Tag: Cemetery


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.

1959

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.

I have a new headstone for today. Thanks to Steph F at Find-a-Grave, I now have a photo of the headstone of my 3rd-great-grandmother, Maria BRAATZ. I had run across the info from a transcription of a few cemeteries in Waupaca County, Wisconsin. She is buried at Little Wolf Cemetery in Manawa, Waupaca Co., Wisconsin. In the trascription, she was listed as “Maria frau von Wm” which roughly translates to “Maria, wife of William.” Maria’s husband is Wilhelm BRAATZ. There is no record of his burial, but it is assumed he’s buried nearby even if there is no stone. We’ll be checking into that to make sure.

Maria Braatz

[ Find-a-Grave Link ]

This week brings another random cemetery shot. For every photo of an actual headstone from my family tree, I have dozens of generic cemetery photos.

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This photo is from St. Mary’s Cemetery in Port Washington, Ozaukee Co., Wisconsin. [Find-a-Grave link] My great-grandparents Leon & Mildren (Van Price) DEBROUX are buried here along with some of their other family. It’s situated in some trees and on a hill facing west. When you come into Port Washington on Interstate 43, you can see the hill in the distance.

So, I’m coming to the end of my family tree tombstone photos. So, instead of trying to find a new one of those to post, I thought I’d post some general cemetery photos. While visiting the cemeteries to find the stones of my ancestors I’d sometimes just take random photos. Some of them turned out pretty good. Cemeteries photos can come out beautiful or sometimes even creepy, depending on the season as seen below.

This photo was taken at St. Francis Borgia Cemetery in Cedarburg, Ozaukee Co., Wisconsin. This is the cemetery my grandfather is buried at. I had stopped there in early spring before winter had loosened it’s grip on the area.

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There are a few Flickr groups dedicated to cemetery photos that are interesting to browse if you’re into that sort of thing. I have submitted a few of mine to some of them. A few of them are: Graves, Tombs, and Cemeteries, Graveyards, and Autumn in the Graveyard.

Happy Memorial Day, everyone! I’d like to thank all of my military ancestors and all of your military ancestors, too.

  • Johann W G LAST – Civil War- My 3rd-great-grandfather, server with Company K, 50th Infantry Regiment Wisconsin – 29 Mar 1865 to 14 Jun 1866
  • LeRoy THIELKE – World War II – My grandfather, served in World War II. It’s not a subject that has ever been talked about, but I commend him for fighting for our country.
  • Joseph Frank ZALEWSKI – World War I – My great-grandfather, started in the 86th Division, Company B, 331st Machine Gun Battalion. Later served in the US Army Infantry and fought with the Allied Expeditionary Forces in France during several major battles.
  • Richard Joseph ZALEWSKI – My late grandfather, served in the US Navy during World War II.

Continue for some select photos

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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 ]

This week’s tombstone is that of my grandfather, Richard Zalewski. Richard passed away on April 18th, 1999. His death (along with a newspaper article) spurred my interest in genealogy and here we are today. Unfortunately, my Zalewski line is one of the toughest to research and he may have had information I could have used. He is buried at St. Francis-Borgia Cemetery in Cedarburg, Ozaukee Co., Wisconsin.

Zalewski

[ Find-a-Grave Entry | 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 ]

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-Françoise 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.

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[ Find-a-Grave Entry | Cemetery Entry ]

Since the weather started to get nicer here and the snow is mostly gone, I thought I’d tackle some research involving the cemeteries again. Two of my ancestors are known to have lived and died in the Port Washington, Ozaukee Co., Wisconsin area, but I had yet to pinpoint their final resting places.

I did some research and found that on the death certificate of my 3rd-great-grandmother, Charlotte (STRASSMAN) LAST, she is listed as having been buried at Union Cemetery in Port Washington. This is also where her son (my great-great-grandfather) and his wife are buried. I know I’ve looked through most of the headstones there in the past while looking for other LAST relatives, but I don’t remember seeing it. She did die in 1900, which means the stone may be unreadable/broken/missing/etc. One would also assume that her husband, Johann W G LAST, would also be buried there along with her (or at least nearby.) He did die almost 30 years before she did (more on that later.)

Today, since it was in the 50s outside, I decided to make another pass through the cemetery. I was planning on going anyway to get a requested volunteer photo via Find-a-Grave. I first walked through the stones in the older area figuring it should be in there, but I did not find anything (besides some very hard-to-read stones.) I then hit the next section, which does have some older stones on the edges. I also kept an eye out for military flags, stars, etc, especially the Civil War-related GAR signs. I then found a very worn headstone with the name “JHO. LAST”. I couldn’t make out the dates written on it until I realized it actually said “Co. K, 50th Wis Inf which was his exact Civil War information. Unfortunately, it had no vital dates listed, which I don’t have either. All I had for his death date was “Between 1870-1880” since he was listed in 1870 and then his wife was listed as “widow” in 1880. His birth date was based on the census records.

Click for larger image - John's stone is the small one on the right side, middle. Note the large gap to the left of it.
Click for larger image – John’s stone is the small one on the right side, middle. Note the large gap to the left of it.

There was also no Charlotte LAST stone nearby, or any LAST’s for that matter. I checked the rest of the cemetery and still no Charlotte. Since her death certificate notes that she is here (and most of the family is here) I can only assume her stone is either missing, unreadable or broken. There was a large gap (note in the photo) next to John’s headstone, which seemed out of place, so it is possible that she is there. There is also a stone that just says “Mother” on it near her son, Charles LAST. but he died long after Charlotte. Charles’ wife Augusta is also buried there and the “Mother” stone could be talking about her.

But, that wasn’t the end of the good news for John LAST. It turns out I had his death date right under my nose the whole time. I found a listing of good Civil War indexes on Ancestry and decided to just search them all again. Most of the searches turned up documents I already had. Then I searched the “Headstones Provided for Deceased Union Civil War Veterans, 1879-1903” database. John was listed as recieving a headstone and on the index card it lists his death date as “14 Aug 1872.” That’ll teach me to make sure I check every database next time.

I emailed the Port Washington Historical Society to see if Union Cemetery has burial index to see if maybe they have a specific plot where Charlotte may be buried. We’ll see how that works out.