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Here is an unidentified photo from a family album. The album is from the Remine/Paak branch. Because the subject is a toddler, it is almost impossible to identify the photo. But let’s see what we can figure out.

The most important clue comes from the photographer.

According to the well-researched list of photographers found HERE, I can calculate that this photo must have been taken between 1882 and 1899. See the screenshot below to see how I figured that. Abbey was at the East Main location during those years.

So the fact that the baby looks a little bit like Grandpa is irrelevant because it isn’t him as he was born in 1908. In fact, the child would be at least 11 or 12 years older than Grandpa.

Are we sure it’s a boy? I’m going to say it is a boy, based on the outfit. But if you disagree, let me know!

Could it be Harold Remine? He was born in 1897.

This is Harold:

I don’t see the resemblance. To me the baby pic and the young man pic look alike, but the baby/toddler unidentified pic looks more like Grandpa or even my mother. Does anybody else think the pic does look like Harold?

If it could be a girl, we have Therese Remine, born 1895, and Alice Leeuwenhoek, born 1897, but that baby is not Alice who had a very distinctive look as a baby and child. Here is Therese:

Therese Remine

Another possibility is that the child could belong to one of George Paake’s children. I don’t really think so, but their ages are all within the right time frame except the only boy was born in 1898 and would be too young. And the children would be photographed together, so it could only be the oldest, Cora, and I do not see a resemblance.

Front row: Theresa and Cora
Back row: Frances, George Jr., Jennie (Jane)

The only other child of the right age range from the Paak family (which is the broader branch associated with the photo album this image comes from) would be Joseph DeKorn, son of Richard and Alice, Grandpa’s Uncle.

If the child isn’t Joseph, then I’d have to look a little further afield. Keeping in mind that the Remines were related to Grandpa twice over–through both his maternal grandmother and maternal grandfather–I could look at some other families. However, I have two roadblocks to doing so. I cannot see that Ancestry, which is where my tree is located, has the ability to search by birth dates, for instance. Does My Heritage? i do have my tree loaded there as well. I’d like to be able to search through categories like that. Does anybody know a program that sorts like that?

The second roadblock is that farther out, my tree is still a little too sketchy or spotty to do a good job, especially when I would have to do it individual by individual.

What I can hope for is that one day I can make a good guess as to the identity of this baby. As you probably have experienced yourself, looking like Grandpa or mom is meaningless. My mother and her next door neighbor/good friend are often mistaken for sisters and they do look so much alike, much more than my mother does with her own sister. Mom and her friend just explain to people that they’re both “Dutch” hah. The reality is that we can compare unidentified photos with other photos to search for exact features, but when a child grows and becomes an adult some of those features can change remarkably. We can’t even begin to compare unidentified photos with family branches by examining features.

BUT WAIT.

Belatedly I see something that I didn’t notice before. In the same album there is a portrait of another child which has the exact same advertising from the photographer on the backside. The “setting” looks the same with the same chair. I suspect these are photos of siblings that were taken at the same time.

With the two photos, here side by side, it becomes important to narrow in on the genders and the ages because with the answer to those questions, I might be able to figure it out.

At this point, I really need help figuring out if these are boys or girls or one of each. My feeling is that the older child is a girl and the younger a boy, but that is a guess. And what age would you say each one is? I suspect that if they were considered babies they would be wearing white dresses, no matter what the gender, but the littler one certainly looks young enough for the white dress treatment, so that’s a little confusing. In a word, help!

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I have no idea at all if the Dutch in Michigan celebrated Pinkster 100 or more years ago. Pinkster (Pinksteren is Dutch for Pentecost) is a holiday connected with Pentecost and loosely related to May Day and spring festivals. It typically occurs in May or June. Here is a photo from the very limited Wikipedia article about Pinkster.


Notice how the children hold ribbons around a pole, much like what we tend to think of as a traditional Maypole.

The reason I started thinking about this is because I found this very damaged photo which I believe belonged to Alice Leeuwenhoek, born 1897 in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Her family, like all my grandfather’s family at that time, belonged to the Reformed church where all the Sunday School children were likely to be Dutch.

