Tag: Corrigan


It’s time for another one of Randy Seaver’s Saturday Night Genealogy Fun posts.

  1. List your matrilineal line – your mother, her mother, etc. back to the first identifiable mother. Note: this line is how your mitochondrial DNA was passed to you!
  2. Tell us if you have had your mitochondrial DNA tested, and if so, which Haplogroup you are in.
  3. Post your responses on your own blog post, in Comments to this blog post, or in a Status line on Facebook or in your Stream at Google Plus.
  4. If you have done this before, please do your father’s matrilineal line, or your grandfather’s matrilineal line, or your spouse’s matriliuneal line.
  5. Does this list spur you to find distant cousins that might share one of your matrilineal lines?

According to my blog, it seems I did this line for myself already. Though, I will post it again in case something is more up-to-date. I will do my father’s line and also my wife’s line since I haven’t really inspected those before. Here is mine, first.

My matrilineal line:
  1. Brian J ZALEWSKI
  2. Sharon THIELKE married John ZALEWSKI
  3. Marge DeBROUX married LeRoy THIELKE
  4. Mildred Vida VAN PRICE (5 Jul 1903 Mattoon, Shawano Co., Wisconsin – 29 Oct 1994 Port Washington, Ozaukee Co., Wisconsin) married Leon DeBROUX
  5. Minnie May MUHM (12 Jul 1879 Norwood, Langlade Co., Wisconsin – 6 Jul 1959 Port Washington, Ozaukee Co., Wisconsin) married Pieter Fransiscus VAN PARIJS
  6. Ida W SCHAVANDIE (6 Sep 1852 Germany – 12 Nov 1934 Antigo, Langlade Co., Wisconsin) married Peter MUHM
  7. Anna RASCH (? in Germany – ??) married Lawrence SCHAVANDIE

Unfortunately, my matrilineal line is one of the few lines in my tree that is somewhat short, though I have not done a ton of research on it. I have done a DNA test, so I do have my mtDNA information. According to the latest 23AndMe info, my Maternal Haplogroup in H11a. I have made my 23AndMe Maternal Line page public, so you can view more details there. It does match the German ancestry that I find in my research.

Next is my father’s matrilineal line, though there is no mtDNA haplogroup info since my DNA does not have that information. Only his DNA (or his sibling’s) would show that.

My inspiration for this post had come from, what I thought was a one-off post about this, but it turns out that it was one of Randy Seaver’s Saturday Night Genealogy Fun projects. He’s always thinking of clever things to post about.

What is on your Genealogy Bucket List? What research locations do you want to visit? Are there genea-people that you want to meet and share with? What do you want to accomplish with your genealogy research? List a minimum of three items – more if you want!

I was thinking about it this week and this is what I came up with right now.

  1. I’d definitely like to visit one of my many ancestral homelands. There are a lot, though most of them seem to cluster around Germany and Poland, as you can see on my custom Google Map. The top three that I’d like to visit, in no particular order, are:
    1. Killeeshil Parish in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland. Origin location of my CORRIGAN ancestors. I just love Ireland and the history of the area.
    2. The origin location of my ZALEWSKI and LINDNER ancestors, which looks to be the Święte and Goczałki areas in modern north-central Poland. As with a lot of people, I feel a deeper connection to ancestors in my direct surname line, Zalewski. Plus, pictures I’ve seen of the area make it look beautiful.
    3. The origin location of most of my Belgian ancestors, DeBROUX, LAURENT, etc. They all came from the Walloon Brabant area of Belgium. Some of them came from the area of Chaumont-Gistoux, which during WWII was part of the famous defensive KW-Line.
  2. I would like to publish some smaller books either based on a specific family or just my ancestry in general. Both, I think, could be helpful to future researchers.
  3. I would like to become a certified/professional genealogist. I’d love to be able to help other people find their family history and hopefully spark the appreciation for everything that has come before them.
  4. I would also love to attend a national genealogy conference of some sort. I have yet to meet any of the extremely friendly and helpful geneabloggers that I socialize with almost every day. Unfortunately, most of them are never around in this area, so I have yet to have a chance to attend one.
What is on your genealogy bucket list?

