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Archive for the ‘Richard DeKorn’ Category

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.

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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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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Philip DeKorn’s niece–his brother Richard’s daughter–didn’t want the family documents Phil left behind. She has enough papers, and she is not particularly interested in genealogy. Phil’s niece through his wife Marianne, Sue Haadsma-Svensson, is a genealogist who has worked extensively on her branches and compiled several books, as well. She understands the value of these papers. My mother told her about my interest in family history and about this blog, and she very kindly mailed me the documents that were discovered.

Opening the package was quite exciting as I didn’t know what I would find.

There are original death certificates for both Uncle Joe and Aunt Tena, Phil’s parents. There are also newspaper articles, photographs, and letters. Once I have a chance to scan (and digitize) everything and to put each document and photograph into an archival sleeve, I will post my discoveries!

Sue gave me this photo of sailor Phil home on temporary leave on 4 July 1944 sitting with his parents, Uncle Joe and Aunt Tena.

 

 

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The last living DeKorn (carrying the name) from the Boudewijn (1816-1873) and Johanna (Remijnse) (1817-1864) family has passed away at age 97.

Philip Eugene DeKorn was one of two children of Joseph DeKorn. Philip’s brother Richard died in 2004. Joseph, my grandfather’s uncle, took many of the photos I shared on this blog. Phil is the last of Kalamazoo contractor and brick mason Richard DeKorn’s grandchildren to pass.

I would like to share Phil’s obituary today because it shows he was one of the “Greatest Generation,” serving in WWII in the U.S. Navy. The obituary is available at this link.

DeKorn, Philip 8/4/1922 – 9/6/2019 Grand Rapids Philip Eugene DeKorn was born in the community of Fairview in Grand Rapids, Michigan on August 4, 1922, the son of Joseph Peter and Christina (Blandford) DeKorn. He passed away September 6, 2019 at the age of 97. Philip attended and graduated from Fairview School, Union High School and Grand Rapids Junior College. On August 28, 1942, he enlisted in the US Navy during World War II. He took naval training at the US Naval Center, Great Lakes, IL and US Radar School at Virginia Beach, VA. He was then assigned to the USS Uhlmann (DD607) and served as a radar operator in CIC (Combat Information Center) until the end of World War II. CIC had direct radio and radar communication with other US Third Fleet ships. After World War II, he completed his college education and graduated from the University of Michigan School of Business Administration in 1950. He then worked as a sales representative for the Mennen Company and Revere Copper and Brass Inc. On January 5, 1968, Phil married Marianne Haadsma and they were together for almost 50 years. Marianne passed away October 2, 2017. Phil was also predeceased by his older brother, Richard B. DeKorn, who passed away on June 20, 2004. Phil is survived by his brother-in-law Roger Haadsma, his nieces and nephews and their families: Gayle (Jay) Polverelli, Jim (Luanne) Haadsma, Luanne (Larry) Dewey, Mari Dawley, Gail Sherry, Sue (Kjell) Haadsma-Svensson, Bob (Jen) Haadsma, Ken (Judy) Glupker, and Kathy (Ken) Basoff. The family would like to thank Theresa Johnson for all the special care she gave Phil throughout his final years. The family would also like to thank Gloria from Kindred Hospice for her caring work. The family will greet relatives and friends Monday, September 9, 2019 at the Stegenga Funeral Chapel, 1601 Post Dr. NE from 11:00 a.m. until 12:00 noon. Funeral services will follow at 12:00. Inurnment will be at Rosedale Memorial Park. Memorials can be made to the General Fund at First Reformed Church, Holland Michigan or Kindred Hospice, Grand Rapids. To share a photo, memory and sign the online guestbook please visit www.stegengafuneralchapel.com

Published in Grand Rapids Press on Sept. 8, 2019

Like his father before him, Phil graduated from the University of Michigan. Although he never had children, Phil still had a close family through the members of his wife Marianne’s family and through his brother Richard’s family.

Rest in peace, Philip Eugene DeKorn. Thank you for your service, sir.

Phil DeKorn at the plaque for the Kalamazoo State Hospital water tower built by his grandfather Richard DeKorn

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As a side note, you can see that two of Phil’s nieces are named Luanne, spelling it correctly as I do . . . .

In case you wonder how I go about deciding when to post a recent passing on my blog, all I can tell you is I decide on a case by case basis. When my father died, I posted because so many knew he had been sick for months and it seemed strange not to say anything. But during the past few years I have also lost two dear aunts and a cousin, and I did not post about these because their deaths were more sudden and shocking. Our grief, individually and as a family, felt too raw to write about them so soon.

