Sunday, May 24, 2015

Military Monday - Memorial Day is Not for Me

That title might be a bit confusing. I don't mean that I don't celebrate Memorial Day. I mean that I don't expect or want you to thank me for serving on Memorial Day. There's a holiday to thank me and other veterans and it's called Veterans Day. Memorial Day is the day that we remember those who gave their lives in the service of their country.

Memorial Day is for people like this man:

And this man:

And this one:

That's not to say that there aren't women that need remembering, but I don't have any in my family tree to be memorialized on this day.

As far as family traditions Memorial Day seemed to have little to do with the military in my family. Memorial Day was the time when flowers were placed on the graves of all of my ancestors. My mother still treks to the old family cemeteries each year to visit their graves. I make the trek as a part of going home, but not as a part of Memorial Day. I probably would if I lived anywhere near "home," but I don't.

I actually like the thought of remembering ancestors on Memorial Day even if it isn't the intent of the holiday (you can read more about Memorial Day here), but I still don't want to be thanked for my service today. What I want is for you to remember those that died so you could live in the country and world you do...even with all its flaws. When you're grilling and sitting in the backyard having a beer have a drink in honor of those men and women that made the ultimate sacrifice.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Sunday's Obituary - Elizabeth Melzer nee Batzler

Fond du Lac Commonwealth Reporter
07FEb1962, pg 26
"Mrs. Joseph Melzer

Funeral services for Mrs. Joseph Melzer, Town of Wayne, will be Friday at 10 a.m. at St. Killian church at St. Killian.

Mrs. Melzer died Tuesday at St. Joseph's hospital, West Bend. She was born Elizabeth Batzler April 17, 1903, in the Town of Wayne, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Batzler. On Nov. 15, 1927, she married Joseph Melzer at St. Killian.

Surviving are her widower; two sons, Robert, Town of Wayne, and Joseph, Jr., at home; one sister, Miss Anne Batzler, Town of Wayne; and three brothers, Oscar, Town of Ashford, and Joseph, Town of Wayne.

Friends may call at Miller's Funeral home, Kewaskum, after 2 p.m. Thursday. Burial will be in the parish cemetery."

I previously shared Elizabeth's husband's obituary here. She is buried in St. Kilian Catholic Cemetery and has a memorial on FindAGrave. Her funeral cards (below) were also passed on to me by my mother-in-law. I had posted them before, but thought I'd include them here as well.

Also something to keep in mind is that the city and parish of Saint Kilian is sometimes seen with one "L" and sometimes with two. People weren't always sticklers for spelling.

While her obituary doesn't give me any information that helps me link her husband's Melzer line to mine it does provide information on family that I may need to add to my tree if I ever make that connection. It's there. I can feel it, but it's still eluding me...

Funeral card -Elizabeth Melzer
Funeral card -Elizabeth Melzer (reverse)

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Funeral Card Friday - Mary Melzer

Funeral card - Mary Melzer
Funeral card - Mary Melzer (reverse)

Mary Melzer nee Schweitzer (according to the memorial on FindAGrave and confirmed by an earlier obituary post I made on her son, Joseph) passed away on April 24th 1967. She was the wife of Frank Melzer who died in 1935. According to the Wisconsin Death Index she died in Dodge County, Wisconsin, but the SSDI has her as passing in Allenton, Washington County, Wisconsin. Whichever is correct she is buried in Saint Kilian's Catholic Cemetery in Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin. These differences don't deter me from knowing this is the right Mary since Saint Kilian is on the border of Fond du Lac and Washington counties and about 2 miles east of Dodge county. They're all right there next to each other.

I can find her in the 1940 US Census widowed and living with her son, Joseph, in Wayne, Washington County on that same farm that belonged to Mary and Frank as well as his parents before him (at least it would appear that way by using the Ancestry map feature linked in the census index).

I don't have much else on Mary. I'm researching if this Melzer line merges with mine somewhere in the 1800s and while I don't expect her obituary to help me make this connection I'll be pulling it anyway when I get the chance.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Tombstone Tuesday - Mary LaJoie nee Villers

LaJoie surname tombstone in Calvary Cemetery, Jamestown, North Dakota*

Mary D, 1872 - 1958*
I'm breaking away for a day from tracing my husband's Melzers, but there's more on them in the works!

Mary LaJoie nee Villers is my husband's 2nd great aunt and sister to Florence. I'm always delighted when I find new information on Florence's siblings. Much of the family research on my husband's family doesn't go laterally, but I always enjoyed discovering where those lines went. Where new cousins can be found. Sometimes that's the best way to break brick walls. Perhaps that cousin knows something that I don't. Lateral lines are too often ignored, but can be oh so important.

