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Archive for the ‘DeKorn’ Category

My family first arrived in Kalamazoo, Michigan, between 1860 and 1864, when the immigrant Boudewijn DeKorn(e) family moved from Zeeland, Michigan. Their residence was still Ottawa County in 1860, but the mother, Johanna Reminse DeKorn, was buried in Kalamazoo in 1864. This nails the time period unless, of course, Johanna was first buried near Zeeland and then her body later buried in Kalamazoo. I find that to be highly unlikely for many reasons.

In 1869, Alice Paak and her family (her father Teunis and her siblings) immigrated from the Netherlands to Kalamazoo.

In 1872, Richard DeKorn, the only son of Boudewijn and Johanna, married Alice Paak in Kalamazoo.

Richard DeKorn
picking strawberries
on Maple Street

In 1878-79, Richard was brick mason for the new and gorgeous building for the Ladies Library Association. In 1895 he would be lead brick mason on the Kalamazoo Psychiatric Hospital Water Tower. According to his obituary he also was the contractor for the Pythian building and the Merchants Publishing Company building.

Richard built the brick house at the corner of Burdick and Balch Streets in Kalamazoo for his family in the early 1880s.

In the beautiful video I am posting here, Kalamazoo is “seen” during 1884, the year the village of Kalamazoo (the largest village in the entire country) became a city. My relatives are not mentioned in the video, but the Ladies Library Association and the “asylum” (where Richard would build the water tower 11 years later) are mentioned. To give you an idea where my family fits into the city at that time, using the terminology of the film, they had arrived in the United States from the Netherlands, but quickly could be classified as “middle class.” They were literate people as they could read and write. In some cases, they had trades, although I think they mainly learned their trades on the job as young men. Teunis became a successful farmer and land owner. Boudewijn’s son Richard became a successful building contractor and brick mason.

Kalamazoo was founded by mainly English settlers, beginning in 1829, but the Dutch began to immigrate to southwest and west Michigan in increasing numbers in the 40s and 50s and 60s. My ancestors were part of this group that ended up becoming a sizable chunk of the Kalamazoo population. If I have any quibbles with the video it is that other than mention of the first Reformed church in town, it is that there is no recognition of how the Dutch would help shape the City of Kalamazoo, but in all fairness it’s possible that the influence wasn’t yet felt in 1884.

(This film lasts about a half hour. If your interests are not with the city, I won’t be insulted if you decide to skip it; however, it gives a nice overview of the time period, as well). Either way, Happy Thanksgiving and please stay safe!

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I was so intrigued to see the project that my 4x cousin Joel’s wife, Peggy Davis Reeves of Williamsburg, Virginia, undertook. Joel, who is descended from Boudewijn DeKorne (1816-1875) as I am, wrote, “Peggy decided to do a research project on family members that served in the military. She called this ‘My Family Heroes’ and collected information on 100 individuals that represent the period from 1746 (Virginia Militia) to 2020 (West Point graduate). This represents only a small sample of the number of our relatives that have served in the military.”


Peggy first spent six months doing the research through Ancestry and Fold3. Joel sums it up this way: “She learned a lot about these brave individuals. Some families were divided during the Civil War – 2 brothers on the Union side and 3 brothers on the Confederate side. A set of twin brothers enlisted together. Other were prisoners of war, wounded or lost their lives. Some died of disease, such as bronchitis or rubella. Some won medals of honor, such as the Purple Heart, Bronze Star, and Oak Leaf Cluster. Other received land grants for their service. All these individuals took a stand to join the military to serve their country in war time and peace. We are proud of these service men and women that protect this country and our freedom. This is our way of saying thanks to all of them on this Veterans Day.”

When she was ready to create the ornaments, Peggy used Dollar Store plexiglass magnetic refrigerator frames and removed the magnets from the back. Then she set up a template in Photoshop with a red-white-blue border and added an image of the individual or tomb stone or flag on one side and military information on the person on the other side.

Charles is the husband of my first cousin three times removed

After getting the pictures printed, she added a ribbon bow which varies by when the individual served or the branch of service. I particularly love that special touch. Peggy also created a Shutterfly book so that the family would have access to this wonderful work throughout the year.


