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Archive for the ‘de Korne’ Category

I’ve written quite a few posts about the Remine/Remijnse family, and this includes the Bosmans and Tazelaars. But I haven’t really gone back and examined the branch in detail. Recently, I was contacted by one of the last people who bear the surname Remijnse, Jacob, who lives in the Netherlands. We have exchanged information, and now I am going to try to examine the branch more carefully, beginning with this post. Jacob also sent me a link to a massive pedigree chart available online for this family. It is so massive that it will take a very long time to go through. I can imagine myself just searching for the branches and generations of the most interest to me.

This earliest information contains, I believe, some conjecture and begins in 1600. Sometimes the surname is known as Romijnsen–OR Van Remy, Romijn, Remijn, Romans, Remijnsen, Romeijnsen, Remijnse, Remine.

Jan Jans Remy Gesyt de Wale was born about 1600 in the French-speaking southern region of Belgium known as Wallonia or Wallonie.  He married Magarite van Wesepoel, who died between 21 Jun 1626 and 1 March 1627. They had one child, Jan, who was baptized on 21 June 1626 in Baarland and died before 26 December 1627.

He then married Tanneken (Jans) Jacobs. Tanneken was born in Baarland, Zeeland, Netherlands. She had previously been married to Cornelis Janse Durinck from Baarland.

 

Baarland * see info below

They had at least three children: Jan Janse Remijn, baptized on 26 December 1627 in Baarland. Godparent was Cornelis Andries Jacobsen; Janneken Remijn, baptized on 4 May 1631 in Baarland and died before 12 March 1644, also in Baarland; and Mayken Remijn. Mayken was married to Guillaeme Pauwels. Mayken and Guillaeme had a child, Mayken Pauwels who married Franciscus Coene, son of Cristiaen Coene and Mayken Ghysel.

Tanneken Jacobs, my 9th great-grandmother, had already been widowed on 3 April 1644 because she married Blaes Pierse, born in Ovezande (he had been married to Tanneke Machiels, born Ellewoutsdijk). They lived in Oudelande and Everinge. Jan Jans Remy had died BEFORE 12 March 1644.

The first child of Jan and Tanneken, Jan Janse Remijnse, had an extramarital relationship with Stoffelijntje Suythoff, born c. 1630 in Baarland. Her parents were Bastiaen Janse Suthoff and Tanneken Adriaens van Schuyle.

They had a child, Marinus Remijn, christened on 26 February 1656 in Baarland. He died on 5 August 1711 in ‘s-Heerenhoek. He was listed as a country man. According to the website for this family, “Marinus is the ancestor of the Catholic branch of REMIJN, which has established itself mainly in Zuid-Beveland. This family REMIJN married on the basis of religion up to the present day with a limited number of Catholic genders mutually to the third degree kinship and second degree kinship.”  WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?

On 24 May 1656, in Baarland, Jan married Hijbrechtje (Huybregthie) Marinis, born Bakendorp. Notice this is a few months after the birth of his  illegitimate son, Marinus.  Hijbrechtjie was baptized on 10 February 1638 in Baarland. She was baptized by Cornelis Jacobs. Her parents were Marinis Marijnisse and Grancijntje Andries. This couple are my eighth great-grandparents.

Jan died 18 December 1696 in Ellewoutsdijk,  6.2 km from Baarland.

My 8th greats’ children included Jan Remijnse 1675-1732. I don’t know the exact date of Jan’s birth, but it was in Ellewoutsdijk. He died in the same town on 24 March 1732.

Between those dates, he  married Elisabeth Pieters on 3 May 1706 in Reimerswaal. (There is a city that was lost from flooding called Reimerswaal. This one is is probably not the lost city as the last residents moved in 1632. This must be a replacement city). Elisabeth, my 7th g-grandmother, was born in 1678 in Ellewoutsdijk and there have been reports of her death on 1 February 1840 in the same town, but that is IMPOSSIBLE haha.

Jan and Elisabeth had many children, but I have not been able to sort them all out. Their son, Dirk Jansz, is my 6th great-grandfather. He was born about 1720 in Ellewoutsdijk. On 1 December 1745 he married Janna Joannisdr Stroosnijder in Krabbendyke (or in 1750 in Ellewoutsdijk).

Rather than make too many conjectures, I will say that there is another second wife problem with this couple that I have not yet figured out. I have only been able to digest so much of the 248 page document online!!!

