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Last week I mentioned that both Lambertus and Gerrit Leeuwenhoek were at the orphanage together after their parents died.

I wanted to share with you information that Adriaan Leeuwenhoek discovered and shared with me about Gerrit’s stay. Gerrit was living in an orphanage located in Neerbosch in 1893. Here is the photo I posted last week of the campus.

Various newspaper records show that Gerrit was beaten by teacher Cornelis de Bruin.

Unlike the Dickens’ stories about the abuse of orphans in 19th century England, in this real life 19th century Dutch story, Gerrit went to the police station to report this crime!

gerrit article

unnamed

The articles indicate that the court prosecuted four cases of the mistreatment of children at Neerbosch. Superintendent Leendert Sies abused 9-year-old Willem van Deth, teacher Frans van Geelen assaulted 11-year-old Marie van Deth. Another child was abused, as well, but the Google translation gets murky there.

The 3rd victim listed is our Gerrit. Teacher Cornelis de Bruin was given a 14 day jail sentence for assaulting Gerrit. I hope he fulfilled his time!

With so many teachers abusing children, it appears that abuse was rampant at the orphanage, but that they were prosecuted shows, to me, a determination to try to improve the situation for the children.

Adriaan has informed me that within a half year of registration one child died, as well. I wonder what the statistics were for the entire run of the orphanage regarding child “mortality.” I am sure abuse was rampant in orphanages around the world at that time.

The case was important enough that even De Volksvriend, one of the various Dutch speaking newspaper in the U.S., reported about the lawsuit. Adrian says to refer to page 7 of the attached PDF. Note that this is not the Michigan paper that my relatives worked on, but a paper out of Iowa!

Leeuwenhoek, Gerrit [De Volksvriend (Orange City, Sioux County, Iowa) 1894-03-03 – Pagina 7]

Thanks for Adriaan for this wonderful information (which I would not have found since I don’t read Dutch).

I’ll conclude this 3 part story of Gerrit and Lambertus Leeuwenhoek with a photograph of one of Adriaan Leeuwenhoek’s handsome ancestors, his grandfather Adriaan Leeuwenhoek, born 1896. I love the straw boater hat.

 

***

I’ve tried to stick to the punctuation rule of not capitalizing “van” and “de,” but the sources list them both capitalized and not, which REALLY confuses me because I had thought that they were not capitalized in the Netherlands and then were capitalized in the United States. Apparently not true!

Now for the meat and potatoes of the information I was given by Adriaan Leeuwenhoek (as a reminder, his great-grandfather Cornelis Leeuwenhoek was the cousin of Lambertus and Gerrit Leeuwenhoek who I have written about in earlier posts).  Thank you, Adriaan, for such wonderful information!

According to Adriaan, Lambertus & Gerrit, aged 13 and 9 respectively, became orphans on February 17th, 1886, the day their father Arie Leeuwenhoek passed away. It looks like they had at least 2-3 siblings that survived into adulthood. Two for sure–a brother and a sister–that were born between Lambertus and Gerrit, the youngest child. I hope that Adriaan can clarify that for me.

Gerrit Leeuwenhoek was born in Gouda (the city that gave its name to the cheese) on January 24, 1877. Lambertus (Uncle Lou) was born May 3, 1872, but I am not sure what city he was born in.  Their parents were Arie and, according to Adriaan, Marijtje (or Maria) Hoogendoorn Leeuwenhoek. Marijtje was born August 8, 1842 in Zammerdam and died March 7, 1878 in Gouda. Note that Gerrit was still a baby when his mother passed away.

Arie, the father of the two men, worked as a farmhand (boerenknecht). In 1875, Arie and his family moved to Gouda (which leads me to believe Uncle Lou was not born in Gouda). In 1878, Arie and his family moved to Zwammerdam, his wife’s hometown. In 1879, and later years, Arie ran a boardinghouse/public house (pub, banquet hall, etc.) in Zwammerdam. Arie passed away on February 17, 1886. On May 17th, 1886, his possessions were auctioned off. Lambertus Leeuwenhoek (Willem Leeuwenhoek’s  branch, most likely) acted as guardian. Aries’s son Frederik moved to Rotterdam. Today there’s still an Arie Leeuwenhoek alive (Branch: Arie-Frederik-Frederik-Arie born 1935). Adriaan provided me with information on the branches, but for simplicity’s sake I am not including them here.

Our family had always thought that Uncle Lou was a descendent of the famous inventor of the microscope. Adriaan says, “The members of our Leeuwenhoek branch are not direct descendents of Antony van Leeuwenhoek.” However, it is the same family. “Antony’s only son passed away at a rather young age. ‘We’ share Antony’s (great) grandfather. The family hails from The Hague. The aforementioned (great) grandfather moved around 1575 to Delft. The first and second generation’s profession was basket weaver.

