Archive for March, 2013

I’m picking up here from my post All the Peek Girls.  In that post I showcased photos of my great-great grandmother Alice and her sisters.

The girls’ parents, my great-great-great grandparents, Teunis Peek (born on 5 Jun 1822 in Everdingen, Zuid-Holland, the Netherlands) and  Jacoba Bassa (born on 18 Jun 1824 in Lexmond, Zuid-Holland, the Netherlands) were married on 21 Dec 1848 in Everdingen, Zuid-Holland, the Netherlands.

At the time of their marriage, Teunis was a “farmer’s hand” in Everdingen.

On 23 November 1865, Jacoba died at the age of 41 in Lexmond.  At that time, Teunis was a farmer in Lexmond, Zuid-Holland, the Netherlands.

Teunis and Jacoba had the following children:

Joost Peek was born on 25 Aug 1850 in Lexmond, Zuid-Holland, the Netherlands.

Aaltje Peek, born 9 Sep 1852, Lexmond, Zuid-Holland, the Netherlands; died 5 May 1908, Michigan,
United States.  This is my great-great grandmother, Alice Paak/Peek, who married Richard DeKorn.

Anna Catharina Peek was born on 6 Jan 1855 in Lexmond, Zuid-Holland, the Netherlands.

Maaike Peek was born on 29 Jul 1859 in Lexmond, Zuid-Holland, the Netherlands.

Cornelia Peek was born on 8 May 1862 in Lexmond, Zuid-Holland, the Netherlands.

Willempje Peek was born 17 dep 1856 in Lexmond, Zuid-Holland, the Netherlands. [Additional info:  must do research to see if Willempje survived or not]

Teunis and his children emigrated in 1868 to the United States.

After reading this information on the family, I speculated that Joost probably stayed behind in the Netherlands.  He would have been eighteen and might have already started his own life.  I had photos of the four girls (Alice, Annie, Mary, and Carrie), but no information from my family about the oldest, the boy Joost.

I recently discovered a clipping tucked in with the family photos.

There is no date or newspaper name on this clipping.  Here is an excerpt:

The residence of George Paake at 1016 Trimble Avenue was burned this morning about 10:30 o’clock and a worthy family which has had a series of disasters, left without a home.  The house which Mr. Paake was paying for in the Building and Loan Association was entirely ruined although most of the contents of the home were saved. Mr. Paake receives no insurance whatever and the little which had been accumulated by the family was lost.

The fire is only an incident in the history of the family. Mrs. Paake died a short time ago leaving five children, the oldest being fourteen years old. Since the mother’s death the little girl has had entire charge of the house and the four little children and has had all the responsibility of the family except the support which Mr. Paake gave as a laborer.  Recently he has been unable to work and was ill this morning when the fire occurred.

The neighbors have taken in the little ones and are doing all that is possible to alleviate the sufferings of the family. Mrs. Carrier has been responsible for raising a sum of money to which the neighbors have liberally contributed.

So many facts here.  But more questions.

Since the clipping was in with our treasured family photos, was this my family described in the article?

The size of the family seems to fit with the family of Teunis Peek, as is the recent death of the mother.  The impression is of an immigrant family who has been beset with many tragedies: the death of the mother, either the death of the first son (or him staying behind), the illness of the father, the loss of their home and the value they had in it.

Is Teunis George?  Most of the family changed their first names from a Dutch first name to an “English” first name.  It’s possible.

Although the Dutch records show the last name as Peek, my grandfather told me that the family was Paak or Paake.

However:  Jacoba, the wife of Teunis, passed away in 1865, and the family emigrated in 1868.  Alice, my great-great-grandmother, was born in 1852.  She would have been 16 when they arrived in Kalamazoo and caring for the household and her four younger siblings.    The very ancient clipping is now a deep gold color and very crisp.  If it’s from 1869 or 1870, and the family was that of Teunis, then Alice was probably 17 or 18, not 14.

In a 1906 City Directory, George is still listed at the same address (a rebuilt house?) and Cora W. Paak is listed as a boarder.  I wonder if that is his sister because Alice named one of her daughters Cora W (for Wilhelmina). Could be Cornelia (Carrie).

Or was George a brother of Teunis? (NO)

I’m waiting with bated breath for Yvette Hoitink to find me a little more information which might shed light on this mystery.  As of now, I don’t have any information on siblings of Teunis Peek.

EVENTUALLY we discovered that the fire happened to George (Joost) and his family.

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Over two months ago I posted about The Park with a Literary Name , Ramona Park in Portage, Michigan. This lake property was in my family for many years.

It was owned by Carrie Paak/Peek Waruf and her husband Henry Waruf. These photos are of their home, which was situated on Sprinkle Road in Portage, about a block from the Long Lake shore.  The above photo is a side view–Sprinkle to the left, Long Lake to the right.  The porch was eventually remodeled to a large enclosed porch.

