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.
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.