Posts Tagged ‘Kapelle’

Last week I wrote about the Remijnse (Remine) family from the beginning (of our current knowledge). There is a huge pedigree chart available online, and while I need to take it all with a grain of salt, it is extremely useful. It prints out to exactly 248 pages!

My new chum Jacob Remijnse decided to try to figure out the identity of the people in the unidentified Remijnse family photo, using the pedigree chart.

The photograph seems to have been taken upon the occasion of a wedding–the bride is in the white dress in the center and the groom is to her left (our right). The other seated man is probably the father. Let’s assume the five standing behind are siblings.

The only thing I know about this photo is that my family believes it is of one of the Remijnse branches. I figured out it has to be from the Netherlands because it doesn’t fit the Remijnse family members who came to this country.

Using the clothing as a guide, especially the styles of the dresses and the women’s hats, I think the photo was taken somewhere between the late 1870s and 1890. Jacob came to that independent analysis, as well.

Then he drew up a chart of the Remijnse family with dates of birth, dates of death, dates of marriage, and names of spouses. He made columns for how old each person was in 1865, 1875, and 1885. This was extremely helpful.

Using this analysis, it seemed likely that the young couple was one of two choices.

Jan Remijnse 29-05-1863 01-05-1900 2 12 22
Cornelia Bijlo 06-03-1863 01-04-1942 2 12 22

Jan was 22 in 1885 when he married 22-year-old Cornelia Biljo. There is no doubt that this couple looks 22 or so.


Dina Remijnse 17-02-1856 09-01-1943 9 19 29
Francois Bijlo 09-08-1864 09-09-1942 1 11 21

Dina was 29 when she married Francois Biljo in 1886. Francois was 21.

Doesn’t Dina seem a better candidate for the standing woman in the back? She would have been 29 here and married the following year at age 30.

So what was the next step?

We needed to look at the family groups. Were Jan and Dina siblings? Was their mother deceased by 1885 since there is no mother in the photograph?  Were Cornelia and Francois siblings? The last is purely curiosity because I think this photo is a Remijnse family photo with the new spouse included. I don’t think it is a combination of members of the Remijnse and Biljo families.

Here is info on Dina Remijnse:

Dina Remijnse, born Sunday 17 February1856 in Kapelle. Notes at birth: Witnesses Pieter Staal and Jan Loijs. Dina died on Saturday, January 9th1943 in Kapelle, 86 years old. Note Dina: Religion Dutch Reformed. Profession housewife. Dina married, 30 years old, Friday 7 May1886 inKapelle [source: huw.akte nr. 13 BS Kapelle] with Francois Bijlo , 21 years old, born Tuesday 9 August1864 in Kapelle as son of Willem Bijlo and Maria van de Linde. Francois died on Wednesday 9 September1942 inKapelle, 78 years old. At the marriage ceremony the following witness was present: Nicolaas Remijnse (ca.1858 – 1909).

Notes on marriage: Witnesses Leendert Monter, 50 yr. Anton Leijs, 32 yr. Worker, Cornelis Markusse, 42 yr. Innkeeper.

Here is info on Jan Remijnse:

Jan Remijnse, born Friday 29 May1863 in Kapelle [source: certificate no. 34 BS Kapelle].

Notes at birth: Witnesses Thomas Snoep, 22 yr. Quartermaster and master, Johannes Staal, 29 yr., Tailor. Jan died Tuesday, May 11900 in Kapelle, 36   years old. The following witness was present at the death report: Nicolaas Remijnse (ca.1858 – 1909). Note on the death of Jan: Witnesses Willem Bijlo, 75 years of field worker, father-in-law. Profession: Field worker Religion: Free Evangelical. Jan married at the age of 22 on Friday 7 August 1885 inKapelle with Cornelia Bijlo, 22 years old, born on Friday 6 March1863 inKapelle as a daughter from Willem Bijlo and Maria van de Linde. Notes on the birth of Cornelia: Witnesses Pieter Snoep, 58 yr., Laborer, Nicolaas Mieras, 40 yr., Laborer. Cornelia died on Wednesday 1 April1942 in Goes, 79   years old [source: deed no. 75 BS Goes]. Note on death Cornelia: Witnesses Cornelis Sleutel, 55 yr., Caregiver. Note Cornelia: Religious Affection Dutch Reformed. At the wedding ceremony the following witness was present: Nicolaas Remijnse (ca.1858 – 1909). Notes on marriage: Witnesses Pieter Hoogstraat 34 jr. Merchant, brother-in-law of Jan, Simon Kramer, 63 jr. Shopkeeper, Dingenis Jeremiasse, 55 jr. Tailor.

