Tag: Milwaukee


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.

Click for larger
Click for larger

I did a basic post on Forest Home Cemetery as my first post of the Graveyard Rabbit of Southeastern Wisconsin site.

I went to the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee’s Golda Meir Library last week to spend some time looking through old newspapers for obituaries. UWM has all of the Milwaukee Sentinel and Milwaukee Journal (and Journal-Sentinel) papers on microfilm back to about 1886 or so.

I found a few obituaries, the earliest being from 1939. I had looked in a few papers for obituaries from 1922 and 1925, but I did not find them. I know they died in Milwaukee, but I’m assuming that back then only more well-known people had their obituaries in the paper. They probably implemented the common “Death Notices” section later on.

While looking over the obituaries and the classifieds section that was around it, I noticed some interesting entries. These were probably normal back in the 30s and 40s, but they seem strange today.

YOUNG man, 19, wishes position with reliable concern.

GIRL: over 20, general housework; no cooking; 1 baby; own room

NOT responsible for any debts contracted by my wife, Anna Wurm, on or after Aug. 9, 1941.

LEARN WHILE ASLEEP; Relaxation, memory and will-power; self-confidence, weight reduction, speech, typing, etc. FREE Literature M.P. INSTITUTE

I’m calling that last one for sure. I wonder if they can research my family tree while I sleep, too?

Wordless Wednesday
Click for larger image

This is a photo of my great-great-grandparents, Joe & Clara (SZULTA) TROKA on their 50th wedding anniversary. The date of this photo would be somewhere around 29 Jan 1944 since they were married in 1894. They were married at St. Hedwig’s Church in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. There is a very nice writeup and history for St. Hedwig’s at Wikipedia. Here is a closer photo from the “Polsih Churches of Milwaukee” website.

Crumble Crumble..

Since publishing my Single View post on my great-great-grandfather, Frank J Zalewski, Sr. I have been checking all information I have on the Zalewski family. I ran through each of his children’s records and all of the other info I had written down. I was then looking for copies of obituaries that I know I’ve seen. I checked the “Zalewski” folder in my file cabinet and decided to just browse through everything in there again. In 2000 I was in contact with a descendant of Frank & Anna, Michael Rynka, that was also doing some research. When my dad and I met him, he gave me a nice booklet with all of his Zalewski family information in it. There was nothing new in that book, but I was able to scan in a lot of the photos that I had never scanned.

Then I read over the two letters that he had sent me originally. There was nothing new in the letters that popped out, until I read this:

I am especially interested in learning more about the parents and siblings of Frank Zalewski, Sr. I do not know their names, nor do I know how many brothers and sisters he may have had. My mother’s (Editor’s note: his mother is Frank & Anna’s granddaughter) godfather was Joseph GORALSKI, and she remembers that he was somehow related to the Zalewski family. However, I don’t know what the relationship may have been. Joe GORALSKI was not Frank’s brother-in-law, since his wife’s maiden name was not Zalewski. Perhaps Joe was Frank’s cousin.

I decided to go down this path. This paragraph most likely means that Joseph GORALSKI had lived in the Milwaukee area. After finding a Joseph Goralski in the Milwaukee US Census records (1900-1930), he is shown living with his wife and in-laws in the same area as Frank & Anna. His in-laws are listed as August & Anna GWIAZDOWSKI. Using the information in these records (immigration, birth, etc) I found this same group in a Philadelphia passenger list for December 1892. In the notes for this group of people it says, “Visitors Nephew Franz Zaleski at 902 Pulaski St.”

Click for larger image
Click for larger image

Seeing that Pulaski Street is right near Fratney Street in the Riverwest neighborhood of eastern Milwaukee where Frank and his family lived most of their life, this was a very, very good clue. Now, assuming this all adds up, this would make August GWIAZDOWSKI Frank’s uncle and Mary GORALSKI (Joe’s wife) his cousin. And, obviously, this would make Frank’s mother’s maiden name GWIAZDOWSKI, also.

Now, I have yet to prove this information, but I am so happy that this passenger list happened to list that much detail as to where exactly the passengers were going. This is the first time I’ve seen that much detail and it was the exact information that connects them to my family. Without it, I wouldn’t have gave it a second thought.

