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                                          Help Families Track Down Their Heritage


Spring is here,and hoping very much that the 2019 year will be an interesting one. I've really enjoyed helping others,and at the same time have very much enjoyed the research I've been doing.Not to leave ot the other research others have been sharing with me.


We're hoping more letters come in about forgotten grave sites in the Boundary Waters.So those of you who contacted me with possible locations,please get back to us.We're trying to establish a map,and share it with the state,just to make sure these sites are protected.


I will be sharing the finds of our quest early next month.We have been lucky with the mild winter,where some of the old trails,and lumber roads still exist,and are so beneficial to make our investigation a success.


My great grandmother left no clues in writing to where our roots sprung forth.She could not read,or write,and when a fire destroyed their old log cabin,all letters,notes of love,and our family past vanished that was on record.Please help me,and others find clues of their roots in the St Louis County Area.


This page was started while I was on a quest,and while along it's journey I stumbled upon Shirley Lengota who came across my findings,while on her own quest seeking the birth place of her mother who gave her up for adoption.The 1930's was a very hard time for the women,men,and couples back in those days.The same circumstances almost happened with my birth mother,and looking back then at how the things were,is so understandable that it almost makes a person cry.


However this page is dedicated to the joy that comes out of tracking our past heritage.Along with my own personal findings in my own quest,I've discovered that it's not just the past I find fascinating when I unearth something about my own family,but the joy also in meeting others when our paths interact while they are on their search.The possibility that what we find in the past,also creates some joy for the future,when lost loved one reunite,or finding family one knew he,or she has never had.


A person is surprised that in some cases a death in the prison system for a lost relative is where the tracks end,and on some of our investigation history records of Mn executions  to lynch mob hangings have brought closure.A connection where one can say the end of the trail has been reached.



                                                                                  2012 News


Our team will be spending some time on the north western side of Fall Lake outside of Ely,looking for a possible grave site with a dozen or so graves.This site is before the logging boob,so we're assuming these graves could be as early as the 1870's.Some of the oldest graves on record in the area.We will keep you updated on this.We're just waiting for better weather before we investigate.


                                      Rita Menderl...Lived in Gilbert,Chisholm,and Winton Minneota


Rita Menderl grew up in an orphanage in Sweeden. She's believed to have been married to a gentleman with the last name of Guershe. The spelling of this last name is most likely NOT correct,and no records from various family trees in the St Louis County area have been able to identify this couple who were married in the spring of 1933 somewhere outside Virginia Minnesota.So if anyone has any records of a Rita Menderl who married a John Guershe in this year,and in the St Louis County area.Please contact Maria Ternal at


                              Zach "Beaver" Olsen...Lived in Hibbing,Tower,and Duluth Minnesota


Zach Olsen was called "40" most of his life,due to the fact that he trapped 40 mink in 10 days.Those that knew Zach didn't know him by any other name,other tan old "40".Zach married a gal by the name of Clara Hedgan,but it could have been spelled Hegaman.They married in the summer of 1945 outside of Winton Minnesota by an unknown preacher.In the early winter of 1945 they found Zach's hat,and his traps on a frozen lake in Canada just a few miles across the border.It's assumed he fell through the ice on one of his trapping expeditions.Zach's wife Clara passed away in 1950 from an unknown illness,and their beautiful baby daughter was put up for adoption.If anyone has any record of Zach Olsen & Clara Hedgan/Hegaman who were married in the summer of 1945 in Winton, please contact Jill Patterson at She's hoping to start some kind of a family tree,and her investigations have gone no where.Update : An old letter was found that was mailed to them,from a neighbor of Jimmy Henderson.It's a long shot,but thought I'd add this tit bit of information incase that name rings a bell.Perhaps we could question him,if he has any leads on Zach.This search is such a huge mystery to not only me,but the family.Any help would be great;y appreciated.



This is a Nov. 2011 update: Very busy working on Lasago Swamp case looking into claims of some lost graves there.So far we have found nothing to even suggest a graveyard was ever there,due to the solid rock ground in the area,and the swamp itself. Perhaps this spring a few up us adventure out there again and poke around.


One thing is there may be memories of lost graves out there,but lacking memories from others who may have had part in relocating them.Some just relocated the grave itself,totally ignoring the fact of making record of it,at least the record in the very least.


Sometime back a 100 some years ago,some land surveyors relocated 6 graves somewhere along the Canadian border.They moved them over 35 yards,only to not mark them,and a portage road was built 45 years later on it...Records of the names lost,and gravestones nowhere to be found.Most likely they laid them flat over the relocated graves.The project was to relocate graves,not document the names.


That's why we still look into reports on lost graves.A big piece of history could be discovered.At least on a personal level..:)


                         Joseph LaCoski..Lake Vermilion Area,Cook,Tower,and Surrounding Areas


We need your help finding Joseph LaCoski's roots.Joseph worked in the various iron ore mines through out North-Eastern Minnesota from 1937-1950.He was a single parent of 3 children,and no information is known about his wife Maria who passed away giving birth to his youngest child.Joseph LaCoski has been gone now for a good many of years,and his grandchildren are hoping to start a family tree,and track down their heritage.If anyone out here has the name Joseph LaCoski in their family tree,please contact Ralph at



                              James Mortzit Needs Your Help Finding Richard Mortzit



 Richard Mortzit moved to Northern Minnesota in the mid 1930's working in the various logging camps in the region.James was Richard's younger brother,and they lost contact with another in the early 1950's.James son is doing a family tree,and it's been a dead end for him trying to find information on his lost long uncle.He'd like to complete his tree by including his cousins on it.Distance,time,work,and relocation separated a family.If any of you have any record of Richard,please contact James at



Nov.28th 2010 Update : The John Matilda Mystery


Does anyone out here have any reference in their family tree to a gentleman by the name of "John Matilda" who resided outside of Ely Minnesota in the early 1930's ??


Rumor has it he helped construct the Taconite Trail/Clouqet Rail Line during the logging days of the early 1930's.He also did work on mainstreet. The nature of that work remains a mystery.His family wasn't sure if he worked for the mine,or for the lumber company to clear the path,or for a company that was hired to lay the track.


Even if you have a suspected relative that fits the description of the last name to some degree..Please contact me.





If anyone needs help,or would like to submit some information about your own quest for this site.Please contact me at


I'd be so glad to help you,and will do whatever I can to help you trace your family heritage.


Help Notice


I'm helping a gentleman do research on past graves in the BWCA & Quetico Forest.He's specifically looking for a grave in either of those two locations with the name "Henry" on it.I know it's a shot in the dark,but if any of you have ever adventured in either of those locations,and stumbled upon a grave with the name "Henry" on it.Can you please send me off an e-mail with the location.This is not so much as locating the grave for relocation,but for the family to know where old poor Henry ended up.Any information sure would be appreciated.It's been a very time consuming ordeal lately,and any help is very much appreciated.