Tag: Zalewski


It’s the bane of any genealogy research. Finding out you have incorrect information long after you’ve added it to your family tree. In the worst cases, this could have ended up with you researching the wrong line for years. Fortunately, I’ve never (at least not yet) had that issue.

While I love Ancestry.com with their user-submitted family trees and I have used it constantly in my research, it’s a double-edged sword, especially for newer researchers. I sigh and roll my eyes every time I see their television commercial that shows a woman who notices the “shaky leaf” on some of the names in her family tree. When she clicks on them, she is able to add whole new families to her tree. Unfortunately, it seems most people think it’s that easy. Just click and boom, all your work is done.

I admit that in the beginning of my research over ten years ago, I usually just went for quantity over quality. It was so exciting to find new people and information that you just added it. I’ve paid the price for that now, but fortunately not in any major way. I’ve just had to go back, change a few pieces, and re-find all of the sources. That has actually indirectly helped me find new information, since now I look closer at every source I find.

I can use my great-great-grandfather’s profile to prove my point.

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Today would have been my grandfather’s 89th birthday. Richard Joseph Zalewski was born on December 9th, 1921 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The 2nd child of Joseph & Emily (Troka) Zalewski.

He passed away in April 18th, 1999 when I was freshman in college. His death, and a few other moments in 1999, was the reason I became interested in Genealogy and the researching of my family tree. The funny part is that my Zalewski line is probably the one part of my tree that I could use more information on. Information that he probably had.

He was taken early from us by pancreatic cancer.  Of all cancers, pancreatic cancer has one of the highest fatality rates and is the fourth-highest cancer killer in the US. Everyone probably knows someone who has died from pancreatic cancer, including celebrities such as Patrick Swayze.

If you’re in the giving mood, please give to one of these pancreatic cancer researchers:

Hilo, HawaiiFor Wayback Wednesday, I’m going to give you more than just the one photo shown here. I’m going to give you a whole collection of 119 photos. I recently uploaded my grandfather’s Navy photo collection to Flickr. I was hoping that maybe somebody from the photos, or their families, will find them. It would just be nice to let them see the photos. He has a lot of photos of his fellow navymen from when he was stationed in the Hilo, Hawaii area from about 1942 to 1946. There is also a lot of Hawaiian history in some of his photos, like of old Honolulu.

I’d love for you to visit the Flickr photo set and enjoy the history.

AerissaIt’s been 5 days since Aerissa was born. Today is the day that she was scheduled to be born. We were supposed to be going in last night to start the process. It’s still 6 days from her original due date, which was November 10th. Since she’s very healthy, I’m glad she came early. The other day I finally added her to my family tree software, which felt really good. For one, it finally merges my wife’s tree and my tree together. Now I do feel more of a connection to her ancestors now that they are the ancestors of my daughter.

She joins a small group of people in her family tree with the same birthdate:

  • Her maternal 5th-great-grandfather, Peyton WEY. Born in Fauquier County, Virginia in 1805. He lived to 76 years of age, passing on 4 May 1882 in Wisconsin.
  • Her maternal 4th-great-granduncle, Thomas Peyton WEY, son of Peyton WEY. Born in Virginia in 1835.
  • Her paternal 4th-great-grandaunt, Elisabeth Maria FIRMENICH, sister of Mathias FIRMENICH. Born in Eicks, Rheinland, Prussia in 1844. She later married August GRIEPENTROG.
  • Her twin paternal 7th-great-grandaunts, Marie Therese GRIGNAC and Marquerite GRIGNAC. Born in Cap-Santé, Quebec, Canada in 1748.

Brian & Aerissa

She’s here. Just a few days earlier than expected, but she picked an awesome birthday. That’s her with me and my “new dad” beard.

Aerissa Jean Zalewski

Born on 10/31/2010 at 2:31pm – 6lbs 10oz

My Aunt and Uncle let me scan this photo from my grandfather’s collection. It’s a photo of his 8th grade class at St. Casimir’s School in northeast Milwaukee in February 1936. As you can tell by the names, if you can see them, it was a very Polish-heavy area. I’ve magnified my grandfather’s photograph. The original image is very large, so I didn’t want to put the whole thing on the site. The girls got the top area of the photo, the boys on the bottom, and the teachers in the middle.