I love the anchors on the ribbon for those that served in the Navy.

Isn’t this inspirational? What a great way to honor the military members of our genealogy family trees! Thinking of making a tree like this? If you have done a lot of research on your ancestors who were in the military you might be able to pull together at least a small tree by Christmas. If not, you can do what Peggy did and take a year to do the research and create the tree.

Peggy, thank you for letting me share your inventiveness and hard work.

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Like the great-greats in my last post, Jan and Geertruijd (Engelse) de Korne, Dirk Gillesz Remijnse and his wife, Adriana Krijger (Kriger), are ancestors of Richard DeKorn, the man who had a great influence on my grandfather. Richard was Grandpa’s grandfather, and he lived with his parents at the home of Richard. Richard’s given name was Dirk, so he was named after his grandfather, Dirk Gillesz Remijnse.

By the way, according to Family Search:

In Dutch the word for son is zoon; in Old Dutch, it is soen, zoen or soon, which can be abbreviated to sz, z, se, sen and x. Daughter in Dutch is dochter and in Old Dutch it is doghter which can be abbreviated to d, dr, s, se, sen, sens, and x.

Using this info, we can see that Dirk Gillesz means that his father’s name was Gillis or Gilles.

According to Dirk’s and Adriana’s life stories on Ancestry:

When Dirk Gillesz Remijnse was born on November 22, 1786, in Kruiningen, Zeeland, Netherlands, his father, Gillis, was 29 and his mother, Hendrika, was 23. He married Adriana Krijger on August 26, 1810, in Kapelle, Zeeland, Netherlands. They had ten children in 15 years. He died on September 9, 1840, in Kapelle, Zeeland, Netherlands, at the age of 53.

When Adriana Krijger was born on June 11, 1787, in Biggekerke, Zeeland, Netherlands, her father, Jan, was 53, and her mother, Janna, was 31. She married Dirk Gillesz Remijnse on August 26, 1810, in Kapelle, Zeeland, Netherlands. They had ten children in 15 years. She died on April 14, 1845, in Kapelle, Zeeland, Netherlands, at the age of 57.

I would add that of these ten children, nine lived to adulthood, whereas Pieter died at age 8. It is possible that there were other babies who passed away, but I have not yet searched for them. For the most part, these children are 1-2 years apart, though, so it’s likely that the family was blessed with good odds (for those days) and that the majority of their children survived.

I found a death record for both husband and wife.

Dirk’s record:

Index of Dirk’s death record:

Adriana’s death record:

Index of Adriana’s death record:

I have not found a marriage record for this couple, nor a baptismal record for Dirk. But I did finally find a baptismal record for Adriana and ordered it from Zeeuws Archief. It arrived in time for this post!

At the birth of their daughter, Johanna, my 3x great-grandmother (who died in Kalamazoo in 1864), Dirk’s occupation was listed as bread baker. Probably a good thing, since he had all those mouths to feed! But think of him getting up really early and getting the ovens going. A pretty hard job, although a good smelling one.

I must confess that the birth date for Dirk and the marriage date that I show come from online family trees on “genealogy online,” a Dutch site. I do not have documents verifying them. So let’s just use them as place holders for now. Of course, the birth years are fairly accurate because of the ages listed on the death records, but I still need those documents!

Adriana was born in Biggekerke. This is a “ground sailor,” which is a term for a windmill that can be operated from the ground. Brassers Molen is a flour mill that was built in 1712, so it had already been around for quite some time when Adriana was born in 1787.

Brassers Molen from Wikipedia

Dirk hailed from Kruinengen, and that town also has an old flour windmill, Oude Molen (literally, Old Mill). This one was built in 1801 when Dirk was 25 years old.

Oude Molen from Wikipedia

If you would like to understand the role of some windmills in controlling the water in below-sea-level Netherlands, read Eilene’s wonderful post: Milling Water to the Sea

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My 3x great-grandfather, Boudewijn DeKorn and his wife, Johanna Remine, were the first generation in the DeKorn branch to immigrate to the United States. Boudewijn’s parents, Jan and Geertruijd (Engelse) de Korne (de Corne) were the last generation of my direct ancestors to remain in the Netherlands. By the time that the younger couple had emigrated in 1856, Boudewijn’s parents were already deceased.

