Archive for February, 2015

UPDATE:  This photograph has been identified as to the clothing and location it is from.  See the update at the bottom of the post!!

This one is no doubt my favorite of the unidentifed photos in the archival storage box.

Look at her outfit. She looks like a pilgrim, doesn’t she? Or maybe Emily Dickinson with a pilgrim bonnet on?



Look at the book in her hand. What is it? A Bible? A hymnal? A prayer book? Surely there is significance to the text.

This is one of my few photos from Utrecht. Did I have family there?

Well, Alice Paak, my great-grandmother, was from Lexmond, which is south of Utrecht, so you could say that that branch of the family comes from the vicinity of Utrecht.

I can’t figure out the relationship. Also, Alice and her siblings were blue-eyed blondes.

Here is the back of the photo in case it offers any clues:

UPDATE: Reader Hubert Theuns has commented below with the following information which adds a lot of information to this photograph.

The photographer, Cornelis Johannes Lodewicus Vermeulen, was born in Utrecht 18.11.1861 and died in Hilversum 05.01.1936. Photographs from the period 1886-1915 can be found athttps://rkd.nl/nl/explore/portraits#query=cjl+vermeulen&start=0&filters%5Bcollectienaam%5D%5B%5D=RKD%20%28Collectie%20Iconografisch%20Bureau%29

In the Dutch province of Zeeland there is a society for the preservation of traditional costumes. The secretary of that society identified the traditional costume as the traditional costume of Cadzand, a small town in the Dutch province of Zeeland. In 2007 Cadzand had about 800 inhabitants. I believe this information may be useful to you.

FASINATING information. I had never heard of Cadzand, but now I will do my research. It doesn’t look too terribly far from Goes–and both towns are in Zeeland.


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Here’s another old photo that remains unidentified. Clearly, this elderly lady is from Goes, the Netherlands, and, no doubt, died in Goes.  Because of her age in this photograph, imagine how early she must have been born!

She must be from one of these branches: Paaks, Zuidwegs, or Mulders. It’s unlikely that she is a direct ancestor of Alice Paak, though, because Alice’s mother (born Bassa) died in her early 40s, in 1865. And her mother, a van Nek, died in 1848.

It’s less likely to be a Mulder because most of these photos come from my grandfather’s’ family, not my grandmother’s. She’s not a DeKorn because they came from Kapelle (very close to Goes, but not Goes). That leaves the Zuidwegs–or perhaps an aunt or other relatives of the Paaks.

How do you like her bonnet? Why does it look like her dress has creases around the skirt?

Here is the back of the photo in case it offers any clues:


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I’ve written before about my great-grandfather, Charles Mulder, of Caledonia, Michigan. He was born in 1885 in the Netherlands, but moved with his parents and younger brother to Grand Rapids, Michigan, when he was only two.  His baby brother Jan passed away within a few months.

Although Great-Grandpa was raised by his parents in Grand Rapids, where his father built furniture, he ended up starting his own adult life in Caledonia–as a farmer. He came from town folk. They weren’t farmers. What would have made him decide to become a farmer? And how did he purchase his farm?  These are good questions, I know, and I wonder if there is anybody who can answer them. Maybe his daughter, my grandmother, didn’t even know the answers.

I used to love to visit GG and his 2nd wife Margaret on the farm. My great-grandmother had passed away a couple of years before I, the oldest great-grandchild, was born. So I grew up knowing Margaret, a very nice lady, as my GG.

I’m guessing that in this photograph, I am with Great-Grandpa at his farm. He’s very comfortable in his undershirt and suspenders, and I see the hint of a dark colored (red?) outbuilding behind him. I remember the barn, the corncrib, and the henhouse. And let’s not forget the outhouse!

This photograph, as you can see, was taken in July 1957, which means that I was just turning two.

Message to my family: if anybody has any photos of the farm, please scan and send to me!


Here are links to other posts about Charles Mulder of Caledonia, my great-grandfather (the 1st two are my favorites):

The Blog Will Now Come to Order

I Raided Great-Grandpa’s Library

Great-Grandpa’s Family: The Mulders of Grand Rapids

The Mulders Pre-1917

Pieter the Orphan


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My grandfather’s father, Adriaan Zuijdweg (later called Adrian Zuidweg), was born in Goes, the Netherlands, on 3 January 1871. He was the oldest of three children. On 17 September 1872, Lucas was born. Then, on 23 December, 1873, Johanna Geertruida Maria was born. The children were barely a year apart in age. I find it interesting that their mother Jennie had a child every year for three years and then no more children. I wonder if she had a health problem after delivering Johanna.

Adriaan immigrated to the United States in 1893, but Johanna did not immigrate until 1904. She came to Kalamazoo, no doubt following her brother there. Lucas did not emigrate from Goes. Instead, on 4 April 1894, at the age of 21, he passed away. At the time of his death he was listed as a “laborer” in Goes; however, my grandfather’s story about his Uncle Lucas was different. Note that Lucas died not long after his older brother left the Netherlands.

Grandpa said that he was a sailor and, in a tragic accident, fell on the anchor of his ship and was killed.

It seems to me that Grandpa’s information has the stamp of authenticity, especially since Lucas did die at such a young age. But why was he listed as a laborer at the time of his death? Is that a term used for sailors? Maybe if he was hired as a sailor, but not part of the Navy?

I found a website with a photograph of a Dutch “Coast Defence” ship. This photo might be a ship called Piet Hein in 1894, the year of Lucas’ death. Would a ship this big have an anchor that would have killed Lucas? Or would it have been a smaller boat? Click through to the website if you like.

Jacob van Heemskerck (1906)


Hard to imagine a  ship this big in this harbor!! Photo of Goes harbor.


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