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Posts Tagged ‘Dutch Genealogy’

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!

###

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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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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I wrote about the death certificates of my grandmothers and great-grandmothers. Now it’s time for the men. This is part of my project of cross-cutting through my genealogy research to look at things from a different angle to find out what I am missing. Once again, I discovered I had very few death certificates and had to order some!

The grandfather I knew and loved was my mother’s father. He owned a gas station most of his working life. He was passionate about his vegetable garden and loved math and accounting. Most importantly, I learned most of my family stories from him, was given most of the antique family photos from him, and inherited his great long-term memory. He’s the grandparent (whose branch) I physically resemble the most, as well. The trait that I share with him that is very unusual is that we have/had amazing early childhood memories. He remembered so much about his eye injury and the afterwards, although it happened when he was three. I have two memories that go back to before age two, as well as a vivid slightly longish memory that happened when I was 2 3/4. Those are for sure, but there are others that I believe were very very early. My memories from before I was four (say 3 1/2 and 3 3/4) are quite complex.

I’ve actually written a lot about Grandpa on this blog, including sharing a series of posts based on an interview of my grandfather by a social worker (including the above link about my grandfather’s eye injury). He was born in Kalamazoo 31 October 1908. He died 13 April 2000, also in Kalamazoo.

Notice that his death certificate states the cause of death as cirrhosis. But, whoa. He never drank alcohol, so why does it say this? He had a rare hereditary disease, it turned out, that causes a form of cirrhosis. I believe it is called Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency (family: correct me if I’m wrong, please). Luckily, although he didn’t know about the disease, he lived a very healthy lifestyle and lived to be 91.5 years old!

I never knew my other grandfather, but I do have his death certificate. He lived to be 90 (we’re on a roll here!) and died of arteriosclerotic heart disease. I am not posting his death certificate, although I do have it.

Then, of my four great-grandfathers, I have the death certificates of three. The one I don’t have is my paternal grandfather’s father because I don’t even know if he immigrated from Alsace to the United States or not–and have not found a death record of any kind as of yet. (I have confidence that eventually I will find it).

Adrian’s father, also called Adrian, died at age 58 in Kalamazoo on 19 December 1929 of “uremia, Chr. Inst. Nephritis.” Chronic Interstitial, I would guess. He was born in Goes, Zeeland, Netherlands on 3 January 1871. My grandparents used to tell me he died of kidney disease (yes), and that they believed it was exacerbated by the way he ate. He used to starve himself during the day (while at his store working) and then come home and eat a dinner plate-sized steak. Who knows if that is what really caused his kidney disease.

Next up is Charles Mulder. This is the man I knew and loved as my Great-Grandpa. He died at age 82 of a “Cerebral Vascular Accident” or Stroke on 27 April 1967. He was born 6 March 1885 in Goes, Zeeland, Netherlands.

Then I can thank Ann Donnelly from Found Cousins Genealogy Service  for noticing my frustration in a Facebook group and helping me out with my great-grandfather Frank Klein’s death certificate. I was having the hardest time because his record was on Family Search, but I couldn’t figure out how to get to the actual document that way. I even visited the local Family History Center, and the assistant director told me I would have to order it by mail (and a fee). But Ann found it online using her amazing talents and sent it to me.

Frank is another one who died of Arteriosclerotic Heart Disease. With those two and a stroke, that’s 3 out of 5 died of heart disease, I guess. Frank passed away on 30 August 1944 in the nursing home where he was living. He was born Franz Klein in Budesheim, Landkreis Mainz-Bingen, Germany on 31 July 1861. The death certificate reads Bingen because Budesheim was a village so close to Bingen that the family used to just say “Bingen.”

I am working on the 2x and 3x greats, but I think the Budesheim ancestors are going to be tough, just as they are with the women. The records do not seem to be available online at this point.

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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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