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Posts Tagged ‘Dutch history’

My next fill-in-the-gaps couple is Grandma’s great-grandparents–my 3x greats, Jan Gorsse and Kornelia Heijman Gorsse.

Here are the Ancestry-created bios:

Jan Gorsse was born on October 29, 1840, in Goes, Zeeland, Netherlands, the son of Neeltje and Willem. He married Kornelia Heijman on September 4, 1862, in his hometown. They had two children during their marriage. He died on April 25, 1911, in Goes, Zeeland, Netherlands, at the age of 70.

When Kornelia Heijman was born on February 1, 1840, in Goes, Zeeland, Netherlands, her father, Willem, was 27, and her mother, Pieternella, was 27. She married Jan Gorsse on September 4, 1862, in her hometown. They had two children during their marriage. She died on December 20, 1909, in Goes, Zeeland, Netherlands, at the age of 69.

Notice that the bios state that the couple had two children. That is all I know about right now. It is possible that there were more. Since I am so focused this year on my direct ancestors I am not putting the time into searching laterally right now. The two children I know about are my great-great grandmother Neeltje Gorsse Mulder and her sister Wilhelmina. Because Neeltje wasn’t born until almost seven years after the couple married and then her sister two years later, it is possible that the couple did have other children before Neeltje–children that either lived or died in infancy.

I read over that paragraph and thought: why not do a quick wiewas wie search. Just for a few minutes. Guess what I discovered? Three children of Jan and Kornelia who all died in February 1879: 5-year-old Gerard, 3-year-old Jan, and 15-month-old Hendrica. So I did some conjecturing. These children were younger than Neeltje and Wilhelmina, thus more vulnerable. One of Neeltje’s descendants believed that the tuberculosis that killed her was something that she brought with her from the Netherlands. Could her younger siblings have died from it?

I am guessing that Neeltje named her sons Jan and Henry after her deceased siblings, but it is possible she only used the names for her father and another family member. Here are the death records.


 

 


 

Keep in mind that I need to do a more exhaustive search in the future. I need to look for the birth records for these children, as well as seeing if there were other children in the family.

For both Jan and Kornelia I am lucky enough to have birth, marriage, and death records. Maybe it helps that they both were born, lived, and died in Goes–all in one city.

From Yvette, I obtained Jan’s military record. Here is a summation:

  1. 29 October 1840, Goes m. 4 September 1862, Goes

Jan married in a period where marriage supplements do not survive. He married at 22, so either he did not have to serve, or got permission from his commanding officer. Enlistment records in Goes were checked.

Jan Gorsse in militia registration, 1859 Source: Goes, lists of men registered for the National Militia, levies 1851-1862, 1859 no. 21, Jan Gorsse; call no. 1438, archives of the city of Goes, 1851-1919, Goes Municipal Archives, Goes; scans provided by Goes Municipal Archives.

Abstract:

Jan Gorsse, born Goes 24 October 1840 Physical description: 1.683m, oval face, narrow forehead, blue eyes, ordinary nose and mouth, round chin, blond hair and eyebrows, no noticeable marks. Son of Willem [Gorsse] and Neeltje Reijerse. Occupation: laborer, father broom maker. Informant: himself.

This record gives Jan’s name as Jan Gorsse, not Gorsee and has a slightly different birth date than the date provided by Luanne Castle. The original birth record showed the name as Jan Gorse, born 29 October 1840. The birth record named the parents as broom maker Willem Gorse and Neeltje Reijerse.1 This information perfectly matches the information in the militia registration, proving this is the correct record.

1 Civil Registration (Goes), birth record 1840 no. 184, Jan Gorse (29 October 1840); “Zeeuwen Gezocht,” index and images, Zeeuws Archief (http://www.zeeuwsarchief.nl : accessed 13 March 2020).

Jan Gorsse in militia enlistment, 1859 Source: Goes, lists of men registered for the National Militia, levies 1854-1862, 1859 no. 17, Jan Gorsse; call no. 1484, archives of the city of Goes, 1851-1919, Goes Municipal Archives, Goes; scans provided by Goes Municipal Archives.

Abstract:

No. 17.

Jan Gorsse, born Goes 29 October 1840, height 1.683, son of Willem [Gorsse] and Neeltje Reijerse. Occupation: laborer, father: broom maker. Informant: Himself

Assigned lot number 61.

Designated for duty.

Entered into service in the place of Petrus Arnoldus Franken, levy 1858, deceased. 2nd regiment infantry. Passport 1 March 1863 muster roll no. 48491.

