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Posts Tagged ‘Caledonia Michigan’

Awhile back I posted a photograph of the Mulder family reunion in SW Michigan. I’m pretty sure the date is around 1940, based on the ages of the identified people in the photograph.

Between Mom, cousin Susie, Uncle Don, and cousin Merry we have many of the people, but definitely not all, identified.

The couple on our right, Mom thought could be Jack and Josie (John Lawson Gerow, Jr. and Josephine Ann Slinsky Gerow–Jack was the son of John Gerow and Cora Mulder, great-grandpa’s sister), but Susie says no. Some of the individuals are not clearly seen so we can’t do much with those. What seems clear is that certain family groups were present and others were not. For instance, Aunt Dorothy and Uncle Con and their children don’t seem to be in the photo. This helps because if we see children we can be pretty sure their parents are in the photo–and vice versa.

Here is the Mulder family photo that would have come before this family group. In the center is Pieter/Peter Mulder and his wife, Nellie Gorsse. Nellie died in 1932, 8 years before the reunion photo, but Peter was alive until 1953 and is in the photo, in the center, wearing a hat.

In the back row are Peter, Cora, and Henry. Peter was the husband of Alida Van Elk, who is identified in the reunion photo. Their children included Rod, born 1923, and the twins Bob and Bill. I believe all 3 boys are in the photo and I have labelled the twins.

Cora married John Gerow, and they had five children (I think): Ruth, Eleanor, George, John/Jack, Marian. Jack was born in 1918, so I think it’s unlikely that the man on the right is Jack (as Susie also says) because he looks older than 21. Possibly the Gerows are not in the photo.

Henry married Hettie Mae Simpson, and they had Eloise Fern, James, Mary Ellen, and Judith. Because Mae and Jim, Mary Ellen, and Judy were identified by Merry in the reunion photo, I wanted to believe that Henry and Eloise/Fern are also in the photo, but Merry cannot find them. Mary Ellen and Judy are the two teen girls kneeling on the right side of the photo. Jim is the boy in front of Uncle Chuck, seated on the left side of the photo.

In the front row, the girl with the glasses on our left is Nellie who was mentally challenged. She was still living at home in 1930, but I am not sure where she lived after the death of her mother in 1932. There is a woman in the reunion photo who appears to be wearing dark glasses who is seated directly behind the little blonde girl (Joann) that could be Nellie–or could be someone else.

Then there is Jennie who married Edward Kooistra or Koistra. They had a son, Karl. I know very little about this branch and don’t know if they are in the reunion photo or not.

On the other side of Nellie, is her oldest child, my great-grandfather, Charles Mulder. He and his wife Clara had five children, and I see four of the five in the photo, along with their families. It is her oldest, Dorothy, that I do not see.

Rose (Rosa) is on the other side of Great-Grandpa. She married John Kohles, and they had at least one child, Leonard, but she died in 1936.

 

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I am posting more “new” photos today and relaxing about not doing research outside of the photos (for now).

This photo is a Mulder family reunion. I’d like to see if we could identify everyone. I see Uncle Al, 3rd from left seated. And Aunt Vena, standing, with her arms crossed in front of her, looking over her left shoulder. I think my grandparents MIGHT be peeking over shoulders in the back.

Mom? Uncle Don? Can we figure out who all is in the pic?

This photo was taken at my great-grandparents’ farm–that of Charles and Clara Waldeck in Caldedonia.

In another farm pic, this is Uncle Chuck and Uncle Pete, the two sons of Charles and Clara.

Again at the farm. Is this Aunt Vena as a teen? Or is it Aunt Dorothy? I read a joke on Facebook the other day about someone taking care of chickens being a “chicken tender.”

I am hoping we can put some names to these photos. Also, these photos are from different years. I wonder how close we can come to figuring it out.

The first clue for the reunion photo, which is useful as one of many, is that Aunt Vena and Uncle Al got married in 1935. That is not enough by itself, of course. Then I wonder if the women’s hairstyles and clothing could be from the 40s. Any ideas?

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In my post, Mulders Everywhere, I wrote about finding Merry, my 2nd cousin, 1x removed. I mentioned that Merry is the granddaughter of my great-grandfather Charles Mulder’s younger brother, Henry (born Hendrik). We are all descended from Pieter Philippus and Neeltje (Peter and Nellie) Mulder who arrived in Grand Rapids with two babies.

Great-grandpa was the oldest child. Henry was in the middle of the family, born April 19, 1897, in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He was a stonecutter who engraved monuments.

Henry married Hettie Mae Simpson. I think Hettie was known as Mae. Merry, please let me know where I’m wrong and what I should add!! By the way, do you know his middle name? Did it begin with a J?

