Posts Tagged ‘Kalamazoo’

I was contacted by a French cousin through Find-a-Grave. She is related to me through my paternal grandfather. Our lines are not only in France (via Alsace), but the Bouverat line goes back to Switzerland. I’ll be coordinating her research with mine. Now that I realize some of the French lines veer off into Switzerland, it might explain why some of the records have been unfindable in the French (Alsace) archives. In the meantime . . . .

If you want to skip the catch-up section and skip to my new information about Marjorie, please go down to the three asterisks.

It’s been a long time since I worked on my maternal family history, so I felt the need to take a step back and look at a larger view. This is my maternal pedigree–at least four generations of the family: grandparents, great-grandparents, great-greats, and 3x greats. When you look at this pedigree, the people on the right column are my 3x great-grandparents, and the portraits in my Ancestry account for them are pulled from paintings of individuals from the same time period and region, except that the portrait of Boudewijn deKorne is actually a photo of him. When I see that I have an actual photograph of every single great-great-grandparent on my maternal side I realize how extremely lucky I am (middle or second to right column). I really sympathize with people who do not even have photos of their grandparents.

I am going to extract places of birth and death in order to have it all on one page, so to speak.


Adrian Zuidweg was born in Kalamazoo, Michigan (1908), and died just a few miles away in Portage, Michigan (2000).

Lucille Edna Mulder was born in Caledonia, Michigan (1912) and died just a few miles away in Portage, Michigan (2000).


Adrian Zuidweg was born in Goes, Zeeland, Netherlands (1871) and died in Kalamazoo, Michigan (1929).

Cora DeKorn was born in Kalamazoo, Michigan (1875) and died in Kalamazoo, Michigan (1932).

Charles Peter Mulder was born in Goes, Zeeland, Netherlands (1885) and died in Caledonia, Michigan (1967).

Clara Waldeck was born in Caledonia, Michigan (1884) and died in Caledonia, Michigan (1953).

Before I go on, please note that both my great-grandfathers on my mother’s side were born in Goes. Both great-grandmothers on my mother’s side were born in the United States. The only real difference is that whereas three of these people were of Dutch heritage, Clara was born to parents from what I now know is northern Pomerania (part of Prussia, on the Baltic Sea). Adrian was the oldest, born in 1871. Charles was the youngest, born in 1885.


Johannes Zuidweg was born in Goes, Zeeland, Netherlands (1842) and died in Kalamazoo, Michigan (1911).

Jennegien Bomhoff was born in Zwolle, Overijssel, Netherlands (1838) and died in Kalamazoo, Michigan (1924).

Richard DeKorn was born in Kapelle, Zeeland, Netherlands (1851) and died in Kalamazoo, Michigan (1930).

Alice Paak was born in Lexmond, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands (1852) and died in Kalamazoo, Michigan (1908).

Pieter P Mulder was born in Goes, Zeeland, Netherlands (1865) and died in Grand Rapids, Michigan (1953).

Neeltje Gorsse was born in Goes, Zeeland, Netherlands (1868) and died in Grand Rapids, Michigan (1932).

Gottfried Waldeck was born in Prussia (most likely northern Pomerania) (1841) and died in Caledonia, Michigan (1913).

Alwine Noffke was born in Schwetzkow, Pomerania, Prussia (1846) and died in Caledonia, Michigan (1912).

A few notes: The oldest was Jennie Bomhoff Zuidweg, born in 1838, but her husband Johannes and Gottfried Waldeck were close in age. Goes, where Johannes, Peter, and Nellie were born, is less than five miles from Kapelle, where Richard was born. Peter died the same year as his daughter-in-law Clara. Grandpa’s relatives settled in Kalamazoo and Grandma’s in Kent County. 


Adriaan Zuijdweg was born in Goes, Zeeland, Netherlands (1805) and died in Goes, Zeeland, Netherlands (1851).

Johanna Mulder was born in Goes, Zeeland, Netherlands (1807) and died in Goes, Zeeland, Netherlands (1878).

Lukas Bomhof was born in Windesheim, Zwollerkerspel, Overijssel (1788) and died in Zwolle, Overijssel, Netherlands (1847).