This record has the correct birth date of 29 October 1840.

This shows that he was initially not supposed to serve, but entered in the military to make up the numbers because another man in his levy passed away.

Military record of Jan Gorsse Source: 2nd Regiment Infantry (Netherlands), muster roll of petty officers and men, 1859-1860, no. 48491, Adriaan Zuijdweg; digital film 008341183, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSTP-QWV9-4 : accessed 10 March 2020).

Abstract:

No. 48491.

Jan Gorsse Son of Willem [Gorsse] and Neeltje Reijerse Born Goes 29 October 1840, last residence Goes

Physical description at arrival: 1.709 m, oval face, narrow forehead, blue eyes, ordinary nose and mouth, round chin, blond hair and eyebrows, no noticeable marks.

Service: On 14 May 1859 assigned as soldier for the time of four years as a conscript of the levy of 1859 from Zeeland, Goes no. 61. Replaces the deceased soldier Franken, Petrus Arnoldus of the levy of 1858 see no. 25 regiment grenadiers and hunters. reserve On 17 April 1860 inactive On 15 July 1861 on grand leave

Promotions [blank] Campaigns [blank]

End of service: 1 March 1863 received passport of for expiration of military service.

This confirms he served in the place of someone else. He served for four years, including two years of training and two years of grand leave. He got out of the army on 1 March 1863.

Let me sum up the summation (haha). At first Jan (pronounced Yahn) did not have to serve (he won the lottery so to speak), but then he had to take the place of someone who had passed away in order to keep up the numbers for his area. He ended up serving for four years, being discharged on 1 March 1863, which is a half year after he and Kornelia married.

Something I have started to notice from the descriptions that I have been provided for the men on my maternal side. I haven’t found one yet that wasn’t a blue-eyed blond. When I was little, I remember my father telling me about how blue eyes were a recessive gene, which of course went way over my head. What I took away was that he was surprised that I had blue eyes since he had brown eyes and my mother blue. But at least one of Dad’s grandparents was blue-eyed (his mom’s mother) and it looks like my mother’s family was awash in blue eyes, so I guess it makes sense that my eyes turned out blue. Of course, I still don’t understand recessive and dominant genes!

This is a windmill in the hometown of Jan and Kornelia, Goes in Zeeland, built in 1801. it’s called De Korenbloem.

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My next fill-in-the-gaps couple is Grandpa’s 4th and final set of great-grandparents–my 3x greats, Lukas Bomhof and Jeuntien Dansser Bomhof.

Here are the Ancestry-created bios:

When Lukas Bomhof was born on December 9, 1788, in Windesheim, Overijssel, Netherlands, his father, Albert, was 32 and his mother, Zwaantje, was 31. He married Jeuntien Dansser on October 13, 1825, in Zwolle, Overijssel, Netherlands. They had five children in 10 years. He died on September 16, 1847, in Zwolle, Overijssel, Netherlands, at the age of 58.

Jeuntien Dansser was born on April 26, 1806, in Zwolle, Overijssel, Netherlands, the daughter of Maria and Johannes. She married Lukas Bomhof on October 13, 1825, in her hometown. They had five children in 10 years. She died on January 31, 1842, at the age of 35.

Let’s take that apart. Lukas was born 200 years before my daughter!!! He was 18 years older than Jeuntien. There might be a reason for that delay in his marriage, so hold on to that thought. When the couple married, Jeuntien was 19 years old, but Lukas was 37. From the ages of 23 and 33, Jeuntien, who I believe was also called Johanna, gave birth to five children. All these children survived to adulthood. One of them was my great-great-grandmother who immigrated to the U.S. in middle age and lived far longer than any of her siblings.

Two years after the birth of her children, Johanna died at age 35. Very sad, but a story that is just too familiar in family history.

Keep in mind that this is my fourth 3x great grandmother named Johanna!

So where was Lukas before he met Johanna? And what documents am I missing from their lives?

I do have the marriage record and supplements. What are marriage supplements? According to Yvette Hoitink’s website:

Since the introduction of the civil registration in 1811, a bride and groom had to submit several documents to prove they were eligible to get married. Not only do these records tell you when your ancestors were born, but they may also provide information about their physical appearance, death dates of parents and previous spouses or even of their grandparents.  These documents are known as the ‘Huwelijksbijlagen‘ and most of them still exist and can be found online.

Read more about these supplements here.

I have the index for Johanna’s death, although I have not gained access to the death record itself.

I also have the index record, but not the death record for Lukas’ death:

I do not have birth records for either Lukas or Johanna, although I have the basic information of dates and places.