My 5th great-grandfather was Dirk and Janna’s son, Gillis (Gilles). If the dates 1757-1789 are correct for him, the towns are a bit different, so I am not sure the dates are even close. He married Hendrika Pietertse de Jong (born 20 October 1763 in Kloetinge; died 1835) on 2 May 1782 in Krabbendyke.

The following report, kindly prepared by Adri Van Gessel, begins with my 4th great-grandparents, Dirk and Adriana (Krijger) Remijnse. I now believe Dirk was born on 22 November 1786, rather than in 1787.

Dirk and Adriana also are the couple who probably settled in Kapelle, which is the last residence of the branch before they immigrated to the United States.

THE FOLLOWING IS FROM WORK BY ADRI VAN GESSEL–IN ALL CASES EXCEPT GEERARD, I HAVE KEPT THE SPELLINGS THAT ADRI USED.

I  Dirk Remijnse was born in 1787, died on September 9, 1840 at Kapelle.

Dirk was married to Adriana Krijger  Adriana was born in 1787 at Biggekerke, died on April 14, 1845 at Kapelle.

From this marriage there were ten children. One of them, Gillis, is the ancestor of Jacob Remijnse. Two others are the only two who immigrated to the United States. One is my 3rd great-grandmother, Johanna. The other is Geerard, the ancestor of the Remines, Tazelaars, and Bosmans. I have bolded those three children of Dirk and Adriana.

1 Gillis Remijnse was born on July 1, 1811 at Kapelle, died on October 16, 1868 there. 

Gillis was married on April 26, 1850 at Kapelle to Janna Leijs, daughter of Marinus Leijs and Cornelia Katte.  Janna was born on January 20, 1831 at Kruiningen, died on August 22, 1863 at Kapelle.  This is the ancestor of Jacob Remijnse who currently lives in the Netherlands—one of the few descendents with that surname.

2   Jan Remijnse was born on July 22, 1813 at Kapelle, died on December 21, 1837 there.

3   Hendrika Remijnse was born on October 29, 1814 at Kapelle, died on July 5, 1893 there.

Hendrika was married on December 9, 1836 at Kapelle to Marinus Damme, son of Jan Damme and Helena Potter.  Marinus was born on March 4, 1812 at Heinkenszand, died on August 18, 1893 at Kapelle.

4   Johanna Remijnse was born on July 15, 1817 at Kapelle, died in 1864 at Kalamazoo (MI).  .

Johanna was married on May 21, 1847 at Kapelle to Boudewijn de Korne, son of Jan de Korne and Geertruid Engelse.  Boudewijn was born on June 11, 1816 at Kapelle, died in 1873 at Kalamazoo (MI).  These are my 3rd great-grandparents who immigrated to Michigan.

5   Johannis Remijnse was born on February 14, 1819 at Kapelle, died on May 7, 1846 there.

6   Adriaan Remijnse was born on February 6, 1821 at Kapelle, died on February 17, 1849 there.

7   Pieter Remijnse was born on March 27, 1822 at Kapelle, died on March 15, 1830 there.

8   Frans Remijnse was born on June 20, 1823 at Kapelle, died on November 7, 1860 there.

Frans was married on May 7, 1847 at Kapelle to Maria van de Vrie, daughter of Jan van de Vrie and Pieternella Koster.  Maria was born on April 1, 1824 at Kapelle, died on January 30, 1888 there.

Maria was subsequently married on April 25, 1862 at Kapelle (2) to Bastiaan Huizer, son of Cornelis Huizer and Neeltje Smits. Bastiaan was born in 1804 at Ridderkerk, died on January 19, 1882 at Kapelle.

9 Geerard Remynse was born on February 21, 1825 at Kapelle. He was married to Janna Kakebeke on 30 April 1855 in Kapelle. Janna was the daughter of Jan Kakebeke and Johanna Pikkaard. She was born 24 March 1827 at Hoedekenskerke. They had three children in the Netherlands (one died), and then another in the United States. Geerard is the sibling that is the ancestor of Therese Remine, Harold Remine, and Genevieve Remine Tazelaar. This couple immigrated to Michigan. Geerard died on 1 January 1910 in Kalamazoo, and Janna died on 25 April 1910 in Kalamazoo. 