If you look carefully at this photo, you will see these children are all holding what looks to be a ribbon of some kind. At first I thought maybe a paper chain, but I don’t think it is. Also, notice the flowers. The children are dressed in their Sunday best and so is the woman standing behind them. This would not be a regular school day, then, but Sunday School or a holiday. I do see the American flag near the woman’s right shoulder which does seem to indicate a schoolroom. Would public school have celebrated a religious holiday if the student body was fairly homogeneous? Click on the photo to enlarge.

Look carefully at the girl third from our left. What is in front of her? Is that a doll on the ribbon? Or, is it what my daughter suspects, a ghost?

If you read more about Pinkster you will see that Africans in the United States took over the holiday and made it their own–and why. It has to do with being enslaved and that it was a holiday where they got “time off” work and could see family and friends.

Do you have other ideas about the photo or see something that I missed? I’d love to hear!

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Today is where I veer off my “grandma’s siblings” schedule. Instead, I’m sharing some photos of the wedding of one of my dad’s siblings. Uncle Frank married Aunt Dolly at 10AM on 12 April 1958 in Bellwood, Illinois, at St. Simeon Church (501 Bellwood Avenue). Bellwood is a Chicago suburb. At that time, Bellwood had a lot of residents of  Italian, Serbian, and Polish ethnicity. Today it is about 70% African-American. Aunt Dolly’s family had originally immigrated from Poland.

My paternal grandmother made Dolly’s wedding gown, as well as accessories to go with the dress. My grandmother was the head fitter of the 28 Shop (couture) at Marshall Field’s flagship store. She dressed many celebrities and other prominent Chicago people. In this photo, my grandmother Marie is helping Dolly dress on the special day.

Uncle Frank passed away in the fall of 2019, about a year and a half after Aunt Dolly’s passing. They left behind one son, my cousin Dave. Dave’s family is not sentimental and not interested in hanging onto the family heirlooms. So Dave sent them to me. These packages he sent included the wedding dress itself. This is a photo of the detail of the seed pearls at the neckline.

Grandma also made the veil. The crown is the part of the veil that I received.

The garter is just one of several wedding accessories that came to me. This one was store-bought.

Although it wasn’t part of my family’s tradition, in Aunt Dolly’s Polish family, the dollar dance was an important feature of a wedding. My grandmother made this symbolic representation of a money dance apron for the wedding. It’s not only beautiful, but meant to be a fertility boost with pink and blue ribbons and little baby dolls sprinkled all over it. If you click on the photo, you can enlarge it to see the little dolls.

Dave also sent me a huge wedding album, as well as the wedding shower album. I’ve scanned all the photos and will be sending them to Dave for his family. Here is the happy couple. The bride is wearing the apron!

I’ll leave you with one last photo. Groomsman (my father), bridesmaid (my mother), and the flower girl (me), only 2 3/4 years old. Our dresses were blue. My most enduring memory of that wedding is the interminable time we spent waiting through the ceremony for them to get hitched. There was a full mass, and I was supposed to be kneeling the whole time with the bridesmaids. Aunt Dolly’s mother wasn’t too happy that I was so antsy and didn’t want to kneel. The photo was taken before the wedding, but that expression on my face is as if I knew what I was in for.

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My grandmother, (Lucille) Edna Mulder (Zuidweg) had four siblings. The kids were born in this order: Dorothy (aka Dot), 1910-1996; Lucille (aka Edna), 1912-2000; Alvena (Vena), 1913-2000; Peter (Pete), 1915-1986; and Charles (Chuck), 1917-1989. They grew up on a farm in Caledonia, Michigan. My grandmother’s childhood story that most impressed me when I was young was that all the kids slept in the same big bed. The girls across the bed as usual, and the boys perpendicular at the girls’ feet. I used to try to imagine how five kids could get to sleep like that because somebody would always be annoying somebody else. The upstairs of the farmhouse had two bedrooms–one for  the parents and one for the kids. I imagine that in the winter it was cold up there, too, which meant that the group body heat helped keep everybody warm.

