Archive for November, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Yes, those are my kids and somebody who doesn’t want to be identified ;).

The pretty nails belong to my mother.

Here are a couple of little treats for your holiday (the Johnny Cash will make you cry by the end):

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Here are a few of my family photos showing their methods of transportation one hundred plus years ago in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

These first two photos (above and below) seem to be the same wagon, but is it the same horse? This house is Richard DeKorn’s house, so I am going to guess it was his wagon and horse. The wagon looks fairly comfy with the upholstered seat and the umbrella.

This next one is also at Richard DeKorn’s house (on the left in the photo). It’s a horse-drawn sled, necessary for getting around in the winter!


LHcd382_LHcd382-R1-E014This last one could have been taken out in public as the two men on the right side of the photo are not posing for the shot. This wagon is not plush like the other and is pulled by a team of two horses. It appears to be more of a work vehicle (like a pickup ;)), but the pole jutting up from the bed looks suspiciously like a fishing pole.

You are all good at finding things in photos I haven’t seen. What have I missed?

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Last week I wrote about my grandfather’s cousins, the Van Liere boys of Kalamazoo.

After I published that post I was given supplemental information by the very kind Adri Van Gessel, so I would like to add a little information and eventually I will go back and update the earlier blog post.

Marinus van Liere was born in 1874, not 1875. Goes is the correct location. His birth date was September 29, 1874, and his parents were Jacob and Katharina. Marinus was the 3rd boy named Marinus born to the couple, but the first two had died as infants. Out of 12 children, only five lived into adulthood. Pieter also immigrated to the United States. Here is the info on Pieter:

          Pieter Marcus van Liere (Peter), son of Jacob van Liere (I) and Katharina Barbier, was born on March 9, 1868 at Goes, died on January 8, 1953 at Kalamazoo (MI).

Pieter was married on July 31, 1890 at Kloetinge to Pieternella van Haveren (Nellie), daughter of Cornelis van Haveren and Pieternella Louisse. Pieternella was born on October 20, 1871 at Wolphaartsdijk, died on January 13, 1941 at Kalamazoo (MI).

From this marriage:

1  Catharina Van Liere was born on May 29, 1893 at Goes.

Catharina was married on May 6, 1915 at Kalamazoo (MI) to Dirk Goldschmeding (Dick), son of Johannes Leonardus Goldschmeding and Gijsbertje de Haas. Dirk was born on August 2, 1891.

2  Cornelius Van Liere was born on November 8, 1895 at Goes, see III-A.

(Peter has emigrated with his wife and his two children to America on March 13, 1909. He was a painter).

The question is if this Pieter is the same Peter Van Liere who shows up in the Kalamazoo Gazette. Because there are several articles spanning a period from 1888 to 1911, it becomes clear that the Peter Van Liere in the paper is older than Pieter and was already causing a ruckus in Michigan before our Pieter was married in the Netherlands.

As a reminder, here is the photo of the sons of Marinus and Johanna (my great-grandfather’s sister).

The Van Liere Brothers

From left to right they are:

Eugene (the tallest), Luke, Jake, Jim, John, Renny. Jane wasn’t sure about the last two, but if the others are correct perhaps Adrian and then Peter.

Here is updated information on dates. This changes the birth order to Eugene being 3rd born, not Adrian. Adrian is #4. It also adds a sad note to the family history by noting a stillborn baby in 1913.

1  Jacob Van Liere (Jake) was born on April 14, 1902 at Goes, see III-B.

2  Johannes Van Liere (John) was born on April 23, 1903 at Goes, see III-C.

3  Eugene Van Liere (Curly) was born on June 28, 1904 at Kalamazoo (MI), see III-D.

4  Adrian Van Liere (Ade) was born on October 7, 1905 at Kalamazoo (MI), see III-E.

5  Peter M. Van Liere was born on October 24, 1907 at Kalamazoo (MI), died in October 1965.

Peter was married on May 2, 1936 at Kalamazoo (MI) (1) Louise Watson, daughter of William Watson and Bertha Stanley. Louise was born in 1916.

Peter was married on July 2, 1948 at Kalamazoo (MI) (2) to Lorraine J. Mentor, daughter of Frederick C. Mentor and Irene Johnson. Lorraine was born on October 2, 1910 at Kalamazoo (MI), died in March 1981 at Lawton (MI).

6  Lucas Van Liere (Luke) was born on August 7, 1909 at Kalamazoo (MI), see III-F.

7  James Van Liere was born in 1912 at Kalamazoo (MI), see III-G.

8  N.N. van Liere was stillborn on August 25, 1913 at Kalamazoo (MI).

9  Marinus Van Liere (Renny) was born on September 23, 1915 at Kalamazoo (MI), see III-H.

There are some other details, but rather than getting too mathematical again ;), I will pass them on to the Van Lieres by email.

