Tag: DeBroux


The fourth ancestor in my 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks project this year is my maternal great-grandfather, Leon Joseph DeBROUX. I’m related to Leon via my mother → her mother (Marjorie DeBROUX) → her father (Leon DeBROUX).

Leon was born on 2 November 1901 in the small town of Phlox, Langlade County, Wisconsin, which is very much the near center of the state. His parents were Joseph & Mary Philomene (LAURENT) DeBROUX. He had 5 brothers all with the middle name of Joseph and 2 sisters all with the middle name of Margaret.

Leon’s father passed away in 1918 in Phlox. Sometime between then and 1920, the family moved to DePere near Green Bay in Brown County to live with Leon’s aunt and uncle. About a year later, Leon was back in Phlox, this time marrying a local girl, Mildred Vida VAN PRICE. At the time, he was listed as being a “cheese maker” which is a standard Wisconsin job that every boy must do*. It may have been a rushed wedding, who knows, but the couple did have a child in September 1921. Sadly, the child did not make it. Two years later in 1923, their first son, Norbert, was born. He was better know later as “Dee Bee.” In 1927, my grandmother, Marjorie, was born after the family had moved south to Port Washington in Ozaukee County, where they would stay.

*May or may not be true.

Union Organizer

In 1940, Leon was listed as a laborer at the local chair factory, the Wisconsin Chair Company. By the 1950s, Leon was making a living as an AFL-CIO union organizer. I see his name mentioned many times in local stories about helping workers around the area. In an article from the Sheboygan (Wisconsin) Press in June 1953, it mentions Leon:

PORT WASHINGTON — Employees of the Harnischfeger Corporation, houses division, N. Spring St., Port Washington, voted recently to become affiliated with the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America (AFL). Their vote was 92 for joining, 16 against, according to Leon DeBroux of Port Washington, union organizer who started on this project in May.

Hospital

One big thing that Leon was part of in Ozaukee County was getting the local hospital built. At the time, in 1938, there was no local hospital. Discussions were started after an accident in the area that cost the lives of five people because they had to go to outside hospitals. A few people, including Leon, met at his house in 1938 to figure out how to get a hospital built. In 1939, all of the planning came together and the building of a hospital was approved with the cornerstone being laid on November 3rd, 1940. St. Alphonsus Hosptial opened on May 1, 1941.

I find it quite interesting that this hospital weaves its way through my maternal family. My great-grandfather helped get it built. My mother worked there for many, many years. I was born there, as was my younger brother. Once the hospital moved to a larger facility to the south in 1990s (I think) they converted it into assisted living apartments and a nursing home. My grandmother, Leon’s daughter, would end up living there. She also sadly passed away there in 2015. I had no idea how connected our family was until I found the article about how Leon helped get it built.

Faint Memories

I was alive while Leon was alive, until I was almost three years old. I have this strange memory of him. Sometimes you think you have memories of someone you barely knew, but it was just from a family photo or something similar. I remember being on the ground by my great-grandfather’s feet at his house in Port Washington and he was using them to play around with me. I can see it pretty clearly in my mind, the chair, his feet, the living room, everything. There is no photo of a moment like this. It may be one of those early childhood memories that sneaks its way into adulthood, instead of getting forgotten like most of them. I do cherish it.

On 15 September 1982, Leon had a heart attack and passed away in Port Washington at the same hospital he helped build. He is buried in Port Washington at St. Mary’s Cemetery overlooking the rural fields of Ozaukee County.

In terms of DNA, I still definitely have DNA passed down from Leon. His mother, a LAURENT, connects me to my French-Canadian ancestry and is my connection to large family lines like the Cloutier line. I have a lot of matches on Ancestry, 23andMe, and GedMatch that I can tell are from that line.

With the death of my maternal grandfather this week, I hit one of those sad life milestones. I now have no more living grandparents, and it’s an odd feeling. I was fortunate to have all four of my grandparents throughout most of my life. I got to spend time with all of them. My children also got to meet most of their great-grandparents on my side, which can be a rare thing.

