Tag: German


One of the things I received from my grandparent’s house within the last few years is an album full of very old, but unlabeled photos. While on one hand, it’s awesome. The photos are in great condition and there are dozens of them. On the other hand, I have no idea who these people are. Most people I could talk to about it are no longer with us. Fortunately, my grandfather’s older sister, my great aunt Eleanore, is still alive at 94. UPDATE (10/26/16): I did get to visit with my great aunt, though she has no idea who is in any of the photos. So, no luck there.

old-photo-album
Front cover of the album

The album is in pretty good shape overall for being very old. Most of the photos are of the Cabinet Card variety, but there are a few Tintypes included. The Cabinet Cards are from photography studios mainly in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, but also from Connecticut and Port Washington in Wisconsin and as far away as Chemnitz and Rostock in Germany.

I’ve been able to scan all of the photos, back and front, so I shouldn’t need to keep moving them around. A lot of the pages are pretty fragile and some of the photo holders are ripping and breaking. There are both large and small photos.

An example of one of the pages.
An example of one of the pages.

I”m going to try my best to determine what I can about the photos. I hope to take you on the journey with me as I post my findings here. It may be as simple as visiting my great aunt and her telling me who everyone is (wouldn’t that be nice?) At the very least, I will get each of the photos posted online with as much info as I can. Maybe someone, somewhere will know more about it.

The twenty-fifth ancestor in my 52-week challenge is my wife’s 4th-great-grandfather, Henry LINT. This time I just seemingly picked an ancestor at random. I know very little about Mr. Lint and what I do have in the database may not be 100% correct, but that’s what these posts are for, right?

Holmes County, Ohio
Holmes County, Ohio

We have the birth of Henry Lint on 11 April 1810 in York, York County, Pennsylvania. According to Wikipedia, this area of Pennsylvania was a big area for the Pennsylvania Dutch immigrants from many areas of Germany, including the Palatinate of the German Rhine. From the little research I did do on Henry Lint, I do remember seeing some Pennsylvania Dutch information.

In 1833, Henry married Eleanor “Ellen” Murphey in Holmes County, Ohio. On a related note, Holmes County is home to the largest Amish community in the country and a lot of the Amish descend from Pennsylvania Dutch, which ties Holmes County back to York County.

In Ohio in 1842, Henry and Ellen gave birth to my wife’s ancestor, Mary Jane LINT. At some point, the family must have settled in southwestern Wisconsin, as Henry is buried there.

Henry died on 7 January 1893 and, just found his entry now, is buried at Bowen Cemetery in Richland Center, Richland County, Wisconsin.

This post is 25 of 52 in the “52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks” Challenge” begun by Amy Johnson Crow.

Photo: Sunset over Amish Farm by Alvin Trusty on Flickr

That seems to be how it always works, doesn’t it? You finally solve a family research mystery and it just creates more mysteries. But, what fun would it be if we ran out of mysteries to solve?

The story of how I solved one mystery late last night is somewhat interesting. I spent a few hours over the last month trying to track down the birth record of my 3rd-great-grandfather, Johann LAST. I happened to run across his marriage record in 1849 in, what was then called, Plathe in Pommern, Germany (today it’s Płoty in western Poland.) The record indicated that he was from Minten, which was near Naugard (now Nowogard) which is a bit south of the area. I spent hours looking through the available church records on FamilySearch’s website in the Naugard area for any trace. I did find a few LAST entries, but nothing for my family.

Last night, on a whim, I just decided to start looking through records just to the north of the Plathe area, since I didn’t get to those on my last search. I wasn’t expecting much since it’s not that close to Naugard or Minten. I started with the parish of Batzwitz (now called Baszewice) which also included a few other smaller parishes in the area. I jumped in a few pages to skip over the cover page, etc, and the first page I came to had a baptism entry for LAST. Though it wasn’t anything familiar, I did take it as a good sign. In all of my searching, I found that the surname isn’t very common. I was only in 1823 and Johann was listed to be born in 1825. I kept working through the pages, seeing more LAST entries. Then, on the first page of the 1825 baptism records for the parish of Barkow, I spotted what looked like “Johann Wilhelm Gottlieb,” his full name from his marriage record.

This is where one mystery was (more than likely) solved and another one (or more) created. It seems that Johann is listed as uneheliche sohn which basically translates to “illegitimate son.” It does list his mother as Dorothea Sophia LAST, but no father. I know that some church records sometimes have a “legitimacy” section that has listings for when they legitimize the children, so I’m hoping it’s there.