Jan had passed away nine years before, on 10 November 1847 in Kapelle, Zeeland, Netherlands, at age 54. Although I knew that my 2x great-grandfather Richard DeKorn was born in Kapelle, I think this is pretty much the same area as Goes, where so much of the family came from. In fact, the cities are only 7 kilometers apart (less than 4.5 miles!).

Jan was born on or around 16 November 1792 in Kattendijke, but this is a village in Goes. This shows that this portion of the family was in Goes before the move to Kapelle. Kloetinge is another village in the city of Goes that I have seen mentioned in my relatives’ records.

This is a copy of Jan’s baptismal record.

Geertruijd had already been gone for some time when her husband passed. She died at age 40 on 23 May 1829 in Kapelle, just a few weeks after the birth of her son Pieter. She was born in Kruinengen, about 17 kilometers from Goes, so not far from Kapelle either, on or around 22 April 1789.

The couple was married on 22 April 1814 in Kapelle. According to Yvette Hoitink: “The marriage record of Jan de Korne and Geertruijd Engelse was found in the ZeeuwenGezocht.nl index of civil registration records. They were married in Kapelle on 22 April 1814. Scans of the 1814 marriage records of Kapelle are missing from the “Netherlands, Civil Registration, 1792-1952″ set of images at Familysearch.org so the original text has not been consulted. The (reliable) index provides the names of his parents: Boudewijn de Korne and Jacoba Loenhout and gives his age (21) and place of birth (Kattendijke).” Therefore, I do not have a copy of their marriage record.

At the time of their marriage, I believe that Jan was already living in Kapelle and working as a farmer. Whether his father or he owned a farm, I do not know. But he is listed as a farmer, not a laborer or day laborer, so it is likely that there was a family farm. I don’t know what brought Geertruijd to Kapelle.

After fifteen years of marriage and two living children (my 3x great Boudewijn and his brother Pieter–there were at least two infants who died, as well), Jan was left a widower. On 19 October 1832, he married Elizabeth Zandijk. After she passed away on or around 16 April 1833 (six months after their marriage!!!!), Jan married another Elizabeth. This third wife was Elizabeth Bustraan, and their marriage began on 16 April 1841 in Kapelle. I do not have a date for her death.

I do have copies of the marriage records for Jan’s second and third marriages.

I have a death record for both Jan and Geertruijd. Here is Jan’s.

And here is Geertuijd’s:

 

I hope to eventually find the couple’s marriage record. Additionally, I am looking for Geertruijd’s baptismal record and any evidence of a military record for Jan.

 

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The last fill-in-the-gaps couple I wrote about was Teunis and Jacoba Paak, the parents of Alice Paak DeKorn. Today I am writing about the parents of Alice’s husband, Richard DeKorn. He was born to Boudewijn and Johanna (Remine) DeKorn in the Netherlands.

Richard’s father Boudewijn (Dutch for Benjamin) DeKorn was born on June 11, 1816, in Kapelle, Zeeland, Netherlands, to Jan DeKorne, 23 years old, and Geertruijd Engelse, who was 27. Boudewijn married Johanna Remine on May 21, 1847, in their hometown. Johanna was born in Kapelle to Dirk Gillesz Remijnse, 30 years old, and Adriana Krijger, also 30.

The couple had four children in 11 years: first born Geertruit died as an infant, but then Richard was born in 1851 and Maria in 1855. The fourth, Adriana, called Jennie, was not born in the Netherlands.

The family of four traveled to America on a sailing vessel which left April 13, 1856 and arrived at Kalamazoo June 22, 1856. The voyage was bad and long, and Richard and Mary, their children, stated it took 90 days. They located in Zeeland, Michigan, for a few years.

Eventually, the family moved to Kalamazoo, although I am not sure when they made that move. They were in Ottawa County (Zeeland) in the 1860 census, but when Johanna passed away in 1864, they may have been living in Kalamazoo because she is buried there.

Now we come to a big gap. I do not have a death record for Johanna because 1864 was a little before Kalamazoo started recording deaths. I don’t know exactly when she died, and I am using her headstone to give me a date. Maddeningly, it doesn’t even give her name! Just “MOTHER” and “WIFE OF B. DEKORN.” Good grief.

