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John Van Essen (#47136297)
 member for 4 years, 10 months, 17 days
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Bio and Links
Bio Photo I've been retired since 1996 and doing my family genealogy since 1997. See the Genealogy link on my home page, below, for all you'd ever want to know about my ancestors.

I'm a native of Brainerd, MN, and spend the warmer six months of the year in the Brainerd Lakes area.

I am the webmaster for the Evergreen Cemetery Association of Brainerd, MN, which operates Evergreen cemetery in Brainerd and Memorial Gardens cemetery north of Brainerd. The Association website (see either of the above two links) has a "Directory of the Dead" which lists all known burials in both cemeteries.

Evergreen is a special place for me. I have thirteen direct ancestors buried there, going back to my Swedish 3rd-great-grandmother, Christina Petersdotter Ryden, who came to Brainerd from Sweden in 1877 to be with her daughter's family and who died here in 1883.

The following memorials have transcriptions of interesting stories with lots of names about the early days (pre-1900) of Brainerd:

Nick Heller (Founding of Old-Timers Club)
C. D. Johnson (Brainerd 50th anniv. speech)
Werner Hemstead ("As I Remember")
Judge George Holland (His Generous Will)


I have been a photo request volunteer for Evergreen since 2010. Any photograph of a grave or monument that I have uploaded can be used for private use. For public use, permission is hereby granted provided credit is given - something like "Photo taken by John Van Essen, Find-a-Grave photo volunteer".

If you find that a photo taken by me or someone else is of poor quality (dirty marker or bad lighting), feel free to submit a photo request with an info note describing the problem to be remedied.


The man who feels no sentiment of veneration for the memory of his forefathers; who has no natural regard for his ancestors of his kindred; is himself unworthy of kindred regard or remembrance. Daniel Webster


It isn't the date on either end that counts
But how they used their dash
For that dash between the dates
Represents the time they spent alive on earth
And now only those who loved them know
What that little line is worth

- On the headstone for William Elliott Dudley
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 • 13 Virtual Cemeteries
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Virtual Cemeteries
Dramatic Deaths (69)
E.C. Foreign Language (7)
E.C. Markers w/o Record (7)
E.C. Monument Cleanup (21)
E.C. Obits w/o Bur. Recor... (6)
E.C. Pix/Retakes Needed (38)
E.C. Uncovering the Truth (19)
E.C. White Bronze (Zinc) (7)
My Ancestors (52)
My Relatives (45)
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Messages left for John Van Essen (195)[Leave Message]
Tom H.
Thank you!
Thank you very much for the correction in the Brumberg memorial. All the best to you!

Tom H.
Added by Tom H. on Mar 28, 2014 7:51 PM
Judi and Marie
RE: Emma Moss burial place
Thank you for the obituary on Emma. I have moved 2 times and so much change. I will complete your request today. Again, I didn't ignore it, I was not on the internet.
Judi of Judi and Marie
Added by Judi and Marie on Mar 05, 2014 4:49 PM
Harold Thiesse
Look at the Note I entered in bold on the memorial.

Why must you be so difficult?

We could work together.
Added by Wanda on Mar 02, 2014 10:23 PM
Dwayne Hawpe
Cemetery Corrected
Elizabeth A. Paulson Johnston's memorial has been moved to the Evergreen Memorial Gardens.
Memorial# 124985019

Dwayne Hawpe
Added by Dwayne Hawpe on Feb 21, 2014 7:50 AM
Linda Severson-Shurtleff
Minnie and Nels Christainsen
Thank you for letting me know. I have deleted both of the memorials I erroneously made. I know this can mess things up.
Added by Linda Severson-Shurtleff on Feb 16, 2014 7:23 PM
Patrick Turner
Leslie Ambrose Bush
Leslie Ambrose Bush is my son-in-law Danial H. Tobias great granduncle with Charles Bush being his great grandfather. Dan is married to my daughter Priscilla Ann Turner. Sydney Ann Tobias, their daughter is our granddaughter.
Thanks for the genealogy information on this family line.
Patrick Turner
Added by Patrick Turner on Dec 19, 2013 1:44 PM
Lisa Faagata
RE: Lillian Perlinger photo request
I am new at this! I see now! Thank you so much for everything that you do...the site is awesome!
Lisa Faagata
Added by Lisa Faagata on Dec 16, 2013 6:52 PM
Evergreen Cemetery
I love the way this website is set up. I am going to send the link to one of my friends who is a volunteer for a usgenweb county site. She has done some innovative projects and I know she will be interested in your site.
Added by SLGMSD on Dec 05, 2013 8:03 PM
Paul Loots
RE: Gazella Davis in Evergreen
I did not see your first message. Thank you. I will delete it.
Added by Paul Loots on Nov 17, 2013 11:47 PM
crystal wiberg
Novicks and Pikula
Thank you so very much for taking these 4 pictures for me.
Added by crystal wiberg on Nov 16, 2013 8:15 PM
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