So I really need both death and birth records.

What I do have for Lukas, though, is pretty cool. Yvette found his military records. I am copying the summation from Yvette, followed by the records themselves.

You will see that Lukas, a musketeer under the command of the Duke of Wellington, helped to defeat Napoleon, most likely at Waterloo. He served in the army from 1814-1817. He was 26-29 years old.

LUKAS BOMHOF b. 9 December 1788, Windesheim m. 13 October 1825, Zwolle  His marriage supplements do not include proof of military service.3 Since he would have reached the age of 19 in 1807, during the French occupation, he would not have been required to show proof of service.

A Lucas Bomhof, sergeant, is on a list of Waterloo gratifications: Lucas Bomhof as recipient of Waterloo gratification Source: Foundation of the encouragement and support of servicemen in the Netherlands, gratifications, 1817-1817, vol. F, infantry National Militia, entry 1956, Lucas Bomhof; call no. 718, Foundation of the encouragement and support of servicemen in the Netherlands, record group 355, consulted “Indexen,” index and images, Gemeente Amsterdam Stadsarchief (https://archief.amsterdam/indexen/deeds/fc874cd5-df5a-4a2f-b7d894f8533f4f95?person=95a7409f-829b-4a53-e053-b784100ad337 : accessed 10 March 2020).  Abstract: Batallion Infantry National Militia no. 4 Sergeant, no. 1956 Lucas Bomhof, received 461 francs, 20 centimes – 217 guilders and 92.5 cents. Paid 27 September 1817 to council of Amsterdam. Military record of Lucas Bomhoff Source: Batallion Infantry National Militia no. 4,muster rolls, Lucas Bomhof, no. 2469; imaged as film 008341006, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSTP-97RH-C : accessed 10 March 2020). Abstract: No. 2469 (corrected from 493): Lucas Bomhof Father: Albert Bomhof Mother: Swintein Jansen Born Winsen, 14 December 1788 Last residence: Zwolle Physical description: 5’ 4”, round face, round forehead, blue eyes, wide nose, ordinary mouth, round chin, blond hair and eyebrows, poxy complexion. Where and how arrived in the batallion:  Called to the land militia in 1814 from the militia district Overijssel from the region Zwolle, municipality Zwolle. During the lottery drew lot no. 810. Arrived in service as “fusilier” [musketeer]  on 26 April 1814. Where served previously: [blank]

This shows he served in the Dutch army from 26 April 1814 to May 1817.  This was the time when the Dutch army was fighting Napoleon. The gratification was given to all soldiers who were under command of the Duke of Wellington during the battles of 15 to 18 June 1815, who were involved with blockades and sieges in France, or who joined the allied army in France prior to 7 July 1815.4  The 4th battalion had an important role during the battle of Waterloo. The battalion, under command of captain Van Hemert, flanked the French cavalry to halt their advance.5 Given the regulations for the gratification and the known actions by the battalion he was a member of, it seems most likely that Lucas Bomhof was indeed at the battle of Waterloo. If he was not at Waterloo, he at least contributed to Napoleon’s defeat.

No Lucas Bomhof found in (partial) indexes of military records in French period at Nationaal Archief website.6 He was not found in the database of Dutch soldiers who were part of the army of Napoleon.7

 

4 “Waterloogratificaties 1815,” Gemeente Amsterdam Stadsarchief (https://archief.amsterdam/uitleg/indexen/17waterloogratificaties : accessed 13 May 2020).  5 Marc Geerdink-Schaftenaar, “De Waterloo Campagne,” PDF, Grenadier Compagnie (http://www.grenadiercompagnie.nl/Bestanden/2.9%20Waterloo.pdf : accessed 13 March 2020).  6 “Indexen,” indexes, Nationaal Archief (https://www.nationaalarchief.nl/onderzoeken/zoeken?activeTab=nt_legacy : accessed 10 March 2020).  7 “Nederlandse militairen in het leger van Napoleon,” index, Ministerie van Defensie (https://www.archieven.nl : accessed 10 March 2020).

Soldier

 

3 Civil Registration (Zwolle), marriage supplements 1825 no. 75, Bomhof-Dansser (13 October 1825); “Netherlands, Overijssel Province, Civil Registration,, 1811-1960,” browsable images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:939J-99YY-P : accessed 10 March 2020).

 

 

 

 

Yvette found this image for me.

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My next fill-in-the-gaps couple is one that merged the Mulder and the Zuijdweg families—and the reason my grandparents, a Mulder and a Zuidweg, were distant cousins because it grafted the Zuijdwegs onto the Mulder tree. Note: even in the Netherlands, the surname is sometimes spelled Zuijdweg and sometimes Zuidweg.