Amanuensis Monday – An Amanuensis is a person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another. Amanuensis Monday is a daily blogging theme which encourages the family historian to transcribe family letters, journals, audiotapes, and other historical artifacts. Not only do the documents contain genealogical information, the words breathe life into kin – some we never met – others we see a time in their life before we knew them. A fuller explanation can be found here.

I’ve posted about this letter in the past, but I thought I’d talk about it again. I have possession of some typewritten letters that my great granduncle, Edwin Corrigan, wrote to another relative. My grandmother must have had them in her possession since I have a lot of her old family documents. Edwin was born in 1909 and grew up in rural northern Wisconsin in the Ashland area. He was a well-traveled and bright man and he had seen a lot of things. The letter is a great insight both into life in the early 20th century (in rural Wisconsin and other similar places) and also other aspects of his life. Read on for some excerpts:

(more…)

I was put in charge of creating the memorial video that was to be played at my Grandmother’s funeral today, so that everyone could remember her through the years. I assume this is due to the fact that I seemed to have inherited the title of “Family Historian” which I have no problem with. I love seeing all of these old documents and photos. I ran across this photo of my grandmother from 1938 and I really like it. She looks like she’s saying, “Hurry up and get that picture taken!” I also notice on a lot of the older photos of my grandmother that she had prominent freckles. I don’t remember seeing them on her when she was older. It must be her Irish heritage shining through.

Mary Jane Corrigan – 1938

After the break, I have embedded the memorial video that I created. Even though you may not know her, I hope you enjoy the video. (more…)

Richard & Mary Jane Zalewski

Mary Jane (Corrigan) Zalewski
April 27, 1926 – August 10, 2011

Today we lost my grandmother, Mary Jane Zalewski, one of the world’s biggest fans of Irish heritage. Born in Ashland, Wisconsin on April 27, 1926 along with her twin brother, Tommy, to Maurice & Agnes (Braatz) Corrigan. Story has it that they were born so small that my great-grandmother would bundle them up and put them on the stove door to keep them warm. While in Milwaukee visiting her aunt Ethel Corrigan, who ended up marrying my grandfather’s cousin, Edy Strelka, she met my grandfather, Richard Zalewski. They tied the knot on October 11, 1947 and had their first child, my uncle, in 1948. My dad soon followed in 1951 and then my aunt in 1960.

Throughout my life, they always lived in the little house in Cedarburg, Wisconsin that we used to visit for Christmas Eve and many other times throughout the year. My paternal grandparents were very loving, as most grandparents, but they were also stern. Grandpa would scold us for sneaking into the basement or jumping into the window wells, but Grandpa and Grandma also used to have the greatest toys to play with including the matchbox car track and the puzzles. She was always a big fan of Ireland and anything Irish. Even though she was probably just as much German (and some French) than she was Irish, no one dared to correct her on it. She was a CORRIGAN and she was full-blooded Irish and that’s that!

When I was in my first year of college, my grandfather got sick and passed away on April 18, 1999. It was very sad to me since this was the first major death in my family and the first loss of a grandparent. I didn’t know how my grandmother would handle it. It turns out she did very well with herself. She drove (albeit slowly) where she needed to go, met with friends, knitted like she always did, and was usually in good spirits. Sadly, she fell while living alone and had to move to an assisted living center, but she still made the best of it. I ended up buying my grandparent’s old house from my grandmother and we currently still live here. It’s comforting at times. Unfortunately, during the last few years, Grandma started to forget things and had trouble getting around, but she was her normal self a lot of the time. Even at 85, she still loved her pizza and beer. I’m told that she passed away peacefully in her sleep and now she is in a better place, probably catching up with my Grandpa. He’s probably got the “Let Me Call You Sweetheart” vinyl record already playing on the record player.

You can view the memorial video I made for her funeral.

We’ll miss you, Grandma. Thanks for everything. Ireland has one less fan today.

How do I live without the ones I love?
Time still turns the pages of the book it’s burned
Place in time always on my mind
And the light you left remains but it’s so hard to stay
When I have so much to say and you’re so far away

I love you, you were ready
The pain is strong and urges rise
But I’ll see you when it let’s me
Your pain is gone, your hands untied

Avenged Sevenfold, “So Far Away”

It seems I’ve been away for almost two months. Sorry about that. I just haven’t had the time I’d like to do any genealogy research. Though, I’ve been able to do some stuff recently.