On the big document where I pulled the above info from, I saw that Jan and Dina were, in fact, siblings, the children of Marinus and Jozina. But when I searched for siblings, I was dismayed to see that they had two sisters, Adriana and Wilhelmina–and only ONE brother, Nicolaas. This does not fit the portrait with all the young men.  While this might be explained away, the mother Jozina was alive in 1885 and 1886, not dying until 1896. And the mother is not in the photo.

My conclusion: We do not have a match.

But Jacob is not ready to give up on it. He has another scenario worked out, but for that we need more info on the Bijlo family!


I might be off-the-blog for a week or two, but I’ll be back with more Remijnse information (I hope)!

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More tintypes! In Mysterious Antique Photographs I shared a beautiful tintype that I own.

Yesterday I opened the box of unscanned Remine photos. I haven’t had time to scan so many photos–or to organize either–but I thought I should just start doing a few a day because when WILL I ever have the time?

And I discovered these beautiful tiny tintypes. The one on the other post is large and painted. These are only 2.25 x 3.5 inches in size–and unpainted.

Because they are in the Remine box I can guess they might be Remines. Judging by the faces, I am ready to conclude they probably are Remines.

Because these girls and women were photographed full length (standing and seated), we can examine their entire outfits to try to guess a time period.

Therese was born in 1891. Could this photo be from around 1900?

I am having trouble identifying the correct information about Therese’s sisters. When I figure it out, this might help in identifying this tintype. For instance, if there were sisters born in 1880 and 1881 as might have been, this photo could, I suppose, be those sisters. If so, one of them is Genevieve Remine Tazelaar and the tintypes would be in the early 1890s.

I suppose the hair and collars could be 1900. But what about the fitted jackets with all the buttons? I can’t find anything like that in photos of 1900. Odd, too, that it would be a tintype if it was as late as 1900.

Here is the other tintype. I’m sorry it’s kind of crooked and uneven. It was difficult to scan it.

What about these outfits? They are not leg o’mutton sleeves, so does that rule out the 1890s?

I guess I am not very good at taking the nuances of change in fashion and extrapolating to what my relatives would have worn (generally a much more conservative version of the fashion).

The woman on our left looks a lot like Mary Paak Remine, Therese’s mother. She was born in 1859. But the woman doesn’t look terribly young in this photo. And then who would the other woman be? She looks NOTHING like the Paak sisters. She is not Mary’s mother because Jacoba Bassa had passed away long before this.

Were these photos taken in the Netherlands or the United States? The Remines were from Kapelle and the Paaks were from Lexmond. Notice the wallpaper/painted background. I’m pretty sure that these photos were taken in the same studio, perhaps near the same time period.

I’m afraid I have more questions now than I did before.


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After I posted the wedding invitation for John DeSmit and Nellie Squares, the mystery of Nellie was solved by Adri van Gessel.

Nellie was born Pieternella Paulina Schrier on Sunday, October 5, 1879, at Kortgene, the Netherlands. She immigrated to the United States in 1891 with her mother, the widow of Paulus Schrier, and 5 siblings.

On Thursday, July 20, 1899, Nellie married John DeSmit in Kalamazoo.

Wedding dress circa 1900

On May 9, 1900, Nellie died in Kalamazoo. She was a 20-year-old housewife, according to her death record.

But the story does not end here.

Adri found the birth of a girl, Nellie D. DeSmit, born April 30, 1900, in Kalamazoo. The daughter of Nellie and John. Sadly, Nellie must have passed away from giving birth.

Baby Nellie was not listed on the 1900 census with her father, John, who was living at home with his family. Instead, the baby was listed as an adopted daughter in the family of Christopher (Christiaan) Schrier, Nellie’s brother and baby Nellie’s uncle.

Baby Nellie, no longer a baby, was married on June 13, 1918, in Kalamazoo, to Garret Johnson, son of J.G. Johnson and Nellie Groenhuizen. Garret was born on May 11, 1895 at Hilversum, the Netherlands. He died August 18, 1961, in Kalamazoo.

It appears, though, that baby Nellie still considered herself the daughter of John DeSmit because in the 1940 census she, her husband, and son Robert (born 1935) lived in the household of John DeSmit and was listed as daughter.

