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Posts Tagged ‘Zuidweg surname’

Now it’s time to turn my attention to one of my maternal great-grandfathers, Adrian Zuidweg.

I had Adrian’s birth (Netherlands), marriage (US), and death records (US). He is listed on the social security records, but I believe that is because he is listed as my grandfather’s father because Adrian died in 1929, several years before social security started. I have a photo of Adrian’s headstone and photos of him.

Last June I posted Adrian’s probated will at Great-Grandpa’s Will

Since I did not yet have Adrian and Cora’s wedding announcement from the Kalamazoo Gazette, I looked for that. I discovered that it was announced on four different days. The first two were standard announcements, and the other two were perhaps license listings. The two standard announcements were published with an egregious error. Cora’s surname was listed as Wilhelmina, her middle name. I’m sure that was disappointing to the young couple, and to Cora’s parents, Richard and Alice DeKorn. See third listing down.

The other error on the announcement is one that even I make when I am typing fast: the bridesmaid was Miss Jennie DeSmit, not DeSmith. Jennie was Cora’s first cousin and two years older than Cora.

Adrian’s files on my computer were a disaster, so I organized them. On Ancestry, I was missing his birth record, which I added. I also discovered an incorrect fact and document added on Ancestry. Yikes! It was a military registration for the OTHER Adrian Zuidweg, the one that lived in Grand Rapids. Yes, they were related, but not too closely.

I find no military records for Adrian, and that surprises me because I think he would have had to register for WWI. Wouldn’t he? So I looked it up. There were three registrations. The first one was for men only to age 30. The second one was ages 21 and up? Up to what? And the third one, in 1918, was up to age 45. Adrian turned 45 in 1916. He just missed the registration then, unless he qualified under the middle registration, which I doubt as he was still 46 in 1917.

What about his military records in the Netherlands, though? As you can see from the photo he was in the Dutch army as a young man. I am not sure how to find Dutch military records. I would really like to do so. There is a link on Family Search for where he might be located, but unfortunately I cannot figure out a way to search the website, only to browse.

I find no obituary for Adrian, and that also surprises me. I searched on Genealogy Bank in general and around the time of his death–19 December 1929. I submitted a request through the Kalamazoo Public Library to see if they could uncover an obit. Sure enough, the obituary was in an unindexed newspaper! Thank you to the library!


Like a lot of my immigrant ancestors, I have no immigration or naturalization records for Adrian. Since this is such a huge gap, and it seems to be a real weak point of mine, I enlisted Amberly Beck who is working on her genealogy certification to help me find this information.

Finally, I checked out his page on Findagrave. I sponsored his page some time ago, but now I put in a request for management of the page. Fingers crossed.

 

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As I mentioned two weeks ago, both my maternal great-grandmothers were born in the United States, but their husbands, my great-grandfathers, were immigrants. At that time I discussed my maternal grandmother’s mother, Clara Waldeck Mulder. Today I will talk about my maternal grandfather’s mother, Cora Zuidweg. I wrote some anecdotes about her life in 2012 at this link: Cora DeKorn Zuidweg

I’ve posted this photo before, but it is my favorite one of her, along with the portrait that Val colorized. That’s her only child, my grandfather, with her.

Cora was born Jacoba Wilhelmina DeKorn on 2 January 1875, something I did not realize until I had been researching for a couple of years.

When I looked for gaps in my documents for Cora, I noticed that while I had her baptismal record, I did not have a birth record. There actually was a birth record, which is pretty remarkable, but she was listed under the name Minnie. I suspect that she was given that nickname by her parents as a baby (from Wilhelmina), but that she outgrew it at a young age.

Wayne Loney was able to get me this copy of the birth record.

I do have Cora’s other records: census records, obituary, death record, marriage record. and headstone. Here is her obituary:

I have asked to manage her page at Findagrave, and I also submitted a request for edits. I just don’t hear back from these people, and I guess I’m going to have to start to be get loud about it if I don’t get any satisfaction about my family’s pages.

Cora might be the last of my “easy ones,” as it has been more difficult to research my other ancestors.

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Thanks to Wayne Loney, a Kalamazoo genealogy volunteer, I have my great-grandfather’s probated will with list of assets at the time of his death. He found the document, located at the Probate Court in Kalamazoo, so that I could order it.

Fifty-eight-year-old Adrian Zuidweg, Sr., died on 19 December 1929, which happened to be two months after the Wall Street crash. The cause of death was uremia (for three days) and chronic interstitial nephritis, as well as a valve disease of the heart and mitral insufficiency and general artheroma (disease of the arteries). I looked up the nephritis because it sounds like the real disease behind his death, but read that it usually is caused by medications or auto-immune disorders like lupus. So I don’t really know why he was sick or why he died.

The family story version is that he ate a dinner plate-sized steak every night for dinner, and that that routine caused the nephritis. I guess it might cause some artery damage, too.