Richard
Richard Zalewski (1921-1999)

I lost my first grandparent in April 1999 at 19 with the death of my paternal grandfather. That death did actually have a lot to do with my journey into genealogy. After that there was a long gap until August 2011 when I was 31 when my paternal grandmother passed away. This year has been particularly rough, especially for my mom, who lost her mom in February 2015 and now her father in November 2015. I am in awe of her perseverance and strength these last 12 months.

For some reason, I was hit hardest by the deaths of my grandfathers. If you would have asked me, I honestly would’ve thought it would have been the other way around. I think it was mainly due to timing. My first grandfather’s death wasn’t completely sudden, but it was quick (pancreatic cancer), so that fact along with it being the loss of my first grandparent hit me hard. I’ve wrote a few times about his funeral and when I broke down while waiting in the car after hearing a favorite song of mine come on the radio.

News of my maternal grandfather’s passing came to me during my morning drive to work while I was in traffic. It wasn’t completely unexpected as he was not doing so well for the last few months. At first, I had a feeling I knew what the call was about so I handled it well, but after I hung up and, specifically, when I thought about how my mom was feeling, I teared up a bit (thanks, empathy.) Let me tell you that driving in morning rush hour traffic with teary eyes is no fun. Coincidentally, the same song that set me off when my paternal grandfather died 16 years ago was on my car radio this morning. Eerie. After I parked, it took me a few minutes to text my wife the news, since after every other word I would get choked up and have to pause.

19820000-Grandpa-GrandmaThielke-Eric-Brian
LeRoy & Marge Thielke

Comparatively, the deaths of my grandmothers didn’t feel as sad. They both had issues prior, so I wasn’t caught off-guard. I got to say goodbye to both (actually all four) of them on my own terms that helped me better accept their deaths. Though, I do regret, with all of them, not talking to them more about their lives and their ancestors. I kept putting off taking some time with my grandfather and having him look at some old photos and asking him questions. To anyone else, do it now, don’t put it off.

So, now everything just feels a bit different. That phase of my life is over. What I can do now is to teach my children about how amazing they were and keep the legacy going. I love you, Grandpa Z, Grandma Z, Grandma T, and Grandpa T. I’ll see you when I get there.

 

Marjorie Jean (DeBroux) Thielke

8 June 1927 – 13 February 2015

Earlier today, my maternal grandmother passed away. Her death, while not a shock or surprise, still pains us deeply. Even though you try not to pick one, she was always my favorite grandparent. I loved all of them the same, but I was always most excited to see Grandma Thielke.

Marjorie Jean DeBroux was born on 8 June 1927 in Port Washington, Ozaukee, Wisconsin to Leon & Mildred (Van Price) DeBroux. She was the middle child of five children. On 28 August 1948, she married my grandfather in Port Washington. I remember celebrating their 50th (and then 60th) wedding anniversary. They were both owners of a wonderful sense of humor, which they obviously passed down to their descendants and always made family get-togethers a lot of fun. I know my cousins would agree with me when I say that Christmas with that side of the family was always something to look forward to.

Thinking about Grandma will always remind me of how she was always so vibrant and full of happiness. It will remind me of spending time with her and my grandfather at their cottage on the lake, which we affectionately called “Grandma’s Lake.” It will remind me of the countless times we made our way over to her house in all kinds of weather to get to pick a few candies out of her candy jar. She was always ready to feed our sweet tooth. Her memory will also live on in my daughter. My daughter’s middle name, Jean, is from my mother, who gets her middle name from my grandmother.

I am sad, but not very emotional about her passing. Maybe it’s because I feel like I processed a lot of that emotion when I visited her on Monday and said my goodbyes or due to the fact that I think she’s in a better place now. If all is right with the world, she can now see her parents again, or even her younger brother, Donald, who suddenly passed away in 1942 when she was only 15, that she still openly cried about . However it all happens, one thing is always true, we’ll miss you Grandma.