You know what else would be nice to have on Johanna? An obituary. I don’t have one for Boudewijn either, and I suspect that there might not be one. After all, Boudewijn was a laborer when he lived in the Netherlands. He didn’t live long enough in Zeeland to have built up a business. Then in Kalamazoo I’m not sure what he did. Since his son Richard became a very successful contractor, though, it is possible that he got his start from his father. So if Boudewijn did have a business in Kalamazoo, there might be an obituary for him, although not necessarily for Johanna since she obviously died soon after their move to Kalamazoo.

Boudewijn died on 1 July 1875 in Kalamazoo. I know this because Wayne Loney found the death record although the name was severely mangled. And the condition of the record is very faded. I tried to enhance it as much as possible. His entry is the 8th from the bottom. On the right page his son Richard’s name is clearly visible. Also his age at death of 59 and his job as laborer. But I really cannot read the cause of death, unfortunately.

I am hoping to get immigration and naturalization information on the couple from Amberly at some point. That will be very helpful as it will also provide the immigration for Richard and possibly a clue about his naturalization.

According to Yvette Hoitink, there was a fire in Kapelle in 1877 that destroyed the military records for that town, so there is no practical way to find out if Boudewijn served in the military.

So I will always be missing his military, and I am missing obits for both husband and wife. And hoping for the I&N. I have something on Boudewijn that I do not have for Johanna. A photo!

Pretty cool to have a pic of your 3x great! Is that some sort of plaid I am seeing on his shirt or am I imagining that? I was thinking that this was a reprint made a few decades after the original was made. Or even a reprint of a reprint. Could the original have been a tintype?

I keep going back to look through the photo album of Remine/Paak photos, thinking that if there was a photo of Johanna it would be in there, but nobody seems to be the right age In the right time period. It’s possible that in this portrait Boudewijn had already lost Johanna, in fact, since she died when he was 48.

I’ve started using paintings as portraits on my Ancestry tree for direct ancestors that I do not have photos for. I am also using a photo of baby feet for children who died before age five, and a photo of the back of a girl’s head with braids for girls who died before age 18. I haven’t had to find one for boys yet. Any ideas what to use?

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This past week I organized my files and folders and Ancestry account for my 2x great-grandparents, Richard and Alice (Paak) DeKorn. I have written so much about them. He was a building contractor and mason in Kalamazoo who built many important buildings in town. She was the hero who ran into a burning home to help the family next door and sustained serious burns. Read about it here. She is the face of my chapbook Kin Types.

For Richard I noticed that I once again had not yet received the transfer of management on Findagrave to me. And because Alice died in her fifties, Richard married a second time–and I do not have the documents relating to that marriage. I contacted my buddy Grady who is related to Richard’s second wife, Jennie Jansen Sootsman. He gave me a transcription of the marriage record. When things start moving again, I will ask Wayne Loney if he can get a copy

For Alice I cannot find the 1870 census, which would have been just after she and her father and siblings arrived in the United States. I also do not have her obituary, although there were a lot of newspaper articles relating to her injuries in the fire.

Amberly is working on immigration and naturalization for both of these ancestors.

In this photograph, Alice is seated in the front center with her hands clasped together. Richard is seated directly behind her. On the left side of the photograph is their daughter Jennie (Janna) and son-in-law Lou Leeuwenhoek. I believe the other man is Richard Remine and his children are seated with Alice Leeuwenhoek, the daughter of Jennie and Lou. Richard was married to Alice’s sister Mary, so the children were actually first cousins of Jennie, not of Alice.

It would be nice to have a little relationship calculator on hand.

I actually have a good many more photos of Richard than of Jennie because she died in 1908 before most of the family picture-taking began in earnest.

Stay safe, everyone. I have been working really hard on business matters pertaining to the Thing going on (not fun being self-employed in this chaos), so I’m not going to write more here now. My focus regarding genealogy right now is to get as many gaps filled and everything organized and to give my daughter a copy of what I get done as I get it done.