You know the Biblical expression “the salt of the earth,” meaning virtuous, good people? That was the Mulder family. Not perfect, but definitely good, dependable people.

This post is devoted to Aunt Dorothy, the oldest of the siblings, and her husband, Uncle Con. That’s how I knew them: Aunt Dorothy and Uncle Con. But when Grandma talked about them it was always “Dot and Con.”

When Grandma and Dorothy were still in school, they walked a long way every school day. Occasionally their mother would take them or pick them up in an Amish buggy, but walking was much more common.

Grandma on left; Dorothy on the right

Although Dorothy and Grandma were in the same grade, Dorothy was 1 1/3 years older than my grandmother. Grandma had to be pushed ahead so that the girls could be in class together. That must have worked out because both girls were good students. You can read about their high school graduation and experience here:

Who Put the Ring Stain on the Scrapbook?

After high school, Aunt Dorothy went to nursing school at Battle Creek Sanitarium. It gets a little confusing because her yearbook was from Emmanuel Missionary College, but EMC had moved to Berrien Springs from Battle Creek by 1901. Actually, the Training School for Nurses was in Battle Creek, called Battle Creek Sanitarium also, and part of EMC. Emmanuel Mission College, operated until 1938. It was part of Andrews University, a 7th Day Adventist institution.

For the cropped yearbook photo below, I left the photo of the other young woman because their names on the right are both on this clipping.

During the time that Dorothy was at school, she met her future husband, Conrad Rudolph Plott, born 21 March 1905, from North Carolina.

This photo of the Plott family was shared by my 2nd cousin, Mike Plott. Uncle Con is in the back row, on our right. The date is unknown. 

They married on 29 October 1934 in Steuben, Indiana. This is what my grandparents did, as well. The marriage laws were looser in Indiana than in Michigan, so they could go “down” there, buy a license, and be married–1, 2, 3.

I was able to order a copy of this application and license.

I do have Uncle Con’s WWII draft card–he was 35 years old. Mysteriously, his name is listed as Rudolph Conrad, instead of Conrad Rudolph. Since I do not have a copy of his birth record, I can’t verify which one is correct. But, as you can see, the marriage application lists him as Conrad Rudolph.

Conrad Plott

Together the couple had three children: Jeanne, John (Bill), and Pat. Jeanne followed her mother’s footsteps and became a nurse. She had a stellar career as a colonel in the U.S. Air Force. I know that my family is very proud of her service to our country. John was a college professor. Pat was employed by Western Michigan University as assistant to the chair of the sociology department for thirty years. She and I attended grad school in the English department at the same time.

Uncle Con worked as a mechanic for the Kellogg Company for most of his working days. He was very active in the Kellogg factory workers’ union, even serving as President for a number of years.

When I was a little girl, we went a few times to visit Aunt Dorothy and Uncle Con, but mainly we saw them at large family gatherings. But one day, and this memory is very vivid to me, they stopped by our house. I don’t know if my mother knew they were coming or not. They brought me a present, and no doubt they brought some of the peanut brittle Uncle Con was famous for in our family. His brother Pryor made the North Carolina classic, and Uncle Con used to help him sell it at state fairs and other venues.

I still have the adorable little apron they gave me.

My Uncle Don told me that Con’s family were very welcoming hosts whenever our family visited them in North Carolina. They always had a room to stay in and huge family dinners–“even when we were just passing through.” I am guessing that the passing through was on the way to Florida from Michigan.

My mother still has photos of a train trip she took with Jeanne to North Carolina in 1952. My mother, being raised in Michigan by Michiganders, was struck by seeing the separate drinking fountains and restrooms for black people. She also noticed that the thunderstorms were so much wilder and more severe than in Michigan.

These two photos are two facing pages in a photo album my mother put together when she was a teen.

