking. Some of the diacritics on the letters did not copy over, I plan to fix those once I have some time. Any errors in the translations are completely my own. (more…)

I thought I’d participate in this week’s Sunday’s Obituary by transcribing the obituary of my great-great grandmother, Augusta (LUEDTKE) LAST, who lived to be 100-years-old. It was from a July 18, 1963 Ozaukee County newspaper.

MRS. AUGUSTA LAST

Mrs. Augusta Last died Sunday morning, July 14, just 11 days after observing her 100th birthday. She was in good health and was listening to church services on the radio at the home of her daughter at Grafton when she suddenly hemorrhaged. The rescue squad was called and she was transferred to St. Alphonsus hospital where she was pronounced dead at 9:30 Sunday morning.

Mrs. Last was a semi-invalid for the past five years after breaking her hip in a fall at her home at 312 Van Buren St., Port Washington. Since then she had been alternating her visits and living with her two daugthers, Mrs. Arthur (Dora) Thielke, 13th Ave., Grafton and Mrs. Leonard (Ella) Didier in Port Washington.

The deceased, nee Augusta Luedtke, was born in Germany on July 3, 1863. She and her husband, the late Carl Last, had farmed two miles south of Port Washington on the Lake Shore Rd. in the town of Grafton until August of 1926 when they moved to the Van Buren St. home. Mr. Last died the following summer, on June 5, 1927. She continued to live at her home until suffering the hip injury. She had transferred from the Didier home to the Thielke residence last November.

Survivors in addition to Mrs. Thielke and Mrs. Last are three sons, William and August of Port Washington, and Walter of Milwaukee; two other daughters, Mrs. August (Ida) Schlueter of West Bend and Mrs. Helen Kibbel of Port Washington; one daughter-in-law, three sons-in-law, 24 grandchildren, 58 great-grandchildren and 14 great-great-grandchildren.

The Rev. Christopher Boland, pastor of Frieden’s Evangelical and Reformed church in Port Washington officiated at the funeral services at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, July 16.

Burial was in Union Cemetery, Port Washington.

Funeral arrangements were handled by the Poole funeral home.

 

My wife, Darcy, made me aware of Pinterest. She does a lot of work with the web and is always finding these new, interesting sites. Pinterest is best described by a story about it on the MySanAntonio website:

[Pinterest is] a “virtual pinboard.” Creative types often use actual pinboards or corkboards for inspiration on projects, adhering to it magazine clippings and printouts of images, quotations and typography; fabric swatches; cards; and other ephemera. In the business world, it’s more commonly referred to as a “vision board” but contains the same elements. With Pinterest, users – called “pinners” – can organize and “pin” photos of items they find on the Web to various boards on their page.

It may not sound exciting, but it can be pretty addicting like she says in her article. I think, for the genealogy folks, that it can be put to good use for inspiration or even collecting great old photos that you find around the web that you love. I’ve personally pinned some neat ideas for a family tree wall. I see a lot of other people using it (it seems to lean heavily female at the moment) for craft ideas, food ideas, and even fashion ideas. Another fun use is pinning places you’d love to visit or even people that inspire you. Maybe it will create some discussion on the site.

Here is my page if you’d like to browse around. The site looks to be invite-only right now, but I think I can invite you if you’d like. Just leave me a comment on here.

[Photo: AuntyCookie@flickr]

I’m going to participate in this week’s Sunday’s Obituary theme.

This is the obituary for my great-great grandmother, Emma Jane (FIRMENICH) CORRIGAN in from April 28, 1941. I’m not sure exactly which newspaper since I found the article in my grandmother’s collection and she didn’t note it. If I had to guess, it’s probably from a local Ashland, Wisconsin newspaper.

MRS. COOK, 67, OLD RESIDENT DIES MONDAY

Wife Of Former Street Commissioner Succumbs To Long Illness

Mrs. Emma Cook, 67, of 109 North Ellis avenue, a resident of Ashland and the Chequamegon region for the past 59 years and wife of the late George S. Cook, former city street commissioner, died Monday evening at her home following a lingering illness.