Her video memorial is now available to watch online.

I carry the things that remind me of you
In loving memory of the one that was so true
Your were as kind as you could be
And even though you’re gone
You still mean the world to me

Alter Bridge, “In Loving Memory” —

Marge ThielkeI’m going to be doing a few posts this week about my maternal grandmother’s ancestry in honor of her. She has not been doing too well for the last few months and her condition has taken a turn for the worse this week. I visited her yesterday, possibly for the last time, so I thought I should honor her with a few posts about the people who came before her.

Her maiden name, DeBroux (deh-broo), as far as we can tell at this point, hails mainly from Belgium. Though, Belgium itself has gone through a few “owners” throughout history (Netherlands, Spain, Austria, Burgundy.) By the time the earliest ancestor we have documented dates for, Jean Joseph Desire DeBroux, was born in 1830, Belgium had just gained independence from the Netherlands. The DeBroux family was mainly from the Walloon-Brabant region, which is a predominately French-speaking area. Also, based on the amount of DeBroux burials from the Walloon Region on BillionGraves, I may have a lot of cousins still living there.

This same ancestor was the first DeBroux in our line to arrive in the United States, settling in central Wisconsin in the mid-to-late 1850s. The family stayed in that area for a few generations before her father, my great-grandfather, Leon DeBroux, moved with his family to Port Washington, Ozaukee, Wisconsin in the 1920s presumably due to employment.

Next post I will dig into another interesting line from her mother’s ancestry, the Van Price (van Parijs) line. For now, keep her in your thoughts.

The fifteenth ancestor is my 52 week challenge is my maternal 3rd-great-grandfather, Jean Joseph Desire DeBROUX.

When I originally received the information on this family, it was only listed as Desire & Desiree DeBroux. That was the info I had for the longest time. They always caught my eye since it was such an interesting set of names.

Later on, I found out that Desire was born Jean Joseph Desire DeBROUX on 16 February 1830 to Jean Joseph & Anne Catherine (LANGELE) DeBROUX. He was born in the small village of Piétrebais in the Walloon Brabant Province of Belgium.

The next fact I have documented for Desire was his marriage to Desiree, also known as Marie Desiree LOOD, on 30 November 1854 in Piétrebais. They had their first child, Victorie Marie, in Piétrebais in 1855 before setting out for America in around 1857, settling in the center of the state of Wisconsin, mainly in the Outagamie County and Langlade County areas.

My great-great grandfather Joseph Wilbert DeBROUX was born in Outagamie County in May 1865.

Desire and Desiree passed away not too far apart from each other. Desire passed away on 6 April 1912 and Desiree on 19 November 1912 in the small Norwood Township in Langlade County, Wisconsin. They are both buried at St. Joseph’s Catholic Cemetery in that township.

This post is 15 of 52 in the “52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks” Challenge” begun by Amy Johnson Crow.

Up until now, I really only had photos and documents from my paternal side of the family, not including documents found online, etc. Recently, I’ve finally been given a collection of those things from my maternal side and it’s pretty awesome.

As always, a lot of the photographs are unlabeled, but I can tell who a few of the people probably are. Plus, I am fortunate that my maternal grandparents are still with us and hopefully we can find some time to sit down with them to discuss some of items.

I am currently in the process of scanning them, so you can probably expect an increase of “Way Back Wednesday” posts.

Here is one nice photo from the dozens I have scanned.

Thielke Family
circa 1919-1920. Click for larger. Much, much larger.

I’m almost positive that the couple on the left side of the photo are my great-grandparents, Arthur & Madora (Last) Thielke. Most of the photos are not labeled, but based on other photos and face recognition, I’m pretty certain it’s them. I will confirm with my grandfather at some point. My guess is this is either their wedding (since it’s dated around 1920) or another important event. I have no clue who the other couple is, but it’s safe to say that they are probably a relation to Arthur and/or Madora.

