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Posts Tagged ‘Michigan history’

One of the branches of my family from the Netherlands was the Reminse branch.

On 26 August 1810, my 4th great-grandfather, Dirk Reminse, a bread baker, married Adriana Kriger (Krijger) in Kapelle, Zeeland, the Netherlands. Dirk was born 22 November 1786 in Kruiningen, Zeeland, Netherlands. At some point before his marriage he must have relocated to Kapelle, but Adriana also came from a different town. She was born 11 June 1787 in Biggekerke, Zeeland, Netherlands.

Houses on the Kerkplein (church square), Kapelle, Netherlands

The couple had the following children:
Gillis Remijinse 1811–1868

Jan Remijinse 1813–1837

Hendrika Remijinse 1814–1893

Johanna Remijinse 1817–1864

Johannis Remijinse 1819–1846

Adriaan Remijinse 1821–1849

Pieter Remijinse 1822–1830

Frans Remijinse 1823–1860

Gerard Remynse 1825–1910

Marinus Remijinse 1826–1863

Note the difference in the spelling of the surname. It is seen both ways. In this country it became REMINE.

Their daughter Johanna was born 15 July 1817 in Kapelle. She married Boudewijn DeKorne 21 May 1847 in Kapelle. Boudewijn had been born in Kapelle on 11 June 1816.

The couple had one daughter who died as an infant, then a son Richard and daughter Maria were born. Richard, my great-great grandfather, would end up being a well-known brick mason and contractor in Kalamazoo, Michigan, but first the family had to immigrate to the United States.

Johanna’s parents had both died. Dirk died 9 September 1840 in Kapelle. On 14 April 1845, Adriana passed away.

Boudewijn and Johanna arrived in this country in 1856 and first settled in Zeeland, Michigan. The following year their 4th and last child, Jennie was born. Jennie eventually became Jennie Culver who divorced her husband and moved to Seattle with her two teen daughters. I have posted about the magnificent photo album that belonged to one of Jennie’s daughters that a blog reader mailed to me.

Johanna Remijinse DeKorne was my last direct ancestor in the Remine line, although my grandfather stayed close to the family that continued that surname in Michigan.

I found a photograph of this branch of the family in the Netherlands. The photograph is not marked with a photography studio or any other identifying information. Someone, possibly my grandmother, wrote on the back “Remine family in Holland.” In order to figure out who is in the photograph I would need to know the approximate date of the photo. Since Johanna immigrated in 1857, this must be from a line of the family that ran parallel to her line. Would it be the family of one of her siblings?

I went back and examined the other Remine cousins in the United States. They stem from Johanna’s brother Gerard.  He seems to have immigrated to the United States between 1855 and 1857. Maybe he and his family even came over with his sister and hers? NOTE TO SELF: CHECK INTO THIS.

Why did the families remain close? Johanna’s son Richard’s wife Alice’s sister Mary married Richard Remine, son of Johanna’s brother Gerard! What does that make them? First cousin’s by marriage?

So the photo can’t be of Gerard’s family. That leaves eight other siblings to check into. And the children of all these siblings . . . . NOTE TO SELF: MORE WORK NEEDED HERE

CAN YOU GUESS A TIME PERIOD FOR THIS PHOTO?

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In my stack of anonymous family photos, I have two that are different from the others.

In the first one, the image is imprinted on metal and then painted with colored paint.

  In the other, a couple appear to be drawn, rather than photographed.

It’s likely that the photographs came from Grandpa’s family: Paak, DeKorn, Zuidweg, Remine, Bomhoff, or his other branches. Or they could be friends or neighbors.

Any thoughts on type of photographs or on dating of these images?

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My 3rd great uncle, Charles Noffke, married Louisa Rutkofski. This event must have occurred back in the “old country.” Just where the old country was has not yet been determined. All I know is that the Noffkes (and the Waldecks) were some sort of “German.” They might have been from Pomerania, but maybe not. The Waldecks-Noffkes had regular family reunions for years, decades actually, and yet their origins are more murky than my other branches. It would make sense if these people came from an area that is now Poland because I do have Polish DNA, but also it might fit Louisa’s maiden name (which can be German or Polish, according to trusty Google).

Anyway, I am writing about the disturbing story of Louisa’s death. Charles, who was born in 1843, passed away on 26 May 1897 in Caledonia, Michigan, where the family had settled. Louisa, born 24 April 1845, never married again and passed away on 6 July 1920. So she lived alone, presumably, for many of those 23 years. The couple had two children, a son Herman, born 1871 and a daughter, Clara, born 1875. Herman was married in 1900 and Clara may have married soon after.