The former Emma Firmenich was born in Wrightstown, Wisconsin, on June 29, 1873, but moved with her parents to Ashland in 1882. The Firmenich family lived in Ashland for a few years and then moved to Sanborn.

She was married to Thomas Corrigan in 1892 at Sanborn where the couple lived until 1905. They then moved to Ashland and lived near the cemetery on Sanborn avenue for several years. Mr. Corrigan died in 1916, but his wife continued to live in their home until 1926 when she moved to Milwaukee. Six years later she returned to the city and in 1932 was married to Mr. Cook in Ashland. Mr. Cook died on December 5, 1940.

She was a member of the St. Agnes church, the Altar Society and the Old Settlers’ Club.

Survivors are twelve children, Edwin and Sadie of Ashland; Maurice, Clayton and Mrs. E. H. Olson of Iron Mountain, Michigan; Henry, Mrs. Norbert Enders (Lenore) and Mrs. Ed Strelka (Ethel) of Milwaukee; Mrs. Harry Nantais (Beatrice) of Dearborn, Michigan; Frank of Rivera, Florida; Mrs. Joseph Maurer and Mrs. Mary Foster of Detroit; four sisters, Mrs. A. F. Anderson and Mrs. Joe Fabro of Ashland, Mrs. William McKindley and Mrs. Thomas Gorman of Grand Coulee, Washington; and one brother, Henry Firmenich, Baudette, Minnesota.

Funeral services will be held at 8:30 a.m. Friday at the Cook home and at 9 a.m. at St. Agnes church. Interment will be in St. Agnes cemetery. The body will be removed from the Wartman Funeral Home to the Cook residence on Thursday where is will lie in state until time of services.

Up until this weekend I had never done any Czech research. I knew my wife’s great-grandmother was born somewhere in Bohemia, which is in the Czech Republic, but we didn’t dig much deeper. As you may, or may not have, read in my last post, I sort of fell into researching my wife’s Czech line last weekend. While I don’t consider myself an expert by any means, I do feel I know a lot more about Czech research than I did a week ago. I stumbled upon a little site that filled my brain with helpful information (Thanks, Jennifer.)

The site was created by Blanka Lednicka over at Czech Genealogy for Beginners, a site I didn’t know about until the other day. While the site is pretty new and doesn’t have a ton of content, yet, everything that’s posted so far is extremely helpful to anyone doing Czech research. I’m personally used it to find some really helpful translations and writing comparisons. Google Translate can only take me so far.

The blog is also currently being updated and Blanka even personally responded to some of my comments, which is very nice and has also been very helpful.

If you’re doing any Czech research, definitely bookmark Czech Genealogy for Beginners. I know I did.

I hit up FamilySearch this weekend to do some miscellaneous research. I happened to see their collection of records for the Czech Republic (or Czechoslovakia) and since my wife’s great-grandmother, Anna (HUIZEL) COLLINS, was born there, I thought I’d browse them. Unfortunately, I didn’t find anything useful.

Though, while looking through their wiki pages on the records, I did happen to somehow find my way over to the Digital Archives: State Regional Archives Trebon. According to their site, “users can research digitalized materials of State Regional Archives Trebon and State District Archives of South Bohemia.” That sounded promising since our records indicate the family was from the Netolice region of South Bohemia in the Czech Republic. I jumped right into their “Parish Registers” section and then into “Roman Catholic Church.” Fortunately, they had a map of all of the parishes, so I was able to see which parish Netolice was in. It happens to be its own parish, so that’s good.

It’s a pretty amazing website, if you have Czech ancestors from this region. Dozens and dozens of digitized parish records from as far back as the 14th and 15th centuries. Some are in the process of being indexed. Their system even allows you to bookmark pages, etc. While the viewer and website and slightly clunky, I wouldn’t say they’re any worse than Ancestry or FamilySearch, just different.

I opened the list of registers. Netolice seems like a big area.