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I wrote about my Dad, Rudy Hanson, being a veteran of the U.S. Army in a previous post. He recently joined a Combat Veterans’ Writing Group, which meets at the local library. The Western Herald, the newspaper for Western Michigan University, just published a piece on the class and showcased the stories of a few veterans. You guessed it–my dad’s was one of those selected!


Extra special for me is how his story connects with the piece I wrote about his mother’s sewing talent. I think you’ll enjoy his story!

Way to go, Dad!

Dad and me 1955

Dad and me 1955

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As I grew up, relatives would say to me that we were related to this family or that family, but any description of the connections seemed vague. One of those names I heard I was related to was VAN LIERE. I think I even went to school with a Van Liere or two.

After all these years and lots of research, I now understand how I am related to the Van Lieres. They are my grandfather’s cousins!

This is how the connection works:

In My Grandfather’s Story Part II, I described how, when he was a child, his family lived two houses over from Grandpa’s aunt’s house on Burdick Street in Kalamazoo.

His father’s sister, Johanna Geertruida Maria Zuijdweg was born in Goes, Zeeland, the Netherlands on 23 December 1873. On 10 May 1900, she married Marinus van Liere in Goes. Marinus was born in 1875 in Goes. He was the son of Jacob van Liere and Katharina Barbier.  When he married Johanna, he was a shoe maker.

Johanna Zuijdweg VanLiere and Marinus VanLiere with son Jacob

Johanna Zuijdweg VanLiere and Marinus VanLiere with son Jacob

They had two boys and then immigrated to the United States in 1904.

They lived in Kalamazoo, Michigan and had another six boys, for a total of eight. Here is a photo of the family with the first three boys, taken in Kalamazoo.

Johanna has not only gained weight with the birth of the 2nd and 3rd children, but she seems to have aged. In a very short period of time she not only had the three boys, but also left her country and started a new life in Kalamazoo.

The Van Lieres

The Van Lieres

I believe Marinus may have had a shoe store in Kalamazoo because I found an ad for the store, dated 30 Oct 1917, and it was on Burdick Street. In the 1910 census the Van Lieres lived at 1338 S. Burdick St. The store is 1208 S. Burdick St. 

Marinus passed away 22 November 1941 in Kalamazoo, and Johanna died on 14 July 1947 in Kalamazoo.

Here is a photo shared by Jane Van Liere of the eight Van Liere boys, sons of Marinus and Johanna (Zuijdweg) Van Liere. NOTE:  THESE ARE THE FIRST COUSINS OF MY GRANDFATHER, ADRIAN ZUIDWEG. Click on the photo so you can see it enlarged!

The Van Liere Brothers

The Van Liere Brothers

From left to right they are:

Eugene (the tallest), Luke, Jake, Jim, John, Renny. Jane wasn’t sure about the last two, but if the others are correct perhaps Adrian and then Peter.

This is how we get a lot more Van Lieres in Kalamazoo than Zuidwegs: Johanna took her husband’s name and had eight boys who then kept their last names, whereas Grandpa was an only child of the only surviving Zuijdweg boy (his father Adrian).  By the way, we do have another Adrian Zuidweg in the family as my cousin’s son shares Grandpa’s and Great-Grandpa’s name.

So the Van Lieres might be Van Lieres, but they are also Zuidwegs!

Here is the information we have collected so far. There are no doubt large gaps and most likely children missing in this list.

JACOB (Jake), the oldest Van Liere boy, grew up to be a fireman for the City of Kalamazoo.  He was born 14 April 1902 in Goes, the Netherlands, and died May 1968 in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

He married Margaret Lucas (1911-1971). Jake and Margaret had a son, Charles Robert (born 28 Jul 1933 in Michigan and died 29 may 1957 in Kalamazoo), and a daughter Jean Kilgore.

I believe this photo was taken of Jacob when the family still lived in Goes.

Jacob Van Liere

Jacob Van Liere

JOHN, son #2, owned a shoe repair near the family home on Burdick Street, across from the ice cream shop. The shop has been called Mathews, but it could have been Mursch’s ice cream shop.  The ice cream was made in the back of the store.

John was born 23 April 1903 in the Netherlands, most likely Goes. He died 7 January 1974 in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

He married Trinet Van Tichelt (born 22 Jan 1906 in the Netherlands and died 28 Mar 1989. John and Trinet had a son, John. He was their only child. John married Jane and they have 7 children and 16 grandchildren.

This is the branch of the family that provided me with the photograph and with information about the boys.

ADRIAN (this name goes back far in the Zuijdweg family), son #3, was a golf instructor. He was born 7 Oct 1905 in Michigan and died 16 Apr 1984 in Brevard, Florida.