This opens up more research, but that’s a good thing. One good and bad thing is that the surname GWIAZDOWSKI doesn’t seem to be extremely popular. I’ve already found some information on other people researching it, so I have some contact to make.

Unfortunately, I’m not sure if Michael Rynka is still around. It’s been 9 years since I’ve last contacted him. When we met him he was already blind in one eye and I had heard that he may have had a stroke in the last few years. I checked around today using online phone books and even looked through the obituaries, but I haven’t found him. I do have his address and phone number from 2000, so I may just go out on a limb and give them a try.

See, it pays to do these Single View posts, huh?

This is the first of my “Single View” posts. These will be entries on a specific individual (or possibly family.) I will put out as much detail as I have in hopes to find someone who may have more information. Not only will this help me get the info online, but it will also help me dig through the data again and maybe find something I missed originally. I welcome any research tips.

This entry is about Frank J ZALEWSKI, Sr. Frank is my great-great-grandfather and the oldest Zalewski entry in my family tree. As with most people, I’d like to dig deeper into my paternal (surname) line as far as I can. Unfortunately, this is probably the shortest line I have.

(more…)

May 18

1678 – Died – Francois CHEVREFILS – Francois is my 9th-great-grandfather on my mother’s side. He was born in 1643 at Perigueux, Perigord, Dordogne, France. He married Marie LAUNY on 18 Mar 1678 in St. Ours, Richelieu, Quebec, Canada. Francois passed away in St. Ours.

1848 – Born – Peter MUHM – Peter is my 3rd-great-grandfather on my mother’s side. Peter was born in Hanover, Germany. He married my 3rd-great-grandmother, Ida SCHAVANDIE, on 18 Apr 1870 at Germantown, Washington Co., Wisconsin according to their marriage certificate. They had 3 children. Peter passed away on 6 May 1888 in Langlade Co., Wisconsin.

May 20

1840 – Married – Jacobus Franciscus KREBBEKX and Maria Sophia SCHALLOIR. Jacobus and Maria are my 4th-great-grandparents on my mother’s side. They were married in Hoofdplaat, Zeeland, Netherlands. They had two children, including my 3rd-great-grandmother, Johanna Maria KREBBEKX.

1920 – Died – Olivie Marie ST. LOUIS – Olivine is my 3rd-great-grandmother on my mother’s side. She was born 17 Sep 1835 in Yamachiche, St. Maurice, Quebec, Canada. She married Jean-Baptiste LAURENT on 7 Sep 1857. According to notes in the History of Outagamie County [Wisconsin], Olivine was the first school teacher in Phlox, Wisconsin. She passed away in Phlox at the age of 85.

May 21

1835 – Married – Jacobus Bernardus VAN PARIJS and Janneke DEES. Jacobus and Janneke are my 4th-great-grandparents on my mother’s side. They were married at Ijzendijke, Zeeland, Netherlands. They had 5 children, including my 3rd-great-grandfather, Charles Ludovicus VAN PARIJS.

1893 – Born – Joseph Frank ZALEWSKI – Joseph is my great-grandfather on my father’s side. Joseph was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to Frank J ZALEWSKI, Sr and Anna LINDNER. He was the 4th child and the first to be born in Milwaukee. After serving in the Army in World War I, Joseph married my great-grandmother, Emily M TROKA, in about 1919. Emily passed away at a young age in 1941. He lived with his new wife until he passed away on 15 aug 1981 in Cedarburg, Ozaukee Co., Wisconsin. He is buried at Holy Cross Cemetery in Milwaukee.

May 22

1646 – Born – Nicolaes VAN CRAYBECK – Nicolaes is my 9th-great-grandfather on my mother’s side. He was born in St. Lambertus, Herck, Belgium. He married my 9th-great-grandmother, Helena WAGEMANS, on 9 Aug 1671. He passed away on 26 Mar 1721 in Kuringen, Belgium.

