CategoriesBig NewsDeBrouxThielke

The Other Half

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.

CategoriesMilitaryThielke

World War II Mystery

A couple of weeks ago I finally got a bunch of photos from my maternal side of the family. I really had next to nothing when it came to photos for that side of the family compared to the amount from my paternal side. Among the awesome pics of my grandparents and their families when they were younger, there are some photos of my grandfather during World War II. You may have remembered that there is almost nothing known about his time in WWII. It’s not something he talked about with most people and he’s considered too “young” to show up in a lot of the available public military records. I have yet to go to the state military archives, since there may be some stuff there, too.

One amazing photo was of him and a group of other men from November 1945 in Mannheim, Germany. The building behind the group has the words “504 QM BN Headquarters” on it. I quickly translated that to the “504th Quartermasters Battalion.” As much searching as I did, I could not find any info on that specific battalion. I posted a query over on /r/Military on reddit and got some help, but nothing solid. Fortunately, on the back of the photo were the names of all of the men. I searched for all of them and didn’t find much besides some generic obituaries, but again, no solid info.

Thielke 1945
Click for larger. My grandfather is 2nd from the left in the 2nd row.

My mom brought over another photo album and some newspaper clippings. One of the clippings was from a local paper in 1944 talking about my grandfather, a local man, and his service information. This clipping lists him as being part of the “748th F. A. Bn. Hq. Btry.” out of Camp Shelby, Mississippi which I assume is the “748th Field Artillery Battalion Headquarters Battery.” Again, no solid leads on that information, but it is another avenue of research.

The research trail continues. I may have some time to sit down with my grandparents, though they are slowing down in their old age, and maybe ask him about his service. Rumor has it that he was working on getting all of his military info in one place before he needed heart surgery a few years ago. Maybe he’s waiting for someone to ask him now.

CategoriesFamily TreeGermanThielke

Johann Thielke

With the change in the way I built my “Everything I Know” sites, I added a new one.

This one is about my maternal great-great grandfather, Johann THIELKE. This is the first one I’ve done on my maternal line. It’s also actually the first one I’ve done with not a lot of information. The first two I did, for Frank ZALEWSKI and Mathias FIRMENICH actually had a good deal of information. After doing this one for Johann, I started to notice how much info I didn’t have. I’m hoping the site will help me find more information or more avenues to research.

Take a look at the Johann THIELKE site or even browse the other sites I’ve done.

CategoriesWeekly History

Weekly History: July 25th – July 31st

The important dates for this week in our family history. As always, you can find this info on the Dates & Anniversaries page.

Thomas & Emma Corrigan Family

July 25th

1915 – Died – Thomas J CORRIGAN – Thomas is my great-great-grandfather on my father’s side. He was born on 3 Mar 1855 in Mara Township, Brechin, Ontario, Canada. He married Emma Jane FIRMENICH, his second marriage, in 1892 and together they had 9 children. Thomas passed away on the same day his youngest daughter, Sadie, was born. He is buried at St. Agnes Cemetery in Ashland, Ashland Co., Wisconsin.

July 26th

1751 – Married – Pierre François QUINET & Thérèse DARD – Pierre and Thérèse are my 7th-great-grandparents on my father’s side. They we married at Contréglise, Haute-Saône, France and together had 7 children including my ancestor, Antoine QUINET.

1919 – Married – Arthur THIELKE & Madora LAST – Arthur and Madora are my great-grandparents on my mother’s side. They were married at Port Washington, Ozaukee Co., Wisconsin and together had 4 children. Arthur passed away in 1964. Madora later re-married and passed away in 1979. They are buried together at St. Paul’s Cemetery in Grafton, Ozaukee Co., Wisconsin.

July 27th

1921 – Married – Leon DEBROUX & Mildred VAN PRICE – Leon and Mildred are my great-grandparents on my mother’s side. They were married at Mattoon, Shawano Co., Wisconsin and together had 6 children. They later moved to Port Washington, Wisconsin where they lived the rest of their lives. Leon passed away in 1982 and Mildren later in 1994. They are buried together at St. Mary’s Cemetery in Port Washington.

July 28th

1900 – Died – Georg Heinrich STIERNS – Georg is my 3rd-great-grandfather on my father’s side. He was born in 19 April 1935 in Württemberg, Germany. He married Katherine Margaretha SCHUMACHER in about 1862. After they had 4 children in Germany, they emigrated to Wisconsin in about 1881. The name was also listed as STEARNS.