I  ran across more information and was also able to add more generations to my paternal line. Thanks to FamilySearch’s German records, including their Germany Births and Baptisms, 1558-1898, I was able to find ancestors of my great-great grandmother, Barbara Margaretha Magdalena (Maggie) STEARNS. So, I was able to add surnames like KELLER, HEINZ, and BAUER.

I was also able to find more information on an unknown line on my wife’s tree. Following her maternal line, I was able to add a surname to her 3rd-great grandmother, Nancy (WHIPPLE) CLEVELAND. From there I’ve been able to trace her via more records and also some WHIPPLE researchers.

To prepare for the future, I’ve also merged my “Everything I Know” sites into one place (currently just one for Frank ZALEWSKI and one for Mathias FIRMENICH.) The reason is more technical than anything else, but it will pave the way for easier “Everything I Know” sites. I really enjoy putting those sites together. They not only allow me to do some web work, which I enjoy, but they also require me to go through an individual’s information with a fine-toothed comb. I sometimes find new information or new leads doing this. Plus, it may help someone else in the future.

We also have a mini-reunion coming up in the middle of August with some of the CORRIGAN descendants. When I was a kid, we used to go up north to the upper peninsula of Michigan or to Wausau, Wisconsin for a family reuinion for the descendants of Thomas CORRIGAN. They were pretty large. But, now since a lot of the elders are no longer with us, we haven’t done that in many years. So, they put together a small one with mainly descendants of Thomas’ son, and my great-grandfather, Maurice CORRIGAN.

This week on Randy Seaver’s Saturday Night Genealogy Fun is Ancestral Name List Roulette. The rules are as follows:

  1. How old is one of your grandfathers now, or how old would he be if he had lived? Divide this number by 4 and round the number off to a whole number. This is your “roulette number.”
  2. Use your pedigree charts or your family tree genealogy software program to find the person with that number in your ancestral name list (some people call it an “ahnentafel”). Who is that person?
  3. Tell us three facts about that person in your ancestral name list with the “roulette number.”
  4. Write about it in a blog post on your own blog, in a Facebook note or comment, or as a comment on this blog post.
  5. If you do not have a person’s name for your “roulette number” then spin the wheel again – pick a grandmother, or yourself, a parent, a favorite aunt or cousin, or even your children!

For my grandfather, I chose my maternal grandfather who is still living. As of today, he is 85 years old. Divided by 4 that is 21.25, so rounded to 21.

Emma Jane Firmenich

Number 21 in my Ancestral Name List is Emma Jane Firmenich, my paternal great-great-grandmother. She was born 23 Jun 1873 in Wrightstown, Brown Co., Wisconsin, married Thomas Corrigan on 18 Apr 1892, and passed away on 28 Apr 1941 in Ashland, Ashland Co., Wisconsin. Here are three things I know about her:

  1. She lost 4 of her younger siblings in September 1885 due to a Diphtheria epidemic that hit Wisconsin.
  2. She was married three times. To my great-great grandfather, Thomas Corrigan, and then to T E Martin and George S Cook. She did not have more children besides the ones born during her first marriage.
  3. She lived in Milwaukee for a short time with 4 of her adult children according to the 1930 census, then moved back north to Ashland by 1932 after her second husband died.

Randy Seaver of GeneaMusings has posted this week’s Saturday Night Genealogy Fun. The prompt for this week is as follows:

1) Read Brenda Joyce Jerome’s post Who or What Do You Blame? on the Western Kentucky Genealogy blog. She asks these questions:

* Can you identify person or event that started you on this search for family information?

* Did you pick up researching where a relative had left off?

* Did your interest stem from your child’s school project on genealogy?

* If you have been researching many years, it may be hard to pinpoint one reason for this journey.

2) Write your responses on your own blog, in a comment to this blog post, or in a note or comment on Facebook.

I can’t exactly identify one person who started my interest in genealogy. I remember going to family reunions for my paternal grandmother’s family, the descendants of Thomas J CORRIGAN, and meeting all kinds of people who were supposedly related to me. I never really took interest in the family tree stuff there, but I was pretty young at the time. Problem solving, for some reason, has always been somewhat easy for me and depending on what problem I’m solving it can also be fun. This is probably the main reason I enjoy genealogy so much. It’s a very personal problem to solve and it involves lots of information and logic. To be honest, I don’t remember a genealogy project in school. If I did do one, I guess I didn’t save it. When looking through some of the files my mother gave me, I also don’t see any trees my brothers did. Maybe our school district didn’t do it.

