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John Van Essen (#47136297)
 member for 6 years, 11 months, 5 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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Messages left for John Van Essen (335)[Leave Message]
Rod Morken
John Wapola
I'd like to thank you for the obit of John Wapola. I was curious how he died and now I know. It's very much appreciated.
Added by Rod Morken on Feb 28, 2016 10:59 AM
RE: Josephine Kiely
I'm wondering if there is a bug in the findagrave program? I have been submitting it as an edit to the maiden name. I'm not sure why it doesn't appear that way on your end?
Added by HESM on Feb 16, 2016 12:14 AM
Katherine Agatha McGrath Cleary
Dear John, thank you very much for these beautiful photos of their gravestones. They are and will be very much appreciated by us, their relatives.
Added by Lleeah on Feb 15, 2016 11:04 AM
RE: Josephine Kiely
I sent another edit because I'm still not seeing that her maiden name is showing up as Darrow. Her maiden name is listed as Josephine M. Darrow on the marriage record for her daughter Josephine to Lloyd Coats.
Added by HESM on Feb 15, 2016 10:40 AM
chip felver
Ella Lyon
John, thank you for the information that you provided. Would like to know if you have any information on Ella Lyon. She is the original owner of the Lyon plot and I need to get permission from her (if living) or her descendants to place a headstone on Theodore Felvers plot. Thank you for any information you can provide.

Added by chip felver on Feb 10, 2016 7:25 AM
chip felver
Flora Felver - Evergreen Cemetery
Mr Van Essen,

I am a descendant of Theodore & Flora Felver and would like to know the connection for the Lyon Family headstone if you know. Thank you for your time on this matter and the photos.
Added by chip felver on Jan 29, 2016 12:51 PM
Vicki Luoma
RE: Evelyn L. Aase
Sorry I didn't. I will check it out.
Added by Vicki Luoma on Jan 15, 2016 3:46 PM
Percy Skillings
Nice photo ! Thank you so much.
Added by Rootseeker on Jan 13, 2016 10:42 PM
Bill Walton
Headstone Photo
Thank you for the headstone photo it is much appreciated

Added by Bill Walton on Jan 05, 2016 9:32 PM
Elizabeth Rae
I have contacted the other party with the duplicate memorial, mine is dated the 11th and his is the 13th. Jim has transferred all of his memorials to another person, hopefully they will honor the guidelines and delete.
I would be happy to transfer her memorial to your care when that transpires, if you wish.
Added by Cyndi on Nov 26, 2015 10:38 AM
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