One of the biggest mysteries has been why Nellie’s parents are listed as Mr. and Mrs. A. Ver Sluis.  At first I thought, well, Nellie’s brother Christiaan  married Nellie Ver Sluis in 1898, only a year before our wedding invitation for Nellie Schrier and John DeSmit. Does this have something to do with the fact that there was not a living father to give Nellie Schrier away?

No, it does not!

Nellie’s mother Pieternella de Looff Schrier was married on Wednesday March 2, 1892, in Kalamazoo, to Abraham Jacob Versluis, son of Willem Versluis and Pieternella de Lange.  Abraham had been previously married to Cornelia Verburg and had two children by her. He immigrated to the United States in 1891. Abraham was born on Sunday October 13, 1850 at Kortgene and died on Tuesday November 1, 1938 in Kalamazoo.

Look at the timeline:

1891, Pieternella and her children, including Nellie, arrived in the United States AND Abraham Ver Sluis and his two children, including his Nellie, arrived in the United States

1892, Pieternella married Abraham Ver Sluis (they got married in March, which is quite early in the year–is it possible that the two families traveled together, intending to marry in this country?)

1898, Christiaan married the daughter of Abraham Ver Sluis and his deceased wife Cornelia Verburg

1899, John DeSmit married Nellie Schrier, daughter of Pieternella and the deceased Paulus and stepdaughter of Abraham Ver Sluis

Was it customary to marry step-siblings, as Christiaan did?

Ring any bells?

In case the name Schrier rings any bells for those from Kalamazoo, there have been many residents with that surname.  The name comes from the Zeeland province of the Netherlands. Paul J. Schrier was the mayor of Kalamazoo from 1967-1969. He was the son of Peter Schrier, who was a brother of Nellie Schrier DeSmit. Therefore the mayor was our Nellie’s nephew, although he never knew her since she died at the age of 20 from giving birth to her daughter.

Paul J. Schrier Mayor of Kalamazoo 1967-1969

Paul J. Schrier
Mayor of Kalamazoo

What I don’t know:


If baby Nellie ever had any half siblings. Her father apparently married Margaret when he was between 42 and 52.

When baby Nellie passed away.

If baby Nellie perhaps lived with her uncle so that she would be raised with his two children. Did Christiaan and his wife already have their babies when Nellie was born or did they come after?

This still doesn’t explain the Corliss home for the wedding.

And we think families are confusing today . . . .



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Let’s take a little break from Theresa’s story this week. We can return to it next week.

Another branch of the family that I have not yet spent any time investigating begins with Richard DeKorn’s other sister Mary. His sister Jennie is the one who married John Culver, had two little girls, and took off for Seattle. It wasn’t until Joyce sent me the photo album that I began to learn more about that branch. But Richard’s other sister, the one who stayed put in Kalamazoo, I still haven’t spent any time with.

Mary DeKorn DeSmit

Mary DeKorn DeSmit


Mary died at age 98, two years before I was born. Maria Catharina de Korne was born on 4 Jan 1855 in Kapelle, Zeeland, the Netherlands.  Mary married John DeSmit in Kalamazoo in 1873 and they had seven children–3 boys and 4 girls. That means that there are a lot of children to investigate. I wonder how many of their descendents are living in the Kalamazoo area.

In order to begin researching the DeSmits, I looked through my documents to see if I already had anything, and I discovered a wedding invitation from 1899. It amazes me how much it resembles a contemporary wedding invitation. It lists the names of the bride (Nellie) and groom (John) and her parents, although not his parents. The place is a residence with an address. I don’t know the connection of the location to the bride and groom.

The wedding was on Thursday evening, which seems like an odd time to me. Also, I wonder if it wasn’t the residence of the bride’s parents because perhaps they weren’t from Kalamazoo? Or perhaps their home wasn’t large enough? I wonder why the bride has a different last name, Squares, from her parents, Ver Sluis.

I found a newspaper announcement which lists Nellie’s surname as Squires, which makes more sense, but wouldn’t the printed wedding announcement be correct? Also, the newspaper lists John’s home as Battle Creek and Nellie’s as Kalamazoo.

But what is the bigger mystery is this. I show that a John DeSmit, the son of Mary and her husband John, and born approximately June 1877, was married to a woman named Margaret. The age would be right for John to be marrying in 1899, as he was 21 or 22. But who was Margaret?