Adriaan Zuijdweg was born in 3 February 1805 in Goes, Netherlands. Adriaan was a tailor, so I found this image online to represent him. Unfortunately, I can’t locate anyone to credit for it, but would love to do so.

Apparently this seated position was common to tailors.

Johanna Mulder was born 10 March 1807, also in Goes. She was baptized on 29 March. The couple married 5 May 1836. Johanna worked as a maid at the time of the marriage.

In 1846, facing economic and religious pressures, Adriaan applied for the town of Goes to pay for he and his family to emigrate to the US, but he must have been denied. I suspect he was part of the separatist movement within the Reformed Church and wanted to join the group in Zeeland, Michigan. He must have been very disappointed that he couldn’t emigrate. You can read about the documentation for this on the old post: My Dutch Family Almost Arrived in the U.S. Decades Earlier.

Five years later, on 2 April 1951, he was dead at the age of 46.

The couple had six children. One of them was my 2x great-grandfather, Johannes Zuijdweg.

The youngest child, Willem, was a baby when his father died. Life must have been hard for Johanna after that. The economy in Goes at the time was not good and now she had six children, even a baby, to support by herself.

Many years later, Willem immigrated to Michigan in 1889 with his wife and two sons (a baby girl died in the Netherlands). The older brother, Adrian, was named for his grandfather, as was my great-grandfather. He lived in Cascade in Kent County.  The younger brother, James William, changed his surname to Southway which is what Zuijdweg means. He lived in Detroit. Willem and his family were the first Zuijdwegs to live in the United States. Willem managed to fulfill his father’s dream of living in the United States. Willem’s brother Johannes, my great-great-grandfather, did not immigrate until he was much older–he followed his own son to the U.S.

On 11 June 1878, Johanna passed away at the age of 71. There is documentation that she was working as a “laborer” when she was in her early sixties. I suppose it’s possible she worked until she died.

I have the marriage and death records for both husband and wife. I also have the documention of Adriaan’s denied request to leave the Netherlands. I was able to get Adriaan’s military records from Yvette Hoitink.

According to Yvette’s research Adriaan did not serve in the military. Here is the military record (part of it):



I am missing both birth records for Johanna and Adriaan. And I sure wish I had photos, but considering that they were born in 1805 and 1807, I suppose that hope is unrealistic!

In general, now that I am back with an early generation in the Netherlands, this is what I can look for:

  • birth record
  • marriage record (including if there was more than one marriage)
  • death record

These are what I can generally find, but not always, through Wiewaswie and other online sources. Yvette was able to search military records for me. And sometimes I have been blessed with information from Dutch cousins and readers, such as newspaper information. Because I can’t read Dutch if I want a less haphazard method of obtaining newspaper articles, I would need to hire a genealogist, such as Yvette, to search. Yvette’s expertise means that she knows how to find certain information that is not readily available–and where there are gaps of records because of fire, etc.

I had been frustrated that I have not been able to find birth records for Adriaan and Johanna as of yet.  BUT maybe that was because I should have been looking for baptismal records instead! When I searched for those, I found Johanna’s baptismal record dated 29 March 1807. Her religion at birth was “Low German Reformed,” which simply means Dutch Reformed. “High German” is Lutheran. I had to order this record for a cost, but it got to me yesterday, in time for this post. Here is the cropped page for 1807. Johanna is at the bottom of the image.

1 – Zeeuws Archief

Maybe one day I will find Adriaan’s birth or baptismal record. I wonder if there is a spelling discrepancy either on the record itself or in the indexing.

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Last week I wrote a Fill in the Gaps Project post for my 3x great-grandparents, Teunis and Jacoba (Bassa) Peek/Paak.

Since the publication of that post, I have been blessed with more information about Teunis’ life. Because there is so much, I am posting all the new info here, rather than just updating that post.

Amberly was as mystified as I was by who “Perina Pick” might be. She was listed on the 1870 census in Cooper Township (Michigan) in the wife position after Teunis. Then Amberly found a Findagrave memorial which must belong to her.  PERINA PECK This page indicates she died in 1890. There is not a photo of a headstone or any other information, so this information might have come from cemetery records. Since the last name reads as Peck it seems unlikely that Teunis would have had the headstone engraved. Furthermore, she isn’t listed with the family in the 1880 census.

