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John Van Essen (#47136297)
 member for 7 years, 8 months, 20 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 (353)[Leave Message]
Danny Deaubé
Thank you John for all your work. I was able to gleen much. My lineage comes from Joseph Napoleon Dubé/Eleanore(PROULX) Prue, my great grandparents.
Added by Danny Deaubé on Feb 16, 2017 10:54 PM
David Eggler
RE: Lewis H Dodge
I see you found Alice's grave. I'd like to know if she and her father are near each other, but can't find that on findagrave unless plot #s are given. Her mother, Frances B Jones Koons Kennedy, is my 3rd great-grandmother through her first husband. She's probably also in Oakland but I guess no stone or it isn't readable. A few years ago I visited Oakland and obtained information on unmarked graves from the office.
Added by David Eggler on Jan 11, 2017 3:49 PM
David Eggler
Lewis H Dodge
I have a Lewis/Louis H Dodge, b. abt 1849 in Ohio. In 1870, 1873, and 1875 resided in St Paul in boarding houses run by Robert Kennedy. Lewis was a railroad man. In 1874 he married Alice Kennedy, whom I presume to be the Alice who was daughter of Robert Kennedy. Alice appears in the 1870 census, age 17, student, but not thereafter. I can't find Lewis in the 1880 census. Many similarities to your Lewis H Dodge. Could they be the same?
Added by David Eggler on Jan 10, 2017 11:39 AM
Helen Steece
Thank you so much for the headstone photo.

Added by Mcfly on Nov 30, 2016 8:34 PM
Marguerite Steece
Thank you so much for the headstone photo.

Added by Mcfly on Nov 30, 2016 8:20 PM
Ethel/Charles Wiley/Woodlawn Cem.
Hello John, My husband and I do numerous photo requests at local cemeteries in the area. We recently got the exact grave location for Ethel and her husband, so we went there today with fingers crossed that we could find their grave site. We're very happy to say that YES - we found them. I will be posting photos on their memorial pages soon. I can see that you've waited a very long time for this request to be fulfilled - so happy that we were able to do that for you.

Paula and Doug Smith
Added by Ancestry/searcher on Oct 29, 2016 9:57 AM
Blance E. Weber & Arthur Christian Weber
Thank you. The photo's are very nice.
Much appreciation.
Added by BLV on Sep 03, 2016 10:06 AM
RE: Maynard Back grave photo
John I got your message about Mr. Maynard at the Oregon State Hospital. I will try to go back down and get a photo of the memorial wall. Can I ask why you haven't collected his remains? Its been my mission to find family and get these poor lost souls home to their loved ones! I am sorry if that came across brash.

Added by Kim on Aug 16, 2016 9:49 AM
d lester
Isaac and Mable Preston
Thanks so much for the photos of Isaac and
Mable Preston's grave markers and posting them
to their Memorials. Much appreciated.
Added by d lester on Aug 07, 2016 10:03 AM
Tasker Family
Hello John,

My name is Mike Conover and I cam across Ethel May Tasker's memorial. I have an uncle who married Ethel's husband's great-aunt (Agnes Tasker Parkinson). I was wondering if you have any information on the Tasker family -- or even anything regarding Agnes & Thomas Parkinson.

Thanks for any assistance you can give!
Added by MConover on Aug 03, 2016 8:20 PM
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