Tag: Milwaukee


My first Treasure Chest Thursday. It seems like this will replace the “Tell Me Thursday” posts I used to do. I compressed that into Wordless Wednesday. I can’t guarantee I’ll have a post for every Thursday, but I’ll try.

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This is my great-grandfather, Joseph Zalewski’s, badge from when he was a Milwaukee Police Officer. He became a police officer on February 1, 1918 after returning from World War I. He served until he retired on September 21, 1951. In the recent collection of documents I received was a letter written to him from the Chief of Police about his resignation.

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I’ve decided to start putting the descriptions with my Wordless Wednesday posts instead of posting them the next day. I feel it’s sometimes confusing and more work to post the same thing twice rather than just saying it all on one day. I will still call it Wordless Wednesday, since that’s the name that everyone uses, but it will have words. Sue me.

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This is a photo of my great-great-grandother, Clara (Szulta) Troka and her two daughters, Francis & Emily. Emily is my great-grandmother who married Joseph Zalewski. Francis was better known as Sister Mary Clarentine when she joined the convent. There is no exact date written on this photo, but if I would have to guess I would say it was taken around 1910-1911 since Francis looks very young.

February 1st

1849 – Born – Ignatz Peter SZULTA – Ignatz is my 3rd-great-grandfather on my father’s side. New evidence that I found may actually move his birth date to January 30th. Recently, I had found that Ignatz was born in what is now Sulęczyno Parish, Kartuzy County, Pomorskie, Poland. He married Nepomuncena SYLDATK in 1875 and immigrated to Milwaukee. He passed away on 25 May 1922 in Milwaukee and is buried at Holy Cross Cemetery. Here is part of Ignatz’s birth record showing what looks like 30 Jan for his birth and 31 Jan as his christening.

February 4th

1903 – Born – Agnes Catherine BRAATZ – Agnes is my great-grandmother on my father’s side. She was born in Mellen, Ashland Co., Wisconsin to Frank & Margaret (STEARNS) BRAATZ. She married Maurice CORRIGAN in 1923 and had 5 children. I had the pleasure of knowing my great-grandmother, since she was alive for all of my childhood. She was my last great-grandparent to pass away when she died on 9 Apr 1998. She is buried with her husband at St. Agnes Cemetery in Ashland, Wisconsin.

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This is one of the new photos I found this weekend when looking through my grandmother’s collection. This is the best photo that I have of my great-grandmother, Emily (Troka) ZALEWSKI. She passed away pretty young in 1941 at the age of 45, so there are not a lot of photos of her. This is her and my great-grandfather, Joseph ZALEWSKI on their wedding day in about 1919, since Joe had recently returned from World War I. I have yet to get the exact date of their wedding. I guess it’s one of those things I keep forgetting to dig for.

The other people are mostly unknown to me. The only other person that was labeled was the 2nd man in the back, Leo TROKA, Emily’s younger brother. The other three are not labeled. Though, strangely, there was a 1998 obituary taped to the back of the photograph inside of the frame for an Agnes (Binczak) MAJESKI, who seemed to have lived in that area of Milwaukee according to census records. The obituary was not specifically pointing at any certain individual, but it is possible that this woman is one of the women in the photo.

There are many more wonderful photos in this collection, so besides getting a treasure trove of great family photos, I shouldn’t run out of Wordless Wednesday/Tell Me Thursday posts for awhile.

Today’s surname is another one from my Polish side. SZULTA is presumably pronounced like SCHULTA. This surname first shows up in my ancestry with my great-great-grandmother, Clara SZULTA, who was born in Poland (or Prussia or Germany, I’m not sure yet.) I can only trace it back to Clara’s father, Ignatius SZULTA, who brought his family to America from Europe.

Ignatius SZULTA was born 1 Feb 1849 in Poland (Austria, as it’s noted.) He married Nepomuncena “Annie” SYLDAKT (I’ve also seen it written as SOZAK) in 1875. Together, they had 9 children with the first 3 born in Poland; Clara, Valerian, and Martha. These three children are listed on the passenger list along with Nepomuncena. Ignatius probably came over first, but I have yet to find his record. They settled in Milwaukee. I first find an “Ignats Szulta” in the Milwaukee City Directory in 1883 living at 943 Sobieski St.

Clara was born in Poland 6 Jan 1876. She married Joseph TROKA at. St. Hedwig’s Church on the east side of Milwaukee on 29 Jan 1894. They had 4 children, including my great-grandmother, Emily M TROKA, where it finally connects to my ZALEWSKI family. Ignatius passed away 25 May 1922 and Annie shortly thereafter on 22 Dec 1925. They are both buried at Holy Cross Cemetery in Milwaukee. Clara lived until 19 Jul 1959, only a few years before her husband was killed by a drunk driver on New Year’s Day in 1962.

