Tag: Wisconsin Research


I thought I would write a post on how to convert one of your ancestor’s Land Records into an actual physical location. Right now, I only have the information on how to do this in Wisconsin with the resources that they have available. Other states may have these items available too. Your mileage may vary.

I have Wisconsin Land Records for two of my ancestors, Mathias FIRMENICH and Jean Baptiste LAURENT. I will use Mathias’ Land Record for this example. You can view his Land Record on my Mathias site’s “Land Purchase” entry.

Step One

Find the spot on the record that lists the exact location that your ancestor purchased from the US Government. On Mathias’ record, in the first paragraph, it reads

..the claim of Mathias B. Firmenich has has been established and duly consummated in conformity to law for the southeast quarter of Section 18 in Township 46 north of Range 4 west of the 4th Principal Meridian in Wisconsin containing 160 acres.

To most people, this just looks like gibberish. It did to me at first. I knew what it meant, but I had no idea where to even start to look for it.
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The DeBroux surname first enters my family tree as my maternal grandmother’s maiden name. The surname itself is Belgian, at least when I trace it back from America. According to Ancestry.com, the surname along with the preposition de (‘from’), denoting someone from either of two places called Broux, in Rhône and Vienne. Both Rhône and Vienne are located in France, which a lot of my Belgian and Dutch surnames tend to originate from.

I’ve been able to trace it back the early 1800s. First through my great-grandfather, Leon DeBroux, who was born in 1901 in Phlox, Langlade Co., Wisconsin. Another piece of information for the DeBroux surname is that the DeBroux family seemed to have settled mostly in Wisconsin, which is good for me. Leon’s father was Joseph DeBroux, who was born in May 1865 in Grand Chute, Outagamie Co., Wisconsin. The Grand Chute and Little Chute area is a very high-percentage Belgian and Dutch area. It’s obvious by all of the “Van” and “De” surnames and businesses in the area.

I originally had Joseph’s parents listed a Desire and Desiree DeBroux. I know it sounds like they were a traveling folk duet, but I’m pretty sure they were just normal people. Even though they sound like a unique name combination, I had no luck in finding any more information about them…until. I ran across a site called “Netradyle” (which is all in French) that seems to be a location of a lot of Belgian vital records. Thanks to Google Translate, I was able to find my way around and after some searching I found my DeBroux family. It turns out that Desire and Desiree were their middles names. They probably used them to separate themselves from the others since it seemed that every family named their children either Jean Joseph or Marie. I know why, but it does confuse things now.

So, it turns out the Desire’s full name is Jean Joseph Desire DeBroux and he was born 16 Feb 1830 in Piétrebais, Walloon Brabant, Wallonia, Belgium, which is a small town in central Belgium just east of Brussel. Desiree’s full name was Marie Desiree LOOD. After that I was only able to find Jean Joseph’s parent’s names, but not any specific information from the records on the site. His parents were Jean Joseph DeBroux (go figure) and Anne Catherine LANGELE.

I did some mapping of the DeBroux family using Google Maps, in case you wanted to see all of the locations. It may include other parts of my maternal line, too.

Any other DeBroux families out there?

September 14th

1838 – Born – Margaret SCHUMACHER – Margaret is my 3rd-great-grandmother on my father’s side. She was born in Wurttemberg, Germany. She married Henry STEARNS in about 1862 and then immigrated to Wisconsin. She passed away on 9 May 1908 at Philips, Price Co., Wisconsin and is buried nearby at Oakwood Cemetery in Weyauwega.

September 15th

1665 – Died – Etienne LAFOND dit Mongrain – Etienne is my 10th-great-grandfather on my mother’s side. He was born about 1615 at St. Laurent, Saintonge, Xaintes, France. He married Marie BOUCHER in 1645. He passed away at Trois-Rivieres, St. Maurice, Quebec, Canada.

1982 – Died – Leon Joseph DEBROUX – Leon is my great-grandfather on my mother’s side. He was born 2 Nov 1901 at Phlox, Langlade Co., Wisconsin. He married Mildred Vida VAN PRICE in 1921 and had 5 children. He passed away at Port Washington, Ozaukee Co., Wisconsin and is buried there at St. Mary’s Cemetery.

September 16th

1656 – Married – Jean CUSSON-CALLIOU & Marie FOUBERT – Jean and Marie are my 10th-great-grandparents on my mother’s side. They were married at Trois-Rivieres, St. Maurice, Quebec, Canada. They had 5 children including my ancestor, Marie-Madeleine CUSSON-CALLIOU.

September 17th

1835 – Born – Olivine Marie ST. LOUIS – Olivine is my 3rd-great-grandmother on my mother’s side. She was born at Yamachiche, St. Maurice, Quebec, Canada. She married Jean Baptiste LAURENT  in 1831. She passed away on 20 May 1920 at Phlox, Langlade Co., Wisconsin and is buried nearby at St. Joseph’s Catholic Cemetery in Norwood.

September 18th

1718 – Born – Jeanne Catherine BARBUT – Jeanne is my 7th-great-grandmother on my father’s side. She was born at Contraglise, Haute-Saune, France. She married Jean Claude MARIZOT in 1748. She passed away before 1781.

1956 – Died – Mary Philomene LAURENT – Marie is my 3rd-great-grandmother on my mother’s side. She was born in December 1865 in Wisconsin. She married Joseph DEBROUX on 8 Sep 1891 at Langlade Co., Wisconsin. She passed away at Wausau, Marathon Co., Wisconsin and is buried at St. Joseph’s Catholic Cemetery in Norwood, Wisconsin.