Now, that’s not the only mystery. I spent some time looking through more pages to see if I could see Dorothea in more places and possibly connect her to parents or even a husband at some point. I read one LAST entry that listed the father as Justmann Wilhelm Last and then a sponsor listed as Karl Gottlieb Last Justmann. After some basic searching, I can only figure that Justmann means a “well-to-do man.” Adding even more intrigue, Dorothea is listed as a sponsor in another baptism as schulzen tochter which translates to “mayor’s daughter.” In the next entry is a father listed as schulzen sohn Gottlieb Last which means “mayor’s son, Gottlieb Last.” My guess is Dorothea and Gottlieb are siblings, but I want to dig deeper to find out more since it was late last night when I found this.

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.

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.

I plan on adding major events for both my family tree and my wife’s family tree from now on. That should help some of those less busy weeks. As always, you can find all of this information yourself on the Dates & Anniversaries page.

April 18th

1892 – MarriedThomas J CORRIGAN & Emma Jane FIRMENICH – Thomas and Emma are my great-great-grandparents on my father’s side. They were married at Sanborn, Ashland Co., Wisconsin. This was Thomas’ second marriage as his first wife died in about 1890. Thomas and Emma had 9 children, including my great-grandfather, Maurice CORRIGAN. Thomas passed away just before their last child, Sadie, was born in 1915. Emma later re-married 2 more times before she died in 1941.

1999 – Died – Richard ZALEWSKI – Richard is my grandfather on my father’s side. He was born 9 Dec 1921 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to Joseph & Emily (TROKA) ZALEWSKI. He married my grandmother, Mary Jane CORRIGAN, on 11 Oct 1947 in Milwaukee. He passed away in Cedarburg, Ozaukee Co., Wisconsin and is buried there at St. Francis-Borgia Cemetery. His death was one of the main reasons I got into genealogy in the first place.

April 19th

1678 – Born – Anna Maria LUDWIG – Anna Maria is my wife’s 8th-great-grandmother on her father’s side. She was born in Kurnbach, Baden, Germany. She married Johann Phillip NAST in 1703 and had 7 children. She passed away on 3 May 1748 at Kurnbach, Baden, Germany.

April 20th

1740 – Born – Nathaniel SHANNON – Nathaniel is my wife’s 6th-great-grandfather on her mother’s side. He was born in Portsmouth, Rockingham Co., New Hampshire to Nathaniel & Alice (FROST) SHANNON. He married Ann B CARD in February 1761. He passed away in September 1792 is Portsmouth.

1800 – Born – Antoine Joseph CALONNE – Antoine is my wife’s 4th-great-grandfather on her mother’s side. He was born in Grand-Leez, Namur, Belgium. He married Marie Eleanore Josephe ETIENNE in 1821. He passed away on 9 Dec 1870 in Grand-Leez.

1900 – Died – Charlotte STRASSMAN – Charlotte is my 3rd-great-grandmother on my mother’s side. She was born 20 Jul 1817 in Germany. She married Johann W G LAST sometime before 1850 in Germany before emigrating in 1857. She passed away at Grafton, Ozaukee Co., Wisconsin and is buried at Union Cemetery in Port Washington, Ozaukee Co., Wisconsin.

April 21st

1722 – Born – Thérèse DARD – Thérèse is my 7th-great-grandmother of my father’s side. She was born at Menoux, Haute-Saône, France. She married Pierre Francois QUINET in 1751 and had 7 children. She presumably passed away in France, as did her husband.

April 24th

1927 – Died – Johann THIELKE – Johann is my great-great-grandfather on my mother’s side. He was born 26 Oct 1843 in Schwerin, Mecklenburg, Germany. He immigrated with his family in about 1854. He married Wilomene C RATHKE in 1891 and had one child, Arthur. He passed away at Grafton, Ozaukee Co., Wisconsin and is buried there at St. Paul’s Cemetery.

Frank & Margaret Braatz
Frank & Margaret Braatz

The history in my family tree for this week. As always you can browse the dates yourself on the Dates & Anniversaries page.

April 11th

1939 – Died – Anna A (LINDNER) ZALEWSKIAnna is my great-great-grandmother on my father’s side. She was born 27 Nov 1865 in German Poland. She married Frank J ZALEWSKI in 1885 and emigrated to America in 1889, settling in Milwaukee. Frank and Anna had 9 children together. Anna passed away in Milwaukee at the age of 73 and is buried with her family at Holy Cross Cemetery in Milwaukee.

April 12th

1923 – Married – Maurice Earl CORRIGAN & Agnes Katherine BRAATZ – Maurice and Agnes are my great-grandparents on my father’s side. Maurice was born 28 Dec 1898 in Sanborn, Ashland Co., Wisconsin and Agnes was born 4 Feb 1903 in Mellen, Ashland Co., Wisconsin. They were married at Iron Mountain, Dickinson Co., Michigan and had 5 children. Maurice passed away in 1993 and Agnes in 1998. They are buried at St. Agnes Cemetery in Ashland, Wisconsin.

