I've thought about the page for quite a while and finally am making a place for YOUR SUCCESS STORIES.  We love to hear how people have found information through our website! 

Personally, as a Shawano area researcher, your successes provide me with additional places and resources to check that I might have overlooked or didn't even know were available as more data becomes available, either online or in the Shawano area.  And as the Shawano GenWeb County Co-ordinator, it lets me know which data we post is beneficial and lets our HARD-WORKING VOLUNTEERS know their efforts have helped others


So, here's your space -- just send the emails to me at czaplewska@aol.com and we'll get them up online!  If you want your name not included, just let me know and we'll sign it "Shawano Area Researcher".

I am completely blown away by your web site. My grandparents were Joseph C. and Edna (Swanson) Rutte. My grandmother was from Mattoon in Shawano County. You canít imagine my surprise when I saw this page (http://wigenweb.org/shawano/photo_Akstulewicz.html) and scrolled down to see my grandfatherís 8th grade class from the Leopolis Grade School Souvenir Booklet. My aunt was Alvina Rutte who was listed as being in the 4th grade of that school. I have had a beer in Pedersonís Tavern in Leopolis within a the last few years on a trip back to WI to see the Packers play. My grandfather ran the power plant for Wisconsin Power & Light at Hayman Falls in Leopolis and then at the Wolf River plant in Shawano off of Balsam Row.
I will browse your entire wigenweb.org web site to take it all in. It is a treasure. You should know that there is a small restaurant owner in Shawano who is in the process of start a micro-brewery and he will be resurrecting the old Shawano Club Beer brand in the same brewery building that the original was brewed. I believe Shawano is reinventing itself and I couldnít be happier at the prospects for its future. I return every fall when we go north for Packer games.
Thank you for what youíve done for us latter day members of these pioneer families of Shawano & Leopolis. It is a great area of a wonderful state as you know. Iíll be in touch again with some contributions to your site. I have some pictures of headstones from St. Maryís Cemetery that are not listed.
Best regards,

Joseph Rutte
Atlanta, GA


Dear Ann,
Just wanted to drop you a note and say thank you and ask for some help.
My dad's family is from Shawano and the surrounding area.  They have been there since the start of Pella.  Lucky for me they mostly stayed in that area and never changed the spelling of the last name or the name itself.  My maiden name was KLEBESADEL.  Ten years ago when I got interested in researching the family I stumbled across your website.  Your website gave me so much information.  I had names but I didn't have dates and names of siblings and children, etc.  Thru your website I was able to obtain a lot of that information and get a solid start.  I have now traced the lines back to 1690!!   So I am pretty much done with that branch of the tree. 
So now I was going to fine tune my grandmother's side (my dad's mom).  I already had her side done back to the early 1700's.  Her daughter, my aunt, passed away a year and a half ago.  I just finished going thru all the papers she left me and found my grandmother's birth certificate.  Now one would usually be excited about that because it is from 1889 and in perfect condition.  Only to find out that she was adopted!!  So ALL the information I have for her side of the family isn't really my "real" family.  My grandmother does show on on your list of births registered at a latter date and her "real" mother does show up as being buried in the cemetery that is on a private farm.  But I can't find anything else about my grandmother's real parents.  My grandmother's birth name is Alma Mathilde Baelke, b. Nov. 15, 1889.  Her parents are: August Baelke, age 36, living in Shawano, born in Germany.  Her mother was Louise Lewin, age 25, living in Wisconsin, born in Wisconsin.  The birth certificate shows that there were 2 other children.  My grandmother was adopted by Fredrick and Hortense (Fenske) Kunschke.  In the Kunschke family, early 1700's, that I have, there is a Belke listed  from some of the material from the Latter Day Saints.
If anyone has has any information that might help me, I would appreciate it.
Thank you again to you Ann and to all of the volunteers who help you and us.  Thanks for putting all the newspaper articles, early marriages, etc. on your site.   Yvonne

Hey Anne & Stacey Kreuser & Leslie Blom! 
I remember the day I discovered the Shawano County Cemetery Project link and found Red Springs Cemetery. Iíve received lots of genealogical ďleadsĒ from that wonderful list, and my husband and I even made a trip to Red Springs last summer to ďwalk the cemeteryĒ ourselves. I needed to see, in person, where William and Mary Dick where buried. Maryís tombstone has a beautiful inscription from William. Mary Quinney Dick is my great great aunt and her somewhat famous husband, William, was the last known Stockbridge Munsee to speak the Mohican language.
A million thanks and then a million more! 
Judean A. Wise

It all started with the death of a beloved great aunt.  I just wanted to write a little story about her life so my children wouldn't forget her.  I thought it would be fun to learn a little more about where she came from in Norway and where her family finally settled in Wisconsin.  Early on in my research, I put "Shawano County" into the search box, and to my surprise the Shawano Gen Web site appeared.  Dear Anne, you will always be the "Christmas" of my genealogy days.   

