Posts Tagged ‘Ethan Allen’

When I grew up in Kalamazoo in the 1960s and 1970s (OK, the 1950s, too), the name DeKorn as it applied to my family was no longer known. Richard’s only son, Joseph, had moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he raised his two sons.

At some point DeKorne’s Ethan Allen store opened up in Kalamazoo. I know it was there when I got married in 1975 because I bought my first couch and chairs there.That’s when I first heard the rumor that we were “shirttail relations.”

Nobody could ever give me any facts about this connection.

In 2000, with the beauty of the internet, I discovered that there was another family connected to Boudewijn DeKorn. Boudewijn, my great-great-great-grandfather, was born in 1816 in Kapelle, the Netherlands, and died 1873 in Kalamazoo.

This other family who had a Boudewijn was the furniture company Dekorne family from Grand Rapids.

But their Boudewijn didn’t match ours. Theirs died in 1929 in Grand Rapids! Ours died in Kalamazoo in 1873!! But how odd, considering that the name is unique, Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids are not far from each other, and there was that rumor about us being related.

At the time (2000), I found an article about their Boudewijn and a rough family tree.  I printed it out and saved it, never knowing if it would be useful.

Here is their family tree:

Other Dekorne family tree

Other Dekorne family tree

I’m going to post the article that went with their family tree because I find it very interesting in light of Richard DeKorn’s talents as a mason and general contractor.

It’s an interesting story, but are they relatives of mine?

I didn’t know, and I couldn’t figure it out because on Ancestry more Boudewijn DeKornes starting popping up with different birth and death dates, but always from the same general area of the province of Zeeland in the Netherlands.

Then I gave Yvette Hoitink their family tree and she put it together with our family tree and investigated.

This is our family tree:Richard DeKorn family treeDo you see a connection?  Look at their Boudewijn who was born in 1700.  He’s married to Piatarnella Pieterse Michielse.  That is the same woman as Pieternella Machiels who is also found in old documents under the name Petronella Pieters.  We have a match for a husband and wife in both family trees.

That means that  my “7th great-grandfather” Boudewijn de Corne, born approximately 1730 and died 1734 in Goes is (I believe) the “3rd great-grandfather” of Boudewijn the wood-carver and furniture maker who died in Grand Rapids in 1929.

In the history of the family it seems that branches moved away from each other and then maybe moved near each other again, always staying in Zeeland and then in southwestern Michigan. It’s fitting then that Joseph DeKorn moved to Grand Rapids and raised his family there by the other Dekornes.

Note: so many spellings of the name!!  It makes it very difficult even to work at cleaning up my family tree on Ancestry.  Also, notice how the Dutch tend to name their children after the grandparents.

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