Uncle Don filled me in on some interesting info about Aunt Dorothy that I could not have gleaned from knowing her when I was a child. He said that when he stayed with “Dot and Con,” Aunt Dorothy talked about her nursing training. She had a lot of strange and humorous (to the listener) experiences. For example, she was assisting in a surgery, not knowing what the doctor was going to do, and he told her to grab the leg and hold it while he performed the surgery. All of a sudden, she was standing there holding a leg and the doctor said, “Just put it over there and help me clamp the veins and arteries.” That was her first experience with an amputation.
My uncle also said that Aunt Dorothy was the best scholar of the siblings and was the “leader of the pack!” She always helped family members and was present when my mother and Uncle Don and their sister were born. She was also there for the death of my great-grandmother, her own mother, Clara Waldeck Mulder. My grandmother trusted her with all medical matters.
Dorothy was very confident and had a take charge personality. She could be a very direct communicator, and the family loved and respected her greatly.

Uncle Con was not only active in the union and busy working at the Kellogg Company, but he was a farmer as well. On their farm, he grew corn, oats, and wheat. They had a big garden and even pasture for the cow.

Notice Jeanne photobombing in the lower right corner. Pretty cute!

 

Here is Uncle Con on his tractor in the 1950s.

 

Dot and Con had a cabin outside of Sault Ste. Marie on the river. One relative says it was the St. Lawrence and another says St. Mary’s. Maybe it was the St. Lawrence Seaway? They spent summers there, but closed it up during the winter.  Con did love to fish and spent a lot of time in his boat,  He also loved to get really close to the big boats. His daughter Jeanne says that very few people would get in the boat with him!

I don’t know what the occasion was for this photo, but here are Grandma’s siblings. The curtain behind them looks like something at a church, so I suspect this must be at a wedding.

Chuck, Vena, Edna (Grandma), Dorothy, Pete

Mike shared this photo of Aunt Dorothy and Uncle Con with Mike’s parents at the wedding of the latter.

In this photo, which was taken in my parents’ front yard, Grandma’s siblings gather with their spouses. The occasion was my grandparents 40th wedding anniversary, in 1972. Standing from left: Con, Dorothy, Adrian (Grandpa), Edna (Grandma), Vena, Al. Kneeling from left: Ruthann, Chuck, Pete, Ruby. So the three sisters and their husbands are in back and the two brothers with their wives are in front.

After Aunt Dorothy and Uncle Con retired, they moved to Florida, where they became an integral part of the community in Estero (Fort Myers area). If I hadn’t already known that, I could tell because I found numerous newspaper articles where Uncle Con, in particular, is mentioned.

Uncle Con passed away on 1 April 1989 in Estero.

At some point after that, Aunt Dorothy must have come back to Michigan. She passed away on 23 May 1996 in Kalamazoo and is buried at Mount Ever-Rest.

 

I have a photo of Aunt Dorothy’s headstone, but I do not have a photo of Uncle Con’s and do not know which cemetery in Lumberton, North Carolina, he is buried.

About a year before she passed, I saw Dorothy at my parents’ house at Eagle Lake. In this photo, my mother is with her aunts, Vena (on our left) and Dorothy (on our right).

 

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Since my Germans and my Prussians are my brick walls, I thought I’d share with you info about this virtual genealogy conference. Registration has already begun.

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Registration for the International German Genealogy Conference is now open! With the theme of Researching Together Worldwide / weltweit gemeinsam forschen, this much-anticipated virtual conference will be held 17 July to 24 July 2021.

Registration can be completed at the following link: https://playbacknow.regfox.com/iggp2021. A special Early-Bird registration discount is possible until 31 March 2021.

Four different packages are available for the conference. While the IGGP LIVE! Package includes the eight live lectures by an all-star lineup of genealogy experts (Early Bird $119, Regular $169), and the IGGP OnDemand package features more than fifty pre recorded sessions for you to watch at your convenience (Early Bird $179, Regular $229), the IGGP Combo Package is recommended for the genealogist wanting to get the most out of their virtual conference experience (Early Bird $229, Regular $279).