He married Vivian or Violet Irene (born 7 Feb 1908 in Michigan and died 21 Apr 2007 in Belmont, Kent, Michigan). Adrian and his wife had a daughter, Betty (born c. 1928 in Michigan).

Here is Adrian’s 8th grade graduation notice in the Kalamazoo Gazette on June 16, 1920.

EUGENE (Curly), son #4,  lived in Las Vegas. He was born around 1905 in Kalamazoo and married Lydia B., who was born in1906.

PETER, son #5, owned Van Liere Tile in Milwood. He was born 24 Oct 1907 in Michigan and died in Oct 1965. He married Lorraine. Peter was a member of the Elks. He played a lot of golf.

LUCAS (Luke), son #6, worked for The Upjohn Company. He was born 7 Aug 1909 and died 12 May 2001, both in Kalamazoo. He was married twice, first to Sadie and then Myrteen A. Wolcott.

On 27 August 1922, the Kalamazoo Gazette reported on Luke’s golf game in this article. Start reading about half way down on the left column.

JAMES (Jim), son #7, worked for The Upjohn Company in Arizona. He was born in 1913 in Michigan.

MARINUS (Renny), son #8, worked for The Upjohn Company. he was born in 1915 in Michigan. He married Dorothy.

In looking for articles on the Van Lieres in the local newspaper, I happened upon two other Van Lieres at the turn of the century. One was Peter Van Liere, who was somewhat regularly in the newspaper. I did not find a connection with our Van Lieres, although a familial connection is still possible.

The other was a Cornelius Van Liere, who died in 1902. The Probate Order (5 June 1902), as well as related information, is in the newspaper. What is worth noting is that Marinus Van Liere is mentioned in the Probate Order. This is two years before Marinus and Johanna immigrated to the U.S. Was Cornelius an uncle of Marinus? There’s always another mystery . . . .

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Here is a photo I need some help with. I wonder what you think is going on here. The house in the background is my father’s grandparents’ home in Elmhurst, Illinois. The lady in the window is Dad’s grandmother, Margarethe Klein. She passed away from cancer in 1932.

The only other person I can identify is my grandmother’s youngest sister Helen. She’s the young blonde at the right side of the photo, back row. Helen was born in 1910. What year do you think this photo is?

And what in the world do you think they are doing? Any ideas on what brought them all together for the photo?

Elmhurst, Illinois

Elmhurst, Illinois

Next week:  back to my Dutch ancestors . . .

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Let’s take a short break from my mother’s family and jump over to my father’s family.  My father’s mother Marie was the Head Fitter of the 28 Shop at Marshall Field’s flagship store in Chicago for years and an artist with a needle.

From the time I was born, Grandma sewed me beautiful dresses. But I first paid attention to her sewing on Christmas the year I was four. As we opened gifts, Grandma leaned down toward me, with her pearls swinging, and handed me a huge box.  The blue eyes of a doll my size stared back at me when I pulled up the lid.  I named her Bonnie, after one of my favorite records, “My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean.”

Grandma handed me another large, but more beautifully wrapped, box.  I untied the grosgrain ribbon and discovered she had sewn an array of beautiful dresses trimmed in selfsame bows and flowered beads.  The beret Grandma created for Bonnie matched the pink satin-lined pale blue velvet coat.

Bow on back of Bonnie's velvet coat
Bow on back of Bonnie’s velvet coat
Pearl button closures on Bonnie's velvet coat
Pearl button closures on Bonnie’s velvet coat

When I was eight, Grandma sewed me a glorious trousseau of clothes for the imitation Barbie (Miss Suzette) my parents had given me.  My doll didn’t have the requisite zebra-striped swimsuit or the Enchanted Evening gown and fur stole, but she had a copper satin cocktail sheath covered with a copper rose point lace outer skirt.  Both were trimmed in copper seed beads.  The wedding dress of white satin was heavily beaded with real seed pearls. A lace trimmed slip fit underneath and the veil was matching lace and beaded with the pearls.  I looked for stitches to see Grandma’s tricks, but they were invisible as all good magic.

When I was away at college, my mother gave the Barbie clothes away. While Bonnie has always sat on a chair in my bedroom, for a long time I kept Bonnie’s clothes in a small suitcase in my closet, away from dust and sunlight, and reveled in the knowledge that I had preserved these treasures.  After moving to my last house, I decided to put them away more securely.

Then I forgot where I put them! For years I thought they were lost. Finally, last year, I found the clothing. The only piece missing is the velvet beret.  All I have left of the Barbie clothes are the memories as I don’t have a photo of them.

All these years later, my parents have given me my grandmother’s German porcelain doll and the clothing Grandma made for her.

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These doll clothes represent all the beautiful clothing my grandmother designed and sewed over the years. Clothing, Art really, which is long gone.

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