I found stories about the church my great aunt grew up in and the people with whom she shared a faith.  I found pictures of the area and stories of the early settlers trials and their triumphs.  I found the cemetery site with a wealth of information about where people came from, and who were their parents.  I found plat maps and solved the mystery of how many acres my great grandparents owned, a memory long gone from our stories.  I found all kinds of great tips on how to do searches of my family's history.  I even found a picture of my grandmother's sister's confirmation class.  And as my stories evolve, you provide a place for me to store this information so that my family and future descendants will be able to enjoy the fruits of our labor.    

Your website is a wealth of information that is priceless to me.  Our debt is the gratitude we pay to you for all of your hard work.  Thank you for your service to the genealogy community and to all of us amateurs who have thrived under your guidance.

Jane Rollin 

P.S. I forgot to write this in my little thank you, but when connecting to rootsweb from your site, I found a woman from Norway, giving advice to people about Velfjord, Norway.  I contacted her and it turns out she is interested in the story of our family after they moved to America, so thank you again for the connections you have helped me make. 

Thank you for all the work you and others have done.  My Grandparents had a summer place in Shawano and I have enjoyed all of the information you have available on the town.  Brings back a lot of  memories.  I live in Oregon, but go back every summer, just like I did growing up in the 60's.

You may not remember me but I graduated with you from Bonduel High.  I have done a small bit of researching my relatives and happened to notice your posting of the passengers on the Western Metropolis. My great- great grandparent was Amandus Gehm.  I have found very little information about the Gehm family and I was very surprised to see this. I noticed that your relatives were on this ship as well. My mother has much more information/pictures regarding the August Riemer relatives in the Cecil/Bonduel  area and I know she has gone to the Bonduel Genealogy office to get some of her information. One day I hope to get some of her pictures and information to you to put on your site. Just wanted to let you know that you have a great website. 

Hi Anne,
Thank you so much for these pages -
1910 Ho-Chunk Census.  They are exactly what we were looking for.  All the work that GenWeb is putting into sites like this one is really appreciated by individuals like me and I will have them for our familyís records.  I canít wait to show them these records. 
Thank you on behalf of my family.|
Crystal Herriage

I would like my gg grandfather and his family to be included in the listing of Shawano County immigrants.  I am correcting information that has been in family lore concerning the ship name that they sailed on.  I searched the Hamburg Passenger lists and found the family as follows:
Hoefs, Carl  age 42, laborer, home town Barow, Prussia (which is another form of Bahro)
Hoefs, Wilhelmina age 41, wife
Hoefs, Auguste age 23
children:  Johanna age 15
               Friedrich age 12
               Carl age 7 1/2
               Bertha age 6 1/2
They sailed on the SS Allemania with Captain Trautmann, departing Hamburg on 1 Oct. 1866 and arriving in NYC on 29 Oct. 1866.  I found a reference to the ship's arrival in the New York Times' archive and the ship stopped in Southampton on the way, leaving Southampton on 17 Oct. 1866.  So it took the Allemania 12 days to cross the Atlantic using steam and sail.  The family settled first in Mayville, Dodge County and by 1880 they were farming in Hartland township, Shawano County.
My g grandfather was Friedrich later known as Hermann Hoefs.  He married Augusta Wilhelmina Krueger also of Shawano County.  His sister Johanna later known as Caroline married Carl Wetzel, his brother Carl later known as Charles married Amelia Henke, and his sister Bertha married Ed Sager.
Thank you, for maintaining such a helpful website,
Mary Ann Sall

Good morning,

As Museum Director for the Shawano County Historical Society, I have been researching the Murray family.  My research goes back to John Murray, a Revolutionary War patriot who was the father of Elias Murray.  Elias came to this area in 1851 as Superintendent of the Indians for the Northwest Territory.