Here are photos of Henry and Mae from Merry.

 

More photos of Henry and Mae:

 

A very cute couple!

Henry and Mae had four lovely children: Eloise/Fern, James, Mary Ellen, and Judith. All four children were born in the 1920s.

Henry and Mae: each with their four children

 Henry passed away from tuberculosis in a sanitarium on May 27, 1947. According to Merry:

He is buried at Greenwood Cemetery in Grand Rapids. I was 2 years old when he died so I do not remember him at all. I do know that my mom took me to the sanitariium so he could see me but she had to stand across the room at a distance for this. A few years ago I had my mom write about both of her parents and this is what she said. “My dad, Henry, was a very gifted man. He had a beautiful singing voice, played the violin and could draw beautifully. Dad only got to see 2 or 3 of his grandchildren as he spent the last 4 years in a hospital with TB. He loved children. Dad was a good father. He wanted the best for his children. Dad died at the age of 50, too young.”

My great-grandfather also had TB and sometimes had to spend time at a sanitarium. I remember visiting him there.

It means a lot to me that Merry and I have found each other because my great-grandfather was very overtaken with grief when Henry passed away far too early. They must have been quite close.

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In the midst of researching the Waldecks, I’ve been in contact with Elly, as you know, and Merry, who I haven’t told you about yet, from the Mulder branch of the family.

Elly found me through this blog, as I’ve mentioned. I found Merry through a DNA match. We both had our results stored at 23andme, and there it was, a fairly close match of 2nd-3rd cousin. When a match is that close, if both individuals have an idea of their family trees, you can usually find a match. It didn’t take us long at all.

Merry’s grandfather Henry (Heinrich Mulder) and my great-grandfather Charles were brothers! We are both descended from Pieter Philippus and Neeltje (Peter and Nellie) Mulder who arrived in Grand Rapids with two babies. One was Charles and the other was a baby named Jan who passed away shortly after the young couple arrived in the U.S. Henry was born in this country.

Peter and Nellie traveled on the ship Zaandam, which arrived in New York on August 29, 1887. They were able to immigrate because Peter had received a bequest when his grandmother Rosalie Melanie Bataille passed away.

I promise to get back to Elly’s findings in a later post. Today I want to share with you the photos of Peter and Nellie that Merry shared with me. And by putting them in the blog to share them with Elly and others as well!

 

In this formal portrait, how old do you think they are? Note that Nellie was 63 when she died. Mom says that Peter was a very small man, so it seems that Nellie herself must have been very short. I recently read an article trying to answer the question of how the Dutch became the tallest people in the world. My own relatives were sometimes, but not always, on the short side, so I was curious. What I learned is that in the past 150 years the heighth of Dutch people has dramatically increased. Until this growth spurt they were the shortest in Europe!

As to why the Dutch grew, the article makes a case for eating a lot of dairy (among other causes). My husband says he thinks it also has to do with the Netherlands claiming more land from the sea and being able to eat meat instead of relying on fish for a large portion of their diet. I’m sure there are many ideas on this subject!

In the next photo, Nellie’s dress is very long.  While Peter (born 1865) was 3 years older than Nellie (born 1868), she passed away in 1932 and Peter lived until 1953, two years before I was born. After his wife’s death, Peter traveled around to his children’s homes, living with one then another. I wonder whose cooking he liked best (I hope it was my great-grandmother Clara who died the same year as Peter)!

 

Merry says that this photo of Nellie taken in a porch rocker should be dated somewhere between 1925 and 1929. Since it’s the same dress as above, I’ll assume these photos were taken around the same time.

Here is a formal portrait of Peter:

 

In this photo he looks like he could be related to Colonel Potter (MASH), in my opinion. Or the shopkeeper on Green Acres (Frank Cady as Mr. Drucker).

More to come about the Mulders, both those in Netherlands and those in Michigan!

 

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As you know, I get sidetracked by a lot of subjects. In 2016, I would like to focus on 3 family branches. No telling how many tangents I’ll go off on though. I’ve met some wonderful distant relatives and other new friends through the blog and my genealogical research, and I would like to incorporate some of the information I’ve gotten as well as sharing some of my research.

Today I’d like to mention the Mulders. I’ve written of them before, and you can find the other posts from the “Individuals and Topics” section on the right: Mulders link. This is my maternal grandmother’s father’s family from Caledonia, Michigan; Grand Rapids, Michigan; and Goes, Zeeland, the Netherlands.

One Mulder I’ve (virtually) met is Elly, who lives in the Netherlands. She is descended from the same Karel Mulder, the jailor’s hand, that both my maternal grandparents were.  As she puts it, she is a descendant of Karel Mulder (1837-1881), the eldest son of Karel Mulder and Rosalie (Rose Melanie) Bataille.

