I started genealogy research about mid-1999. My grandfather had passed away in April of that year. About the same time I had run across an article in our local paper about a new website that was opening called FamilySearch.org by the Latter-Day Saints (and how busy it was on the first day.) After finally getting onto the site, finding all of the information sparked something in me.
I was also given a small file of random family items like notes and photos. One photo of the Zalewski family really interested me and it's still both my favorite family photo and my favorite line to research.
It also made me realize that if I want to get the most out of my genealogy, I’d probably get a lot more information from the people that knew some of these older ancestors, my grandparents.
Unfortunately, one of my major brick walls in my research is my Zalewski line, whom my Grandpa Zalewski would’ve probably been pretty helpful with. I’m hoping that this site can help me a little bit with that.
Since then I’ve done a lot of research not only for myself, but for friends and other relatives. I feel like I’ve learned a lot from my time doing this, especially with the advent of the Internet. It’s been a big help.
Born and raised in southeastern Wisconsin, just north of the Milwaukee area, I still live nearby. All of my ancestors spent many generations in Wisconsin and previously came from outside of the United States. Some of my earliest Wisconsin ancestors were here not long after Wisconsin became a state in 1848. The latest arrived in about 1892.
In 2006, I married the love of my life, Darcy. A few years later came the birth of our wonderful daughter. Her middle name, Jean, was borrowed from her grandmother (my mother) and her great-grandmother, my maternal grandmother. Our son was born in 2012 and his middle name, Lee, was borrowed from his maternal grandfather. I can’t wait to tell them stories about all of their ancestors.
Outside of genealogy, I am a Software Engineer for a large media company. I have doing web development and software engineering back since the Internet was starting to become a thing in around 1993-94. I still really enjoy it and I try to involve genealogy in my work as much as possible.
I have tested my DNA and it is available in many places. I did my first DNA test around 2006 for National Geographic's Genographic Project and became hooked ever since. That test was also transferred to FamilyTreeDNA, which was then used for Y-DNA and mtDNA tests. I have also tested directly with 23andMe and AncestryDNA. I have uploaded my results to GEDMatch (ID: PT5895258) and MyHeritage.
My overall ethnicity includes mostly Eastern European, which follows a lot of my ancestry. The other areas are Ireland (my Corrigan roots), a bit of Western Europe (my French-Canadian and Dutch/Belgian roots), and surprisingly a good chunk of Scandinavian. I have yet to find any Scandinavian ancestry, but I have recently discovered some distant DNA cousins who seem to have 100% Swedish ancestry, so we'll find out.
I am fascinated with DNA and my results and I hope to encourage many of my DNA Cousins to join WikiTree to help connect us all.
My paternal line has been calculated by the yDNA Family Tree DNA test I took. It has been shown to be part of the R-Z283 Y Haplogroup based on research by the R1a1a and Subclades Project.
More specifically, they have broken my yDNA down to Z282>Z280>CTS1211>YP343>YP340*-z (YP340 not tested, more STRs and/or Big Y needed) This test is currently only done at 37 markers, but will hopefully be upgraded or other STRs tested.
This "subclade" puts the origin of my Zalewski line into Central & Northern Europe (e.g., Poland) possibly around the Carpathian Mountains.
Confused by a lot of the terminology related to genetic genealogy? Hop on over to the International Society of Genetic Genealogy's Wiki (ISOGG) for tons of helpful information.
Most distant paternal ancestor: Martin Zalewski
My Maternal Haplogroup is H11a and so far in my own ancestry that seems to point to Germany in the more recent past. Historically H11a is found across most of northern, central and eastern Europe and in Central Asia / found in Mesolithic Lithuania, Middle Neolithic Germany and Megalithic Spain.
Most distant mtDNA/maternal ancestor: Anna Rasch
Here are my surnames up to 5-generations back, created by the Surname Generator app.
One Names Studies:
Almost all of my notable ancestors come from my French-Canadian side, though I'm always fascinated to find other connections from my other lines. Unfortunately, a lot of these profiles are now set as "Unlisted" due to the new GDPR policy changes, but I am leaving them here anyway.
I recently purchased a collection of orphaned cabinet card photos from the Milwaukee, Wisconsin area. I have put together small family trees of the people labeled on these photos as as way to try to return them to their families. All of the individuals I have traced are listed on my Milwaukee Orphaned Photos personal category.
If you are a descendant of this individual, contact me and I will try to return the physical photo to you free-of-charge (as long as they have not already been given back to another family member.) Also check other related family members for other possible photos.
Zalewski Family Genealogy - my blog and main genealogy headquarters.
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Brian is 22 degrees from Carrie Fisher, 34 degrees from David Prowse, 25 degrees from Peter Mayhew, 25 degrees from Christopher Lee, 25 degrees from Kenny Baker, 27 degrees from Jeremy Bulloch, 32 degrees from Peter Cushing, 22 degrees from Alec Guinness, 27 degrees from Max von Sydow, 32 degrees from Sebastian Shaw, 24 degrees from Grant Imahara and 20 degrees from Anne Guglik on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.