10    Marinus Remijnse was born on November 27, 1826 at Kapelle, died on August 8, 1863 there.

Marinus was married on May 18, 1849 at Kapelle to Jozina Meijer, daughter of Nicolaas Meijer and Willemina Mieras.  Jozina was born on December 28, 1826 at Kapelle, died on December 26, 1896 there.

So, Johanna, her husband Boudewijn de Korne, and their children, and then Geerard, his wife Janna, and their first baby are the only Remijnses to emigrate. I believe that Johanna’s family traveled by sailing vessel on 13 April 1856. Jacob found a note that states that Geerard and his family traveled in 1856, also; therefore, I believe it highly likely that the siblings and their families traveled together to Michigan.

To find out how Geerard and Janna both passed away in 1910, you can read the sad story in this old post: What Happened to the Remijnses?

Jacob noticed something interesting about my 3rd great-grandparents. He says that Johanna’s father, Dirk, was a witness to the birth of her future husband Boudewijn de Korne. This is not surprising because the threads of my family history are very tangled. To give you an idea of the size of Kapelle, it is now a bit over 12,000 people. But in 1849, seven years before they emigrated, the entire population of the province of Zeeland was only 102,000! So all these towns and cities and villages that I mention on this blog–and many more–are part of that figure!

I’ve posted this photo before, but I have still not been able to identify it. It belongs to the Remijnse family, but to which branch? I might have to spend more time trying to identify a date range here. Because I don’t think it belongs to the two branches of the family that immigrated to the U.S., it must be a photograph of a branch that remained behind in the Netherlands.

*The photograph above of Baarland gives an idea of what a charming village it is.  It is part of the municipality of Borsele in Zeeland. The former Slot Baarland still exists in part–the moat, the wall, and the coach house have been preserved. Outside the village, are the foundations of the medieval castle Hellenburg.

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A while back I was contacted by Lisa M. DeChano-Cook, Associate Professor in the Department of Geography at Western Michigan University about my antique photographs. She said that she and her colleague, Mary L. Brooks, were writing a book about the Kalamazoo River and were interested in photos of that subject.

The book is now published, and Lisa sent me an autographed copy. It’s a gorgeous collection of photos and information about the history of the river. If you are interested, just click through the following image of the book to order from Amazon.

They used several of my photographs. And they also found photographs in the archives at Western that were taken by grandpa’s uncle, Joseph DeKorn. In the 70s or 80s, my grandfather donated a lot of photographs and glass negatives to the archives. Notice that the one at the archives is the same photograph that I use for the header of my blog–the flood at the Water Works Bridge in 1904.

***

The above is another one from the archives. I also have a copy of this one. In fact, I posted it a year and a half ago, wondering if it was it, in fact, the Monarch Paper Mill. According to DeChano-Cook and Brooks, it is the Monarch Mill. I guess I can go back and revise that blog post. (How many times have I said that–and then how often do I do it? I need a blog assistant–any offers? haha)

This is one of the photos I sent to Lisa:

The book states:

Many farmers tried to fence in their property because they knew that the river flow would change and they could not use it as a stable boundary. In the photograph, a wire fence spans a shallow part of the Kalamazoo River. The reflection of the fence in the water makes it appear as though it is a wire pedestrian bridge.

So thrilled when blog readers relate to what they find on this blog. I always end up learning a lot!

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Before my 3x great-grandparents Boudewijn and Johanna Remynse DeKorn immigrated to the United States, they had three children, Geertruit (1848), Dirk or Richard (1851), and Maria or Mary (1855). Then a fourth child, Adriana (Jennie), was born in 1859 in the United States (Ottawa, Michigan).

Sadly, little Geertruit passed away before she was nine months old–and before the other children were born.


Artist: Hendrik Valkenburg 1826-1896

This is the record of her death–second entry on the left side.

 

TRANSCRIPTION, thanks to a kind Facebook group member

Soort akte: Overlijdensakte Death Record
Aktenummer: 15 record number
Aktedatum:1849 year
Gemeente: Kapelle city
Overlijdensdatum: 6-5-1849 death date May 6 1849
Overlijdensplaats: Kapelle death place
Overledene: Geertruit de Korne person who died
Geboorteplaats: Kapelle birth place
Geslacht: Vrouwelijk gender female
Leeftijd: 8 maanden age 8 month
Vader: Boudewijn de Korne father
Leeftijd: 32 age
Beroep: Arbeider Job
Moeder: Janna Remijnsen mother
Toegangsnummer: 25 Burgerlijke Stand Zeeland (1796) 1811-1980, (1796) 1811-1980
Inventarisnummer: KAP-O-1849

