Try to keep this in mind as you read: I am having a lot of trouble dating this photograph. Maybe with the dates of the people in the photo, you can help me date it.
Great-Grandpa Charles Mulder was born Karel Pieter Philippus Mulder on 6 March 1885 in Goes, Zeeland, the Netherlands. He was the son of Pieter Philippus (son of Karel, Karel, Carel, Johannes, in that order).
He emigrated in 1887 from Kloetinge, Zeeland, Netherlands and arrived in New York City on 29 August 1887 . Note that he was 2 years old.
Great-Grandpa was the oldest child of Pieter and Nellie (Neeltje) Gorsse.
Pieter (1865-1953) and Nellie (1868-1932) are in the middle of the front row. If you have ever heard about the wonderful furniture that used to be made in Grand Rapids, Michigan, you would be hearing about some of the furniture made by Pieter, a cabinet-maker.
Great-Grandpa, with the curly dark hair, is next to his mother. I will try to identify the others, but I cannot be absolutely certain.
Back row: Peter, Cora, Henry
Peter was the father of Rod Mulder, who I knew when I was younger. He married Alida, and they had at least four boys: Rod, Willis, Richard, and Robert.
Cora married John Gerow and was the mother of Eleanor, a lady I knew when I was a kid.
Henry engraved stone monuments and developed emphysema. His married Mae and raised his family in Hastings, Michigan. According to the 1930 census, they had 4 children: Eloise, James, Mary, and Judith.
In the front row, the girl with the glasses on our left is Nellie. I believe she might have had some sort of disability. Nellie was still living at home with her parents in the 1930 census, when she was 27 or 28 years old.
Then there is Jennie who married Edward Kooistra or Koistra. They had a son, Karl.
Rose (Rosa) is on the other side of Great-Grandpa. She contracted TB. But then so did Great-Grandpa; I remember visiting him in the sanitarium or hospital. Rose was living at home with her parents in the 1920 census; she was 14.
Sadly, I discovered that there were also two children who passed away. Jan was born after Charles–in 1886–and passed away the following year, four months after the family arrived in the United States! Imagine: a young couple, ages 22 and 19, immigrate to the United States with a 2-year-old and a 1-year-old (two babies). Then in a few months, the younger baby is gone.
Then there was another Rose who was born in 1892, after Cora. She passed away in 1904, two years before her namesake was born.
What year do you think this photo was taken? It’s a little confusing to me. Great-Grandpa got married in 1910, when Rose would have been four years old. She’s clearly older than that here. I wonder if both Charles and Jennie were already married when this photo was taken. My grandmother was born in 1912, so if the photo was taken when Rose was about ten (1916), then Great-Grandpa would ALREADY HAVE FOUR CHILDREN.
Here’s an alternative view: that I was told wrong about which child is which. What if this photograph has the Rose in it that was born in 1892–and if it was that Rose who had TB and in fact died of it? Then the names were assigned wrong. But is there a way that the people here fit the dates if that is the case?
How about the clothes? Any ideas on the date of the photograph from the clothing?
In order the children were:
My grandparents told me that Great-Grandpa’s family (this is my grandmother’s father) lived in Goes very near the Zuidwegs (my grandfather’s father’s family). They were printers, engravers, and machinists. However, genealogical research shows that, in the old country, Pieter was a fisherman, a laborer, and a shoe maker. I would guess that when the family came to Grand Rapids, that Pieter learned the furniture trade. After all, he was only 22 when he got to this country.
I do know that the printer and engraver part was true at least for my grandfather’s father, Adriaan Zuijdweg. The Mulders and Zuidwegs were city people, not farmers, so it’s curious that my great-grandfather became a farmer.
Great-Grandpa died on 27 April 1967, when I was 11 years old. I used to imagine that the family line began with him at his farm in Caledonia, not realizing that he was brought up in Grand Rapids or that his father made furniture or what hardships his parents must have gone through.