Jeuntien Dansser was born in Zwolle, Overijssel, Netherlands (1806) and died in Zwolle, Overijssel, Netherlands (1842).

Boudewijn deKorne was born in Kapelle, Zeeland, Netherlands (1816) and died in Kalamazoo, Michigan (1875).

Johanna Reminjse was born in Kapelle, Zeeland, Netherlands (1817) and died in Kalamazoo, Michigan (1864).

Teunis Peek (Paak) was born in Everdingen, Vianen, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands (1822) and died in Kalamazoo, Michigan (1893).

Jacoba Bassa was born in Lexmond, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands (1824) and died in Lexmond, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands (1865).

Karel Pieter Philippe Mulder was born in Goes, Zeeland, Netherlands (1837) and died in Goes, Zeeland, Netherlands (1881).

Johanna Maria Boes was born in IJzendijke, Oostburg, Zeeland, Netherlands (1835) and died in Goes, Zeeland, Netherlands (1867).

Jan Gorsse was born in Goes,Zeeland, Netherlands (1840) and died in Goes, Zeeland, Netherlands (1911).

Kornelia Hijman was born in Goes, Zeeland, Netherlands (1840) and died in Goes, Zeeland, Netherlands (1909).

Adolf Waldeck BRICK WALL

Mrs. Waldeck BRICK WALL

Ludwig Noffke was born in approximately 1820 in Prussia, possibly Pomerania. In the United States he went by the name Louis. He died before 1897 in Caledonia, Kent County, Michigan. His grave is at the Lakeside Cemetery in Caledonia. He is very close to being a BRICK WALL.

Dora (Dorothea?) Kusch was born around 1825 in Prussia, possibly Pomerania. I cannot find record of her death OR her grave at the cemetery with her husband. Could she have gone back home and died there? I don’t know. She’s a BRICK WALL.

For everyone listed here except the brick walls, I have the majority of main documents. Therefore areas of future research include:

  1. father’s maternal lines
  2. father’s paternal lines
  3. mother’s brick walls–after Ancestry directed me to north Pomerania for these people I can focus in that area, but it’s a difficult area. I have been in contact with a genealogist who specializes in this area, and he told me that many of the Pomeranian records were destroyed after WWII. And what is left is not in a central location, but very spread out. It might not be possible to break through this brick wall.
  4. mother’s ancestor’s sibling info–to clarify, I already went through my grandmother’s siblings, and my grandfather had no siblings. So the next step would be to look more thoroughly at my great-grandparents siblings, which to a certain degree I have already done but could do more systematically. After that, I could do the same for great-greats, etc. However, I think items 1-3 would be more important.

I’ve really tried with the brick walls, but now that I have the Ancestry DNA confirming that these Prussian ancestors were from Pomerania, it seems that it should narrow things down a bit. I’ve tried some websites that were suggested to me, but I think I’m at a point I probably need help with these Pomeranians as I have found nothing. Unfortunately, Waldeck appears to be a very common name, so I might have more luck with the Noffke branch eventually.


Several years ago I wrote about my great-great grandfather Richard DeKorn’s step-grandson, David Owens. Richard DeKorn’s Step-Grandson. I recently heard from someone who knew David later in life–as well as his mother, Marjorie/Marge Sootsman Owens, one of Richard’s two stepdaughters. She gave me this photograph of Marjorie with a mural she painted behind her, as well as an article about Marjorie.


This article, published in 1937, is a profile feature about Marjorie, Director of Occupational Therapy at Maybury Sanitorium, a TB hospital in Northville, Michigan. Clearly she loved reading, especially poetry, and animals. I’m sure I would have liked her a lot!!! I found an old photo of the place where she worked.

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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.


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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Here are two photos of my mother, Janet, and her brother, Donald. Take a look at the similarities and differences.

The one with Mom holding her doll shows a glimpse of their front porch on Burdick Street. Don is wearing short pants and long striped socks. They both have cute little hats on. The back of the photo is labelled April 1938. My mother was born in 1934 and Don in 1936.

Then this one:

In this photo they seem to be wearing the same outfits, although Don’s snowpants are now on and Janet has a scarf around her neck. There is melting snow in the yard.

So were they taken on the same day or is the second photo earlier than April? What do you think? Notice that little “trike” or whatever it is is in the same spot in both photos.