 

TRANSLATION, thanks to Google:

Type of certificate: death certificate Death Record

Act number: 15 record number

Action date: 1849 year

Municipality: Kapelle city

Date of death: 6-5-1849 death date May 6 1849

Death place: Kapelle death place

The deceased: Geertruit de Korne person who died

Place of birth: Kapelle birth place

Gender: Female gender female

Age: 8 months age 8 month

Father: Boudewijn de Korne father

Age: 32 age

Occupation: Worker Job

Mother: Janna Remijnsen mother

Access number: 25 Civil Registry Zeeland (1796) 1811-1980, (1796) 1811-1980

Inventory number: KAP-O-1849

 

As with most of the European records of this time period, there is no mention of the cause of death. It’s perhaps particularly sad that the first child that my great-great-great grandparents had passed away. They wouldn’t have known that they would have three healthy children who would live long lives and have their own children.

RIP, little Geertruit

Geertruit’s family (missing her photo and that of her mother)

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This will be my last post until September. I am taking off the month of August. I hope to catch up a little on my research (and my sleep). See you in a month!

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This is Richard and Mary (Paak) Remine and their daughter Therese (1895-1980).

Mary or Maaike Paak was born in Lexmond, Netherlands on 29 July 1859. She is my 3rd great-aunt. Her sister Alice was my great-great-grandmother.

Richard Remine was the son of Gerrit Remine (Remijnse) who was born in Kapelle, Netherlands. Gerrit was my 4th great-uncle. Richard or Dick was born in Kalamazoo on 10 May 1857. 

How can that be? Does it make your head burst? OK, follow this.

Mary is the sister of my 2xgreat Alice.

Gerrit is the brother of Johanna Remine DeKorn. Johanna is my 3x great-grandmother, the mother of Richard DeKorn, grandmother of Cora DeKorn Zuidweg, great-grandmother of Adrian Zuidweg, and great-great-grandmother of my mother Janet.

So Mary was connected to Alice who married Richard DeKorn who was connected to Richard Remine!

I am related to both Mary and Richard, so I am related twice to their daughter Therese, as well as their two other children, Genevieve Tazelaar and Harold Remine.

Do you have double cousins like this in your family?

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For the first time (OK, maybe not the first), I bit off more than I could chew. The DeSmit family has been very time-consuming, and there were more children and grandchildren than I originally bargained for.  Therefore, this post is going to literally just scratch the surface. I’ve gone through the children of John DeSmit, Jr., and Mary DeKorn DeSmit previously, and I was careful to focus on baptism records, photos, and headstones. In this post, I am sharing what I know about John Jr’s half-siblings (children of John Sr and Jacoba Lamper) and their spouses and children. The further I dug my shovel into the past, the more children popped up. It got to the point with the second batch (Francis DeSmit and her husband Renier Van Delester) that I saw that this is a big job, and that I shouldn’t be spending much more time on it (this group is not related to me as the John DeSmit, Jr. family is). I’m sorry to say I have too much other unfinished business (er, branches) to attend to, so I present to you very preliminary and flawed findings on this group of DeSmits. I’m sorry if I have missed individuals, but it is very likely that I have.

THE CHILDREN OF ADRIAN DESMIT AND ANNA VERSLUIS

This is my most fleshed out group. I was aided by a DeSmit family researcher, Timothy Morris.

On 4 November 1858, Adrian was born. Now be careful if you are researching Adrian DeSmit. There are many Adrian DeSmits who have lived in Kalamazoo–many who were even related to this Adrian. Our Adrian here is the son of John Sr. and Jacoba. So be sure. It gets VERY confusing!

Adrian lived until 25 March 1938 when he died in Banks Township in Antrim County, Michigan. But during his lifetime, he married more than one woman.

In 1885, Adrian married Anna Versluis. Photos of Adrian and Anna can be found here. The couple had one daughter, Cora Mary DeSmit on 4 October 1888. I could not find Cora’s birth or baptism record. A descendant could order the birth record from Kalamazoo County.

This is one of Grandpa’s photos.

 

Adrian’s daughter Cora DeSmit married Bert Reno Nyland (1885-1941).  Although it doesn’t sound like it, Bert’s family was Dutch-American, also. This beautiful photo of Cora and Bert was shared with me by Timothy Morris who colored it for his family tree.

