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John Van Essen (#47136297)
 member for 5 years, 2 months, 26 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 (46)
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My Relatives (50)
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Messages left for John Van Essen (237)[Leave Message]
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
Memory Lane
James Edward Kuelbs
Thank you John for taking the photo of James for me.
Added by Memory Lane on Aug 02, 2014 3:03 PM
Thomas Forcier
Thank you so much for taking a photo of Thomas Forcier's stone for us.. it is greatly appreciated!
Added by Wendelina on Jul 17, 2014 3:48 PM
Jay Freeman
Freeman photo
Thanks John!
Added by Jay Freeman on Jul 17, 2014 11:50 AM
Stotts Photos
Thank you so much for the Stotts photos. I really appreciate this.
Added by Airrow on Jul 17, 2014 10:07 AM
Nancy Stout
House Photos
I was thrilled to check my email and see that you had taken and posted Albert & Mabel's headstone photos! The photos are just great. Thank you so much.
Added by Nancy Stout on Jul 16, 2014 10:15 PM
Stotts Photos
I just posted requests for Frank and Harold Stotts. Thanks for taking the pics.
Added by Airrow on Jul 13, 2014 3:37 PM
Nancy Stout
Morcomb Headstones
Thank you very much for the beautiful photos of the Morcomb family graves. Seeing the headstone adds so much to the memorial page. I appreciate your taking the time and making the effort to do this for us!
Added by Nancy Stout on Jul 09, 2014 10:34 PM
Jay Freeman
Freeman photo
Thanks for the photo, request foe Eva sent.
Added by Jay Freeman on Jul 09, 2014 9:35 PM
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