So who was she? An unknown relative? A housekeeper who happened to have a similar surname or took on the family surname? Amberly wondered if it had been a marriage of convenience. I questioned if he had met her on the ship to America since a mere two years after arriving he was already married.

I was almost falling asleep over my iPad when I decided to check out “Paak” on Genealogy Bank. Guess what popped up?  Several notices dated 24-30 September 1881.

 


Tannis Paak vs Priera Paak, divorce; J F Alley for complainant, T R Sherwood for defendant. I don’t know what “Chancery–Fourth Class” means to this case, but it looks to me as if Teunis was the one to file for divorce. This makes him the first direct ancestor I have ever found who went through a divorce.

Therefore, I conclude that he did indeed marry this woman at some point after arriving in the  United States (there is no marriage record in the Netherlands, where the records are much much better than the U.S. ones for the time period). That said, Perina/Priera does appear to be from the Netherlands, according to the census.

While I was in the newspaper files, I discovered a 10 February 1882 notice for a sale of farm equipment by Teunis and his son George.

 

I believe this is close to when Teunis moved from Cooper to Kalamazoo–effectively retiring. I was struck by the fact that he didn’t just farm celery, apparently, but also had cows and sheep.

You have to wonder where this left his only son George (Joost) because I think Teunis and George were in business together. There are several newspaper notices of buying and selling (especially buying) of land throughout this period. I do not know if they were all used for celery farming or for other purposes. They were generally somewhat sizable and expensive parcels.  Also, the amazing genealogy volunteer Wayne Loney discovered a map of interest. Notice the “Paak & Son.”

This is an 1890 map of Kalamazoo Twp. At the top of the page the look at “Kalamazoo” and below the Z, in section 10 where the RR tracks become closer, you will find a 10 acre plot which says Paak & Son. The road at the west edge of the property is Pitcher St. and the area is currently (and it depends) either the now defunct Checker Motors or what was the Brown Co. It has been several different paper companies and I have no longer been able to keep up with its current name. But, at one time, it became very expensive property.

If you think that this map looks remarkably like the one where Jacob Verhulst’s farm was later located (the post about Annie Paak Verhulst), you would be right. It looks like property that might have belonged to Teunis and son George Paak ended up eventually with daughter Annie and her husband Jacob.

Another fact that Wayne uncovered has to do with where Teunis is buried. Here is a map of Riverside Cemetery.

Wayne remarked: “Tannis PAAK is buried in Riverside Cemetery and is the only occupant of the entire 8 grave plot, in Section U, Plot 87. There are 7
unused graves. U,087,01 is the City of Kalamazoo’s description.”

Wow, did he buy eight graves, expecting his children to be buried near him and then nobody was buried there? That is another mystery I can try to solve by discovering where all his children were buried. I can also try to contact the cemetery to see if I can get more information.

Back to the immigration of Teunis and his family. According to an index available on Ancestry which Amberly discovered, Teunis traveled with five children to “Port Uncertain” in 1868. Five children. Not six, which is what it would be if Willempje was with them. However, I can’t take it too seriously since Teunis is indexed as age 23! He was 46. There is no wife mentioned either, which I do think is accurate. I do know that 1868 is accurate because Yvette Hoitink was able to find that information in the Dutch emigration records.

Yet another area of future research is the probate records. Wayne knows where they are and will get them when he can. WOOT! Plus, I know they are worth reading because from the time of Teunis’ death in April until March of the following year (1894) probate dragged out. I know this because there are many notices in the newspaper. My great-greats Richard and Alice DeKorn are mentioned. It will be interesting to see what property was left at the time of his death and who inherited it.

Years ago I wrote blog posts about the fire at George’s house in 1902. His wife Lucy had passed away two years previously, leaving him with five young children. At the time of the fire, George did not have funds or insurance on his home. He also had been ill and had not been working because of his health. This is only nine years after the death of “prosperous celery farmer” Teunis. I can’t wait to read the probate record! By the way, my chapbook Kin Types also has a story called “The Weight of Smoke” based on the fire at George’s house.

Additionally, Wayne gave me Teunis’ death record, which I did not have. He died of cancer of the stomach.

Although Teunis immigrated before many of my other ancestors, there are so many documents relating to his life. I suspect that eventually much of his story will be clear. I just wish I had a photograph of my 3x great-grandfather.

 

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I am moving backward in time now to my 3x great-grandparents. Three sets of my 3x greats were immigrants to the United States. For this couple, sadly, only Teunis left the Netherlands for the United States with the couple’s children. Jacoba passed away in 1865 in the couple’s hometown of Lexmond, which is in the province of Utrecht and is not part of Zeeland. I guess you could say only 2 1/2 sets immigrated.

