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Archive for the ‘family history’ Category

The horrific fires in California have been in the news over the past week. My heart breaks for the people who died, those who lost their homes, and the animals that perished as well. Fire has long been a blessing and a devastation for humankind. Today’s post is about a fire that burned down the home of my great-great-grandmother’s brother and his family.

The last three weeks I’ve shared articles published by Broad Street magazine. They are featuring a series showcasing what went into the making of six poems and flash prose pieces in my chapbook Kin Types. The idea is that you can see how you, too, can put together stories of your ancestors.

Today the fourth part of the series was published and can be found here: Family Laundry: “The Weight of Smoke” by Luanne Castle

The first feature article is “Family Laundry: “An Account of a Poor Oil Stove Bought off Dutch Pete,” by Luanne Castle

The second feature article is Family Laundry 2: “What Came Between A Woman and Her Duties” by Luanne Castle

The third feature articles is: Family Laundry: “More Burials” by Luanne Castle

An introduction to the series can be found here.  SERIES INTRODUCTION

 

 

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The different ways that family history and genealogy intersect with other aspects of the culture is growing. But I think this project might be a first for family history.

Broad Street Magazine, which publishes nonfiction narratives in a variety of genres, has begun a six-week series of feature articles on six poems from my family history poetry and flash prose chapbook Kin Types. Each article publishes one poem and then provides information on the research that went into the poem. Included are family photos, historical records, and old newspaper articles.

An introduction to the series can be found here. SERIES INTRODUCTION

The first feature article is Family Laundry: “An Account of a Poor Oil Stove Bought off Dutch Pete,” by Luanne Castle

 

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Last week I wrote about the Remijnse (Remine) family from the beginning (of our current knowledge). There is a huge pedigree chart available online, and while I need to take it all with a grain of salt, it is extremely useful. It prints out to exactly 248 pages!

My new chum Jacob Remijnse decided to try to figure out the identity of the people in the unidentified Remijnse family photo, using the pedigree chart.

The photograph seems to have been taken upon the occasion of a wedding–the bride is in the white dress in the center and the groom is to her left (our right). The other seated man is probably the father. Let’s assume the five standing behind are siblings.

The only thing I know about this photo is that my family believes it is of one of the Remijnse branches. I figured out it has to be from the Netherlands because it doesn’t fit the Remijnse family members who came to this country.

Using the clothing as a guide, especially the styles of the dresses and the women’s hats, I think the photo was taken somewhere between the late 1870s and 1890. Jacob came to that independent analysis, as well.

Then he drew up a chart of the Remijnse family with dates of birth, dates of death, dates of marriage, and names of spouses. He made columns for how old each person was in 1865, 1875, and 1885. This was extremely helpful.

Using this analysis, it seemed likely that the young couple was one of two choices.

Jan Remijnse 29-05-1863 01-05-1900 2 12 22
07-08-1885
Cornelia Bijlo 06-03-1863 01-04-1942 2 12 22

Jan was 22 in 1885 when he married 22-year-old Cornelia Biljo. There is no doubt that this couple looks 22 or so.

OR

Dina Remijnse 17-02-1856 09-01-1943 9 19 29
07-05-1886
Francois Bijlo 09-08-1864 09-09-1942 1 11 21

Dina was 29 when she married Francois Biljo in 1886. Francois was 21.

Doesn’t Dina seem a better candidate for the standing woman in the back? She would have been 29 here and married the following year at age 30.

So what was the next step?

We needed to look at the family groups. Were Jan and Dina siblings? Was their mother deceased by 1885 since there is no mother in the photograph?  Were Cornelia and Francois siblings? The last is purely curiosity because I think this photo is a Remijnse family photo with the new spouse included. I don’t think it is a combination of members of the Remijnse and Biljo families.

Here is info on Dina Remijnse:

Dina Remijnse, born Sunday 17 February1856 in Kapelle. Notes at birth: Witnesses Pieter Staal and Jan Loijs. Dina died on Saturday, January 9th1943 in Kapelle, 86 years old. Note Dina: Religion Dutch Reformed. Profession housewife. Dina married, 30 years old, Friday 7 May1886 inKapelle [source: huw.akte nr. 13 BS Kapelle] with Francois Bijlo , 21 years old, born Tuesday 9 August1864 in Kapelle as son of Willem Bijlo and Maria van de Linde. Francois died on Wednesday 9 September1942 inKapelle, 78 years old. At the marriage ceremony the following witness was present: Nicolaas Remijnse (ca.1858 – 1909).

Notes on marriage: Witnesses Leendert Monter, 50 yr. Anton Leijs, 32 yr. Worker, Cornelis Markusse, 42 yr. Innkeeper.

Here is info on Jan Remijnse:

Jan Remijnse, born Friday 29 May1863 in Kapelle [source: certificate no. 34 BS Kapelle].

Notes at birth: Witnesses Thomas Snoep, 22 yr. Quartermaster and master, Johannes Staal, 29 yr., Tailor. Jan died Tuesday, May 11900 in Kapelle, 36   years old. The following witness was present at the death report: Nicolaas Remijnse (ca.1858 – 1909). Note on the death of Jan: Witnesses Willem Bijlo, 75 years of field worker, father-in-law. Profession: Field worker Religion: Free Evangelical. Jan married at the age of 22 on Friday 7 August 1885 inKapelle with Cornelia Bijlo, 22 years old, born on Friday 6 March1863 inKapelle as a daughter from Willem Bijlo and Maria van de Linde. Notes on the birth of Cornelia: Witnesses Pieter Snoep, 58 yr., Laborer, Nicolaas Mieras, 40 yr., Laborer. Cornelia died on Wednesday 1 April1942 in Goes, 79   years old [source: deed no. 75 BS Goes]. Note on death Cornelia: Witnesses Cornelis Sleutel, 55 yr., Caregiver. Note Cornelia: Religious Affection Dutch Reformed. At the wedding ceremony the following witness was present: Nicolaas Remijnse (ca.1858 – 1909). Notes on marriage: Witnesses Pieter Hoogstraat 34 jr. Merchant, brother-in-law of Jan, Simon Kramer, 63 jr. Shopkeeper, Dingenis Jeremiasse, 55 jr. Tailor.

