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Archive for September, 2016

I’ve heard that Uncle Lou (Lambertus Leeuwenhoek) loved to play games–and was very good at them. Where and when he passed away is fitting, in that context.

 

Uncle Lou “died at 3:15 Wednesday afternoon at the YMCA immediately after suffering a heart attack. He had just finished a game of checkers.” I bet he won the game.

I need to research where the Y was located.

He died on Wednesday, April 20, 1949. Coincidentally, my father-in-law passed away in 1984 on April 20. Notice that Uncle Lou and Aunt Jen were married on May 20. My birthday is July 20. My cousin was born January 20. I always notice the number 20.

Here is the funeral announcement in the newspaper:

And here is a beautiful memorial book from Uncle Lou’s funeral. I wish I knew how to create a slideshow that allows a reader to enlarge each photo, but I don’t know if there is a way on WordPress.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

What I find particularly useful from a genealogy standpoint are the names of the visitors on the last two pages. They are as interesting as the names in the obituary, if not more so.

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I’ve written about the Leeuwenhoeks, and in particular, my great grandmother’s brother-in-law, Lambertus Leeuwenhoek. He was called Uncle Lou by my grandfather, so he’s still called Uncle Lou by me today, although I never met him. I did know his wife, Aunt Jen, who survived him by decades.

Uncle Lou and Aunt Jen owned a general store. They had a store in Kalamazoo for a time and one in Vicksburg for a time, as well. In the 1910 and 1920 censuses, he and Aunt Jen are living at 110 Balch Street in Kalamazoo. His Kalamazoo store sold Gold Medal flour.

may-19-1910-leeuwenhoek-ad

 

In the 1930 census, they live at 111 East Prairie Street in Vicksburg. In the 1940 census I find them with Lou’s first name mangled into Laonbatius. They are living with their daughter Alice and her husband, Clarence Moerdyk, at 1014 Gerdan Street in Kalamazoo. Could that be GARDEN Street? Because that would be a real house in Kalamazoo. One still existing, most likely.

I looked for city directory entries, and I found these–all date jumbled:

Leeuwenhock Lambertus (Jennie) household 110 Balch, 1926 City Directory: See Page
Leeuwenhoek Alice M, dressrnkr, boards 110 Balch, Kalamazoo City 1915: See Page
Leeuwenhoek Lambertus (Jennie) resides at 1014 Garden, City Directory 1935: See Page
Leeuwenhoek Lambertus (Jennie), grocer 110 Balch, residence same, Kalamazoo City 1915: See Page
Leeuwenhoek Lambertus (Jennie), grocer 110 Balch, residence same, Kalamazoo City, 1905: See Page
Leeuwenhoek Lambertus, compositor, 306 Wall., Kalamazoo City 1895: See Page

Compositor means that Lou was working on the Dutch newspaper. See here. But he had a grocery store in his house?

And if he lived in Vicksburg in 1930, but lived in Kalamazoo in 1926 and 1935, he couldn’t have lived in and owned a store in Vicksburg for very long. Unfortunately, I haven’t found a source for Vicksburg advertising yet.

I found this photo of Uncle Lou standing out in the front of the store, but I’m not sure which city this is:

Any ideas on the years, judging by the cars? Any idea if that looks like Kalamazoo or Vicksburg in the distance?

Likewise, I’m not sure which city Uncle Lou is in as he walks down the sidewalk? Does that window say “Russell” on it? In the city directories, there are many Russells, including ones owning businesses. There is one on Burdick Street, for instance, in my family’s neck o’ the woods, that is a variety store.

Here he is on a bench:

I wouldn’t be surprised to find this bench outside Richard DeKorn’s (his father-in-law) house on the corner of Burdick and Balch, judging by the design of the light colored stripe through the brick.

Here the photo is again–yes, it’s the same house. It’s hard to see Lou’s face up close. Below he is with his father-in-law, Richard DeKorn.

Uncle Lou with Aunt Jen and their only child, Alice:

Here is a closeup of young Uncle Lou.

And now this is a curiosity. This photo is labelled Lou Leeuwenhoek by the same person who knew that the man walking down the street was Lou, that that was Lou standing out in front of his store, etc. But IS it Lou?

This is not his brother, for sure. While it’s not the same hairstyle as the photos above, the features seem to be the same–except for the eyes which, in the other photos, seem to be deep-set. Is the difference aging (the style of tie is the same) or lighting?  Or is the photo mislabeled?

***

You can check out the Bibles Uncle Lou brought with him from the Netherlands here.

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Unfortunately, I owe emails to a few very kind people about genealogy issues, but I have had no time to work on my leads. Instead, today, I thought I’d share with you some photographs of people unknown to me that I found in an antique store in Long Beach, California. When I go into antique stores, the old photos capture my attention more than all the other old discarded belongings put together.

I haven’t had the time to do much research on these photos either, but I post them here in case they can one day be matched with family or friends of the subjects.

Perhaps the most unusual is one of a cast of a woman’s face, rather than of a living subject. I will assume the woman was dead and hence the cast was made, but I can’t know for sure.

The photographer was Jordan, and the photo was taken in Washington, D.C.

The back helps more than most do.