This recommended IGGP Combo Package includes access to both the eight LIVE sessions – featuring popular speakers Ute Brandenburg, Wolfgang Grams, Timo Kracke, Roger Minert, Judy Russell, Katherine Schober, Diahan Southard, and Michael Strauss – as well as one-year access to the over fifty OnDemand sessions, which include an extensive variety of German genealogy topics hand-selected to best aid your research.

If you would like these sessions indefinitely, the top-tier IGGP USB Works Package includes all of the Combo Package plus a preloaded USB flash drive with all the conference sessions, meaning that you will have lifetime access to these expert-level lectures (Early Bird $249, Regular $295).

All packages include access to the online sponsor and exhibit hall, as well as to the “Connections” breakout sessions that will bring together small groups with similar German genealogy or cultural affinities.

This virtual conference is a must-attend for anyone researching their German ancestors. With expected participation from genealogists around the world, researchers will have a unique opportunity to connect across borders while simultaneously learning from the top experts in the field. To stay up-to-date on conference news, be sure to sign-up for the IGGP conference newsletter here https://bit.ly/IGGPnewsletter. For any additional questions, contact James Beidler at jamesmbeidler@gmail.com, Nancy Myers at n.myers@gmx.net, or Katherine Schober at language@sktranslations.com.

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I began writing a post about one of my grandmother’s siblings and quickly realized it will take more than a week at a time to write about each of the siblings. There is simply too much material to put together into a cohesive narrative. While I am working on the first one, I thought in light of last week’s DeKorn treasure I would write about the subject of:

WHAT TO DO WITH OUR TREASURES AND HEIRLOOMS?

Recently I’ve had several people mention that they have no place to leave their treasures at end of life (or before). They have no children or other relatives who have shown any interest, or they have no close relatives at all. In many cases, they have photographs. In most cases, they have done at least some family tree work, if not extensive work.

This rings a bell to me because I feel similarly. I have a beautiful collection of family photos and documents and have spent a lot of time organizing and researching. I have cousins with children who may or may not have any interest in the treasures or the organization into story. I do plan to eventually pull it all together into one digital format and distribute to everyone. Then they can decide what to do with it. God willing, I will be able to complete the project.

But this still leaves me with two problems. One is that it’s possible that not one of the people I give the digital copy will end up passing it on to future generations. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a storage place for all this that would go on to “live” in perpetuity?

Do you consider an Ancestry family tree to be just that, if one adds all the photos and documents for each family member? I know that Ancestry has been a bit unreliable with DNA, but I don’t foresee them shutting down the giant tree they are constructing. Anything is possible, I suppose. I also use My Heritage, but have not gone through the laborious process of putting photos and documents on my tree over there.

Or are there other ways to save the information for people outside the family?

The second problem is that I still have to find an eventual home for the original photos and documents and other treasures (to be stored with their stories). How does one go about finding a young relative who actually cares about these things and would like me to pass them on to her or him when I am done with them? I could hold a contest and assign treasures to the contest winner, but it’s a contest nobody would show up to!!! LOL

A little side note: I have shown an interest since I was college-aged, which is why I was given photos and glass negatives and lots of stories. Imagine if somebody had already done all the work I am doing three generations before me? WOWSA, that would be something.

As I work on the organization and research of my family, I am sending folders to my daughter to hang on to as a backup. She knows who to send them to in the event of my sudden death. My daughter and son were both adopted and neither is very interested in history in general and their family history interest is mostly connected to the people who have affected their lives–their grandparents, my aunts and uncles, and their Kalamazoo great-grandparents (Grandma and Grandpa Zuidweg).

I’d love to hear your ideas.

Photo: part of a children’s coffee and tea service originally owned by Therese Remine

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Phil and Marianne (Haadsma) DeKorn’s niece Sue Haadsma-Svensson has once again sent me a family treasure. This binder looks to have been put together by Phil DeKorn and shares photos and history of both his father’s family, the DeKorns, and his mother’s family, the Blandfords.


I can’t wait to scan all the items in the binder!

Also, I have been working on the histories of my grandmother’s siblings and will be posting about them soon.

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I’ve written before that my great-grandfather Adrian Zuidweg, Sr. owned a candy and soda shop at the corner of Burdick and Balch in Kalamazoo.