1743 – Died – Madeleine BENOIT – Madeleine is my 7th-great-grandmother on my mother’s side. She was born 19 Jun 1965 in Trois-Rivieres, St. Maurice, Quebec, Canada. She married Gabriel Robidas dit MANSEAU on 16 Sep 1715. They had 12 children and she passed away at Baie-du-Febvre, Yamaska, Quebec, Canada.

Wordless Wednesday

This week’s photo is of my grandfather, Richard Zalewski, and his friend Jenny Strelka. There is no year mentioned, but Richard looks to be maybe 4 or 5 years old, so I would guess 1924-25. I’m assuming it’s also in Milwaukee, Wisconsin since Richard grew up there. I don’t see a Jenny Strelka in my family tree f ile, but I’m assuming it may be my grandfather’s cousin since his aunt Martha Zalewski had married John Strelka.

Ran across an article in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel this morning about new burial options at some of the area’s largest cemeteries, Natural (or Green) Burials.

According to the article:

All burials in this area will include a biodegradable coffin, or a shroud and other container, and no toxic embalming or concrete vaults. No individual markers will be used, but names and dates will be engraved on large boulders in the 3-acre cemetery, planted in native prairie flowers and grasses.

Currently, it’s being offered at Forest Home Cemetery (which I posted about earlier) and Prairie Home Cemetery in Waukesha, Wisconsin. For us genealogists, don’t worry about not being able to find a loved one.

There’s one other new twist on age-old burial practices: Anyone visiting the prairie cemetery will get a GPS device and help finding the grave.

As a genealogist, I would miss the headstone and other things that are so helpful to photograph for your research, but you can get a photo of the engraved stone.

I do find it interesting and I love that it’s better for the environment. I’ll have to keep an eye on it around this area. I know they’ve been doing it around the country for awhile now.

[ Article Link ]

Sorry, I haven’t been posting recently. I had other things going on and I was also not doing much research. But, I will get back on the horse today. Happy Easter.

April 12

1923 – Married – Maurice CORRIGAN and Agnes BRAATZ. My great-grandparents were married in Iron Mountain, Dickinson Co., Michigan. Maurice and Agnes grew up somewhat near each other in Ashland, Wisconsin which is where they probably met.

April 14

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 1819.

April 15

1895 – Born – Frances Dorothy ZALEWSKI. Frances is my great-great-aunt on my father’s side. She was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She married Edwin G CYBELA in about 1916. She passed away on 18 Jul 1965 in Milwaukee.

April 17

1867 – Born – Frank F BRAATZ. Frank is my great-great-grandfather on my father’s side. He was born in Germany to Wilhelm & Marie BRAATZ. He married Margaret K STEARNS in 1891. He passed away on 10 Jul 1948 in Ashland, Ashland Co. Wisconsin and is buried there at Mt. Hope Cemetery.

April 18

1870 – Married – Peter MUHM and Ida SCHAVANDIE. Peter & Ida are my 3rd-great-grandparents on my mother’s side. They were married in Germantown, Washington Co., Wisconsin. Their third child is my great-great-grandmother, Minnie M MUHM.

1892 – Married – Thomas J CORRIGAN and Emma Jane FIRMENICH. Thomas & Emma are my great-great-grandparents on my father’s side. They were married in Sanborn, Ashland Co., Wisconsin. This was Thomas’ second marriage and Emma’s first. Their first child, Maurice CORRIGAN, is my great-grandfather.

1999 – Died – Richard Joseph ZALEWSKI. Richard is my grandfather. He was born 9 Dec 1921 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and married my grandmother, Mary Jane CORRIGAN, on 11 Oct 1947. He lived part of his life in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and then settled down in Cedarburg, Ozaukee Co., Wisconsin for the remainder of his life. His death was one of the reasons I got into genealogy and one of the reasons I wish I would’ve got into it sooner.

Click for larger image
Click for larger image

According to the note for this photo, this is a picture of my grandfather, Richard Zalewski (middle), with his sister Irene to his left and Eugene Nowiski to his right. I don’t know off-hand who Eugene Nowiski is, but it does look like he’s ready to change someone’s oil. Multiple people have said that my grandfather looks a bit like me in this photo when I was a kid. I can see it. I assume the photo was taken in Milwaukee, Wisconsin as Richard lived there most of his life.