On closer examination of the 1900 census, I see that John was listed as 22, living at home with his parents and siblings, and already a widower! Poor Nellie?! It seems that Margaret was a second wife, later in John’s life.


You can see that this invitation brings up more questions than I had to begin with, but it does give me some information to pursue.  The next thing I went to check out was the address listed: 702 East First Street, Kalamazoo, Michigan. According to Google Maps, it doesn’t exist.



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My great-great-grandmother Alice Paak (the brave woman who survived a horrific near-tragedy that I wrote about last spring) gave her middle child Cora a gift for Christmas 1907. Perhaps she gave one to each of her three children.

You can see from the photo that it’s a hand-painted genealogy shell.

My grandfather and grandmother inherited it, and my grandmother gave it to me.

Let’s take a look at what she wrote over one hundred years ago, and how it relates to the information I have received more recently.

Alice Paak

If you remember my story about Alice’s near tragedy, you might also remember the post I wrote about her beautiful handmade shawl. Or the post I wrote about Alice and all her sisters.

On the shell, she names herself “Alice Paak ,” which is the name Grandpa had told me.  But genealogical research in the Netherlands shows that she was born Aaltje Peek. The source used for that name was this:

Lexmond, Zuid-Holland, the Netherlands, birth record, 1852, 36, Aaltje Peek, 9 September 1852; digital images,
Familysearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1-159370-202016-19?cc=1576401&wc=6426532 : accessed 23
December 2012)

Apparently, she accepted the American name “Alice.” Her granddaughter, Alice Leeuwenhoek, the daughter of Jennie and Lou Leeuwenhoek, was named after her. Later, my own aunt, the granddaughter of Alice’s daughter Cora, was given the name Alice.

Alice Paak’s birth date is given on the shell as 17 September 1852.  But my genealogical information (the source I listed above) shows that she was born on that same month and year, but on the 9th, not the 17th. Wouldn’t she know her own birth day? That confuses me.

On the shell, she lists her birth place as Leksmond, Nederland. That sounds right, and I think it’s the same place as Lexmond, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands.

Richard DeKorn

My great-great-grandfather Richard DeKorn was born Dirk de Korne.  But he clearly changed both his first name (Americanized it) and the spelling of his last name (maybe to make it easier for others).

He was born on 21 Aug 1851.  The shell corroborates the date.

However, his birth place is listed on the shell as Goes, Zeeland, Nederland. But wait!  In another post I mentioned that I had always thought he was born in Goes, but the genealogical documentation shows that was born in Kapelle, Zeeland, the Netherlands! This is the documentation:

Kapelle, Zeeland, the Netherlands, birth record, Dirk de Korne, 21 August 1851

Jennie DeKorn

Born March 18, 1873. That’s according to the shell. But my information is March 8, 1873. I have to check on this!

Cora DeKorn

Born January 2, 1875. That’s according to the shell and to my records.

Joseph Peter DeKorn

Born June 30, 1881. That’s according to the shell and to my records.

The treasure itself

The design is beautiful with holly branches. The berries are raised to look like real berries. Originally there was a gold leaf paint trim around the shell, but it has worn off in many places.

Her use of “Xmas” because it fit better on the small surface seems astonishingly modern, as does the use of metallic gold and red and green for Christmas.

What I find particularly poignant, though, about this family heirloom is the date. She gave this gift to her daughter on Christmas 1907, and on May 5, 1908, a little over four months later, she passed away.

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Since I’ve been talking a lot about these DeKorn ancestors and so many of them were born in Kapelle, Zeeland, the Netherlands, I thought I’d scout around online and see what I could see of the town.  I’ve only been to Holland once, for a very brief time, and I didn’t know what towns to look for at the time–so I’ve never seen the area my ancestors came from.

As I showed in a previous post, Kapelle is located in the Dutch province of Zeeland, very close to Goes.  It’s not all that far from Middelburg, the capital of Zeeland.

Kapelle is located at the A flag and Goes is just to the left

Kapelle is located at the A flag and Goes is just to the left

These are houses on the Kerkplein (church square):

Kapellefrom Wikipedia

from Wikipedia

Here is Kapelle in 1910:

Kapelle,Zeeland Zuid Beveland gezin C. van Willegen, 8 kinderen in Klederdracht , meubelhandel en winkel in Galanterieen, hondenkar rond 1910

English: Kapelle (Zeeland NL) train station, r...