Another thing of note in the second photo is the phenomenal neighborhood view. This is the best neighborhood view down Burdick Street I can remember seeing. In fact, you see that brick house in the distance to the left of the tree? That is the Richard DeKorn house where Grandpa himself grew up. There are a couple of houses in between, then the service station Grandpa owned, and then Balch Street. The house is across Balch from the station. Grandma and Grandpa’s house where Mom and Uncle Don grew up was at the corner of Burdick and Emerson.



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A while back I was contacted by Lisa M. DeChano-Cook, Associate Professor in the Department of Geography at Western Michigan University about my antique photographs. She said that she and her colleague, Mary L. Brooks, were writing a book about the Kalamazoo River and were interested in photos of that subject.

The book is now published, and Lisa sent me an autographed copy. It’s a gorgeous collection of photos and information about the history of the river. If you are interested, just click through the following image of the book to order from Amazon.

They used several of my photographs. And they also found photographs in the archives at Western that were taken by grandpa’s uncle, Joseph DeKorn. In the 70s or 80s, my grandfather donated a lot of photographs and glass negatives to the archives. Notice that the one at the archives is the same photograph that I use for the header of my blog–the flood at the Water Works Bridge in 1904.


The above is another one from the archives. I also have a copy of this one. In fact, I posted it a year and a half ago, wondering if it was it, in fact, the Monarch Paper Mill. According to DeChano-Cook and Brooks, it is the Monarch Mill. I guess I can go back and revise that blog post. (How many times have I said that–and then how often do I do it? I need a blog assistant–any offers? haha)

This is one of the photos I sent to Lisa:

The book states:

Many farmers tried to fence in their property because they knew that the river flow would change and they could not use it as a stable boundary. In the photograph, a wire fence spans a shallow part of the Kalamazoo River. The reflection of the fence in the water makes it appear as though it is a wire pedestrian bridge.

So thrilled when blog readers relate to what they find on this blog. I always end up learning a lot!

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These photographs don’t belong to me, and they aren’t even of my family. But a fellow genealogist, The Psychogenealogist, began posting photos on Twitter, and I noticed the setting of the Kalamazoo Country Club. These photos were taken in 1968 and belonged to his grandfather, Michael John Hanley Jr. (1924-2015), who felt that KCC was a home away from home. Many family events were held there.

Michael moved to Kalamazoo from Flint in the late 60s, perhaps 1968, and was a GM plant manager through the early 80s. His two youngest children finished out high school in Kalamazoo. He maintained a residence in Kalamazoo until his death, but wintered in Florida after retirement. His first wife was Betty Grace Sears, who died in 1981, and at some point after that, he married Mary Jo Hipskind Johnson (1926-2011). Mary Jo graduated from St. Augustine High School in 1944.

If you’re from Kalamazoo, take a look and see if you recognize anyone in the pix–or what they were doing dressed up this way with klompen on their feet!

Give me a holler if you recognize individuals or the event!

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We just got back from Lake Tahoe last night, and I have a lot of catching up to do—including blog reading!

This beautiful funeral photograph from Kalamazoo seems to belong to someone in my family, but who is the mystery woman? I have not been able to figure it out. If anybody has any ideas, based on knowledge of the family or even based on photos I’ve already posted, please let me know!

Any idea on what decade this is? Was this typical of a certain era to create a tableau like this from a funeral? The only other photo I have that is similar is the one for Louis Van Wyck‘s funeral in 1911. His funeral was hosted by the Salvation Army.

John M. Reidsema ran his photography business in Kalamazoo from at least 1889 – 1905, possibly earlier and/or later.

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The above is the photo of Jeanette when she lived, obviously, in Chicago.

You can see she is the same person as in the image I found in the antique photo album.


And here is the photo of Jeanette with her younger brother Cornelius when they were 12 and 9 in 1900.

And at age 15.

Perhaps a wedding portrait with George Harter.

And in 1940 at age 52.

Woohoo, what a wonderful treasury of photos of Jeanette, my 2nd cousin 3x removed.

Interestingly, not only was Jeanette related to my family, but when she was born her parents lived at 1412 S. Burdick St. in Kalamazoo, right near my relatives.

