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John Van Essen (#47136297)
 member for 5 years, 10 months, 19 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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Contributions to
Find A Grave
 • 1,002 Memorials Added
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 • 3 Memorials/Week
 • 2,876 Photos
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 • 14 Virtual Flowers
 • 14 Virtual Cemeteries
 • 43 Friends
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Virtual Cemeteries
D/2 Biological Solution (14)
Dramatic Deaths (77)
E.C. Foreign Language (7)
E.C. Markers w/o Record (7)
E.C. Monument Cleanup (18)
E.C. Pix/Retakes Needed (58)
E.C. Uncovering the Truth (24)
E.C. White Bronze (Zinc) (7)
My Ancestors (53)
My Relatives (51)
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A. Nelson, Alan Kraft, AngelWings, Bev, Bret Pearson, Buddy, Carisa, Carol Ann Claff..., Cecelia McKeig, Dana Moen, Dean Knudsen, Diane Brown, Dominique Potie..., Fawn, Fert , Jane Schaefer, Janet Schultz, JDSieger, Jon Peterson, Julie, [View all Find A Grave Friends...]
Messages left for John Van Essen (261)[Leave Message]
Evie (Greer) Schipper
Thank you.
I was just checking out Evergreen Cemetery Association web site. It is really wonderful. You have been very busy.
Added by Evie (Greer) Schipper on Mar 09, 2015 8:45 AM
Kurt Johnson
Henry Johnstone
I get so many corrections, I am just not sure. I have removed the memorials from that cemetery. Thank you for the correction.
Added by Kurt Johnson on Mar 06, 2015 12:55 PM
RE: Joseph DeChaine photo request
This spring I will get you a better picture of the stone
Added by cotaquist on Jan 30, 2015 1:20 PM
Ann Day
RE: Leonard Bush
You are welcome! It looks like you have done a lot already! Happy Holidays!
Added by Ann Day on Dec 24, 2014 7:40 AM
Al Ahlgrim
Bertha Ahlgrim
Thank you for adding the photo of my great grandmothers burial plot.

Added by Al Ahlgrim on Nov 20, 2014 11:48 PM
James Odland
Charles & Elmina Gage

Thank you for photographing Charles' and Elmina' gravesite and adding it onto their memorial pages. I see by your photo that it is an unmarked grave.

Added by James Odland on Oct 18, 2014 8:30 PM
St Hilaire
Thank you for taking the photos for her. Your time and effort are appreciated
Added by leslie on Oct 17, 2014 10:22 AM
T Burt
RE: Edits Tab
Thanks - I do! But I've been away from my computer for 2 weeks now. Back on now. I'll catch up soon.
Added by T Burt on Oct 14, 2014 7:46 PM
James Odland
Andrew & Laura Gage

Thank you for photographing Andrew' and Laura' grave markers and adding them onto their memorial pages.

Added by James Odland on Oct 09, 2014 8:48 AM
norma lewless
Mary Bender photo
Thanks for the photo John.
Added by norma lewless on Oct 07, 2014 10:32 AM
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