When Anna died in 1916, Adrian was left alone, but four years later, on 8 April 1920, Adrian married his son-in-law Bert’s widowed mother, Alice Zeedijk Nyland (born 1859 in the Netherlands and died on 14 June 1937 in Kalamazoo). Note that she died about 10 months before Adrian did–on Adrian’s death certificate his spouse is indicated as Anna Versluis–there wasn’t room for more than one name and they went with his first wife).

Cora and Bert ended up having six children that lived to adulthood and beyond. Their first child, John, died at birth of “prolonged labor.” Bert died on 2 May 1941 of a stroke. They were in living in Banks, Michigan. That must be why Adrian died there in 1938–perhaps he was living with his daughter and son-in-law after Alice’s death.

Here is a more casual photograph of four generations: Adrian DeSmit, Cora (DeSmit) Nyland, Howard Nyland (one of Cora and Bert’s children), Joyce Nyland (4 months old). Joyce was born in 1935.

Four Generations

Cora passed away 1 November 1953 and her headstone is found at Riverside Cemetery.

THE CHILDREN OF FRANCINA DESMIT AND RENIER VAN DELESTER

On Halloween (October 31) 1862, Francina was born. She married Renier Van Delester (many spellings of both first and surnames) on 19 January 1882 in Kalamazoo. Francina died 21 September 1900, still a young woman. Her death certificate:

The cause of death for Frances is heart-breaking. Ovariectomy with resulting shock. It could have been something as simple as a harmless cyst on her ovary that resulted in surgery that led to her death.

At first, I thought that the couple had two sons born in Kalamazoo. Renier was born 3 September 1883. Jan was born 6 July 1885. But then I discovered children, William, born 18 February 1888 and died October 1957, and Cora, born 4 March 1890. She passed away in 1982. It is possible that Francis, or Frank, was born around 1896, but all the other Francis research led to someone else.

Renier Jr. (who went also by Rine) married Johanna W. Dunning (1883-1957) on 9 September 1908. Their son Francis was born about 1910, and there seems to be a lot of documentation out there about him. If a brother Francis of Renier Jr. existed (born about 1896), he has been confused by this nephew (who, I believe, served in WWII). Rine passed away 4 December 1958.

The next son, Jan, came to be known as John. Here is his baptism. Note that the original spelling of his father’s name was probably Reinier Van de Luister.

He lived in [Hammond] Indiana with wife Clara and children John (b 1914) and Leona (b 1917). Clara, born 17 December 1889 and died on 12 July 1966, is buried at Elmwood Cemetery in Hammond, Indiana.

You can see that Leona Jacobs, his daughter, is mentioned on John’s death certificate: 17 February 1974. According to this record, John was self-employed in the cigar industry. If you on his mother’s death record above, her occupation was “cigar maker.”

William, born 18 February 1888 and died October 1957, married Etta Florence Dunning on 28 July 1915. They had at least one child, Mary Louise, born about 1925. According to the marriage record, William was a farmer.

I saw that William is buried at Mountain Home Cemetery in Kalamazoo, so I requested a photo of his headstone. I did the same for his wife, Etta. Within a few hours, my Findagrave volunteer hero Jeff had responded with a link to the shared headstone (photo was taken by another volunteer).

Only daughter Cora was born 4 March 1890. On 4 September 1948, in Kalamazoo, she married Orie A. Curtiss. Note that she was 58 and he was 48. Needless to say, they had no children.

Orie was born 9 August 1900 in Cleveland, Ohio. He died in Galesburg, Michigan, on 12 December 1985. When Orie was 20 he was a teamster in the ice industry in Flint, Michigan. In the 1953 city directory, Orie was a “Hd Loader” in Kalamazoo. What do you think that means? He was married before, in 1937, to Eliza V. Smith in Indiana. She was also almost 10 years older than Orie (Orrin?). I doubt they had children since she was already 46 when they married. But the question is: did Cora, Orie, or Eliza have children from earlier marriages? Obviously this is a very complicated history that would take a lot of work to rebuild. You can see from the headstone that the Curtiss’ grew old together.

THE CHILDREN OF ELIZABETH DESMIT AND JACOB HYCOOP

On 23 April 1866, Elizabeth was born. She married Jacob Hycoop (born abt 1865 in the Netherlands), and they had at least 2 daughters, Mamie (born 1889) and Cora (born 1892). Elizabeth lived until 18 May 1946. In fact, in one of the newspaper articles I’ve posted, it was her yard where John, Sr., hoed the celery on his birthday.