Any car experts can tell us a date by looking at the automobile here?

The photo below is the front of the house.

This house was inherited by Therese Remine, Carrie’s niece, and became part of the Ramona Park estate. In more recent years, it was relocated. My Kalamazoo sleuths (aka Mom and Dad) are working on its location.

When I was a little kid, we hunted for arrowheads in the field behind the house. The vintage (at the time) dining room furniture was beautiful.

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I wonder which Richard DeKorn building site this is.  The thin line of trees behind it is interesting because that doesn’t look like right downtown.  What do you think the buildings behind the site are?  And that long low structure?

The next photo was identified by reader David K. as “the old city hall in Grand Rapids.” http://cdn.loc.gov/service/pnp/habshaer/mi/mi0000/mi0015/photos/089268pv.jpg This makes sense because the photographer, Joseph DeKorn, ended up going to work for the City of Grand Rapids, eventually becoming  Superintendent of the Grand Rapids Water and Light Company. The details of the building are beautiful, as is the landscaping.

Joseph DeKorn took the following photo of Kalamazoo’s downtown. Comments by readers help to describe more about the location.

Downtown Kalamazoo

Downtown Kalamazoo

As usual, I don’t know enough about these photographs.  The first one was a photo I found with old newspaper clippings.  The other two were from glass negatives taken by Joseph DeKorn.  Any guesses on age, based on the clothing of the people?

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I just discovered an article which explains the Telegraph building in Kalamazoo.  As I’ve mentioned before, it was built by my great-great-grandfather Richard DeKorn.  In my earlier post today I wrote about him building the Pythian building.  From this article, I now find that the two buildings are the same.  The Telegraph building was for the Kalamazoo Telegraph, a rival newspaper to the Kalamazoo Gazette.  This article explains the history.

The building was first called the Telegraph Building and later the Pythian Building. Apparently it is also called the Park Building, according to the website of the Portage District Library.

Be sure to look at the article because it has a couple of great photos of the building, including one from 1881 where the front is festooned with striped awnings and garlands.

The building stood at 132 W. South Street, near the intersection of Rose, across from the Kalamazoo Public Library.

Does it still stand there?  I no longer live in Kalamazoo, so I don’t know.  I looked on a Google satellite map, and this is what I found.  Is this a new building or a remodel of the old building or am I at the wrong address?  Does anyone know?  BREAKING NEWS:  the Miller Canfield building was built on this property.  Great-great-grandfather’s building was probably demolished in 2005 or 2006, according to reader Kathryn Lightcap.

So once again, here are the photos I’ve published on here of the Telegraph building site and then of the finished building, eventually known as the Pythian or Park building.

Telegraph Building

Telegraph Building

Pythian Building

Pythian Building

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Richard DeKorn obituary

This obit confirms that Richard’s (Dirk de Korne)  sister, Jennie Culver, did move to Seattle and raise her family there.  Also, although the genealogy research done by Yvette Hoitink shows Richard was born in Kapelle, this obituary states what I had always been told, that he was from Goes.  Those towns are not far from each other.

I’ve written a couple of other posts about Richard DeKorn, including Richard DeKorn, Brick Mason and General Contractor.  This obituary mentions two other buildings I didn’t realize he had built:  the Pythian Building and the Merchants Publishing Company building.  I also learned that he was a member of the brick masons union.

Pythian Building

Pythian Building

I’ve mentioned before that he built the Telegraph building, the tower at the state hospital, and the Ladies Library Association building (and many others).

You see Park Cafe in the low building to the side of the building?  I remember them from the sixties and seventies when they used to make the best olive burgers anywhere in the world.  The grease would soak right through the waxed paper, and they were absolutely smothered in green olives.  I recall walking past the building to get my burger and thinking what a beautiful old building it was, never dreaming that my great-great grandfather had built it.


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In the world of family history blogs, I feel like the new kid on the block.  I probably am the new kid on the block.  There’s always that one moment when you know you’ve been accepted into the new neighborhood.  For me it was when Mom at Maybe someone should write that down  passed to me the Liebster award.  I had to look up what Liebster means and apparently it means dearest in German.  If I have that wrong, please correct me, but I thought that was a sweet name.liebster-award2

In order to accept the Liebster Award, one must do the following things:

1.  Thank (and link to) the presenter of my 2013 Liebster Award:

Thank you, Mom!  Her blog, “Maybe someone should write that down,” is a beautiful site, filled with a variety of posts related to family history, genealogy, the past, and blogging.  Mom herself is a great conversationalist in blogland and a welcome and welcoming presence.  Please check out her blog, if you don’t already know her site!