(more…)

Sometimes I’m late to these, but her is Randy Seaver’s Saturday Night Genealogy Fun for this week. He had completed  The Ancestors’ GeneaMeme from Geniaus.

According to the instructions, the list should be annotated in the following manner:

  • Things you have already done or found: bold face type
  • Things you would like to do or find: italicize (colour optional)
  • Things you haven’t done or found and don’t care to: plain type
  • You are encouraged to add extra comments in brackets after each item
  1. Can name my 16 great-great-grandparents
  2. Can name over 50 direct ancestors [with a little help from my genealogy program]
  3. Have photographs or portraits of my 8 great-grandparents
  4. Have an ancestor who was married more than three times [Don’t think more than 3, but I have a few 3-timers]
  5. Have an ancestor who was a bigamist [Not that I found, yet]
  6. Met all four of my grandparents [Yes, and fortunately, two are still with us]
  7. Met one or more of my great-grandparents [I, fortunately, remember meeting 3 of them, but 5 were alive when I was a baby]
  8. Named a child after an ancestor [If you count middle names. Our daughter Aerissa’s middle name is Jean after my mother’s and my grandmother’s middle name]
  9. Bear an ancestor’s given name/s
  10. Have an ancestor from Great Britain or Ireland [CORRIGAN, McCANN, THOMPSON]
  11. Have an ancestor from Asia
  12. Have an ancestor from Continental Europe
  13. Have an ancestor from Africa
  14. Have an ancestor who was an agricultural laborer [Probably a good 75%+]
  15. Have an ancestor who had large land holdings [I’m told one of my ancestors had a good sum of money, which I also assume land was involved]
  16. Have an ancestor who was a holy man – minister, priest, rabbi
  17. Have an ancestor who was a midwife
  18. Have an ancestor who was an author
  19. Have an ancestor with the surname Smith, Murphy or Jones
  20. Have an ancestor with the surname Wong, Kim, Suzuki or Ng
  21. Have an ancestor with a surname beginning with X
  22. Have an ancestor with a forename beginning with Z
  23. Have an ancestor born on 25th December
  24. Have an ancestor born on New Year’s Day
  25. Have blue blood in your family lines [Nobility, no, but my great-grandfather, Joseph ZALEWSKI, was a police officer. They’re sometimes called Blue Bloods. My wife’s line has the noblility]
  26. Have a parent who was born in a country different from my country of birth
  27. Have a grandparent who was born in a country different from my country of birth
  28. Can trace a direct family line back to the eighteenth century
  29. Can trace a direct family line back to the seventeenth century or earlier
  30. Have seen copies of the signatures of some of my great-grandparents
  31. Have ancestors who signed their marriage certificate with an X [More than likely, I just haven’t seen it]
  32. Have a grandparent or earlier ancestor who went to university
  33. Have an ancestor who was convicted of a criminal offence
  34. Have an ancestor who was a victim of crime
  35. Have shared an ancestor’s story online or in a magazine (Tell us where) [on here, more than likely, many times]
  36. Have published a family history online or in print (Details please) [Would like to someday]
  37. Have visited an ancestor’s home from the 19th or earlier centuries
  38. Still have an ancestor’s home from the 19th or earlier centuries in the family
  39. Have a family bible from the 19th Century
  40. Have a pre-19th century family bible


The headstone of my wife’s 3rd-great-grandmother Margaret KEARNS from her father’s maternal side. Born in 1822 in Ohio, she first married Nelson ENYART (sometimes spelled ENGART) in 1841. There is mystery surrounding what happened to Nelson, but in 1875 she ended up marrying Robert MORAN, who is actually my wife’s 3rd-great-grandfather from her father’s paternal side. They didn’t have any children, so the branch of that tree didn’t get too twisted. She died in 1890 and  is buried near Robert at Tavara Cemetery in Richwood Township in Richland Co., Wisconsin. Photo courtesy of B. Coberley at Find-A-Grave.

[Find-A-Grave Page]