Tag: Belgium


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?

November 22nd

1774 – Born – Friedrich Ernest MUHM – Friedrich is my 5th-great-grandfather on my mother’s side. He was born in Schwbendorf, Landkreis, Maurburg, Hessen, Germany. He married Gertrude OPPERMAN in 1795. He passed away on 24 Jan 1850 in Schwbendorf, Landkreis, Maurburg, Hessen, Germany.

November 23rd

1869 – Died – Sophia Elizabeth STRASSMAN – Sophia is my 4th-great-grandmother on my mother’s side. She was born on 23 Jun 1809 in Wahmbeck, Hanover, Germany. In 1844, she married Friedrich MUHM and settled in Washington County, Wisconsin. She passed away at Germantown, Washington Co., Wisconsin and is buried nearby at Christ Evangelical Cemetery in the small town of Dhiensville.

1930 – Died – Martha ZALEWSKI – Martha is my great-great-aunt on my father’s side. She was born 10 Sep 1885 in German Poland/Prussia. She immigrated with her family to Milwaukee in 1889. She married John STRELKA and passed away in Milwaukee. She is buried near her family at Holy Cross Cemetery in Milwaukee.

November 25th

1835 – Died – Joseph LAURENT – Joseph is my 5th-great-grandfather on my mother’s side. He married Marie Catherine MOUREAU and passed away at Biez, Chaumont-Gistoux, Wallon Brabant, Belgium.

November 26th

1756 – Died – Georges QUINET – Georges is my 8th-great-grandfather on my father’s side. He was born about 1689 and married Catherine GENAVOIS in 1711. Together, they had 9 children, including my ancestor Pierre Francois QUINET. Georges passed away at Haute-Saône, Franche-Comté, France.

November 28th

1841 – Died – Constant Joseph LAURENT – Constant is my 4th-great-grandfather on my mother’s side. He married Marie Josephe BERO in 1809 and had 4 children, including my ancestor Jean-Baptiste LAURENT. He passed away at Biez, Chaumont-Gistoux, Wallon Brabant, Belgium.

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.

Just spent some time today browsing around random Dutch and Belgian websites looking for that one clue to break open some information. I have listed that my 3rd-great-grandparents, Desire and Desiree DeBroux (that’s a mouthful), were both born in Belgium. It specifically lists it as Brussels, Belgium, but that was a major city, so who knows. I ran across a Belgian site called “Netradyle,” and with some help from Google Translate, was able to figure out how to use it.

I originally got there while doing some random searching for some of my wife’s ancestors, but I thought I’d give the DeBroux family a shot. They both had pretty unique names, even if it was a somewhat normal Belgian name, it still sticks out. I searched birth records for DeBroux and found a lot and checked all of the Desires with no luck. I then figured out that I was only searching birth records, so I tried the marriage records. Fortunately, I did have an idea of when they were married due to census records and I had their birth dates from their headstone (as much as I could read it.) Using all of these dates, I ran across an entry for a marriage between Joseph Désiré DEBROUX and Marie Désirée LOOD on 30 Nov 1854.

A few things match up here. Désiré and Désirée both match their names in the census records. I also have their marriage as being in about 1855, due to math using the census records, and it says there were married in Wallon Brabant, Belgium, which is the same province that Brussels is in.

Using that info, I then looked up their birth records and I found Jean Joseph Désiré DEBROUX born on 16 Feb 1830 in Piétrebais, Walloon Brabant, Wallonia, Belgium. Piétrebais is a small village southeast of Brussels. Well, look at that, another match. I have that Desire DEBROUX was born on 16 Feb 1830 from both the census records and his headstone. The same thing happened with his wife. I found a Marie Désirée LOOD born on 1 Apr 1829 also in Piétrebais, Walloon Brabant, Wallonia, Belgium. I didn’t have her exact birth date, but I did have Apr 1829 from the census and the readable parts of her headstone.

Obviously, I can’t guarantee a perfect match, but this does seem to fit a lot of the required fields. Along with this information, it also lists Desire’s parents as Jean Joseph DEBROUX and Anne Catherine LANGELE (LENGELE). It also lists a village after their name in parenthesis. I’m not sure what this means exactly, but Jean has (Corroy) and Anne has (Gistoux) which are both in the same province. It then lists Desiree’s parents as Francois Eugene LOOD and Marie Catherine DUPONT. This one only lists a village after her mother’s name, Opprebais.

This brings me to my question. While typing in some other names from this search, it seems that one family gave every child the middle name of Joseph (Josephe for the girls.) But, besides that, I see Joseph an awful lot in these searches. Was there anything special about the name Joseph, or do you think it was a family name of some sort?

