Archive for May, 2013

My maternal grandmother, Lucille Edna Mulder (Zuidweg), who was born in 1912 at the time of the Titanic disaster, was raised on a farm in Caledonia, Michigan.  If you’ve read my blog for any length of time you know that I have a beautiful scrapbook which she made to commemorate her high school graduation in 1929.

You’ve met her parents, Charles and Clara (née Waldeck) Mulder.

Charles and Clara (Waldeck) Mulder Marion Studio pic

I’ve shared with you the book collection and gavel which belonged to my great-grandfather Charles.  I have not said much about my great-grandmother Clara.

What I know about her is that she raised five children on a farm in Caledonia.

Clara’s parents and older siblings were born in Germany (and perhaps at least one sibling in Kentucky, but don’t quote me on that).  She was born August 31, 1884, in Michigan.  She died September 6, 1953, of uterine cancer.  I was born less than two years later.

I have an Eastern Star ring which belonged to her, so I know she belonged to that organization. I had a sapphire bracelet, which I lost at my first job and was heartsick over, and a couple of other small items.

Here is Clara’s calling card, which my grandmother placed in her scrapbook along with the graduation cards of her classmates:

Clara's calling cardI wish I knew more about Clara and her life.  I think if I keep researching I will find more and maybe I will be able to put some pieces together.

Maybe my mother and her siblings and cousins remember their grandmother and can add to my paltry information!  Hint hint.

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Some time ago I posted about a house which I remembered from my childhood. The house had been built on Sprinkle Road in Portage, about a block from the Long Lake shore. It was originally owned by Carrie Paak/Peek Waruf and her husband Henry Waruf.

When Therese Remine inherited Ramona Park from them (her aunt and uncle), she also inherited their house.  She divided her time between this house and a house she owned in Detroit.

I had heard that the house was relocated and mentioned that I had set my Kalamazoo sleuths on its trail.

Today I am happy to report that my detectives (Mom and Dad, also known as Janet and Rudy Hanson) have done their legwork.  They discovered that, in 1990, the house was moved much farther south on Sprinkle–past Bishop road.  It was replaced by a fire station.  The new owner took the house apart “brick by brick” to move it.  He enclosed the porch and put in an elevator.

Here are the new photos, taken by my father just as the current owner was trying to mow the lawn!

The house is now owned by Patrick “Mick” Lynch and is inhabited by his company, American Hydrogeology Corporation.  They are an environmentally friendly company which helps with the clean up of water.

Mick has plans to re-roof the house and paint it white, which as you can see was the color in the old photo.

The other posts where you can read about Ramona Park, Long Lake, and the Waruf/Remine house can be found at Living by Long Lake, Portage, Michigan and The Park with a Literary Name .

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When I grew up in Kalamazoo in the 1960s and 1970s (OK, the 1950s, too), the name DeKorn as it applied to my family was no longer known. Richard’s only son, Joseph, had moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he raised his two sons.

At some point DeKorne’s Ethan Allen store opened up in Kalamazoo. I know it was there when I got married in 1975 because I bought my first couch and chairs there.That’s when I first heard the rumor that we were “shirttail relations.”

Nobody could ever give me any facts about this connection.

In 2000, with the beauty of the internet, I discovered that there was another family connected to Boudewijn DeKorn. Boudewijn, my great-great-great-grandfather, was born in 1816 in Kapelle, the Netherlands, and died 1873 in Kalamazoo.

This other family who had a Boudewijn was the furniture company Dekorne family from Grand Rapids.

But their Boudewijn didn’t match ours. Theirs died in 1929 in Grand Rapids! Ours died in Kalamazoo in 1873!! But how odd, considering that the name is unique, Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids are not far from each other, and there was that rumor about us being related.

At the time (2000), I found an article about their Boudewijn and a rough family tree.  I printed it out and saved it, never knowing if it would be useful.

Here is their family tree:

Other Dekorne family tree

Other Dekorne family tree

I’m going to post the article that went with their family tree because I find it very interesting in light of Richard DeKorn’s talents as a mason and general contractor.

It’s an interesting story, but are they relatives of mine?

I didn’t know, and I couldn’t figure it out because on Ancestry more Boudewijn DeKornes starting popping up with different birth and death dates, but always from the same general area of the province of Zeeland in the Netherlands.

Then I gave Yvette Hoitink their family tree and she put it together with our family tree and investigated.

This is our family tree:Richard DeKorn family treeDo you see a connection?  Look at their Boudewijn who was born in 1700.  He’s married to Piatarnella Pieterse Michielse.  That is the same woman as Pieternella Machiels who is also found in old documents under the name Petronella Pieters.  We have a match for a husband and wife in both family trees.