 

 

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This week I worked on Grandpa’s grandmother, Jennegien (Jennie) Bomhoff Zuidweg, born 5 March 1838 in Zwolle, Overjissel, Netherlands. Unlike most of my Dutch ancestors, Jennie was not born in Zeeland. Overjissel is in the eastern part of the country and centuries ago was part of Utrecht. It might always remain a mystery how she came to marry a man from Zeeland.

You can find out about Jennie in these posts. A lot of information can be found there.

What Did She Keep in All Those Pockets?

Kalamazoo Woman Supports WWI Troops

Jennie died when Grandpa was about 16 years old. I wish I could ask him more information about her now, but maybe he didn’t remember that much about her. Jennie and Johannes Zuidweg were almost a generation older than Grandpa’s other grandparents, Richard and Alice DeKorn. They also immigrated when they were pretty old, whereas Richard was a tiny boy and Alice a teen, so Johannes and Jennie’s habits would have been European and not American. My impression is that it’s likely that the Zuidwegs were not as central to the lives of the rest of the family in the way that the DeKorns were.

A curious story that my grandfather told me very insistently was that Jennie’s family was Jewish and that made his father Jewish. Because Grandpa was sure, I was sure. However, once Jennie’s documents were discovered it became clear that this could not be true.  I don’t know where the story originated or if there is some truth hidden somehow behind the documents. Without more information, my conclusion is that Jennie came from a Protestant family.

I had marriage, death, 1910 census, headstone, photo, and I manage her memorial page on Findagrave. One point about her marriage. Jennie and Johannes married in 1869 in Goes, Zeeland. That is about 150 miles away from where Jennie was born and lived. According to Yvette Hoitink, “that is an uncommonly large distance for somebody to travel in the 19th century, especially for an unmarried woman from the working class. Further investigation showed that her brother Albert Bomhoff was married in Goes in 1867. It must be through this connection that Jennegien moved to Goes, where she worked as a maid prior to her marriage.”

I also had her birth record, but hadn’t loaded it on Ancestry or really done anything with it. I asked people on Dutch Genealogy group on Facebook to read the birth record for me. I was able to confirm the birth date that I had of 5 March 1838, the place being Zwolle, and the names of her parents. I also received the names of the witnesses: 1) Lambert Velthuis, age 37 job peat carrier living in Zwolle 2) Johannes Weijl age 40 peat carrier living in Zwolle.

This week I made a computer folder and put all Jennie’s records in it. I also ordered her obituary from the Kalamazoo Public Library. Since Michigan is locked down right now, it might be awhile, but I hope eventually they can find it

As with Jennie’s husband, Johannes, I’m waiting immigration and naturalization info from Amberly.

I am particularly grateful that I have three photographs of Jennie, and that Grandpa actually knew her. Because of my grandfather’s stories, he has brought to life for me all the family members that he once knew when he was young.

 

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I will be moving forward–I mean backward!–to other ancestors in my efforts to fill in the gaps. However, I’ve been gone for awhile, and I haven’t had a chance to do any research.

That said, Amberly did find records for me, and I will be posting about the results in the future. Also, the social security app I ordered for Charles Mulder arrived, but it did not give me any information I didn’t already have. The date on the application is 21 November 1955. Since Great-Grandpa was born in 1885, why would he apply at that late date for his social security number?

Ever so often I have wondered if being left-handed, as I am, is genetic, as I had been told. My mother isn’t left-handed, and neither was my father. But my grandfather, Adrian Zuidweg, was left-handed. I get my long-term memory and storytelling from him. I am good at math, and I believe he was, as well. So we have a lot in common.

Grandpa Adrian Zuidweg with my son Marc

Apparently, they have discovered the gene that causes left-handedness, although it’s not a cut-and-dried case of who gets to be left-handed, as it is with right-handers.

For me, the most interesting article about left-handedness is one that argues that the Netherlands has the highest percentage of left-handers in the world. I’m not presenting this as “gospel,” but it is fun. Click here or click on the image:

I read one article that insists that there is an environmental component to handedness, as if it isn’t innate. Trust me, my hand preference was completely innate. With two right-handed parents and no siblings until I was eight years old, I used the hand that came naturally to me.