I do not believe I have photos of Teunis and Jacoba. They were born in the 1820s, and she died before the age of 50. To supplement for that, I will post here a painting of a family in Utrecht from 1849 signed by David van der Kellen III, 1827-1895, Utrecht.

The first child of Teunis and Jacoba, Joost (later, in America, George) was born in 1850, so this is pretty close in time.

So what do I have on this couple and what am I missing?

For Teunis (or Tannes or Tennes or Thomas) and Jacoba, I have their birth records (born in 1822 and 1824). I also have their marriage record for 1848.

Yvette Hoitink was able to discover for me that Teunis was not called to the military. From his military physical description, we can see what Teunis looked like. He was a blue-eyed blond with a round face.

 

One thing I want to note about the surname is that in the Netherlands the records show Teunis with the surname Peek. Once the family was in the United States they tended more toward Paak.

There are birth records for their children, so I know that Teunis was a farmer in the Netherlands. One large gap for me is that one of their daughters, Willempje, was born in 1856, but I cannot find a death record for her in the Netherlands. Since I do not have immigration and naturalization information yet, I didn’t know if she came to the United States or passed away as a child.

In 1865, both Jacoba and Teunis’ mother passed away. Teunis brought his family to the United States in 1868, where they lived in Cooper Township for over a decade. I could not find them in the 1870 census. But I have them in the 1880 census in Cooper, where Teunis was a farmer.

Then an amazing thing happened: Amberly found an 1870 census that just has to be them, although the names are a little screwed up.

In this census record the family surname is Pick, but Willempje is listed, albeit as a male (William). However, Alice is listed as Ellis and a male. There are a lot of errors, but it’s doubtful that anybody else in Cooper Township fit the general “shape” of this family the way Teunis’ would. Keep in mind that the census taker, a man named Smith, probably didn’t understand Dutch or the Dutch accent or types of names very well. The family had only been in the country two years at the time of the census.

So this census tells me that Willempje probably did immigrate with her father and siblings, and sometimes between the 1870 and 1880 census takings, she passed away.

My great-great grandmother Alice named my great grandmother Cora after her mother Jacoba. Cora was a nickname for Jacoba. But she also named her daughter for Willempje because Cora’s middle name was Wilhelmina.  In this way Alice memorialized her sister.

The 1870 census also initiates a new mystery: who is listed in the “wife position,” keeping house for the family?! Her name was ostensibly “Perina Pick.” This names doesn’t fit a sister for Teunis, and there is no record of him remarrying in the Netherlands.

Amberly tried to find a record of Teunis becoming a naturalized citizen, but found no trace of it. I suppose it’s very likely that he did not become a United States citizen.

I am blessed to have found an obituary and a headstone for Teunis. According to his obit, he was a “prosperous celery farmer,” in a region of celery farmers. If only Jacoba had lived to be part of that success.

 

I believe there is an error in the obituary in that Anna’s last name should be Verhulst, not Van Hulst.

Sometimes I wonder how much some of my immigrant ancestors told their children about their lives in the old country. The age of Teunis on his headstone is not correct. The stone lists his age down to the number of days, and yet he wasn’t 72 or 73, but only 70!

Teunis is buried in Riverside Cemetery in Kalamazoo. He passed away on 24 April 1893. I have been blessed to get management of his Findagrave memorial. He must have been very brave to bring his son and five daughters to a new country and start over at the age of 46.

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

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

What Did She Keep in All Those Pockets?

Kalamazoo Woman Supports WWI Troops

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

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

I had marriage, death, 1910 census, headstone, photo, and I manage her memorial page on Findagrave.

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

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

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

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

 

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I am going to avoid the elephant in the room in this post. You know, the Thing that has taken over our lives. But let’s go back to family history and just pretend for a few minutes that everything is normal.

So far I have searched for gaps in my immediate maternal ancestors going back through the great-grandparents.  From that point on, this is what I have been up to. I am bolding the questions I have in case anyone can answer.