I became interested specifically in genealogy in about 1999. Two different events prompted me to look more into my personal history. First, my grandfather, Richard ZALEWSKI, passed away in April 1999 and then a few weeks later I read an article in our local paper about FamilySearch.org. It was about how much traffic the site received when it first opened, which took the site offline. This event is also mentioned on the FamilySearch Wikipedia entry, “May 1999: Website first opened to the public. It almost immediately went off-line, overloaded because of extreme popularity.”

Those two events happening pretty close to each other made me think of my personal history and how I should probably at least do some basic digging before I lose my other grandparents. Thankfully, all three of my other grandparents are still with us. As with most genealogists, this basic digging just wasn’t enough. I opened Pandora’s Box, so to speak.

On my paternal grandmother’s CORRIGAN side of the tree, I did receive a lot of research that was already done by my great-granduncle, Edwin CORRIGAN, and other family members for the family reunions we had. My paternal ZALEWSKI line was barely touched as was my maternal side of the tree, so I did have a lot of work cut out for me. Many thanks to my parents and grandparents for giving me the information I needed. It turns out a lot of it was around, just not organized like it is now.

Now, it’s my job to plant the seed into my daughter’s life (and possibly other children if that happens) and let them run with it. Maybe in 20 years she’ll do a blog post, or whatever crazy thing is around then, about me.

The important dates for this week in our family history. As always, you can find this info on the Dates & Anniversaries page.

Thomas & Emma Corrigan Family

July 25th

1915 – Died – Thomas J CORRIGAN – Thomas is my great-great-grandfather on my father’s side. He was born on 3 Mar 1855 in Mara Township, Brechin, Ontario, Canada. He married Emma Jane FIRMENICH, his second marriage, in 1892 and together they had 9 children. Thomas passed away on the same day his youngest daughter, Sadie, was born. He is buried at St. Agnes Cemetery in Ashland, Ashland Co., Wisconsin.

July 26th

1751 – Married – Pierre François QUINET & Thérèse DARD – Pierre and Thérèse are my 7th-great-grandparents on my father’s side. They we married at Contréglise, Haute-Saône, France and together had 7 children including my ancestor, Antoine QUINET.

1919 – Married – Arthur THIELKE & Madora LAST – Arthur and Madora are my great-grandparents on my mother’s side. They were married at Port Washington, Ozaukee Co., Wisconsin and together had 4 children. Arthur passed away in 1964. Madora later re-married and passed away in 1979. They are buried together at St. Paul’s Cemetery in Grafton, Ozaukee Co., Wisconsin.

July 27th

1921 – Married – Leon DEBROUX & Mildred VAN PRICE – Leon and Mildred are my great-grandparents on my mother’s side. They were married at Mattoon, Shawano Co., Wisconsin and together had 6 children. They later moved to Port Washington, Wisconsin where they lived the rest of their lives. Leon passed away in 1982 and Mildren later in 1994. They are buried together at St. Mary’s Cemetery in Port Washington.

July 28th

1900 – Died – Georg Heinrich STIERNS – Georg is my 3rd-great-grandfather on my father’s side. He was born in 19 April 1935 in Württemberg, Germany. He married Katherine Margaretha SCHUMACHER in about 1862. After they had 4 children in Germany, they emigrated to Wisconsin in about 1881. The name was also listed as STEARNS.

July 29th

1684 – Died – Eleanor (ALDERSEY) CUTTS – Eleanor is my wife’s 10th-great-grandmother on her mother’s side. She was born about 1682 in Portsmouth, Rockingham Co., New Hampshire. In 1649, she married Richard CUTTS. She passed away in Portsmouth 9 years after her husband.

July 31st

1886 – Died – Jean-Baptiste LAURENT – Jean-Baptiste is my 3rd-great-grandfather on my mother’s side. He was born on 18 Jan 1825 in Biez, Chaumont-Gistoux, Walloon Brabant, Belgium to Constant and Marie (BERO) LAURENT. He later emigrated to America and married Olivine ST. LOUIS in 1857 at Little Chute, Outagamie Co., Wisconsin. He is buried at St. Joseph’s Catholic Cemetery in Norwood, Langlade Co., Wisconsin.