Tag: Zalewski


This is a photo of my Grandpa, Richard Zalewski, and my younger brother, Joel in 1986. I’m assuming it’s around Easter since that’s where the photo was in the album. I like the fact that they’re wearing matching shirts, or as we called them, “Grandpa Shirts.”

One of the big mysteries I am trying to solve in my genealogy is to find more information on my great-grandfather, Joseph Zalewski’s, military history. According to a previous family researcher, all of his military files were burned in the extremely destructive 1973 National Personnel Records Center fire. So, all the information I had was that he served in World War I, possibly in France at some point. By sheer luck, during a random Google Books search, I found him listed in a book about the 86th Division headquartered at Camp Grant in Illinois. From there I was able to determine that they were shipped to France in 1918, but never saw combat due to the Armistice. Though, it did mention that a lot of the division was broken apart and used in other divisions at the time. I did a more in-depth post about this find about a year ago.

In this huge collection of photos and documents that I currently have from my grandmother, there are some documents about my great-grandfather including a military record. It looks to be his “Honorable Discharge” papers. About half-way down on the “Enlistment Record” side it has a hand-written line that says:

5th Co. 161 Depot Brigade. Last assignment to 323rd Machine Gun Bn.

Unfortunately, it looks as though the previous line may be missing, but I do now have more information on where he may have went after the 86th Division broke apart. I have yet to find much information on the 323rd Machine Gun Battalion, which looked to be part of the 83rd Division. I mostly find information on Ohio, since it looked to be originally stationed there.

Here are the two documents. Click the for larger versions.

February 22

1890 – Died – William Henry THOMPSON – William is my 4th-great-grandfather on my father’s side. Unfortunately, I’m not exactly sure where and when he was born. The census and other records span from 1810 to 1816 and mention England, Ireland, and Scotland. He married Francis QUINET in 1839 and had 10 children. He passed away in Wrightstown, Brown Co., Wisconsin and is buried there at St. Paul’s Cemetery.

February 23

1831 – Born – Herman RATHKEHerman is my 3rd-great-grandfather on my mother’s side. He was born in Germany and married Fredericke C HENKE. They had 3 children in Germany before immigrating to Wisconsin. Herman passed away on 9 Feb 1898 and is buried at Union Cemetery in Port Washington, Ozaukee Co., Wisconsin.

February 25

1632 – Married – Herman van CREIJBECK & Joanna PANSARS – Herman and Joanna are my 10th-great-grandparents on my mother’s side. They were both born in 1610 in Belgium. In 1646, they had a baby boy, Nicolaes van CRAYBECK, my ancestor. Herman passed away in 1649 and Joanna in 1653, which makes me wonder where Nicolaes grew up.

1883 – Married – Carl F H LAST & Augusta Johanna Wilkelumire LUEDTKE – Carl and Augusta are my great-great-grandparents on my mother’s side. They were married in Milwaukee Co., Wisconsin after immigrating with their families from Prussia. Together, Carl and Augusta had a whopping 16 children. Carl passed away in 1926, but Augusta lived to be 100-years-old and passed away in 1963.

February 27

1945 – Died – Marianna ZALEWSKI – Marianna is my great-grandaunt on my father’s side. Her birth location and dates differ depending on the record, though tracking this information could help me track the ZALEWSKI family. The dates I have are: March 1890 in Poland/Germany; 22 Mar 1891 in Baltimore; Maryland, 22 Mar 1891 in Ohio; and 1891 in Wisconsin. Since I do have a record of the ZALEWSKI family arriving in Baltimore in 1889 with no mention of Marianna, I can cancel out the Poland/Germany option. They were first found in Milwaukee in the 1892 city directory, so all of the other options still work. Marianna married Frank GIERSZEWSKI (before changing it to GIERSCH) in 1913 and passed away in 1945 in Milwaukee. She is buried with her husband at Holy Cross Cemetery in Milwaukee.

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The lady at the left is my great-great-grandmother, Anna (LINDNER) ZALEWSKI. There is no year on the photo, but it is before 1939 when Anna passed away. Maybe someone can tell from the car in the back. The remaininge two individuals were not noted on the photo, but I’m pretty sure the other lady is somehow related to Harry Potter.

My first Treasure Chest Thursday. It seems like this will replace the “Tell Me Thursday” posts I used to do. I compressed that into Wordless Wednesday. I can’t guarantee I’ll have a post for every Thursday, but I’ll try.

