Peter THIELKE was my 3rd-great-grandfather on my mother’s side. Peter came to America with his wife Marie (maiden name unknown) sometime between 1854 and 1856. I figured this since their son Charles “Fritz” was born in 1854 in Germany and their son Herman was born in Wisconsin in 1856. Their second son, Johann, was my 2nd-great-grandfather. They settled in Grafton, Ozaukee Co., Wisconsin and lived there for the rest of their lives. Peter and his wife Marie are buried at Union Cemetery in Port Washington, Ozaukee Co., Wisconsin.
The headstone this week is from my great-great grandfather, Johann THIELKE. Johann was born on 26 Oct 1843 in WÃ¼rttemberg, Germany. He married my great-great grandmother, Wilomene “Minnie” RATHKE on 21 June 1891 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. That marriage date makes him 47 when he married Minnie and she was married previously. This makes me wonder if Johann was previously married also, but I have yet to find any evidence of this. Johann passed away on 24 Apr 1927 in Grafton, Ozaukee County, Wisconsin. He was buried at St. Paul’s Cemetery in Grafton. Below is an image on the back of his headstone with some German writing. I can’t make it out, but if any of you can, let me know what you think it says.
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:
- Augusta (Luedtke) Last Obituary – My great-great grandmother
- Leon & Mildred DeBroux 50th Wedding Anniversary – My great grandparents
- Sled Patent Article – A patent introduced by my great grandfather. I want to look more into this.
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.