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Thanks to the power of the Internet, I came into possession of this digital photo. I saw via Ancestry.com’s new “Member Connect” feature that another user was researching my 3rd-great-grandparents, Mathias & Paulina Firmenich. I contacted her and we traded information and then she sent me this awesome photo.

As far as I know, my grandmother doesn’t have a photo of Pauline or of the rest of the Firmenich family. That would make this photo the first time I’ve seen Pauline. She had died early on, in 1910, so I assumed there were no good photos of her. I guess I was wrong.

I am told the photo looks to be taken in 1895, probably in Ashland, Wisconsin where the family lived. I’m guessing on the names of the rest of the family here, but using the family list as it looks to be (using the youngest children.) The males in the back are probably Frank and Henry, but I can’t tell which one is older. I assume the two older women in the back are Emma Jane (my gg-grandmother) and Mary. The girl in the middle looks to be the oldest of the younger girls, so I assume it’s Rose. Then from left to right it looks to be Ida, Edna, and Clara. Edna would be the one that looks really bored in the middle. The nice lady who gave me this photo descends from Edna.

The only one missing would be the oldest, Albert. Four of Mathias and Pauline’s children, Hattie, Edmond, Sarah, and Anna, died in 1885 due to an outbreak of what looks to be Diptheria.

So, the moral here (I look to be on a moral kick recently) is to connect and contact everybody that you can that may be researching a common ancestor. You never now what you’ll find. *Cue Forrest Gump and his chocolates*

I have a new headstone for today. Thanks to Steph F at Find-a-Grave, I now have a photo of the headstone of my 3rd-great-grandmother, Maria BRAATZ. I had run across the info from a transcription of a few cemeteries in Waupaca County, Wisconsin. She is buried at Little Wolf Cemetery in Manawa, Waupaca Co., Wisconsin. In the trascription, she was listed as “Maria frau von Wm” which roughly translates to “Maria, wife of William.” Maria’s husband is Wilhelm BRAATZ. There is no record of his burial, but it is assumed he’s buried nearby even if there is no stone. We’ll be checking into that to make sure.

Maria Braatz

[ Find-a-Grave Link ]

So, I’m coming to the end of my family tree tombstone photos. So, instead of trying to find a new one of those to post, I thought I’d post some general cemetery photos. While visiting the cemeteries to find the stones of my ancestors I’d sometimes just take random photos. Some of them turned out pretty good. Cemeteries photos can come out beautiful or sometimes even creepy, depending on the season as seen below.

This photo was taken at St. Francis Borgia Cemetery in Cedarburg, Ozaukee Co., Wisconsin. This is the cemetery my grandfather is buried at. I had stopped there in early spring before winter had loosened it’s grip on the area.

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There are a few Flickr groups dedicated to cemetery photos that are interesting to browse if you’re into that sort of thing. I have submitted a few of mine to some of them. A few of them are: Graves, Tombs, and Cemeteries, Graveyards, and Autumn in the Graveyard.

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.

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Boys

This is a photo from my wife’s family tree. The boy on the right is her grandfather, Keith Moran. The other boys are listed as being Ralph and Lyle, who I assume are family but I don’t have all of the information. There is another photo of these three boys making more faces. The location is somewhere is southwestern Wisconsin where Keith grew up.

Sorry. Been busy doing other things and due to my short attention span, sometimes I get involved in other things and lose interest in the other stuff quickly. Though, that does mean I come back into genealogy more often and usually with a lot of interest. Here’s is my family history for the week of May 3 – 9.

May 3

1905 – Born – Clarice CORRIGAN – Clarice is my great-great aunt on my father’s side. She was born in Sanborn, Ashland Co., Wisconsin where most of the other Corrigan children were born, including my great-grandfather. She passed away in July 1995 in Iron Mountain, Dickinson Co., Michigan.

May 5

1849 – Born – Paulina Henrietta (THOMPSON) FIRMENICH – Paulina is my great-great-great grandmother. She was born in Granville, Milwaukee Co. Wisconsin which is part of the Brown Deer area now (not far from where I live.) Her parents were William Henry THOMPSON and Claude-Françoise QUINET. She married Mathis Balthazar FIRMENICH on 11 Feb 1867 (his birthday) in Holland, Brown Co., Wisconsin. She passed away 3 Jun 1910 in Morrison, Brown Co., Wisconsin. She is buried with her husband in Ashland, Ashland Co., Wisconsin where he lived the rest of his life.

May 6

1888 – Died – Peter MUHM – Peter is my 3rd-great-grandfather on my mother’s side. He was born 18 May 1848 in Hanover, Germany to Friedrich MUHM and Sophia Elizabeth STRASSMAN. He married Ida SCHAVANDIE on 18 Apr 1870 in Germantown, Washington Co., Wisconsin. He passed away at the young age of 40 in Langlade Co., Wisconsin.

May 9

1860 – Died – Mary (CRONIN) MCCANN – Mary is my 4thg-great-grandmother on my father’s side. She was born in 1797 in Ireland, parents unknown. She married Thomas MCCANN, with whom she had 4 children before emigrating to Ontario, Canada.

This weeks photo is that of my great-great-grandparents, Joseph & Mary Philomene (LAURENT) DEBROUX. The stone is located in St. Joseph’s Catholic Cemetery, Norwood, Langlade Co., Wisconsin. Joseph DEBROUX was born 1864 in Grand Chute, Outagamie Co., Wisconsin to Desire and Desiree DEBROUX. He married Philomene LAURENT on 8 Sep 1891 in Langlade Co. She was born 1866 in Wisconsin to Jean Baptiste LAURENT and Olivine Marie ST. LOUIS.

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[ Find-A-Grave Profile | Cemetery Info ]