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?

The weekly history from our family trees for this week. I plan on getting back to this since I’ve been so busy lately. As always you can browse the history by date on the Dates & Anniversaries page.

November 28th

1841 – Died – Constant Joseph LAURENT – Constant is Brian’s 4th-great-grandfather on his mother’s side. He was born 14 Oct 1777 in Grez-Doiceau, Walloon Brabant, Belgium. In 1809, he married his wife Marie Josèphe BERO. He passed away in Biez, Chaumont-Gistoux, Waloon Brabant, Belgium.

November 29th

1716 – Born – Rachel (BURLSON) WARNER – Rachel is Darcy’s 7th-great-grandmother on her mother’s side. She was born in Suffield, Hartford Co., Connecticut. She married her husband, John WARNER, in 1741 and passed away in an unknown year at Pittsford, Rutland Co., Vermont.

1821 – Married – Antoine Joseph CALONNE & Marie Eleanore Joseph ETIENNE – Antoine and Marie are Darcy’s 4th-great-grandparents on her mother’s side. They were married at Dhuy, Namur, Belgium and together had 13 children.

November 30th

1854 – Married – Jean Joseph Désiré DEBROUX & Marie Desiree LOOD – Jean and Marie are Brian’s 3rd-great-grandparents on his mother’s side. They were married at Piétrebais, Walloon Brabant, Belgium. Together they had 7 children, only one was born in Belgium before they traveled to the US and settled in Wisconsin.

December 1st

1828 – Died – Marie Catherine LOUIS – Marie is Darcy’s 6th-great-grandmother on her mother’s side. She was born in about 1747 in Thorembais-les-Beguines, Walloon Brabant, Belgium. She married Jean Francois RENIER in 1774 and passed away at Thorembais-les-Beguines, Walloon Brabant, Belgium.

December 4th

1842 – Born – Barbara (REINDL) HUIZEL – Barbara is Darcy’s great-great-grandmother on her father’s side. She was born in Bohemia, which is now part of the Czech Republic. She married John HUIZEL in about 1864. She passed away on 6 Feb 1905 in Plymouth, Cerro Gordo Co., Iowa.

Photo from Charles' Passport. Note his name listed as just "Price."

By the time the VAN PRICE surname ended in my ancestry, it had already been changed at least once. My great-grandmother, Mildred Vida (DEBROUX) VAN PRICE, was the last to have the surname before she married my great-grandfather. Her father, as he is listed on later documents and his headstone, was Peter VAN PRICE. Though, he wasn’t born with that name. His name when he was born was Pieter Franciscus VAN PARIJS.

For years, I didn’t have much more info on the VAN PRICE surname in my tree besides the two people listed above, and I didn’t have anything on Peter except for his name. That all changed on day when searching for information using Google. I was looking for information on the Van Price line, but I always hit a brick wall. I had happened to find something that mentioned that “Parijs” was sometimes written as “Price” in America. So, I searched for Van Parijs and ran across a Dutch Genealogy website, Zeeuwen Gezocht [Zeeland Archives]. It turns out that the VAN PARIJS family is from the Zeeland area of the Netherlands and this website was a treasure trove of information. From there I found information going back many generations. I know that “Van Parijs” roughly translates into “of Paris” in French, so I’m wondering if this family came from France, since I have traced them back into Belgium.

From the archive website  I found Peter’s parents, Charles Ludovicus VAN PARIJS and Johanna Maria KREBBEKX. Then Charles’ father was found as Jacobus Bernardus VAN PARIJS, then Phillipus Jacobus Bernardus VAN PARIJS, and finally Joannis VAN PARIJS. This is as far back as I’ve been able to find, though I haven’t dug in and done much research in a few years. By this time, the VAN PARIJS family was located in the East Flanders, Belgium area.