Elly found a death announcement for Rose Melanie in the old local newspaper, de Goessche Courant.  It says that she died in the house of her son, Andries Mulder. Rose Melanie was a rather wealthy widow when she died. She had several houses and pieces of land in her possession.There is a statement of inheritance tax.
Let’s take a look at my genealogy results for this family from Yvette Hoitink.

Karel Mulder was born on 3 December 1812 at C 85 in Goes, Zeeland, the Netherlands.20 On 5 May 1836 he was a
shoemaker in Goes, Zeeland, the Netherlands.21 8 On 21 February 1837 he was a shoemaker in Goes, Zeeland, the
Netherlands.8 Karel died on 3 January 1870 at the age of 57 in Goes, Zeeland, the Netherlands.22 He owned 3/8 of a house
and yard in the “Papegaaistraatje [Parrot Street]” district C nr. 97 on 3 January 1870 at section D nr. 278 in Goes, Zeeland,
the Netherlands.5 Rose Melanie Bataille and Karel Mulder were married on 5 May 1836 in Goes, Zeeland, the Netherlands.21
Rose Melanie Bataille was born about 1810 in Etaples, France.21 On 5 May 1836 she was a servant in Goes, Zeeland, the
Netherlands.21 She lived in Goes, Zeeland, the Netherlands on 22 April 1881.11 Rose died on 10 July 1887 at the age of 77 in
Goes, Zeeland, the Netherlands.23

Karel Mulder and Rose Melanie Bataille had the following children:
8 i. Karel Mulder, born 21 February 1837, Goes, Zeeland, the Netherlands; died 22 April 1881, Goes,
Zeeland, the Netherlands. NOTE THAT KAREL IS ELLY’S ANCESTOR. HE IS ALSO MY ANCESTOR.
ii. Pieter Philip Mulder was born on 29 August 1838 in Goes, Zeeland, the Netherlands.24
iii. Kornelis Mulder was born on 4 September 1840 in Goes, Zeeland, the Netherlands.25 He died on 3 June
1887 at the age of 46 in Goes, Zeeland, the Netherlands.26 On 3 June 1887 he was a shoemaker in Goes,
Zeeland, the Netherlands.26
iv. Melanie Mulder was born on 21 January 1842 in Goes, Zeeland, the Netherlands.27 She died on 23 June
1884 at the age of 42 in Goes, Zeeland, the Netherlands.28
v. Johannes Mulder was born on 12 November 1843 in Goes, Zeeland, the Netherlands.29 He died on 7
January 1849 at the age of 5 in Goes, Zeeland, the Netherlands.30
vi. Andries Mulder was born on 23 January 1846 in Goes, Zeeland, the Netherlands.31 THE SON WHO ROSE MELANIE LIVED WITH WHEN SHE DIED AT AGE 77.
vii. Jan Mulder was born on 9 December 1848 in Goes, Zeeland, the Netherlands.32 On 22 April 1881 he was
a shopkeeper in paint and colonial goods in Goes, Zeeland, the Netherlands.5
viii. Johannes Mulder was born on 10 February 1851 in Goes, Zeeland, the Netherlands.33 He died on 26
June 1876 at the age of 25 in Goes, Zeeland, the Netherlands.34 On 26 June 1876 he was a shoemaker in
Goes, Zeeland, the Netherlands.34
ix. Jacobus Mulder was born on 13 May 1856 in Goes, Zeeland, the Netherlands.35 He died on 17 June 1874
at the age of 18 in Goes, Zeeland, the Netherlands.36 On 17 June 1874 he was a shopkeeper’s assistant in
Goes, Zeeland, the Netherlands.36

NOTE that Elly discovered that Rose Melanie was quite wealthy when she passed away. See above that when she was married she was a servant. It appears that Karel was a shopkeeper and must have done well for his family.

When Rose Melanie died, her son Karel (born 1837) had already been dead for 6 years and his youngest children, thanks to the 2nd wife ;), had been sent to an orphanage. You can read that sad tale here. With the bequest that Karel’s son Pieter received from his grandmother’s death, he took his wife and two babies (including my great-grandfather) to the United States.