On the big document where I pulled the above info from, I saw that Jan and Dina were, in fact, siblings, the children of Marinus and Jozina. But when I searched for siblings, I was dismayed to see that they had two sisters, Adriana and Wilhelmina–and only ONE brother, Nicolaas. This does not fit the portrait with all the young men.  While this might be explained away, the mother Jozina was alive in 1885 and 1886, not dying until 1896. And the mother is not in the photo.

My conclusion: We do not have a match.

But Jacob is not ready to give up on it. He has another scenario worked out, but for that we need more info on the Bijlo family!

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I might be off-the-blog for a week or two, but I’ll be back with more Remijnse information (I hope)!

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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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Can we talk DNA for a minute today? As you may or may not know, Ancestry has updated their DNA Story. They have revised their ethnicity estimates based upon a larger pool of test results than was used in their prior estimates. That sounds good, right?

So why does it seem not any more accurate? I’ll qualify that by saying that is no way to be “accurate” with this stuff as it’s just a hint. Since my ancestors were all European, and there was so much movement in Europe over time, my DNA result should look like a bit of a blended cocktail–and it does.

I might share DNA with this woman, but I don’t know her name

Great hat though!

One of the biggest problems with my own DNA is the Dutch portion. If you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time, you know I have a lot of Dutch ancestors. But Ancestry doesn’t locate “Dutch DNA.” I don’t think any of the DNA companies do. It might show up as British and/or Scandinavian, for instance. It’s pretty annoying. Then there’s that Prussian thread. They probably lived close to Sweden, in what is now Poland. Is that Polish, German, Swedish DNA? Finally, the Alsatian portion of my DNA. What is that? Is it French or German? Well, it’s a little difficult either way because Alsace is currently in France and, in general, French people don’t get their DNA tested! That came as a shock to me, but it is illegal to do DNA testing in France where it is possible for paternity to be established. (I hope that sentence makes sense!) So there isn’t a big enough database of French and Alsatian people to help with ethnicity estimates.

Back to Ancestry’s update. I’m only going to discuss some minor findings in my new estimates as a way to show how screwed up they are. Previously, Ancestry predicted that I had 10% Eastern European DNA. I thought that must be the Prussians making a strange appearance (after all, these were Germans who lived in Poland). Now Ancestry has reduced the Eastern Eurpean DNA (nevermind that 23andme shows me with an actual specific gene that is considered Polish) to 2%.

Now my “Scandinavian” genes are no longer 6%, but I have 11% Swedish. This makes sense to me because the Prussians lived so close to Sweden that I figure there was a lot of mixing in. But then this could be Dutch DNA since that often shows up as Scandinavian. Wherever it came from, I thought it explained why my grandfather had a congenital illness that can be traced to Swedish or Italian heritage: Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency.

For kicks, I looked at my parents’ ethnicity estimates for the Swedish components. Well, gee whiz.  Mom only has 2% Swedish! I wondered if and how I could get the rest of the Swedish from my dad, but while I was checking out Mom’s I saw that she has  15% Eastern European now! and 7% Norwegian! and 3% Baltic states! She’s the Dutch and the Prussian connection, by the way. But see how different her results are from mine.

Let’s look at Dad’s. He’s got 3% Norwegian and 2% Swedish! Even if I add up both their Swedish, it only comes to 4%, and I have 10%. And wouldn’t the average be that I would get 1% from each, totalling 2%? (hahaha)

I’m going to let it lie there because I think the Swedish part alone shows that Ancestry has a LONG way to go.

So I went over to my 23andme results. 3.6% Polish. Hah. 3.1% Scandinavian! That’s a far cry from 11% Swedish. And, weirdly, 1% Balkan. I will note that Ancestry did show me with some southern European and even Iberian DNA before, but they have taken that off the table now.

It makes me mad when I hear stuff like how My Heritage tells almost everybody they have Nigerian DNA. Oh yeah? Hah, I highly doubt it. (Mine shows .9% Nigerian). It’s because the company is new, and a lot of work needs to be done before the results of our tests really should be analyzed. I think I’ll ignore the fact that they believe I have 26.5% Balkan ancestry. Geesh.

Maybe the DNA companies should explain that these estimates are just for FUN and you shouldn’t put much stock in them.

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Last spring I posted a photo of my great-grandmother Clara Waldeck Mulder (1884-1953) that I discovered. You can find the post here. It was the first time I saw what she looked like as an older woman. Up to then, I had seen her as a bride and as a young mother.

The other day my mother sent me another old album and loose photos. Guess what? There are TWO new photos of Clara! In one of them, she is young. It’s taken before she was married–or even engaged, I am pretty sure. The photo has a little damage–a white mark across her skirt and a dark spot on her cheek. I did my best to fix the cheek, but left the white mark alone.

How old does she look here? 16-18? If so, the photo would be from around 1900-1902.

And here is another photo, this time from around 1940.

In my post My Great-Grandmother’s Lifetime of Service it’s clear that Clara was very devoted to her service groups. I wonder if this dress has something to do with a ceremony in Eastern Star or Rebekah Lodge. Any other ideas about the dress?

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