On another note, something has budged in that brick wall of hubby’s grandparents from Ukraine and vicinity. First, Montefiore Cemetery has sent me photos of the headstones. Thank you to Sharon at Branches of our Haimowitz Family Tree for letting me know I could order photos directly! That gave us the Hebrew names of the fathers of both his grandfather and grandmother! And I found a passenger list for his grandfather. A professional is going to help us break down the wall a little further at this point because she can communicate in the proper languages to try to obtain birth records. I’ll keep you posted. Ukraine and Moldova are not easy to work with and nearly impossible for amateurs.


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I have been scanning the photographs and tintypes from a beautiful family album. Even if I already have the image, I am scanning because my scanner is set in .tif and my old images were scanned in .jpg. I much prefer to keep a copy in .tif (for quality preservation) and then also in .jpg (for ease of use).

An image I already had really bugged me as I scanned it. Where had I seen a face like hers before?

Remember the Ancestry tree with the photos of Jeanette Bosman Harter (from Part III)? The ones I wasn’t sure if I could post? I went to the tree those photos were on. Was it a hunch or a bit of memory or something more tangible? Maybe all three. The tangible part is that this photo says Goshen, Indiana, and the only photos I have from Goshen are Bosman photos.

And when I got to the tree, sure enough: I found an image of the lady from when she was sixteen-years-old.

Johanna REMINE Bosman, the mother of Jeanette Bosman Harter (and John, Gerritt, and Cornelius, as well as others who died in childhood) and sister of Richard Remine and Jennie Remine. Richard is the father of Therese Remine who owned Ramona Park and Ramona Palace. He is also the father of Genevieve Tazelaar and Harold Remine (I’ve written posts about these people).

According to the information I had there were three Remine children: Adriana born 1855 (Johanna can be a nickname for Adriana), Richard born 1857, and Jennie born 1860. It’s been confusing, and Jennie can also be a nickname for Adriana. Johanna’s paternal grandmother’s name was Adriana, so this fits the Dutch naming tradition. Adriana was born in Kapelle, but Richard and Jennie in Kalamazoo.

But the owner of the other tree pointed out to me that Johanna had an entry on Findagrave, and that her birthdate was listed as 1857, not 1855.  In fact, when I looked more carefully at the headstone I saw the whole birthdate.

10 May 1857. WHOA!!! That’s Richard Remine’s birthdate!

Now it seems that it’s likely that Adriana actually died sometime between the family leaving the Netherlands and a somewhat later date. And, instead, Johanna might be Richard’s twin! That could be why they share a birthday. And Johanna was probably named for her maternal grandmother, Janna (or Johanna).

Although I have not been able to find a death record for Adriana or a birth record for Johanna and Richard, there is one clue I have been holding without realizing it, a clue that indicates Adriana must have died.

When my grandfather identified the photo of Johanna and Richard’s younger sister, Jennie Remine (who became Mrs. Carlo Meyer), he called her ADRIANA (JENNIE) REMINE!!!  Since Jennie was born in 1860, the first Adriana must have died beween their immigration and 1860.

I will be happy when I find an actual formal document of either Adriana #1’s death or Johanna’s birth,* but I feel fairly confident that she was Richard’s twin. So far there is no proof that twins run in these families, and fraternal twins are considered to be hereditary. However, my father was a fraternal twin, and I have not seen it in his family.

Many thanks to Adri Van Gessel and Nancy Rupp for the work behind this blog post.

*Not sure how to find these records from the 1850s as the Kalamazoo records don’t seem to go back that far online. Maybe it has to be done in person!



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I love the serious pintucks on the dress, and the watch or locket pinned to it.

How do I know it’s Jeanette? Because it says so on the back!Don’t you LOVE when the info is on the back of the image?! It says: Jeanette Bosman / Grand Rapids / 1906.

Jeanette was born 30 June 1888 in Kalamazoo. That would make her 18 in this portrait. Wow, she sure looks older to me. But then her skin does not, and maybe it is the type of looks that she has.

On Ancestry, I found a photo of Jeanette as an older woman in Chicago. I hesitate to post it here because I am not sure if we are allowed to take images off Ancestry and share elsewhere. But she looks like the same person, with the same hairstyle decades later.