So, Elly, if you’re reading, which child of Karel (born 1837) are you descended from? See below. Perhaps Karel or Izaak?

i. Karel Pierre Philippe Mulder was born on 8 May 1862 in Goes, Zeeland, the Netherlands.13
ii. Izaak Mulder was born on 20 July 1863 in Goes, Zeeland, the Netherlands.14
iii. Rose Melanie Mulder was born on 12 August 1864 in Goes, Zeeland, the Netherlands.15 She died on 1
December 1864 at the age of 0 in Goes, Zeeland, the Netherlands.16 DIED AS AN INFANT
iv. Pieter Philippus Mulder, born 10 October 1865, Goes, Zeeland, the Netherlands. My 2great grandfather.
v. Adrianus Cornelis Mulder was born on 7 October 1866 in Goes, Zeeland, the Netherlands.17 He lived at
the city orphanage in Goes, Zeeland, the Netherlands on 2 August 1881. He died on 15 March 1891 at
the age of 24 in Goes, Zeeland, the Netherlands.18 On 15 March 1891 Adrianus was a shopkeeper’s
assistant in Goes, Zeeland, the Netherlands.10 DIED AT AGE 24
vi. stillborn child Mulder was born on 5 October 1867 in Goes, Zeeland, the Netherlands.19 He died on 5
October 1867 at the age of 0 in Goes, Zeeland, the Netherlands.19 STILLBORN
10.

The best news so far from Elly, besides meeting her, is that she sent me photos of the family Bible!

The family history was written in this Bible, according to tradition. It was begun by Karel Mulder who was born in 1812. He started it in 1867, three years before he died.
I hope that Elly and I can continue to share information about the Mulder family!

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Looking through my computer files (such a mess!), I found an old Word document I thought I’d share with you.

When my daughter was 10 she wanted to be a paperdoll centerfold for American Girl magazine. One of the requirements was to interview female living relatives about their childhoods. Her oldest female relative that we knew of (my daughter was adopted) was her great-grandmother, Lucille Edna Mulder (Zuidweg), who was born April 17, 1912. She passed away in 2000, just two years after my daughter interviewed her.

Here are the interview results.

Edna Mulder never wanted to be called Lucille, especially by her older sister, Dorothy, or her younger sister, Alvena.  They were called Dot and Vena, so she wanted to be called Edna.   Edna also had two younger brothers, Peter and Charles.  Her parents owned a farm in Caledonia, Michigan.  Her father came from a Dutch-American family and her mother from a German-American family.

 

Edna, Clara (holding Pete), Vena, Charles, and Dot

The farmhouse had a big dining room in the middle of the first floor.  The kitchen was out in back and had a coal-burning stove/oven.  The front room was tiny, with barely enough room for the big wood-burning stove and her father’s rocking chair.  He sat and smoked his pipes and cigars in the evening.  He played cribbage with a friend with a small chair pulled up to the fire.  All the downstairs had linoleum laid on it after Edna grew up and moved away from home; while she was home, it was a wooden floor.  The upstairs was two rooms:  a bedroom for her parents and one big bedroom for the five children.  They slept five to one bed, with the boys sleeping across the width at the girls’ feet.  It was COLD up there in the Michigan winters–with no heat.  Edna’s father had built the house; most of the furniture was handmade, too, some of it quite old.

Edna’s farm had a big family of cats, but they weren’t house pets.  They were kept to kill the mice in the barn.  Edna’s job was to put food and water out on the back porch for them.  The farm had lots of corn fields, cows, pigs, and an apple orchard.  It even had a small stream for fishing, but you had to drive the wagon down there, it was so far away.

But Edna and her siblings were used to long walks.  The three girls walked three miles to school everyday and three miles back home.  They kept each other warm by cuddling together as they walked.  Once in a great while, during the worst weather, Edna’s mother drove all the children to school in a tiny black Amish buggy.

Sometimes the girls were naughty.  For instance, they knew their parents had a store charge at the grocery store in Caledonia.  A couple of times the girls couldn’t resist and charged a giant candy bar or a banana.  (Fruit was a big treat; Edna only saw oranges at Christmastime).  When their parents found out later, they would “get bawled out.”

Edna’s family didn’t have much money, except for owning the farm, but her father collected a few hundred books.  He had several series of books for children which offered moral and religious instruction, as well as some adventure books.  Edna had plenty to read while she was growing up.  But she didn’t have a lot of time to read because she always had a lot of chores.  Farms need a lot of care!  Edna learned to cook basic meat, potato, and vegetable dishes while she lived at home with her family.  She also became a good baker, making delicious cookies, pies, and cakes.  She wanted to be a teacher or a writer when she grew up, but she also wanted to have a home and a family and to take good care of them.

###

I’ve posted photos of the farm where Edna grew up before:

Final note: This turned out to be a great project for my daughter and for me because it was about our shared knowledge–some of what my grandmother taught my mother was taught to me and taught, in turn, to my daughter–and we both learned about history through the life of an ordinary girl. And, yes, my daughter did get to be an American Girl paperdoll. You can read the story and see the photos here: An American Girl’s Family Tree

 

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