But before we assume his eating completely caused his death, I will say that heart disease does seem to run in the family through my grandfather to my grandfather’s children–and my 23andme report shows that by far my worst health genes (that are researched through 23andme) are all coronary issues.

This probate document is signed by my grandfather, who was 21; Adrian Sr.’s sister, Mrs. Marinus Van Liere; and my great-grandmother, Cora, his wife.

In this will, Adrian leaves his entire estate to his wife, Cora, to do with as she sees fit. He expressly does not leave anything to grandpa, his son. However, he seems to suggest that Cora might want to use some of the estate for the benefit of Adrian’s “belofed boy,” (his first language was Dutch) but he is not tying her hands to do so in the will.

I wonder how common it was to make a will out this way. Perhaps he thought that Grandpa would be able to make his own way in the world, but Grandpa was blind in one eye, so I am a little surprised that nothing was left to him.

Here is a typed version of the handwritten will.

I don’t plan to post an image of the estate inventory. If family members want to email me and ask to see it, I’ll be happy to send over a copy. What I thought was interesting was the list does not include any cash at all, whether on hand or in banks. The listing includes real estate, notes payable, and stocks. I think this means that the money was already in Cora’s name.  Again, I wonder how common this practice would have been.

It seems to me that there must be more of this sort of document available for my other ancestors, but I am not sure how much light it has shed on anything for me. Adrian was apparently a good husband, father, and provider, but maybe didn’t take the best care of his health, if the steak-eating story is true.

What information have you gleaned from probate records?

I will be taking off blogging next week for some needed time away from the computer. See you in a couple of weeks!

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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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In the latest batch, I found a portrait of a man.

And I was thrilled to see an identification on the back.

So a man named Jacobus Zuidweg was living in Grand Rapids on or around 7 January 1901! And he was a cousin of Grandpa’s father, Adrian Zuidweg, Sr. Woohoo!

This made me go to my family tree on Ancestry and see who he would be related to. The only sibling of Adrian Sr’s father, Johannes Zuidweg, to immigrate to the United States was the youngest, Willem.

Then what did I see? I had connected with a man some time back who was related, but his family had changed their surname to Southway. Yes, that is what Zuidweg means in Dutch! And the ancestor that we had connected on was JAMES WILLIAM SOUTHWAY, born 16 August 1880 in Goes, Zeeland, Netherlands. He passed away on 12 December 1922 in Detroit.

Funniest thing: my connection had used this exact portrait for James’ “headshot” on Ancestry. I wonder if he knows his name? Going to message on Ancestry!

It looks like Jacobus/James had a brother named Adriaan/Adrian who did keep the surname Zuidweg. He passed away in 1949 in Kent County, Michigan.

I am guessing that James moved from Grand Rapids to Detroit some time between 1901 (when he was 21) and 1914 (when he was 34) because he married and had children in Detroit, plus as I mentioned above, he passed away in that city. James is my first cousin, 3x removed.

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I’ve been spending time with Mom this week, so I thought I’d post a photo of her as a little girl. Here she is wearing a cute hat and with her little sister Alice and her best friend Marion Van Dam.

And, yes, Mom and Marion are still good friends.

Kalamazoo history

I am guessing that this photo was taken in Kalamazoo around 1942 because Aunt Alice was born in 1941. What kind of car is that behind them? Is that a tiny purse in Mom’s hand?

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When I scan old family photos I always think it’s particularly cool when photos include other people in Kalamazoo (or elsewhere) because if I post them online, there is a chance the descendants of these people can find their relatives’ photos. This has happened before, and I hope it continues to happen.

The photo for today is of a Sunday School class of young “men” at Bethany Reformed Church in Kalamazoo. If you click on the next photo you can be taken to the church history on the church’s website.

The church began as a tiny chapel near the corner of Burdick and Maple in 1905. By 1907, the building above was built to house the rapidly growing congregation. By 1910 there were 69 member families, all of the Reformed denomination (and presumably Dutch or of Dutch ancestry).

As you can see by the back of my photo, it was taken around 1918 (so imagine the church growth by then).

The sticker was put on in the 80s, I imagine, by my grandparents.

Here is the front:

Let’s look at it a little closer:

The church was probably right by houses, but I don’t know whether the photo was taken outside the church (with a house behind the boys) or if it was taken in someone’s yard. They do look dressed for church here.

Do you think my grandfather was one of these boys? He would have been about ten in 1918.

Mom? Uncle Don? Anybody? There is only one boy here who I think looks at all like Grandpa.

About the church: although it was the Great Depression, the new building that still stands today was dedicated in 1932. It continued to be added on to for many years. In the 1960s, I attended Vacation Bible School for one summer. My grandmother was babysitting while my mother was working, so it was easy for me to go to Bible School across the street, although our church was out in Portage. Unfortunately, in 1972, vandals set fire to the sanctuary, which was completely destroyed. It was rebuilt within a year.

I took a screenshot of the church as it looks today on Google Maps. Same building where I went to class 55 years ago.

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