Kapelle train station

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Last post I showed you the photo of my great-great-great-grandfather, Boudewijn de Korne.  I just discovered new information about him written by his grandson Joseph DeKorn.  Boudewijn, his wife Johanna, and their two children travelled to the United States with Gerrit Remine (Gerrard Remijnse), who was Johanna’s brother.

They travelled on a sailing vessel and arrived at Kalamazoo, Michigan on June 22, 1856.  However, “they located in Zeeland, Michigan” for several years.  “The voyage across was bad and long.”  Joseph’s father Richard and Aunt Mary told him it took 90 days, but Joseph didn’t believe it was actually that long.

I mentioned that Boudewijn and his wife Johanna had two living children when they left the Netherlands.  The older is Richard DeKorn; I have introduced him several times before.  Note that Richard’s generation appears to have dropped the final E from their last name.

Richard:  Dirk de Korne, born 21 Aug 1851, Kapelle, Zeeland, the Netherlands; died 26 Jan 1930, Kalamazoo,
Kalamazoo, Michigan, United States.  Also known as Richard and, when younger, Derrick.

Richard DeKorn (Dirk de Korne)

Richard DeKorn (Dirk de Korne)

Mary:  Maria Catharina de Korne was born on 4 Jan 1855 in Kapelle, Zeeland, the Netherlands.  Mary married John DeSmit in Kalamazoo in 1873 and they had at eight children.  Her daughter Frances married a Flipse.  When I got married in 1975 my mother took me to Flipse Flower shop to order my bridal bouquet because they were “shirt tail relatives.”  It’s hard to imagine it from this photo, but Mary only died two years before I was born.

Mary DeKorn DeSmit

Mary DeKorn DeSmit

After the family moved to the United States, Boudewijn and Johanna had another daughter, Adriana, in 1959, who is one year old in the 1860 census.   Nothing after that.

However, a 10-year-old daughter Jennie shows up in the 1870 census, which Jose from Enhanced News Archive was kind enough to find for me.

Joseph DeKorn’s documentation mentions Jennie, but not Adriana.  My grandfather identified the woman in this photograph as Jennie, Richard’s sister, who married a man named John Culver and eventually moved to Seattle, Washington.  She died in Pierce, Washington, on July 4, 1947.  According to her death record, she was born around 1861.  One difficulty in searching is that there is another Jennie Culver (married to Earl) who lived in Kalamazoo during Jennie DeKorn Culver’s lifetime.

So the question remains: was there an Adriana born in 1859 as well as Jennie born in 1860 or 1861?  Or are they the same person?  If Adriana had lived and kept her name, she would have been mentioned in Joseph’s statement.  So either she passed away as an infant or she became known as Jennie or, perhaps most likely, the census got her name wrong to begin with.


Jennie DeKorn Culver

Jennie DeKorn Culver

This is a photo of Jenny and John Culver’s children:

The Culver Children

The Culver Children

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As I continue to sort through the boxes of photos and other memorabilia I have collected from my mother’s family, I see that I have the original Certificate of Marriage belonging to my great great grandparents.

According to his marriage certificate, my great great grandfather, Richard DeKorn, was really named Dirk de Korn.  On May 10, 1872, at the age of 20, Richard married Alice Paak, 19,  in Kalamazoo.  Her name was actually Aleye Peek, if I believe this document.

Alice Paak/Aleye Peek

Alice Paak/Aleye Peek

I thought Richard was born in Goes, but on his marriage document, where Richard’s birth date is given as 1852, not 1851, it states that he was born in Kapelle, not Goes.

Yvette Hoitink at Dutch Genealogy wrote in her report:

The 1872 marriage record of Dirk DeKorn and Aleye Peek was retrieved to check their places of birth and parents names. Dirk De Korn was listed as born in “Kasselle Netherlands” and Aleye Peek as born in “Leymond, Netherlands”. No such places exist but Kasselle suggests Kapelle (in Zeeland) and Leymond suggests Lexmond in Zuid-Holland. The parents of bride and groom were not listed.

After reading this, I am not certain where I got the idea that Richard (Dirk) was born in Goes.  Now I see that both his parents were born in Kapelle, as was he. So I looked up both towns on a map and found that they are very close to each other.

Kapelle is located at the A flag and Goes is just to the left

Kapelle is located at the A flag and Goes is just to the left

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