When I first found the Bosman children (children of Dirk Bosman and my 1st cousin 4xremoved Johanna/Adriana Remine) I posted in two posts. Part II listed the children and Part I was focused on John, Jeanette’s older brother. Jennie was listed as second to youngest.  Jeanette is Jennie.

When she was three her mother passed away in Kalamazoo. Then I don’t have any information until she got married in 1908 to George M. Harter in Grand Rapids, Michigan. I don’t know if she had a stepmother, for instance, or if the family moved to Grand Rapids right after the mother’s death.

Jeanette had three children, all born in Chicago, so the family must have lived in Chicago after Grand Rapids.

Jeanette and George had three children, all born in Chicago, so the family must have lived in Chicago after Grand Rapids.

George, Jeanette’s husband, passed away in 1940, when she was 51 years old. She didn’t die until 1978 in Rochester, New York. I can’t help but wonder what her life was like for the last 38 years of her life and how she ended up in New York State.

Her son Wilmar died in Montana, and her middle child Georgia died in Cook County, Illinois, years after the death of their mother. So did Jeanette follow her daughter Eileen (Ellen) to Rochester? I don’t know because I can’t find what happened to Eileen after the 1930 census. She was 12 years old.

So what about Jeanette’s siblings? We know John survived until 1943, but most of the other children died in childhood. And apparently Cornelius, the youngest (and only one younger than Jeanette), survived. At age 63, he married Evelyn MacLeod in Cleveland.

Oh, by the way, I found a cute pic on Ancestry of Jeanette and Cornelius when they were 12 and 9 (so the year 1900), but again am afraid to share it. Their older brother John would have been 24, so was probably already out of the house and therefore not in this photo. He married Nellie Robb in 1903 at age 27.

Anybody know the rules for Ancestry.com photos?

I suspect there will be a Part IV eventually.

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The other day I posted Richard DeKorn’s death certificate from Kalamazoo and asked for help with the cause of death. Readers were very helpful, and I’m so appreciative.

I mentioned at the time that Richard’s daughter and Grandpa’s mother, Cora DeKorn Zuidweg (Mrs. Adrian Zuidweg), wasn’t in the register of deaths. Two readers kindly sent me Cora’s death certificate that they found on the Seeking Michigan website.

Cora is a particularly intriguing person to me because Grandpa and Grandma used to tell me that I looked a lot like her, especially with my hair pulled back. Cora always wore her hair up. The first time I saw this picture of Cora I was in my 20s and felt as if I was looking into a mirror.

Also, Grandpa’s stories about her included stories of her love for animals and her courage to defend them. I feel a real affinity in the area of love of animals and wish I had her courage.

Here are Cora and Adrian (senior) with Grandpa, Adrian (junior)

What I knew about Cora’s death was that she had cancer that had spread throughout her body and her brain became confused from the disease. I also knew that she was dying when my grandparents got married. That explains why they got married out of town and on their own. My grandmother moved into the house with Grandpa and his mother and took care of her until she died a few months later.

Now take a look at the cause of death on the certificate:

Exhaustion – debility from gen – metastatic sarcoma spindle cell – primary in left thigh, followed injury was removed 9-16-29 – had existed there 5 years.

I believe that it is what it says.

So cancer that started in her left thigh. Cancer that, according to Google, would be treated with chemo today. If caught in time, the results would probably be positive. Spindle cell sarcoma apparently is a connective tissue cancer.

I thought that was a little bit of a coincidence because it seems that Cora had the cancer since she was about 52 and when I was 50 I had a tumor in my foot. While my tumor turned out not to be cancer, it was a giant cell reparative granuloma, which means that it has some characteristics of cancer (possibility of metastasizing and also destruction and replacement of healthy tissue). My tumor is the type that also reacts to injury or pressure, as Cora’s did.

After checking out more on Google, I also learned that Giant Cell tumors can turn into cancer if left untreated–and sometimes into spindle cell. Notice that Cora’s original tumor wasn’t removed until 1929, about two years into her diagnosis.

All very curious. I know that I am lucky that I got 21st century medical care for my foot.

Cora passed away at age 57, never meeting her three grandchildren. My mother would be born less than two years after Cora’s death.


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