Mamie married Rene Bowers. They had at least one son, John.

Daughter Cora married Herbert Brink (1890-1947). I found a baptismal record for a daughter, Helen Elizabeth, for 20 April 1930. Helen was born 5 November 1930. Haha, that does not make sense. So am I reading this document incorrectly?

Cora died on 14 May 1986.

THE CHILDREN OF MARTIN DESMIT AND ADRIANA SCHIERECK

Finally, Martin was born 17 November 1870, and grew up to marry Adriana Schiereck. They had a son called Clarence Wynoble, so it is probable that Clarence was Martin’s stepson. Martin died 6 November 1942 in Plainwell, Michigan.

You can see that my research has been whatever has been the easiest pickens. There is no rhyme or reason here on what I am showcasing. This family needs a good year spent on it. But I hope I’ve given a headstart and that any one or more branches can be picked up and followed and filled in with more and more facts.

If you have DeSmit photos you wish to share, I might like to post them on this blog, so please email them to me.

 

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I’ll try to finish up John DeSmit Sr.’s other grandchildren next week. Pioneer Cemetery turned out to be a bust, though, for his first wife Jennie, as well as for two of the babies of John and Jacoba that passed away. There are not too many places they could have been buried in those early days if the cemetery was in the City of Kalamazoo. There are other cemeteries in areas around Kalamazoo, but not in the city. I might be too stubborn, but I can’t imagine them using a cemetery that wasn’t in town when they lived next to downtown.

This week I wanted to share a newspaper article from Joel Reeves. I have photos of Mary DeKorn DeSmit, but I had never seen a photo of her husband, John DeSmit, Jr. But here he is in the newspaper! The photo is from 1915, although the article is from 1981.

The boy in the photo, Edwin Reeves, is John’s grandson. I love seeing actual work with the celery that Kalamazoo was known for. What a fabulous photo. Notice that written on it says that the Model A capacity was 750 pounds loaded with 150 lb of celery. According to the writing, that put the weight at over 1,125 pounds!

I hope too many heavy people didn’t get into those Model As at one time . . . .

 

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John DeSmit, Sr., had one child with his first wife, Jennie, and the rest with his second wife, Jacoba. I have only scraped the surface of researching the DeSmit family, especially this generation of John Sr’s children. So much more can be done. I will not be doing it; however, if you are related to the DeSmits and need help researching your own branch more in-depth, please contact me, and I will be happy to give you ideas of where and how to search. I am also happy to help  if you would like to write more about the family for posting on this blog.

I’d also like to mention some stellar sleuthing on the part of Joel Reeves. He discovered that Riverside Cemetery, the cemetery of choice by the DeSmits (and also of my great grandparents, etc.) did not open until 1862. When Jennie DeSmit died in 1854 or 1855, she must have been buried some place. Here are some articles that Joel discovered about the possible site of her grave. I feel that the first article gives one big clue about the site of Jennie’s grave. This Pioneer Cemetery that is in the articles was in existence until Riverside opened. It was “bulldozed” later for a park. But the very last person buried at Pioneer was Rev. H. G. Klyn, who was the second pastor of First Reformed Church. I feel it’s very likely that the family belonged to First Reformed Church.

http://www.kpl.gov/local-history/cemeteries/pioneer.aspx

http://www.encorekalamazoo.com/dead-and-buried

https://www.kalamazoocity.org/cemeteries

This relates to two of John and Jacoba’s children, too. The first Adriaan and the first Francena died as infants in 1856 and 1857. They were possiby also buried in Pioneer Cemetery.

Today’s post will cover the children of John Sr.’s first born son, the son of first wife Jennie. The other children will be in next week’s post.

THE CHILDREN OF JOHN DESMIT, JR. AND MARY DEKORN

My great-great-grandfather’s sister, Maria Catharina “Mary” DeKorn, married John DeSmit, Jr., and they had far more children than any of John’s siblings.

Their first child, Janna (Jennie) DeSmit, was born 7 March 1873 in Richland, which is in Kalamazoo County, Michigan. She was baptized 3 August 1873 at First Reformed Church in Kalamazoo. (Oh, do I wish I could see a photo of that church in those days).

Notice what it says about her father on the baptism record. Keep in mind I don’t know her father’s baptism information.