At one time I believed that Grandpa (son Adrian) had taken over the business when his father died, but in researching for this blog I discovered that Adrian Sr. had sold the business before he died. Grandpa bought it back after his father’s death. Then he converted it to a service station.

Here is an advertising ashtray for the station. Notice the A-Z Lubrication (Adrian Zuidweg–AZ–get it?) The 5 digit phone number might put this ashtray between 1950 and 1958, but if anyone has information to the contrary I would love to hear it. If you want to find out more about advertising ashtrays as part of history and as collectibles, here’s a succinct article: Ashtrays collectible memorabilia

 

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My mother gave me a fascinating book, published in 1947, called Americans from Holland by Arnold Mulder. Mulder’s perspective is of a writer who has just witnessed the world going through WWII, and while this book reads as a definitive history secondary source, it is shaped by the time period in which it was written. That said, it’s the best account I’ve seen of the history of the Dutch in the United States and what led up to the waves of immigration.

Five years ago I wrote about one of my ancestors who applied to the city of Goes to emigrate. You can find the story of tailor Adriaan Zuijdweg’s (1805-1851) declined petition in this post: My Dutch Family Almost Arrived in the U.S. Decades Earlier. At the time, the only information I had was what Elly Mulder had given me, telling me about the “separated” Reformed Church and how Adriaan probably was probably part of the separatists.

The chapter, “Souls or Bodies,” sheds more light on the situation for Adriaan and his family, as well as other members of his congregation.

Mulder investigates whether it was religious differences or economic troubles that drove the Dutch to begin to immigrate to the United States in the 19th century. He describes how the Reformed Church had been negatively transformed by the government after Napoleon. According to the Napoleonic Code, they were not allowed to gather in groups of more than twenty. Dissenters appeared who wanted to bring the church back to what it had been. The government cracked down on them, levying fines on the religious leaders and others who allowed church services in their homes or businesses. The leaders were arrested. The more the government went after them, the more dissenters appeared.

Two of the main leaders were the Reverend Hendrik Pieter Scholte and the Reverend Albertus Christiaan Van Raalte. Scholte immigrated to Iowa with his congregation.

Scholte founded the town of Pella, Iowa, in 1847. His house was one of the first buildings constructed there. That house is now on the National Register of Historic Places, and you can see from the photo that house was enlarged at some point.

from Wikipedia

 

Van Raalte’s group went to Michigan (and perhaps Wisconsin) in 1846, one year after Adriaan ‘s request to leave the Netherlands.

By as cited RVD (although unlikely because it did not exist at the time) – Nationaal Archief Nederland, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4198265

Note: The town of Zeeland was founded by Jannes van de Luijster (Luyster) and other immigrants in 1847. What I have not yet discovered is where the lives and influence of Van Raalte and Van de Luijster intersected.

Arnold Mulder argues that the immigrants were not individuals immigrating to the United States, but rather communities–specifically, church communities.

If you think about it this way, it would have been a real hardship for Adriaan not to be allowed to emigrate from the Netherlands with his community. What I do not understand is why some would have been allowed and others not, but it might have had to do with the city itself. Adriaan was from Goes, and it was the government of Goes that denied him his request. Van Raalte was from a town in Overijssel, far from Zeeland. So while Adriaan’s church community may have been part of the separated/seceded Reformed church, it was not Van Raalte’s own congregation. Jannes van de Luijster was born in Hooftplatt, Zeeland, about 30 miles from Goes, so it’s more likely that Adriaan was following his lead. It would be fascinating to know how many requests during that period were approved by Goes. Clearly, because of the timing of Adriaan’s request, he intended to be in an early group moving to the United States. [Important note: at first the Van Raalte group were in New York, and then after Van Raalte saw the value of Michigan land for farming, moved to west Michigan.]

Mulder conjectures that it wasn’t only the religious differences that caused the Dutch to leave during this time. He believed that the Dutch would have stayed and fought their battles at home if that were the only reason. You see, they really didn’t want to leave the Netherlands. But Napoleon had stripped the Netherlands of much of her wealth,  and the Dutch were struggling economically. With a population of two million, 700,000 Dutch people were on the dole in one way or another! With hunger, disease had also increased.

