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John Van Essen (#47136297)
 member for 5 years, 3 months, 15 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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Virtual Cemeteries
D/2 Biological Solution (10)
Dramatic Deaths (73)
E.C. Foreign Language (7)
E.C. Markers w/o Record (7)
E.C. Monument Cleanup (17)
E.C. Pix/Retakes Needed (48)
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My Ancestors (52)
My Relatives (51)
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A. Nelson, AngelWings, Bev, Bret Pearson, Buddy, Carisa, Cecelia McKeig, Dana Moen, Dean Knudsen, Diane Brown, Fawn, Fert , Jane Schaefer, Janet Schultz, JDSieger, Jon Peterson, kakoz, Kathy Merris Mi..., Ken Helmer, Lacy Herron, [View all Find A Grave Friends...]
Messages left for John Van Essen (245)[Leave Message]
Ellen Notbohm
Katherine Sillik
Many thanks for taking the time to photo our aunt's resting place. I'm not terribly surprised to find it unmarked, but happy to see it appears to be well cared-for. A sense of peace counts.
Added by Ellen Notbohm on Sep 10, 2014 9:30 AM
Diane Brown
RE: Hansman relatives in Evergreen, Brainerd, MN
Thank you for your note. I have requested photos. I will be filling in bio info soom. Thank you for the advice.

Diane Brown

Added by Diane Brown on Sep 09, 2014 10:46 PM
Evie Bishop
pickula,etc photos
thank you for all the family members.
Added by Evie Bishop on Sep 05, 2014 9:47 PM
Dowling Headstone
Thank you for taking pictures for me. I appreciate your help.
Added by Mary on Sep 05, 2014 6:20 PM
Dowling Burial Loacation
I appreciate the research you completed on Jeffrey's burial location. Thank you for your time.
Added by Mary on Sep 03, 2014 10:59 AM
Abbra Meyers
Minnie B. Schmidt
Thank you soooo much for the pic of my husband's grandmother, and his uncle's headstone on their graves. Abbi & Bob Meyers
Added by Abbra Meyers on Sep 03, 2014 3:33 AM
Infant Twins
Already made the change manually from your email so declining the edits.
Added by GerbLady on Sep 01, 2014 6:08 AM
Paul Everett
Peterson Memorials
Thank you for posting the Peterson memorials. These are my grandfather's sister's family that I have been searching for years. Paul Everett
Added by Paul Everett on Aug 29, 2014 10:08 AM
RE: Soderstrom obits
You are very welcome! I love doing it!
Added by Carisa on Aug 24, 2014 4:03 PM
Thanks for the Wright Photo!
Thanks so much for taking the time!
Added by kjbn on Aug 23, 2014 3:42 PM
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