Her name appears to have been Mercy (room to think Mary, but it seems pretty clearly Mercy to me) Ferries or Ferriss. Perhaps Ferris. She had eleven children: Adeline, Mary Jane, Caroline, Eleanor, John, Franklin, Luther, and four others.

A.M. Noble might be the name of the man (assuming) who made the cast.

A brief search right after I obtained the photograph yielded census information about a Mercy Ferris in 1900, 60 years old, a widow, one son living at home, a New Yorker. Unfortunately, there is no 1890 census as the records were destroyed in a fire. What is also unique, maybe, is that the photo was in Washington DC. I’m not finding much with a name like this for that area.

I judge the photo to be from about 1880-1915.

My next photograph I love for its peaceful scene of family or friends socializing in a beautiful porch setting.

I love the details of the mismatched chairs (including wicker one), the tablecloth, the sweater with tie, and the netting hanging down the side of the porch.

Unfortunately, nothing was written on the back of this photograph. Any ideas on how to research this photo?

And here is one more.

Maybe we can find the family of this young lady. The photograph is from St. Louis.

Her name was Miss Lena Buckhold and here is her address! In a quick search, I did see a Lena Taylor who died in California in 1980. Her maiden name was Buckhold, and she was born in Missouri on January 15, 1891. Could that be this Lena? It seems like a promising lead.

Please pass on this post, and let’s see if we can find the families!

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On August 17 I originally published this post and mentioned that I had only been able to verify that, by 1947, Harold Remine had attained at least the title of Assistant Chief Engineer of the Quebec Hydro Electrical Commission. I not been able to find information after that date about his career.  My family believed he was Chief Engineer, but without an international subscription to Ancestry.com, I felt stymied at finding more information.

That is, I felt stymied until I applied some watermarks to some Remine family documents and discovered a little treasure of information. See below Harold’s photograph!

Harold Henry Remine
1897–1975

BIRTH 7 SEPTEMBER 1897 Kalamazoo City, Kalamazoo, Michigan

DEATH DECEMBER 1975 Montreal, Quebec, Canada

1st cousin 3x removed

 

 

Look at this little marvel of verification! Harold’s own business card.

What does that say? CHIEF ENGINEER METROPOLITAN OPERATION DIVISION HYDRO-QUEBEC. Never give up hope because sometimes this stuff just falls into your lap!

***

 

Now if I was willing to be extorted, I would expand my Ancestry account from U.S. to “international” and be able to do more Canadian searches. Alas, it has gotten so expensive!

Anybody else irritated about that price?

 

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I have updated and am reposting this information about Therese Remine’s house in Detroit (new info in italics):

Harold Remine’s sister Therese lived a double life, you might say. For most of her life, and with homes in both cities, she switched off between Kalamazoo and Detroit. Therese worked as a teacher in Detroit. I found information in a 1930 city directory that Therese worked at Campbell School / Webster Hall (uncertain of this exact meaning, but there was a Campbell School and a Webster Hall). Then I was aided by my friend José who can found at his blog Enhanced News Archive. He discovered a 1957 city directory which gave important information about the house, but also mentioned that she worked as a teacher at Von Steuben School. I find it interesting that census reports give occupations and the industry the occupation is in, but not specifics of school names or company names. 

Although we usually visited her at her home in Kalamazoo (by the time I knew Therese, she was retired), I do remember traveling to Detroit, entering her home, and some of our time spent chatting with her. This is her house:

The house seems to be on Haverhill, although the cross street is not visible.  Doesn’t it look here as if the front door faces Haverhill? I checked out the 1940 census, and both Haverhill and Evanston residents are on the page with Therese. Her house number is not given, so I can’t be sure which street she was on. Any ideas on this census for Therese’s address? These questions are answered below!

The back of the photo gives another clue to the location of Therese’s house.

The neighbor who took the photo kindly left his (and her) name and address. Oskar and Jolanda Mlejnek, 16003 Evanston. I love that the date was given, too: Winter 1959.

According to information I found about Oskar Mlejnek on Ancestry, he ended up moving to Grosse Pointe. These were beautiful houses on Evanston and Haverhill, straight out of 1930s and 40s movie “casting,” but the neighborhood changed over the years. According to what I see on Google maps many of the older houses are still there, but the vegetation is overgrown. It’s not even possible to see what 16003 Evanston looks like, although the upper level has been for sale, because the yard is so overgrown.

Where was Therese’s beautiful home?

I was able to pinpoint the location of Therese’s house, thanks to my outstanding blogger buddies: Karen MacArthur Grizzard, Amy, and José at Enhanced News Archive. Karen first noticed that on the 1940 census, the two women listed above Therese appeared to be lodgers who rented from Therese who clearly owned the house. This gave me the address for the house: 15941 Evanston. Amy confirmed that she also read it the same way Karen did. And José did more research where he found the 1957 city directory which did, in fact, verify that the house was located at that address.

From there, José located the correct address on the contemporary Google map. The house has been torn down, the yard is overgrown with vegetation, but as José point out to me, the other houses on the block are still there as he lined up the roof peaks from the old photo above with the new Google image.

Thanks to these smart and experienced researchers, I now know the address of Therese’s house and that it no longer exists, although the other houses do.

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