That means that  my “7th great-grandfather” Boudewijn de Corne, born approximately 1730 and died 1734 in Goes is (I believe) the “3rd great-grandfather” of Boudewijn the wood-carver and furniture maker who died in Grand Rapids in 1929.

In the history of the family it seems that branches moved away from each other and then maybe moved near each other again, always staying in Zeeland and then in southwestern Michigan. It’s fitting then that Joseph DeKorn moved to Grand Rapids and raised his family there by the other Dekornes.

Note: so many spellings of the name!!  It makes it very difficult even to work at cleaning up my family tree on Ancestry.  Also, notice how the Dutch tend to name their children after the grandparents.

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This post is meant to show my gratitude to two wonderful bloggers who have nominated this blog for awards and to pass on the shout outs to some bloggers who are so deserving of mention.  Actually, there are too many bloggers deserving of mention to mention, if that doesn’t sound too confusing!  I’ve got my “regulars” I read, but every day I find new blogs I want to add to my regulars list.

The Red Man and Sheila from Red’s Rants and Raves visited me bearing the WordPress Family Award.  They say that the award “was started by someone who wanted to say what being a part of cyberspace had meant to her and what a family atmosphere existed in her WordPress World.”  Yes! I can relate to that.

Thank you, Sheila, Red Man, and Team Red Man.  Check out their fun blog-with-personality right away!

I’m supposed to nominate 10 bloggers for this award.  I’ll raise it to 11 and include it below.

Later, Martha at Home Thoughts from Abroad came calling with the Liebster award. It means dearest and is meant to help promote new blogs.  I’m not sure which blogs are new and which are old standards, so I won’t be too fussy about that.  Thank you so much, Martha!

Martha keeps up so well with her blogging.  She alternates yummy food and fascinating history posts as fast as I can read them. If you haven’t checked out her blog, you will want to run there.

These are the rules from Martha. The award is a “pay-it-forward” thing as you must complete these requirements:

1.  Post the award on my blog.

2. Thank the blogger who gave me the award and link back to her site.

Thank you, Martha  at Home Thoughts from Abroad!

3.  Post 11 random facts about myself.  I’m going to post 11 family stories and whether or not I have discovered anything about their veracity.

a. That my grandparents were cousins.  Yes, they share a common ancestor way back.  I shared that in this blog post

b. That we have French Huguenots as ancestors.  The genealogist Yvette Hoitink believes the name DeKorn could have its origins in ancestors who moved from the village of  Corné in France to Holland.

c. That my grandmother was smart.  Yes, she was because as you know she did very well in school.

d. That Uncle Lou and Aunt Jen owned a general market in Kalamazoo in the early 1900s.  When I searched the name Leeuwenhoek in the newspaper archives at Genealogy Bank I discovered ads for their store.

e. That my great-grandfather Adrian Zuidweg owned a fish market in downtown Kalamazoo.  When I searched the name Zuidweg in the newspaper archives I discovered ads, but I also saw a notice that you could get fresh halibut at Zuidwegs.  I also found a photograph of the store, which can be found in this blog post.

f. That we had a wee smidgen of African ancestry.  I took the 23andme DNA test, and nope, that was not true.  I think it might have been a story that came about because of ancestry from countries where the people might have had darker hair, eyes, and skin tones, in the way that people talk about “black Irish.”

g. That Uncle Joe went to the University of Michigan to study engineering.  His son, Phil DeKorn, confirmed to me that he also went to Kalamazoo College, before he moved on to UM.  He took a majority of our old family photos, and Phil says that his father continued his love of photography into his later life.

h. That Richard DeKorn was a prominent mason and contractor in Kalamazoo, and through the research I have done, especially old newspapers it appears that that is the case.

i. That my relatives came from Goes in the Netherlands.  Yvette Hoitink discovered that many of them did come from Goes–both my grandfather’s and my grandmother’s families.  But they also came from other villages in the province of Zeeland.  Grandma told me it was pronounced Hoos, rhyming with goose, and Yvette confirmed that it is pronounced that way in the dialect.

j. That Uncle Lou was a descendent of the inventor of the microscope, Anton van Leeuwenhoek. I don’t have a confirmation on that because that would involve a lot of research far back, using sources written in Dutch. Grandpa told me that and he also told me that Uncle Lou and his brother Gerrit (the boy who died in the Spanish-American War) were orphans. I thought it was just them in the world, but apparently they had other siblings we didn’t know about who had stayed behind in Holland.

k. When my mother-in-law, who was an artist, met me she said she thought I must be part Chinese. I thought she was kidding, but then a rheumatologist told me he found a “Mongolian spot” on me.  This is a birth mark that looks like a bruise. He said I had to have Asian ancestry.  I thought it was an apocryphal story, but my DNA test confirmed that I do have .1% East Asian ancestry. I’d love to find out the story behind that!  This was mildly interesting to me since my kids, both adopted, are Korean ;).