Here is Adriaan’s description of where the surname Leeuwenhoek originated:

It wasn’t a bridge! The Nederduits Gereformeerde Kerk (Nederduits = Dutch, Gereformeerd = Reformed and Kerk = Chuch) records show that in 1601 Thonis Philipsz. lived near “het Oosteinde (street) bijt Leeuwenpoortge (Lions Gate)”. So he lived in a house on the corner (hoek) of the street near the Lions Gate (Leeuwenpoort), hence Leeuwenhoek. . . .  In 2007 there were only 76 persons with the family name Leeuwenhoek registered in the Netherlands.

Thonis Philipsz. had seven children. Five children were still born (the curse). The two surviving children are Philip Thonisz. (Antoni van Leeuwenhoek’s father) and Huijch Thonisz. (Hugo). According to one publication the first time the family name van Leeuwenhoek was officially used was in Huijch’s will dated 1621. Lambertus, Gerrit, Alice [of the postcard from my earlier post]and all living Leeuwenhoeken descended from Huijch.

Uncle Lou's Bijbels

Uncle Lou’s Bijbels

Well over two years ago I posted about Uncle Lou’s Bibles which are still in the family. You can read about them and see the photos here. Adriaan has some insight into one of the Bibles. It links Uncle Lou to an orphanage.

The inscription shows Neerbosch (a borough close to Nijmegen). From this inscription I deduct that Lambertus stayed at this orphanage (Weezen-Inrichting). I guess the bible was part of Lambertus’  Statement of Faith/Creed and First Brethern (Belijdenis des Geloofs en eerste Avondmaalsviering). Gerrit Pieter de Haas (son of Rijkje Cornelia de Haas, father unknown) passed away December 28th, 1886 in Neerbosch aged 13. Gerrit Pieter was sent to the orphanage around May 20th, 1886. As shown by the inscription (Reverent xxxxbulstijn). The inscription on the second page shows that Lambertus kept the bible to remember his friend Gerrit Pieter de Haas by. So I’m sure Lambertus stayed at the orphanage.

More here:

Nijmegen is by bike around 100 km (5 1/2 hr bike ride) to the east of Zwammerdam. Lambertus and Gerrit were separated from their family. Around 1893 the orphanage housed 1.100 children.

The Orphanage at Neerbosch

Gerrit was also at the orphanage with his brother. In the next post read what happened to Gerrit at the orphanage!

This year has been very intense-with both overwhelmingly sad events, especially my father’s illness and eventual passing, and more positive events, including the publication of my first book (of poetry). So I have really let the genealogy slide, although I’ve continued to post occasional photos and story tidbits.

Eventually I hope to get back into working on all branches and with others I have been in contact with, namely the Paak/Pake, Van Liere, Van Gessel, Mulder, as well as information that people have sent me about the DeKorns (deKorne, deKorn, DeKorne). Additionally, I owe information to a couple of people, including Hubert Theuns. Jose from Enhanced News Archive is using his research abilities and newspaper knowhow to help me with a Noffke (surname also known as Neffka) project.  If you don’t see your family branch or name mentioned, feel free to send me an email or comment here reminding me. I would be so grateful, although maybe not any more prompt ;).

This post comes about because of a Dutch connection that is related to my last post about Alice Leeuwenhoek, my grandfather’s first cousin. Alice and I are blood related on Alice’s mother’s side, but Grandpa and the family were very close to Alice’s father, shopkeeper Lambertus (Uncle Lou) Leeuwenhoek. In fact, Grandpa’s father and Uncle Lou were close and even worked on the Dutch-America newspaper together: see this post.

I’ve written before about Uncle Lou’s Bible collection here. Eventually, I would like to write about his retail enterprises. Uncle Lou and his brother Gerrit were orphans who immigrated to the United States. His brother died during the Spanish-American War, which I wrote about in Good Manners and Genuine Dutch Intrepidity in Fierce Battles.

I was contacted by Adriaan Leeuwenhoek, who lives in the Netherlands. Adriaan’s great-grandfather Cornelis Leeuwenhoek was the cousin of Lambertus and Gerrit.

Lambertus (Uncle Lou) was born in 1872 and Gerrit in 1877. Cornelis was born in 1866, so he was about the same amount older than Lou than Lou was than Gerrit, if that makes sense.

Adriaan shared this fabulous photograph from the Leeuwenhoek “family archives.”

Cornelis Leeuwenhoek circa 1917

MORE FROM ADRIAAN IN THE NEXT POST, including the origins of the surname Leeuwenhoek!

I lost my oldest cat, Mac. He passed away a week ago last Sunday. His actual name was Macavity, and he was named after T.S. Eliot’s “Mystery Cat” (in the poem and the Broadway musical). I’m a dedicated animal lover, so I always like to see evidence of animals in the lives of my ancestors. I wrote a post called Dogs in the Family that showcases some photos of pets from 100 years ago, as well as my own four cats.

I found a postcard from 105 years ago that features a type of tabby cat. My cat Mac was an orange and white tabby, so this caught my attention. It’s part of a collection of cards received by Alice Leeuwenhoek.

This card was mailed from Grand Rapids, Michigan, in 1910. Alice was my grandfather’s first cousin–their mothers were sisters–and she was born in Kalamazoo in 1897.

I wish I knew what the inside joke about eating well means! Alice was a very slender woman.