Here are a few more photos of a day Phil spent with his wife Marianne and his cousin’s children, my mom Janet, my father Rudy, Uncle Don, and Aunt Jean at the water tower.

Don, Jean, Phil, Marianne, Rudy, Janet

 


 

The following (sorry it’s angled) shows a layout of the hospital with the water tower in the center. I will have to ask Uncle Don or Mom to chime in here. Is that how the layout really was at one time? It looks like the classic “Panopticon” that Michel Foucault wrote about–a tall tower to watch the prisoners, er, patients. But as we know this is a water tower, not meant to be a guard tower.

 

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I have a lot of photographs of Alice Leeuwenhoek. She was an only child, and I suspect she might have been doted upon. And maybe she was a favorite subject of her uncle, Joseph DeKorn, the family photographer. Alice was born in 1897, and Joseph was born in 1881. He was doing a lot of photography when she was growing up, and she lived next door.

Here are a couple of photos that are marked with Alice’s name on the back.

Alice looks so cute here. She’s wearing a hat that looks to me like an Easter bonnet, especially on a child so small. Her coat with the cute flaps reminds me of a dress coat I bought for my daughter when she was little. She had been wearing hand-me-down dresses for dressup, and I wanted her to have one nice outfit, so I bought her a red dress with matching red coat.  The coat had a little cape very similar to Alice’s coat. Eighty-some years later.

Here is one from 1914. It doesn’t look to me a lot like Alice, but it is a tall lady with dark hair standing by the side of Richard DeKorn’s house. Richard was Alice’s grandfather, as well as Grandpa’s grandfather. And the photo is labeled Alice!

Now is when I need a horse expert. If Derrick stops by, I know he’ll know. Is this a pony? The reason I think so is that the proportions seem mature.

I would know Richard’s house anywhere because of the light stripe through the dark brick. Very distinctive.

 

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My maternal grandmother, (Lucille) Edna Mulder Zuidweg, was born in 1912 on this day.  This is one of my favorite photographs of Grandma and me.

I’m about five and wearing my favorite violet striped dress. This was a time in my life that I was spending a lot of time at Grandma and Grandpa’s house because I went to kindergarten across the street at McKinley school and stayed the rest of the day at their house while my parents were working. In this photo, it is dark outside, and I think this photograph was taken at night when others were in the living room. I associate this photo with eating ice cream that particular night . . . .

Happy birthday, Grandma. You are very missed.

Last week I posted two old photos and didn’t have a lot of information about them. With the help of some people on a Facebook group, especially intrepid FindaGrave photographer Jeff Phillips, the two little kids have been identified as Alice Leeuwenhoek and Harold Remine. I’ve written about both of them many times.  My mother reminded me that yesterday was Alice’s birthday (1897).

The house in the other photograph has probably been identified as well.

Here it is at the address 110 Balch Street.

That is it with the fresh coat of gray paint. Now look to our right and you just can just the dark brown brick corner house between the trees. That is the Richard DeKorn house I’ve written about so much. This gray house is next door to that house.

Guess who lived in that house (where the four boys are standing) in those days? Take a look:

 

 

Yes, the Leeuwenhoeks lived there, right next to Alice’s maternal grandparents Richard and Alice, and possibly her aunt (my great-grandmother Cora and her husband Adrian who lived with Cora’s parents). It appears that sometime between 1900 and 1910 Cora and Adrian moved from a home on the other side of Balch to her parents’ house. It’s possible that Richard owned that home at 121 Balch, but I have not investigated land records.

Any ideas on how to go about doing so?

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Here are two photos of my mother, Janet, and her brother, Donald. Take a look at the similarities and differences.

The one with Mom holding her doll shows a glimpse of their front porch on Burdick Street. Don is wearing short pants and long striped socks. They both have cute little hats on. The back of the photo is labelled April 1938. My mother was born in 1934 and Don in 1936.

Then this one:

In this photo they seem to be wearing the same outfits, although Don’s snowpants are now on and Janet has a scarf around her neck. There is melting snow in the yard.

So were they taken on the same day or is the second photo earlier than April? What do you think? Notice that little “trike” or whatever it is is in the same spot in both photos.

Another thing of note in the second photo is the phenomenal neighborhood view. This is the best neighborhood view down Burdick Street I can remember seeing. In fact, you see that brick house in the distance to the left of the tree? That is the Richard DeKorn house where Grandpa himself grew up. There are a couple of houses in between, then the service station Grandpa owned, and then Balch Street. The house is across Balch from the station. Grandma and Grandpa’s house where Mom and Uncle Don grew up was at the corner of Burdick and Emerson.

 

 

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