In my discovery for Mary's FindAGrave memorial and subsequent photo I also discovered her obituary transcribed in it. Now a good genealogist isn't going to just cut that and paste it into their own work. I'll be looking for the Jamestown Sun for July 3, 1958 and grab a copy for my records. I'll verify that nothing was transcribed wrong, but I'll have the record. I'll also keep in mind that while obituaries aren't primary sources of information they are valuable. The people submitting them are mourning and errors are possible even if the newspaper printed everything exactly as they were told. The information in there will help me with dates to get a death certificate as well as know who survives Mary and who predeceased her.

Mary was a tricky bit in my research. Her name seemed to vary in records and I had her down as a very long "Mary Ann Mina Octavia Villers" in my family tree. I had known that she married Felix LaJoie, but this memorial and obituary on FindAGrave helped to firm that up a bit. I look forward to seeing what new information I might find from what was posted on this memorial!

*Images posted with kind permission from FindAGrave contributor BJ Brewer. Thank you!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Amanuensis Monday - A Brief Note on Eugene Villers

I previously shared a post on the tombstone for Eugene Villers. While I was unable to find an obituary for him I did find a death notice in The Ahnapee Record. A very brief notice. Perhaps there was a longer one in another paper or perhaps I just missed it entirely. I'll freely admit that I hate, hate, hate, hate, HATE searching pre-1900 newspapers. The type is so small and I don't often find what I'm looking for. I have yet to discover the method to their publishing madness. I'm fairly certain I was nearly blind by the time I found this notice and was deliriously happy to have found anything.

The Ahnapee Record, 14JUN1883, pg3

"Eugene Villers, of Lincoln, father of M. Joseph Villers, of this city, died last Sunday. The funeral took place Tuesday from Rosier church, Rev. F. Valliant officiating."

I put down on my research calendar that I need to look in the Lincoln and Rosiere newspapers. Now that I know where he died and was laid to rest I may be able to find something more there.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Sunday's Obituary - Joseph Melzer

The Fond du Lac Daily Reporter, 15APR1926, pg11
"Death Summons Aged Resident of St. Kilian

Joseph Melzie (sic), 84, Washington County Pioneer, Dies This Morning.

Was Native of Austria

Joseph Melzie (sic), 84, died at his home a mile east of St. Kilian at 6 a.m. today of the infirmities of old age. He had been confined to his bed for a week.

The deceased was born July, 30, 1841, in Austria. In 1867 he came to America with his parents and settled on a farm in the Town of Wayne, Washington county, where he has since resided. On Nov. 22, 1867 he married to Miss Katherine Wondra who survives him.

Besides his widow, Mr. Melzei (sic) leaves four daughters, Mrs. Margaret Wahlen and Mrs. Barbara Kohler of St. Kilian, and Mrs. Katherine BeBoe (sic) and Mrs. Julia Schmidt of Milwaukee, on son, Frank Melzel (sic) at home, and 11 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

The funeral will be held Saturday at 10 a.m. from the St. Kilian Catholic church with burial in the adjoining cemetery. The Rev. J.B. Reichel wil (sic)conduct the services."

The Fond du Lac Daily Reporter, 17APR1926, pg12
"MELZIE (sic) - Funeral services for Joseph Melzie (sic), aged resident of St. Kilian, were conducted at 10 a.m. today from the St. Kilian Catholic church. The Rev. J.B. Reichel officiated and burial took place in the adjoining cemetery."

So Joseph's surname is spelled wrong...throughout the entire obituary. At least they were consistent! They even continued to get it wrong in the burial notice. If I hadn't known his location and date of death and had been trolling the newspaper I wouldn't have realized that this was someone to look more closely at.

Something I noticed when I compared Joseph's obituary to his wife, Katherine's, her obituary it states that Joseph and Katherine were married in Austria before coming to the U.S., but in his it implies that the marriage took place in America. It's only an inference, but as you can see in the obituary above that it mentions marrying her in 1867 and then talks about coming to the U.S. in late November of that year. It could be that they arrived after a marriage in late November, but it gives me enough reason to see if the church has a record of them marrying here. Finding a passenger list would be helpful too, but so far no luck.