On 14 June 1905, Jennie married Abraham Grofoert (1873-1926) in Kalamazoo.  Unfortunately, Jennie passed away three years later, on 14 June 1908 in Kalamazoo. She was buried at Riverside Cemetery on 17 June 1908. This was only one month after her uncle, Richard DeKorn’s, wife Alice passed away on 5 May 1908. Here is Jennie’s death certificate.

 

The spelling on Jennie’s headstone (and that of her husband was Grofvert).

The next child was Boudewyn (Benjamin) De Smit, named for Mary’s father, my 3x great-grandfather. He was born 10 February 1875 and baptized 4 April 1875 in Kalamazoo at First Reformed Church. His father was “off the hook” for this baptism record.

Ben was a mason like his father and grandfather before him. He had brown hair and blue eyes, according to his WWI draft registration. The year after his older sister died, Ben married Jennie Alphreta White (1869-1930) on 5 July 1999 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Their son, Benny DeSmit, was born 10 December 1909 in Kalamazoo. Wow, that was a short pregnancy. Jennie passed away on 10 December 1930 in Kalamazoo at age 55. Ben died on 28 April 1958 in Mattawan, which is in Van Buren County, Michigan. He was buried on May 1 at Riverside Cemetery in Kalamazoo. I do not have his death certificate.

Next up was Jan or John DeSmit III. He was born on 16 July 1877 in Kalamazoo. John, with brown hair and blue eyes, was a brick layer like his brother, father, and grandfather. On 20 July 1899 he married Pieternella Paulina (Nellie) Schrier (1879-1900) in Kalamazoo.

You can see their wedding invitation with questions that arose in this post What About the DeSmits?

Their daughter Nellie D. DeSmit was born on 30 April 1900 in Kalamazoo. Sadly, John’s wife Nellie died 10 days later, on 9 May 1900. I had more answers to this story of John and Nellie in the post Another Mystery Solved.

John married again, on 15 December 1926 in Goshen, Elkhart, Indiana. His wife was Grietje (Margaret) Riepma (1873-1933). Margaret died on 31 July 1933 in Kalamazoo. John died in April 1964 and was buried at Riverside Cemetery on 30 April 1964. I do not have his death certificate either. I have not found the baptism record for John.

I would be willing to bet that I own photographs of one or more of the older boys of John Jr.; however, they are not marked (sadly).

UPDATE: As it happens, I just received a beautiful photo of John DeSmit III. The year might be 1955, and he is with three of Edwin Reeves’ cute-as-a-bug’s-ear grandchildren.

The next DeSmit child was Jacoba, known as Cora. She was born on 12 October 1880 and baptized on 6 February 1881 in Kalamazoo.

On 7 June 1899, Cora married Charles Howard Pierce (1877-1971) in Kalamazoo.

This is Cora.

Their daughter, Eleanor Ruth Pierce was born on 2 September 1907 in Kalamazoo.

Cora passed away on 26 July 1954. She was buried at Riverside Cemetery on July 29.

After Cora, Franciena Geertruida, or Frances Gertrude, was born on 22 November 1882 in Kalamazoo.  She was baptized 11 February 1884 at First Reformed Church. This was a longer time period before her baptism, but since the baptisms were done in clusters, she could have been ill and had to wait for the next time the baptisms were performed.

On 26 November 1902, Frances married Charles Reeves (1876-1938). Their son, Edwin R. Reeves, was born on 19 March 1904. (DOD 1978). In 1911, the couple divorced, and on 17 September 1914, Frances married Jacob Flipse Jr. (1868-1940), who was forty-six years old and had been married to Frances’ Aunt Christina DeSmit who had passed away without leaving any living children.

On 29 May 1916, the couples’ son Richard Jacob Flipse (DOD 2001) was born. His father, Frances’ husband, was 47. He waited a long time to have a son! On 11 August 1940, Jacob passed away.

If you want to read more about the Flipse family, check out these posts:

The Mystery of Mrs. Jacob Flipse (about Frances Flipse)

 

Do You Remember the Mystery of Mrs. Jacob Flipse (this one gives a lineage of the Flipse family)

 

Frances’ older son, Edwin, passed away in Pasco, Florida, on 28 May 1978. Right around that time is when I met her at her home. Here is a photo of her from Joel Reeves from the 1970s.