It’s one of those surnames that is somewhat uncommon, so finding ancestors is usually simple. I search and if I find results, it’s usually a family member. I do run into some issues when it shows up under SCHULTA or SCHULTE since it usually groups names like Schultz and Schulz along with it, which makes it hard to browse. Googling SZULTA usually just brings up links to my sites and a few general Genealogy surname sites. It doesn’t seem to be very common. I have another researcher that I am in contact with that has been researching this family, as she is descended from one of Ignatius and Annie’s children. One of those lines that I get a lot of searches from is the URMANSKI family that branches out from their daughter Leocadia “Lilly” and her husband, Ignatz URMANSKI. That one seemed to spread out pretty far from the SZULTAs.

I need to spend some time searching these names but replacing SZULTA with either SCHULTA or SCHULTE and see what I get, though most sites include those using Soundex.

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Click for larger

This is a photo of my great-grandfather, Joseph Zalewski, and my grandfather, Richard Zalewski. The photo says it was taken in 1927-28 on Richards St. in Milwaukee. There are a few photos of my grandfather and these puppies.

Wordless Wednesday
This is a photo of my grandfather, Richard Zalewski, and his older sister, Irene (Zalewski) Lutzenberger. I’m guessing it is sometime in the mid-1920s, since Richard looks to be 4-6 years old.

Joseph Zalewski - WWI - Click for larger
Joseph Zalewski - WWI - Click for larger

August 9th

1671 – Married – Nicolaes van CRAYBECK & Helena WAGEMANS – Nicolaes and Helena are my 9th-great-grandparents on my mother’s side. They were married at Kuringen, Belgium.

August 10th

1732 – Died – Louise DEGUITRE – Louis is my 8th-great-grandmother on my mother’s side. She was born 5 Aug 1667 in Cogne, Aunis, France. She married Jacques Robidas dit MANSEAU in 1692. She passed away at Baie-du-Febvre, Yamaska, Quebec, Canada.

August 11th

1692 – Married – Alexis RICHARD & Claudine LANGLOIS – Alexis and Claudine are my 9th-great-grandparents on my mother’s side. They were married at Neuville, Port Neuf, Quebec, Canada.

1736 – Died – Vincent DUCHARU – Vincent is my 8th-great-grandfather on my father’s side. He was born about 1660 at Menoux, Haute-Saône, France. He married Claudine HANRYOT in about 1670. They had 6 children, including my ancestor, Anne Françoise DUCHARU. He passed away at Menoux, Haute-Saône, France.

August 12th

1697 – Died – Guillaume PEPIN – Guillaume is my 10th-great-grandfather on my mother’s side. He was born about 1607 at St. Laurent, Saintonge, Xaintes, France. He married Jeanne Mechin dit DE FRONTIGNY in about 1645. He passed away at Trois-Rivieres, St. Maurice, Quebec, Canada.

August 13th

1715 – Died – Marie Madeleine ROUSSEL – Marie is my 8th-great-grandmother on my mother’s side. She was born 23 Nov 1676 at Trois-Rivieres, St. Maurice, Quebec, Canada. She married Gabriel BENOIT on her birthday in 1693. She passed away at Baie-du-Febvre, Yamaska, Quebec, Canada.

1715 – Married – Pierre LAFOND & Marie Jeanne LEFEBVRE – Pierre and Marie are my 8th-great-grandparents on my mother’s side. They were married at Batiscan, Champlain, Quebec, Canada.

1977 – Died – Sister Mary Clarentine TROKA – Sister Mary was born Frances TROKA on 31 Mar 1910 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to Joseph and Clara (SZULTA) TROKA. She is my 3rd-great-aunt on my father’s side. She took her first vows on 2 Aug 1935. She passed away in Wisconsin in 1977.

August 14th

1782 – Born – Pierre-Jean QUINET – Pierre-Jean is my 5th-great-grandfather on my father’s side. He was born at La Paroisse de Contréglise, Département de Haute-Saône (Franche-Compté), France. He married Marie-Francoise GRANGIER in 1811. They had 9 children including my ancestor, Claude-Françoise, who was also known as Francesca. They immigrated to the United States first settling in New York. They made their way to Canada where their daughter, Emilie-Francoise was born. According to research, they made their way to Wisconsin in about 1844. They are found in the 1850 census in Mequon, Ozaukee Co., Wisconsin and then in 1860 they are found in Fredonia, Ozaukee Co., Wisconsin. Pierre-Jean passed away on sometime between 1860 and 1870, presumably in Wisconsin.

1872 – Died – Johann W G LAST – Johann is my 3rd-great-grandfather on my mother’s side. He was born about 1820 in Prussia. Between 29 Mar 1865 and 14 Jun 1866 he was stationed with Company K, 50th Infantry Regiment Wisconsin during the civil war. He passed away in Ozaukee Co., Wisconsin and is buried with a soldier’s headstone at Union Cemetery in Port Washington, Ozaukee Co., Wisconsin.