This weeks photo is that of my great-great-grandparents, Joseph & Mary Philomene (LAURENT) DEBROUX. The stone is located in St. Joseph’s Catholic Cemetery, Norwood, Langlade Co., Wisconsin. Joseph DEBROUX was born 1864 in Grand Chute, Outagamie Co., Wisconsin to Desire and Desiree DEBROUX. He married Philomene LAURENT on 8 Sep 1891 in Langlade Co. She was born 1866 in Wisconsin to Jean Baptiste LAURENT and Olivine Marie ST. LOUIS.

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[ Find-A-Grave Profile | Cemetery Info ]

I’m starting to run out of tombstone photos. I’ll need to start posting those from my wife’s family tree pretty soon. This one is from my family tree and is that of Jean-Baptiste (John) LAURENT, 3rd-great-grandfather. He was born about 1825 is Belgium, according to census records. He married my 3rd-great-grandmother, Olivie ST. LOUIS, on 7 Sep 1857 in Little Chute, Outagamie Co., Wisconsin. Together they had 9 children including my great-great-grandmother, Mary Philomene LAURENT. He passed away on 31 Jul 1886 in Phlox, Langlade Co., Wisconsin and is buried at St. Joseph’s Catholic Cemetery in Norwood, Langlade Co., Wisconsin. This photo was graciously taken for me by a volunteer in the area.

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[ Find-a-Grave Entry | Cemetery Entry ]

The dates and anniversaries in my family tree for this week.

March 22

1732 – Died – Marie Anna GUEDON – Marie is my 9th-great-grandmother on my mother’s side.  She was born in 1641 in Bourg de Magny, Normandie, France and married Gabriel BENOIT in 1665. She passed away in Yamachiche, St. Maurice, Quebec, Canada.

1891 – Born – Marianna ZALEWSKI – Better known as Mary, I’m not exactly sure where she was born. I have found entries for Poland, Baltimore, Ohio and Wisconsin. Mary is my great-great-aunt. She married Frank GIERSZEWSKI and lived out her life in Milwaukee, passing away on 27 Feb 1945.

March 23

1729 – Died – Catherine GENÉVOIS – Catherine is my 8th-great-grandmother on my father’s side. She was born about 1689 in Polaincourt(?), Haute-Saône, France. She married Georges QUINET in 1711.

March 25

1736 – Born – Nicholas Joseph ST. LOUIS – Nicholas is my 6th-great-grandfather on my mother’s side. He was born in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. He married Charlotte LEMAITRE-AUGER and passed away in 1814 in Quebec.

1990 – Died – Maurice Earl CORRIGAN – Maurice is my great-grandfather. I had the pleasure of knowing him until I was about 10-years-old. I don’t remember him too much, since I was so young. He was born 28 Dec 1898 in Sanborn, Ashland Co., Wisconsin to Thomas CORRIGAN and Emma Jane FIRMENICH. Since his father died so early on, he was given the job of taking care of the family, including 9 children, when he was only 17. On 12 Apr 1923, he married my great-grandmother, Agnes Catherine BRAATZ.

March 26

1721 – Died – Nicolaes van CRAYBECK – Nicolaes is my 9th-great-grandmother on my mother’s side. He was born 22 May 1646 in St. Lambertus, Herck, Belgium. He married Helena WAGEMANS on 9 Aug 1671.

March 27

1892 – Died – Ephraim Gadiou dit ST. LOUIS – Ephraim is my 4th-great-grandfather on my mother’s side. He was born on 16 Jul 1810 in Yamachiche, St. Maurice, Quebec, Canada. He married Marie DesAnges MANSEAU on 4 Oct 1831. He moved his family to Phlox, Langlade Co., Wisconsin where he lived the rest of his life.

I’m going to steal this from Julie at GenBlog and post a recap of historical moments from select people in my family tree for the current week. It’s a neat idea and it will help me look through the names in my tree every week and maybe spur some research.

February 22

1890 – Died – William THOMPSON – William was my 3rd great-grandfather on my father’s side. He died in Wrightstown, Brown Co., Wisconsin

February 23

1893 – Born – Herman RATHKE – Herman was my 3rd great-grandather on my mother’s side. He was born in Germany.

February 25

1760 – Born – Charles Francois CLOUTIER – Charles was my 6th great-grandfather on mother’s side. He was born in Cap Saint Ignace, Quebec, Canada.

1883 – Married – Carl F H LAST married Augusta Johanna LUEDTKE in Milwaukee County, Wisconsin and went on (per my research) to have 16 children. Carl and Augusta are my great-great grandparents on my mother’s side.

February 27

1945 – Died – Marianna (Giersch) ZALEWSKI – Mary was my great-great aunt on my father’s side. She passed away in Milwaukee, Milwaukee Co., Wisconsin.