Tag: newspapers


SS Weser Ad

The last few days I’ve been doing a lot of searching through old newspapers for hints of information, obituaries, articles, etc. On a whim, since my ZALEWSKI ancestors arrived in Baltimore, I decided to see which newspapers Google had from Baltimore. On a side note, as amazing as Google is at organizing data, their historical newspapers are not very well organized. I simply love the fact that I can browse these old papers, so that’s awesome. It’s just that you can easily search everything all at once, but not specific papers. The Milwaukee papers I mentioned in my recent post were different because JSOnline did some of their own code to search all 3 papers at once. Also, the papers are listed alphabetically, but not by location. It’s tough to find all papers from one location, except if the paper was named for the city. To find the location of, say, “The Daily Republican,” you need to open one and look at an image. A lot of work.

Anyway, I found that Google had images from the Baltimore American from 1857 to 1902. I had originally gone in to see if they possibly had any information on one infant ZALEWSKI daughter, Elsa, who was on the passenger list but never seen again. I had assumed she died not long after arriving and thought there may be a mention of it. Instead, I ended up seeing that every day the paper would list the comings and goings at the Port of Baltimore. The first paper I browsed was Saturday, November 23, 1889, the day my family arrived. Nothing listed in there. Then I checked the next day, Sunday, November 24, 1889 and found this:

Baltimore
Baltimore American, 24 Nov 1889

The first line on the “Arrived Yesterday” list is the ship the ZALEWSKI family arrived on, the S.S. Weser.

Stmr Weser (Ger). Bruns, from Bremen Nov 6 — 426 passengers and mdse to A. Schumacher & Co.

From what I can find, I think “mdse” stands for “Merchandise.” I’m also pretty sure “Bruns” is the name of the captain as the other entires have similar mentions. There is also a bit about the pilot of the Weser seeing some other ships and giving descriptions of them at the bottom. Though, there is no “new” information from this article, except the exact date the ship left Bremen, it’s very cool to see the actual article from when they arrived in America. It almost makes it more real, if that makes sense.

The only thing I did find in the November 23rd edition of the paper was an ad for the S.S. Weser from their shipping company, Nord Deutscher Lloyd.

SS Weser Ad
Baltimore American, 23 Nov 1889

I think my immigrant ancestors may (or may not) argue that the ships had “splendid Cabin accommodations,” but maybe I’m wrong. I might just have to do some research on “A. SCHUMACHER & CO.” to see what I can find.

I usually post a Weekly History on Sunday, but there were not a lot of entries for this week. I received a neat newspaper clipping from my Aunt this week that I will post instead.

Click for larger

This is the original newspaper ad for the house/subdivision I live in now, which was originally purchased by my grandparents. Do you think if I take this ad to my mortgage company that they would match it?

November 30th

1854 – Married – Jean Joseph Desire DEBROUX & Marie Desiree LOOD – Desire and Desiree (as they were known) are my 3rd-great-grandparents on my mother’s side. They were both born in Piétrebais, Walloon Brabant, Wallonia, Belgium.  They married in Belgium before immigrating to central Wisconsin. They had 7 children, including my ancestor Joseph DEBROUX. Desire and Desiree both died in 1912 and are buried in Norwood, Langlade Co., Wisconsin.

There is not a lot of history in my family for this week, so I leave you with an interesting story about tracking down lost Civil War burial locations in my local paper.

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?

I was able to scan some neat stuff from my great-grandfather, Joseph Zalewski, that my dad had in his possession. Joseph was a Milwaukee Police Officer for 33 years.

Click for larger image
Click for larger image

There was also a writeup after his retirement in 1951. (Sorry for the blurriness. It’s tough to scan since it’s taped to the back of a picture frame, so the reflection and angles made it hard to position.)

Joseph Zalewski

When I bought my house in 2005, I ended up purchasing my grandparent’s house. My grandpa had passed away in 1999 and my grandma was moving into an assisted living apartment since she hurt herself in a little fall. I did get a very nice deal on the house. It’s perfect “starter” house, being the house that they bought new in 1955 and that my dad and his siblings grew up in.

When she moved, a bunch of boxes were left in the basement. Most of it was just things like blankets and pots and pans, things she doesn’t need right now. I found one box a few months back when I was taking inventory that I saw had funeral cards and old newspaper clippings in it. Today, I decided to just browse through them to see if there were any of my ancestors that I could use to squeeze out some more information.

I only found a few funeral cards on the top and they were probably of old friends, I assume, and not relatives. But, I did find a nice collection in the news clippings box. Most of the items were just random clippings of recent photos and articles from the newspapers. But, I did find a nice selection of old obituaries, though. A couple were straight from the newspapers and a few others were copies. The obituaries that I found were from Emma Jane (FIRMENICH) COOK (my gg-grandmother), George S COOK (Emma’s 3rd husband), Margaret (STEARNS) BRAATZ (my gg-grandmother), Frank F BRAATZ, Sr (her husband and my gg-grandfather), and Margaret (SCHUMACHER) STEARNS (her mother and my ggg-grandmother.) Most of the obituaries didn’t have any new info of note, but the big find was the last one. In my tree, all I had was “Margaret” listed and her death date. This obituary gave me her birth info and her surname, which is brand new to me. Plus, it listed all of her siblings and locations. I need to start looking for SCHUMACHER now, any tips?

Another treasure find in the box was some old letters written to my grandfather from his parents in 1941. It seems, from the address that he was in navy school in Pensacola, Florida. There are about 5-10 letters all written from March 31, 1941 to April 27, 1941. One weird note here is that my great-grandmother, his mother, Emily (TROKA) ZALEWSKI, passed away on May 1, 1941. In the later letters that I just quickly scanned through, there is no mention of being sick, etc. So, this points to her death being quite sudden as she was only 45 years old at the time. Maybe my grandfather saved these letters due to the fact that he was away in Florida when his mother died. There are no letters beyond the April 27th one. I am in the process of scanning them so I can read them and archive them. This is the only comunication from my great-grandmother that I’ve found. Then, I plan on taking this box over to my grandmother since I’m assuming she’ll want it.

20090125

After going out to dinner for our birthday (my wife & I) with my parents last night, we got to talking a bit about genealogy and some stories about my grandparents. It was mentioned that my maternal grandfather was in World War II. I was never sure on this subject since I’ve heard nothing about. I’m told that he doesn’t talk about it for reasons unknown to my parents. He’s never even mentioned it to my mother. I completely respect his decision. Who knows what he may have experienced in Europe in the 1940s.

I’m aware of all of the documents available for World War II either at Ancestry or Footnote, so I thought I’d look around. I have yet to find any mention of my grandfather in any documentation available. This doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. I saw it mentioned that some documents have yet to be released due to privacy. My mom and dad mentioned that they think he was a Sergeant since my grandmother sometimes calls him “Sarge.” Does anyone know of any other places to check?

My search for that information turned into finding a nice collection of newspaper articles on my maternal family line. I happened to find my grandfather in an article from the Sheboygan Press in 1941 mentioning that he came in 3rd place in some sort of kite contest. I also found their wedding announcement, a mention of a speeding ticket he got in 1968 and a bunch of other neat articles. I also found some other obituaries and wedding announcements. Don’t underestimate the information in some of these old newspapers. Ancestry has a lot of newspapers on file that are mostly searchable. Footnote doesn’t have a lot yet, but knowing them they’ll be getting a lot more and I like their system a bit better.

Here are some examples of what I found:

Just find a local paper on one of these sites, if there is one available, and just browse around by searching for last names. You’ll find some cool stuff.