August 15th

1853 – Born – Nepomuncema SYLDAKT – Nepomuncema, also known as Annie, is my 3rd-great-grandmother on my father’s side. She was born in Poland (Austria) according to census records and also wins the strangest name award in my family tree. She married Ignatius SZULTA in about 1870. Her name always confused me until I ran across this entry at Wikipedia on John of Nepomuk, whom I assume the name comes from. She passed away on 22 Dec 1925 at Milwaukee, Wisconsin and is buried there at Holy Cross Cemetery.

1981 – Died – Joseph Frank ZALEWSKI – Joseph is my great-grandfather on my father’s side. He was born October 1892 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the first boy of his parent’s 5 previous children. In 1917 he registered for World War I and was stationed with the 86th Division, Company B, 331st Machine Gun Battalion as I found out in my previois research. When he returned he married Emily TROKA and became a Milwauke City Police Officer until he retired in 1951. He passsed away at Cedarburg, Ozaukee Co., Wisconsin and is buried at Holy Cross Cemetery in Milwaukee.

Courtesy of britmum@Flickr
Courtesy of britmum@Flickr

I tried, but I couldn’t come up with a joke for that. “Polish Flats” are common here in the Milwaukee area. I’ve recently been exploring the area where my great-great-grandfather, Frank Zalewski, and his family resided when they immigrated to Milwaukee in 1891. Frank and his family’s first house was located at 902 Pulaski Street in Milwaukee. They are noted to live there until about 1898 when they moved to 900 Fratney Street.

According to researchers at UWM in Milwaukee, “A ‘Polish flat’ is an American workers’ cottage that has been raised to create a new basement floor, thus becoming a modest two-story flat.” [More information here.] The Pulaski street area is full of these types of houses. They even built them two or three-deep at certain points, so it makes finding the right house a mess. You can see on this Google Maps link just how crowded they built these houses.

I assume the house on Pulaski street is still standing. Unfortunately, the city of Milwaukee underwent a massive address overhaul in 1931 and most of the addresses in that area have changed. There is no common mathematical equation used to figure out the new address, since they based it on measurements. I did find a guide on how to find the general range of the new address, which should be in the 1800 range now.The 1930 census still lists the old addresses, so that doesn’t help.

From the 1900-1930 census, the family of Jacob Zalewski lived at 902 Pulaski. This is the man I assume is some relation to Frank, possibly a brother, since they both lived there for years. Jacob passed away sometime between 1913 and 1920 according to census records. His wife Pauline was living there in the 1930 census with her children. The earliest city directory available at Ancestry after 1930 is the 1937 directory. I checked under Zalewski and it lists Pauline as passing away on December 30, 1936 and lists no address. There are three listings for Zalewskis on Pulaski street: Jacob G, Leo, and Joseph. These are three names of Jacob and Pauline’s sons, though they are also popular Polish names. They all live from 1758 to 1762 Pulaski Street. If I had to take an educated guess, this is probably where Frank Zalewski lived when he came to Milwaukee. Here is a view of it at Google Street View (you’ll need to find the house pushed way back, Google doesn’t automatically point at it.) I also happened to find another photo of it while searching for Pulaski Street information.

I drove through the area at my lunchtime on Monday since it’s only a few miles from where I work. It’s very hard to get around if you don’t know the area due to a lot of one-way streets. Now that I have a better idea, I may make another trip for some photos.

Photo:

Frank Zalewski, Sr
Frank Zalewski, Sr

Looks like the beginning of the week is a bit slow.

August 5th

1667 – Born – Louise DEGUITRE – Louise is my 8th-great-grandmother on my mother’s side. She was born in Cogne, Aunis, France. She married Jacques Robidas dit MANSEAU in 1692. She passed away on 10 Aug 1732 in Baie-du-Febvre, Yamaska, Quebec, Canada.

1731 – Died – Francois ROUSSEL – Francois is my 9th-great-grandfather on my mother’s side. He was born about 1646 in St. Leonard, Beaumont le Roger, Normandie, France. He married Madeleine PEPIN in 1671. He passed away at Baie-du-Febvre, Yamaska, Quebec, Canada.

August 6th

1987 – Died – Margaret Lenore CORRIGAN – Margaret is my great-great-aunt on my father’s side. She was born 10 Jan 1912 at Ashland, Wisconsin to Thomas J CORRIGAN and Emma Jane FIRMENICH.

August 8th

1774 – Married – Joseph Robidas MANSEAU & Catherine LaFond MONGRAIN – Joseph and Catherine are my 6th-great-grandparents on my mother’s side. They were married at St. Antoine de la Baie-du-Febvre, Yamaska, Quebec, Canada. They had 11 children before Joseph passed away in 1776.

1941 -Died – Frank J ZALEWSKI, Sr – Frank was my great-great-grandfather on my father’s side. He was born 4 Sep 1858 in Prussia. He married Anna LINDNER in 1883 and immigrated to America in 1889. He worked as a City Laborer most of his life, mainly in the Parks department. He passed away in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and is buried there at Holy Cross 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