  • All my Findagrave memorials through great-grandparents (direct line only) are completed for me and through grandparents for my husband. This means that I have sponsored them and now manage the memorials and can make appropriate edits and additions.
  • I have requested management of my maternal great-great-grandparents memorials from the current managers. There were 8. Almost immediately the manager of Peter and Nellie Mulder turned it over to me. That was so kind. I would have thanked him or her, but the person is not accepting messages at Findagrave. I am waiting to hear on the other six.
  • I requested management of my father’s paternal grandmother who was the first of my grandfather’s branch to die in the United States, and very quickly the manager transferred management to me. I recognized that it was a man I have corresponded with over the family on Ancestry. His wife is related to the branch, but is not a direct descendant of my great-grandmother. I was able to thank him. I already manage both paternal grandparents and my paternal grandmother’s parents. That means that I manage memorials for the all the paternals that are buried in this country.
  • I am making folders on my computer and putting docs on Ancestry for my ancestors on my father’s side, although not posting about them. Have my grandparents done so far. Need to keep moving backwards.
  • Amberly is working on immigration and naturalizations for all my ancestors who immigrated to this country.  I have some of the research findings now.
  • Yvette is working on the Dutch military records going back to my 3x greats. I have some of these research findings, as well.
  • I need 1920 census record for my paternal grandfather and 1900 census record for my paternal grandmother. I’ve searched for their other family members, but can’t find these entries. How certain are we that everyone is in the census?
  • Another question: I can’t find a social security number for my paternal grandmother. She worked until the 1950s (60s?) so why not?

Yvette Hoitink was able to find the military records for my great-grandfather, Adrian Zuidweg (Adriaan Zuijdweg), born 1871 in Goes.

This was particularly exciting for me because of the photograph. Here is a summary of what Yvette discovered:

He entered the 3rd regiment infantry on 11 May 1891. On 2 November 1891, he was promoted to corporal. On 30 July 1892 he was sent on grand leave. He did not fulfill his military duties but emigrated before his service was completed. He was registered as a deserter on 7 December 1893.

This is what Yvette explained about the “grand leave.”

Military service was five years. Typically, this consisted of eighteen months of active service followed by grand leave. At the end of their service, they were called back up for final training and then received their passport of fulfilled service. People who emigrated during grand leave were considered deserters and were registered in the police journal.

Here is the more detailed account of Adriaan’s military service.

ADRIAAN ZUIJDWEG
Posited: Adriaan did not marry in the Netherlands, so there are no marriage supplements. Since he emigrated, it is possible he went before completing his service.
Algemeen Politieblad 1894 Source: Algemeen Politieblad (1894), p. 555, entry 591, Adriaan Zuijdweg.
Translation
591. Adriaan Zuijdweg, soldier-corporal in the 3rd regiment infantry, born in Goes (Zeeland) 3 Jan. 1871, height 1.672 meters, long face, high forehead, blue eyes, small nose and mouth, round chin, blond hair and eyebrows, deserted 7 December.
7

This shows that Adriaan Zuijdweg was listed as a deserter in the police journal. He deserted on 7 December 1893. He would have been 22 years old, which suggests he had finished basic training and left while on grand leave.
Military record of Adriaan Zuijdweg Source: 3rd Regiment Infantry (Netherlands), muster roll of petty officers and men, 1890-1891, no. 80475, Adriaan Zuijdweg; digital film 008480935, FamilySearch (ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-C39V-FQ7G-B : accessed 10 March 2020).
Abstract:
Number 80475. Adriaan Zuijdweg Father: Johannes [Zuijdweg], mother Jennegien Bomhoff Both Goes, 3 January 1871. Physical description upon arrival: 1.62 m, long face, high forehead, blue eyes, small nose and mouth, round chin, blond hair and eyebrows, no noticeable marks. On 11 May 1891 recruited as part of the levy of 1891 under number 40. On 30 July 1892 on grand leave [blank] returned [blank] on grand leave] Promoted to soldier-corporal 2 November 1891
On 7 December 1893 removed as deserter because not responding to being called to duty.
This confirms he did not return from grand leave and was marked as a deserter.

Very interesting that he left before completing his military duty. But such a long period of service for a young man eager to get on with his life. After all, this was not voluntary service, but the LUCK OF THE DRAW, much like our own draft (when we’ve had a draft).

So let’s look at Adriaan’s timeline. He did not return to duty on 7 December 1893. He seems to have shown up in the United States in 1893.

On 4 April 1894, his only brother Lucas was killed in an accident by falling on a ship’s anchor, so Adriaan was already in the United States. Thus, it seems to me that the reason he left the Dutch Army and the Netherlands was to begin a new life in the  United States. He was the first in his family. Eventually his parents and then sister and brother-in-law followed. They all settled in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Because Adriaan lived a reputable life in Kalamazoo and raised an upstanding son, my grandfather, I don’t view him as a military deserter. But maybe the Dutch viewpoint would be different.

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These photos have been a mystery to me since the 1970s. On the back of the woman’s photo it says “Mother’s aunt.”