 

Four years later, Frances passed away at age 96 on 15 January 1980 in Kalamazoo. She was still living in the Burdick and Balch neighborhood as of the time I met her in the late 1970s. She was buried on 18 January 1980 at Riverside Cemetery. I put in a request for a photo of her headstone, and less than ten minutes later I got an email letting me know it had been accomplished! I have to give a shout out to Findagrave volunteer Jeff Phillips who then went on to make sure all branches of the DeSmit family in that section were photographed and loaded onto Findagrave! Jeff is a real credit to Findagrave!

The next DeSmit child lived to adulthood, but died quite young. Dirk (Richard) was born 12 June 1887 in Kalamazoo and passed away on 29 April 1913, at the age of 25 in Detroit. He was buried on 2 May 1913 at Riverside Cemetery.

Geertruida, or Gertrude, was born on 3 September 1889. She died at age 13 on 29 July 1903. Or was she? She was buried on 23 July 1903 at Riverside Cemetery.

Look carefully at the dates on the death certificate. What do you think about the date of death?

Cause of death: Acute rheumatism with endocarditis.

I have this photo of three of the DeSmit sisters.

Note that the middle woman (in age) is clearly Cora who has a very distinctive look. Jennie was 1873 to 1908, married in 1905. Cora was 1880-1954, married in 1899. Frances was 1882-1980, first married in 1902. Gertrude was 1889-1903.

I have posted this photo in the past, and I couldn’t decide the date of the photo and why there are three sisters instead of four. The truth is that if the photo was taken after Gertrude’s 1903 death, Frances would have been married and not the little girl she appears in this photo. So what if the photo was taken much earlier. What if the youngest in the photo was Frances and she was 14? Then Cora would be 16 and Jennie would be 23. Those are plausible ages for this photo, I think. That would date the image to about 1896, and Gertrude would have been 7 and not in the photo.

Maybe Gertrude wasn’t in that photo because she as in another photo. What if the previous photo was meant to be the “young ladies” of the household, and this photo was meant to be the children? This would be about right to be Gertrude, Richard, and the youngest child Adrian (who I haven’t yet introduced). The date on the photograph is 1895 and WAS IDENTIFIED BY GRANDPA AS GERTRUDE, RICHARD, AND ADRIAN DESMIT!

Because both Richard and Gertrude died so young, Adrian was the only remaining sibling of this photo throughout much of the 20th century.

Lastly, Adriaan, or Adrian, was born on 9 December 1891 and baptized on 7 February 1892 in Kalamazoo.

Adrian was a sailor with the U.S. Navy at the time of WWI and after. He enlisted 12 June 1918 and was released 30 September 1921.

On 6 June 1923, he married Minnie Brondyk (born Groefsema) (1896-?). Minnie had been married to Jacob Brondyk and divorced him.

I see Adrian had a daughter born years before his marriage, on 30 March 1917–Dorothy Marie DeSmit. So was he Dorothy’s stepfather or did he adopt her?

Adrian died on 5 September 1988 in Gardena, Los Angeles County, at age 96. He was buried a week later, on 12 September, in Kalamazoo at Riverside Cemetery.

 

To sum up: I only looked for certain documents: photos, death certificates, baptism records, and headstones.

I am missing these items:

  • Death certificates for Ben, John, Cora, Richard, Frances, and Adrian (these can be ordered from Kalamazoo County, if DeSmit family would like to do so)
  • Baptism records for John, Richard, and Gertrude (more searching of Reformed records needs to happen)
  • Photos for Ben and John (gosh, I wish)
  • Graves for Jennie, John Sr.’s first wife–as well as the graves of the babies of Jacoba and John who passed away.  If they were buried at Pioneer, this will not happen, most likely.

There are many other records which can be search for, including records for spouses and children.

Here is a special photo from around 1950 from Joel of my great-great-grandfather’s sister, Mary DeKorn, and the mother of all the children I’ve written about in this post. She lived to be 98 years old.

 

This is the same woman:


And now for a super special photo from Joel. Five generations!

From left to right: Mary DeKorn DeSmit, Donald Reeves, David Reeves, Edwin Reeves, and Frances Flipse.

Mary DeKorn was John Sr.’s DIL, who was gone decades before this photo was taken around 1950. Frances Flipse was Mary’s daughter. Edwin was the son of Frances. Donald was the son of Edwin. And David was the oldest son of Donald. Joel, who gave me the photos, is the brother of David.

Next time I will write about the other grandchildren of John DeSmit, Sr.

 

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