Another one of my long-standing brick walls was the origin location of my second main surname, Thielke, my maternal grandfather’s line. For the longest time, the most detailed origin location we had was Schwerin, Germany, which by itself is a city, but also can be considered a larger area. Though, another record indicated Baden-WÃ¼rttemberg which is on the complete opposite site of Germany.
Searching in some of the old 1819 Mecklenburg-Schwerin Census records did find some Thielkes, but nothing else to go on. At least we knew roughly the general area.
Last night, since I was working on some of the other Thielke lines to try to pad things out, I decided to run another FamilySearch search on my furthest ancestor, Henry Peter Thielke. I used WikiTree’s RootsSearch option which just makes it easier by automatically plugging in all of the vital data for me and searches FamilySearch.
One of the most solid, longest standing brick walls in my personal genealogy research has come down this week. This wall has stood since I started researching my family in 1999, though I didn’t heavily pursue it until a bit later. I now have the names of my paternal 3rd-great-grandparents on my Zalewski line. Meet Michael & Anna (Muschowska) Zalewski.
The path to breaking down this wall started as a lot of them do, just doing random searching and browsing. I occasionally visit most of the sites on my “Genealogy Community” link list on the sidebar. I almost always visit Al’s site at Al’s Polish-American Genealogy. I know Al personally since we used to attend a local Polish research group for a few years. Al works very deep in Polish records and blogs in detail about what he found and how he found it. He had a post recently talking about the records he has on a specific individual and in it he mentioned a few sites he used. One of these sites was one he called the Genealogy in Archives website. I googled it and visited the only Polish one I saw.
(After posting this I ran across some new info. Listed at the bottom.)
I thought I would revisit the GWIAZDOWSKI connection in my family tree. As I mentioned in a previous post, Brick Wall Coming Down?, I ran across the GWIAZDOWSKI surname by searching for information I found in a short paragraph in a letter I received. You can read that process in detail in the post I mentioned. Go on, I won’t go anywhere.
So, I use all of those names and did some searching and found the GORALSKI family and GWIAZDOWSKI family in a passenger list with this note written next to them.
Frank and his family lived at 902 Pulaski Street until about 1900, when they moved to Fratney St. This information all put together makes either August or Anna GWIAZDOWSKI Frank’s uncle or aunt, respectively, as he is listed as their nephew. It would all depend on if they are related to Frank via his father or his mother. If I get lucky, maybe I can find where the GWIAZDOWSKI’s came from, which may give me information on where my ZALEWSKI family originally came from as I’ve had no luck, yet. Frank and his family traveled from Bremen, Germany to Baltimore, Maryland. It turns out the most of Bremen’s records (at least from 1889) were destroyed either in the war or to make room for new records, so I can’t search those.
Sometimes you find the most important information in a place where you wouldn’t normally look. So, check those extended families!
UPDATE #1: From the last 30 minutes of researching. It turns out that in the beginning of the passenger list document, someone wrote out all of the names alphabetically and where they came from, etc. Listed next to the GWIAZDOWSKI’s (and GORALSKI’s, though written as KORALSKI) is the name “Gottschalk” for Place of Origin. I can’t find a place named that, yet, just people with that surname. Any ideas? Gottschalt, maybe?
UPDATE #2: After some searching around without any luck, I tried an old trusty bookmark: Kartenmeister. It returned a result for “Gottschalk” which looks to now be called “Gocza?ki” in present-day Poland (Google Map link.) This opens up some new research paths that I’m excited to go down.
Well, it’s St. Patrick’s Day and I am without a true Irish headstone. I have a lot of Irish ancestors, but not a lot of headstone photos for them. Most of them passed away in mysterious, far away lands (like Canada.)
This headstone of my 4th-great-grandfather will have to do for today. From my research William Henry THOMPSON was either born in 1810, 1813 or 1816 and he was either born at Scotland, England or Ireland. I’ve found sources mentioning all three of these. At least it puts him in the United Kingdom, so it counts.
William is one of my brick-wall ancestors. I can find no more information on him or his family. He is also one of the only ancestors that I need to research that has a very common name. I’m so used to looking for surnames like ZALEWSKI or SZULTA, which require a different sort of mindset. I’m not used to getting back 12,000 results when searching. The plus side is that a lot of people are probably doing THOMPSON research, so maybe I’ll come across something.
It’s listed that William married Claude-FranÃ§oise QUINET in 1839 in Syracuse, Onondaga Co., New York. I haven’t been able to find any info from here either including using the Onondaga Co. GenWeb site. William and Frances moved to Wrightstown, Brown Co., Wisconsin where they lived out the rest of their lives. They were both buried at St. Paul’s Cemetery in Wrightstown. I did a Tombstone Tuesday on Frances a few weeks back.