April 14th

1856 – Died – Jacobus Franciscus KREBBEKX – Jacobus is my 4th-great-grandfather on my mother’s side. He was born 1 Mar 1818 in Hoofdplaat, Zeeland, Netherlands. He married Maria Sophia SCHALLOIR in 1840 and together they had 2 children. Jacobus passed away at Hoofdplaat, Zeeland, Netherlands.

April 17th

1867 – Born – Frank F BRAATZ, Sr – Frank is my great-great-grandfather on my father’s side. He was born in Germany to Wilhelm & Maria (KLEGIN) BRAATZ before immigrating in about 1867. Frank married Margaret K STEARNS in 1891 and had 5 children, including my great-grandmother Agnes. Frank passed away on 10 Jul 1948 in Ashland, Wisconsin and is buried there at Mt. Hope Cemetery.

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.

Click for larger section
Firmenich Section

I have found what I think is the passenger list for my 4th-great-grandparents (found via my 3rd-great-grandfather, Mathias FIRMENICH.) They had it transcribed as Fermainz, which is does look like, but I can see FIRMENICH in it also. Now, a lot of things match up. The list is from April 22, 1847, which is when this family supposedly immigrated according to multiple obituaries, etc.

  • The father is listed as Pet. Firmenich, male, 54 – My Peter is listed as being born in about 1792, which matches up.
  • Son, Mathias, is listed as Mathias Firmenich, male, 4 – I have records of Mathias being born in 1843, so this matches, too.
  • Daughter, Elizabeth, is a listed as Elizabeth Firmenich, female, 2 – According to some newly found information, this also matches up as I have an Elizabeth born about 1845.

Now, I’m lost on a few of the other entries. The wife is listed as what looks like either “Marie” or “Vorpal.” Peter and his wife both have another word before their names, which I can’t make out. I’m only assuming it means either “Husband” or “Father” or something similar since I seem to see it on other families in the list, which would make his wife listed as “Vorpal.” According to Mathias’ marriage record, his mother is listed as Anne Marie TURSELL. I have yet to find her in the census records since I can only find the family in 1860+ and she is not listed. Though, I’m pretty sure she made the trip since they have another son in Wisconsin in 1849.

I also don’t have records of their first two children, daughters Anna and another name I can’t read. Though, their ages would allow them to have been married and gone by the time I found them in the 1860 census, so those are completely possible.

I also can’t make out what I think is the home location. It looks like it says either “Glehy” or “Glihy.” It is also listed for another individual lower in the list. One thing that stuck out is that the “G” on that word doesn’t look much like the other G’s they’ve written, so I don’t know if it’s a G or not.

Is there anyone out there that has some talent at transcribing old German handwriting? Though, this may possibly be in Belgian/French since the port was Antwerp, Belgium. Maybe even another set of fresh eyes will help. The full image is linked below. Thanks.

[ FULL IMAGE LINK ] – Listing is about 75% down the page.

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 ]

Sorry. Been busy doing other things and due to my short attention span, sometimes I get involved in other things and lose interest in the other stuff quickly. Though, that does mean I come back into genealogy more often and usually with a lot of interest. Here’s is my family history for the week of May 3 – 9.

May 3

1905 – Born – Clarice CORRIGAN – Clarice is my great-great aunt on my father’s side. She was born in Sanborn, Ashland Co., Wisconsin where most of the other Corrigan children were born, including my great-grandfather. She passed away in July 1995 in Iron Mountain, Dickinson Co., Michigan.

May 5

1849 – Born – Paulina Henrietta (THOMPSON) FIRMENICH – Paulina is my great-great-great grandmother. She was born in Granville, Milwaukee Co. Wisconsin which is part of the Brown Deer area now (not far from where I live.) Her parents were William Henry THOMPSON and Claude-Françoise QUINET. She married Mathis Balthazar FIRMENICH on 11 Feb 1867 (his birthday) in Holland, Brown Co., Wisconsin. She passed away 3 Jun 1910 in Morrison, Brown Co., Wisconsin. She is buried with her husband in Ashland, Ashland Co., Wisconsin where he lived the rest of his life.

May 6

1888 – Died – Peter MUHM – Peter is my 3rd-great-grandfather on my mother’s side. He was born 18 May 1848 in Hanover, Germany to Friedrich MUHM and Sophia Elizabeth STRASSMAN. He married Ida SCHAVANDIE on 18 Apr 1870 in Germantown, Washington Co., Wisconsin. He passed away at the young age of 40 in Langlade Co., Wisconsin.

May 9

1860 – Died – Mary (CRONIN) MCCANN – Mary is my 4thg-great-grandmother on my father’s side. She was born in 1797 in Ireland, parents unknown. She married Thomas MCCANN, with whom she had 4 children before emigrating to Ontario, Canada.