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This is my great-grandfather, Joseph Zalewski’s, badge from when he was a Milwaukee Police Officer. He became a police officer on February 1, 1918 after returning from World War I. He served until he retired on September 21, 1951. In the recent collection of documents I received was a letter written to him from the Chief of Police about his resignation.

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I’ve decided to start putting the descriptions with my Wordless Wednesday posts instead of posting them the next day. I feel it’s sometimes confusing and more work to post the same thing twice rather than just saying it all on one day. I will still call it Wordless Wednesday, since that’s the name that everyone uses, but it will have words. Sue me.

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This is a photo of my great-great-grandother, Clara (Szulta) Troka and her two daughters, Francis & Emily. Emily is my great-grandmother who married Joseph Zalewski. Francis was better known as Sister Mary Clarentine when she joined the convent. There is no exact date written on this photo, but if I would have to guess I would say it was taken around 1910-1911 since Francis looks very young.

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This is one of the new photos I found this weekend when looking through my grandmother’s collection. This is the best photo that I have of my great-grandmother, Emily (Troka) ZALEWSKI. She passed away pretty young in 1941 at the age of 45, so there are not a lot of photos of her. This is her and my great-grandfather, Joseph ZALEWSKI on their wedding day in about 1919, since Joe had recently returned from World War I. I have yet to get the exact date of their wedding. I guess it’s one of those things I keep forgetting to dig for.

The other people are mostly unknown to me. The only other person that was labeled was the 2nd man in the back, Leo TROKA, Emily’s younger brother. The other three are not labeled. Though, strangely, there was a 1998 obituary taped to the back of the photograph inside of the frame for an Agnes (Binczak) MAJESKI, who seemed to have lived in that area of Milwaukee according to census records. The obituary was not specifically pointing at any certain individual, but it is possible that this woman is one of the women in the photo.

There are many more wonderful photos in this collection, so besides getting a treasure trove of great family photos, I shouldn’t run out of Wordless Wednesday/Tell Me Thursday posts for awhile.

Richard Zalewski
Richard Zalewski, Miami, Florida, Sept 1941

This weekend I picked up the mother lode of photos, documents, and information on my grandparent’s families. My aunt and uncle were holding on to my grandmother’s heirlooms, which included my grandfather’s stuff after he passed away. I knew my grandmother had a few photo albums since I previously borrowed them and scanned some photos. I was pretty surprised at all of the other items in the boxes. There were old documents, death certificates, baptism records, funeral cards, old Navy photos, and even film/video from the 30s and 40s (fortunately, on VHS.)

I only scanned a few things so far, but I have a lot of work ahead of me. I’d like to get everything scanned just as a way to digitally back it all up. I also happen to have a VHS-to-DVD machine that I bought to transfer my parent’s home videos to DVD as a Christmas gift one year, so that makes backing up the video pretty easy. One problem there, I can’t find the remote control for it and it has a lot of little important buttons on it. One of the cats probably stole it and made a bed out of it or something.

That does bring me to a question for somebody out there. My paternal grandfather served in the Navy during World War II. He didn’t see combat overseas, but he was stationed “overseas” in Hilo, Hawai’i. From what it sounds like from stories, photos, and some news articles is that he was there for the 1946 Hilo Tsunami and helped rescue people. Along with his Navy stuff, he has dozens of photos of fellow Navy men, including their last names and which group they served in. What would be the best way to go about possibly scanning these photos in and getting them to family members? Is there a “Navy Veterans” message board or something similar? I think it’d be very nice to get copies of the photos to some of these people’s families.

Along with that, a very helpful fellow Polish researcher sent me some copies of the baptism record of my 3rd-great-grandfather, Ignatz Szulta, from 1849 and also his marriage record with Nepomuncena Syldakt in 1875 that he happened to run across. Ignatz’s parent’s names are listed on his baptism record, which is new to me. I now just need to try to transcribe it. Those were extremely helpful and very interesting to read. Thanks, Al.

Today’s surname is another one from my Polish side. SZULTA is presumably pronounced like SCHULTA. This surname first shows up in my ancestry with my great-great-grandmother, Clara SZULTA, who was born in Poland (or Prussia or Germany, I’m not sure yet.) I can only trace it back to Clara’s father, Ignatius SZULTA, who brought his family to America from Europe.