4.  Answer 11 questions that the presenter of the award has asked.

1. What is your favorite book?  The Dollmaker by Harriet Arnow

2. What person influenced you most when you were growing up? My grandmother and Captain Kangaroo

3. If you could travel the world, where would you go first? Let me check my schedule

4. What is your dream car? Jaguar from days past

5. What are three things on your bucket list that you hope to do soon? I’ve been thinking about starting a bucket list . . .

6. Which was your most memorable birthday? My 40th at my parents’ lake house

7. What was your favorite year and why? 1984 and 1988 when my kids arrived from Korea

8. Who is your favorite singer or musician? My daughter

9. What did you do for the Millenium New Year’s Eve 1999/2000? I can’t remember

10. What is your greatest accomplishment? My kids

11. Of what are you the most proud? My kids

5.  Nominate 11 new bloggers with fewer than 200 followers who I want to pass the award on to.  These are the 11 blogs I nominate for the Liebster AND for the Family Award.  A few of these blogs I nominated last time as well, but they continue to be inspirations.

“Greatest Generation” Life Lessons

Pacific Paratrooper

Always Backroads

Enhanced News Archive

Explore Newness

Child Out of Time

Fashion A Hundred Years Ago

Jackie Dinnis

Living with My Ancestors

Relatively Frank

Genealogy Lady

6.   Ask my nominees 11 questions of my own.  Please share 11 facts about your ancestors (yes, parents count) and come tell me after you post so I am sure to read them!

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This post has been edited to correct errors!!  I will continue to do so as necessary.

Just for fun I thought I’d post the Dutch surnames that pop up in my family tree.

  • Zuidweg or Zuijdweg
  • DeKorn or DeKorne
  • Peek or Paak
  • VanLiere (this one is not a direct ancestor, but we have relatives in the United States)
  • Mulder
  • Gorsse
  • Bomhoff
  • Hijman or Heijman
  • Vandewalle
  • Boes
  • Bataille
  • Van Nek
  • Bassa
  • den Besten
  • Kriger
  • Remijinse or Remine (this name is one ancestor line, but is also more recently by marriage)
  • Engelse
  • De Jonge
  • Kole
  • Stroosnijder
  • Antonisse
  • Van den Berger
  • Cornaaij
  • Swedijks
  • Machiels or Pieters

Only a few of these surnames are found on lists of common Dutch names.

Mulder is on every list as it means miller.

My grandmother told me that Remijinse is a name which originally came to the family from Spain.

Zuidweg, meaning south way, also might have similar origins–it’s unclear. The results of my 23andme test does show that I have Spanish ancestry, and the likely source would be the Spaniards that left Spain at the time of the Inquisition and made their way to Holland.

When I visited the Netherlands, a man told me that DeKorn meant that the first DeKorn came to the Netherlands from Switzerland.

Yvette Hoitink has another idea.  This is what she wrote about the name:

Boudewijn de Corne (sr.) was called De Corne and De Kooren. “De” is the Dutch word for “The” but can also be the French word for “From.” Since “Corne” is not a Dutch word and “Kooren” (corn) would have a different article (“het” instead of “de”), a French origin is possible.  One possible explanation for the name is that the family originated in a place called Corné. A village called Corné is located near Angers [on map it’s located in western France]. A lot of French Huguenots came to the province of Zeeland in the period after the Edict of Nantes was revoked in 1685.

Yvette’s theory fits with the family story I heard very often that we were descended from French Huguenots.


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Here is a photo which is in with all the other family photos, but I don’t know anything about it.  Somebody cared a lot about it, though, because the names of the boys are written at the bottom.  It’s titled “Champions of Michigan.”  On the right side, it says Lansing 0 Kazoo 30.  Maybe a game between Lansing and Kalamazoo determined the Michigan champions.  But on the left side of the photo it looks like it says Kazoo 21 Ishpeming 27.  Say it ain’t so.

I tried to research games to see which year this was, but the Michigan High School Football website only goes back to 1950.

Does anybody have any ideas on how to find more information about the photo? If this photo belonged to Joseph Peter DeKorn, who was born in 1881, it’s possible that the photo is from the late 1890s.

Get a load of the coach’s facial expression!  He’s at the back on our left.


Here is the breaking news update.

I went to bed last night with this post set to publish early this morning.  When I woke up this morning, I suddenly thought of my “training” from Jose at Enhanced News Archive:  check the newspapers!  And since I recently found Genealogy Bank to be such a wonderful resource, I checked in there.  Guess what?  There are articles which show that I was wrong about the 1890s–it was 1901–and  unfortunately correct that Ishpeming won.  What a fabulous article that details the game (I hope it’s not too hard to read since I had to copy it in 4 parts):Michigan championship 1Michigan championship 2Michigan championship 3Michigan championship 4

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