Here is a very clear image of Grandpa with his cousins Dick and Phil DeKorn in the 1920s (the boys were born in 1920 and 1922). This could possibly be Long Lake in Portage, Michigan, but my family was associated with several different lakes, so it is impossible to know for sure.

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Now it’s time to turn my attention to one of my maternal great-grandfathers, Adrian Zuidweg.

I had Adrian’s birth (Netherlands), marriage (US), and death records (US). He is listed on the social security records, but I believe that is because he is listed as my grandfather’s father because Adrian died in 1929, several years before social security started. I have a photo of Adrian’s headstone and photos of him.

Last June I posted Adrian’s probated will at Great-Grandpa’s Will

Since I did not yet have Adrian and Cora’s wedding announcement from the Kalamazoo Gazette, I looked for that. I discovered that it was announced on four different days. The first two were standard announcements, and the other two were perhaps license listings. The two standard announcements were published with an egregious error. Cora’s surname was listed as Wilhelmina, her middle name. I’m sure that was disappointing to the young couple, and to Cora’s parents, Richard and Alice DeKorn. See third listing down.

The other error on the announcement is one that even I make when I am typing fast: the bridesmaid was Miss Jennie DeSmit, not DeSmith. Jennie was Cora’s first cousin and two years older than Cora.

Adrian’s files on my computer were a disaster, so I organized them. On Ancestry, I was missing his birth record, which I added. I also discovered an incorrect fact and document added on Ancestry. Yikes! It was a military registration for the OTHER Adrian Zuidweg, the one that lived in Grand Rapids. Yes, they were related, but not too closely.

I find no military records for Adrian, and that surprises me because I think he would have had to register for WWI. Wouldn’t he? So I looked it up. There were three registrations. The first one was for men only to age 30. The second one was ages 21 and up? Up to what? And the third one, in 1918, was up to age 45. Adrian turned 45 in 1916. He just missed the registration then, unless he qualified under the middle registration, which I doubt as he was still 46 in 1917.

What about his military records in the Netherlands, though? As you can see from the photo he was in the Dutch army as a young man. I am not sure how to find Dutch military records. I would really like to do so. There is a link on Family Search for where he might be located, but unfortunately I cannot figure out a way to search the website, only to browse.

I find no obituary for Adrian, and that also surprises me. I searched on Genealogy Bank in general and around the time of his death–19 December 1929. I submitted a request through the Kalamazoo Public Library to see if they could uncover an obit. Sure enough, the obituary was in an unindexed newspaper! Thank you to the library!


Like a lot of my immigrant ancestors, I have no immigration or naturalization records for Adrian. Since this is such a huge gap, and it seems to be a real weak point of mine, I enlisted Amberly Beck who is working on her genealogy certification to help me find this information.

Finally, I checked out his page on Findagrave. I sponsored his page some time ago, but now I put in a request for management of the page. Fingers crossed.

 

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As I mentioned two weeks ago, both my maternal great-grandmothers were born in the United States, but their husbands, my great-grandfathers, were immigrants. At that time I discussed my maternal grandmother’s mother, Clara Waldeck Mulder. Today I will talk about my maternal grandfather’s mother, Cora Zuidweg. I wrote some anecdotes about her life in 2012 at this link: Cora DeKorn Zuidweg

I’ve posted this photo before, but it is my favorite one of her, along with the portrait that Val colorized. That’s her only child, my grandfather, with her.

Cora was born Jacoba Wilhelmina DeKorn on 2 January 1875, something I did not realize until I had been researching for a couple of years.

When I looked for gaps in my documents for Cora, I noticed that while I had her baptismal record, I did not have a birth record. There actually was a birth record, which is pretty remarkable, but she was listed under the name Minnie. I suspect that she was given that nickname by her parents as a baby (from Wilhelmina), but that she outgrew it at a young age.

Wayne Loney was able to get me this copy of the birth record.

I do have Cora’s other records: census records, obituary, death record, marriage record. and headstone. Here is her obituary:

I have asked to manage her page at Findagrave, and I also submitted a request for edits. I just don’t hear back from these people, and I guess I’m going to have to start to be get loud about it if I don’t get any satisfaction about my family’s pages.

Cora might be the last of my “easy ones,” as it has been more difficult to research my other ancestors.

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