Ignatius SZULTA was born 1 Feb 1849 in Poland (Austria, as it’s noted.) He married Nepomuncena “Annie” SYLDAKT (I’ve also seen it written as SOZAK) in 1875. Together, they had 9 children with the first 3 born in Poland; Clara, Valerian, and Martha. These three children are listed on the passenger list along with Nepomuncena. Ignatius probably came over first, but I have yet to find his record. They settled in Milwaukee. I first find an “Ignats Szulta” in the Milwaukee City Directory in 1883 living at 943 Sobieski St.

Clara was born in Poland 6 Jan 1876. She married Joseph TROKA at. St. Hedwig’s Church on the east side of Milwaukee on 29 Jan 1894. They had 4 children, including my great-grandmother, Emily M TROKA, where it finally connects to my ZALEWSKI family. Ignatius passed away 25 May 1922 and Annie shortly thereafter on 22 Dec 1925. They are both buried at Holy Cross Cemetery in Milwaukee. Clara lived until 19 Jul 1959, only a few years before her husband was killed by a drunk driver on New Year’s Day in 1962.

It’s one of those surnames that is somewhat uncommon, so finding ancestors is usually simple. I search and if I find results, it’s usually a family member. I do run into some issues when it shows up under SCHULTA or SCHULTE since it usually groups names like Schultz and Schulz along with it, which makes it hard to browse. Googling SZULTA usually just brings up links to my sites and a few general Genealogy surname sites. It doesn’t seem to be very common. I have another researcher that I am in contact with that has been researching this family, as she is descended from one of Ignatius and Annie’s children. One of those lines that I get a lot of searches from is the URMANSKI family that branches out from their daughter Leocadia “Lilly” and her husband, Ignatz URMANSKI. That one seemed to spread out pretty far from the SZULTAs.

I need to spend some time searching these names but replacing SZULTA with either SCHULTA or SCHULTE and see what I get, though most sites include those using Soundex.

Hey, I’m back again. Been a bit busy and had to put genealogy on the back-burner.

January 17th

1902 – Born – Agnes Irene ZALEWSKI – Agnes is my great-great-aunt on my father’s side. She was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to Frank & Anna ZALEWSKI. She married Chester WALCZAK in 1924. She passed away on 29 Jan 1989 at Cedarburg, Ozaukee Co., Wisconsin and is buried near the rest of her family at Holy Cross Cemetery in Milwaukee.

1908 – Died – Fredericke C HENKE – Fredericke is my 3rd-great-grandmother on my mother’s side. She was born 4 Jul 1836 in Germany and married Herman RATHKE before immigrating to Wisconsin. She passed away in Grafton, Ozaukee Co., Wisconsin and is buried at Union Cemetery in Port Washington, Ozaukee Co.

January 18th

1825 – Born – Jean-Baptiste LAURENT – Jean-Baptiste is my 3rd-great-grandfather on my mother’s side. He was born at Biez, Chaumont-Gistoux, Wallon Brabant, Belgium to Constant & Marie LAURENT. He married Olivine Marie ST. LOUIS in 1857 and they had 9 children. He passed away on 31 Jul 1886 at Phlox, Langlade Co., Wisconsin and is buried nearby at St. Joseph’s Catholic Cemetery in Norwood.

1980 – Born – ME! Happy Birthday to me! Also, Happy Birthday to my wife, Darcy in 1981.

January 19th

1860 -Died – Thomas MCCANN – Thomas is my 4th-great-grandfather on my father’s side. He was born about 1797 at Longford, Ireland. He and his wife, Mary CRONIN, immigrated to Canada with their family. He passed away at Uptergrove, Ontario, Canada.

January 21st

1874 – Born – Pieter Franciscus VAN PARIJS – Also known as Peter Van Price, he is my great-great-grandfather on my mother’s side. He was born at IJzendijke, Zeeland, Netherlands to Charles & Johanna VAN PARIJS. His family immigrated to Wisconsin right after he was born. In 1895, he married Minnie M MUHM and together they had 6 children. He passed away on 22 Sep 1962 in Port Washington, Ozaukee Co., Wisconsin and is buried there at Union Cemetery.

The word prompt for the 19th Edition of Smile For The Camera is “Gift.” It is the holiday season and a time for giving. So give Smile readers the gift of sharing, sharing a family photograph. It can be a gift given or received, it can be the gift of talent, it can be the gift of having the photograph itself. The interpretation of gift is yours. Admission is free with every photograph!

Frank Zalewski & Family - 1909
Frank Zalewski & Family - 1909

I think of this photo as a gift. This photo was the first family history photo that I saw. I see it as a gift of the genealogy bug (it’s not always a bad thing, right?) To this day, I am still working on Frank’s family history trading emails with his possible great-nephew.