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
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.

Funeral card - Mary Melzer (reverse)

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…"

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Funeral Card Friday - Frank Melzer

Frank Melzer funeral card
Frank Melzer is the son of Joseph and Katherine Melzer nee Wondra. He is listed as living at home with his parents in his father's obituary. That makes it sound like a kid that lives in his parents' basement, but it's more likely that Frank was the head of the household. This can be confirmed by looking in the 1920 US Federal Census with Frank listed as the head and his parents living with him in Wayne, Washington County, Wisconsin along with his wife (Mary), and two children (Herman and Sophia).

In the 1910 Census we can see all of the above players again, but Herman was "Joseph H." This isn't uncommon when parents gave their children a family (and usually very common) name. My mother's name is Mary, but she goes by her middle name, Alice, because her mother was also Mary. Joseph H may have been referred to as Herman when he was older for convenience so people knew which Joseph people were talking about around the household. Earlier references to him as Joseph instead of by his middle name could simply have been the family enumerating him by his legal name.*

Frank Melzer funeral card
(reverse side)
In fact Frank was the head of the household all the way back to the 1905 Wisconsin Census with his wife, Mary, and his parents living with him. Sophia wasn't born yet, but Joseph is there. Looking ahead to the 1930 census we see that Joseph would become the head of the household with his wife (Elizabeth) and parents (Frank and Mary) residing with him.

We can easily find Frank all the way back in the 1880 census as "Franz" living with Joseph and Katharina as well as his siblings: Margaretha, Barbara, and Katharina. In the 1900 Census he's still "Franz" living with his parents, but Margaretha and Barbara are gone. "Katie" is there as is a new sister, Julia. These five children of Joseph and Katherine match up with those listed in Joseph's obituary. Frank's mother lists in the 1900 Census that she had five children and five were still living so we can assume that there were no other siblings to Frank that may have died young. Frank taking over as head of the household five years after this census and his mother being in her late 50s in the 1900 Census lends further credibility to this assumption.

Frank is buried in the Saint Kilian Catholic Cemetery in Saint Kilian, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. He has a memorial on FindAGrave created by John Uhlman. His wife, Mary, is buried with him.

*After setting this post to publish I came across a birth record that I had copied from the Wisconsin Historical Society regarding Frank and Mary's son Joseph...or Herman. While I can't post the entire birth certificate on here (WHS doesn't want that last I checked) I can share part of it.

Registration of Births, Washington County,
Wisconsin (WHS)
As you can see his name is listed on his birth certificate as Herman J. Melzer (although that last "e" does look like an "a" but if you look at the other "e" they all look that way). Just to show that this is the correct Melzer I made sure to crop it so you can see that this is the child of Franz Melzer and Mary (Maria here, but they are interchangeable most times) Schwiezer (missing the "t") born on August 23, 1902. Instead of editing the information above I chose to show the addition here, because the way people sometimes switch using their first and middle names is still good information for researchers to remember. In his obituary he it was switched to Joseph H. I'm fairly certain that no one bothered to go through the legal documents to actually change the name though. Don't get too hung up on names though. When you know it's the right person these variants don't matter too much. After all I'm legally "Cheryl" but I grew up thinking I was "Cherie" because my parents after naming me said I looked more like a Cherie than a Cheryl. They just never changed my birth certificate. It happens. Don't let it confuse you. Hopefully my descendants won't be too confused either!

(This funeral card was passed on to me by my mother-in-law with a large number of funeral cards that her family collected throughout their lives.)