St. Casimir's School

On a side note, I plan to start posting more often again. I’ve been busy recently, with a new baby on the way and all, and have also not had the genealogy bug for a bit.

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

Frank Zalewski
Frank J Zalewski, Sr - Unknown Year

August 8th

1941 – Died – Frank J ZALEWSKI, Sr – Frank is my great-great-grandfather on my father’s side. He was born somewhere in Germany or Poland on 4 Sep 1858. He married Anna LINDNER in January 1885. They had 3 children in Europe before emigrating to America via Baltimore and then settled in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in about 1892. They had 6 more children here. He passed away in Milwaukee and is buried with his family at Holy Cross Cemetery. Frank is the subject of my “Everything I Know About Frank Zalewski” website.

August 9th

1671 – Married – Nicolaes van CRAYBECK & Helena WAGEMANS – Nicolaes and Helena are my 9th-great-grandparents on my mother’s side. They were both born in Belgium in the mid-1600s. They were married at Kuringen, Belgium. Nicolaes passed away in 1671 and Helena in 1678, both in Kuringen.

1748 – Born – Sarah ROGERS – Sarah is my wife’s 6th-great-grandmother on her mother’s side. She was born in New London, New London Co., Connecticut. In 1776, she married William MOORE II and together they had 4 children. It is unknown when Sarah passed away.

August 10th

1782 – Married – Carey TONEY & Elizabeth DOREN – Carey & Elizabeth are my wife’s 5th-great-grandparents on her father’s side. They were married at Bedford Co., Virginia. Together, they had 10 children including her ancestor, William TONEY. They both lived to be over 100 years of age when they passed away in Preble Co., Ohio.

August 11th

1990 – DiedNorma (POWELL) MORAN – Norma is my wife’s great-grandmother on her father’s side. She was born 24 Dec 1892 in Crawford Co., Wisconsin. She married Frederick H MORAN in about 1915. Together, they had two children, Vivian and Keith. Norma passed away in Madison, Dane Co., Wisconsin and is buried at Boscobel Cemetery in Boscobel, Grant Co., Wisconsin.

August 14th

1872 – Died – Johann W G LAST – Johann is my 3rd-great-grandfather on my mother’s side. He was born in Prussia in about 1820. He married Charlotte STRASSMAN in Prussia and they had three children before leaving for America. Their last child, Amelia, was born in Wisconsin. Johann fought in the Civil War for Co. K in the 50th Wisconsin Infantry. He survived the war, but passed away a bit later in 1872 in Ozaukee Co., Wisconsin. He is buried with a Civil War headstone at Union Cemetery in Port Washington, Ozaukee Co., Wisconsin.

Richard, Irene, Jerry Strelka
A photo of my grandfather, Richard Zalewski, in the middle with his sister Irene on the right and their cousin, Jerry Strelka, on the left. Based on the ages of Richard and Irene, I would estimate the date of this photo to be 1923 or so. It was more than likely taken in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Since I had so much fun setting up my single ancestor site, Everything I Know About Frank Zalewski, I thought I would set up another one for another individual in my tree. Once again, it’s an individual from my paternal line, my 3rd-great-grandfather Mathias Balthazar Firmenich.

I already had a lot of information on Mathias, which is one reason I decided on him. There is always missing information, which is one reason that these projects are helpful. It requires me to comb through all of the information I have and put it in order. I usually end up finding some detail that I had missed earlier. The sites also get to put the visitor into the life of someone who lived in the past and to see what they went through.

Mathias’ life was pretty full. From immigrating to America at a young age to traveling hundreds of miles to a new home to dealing with the loss of children during a disease outbreak, he had been through a lot.

Take a journey and learn more about Mathias on my new site, Everything I Know About Mathias Firmenich.

Joseph & Richard

This is a photo of my great-grandfather, Joseph ZALEWSKI, and my grandfather, Richard ZALEWSKI. Date is unknown, but Richard looks to be about 2 or 3, so this is probably somewhere around 1923-25. I’m assuming it was taken in Milwaukee, Wisconsin as that was where Joseph and his family lived at the time.