 

Notice that the photo says the photographer was in the city of Groningen. This is the largest city in the north of Netherlands, and a very old city. But it’s not where my family came from. And here is another photo that was right next to the lady’s photo.

 

These are the only photos I have from Groningen, to my knowledge. The people don’t show any familial resemblance, but that–as we know–doesn’t necessarily mean anything.

What is more confusing is whose aunt she is. I have to assume that “Mother” means Cora DeKorn Zuidweg, Grandpa’s mother. It couldn’t be Grandma’s mother. Not only are most of our photos from Grandpa’s family, Grandma’s mother wasn’t Dutch, but Prussian.

So Cora. Or Cora’s mother? Or Grandpa’s father’s mother?

First, I looked at Cora’s aunts. Her aunts all came to the United States. They were the Paak sisters–none of whom look ANYTHING like the woman in this photo. And then on her father’s side, Mary DeKorn DeSmit and Jennie DeKorn Culver were her aunts. NOT these ladies.

Second, I went back a generation. Alice Paak’s aunts were the Bassas–no Groningen there–and the Paaks–no Groningen there either.

What about Richard DeKorn’s aunts? His mother had a lot of brothers, but only one sister–and she remained in Kapelle her entire life. His father had one half-sister (and a lot of half-brothers and one brother), Pieternella DeKorn. That family is still a bit of a mystery. She might have been born in Kruiningen, but I don’t know where she lived or when she died.

So how can the lady in the photo be “Mother’s aunt”??? The only other possibility that I can think of would be Jennie Zuidweg (Jennegien Bomhof), Grandpa’s grandmother. Let’s say his mother Cora wrote “Mother’s aunt” and meant her mother-in-law’s aunt. Is that possible? Jennie is from the only branch that was completely outside of Zeeland (until she came to Goes and married Johannes Zuidweg). She was born in Zwolle, Overjissel. That is 66 miles from Groningen, whereas Goes is 205 miles away.

BUT!!! Before we get too excited, what years did Reinier Uges have a photography studio? 1889-1914!!  How can that be the aunt of a lady (Jennie Zuidweg) who was born in 1838 (and died in the U.S. in 1924). This lady would have to be a generation younger than Jennie, wouldn’t she?

All in all, I’m pretty sure that “Mother’s aunt” meant Grandpa’s mother’s aunt, thus an aunt of Cora DeKorn Zuidweg.

But that is impossible.

You see how frustrating this is?!

Any ideas about the age of the woman and the age of the man would be helpful!!

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Before I get started, just wanted to remind you that I now have a second family history blog called Entering the Pale. As I said last week: If you have any interest in following another part of our family, please head over there and follow. Also, you might want to follow if you have interest in history in general or history of the Pale of Settlement (Ukraine, Moldova, Belarus, etc.) or Jewish history. Besides, I need more followers :).

Another photograph in the beautiful antique photo album was taken in the Netherlands, but unlike most of the portraits, this one is labeled on the back.

 

I had to ask a Facebook group for help with this, and then I also wrote to Adri van Gessel who has been so wonderfully helpful in all matters of Dutch genealogy.

The town is Gorinchem (none of my relatives seem to be from Gorinchem, so that was confusing), and the lady’s name is Annigje Haag.

It’s very confusing to see that an American family member has a 19th-century photograph possibly given by a woman in a town there doesn’t seem to be a connection to. I also couldn’t place her surname.

But eventually the truth revealed itself, thanks to these other people and a trip to wiewaswie.

Annigje Haag was born on 3 February 1858, in Nieuwland. She died on 2 December 1921, in Meerkerk.

On 15 January 1882, in Nieuwland, Annigje married Dirk Boer, who was born on 29 March 1854 in Meerkerk. By the way, he died on 27 September 1923 in Meerkerk. This means that the portrait was taken before 15 January 1882.

Who was Dirk? He was the son of Willem Boer and Teuntje Bassa. Bassa is a surname I know.

Teuntje Bassa, born on 20 November 1816 in Lexmond (a town I know), is the sister of Jacoba Bassa, the wife of Teunis Peek and the mother of Alice Peek/Paak DeKorn (the woman who grabbed the burning stove to remove it from the neighbor’s house). Therefore, Dirk, Annigje’s fiance or new husband, was Alice’s first cousin. They would have known each other.

For location, note that Meerkerk and Nieuwland are between Lexmond and Gorinchem.

Here’s an interesting little tidbit. Notice her belt? There is a woman in an old photograph on a website wearing the exact same belt! Go here. Isn’t that wild?

 

 

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