Notice that the postcard isn’t signed. So frustrating! Does it sound like a good friend or a relative?  Does the handwriting give a clue? Alice was 13 years old when she received this card.

Here she is seven years later (age 20)–dressing fashionably, posing, and with a young man!

Alice wouldn’t marry until 1923, at age 26, and it wasn’t to the man in this photo.

If you go to Dogs in the Family, you will see a photo of Alice as a child with her aunt, my great-grandmother Cora DeKorn Zuidweg, and my grandfather, Adrian Zuidweg–with the family dogs.

I’ll leave you with photo of Alice and moi when I was 3 years old. Alice was 61. I knew Alice quite well when I was a child. She passed away when I was 8 years old, in 1963.

I recently found this photograph in a group of photos. Because of a clue on one of the other pix, I narrowed the date to between 1928 and 1931.

I know who the man is because he has a very distinctive look. This is my great-grandfather, born Adriaan Zuijdweg and called Adrian Zuidweg in the United States. I’ve written about him many times, but the best posts would be My Great-Grandfather Reinvented Himself as a Business Owner in the U.S. and My Grandfather’s Story, Part V and Back to the Dutch-American Newspaper.

Adrian died in 1929, according to my grandfather–of kidney disease. But I have not been able to find a death certificate or a grave. Maybe it’s because his name was mangled, but keeping that in mind, I still haven’t found him yet. It is so frustrating. Also, the newspapers from that year are not on Genealogy Bank. Nevertheless, I would put this photo at 1928 or 1929. Because other photos show him more fit than in his photo, I think he might have been ill (or close to it) by the time this photograph was taken.

But who are the women in this photo?

Adriaan Zuijdweg

Could the woman on the left be my Great-Grandmother Cora DeKorn Zuidweg? She looks a lot taller than he does, but maybe she was taller. I will post a known photo of her so you can compare.

Cora DeKorn at her father Richard DeKorn's cottage on Long Lake

Cora DeKorn at her father Richard DeKorn’s cottage on Long Lake

Similar hats, for sure! If that is Cora in the first photo, then she would have been about 53 years old. She herself passed away in 1932 from cancer.

Do you think that is Cora in the photo with Adrian?

Who is the shorter woman? Is this another photo of her?

The only child of Adrian and Cora was my grandfather. Cora’s only sister was Jennie–and this is not Jennie. However, she had two younger step-sisters, Marion and Marge Sootsman. They would have been in their 30s at this time. This woman does not look like one of them. She actually looks more like one of the Culver sisters, but we figured out that they moved to Seattle before this period.

The only thing is . . . there are a lot of photos of this woman. Was she a girlfriend of my grandfather?

Kinda looks like it. After a series of these photos, there is a series of him with my grandmother.

Do any family members know the answer to this mystery?

 

 

I am digitizing some photographs for my mother, and I found this picture that I just love. It’s my mother’s mother (in the middle) with her two sisters. They are standing with their children–the ones who were born at this point. By the age of the children here, I would say that the picture was taken around 1939-40. What is a little confusing is that nobody looks pregnant and two of them should have been pregnant around that time, unless there are tiny babies asleep just outside the boundaries of the pic!

The photo would have been taken somewhere in southwestern Michigan. CLICK ON THE PHOTO TO ENLARGE!

 

From left to right: Vena with her two oldest daughters, then grandma (Lucille Edna Mulder Zuidweg) with my mom (Janet) and Uncle Don, then Dorothy with her two oldest. Each of them had another child after the first two.

I’ve written posts about my grandmother. Dorothy showed up a bit, too, because the girls graduated high school together. You can read about their graduation here and here and here. In this post, Grandma, Dorothy, and Vena are shown as children with their parents and one brother (again, the youngest had not yet been born).  Grandma’s teaching contract from 1931 can be found here.

If you never read my posts about Grandma’s high school scrapbook, check out the links. It’s a gorgeous scrapbook from her graduation in 1929. She was Class Historian and her older sister Dorothy was salutatorian.

If anybody in the family wants me to post the names of the children here, I will add them to the post. Just let me know.

Isn’t my mom, the tallest one here, a cutie in her double-breasted coat?

It’s been a month and a day since I’ve written on this blog.

One month ago today my father passed away. It seems both ages ago and as if it’s happening right now.

I am going to get back to work over here at The Family Kalamazoo, but I wanted you to know why I haven’t been writing any posts or reading your blogs.

My father has shown up several times on this blog, both as a subject and as one of my family detectives. You can imagine how much he will be missed.

He was buried at the Fort Custer National Cemetery after a ceremony with military honors. I wrote about his military experiences here:

Dad Writes about His Wartime Experiences

Korean War: Why Did It Take Dad So Long to Get to Korea?

Next Sunday will be Father’s Day here in the United States. It’s hard to believe he won’t be here for that day. I wrote blog posts for Dad for the past two Father’s Days here:

Happy Father’s Day to An American Veteran

Keeping Busy

The last post featured some of Dad’s yard art. For his funeral, we covered a large poster board with photos of some of the items he made through woodworking and metal scrap art.

Dad was always doing something, always involved, and always present in every moment.

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