2.  Post 11 fascinating facts about one’s own self:

Hahaha, that would presuppose that there were even a couple of fascinating facts about myself.  I’ll try facts about my ancestors–how about them apples?

i. My maternal grandmother L. Edna Mulder Zuidweg  had the third highest GPA and was class historian when she graduated from Caledonia High School in 1929.

ii. My grandfather Adrian Zuidweg lost the sight in one eye from a sewing needle when he was three years old.  He was treated at the University of Michigan Medical Center in Ann Arbor, which must have been quite a trek for the family from Kalamazoo.

iii.  My paternal grandmother Marie K. Wakefield was the head fitter for the 28 Shop at the Marshall Field flagship store in Chicago.

iv. My great-grandfather Charles Mulder blew his pipe smoke into a plastic Yogi Bear bubble pipe I had and made me smoke it.  I’ve hated tobacco smoke ever since.

v.  My great-grandfather Frank Klein built a fish pond and gazebo at his Elmhurst, Illinois, house.

vi. My grandmother L. Edna Mulder Zuidweg had to walk 3 miles to school and 3 miles back each day.  She walked with her siblings.  When there was a bad storm, her mother drove the children to school in a tiny black Amish buggy.

vii. My great-great-grandmother Jennie Zuidweg wore eleven skirts and petticoats, each one filled with pockets.  She carried items in many of the pockets.

viii. My great-grand-uncle Lucas Zuidweg, a sailor, died when he fell on an anchor.

ix. The husband of my great-grand-aunt Jennie DeKorn Leeuwenhoek is a descendent of the man who invented the microscope, Anton Van Leeuwenhoek.

x. My maternal grandparents share a common ancestor, Karel Mulder, a “jailer’s hand.”

xi. My great-grandmother Cora DeKorn Zuidweg loved horses and, as a girl, wanted to spend as much time with them as possible.  As an adult, when she saw a man whipping his horse, she turned the man’s whip on him.

3.  Answer the 11 questions that my nominator made up for me:

I’m already confused by all the 11s.  Were there questions?

4.  Make up 11 questions to be answered by the 11 blogs who I choose to award the Liebster to:

Here they are (but if you don’t want to answer them, you don’t have to):  please list 11 fun facts about your ancestors.

5.  Nominate 11 bloggers who I personally enjoy, AND whose subscriber count does not exceed 200 and link to the 11 I choose, and then be sure to tell them why my website is pinging at them.  Since I don’t know how to tell what subscriber count anyone has, I’ll give you a list of a few of my dearest family history and genealogy blogs, although 11 doesn’t even begin to do the list justice!

Here they are in no particular order:

i.  Back atcha, Mom.  Please visit her lovely blog, Maybe someone should write that down.

ii. Jose over at Enhanced News Archive is an absolute treasure.  He researches newspapers and shares the results online so that the information can be plugged into family trees.  He does this service for strangers, as well as for fellow bloggers.  What a genealogy hero!

iii. EmilyAnn Frances at Child Out of Time writes charmingly about her family history, which has its roots in Italian, Spanish, and Jewish heritages.

iv. Sheryl at One Hundred Years Ago writes a unique blog.  Each post showcases a diary entry written by her grandmother 100 years ago and then Sheryl herself provides informative research about a related topic.

v. Sheila at I’ll Call It Like I See It and also of Red’s Rants and Raves is a wonderful participant in Blogland.  In the first blog, she writes humor and the subjects are varied.  The 2nd blog she actually ghost writes for the rescue Welsh Terrier Red ;).

vi. Jackie Dinnis, from Brighton, writes beautifully about her own life and that of her family.  Her blog provides a window into life in that part of the world over the past decades.

vii. Jedwardnajera’s Blog is a great read.  He’s a writer and artist and he also posts from a 400 page manuscript his father, who was born in 1908, wrote in Spanish.

viii. Relatively Frank showcases a collection of essays written by the blogger’s father.  Very poignant window into the life of one who has gone before.

ix. Deborah Sweeney at Genealogy Lady is a very accomplished genealogist.  I’m fascinated by her rich family stories.

x. William at Among My Branches is a thirty-something genealogy addict ;).  His stories are well-researched and engaging.

xi. Helen Tovey on Stitching Yesteryear weaves together family stories and needlework on her very lovely blog.

Thanks, Mom, for giving me the opportunity to give shout-outs to a group of great family history bloggers!

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This photograph shows up in both the stack of old photos I was given by my grandparents and in the glass negatives which had belonged to the family photographer Uncle Joe DeKorn (1881-1962).  My grandfather couldn’t identify it.  I wonder if it’s related to the photo in our collection of Dutch Arnold, the famous Kalamazoo saloon keeper.

Are there clues in this photo which anyone can identify?  The only thing I can be pretty sure of is that it was taken in Michigan and, most likely, in Kalamazoo.

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