At the end of the chapter, Mulder makes one more assertion, that the Dutch were welcomed in the United States because although they came for partially economic reasons, in contrast to immigrants from Ireland and Germany, the Dutch looked reasonably well off. In part, this was because some of the immigrants did bring some wealth with them (and helped out their congregation members, as well). Another reason, Mulder speculates, was because the Dutch valued appearances and cleanliness and maybe would have gone without necessities in order to look presentable. Whether this is ethnic pride on Mulder’s part or has a basis in truth, I don’t know. What I have read of German and Irish immigration during this same time period makes me think the Germans and Irish were perhaps more desperate.

 

 

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THANK YOU, KALAMAZOO

Images of the Pfizer vaccine marching out of Kalamazoo (the Portage plant) on its way to various destinations fill the news. Portage is the largest suburb of Kalamazoo. When I was eight, we moved from Kalamazoo to Portage, but Kalamazoo is my hometown. Portage is its own city, but is truly part of Kalamazoo.

Until 1995, the Kalamazoo company that employed so many locals, brought in so many scientists, and influenced life in the city was The Upjohn Company. Many of my family members worked there over the years in a variety of jobs and professions. The Upjohn Company was a benevolent god in some ways to our town. I will admit that on bad days, if you lived in Portage, a disgusting smell (and pollution, I’m sure) was emitted back in the days when that was considered acceptable. Our medicines and vitamins often came in the light gray and white Upjohn label. The parents of our friends and our neighbors often worked at the company, too.

In 1995, Pharmacia merged with Upjohn. My husband and I had already moved away from Kalamazoo in 1990, but a few of our friends were affected by the merger. They had to move away from Kalamazoo at that time. Then Pfizer bought out the company in 2002-03.

Now the seeds of The Upjohn Company produce fruit yet again with the Pfizer vaccine. It’s exciting that Kalamazoo and Portage (where I grew up and went to school) can be part of this hope for the future. Way to go, Kalamazoo!

END OF THE YEAR PLANNING

On this blog for 2020 I focused on researching my direct ancestors. I wanted to Fill in the Gaps by locating documents that I was missing. For so many of my ancestors, there were easy-to-fill gaps, as well as more difficult or impossible ones. The reason I took on this project was because I typically have gone off on research tangents based on what photographs I own or information someone else has shared with me. Very often, these research subjects were not my grandparents, great-grandparents, great-great-grandparents, etc., but siblings or cousins of these people. I wanted to make sure I had properly researched my forebears.

I did go back through all my 4x great-grandparents on my mother’s side in 2020. I will continue to work back farther, but the information becomes more limited which makes me bored with my own blog posts. Therefore, I want to focus on something else for 2021. Whatever I choose, I plan to go about slowly because I still have exhaustion caused by the Valley Fever and because I have some non-genealogy projects I am working on.

So where should the focus fall for 2021? Here are some considerations:

  • Siblings of my direct ancestors starting with my maternal grandparents (probably the easiest choice)
  • My dad’s family (which would mean that the blog would be “away” from Kalamazoo/Michigan for a year as they immigrated to Illinois, and I don’t really want to do that)
  • My husband’s family on enteringthepale.com (the movement from his father’s family to his mother’s continues to feel overwhelming to me as her family was very large and complicated. It would mean leaving thefamilykalamazoo.com for a full year)

Does it seem like I should do the first one–the siblings? Or am I overlooking something else? Or should I switch it up and go back to being more spontaneous?

HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO EVERYONE! I’M PRAYING FOR A HEALTHIER, HAPPIER YEAR AHEAD. GOOD RIDDENS TO 2020.

Leaving you with another cute ornament idea. I saw this Instagram post, and the poster recommends an ebook that describes how to make them.

 

To purchase the book, follow the LINK to The House that Lars Built.

SEE YOU NEXT YEAR!!!

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