His son Julius and family followed in 1853.  The family tree is on Ancestry.com and titled Meggitt family.  Neva Meggitt was the great-great granddaughter of Elias and donated more than 100 artifacts to our society.  She also left pictures, letters, diaries, family stories, and photographs.  At this time I am writing a pamphlet/book? based on my findings. It covers 5 generations but with gaps.  I was most interested in tracing a direct line for Neva Meggitt.   When complete, it will be available through the Shawano County Historical Society.

The Shawano County Rootsweb page is the best Iíve seen.  Hats off to the volunteers.

Gini Reineke

Enjoy the site so much, like "going home" for  a visit from California.
Linda Kolpack Alderman.

SUCCESS STORY:  Thank you so very much to the person who transcribed and posted this biography.  I am researching Otto Risum's sister Valborg Louisa Risum who married Ole Hovland Johnson.  The information you have shared is invaluable.

Thanks again,
R. Peterson

SUCCESS STORY:  Many years ago, I started researching my grandparents' families in Shawano County.  I started this by talking to my grandmother's wonderful cousins who would use the Memorial Day weekend as a reason to reunite at Woodlawn Cemetery in Mattoon.  My grandmother would encourage me to talk to them, and I wrote down their stories in a black and white school notebook, sometimes illustrating with sketches. 
   Sadly, the notebook disappeared the way things do over the years, but I had had the foresight as a young adult to write down as much as I could remember. The years passed, and I moved overseas.  However, with the advent of the internet, I suddenly discovered that the dedicated people involved with the Shawano genealogy group had put up an extraordinary amount of information that literally jumpstarted my genealogy search.  The information led to some very major discoveries and happily to finding relatives all over the world.  One of the strangest was finding out that my boss (a Mormon) and I had the same ggggrandfather in Norway -- and we were both working overseas at the time!  It is truly a small world.
   I was able to trace back the Olsen (Olesen/Olson) family in Norway to its 1500's roots in Telemark, and the Peterson (Pedersen/Persen) family to Hordaland of the 1700's (so far!)  So if you have ancestors from in and around the Mattoon area (including Shawano and Langlade counties) with the following last names, I will be more than happy to help you with your genealogical research just as so many people helped me.  Peterson, Hansen , Olsen/Olson, Knudsen/Knudsdatter, Miller, Zilch.. 
   Also, if anyone would like to read what Wisconsin was like in the 1840's, there is a very old book online that is accessible through the internet called "History of Wiskonsan"  and it describes what our ancestors saw when they first arrived to the territory
   Again, I just want to express my thanks to all the dedicated people of the Shawano Genealogical team who put in their time, and most of all their love into this site.

SUCCESS STORY:  I visited your site often and wanted to thank you, belatedly.  I believe that visiting your site actually was the start of my quest for my family history.  Since that time, I joined Ancestry and tracked down over 4,000 of my relatives. My grandparents, Arthur F. F. Gumtz and Florence Mildred Thompson lived in Shawano from about 1915 to 1948. Prior to that they lived in Waushara and Lincoln counties. Fortunately, I got a lot further on my other lines than I did on my Gumtz line--I can get back to Johan Gumtz in 1865 coming over from Germany. I have a lot of info that I have surmised but can't prove. Could you add me to the Gumtz/Gumz list along with David Moede?   I have been in contact with David off and on but we have been unable to establish a definite connection between his Wilhelmine Gumtz and my Johann Gumtz. I figure, since Gumtz is so uncommon, Johan were either siblings or cousins. My contacts in Germany are working on it.
Thank you again, your website has been so helpful.
Jeanie Coppotelli
San Diego

SUCCESS STORY I want to thank you for the wonderful resource you provide with the Shawano Wisconsin GenWeb Project.  My great grandparents had a farm near Pulaski but from your web site I was able to find wonderful information regarding the exact site (Maple Grove) and even the plats with their names (Adalbert Sobus).  From your site I have also been able to learn more about this wonderful part of the country where my early ancestors settled.  I am including this in our family tree and history for my nieces to share with future generations.  Again, thank you so much for the wonderful work you and your volunteers are doing.  May God bless you.  You are in my prayers.