Another nice thing about Joseph's obituary that was not so nice about Katherine's....her maiden name is actually listed her, but was omitted from hers. Now I know her maiden name was Wondra and that's a name that I've heard mentioned once or twice by my mother-in-law. I don't know if it will be a lead that will help me figure out where/if these Melzers link into my tree, but it's something else to go on!

Friday, May 15, 2015

Remembering Dad


Patrick Wallace Cayemberg Jr.
Born July 23, 1933, Red River, Wisconsin
Died May 15, 2010, Green Bay, Wisconsin

(This is a repost of sorts to memorialize my father-in-law. It's hard to believe that it's been five years since we lost him. His loss is still felt everyday by those who loved him. He touched so many lives and is missed more than I could possibly say.)

It was five years ago today, my husband, sons and I began a drive from Killeen to Green Bay, Wisconsin to celebrate my mother and father-in-law's 50th wedding anniversary.  We hadn't made it past Dallas when we got the call that dad had died.  It was completely unexpected and devastating to the whole family.  What was supposed to be a joyous celebration turned into what would be a series of indescribably sad days.

I have a wonderful mother, step-father, and sisters and I added to that wonderful family an extraordinary set of in-laws that I love terribly.  Losing my father-in-law was like losing a father and his absence is felt every single day.  I know he watches over all of us and is able to see his family's accomplishments and his grandchildren's milestones.  I can find some small solace in the fact that dad died the day after their 50th anniversary (the party we were traveling up for was to be the following weekend) and that dad passed while doing something he loved...volunteering.

So today, this post is in your memory, dad.  You went on ahead of us to prepare the way.  Until that day when you welcome each of us home...we love you.

"Patrick W. Cayemberg, 76, Green Bay resident, passed away unexpectedly, Saturday, May 15, 2010 while volunteering at the Cellcom Green Bay Marathon. He was born July 23, 1933 in Red River, Wisconsin to the late Patrick and Laura (Laurent) Cayemberg. Patrick was a graduate of Green Bay East High School, class of 1951. He served his country as a member of the U.S. Army from 1954 to 1956, earning a Commendation as Specialist 3.

On May 14, 1960 he married Dolores (Lorie) Kuehl, with whom they had just celebrated 50 years of marriage. Pat “Big Daddy” worked for Schneider Transport as a truck driver for over 30 years. He enjoyed baking cookies, camping, country music festivals, making chicken booyah, gardening and wintering in Arizona. He loved Monday night dinners with the family, spending time with his grandchildren, volunteer work and going to the Friday night fish fry. Pat was an active member of the Knights of Columbus, SS. Peter and Paul Parish, the Teamsters Local 75 and the American Legion.

Survivors include his wife Dolores; four daughters: Cindy (Michael) Kolb, and Kent; Bonnie Cayemberg and Max Herrscher; Lori Ann (Joseph) Frisbie, Sam and Jackson; Karen (Bruce) Butterfield, Erik (Kristina), Vincent, and Delaney, all of Green Bay; one son, Richard (Cheryl) Cayemberg, Benjamin and Daniel, Killeen, TX. He is also survived by three brothers: Roland, Green Bay; Darold, Vulcan, MI; Glen (Sarah), Union Grove, WI; four sisters-in-law, Lorraine Ryan, Eden, WI; Alice Wood, Eden, WI; Helen Beisbier, Kewaskum, WI; Marge (Joe) Konkel, Wind Lake, WI; and many other nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.

In addition to his parents, Patrick and Laura Cayemberg, he was preceded in death by his father and mother-in-law, Romand and Leona Kuehl; brother, Wayne Cayemberg; sisters-in-law, Shirley Cayemberg, and Patsy Cayemberg; brothers-in-law, Vincent Ryan, Richard List, Donald Wood, and Alois Beisbier, great niece, Brittany Cayemberg and great nephew Jake Stanke.

Friends may call at the Proko-Wall Funeral Home, 1630 E. Mason St., on Tuesday (TODAY) from 4 to 7 p. m. Knights of Columbus Rosary Service 6:30 p.m. Parish wake service 7 p.m. Visitation will continue on Wednesday at SS. Peter and Paul Catholic Church, corner of University Ave and Baird St., after 9:30 a.m. until the time of service. Mass of Christian Burial 10:30 a.m. at the church with Msgr. Roy Klister officiating. Entombment will take place at Nicolet Memorial Gardens. Online condolences may be sent to Patrick’s family at In lieu of other expressions of sympathy, a memorial fund is being established. The family would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to the volunteers, medical personnel, first responders and the ER staff at St. Vincent Hospital for their care and consideration.

Roll on Big Daddy, Roll on…"