July 29th

1684 – Died – Eleanor (ALDERSEY) CUTTS – Eleanor is my wife’s 10th-great-grandmother on her mother’s side. She was born about 1682 in Portsmouth, Rockingham Co., New Hampshire. In 1649, she married Richard CUTTS. She passed away in Portsmouth 9 years after her husband.

July 31st

1886 – Died – Jean-Baptiste LAURENT – Jean-Baptiste is my 3rd-great-grandfather on my mother’s side. He was born on 18 Jan 1825 in Biez, Chaumont-Gistoux, Walloon Brabant, Belgium to Constant and Marie (BERO) LAURENT. He later emigrated to America and married Olivine ST. LOUIS in 1857 at Little Chute, Outagamie Co., Wisconsin. He is buried at St. Joseph’s Catholic Cemetery in Norwood, Langlade Co., Wisconsin.

CategoriesGenetic GenealogySaturday Genealogy Fun

SNGF: Matrilineal Line

For Randy Seaver’s Saturday Night Genealogy Fun post, he asks:

  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.

I’ve already done this since, yes, I have had my mDNA tested. I had it done for the National Geographic’s Genographic Project.

  1. Me, Brian ZALEWSKI
  2. Sharon THIELKE (Living) married John ZALEWSKI
  3. Marjorie DeBROUX (Living) married LeRoy THIELKE
  4. Mildred Vida VAN PRICE (1903 Mattoon, WI – 1994 Port Washington, WI) married Leon DeBROUX
  5. Minnie M MUHM (1879 Norwood Twsp, WI – 1959 Port Washington, WI) married Pieter Franciscus VAN PARIJS
  6. Ida SCHAVANDIE (1852 Wisconsin or Germany – 1934 Antigo, WI) married Peter MUHM
  7. Anna RASCH (? Germany – ?) married Lawrence SCHAVANDIE

So, Anna RASCH is as far back as I’ve traced so far. When I took the test, I only had up to Ida and not much info about her, so I am making progress. Pieter VAN PARIJS changed his name to Peter VAN PRICE, which is why the name changes during that generation. That caused me some headache until I figured it out.

According to my DNA test, my Mitochondrial line hapolgroup is H. According to the Haplogroup H Wikipedia entry,it is the most common mtDNA haplogroup in Europe. About one half of Europeans are of mtDNA haplogroup H. That does back up the German heritage of my line.

CategoriesWeekly History

Weekly History: April 18th – 24th

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.

CategoriesSurnameSurname Saturday

Surname Saturday: LAST

No, not a last name, the name LAST. You should see how difficult it is to do any sort of search on this surname. Typing in “last surname” or just “last” into search engines usually gets me a lot more than I need. Sometimes it gives me “Did you mean ‘last name’?” It’s even tough on genealogy sites like Ancestry, since some records put in “Last” if the person’s surname was unknown.

The LAST surname first shows up in my tree from my great-grandmother on my maternal side, Madora Martha Louisa LAST, who married Arthur THIELKE. Madora was one of 16 children! She was the tenth child for Charles Carl LAST and Augusta Johanna LUEDTKE, born in Grafton, Ozaukee Co., Wisconsin. Charles was born in Doeringshagen, Pommerania, which is located in present day Poland. His parents were Johann W G LAST (a Civil War veteran) and Charlotte STRASSMAN. Charles has immigrated to Wisconsin with his parents in 1857 and shows up in the 1860 Census in Wisconsin.

According Ancestry’s surname information page, LAST was most common in Wisconsin in 1880. Also, they note it to mean a metonymic occupational name for a porter, from Middle High German last; German Last or Yiddish last “burden’, “load’. A porter is more than likely someone who was in charge of a door or a gate (similar to a doorman.)

There are many LASTs in this area, most of which probably descend from Augusta & Charles and their 16 children. Augusta not only had 16 children, but she lived to be 100-years-old. Now comes the part when I need to research back in Poland.

CategoriesTell Me ThursdayThielke

Tell Me Thursday: Wedding

Click for larger
Click for larger

This is a photo from my grandparent’s wedding on August 28, 1948 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Port Washington, Wisconsin. The church is known for it’s large decorations and ceiling. It’s also frequently painted along with downtown Port Washington as it sits on a high hill overlooking the downtown area. You can see it in the third photo down on this page.