Sister Donna Marie, C.R.
Chicago, Illinois

SUCCESS STORY:  Wow!  What a find to come across your web site.!  The Blacksmith shop was owned by my husbands great-great grandfather, Henry Fuchs.  Henry Fuchs had a daughter by the name of Mary Fuchs who married John Hannie and they had a son named John Hannie that married Margaret Newton and from that marriage came my husband, William Anthony Hannie.  We didnít know he was a blacksmith.  We actually donít know a lot about that side of his family.  Almost all are dead by now.  It sure shows that his ancestors had a good sense of humor.  It was a thrill finding all those pictures. 
Actually, John Hannie, my husbands father lived in Mattoon and worked in the mill.  He also drown in Hemlock Lake in 1951 with another man named Christopher Stark.  Let me know if you want any more information.  My husband was born in Mattoon.  If you have any more information, I would love to hear it.
Tyler, Texas

SUCCESS STORY:   Your site has been incredibly helpful to me in my research.  Please add my name to your surname index.  My name is Jennifer Rink, jsrink@msn.com.   I am researching the Gjermundsen, Curtis & Lake families in the Shawano area, Tigerton & Morris, from 1850+....

When I first found your site, imagine my surprise when I found that Jorgen Gjermundsen was one of the early settlers of the town of Morris.  He is my g-great grandfather.  The information I was able to collect from your site was a eventually lead me to find them on the passenger list of the SS Helvetia and then back to the early & mid 1800's in Norway.  Thanks again. Jennifer

SUCCESS STORY:  You guys are wonderful!  The plat maps are what brought me to your website.  My mom, Sharon White, has been doing genealogy for a few years now.  I was just playing on the internet one day, searching for family names.  When I typed in Naidul (my grandmother's maiden name), your plat maps showed up on the search engine.  Following the link, I found my great great grandfather's name (Lorenz Najdul/Lawrence Naidul) on these maps!!!!  We can also see other family names like Lepak, Gorecki, and Jach. The daughters of Lawrence married into these families.  We can pinpoint the acreage on current maps and plan to visit the ol' homestead in Maple Grove!  I wonder if the house is still there?  We would also like to find out where all the family members are buried so we can photo the gravesites as well.  That is proving to be more difficult as I have not seen family members among the cemeteries listed on the website.  But there is always hope of finding them...
Thank you so much!!!
Lisa Sharp

UNIDENTIFIED SPERBERG PHOTOS: I received a response from Karen Hoffman Craig, who said she asked her aunt about the pictures I had sent in. She knew who they were! So you can take them out of the unknown section and put them into the identified pictures. A success story!  Thanks to Karen and you for your help!
Deb Walsh

SUCCESS STORY:  I just wanted to hug you virtually and tell you THANK YOU (Okay, I wanted to shout it across the lines) for helping to connect me with Barbara Brady of Shawano County. She has dug up death records, marriage records and so much, I'm overwhelmed and overjoyed. Thank you thank you thank you!!!!!

We've found Hans Anderson's parents name and a ton of other information that I thought was nearly impossible to find. We've got point of entry into the US and...can you tell I'm excited! My mother has renewed her energy in tracking these things down and we are dancing around with joy.
Thank you for your help.
Lorelle VanFossen

SUCCESS STORY:  I just became exposed to your fascinating Shawano Co. site.  I was brought up in Mattoon and found interesting items there.  My Uncle, Ernest Thorp was postmaster there for many years and because of his interest accumulated a vast collection of old pictures of the area.  He passed away a couple of years ago but has a daughter and a son who may be able to steer you to where these treasures may be found.
Lyle Brumm New London, Wi.

SUCCESS STORY:  In trying to find some information about my mother's maternal grandparents (last name Kroenke) who lived in the Neillsville area in the 1920's/30's.  I came across an article which you have listed in your Bits and Pieces website about my Great Grandfather Henry Baumann.  (My mom's paternal grandfather.)  It was an article written in the Shawano County Journal dated November 15, 1934.

I am wondering if you know how I would go about finding any more information about my mother's grandparents.  These would be her mom's parents.  (Mother was Esther Baumann - married to William A Baumann.) (Kroenke).  They apparently lived on land owned by their son, Gustave Kroenke.

My mother was born in Shawano. (Mildred Baumann)

If you have any advice, please let me know.
Thanks so much for putting together your website.
I am going to e-mail my mother in the morning with the article about her grandfather's 72nd birthday in the year 1934!


by Taylored Designs - 2007