I had never heard of Louisa until I began to do family history research, particularly on Ancestry.com. That’s when the Noffkes began to populate my family tree. She threatened to remain an enigma because I had little information and, after all, she is not such a very close relative.

But when I plugged the name Noffke into the newspaper database on Genealogy Bank, I was startled to learn the circumstances of Louisa’s death.

 

Clothing torn from her body? Some articles of clothing missing? Trampled weeds along the lakeshore? Scratches and bruises on the body?

DEATH FROM INDIGESTION?

It sure sounds as if she was murdered.

Clearly this shows that an investigation was opened into her death.

THEN SILENCE. Nothing else appears in the newspaper except information about probate of her estate.

What do you think happened to her?

For a link to a beautiful image of the lake go here.

***

Adding Louisa’s death certificate, thanks to Su Leslie’s comment. Notice that the cause of death is even stranger: that she died by drowning in the lake while ill with acute indigestion. HUH? And notice that there is no DOB, although they seem to know her age in days. There are no parents listed, although her only son gave the information. I can’t tell who signed the certificate because of the spot on the paper.

One more thing. Her daughter Clara died eight years later, at age 53, in bed–dead from the gas from a coal stove.

 

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In my post, Mulders Everywhere, I wrote about finding Merry, my 2nd cousin, 1x removed. I mentioned that Merry is the granddaughter of my great-grandfather Charles Mulder’s younger brother, Henry (born Hendrik). We are all descended from Pieter Philippus and Neeltje (Peter and Nellie) Mulder who arrived in Grand Rapids with two babies.

Great-grandpa was the oldest child. Henry was in the middle of the family, born April 19, 1897, in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He was a stonecutter who engraved monuments.

Henry married Hettie Mae Simpson. I think Hettie was known as Mae. Merry, please let me know where I’m wrong and what I should add!! By the way, do you know his middle name? Did it begin with a J?

Here are photos of Henry and Mae from Merry.

More photos of Henry and Mae:

A very cute couple!

Henry and Mae had four lovely children: Eloise/Fern, James, Mary Ellen, and Judith. All four children were born in the 1920s.

Henry and Mae: each with their four children

 Henry passed away from tuberculosis in a sanitarium on May 27, 1947. According to Merry:

He is buried at Greenwood Cemetery in Grand Rapids. I was 2 years old when he died so I do not remember him at all. I do know that my mom took me to the sanitariium so he could see me but she had to stand across the room at a distance for this. A few years ago I had my mom write about both of her parents and this is what she said. “My dad, Henry, was a very gifted man. He had a beautiful singing voice, played the violin and could draw beautifully. Dad only got to see 2 or 3 of his grandchildren as he spent the last 4 years in a hospital with TB. He loved children. Dad was a good father. He wanted the best for his children. Dad died at the age of 50, too young.”

My great-grandfather also had TB and sometimes had to spend time at a sanitarium. I remember visiting him there.

It means a lot to me that Merry and I have found each other because my great-grandfather was very overtaken with grief when Henry passed away far too early. They must have been quite close.

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Actually the house was right in the middle of the city, not in the woods, but that sounds nice–very Ingalls-Wilder-ish.

A while back I posted a photo of a house with Alice Leeuwenhoek standing in front of it on Thanksgiving 1907. The address on the back was 126 Balch Street, which didn’t seem to conform to current addresses. I asked a lot of questions about it. Uncle Don explained that were some buildings behind the houses on the street.

 

126 Balch Street, Kalamazoo, Michigan

Then I heard from Jill-O, a librarian in Kalamazoo. (P.S. You will love her blog so go check it out!)

Here are the results of her research in a 1908 insurance street map of Kalamazoo:

12699231_10153927127459670_1530652448_o (1)

12528261_10153927128209670_129033813_o (1)

Jill-O says:

It looks like the numbers are in the same location as today. There are a couple of outbuildings behind 126, so either the house was torn down and rebuilt, or the one of the outbuildings was used.

Here is the house that  is on the street, numbered 126, today.

Let’s look at the pic and think back to 1907. In the photo you can see an outbuilding behind the house, so it’s unlikely that it’s off the street, behind another building. But if it was 126, wouldn’t the outbuilding be poking out on the other side? And wouldn’t the house be larger? As to the second question, maybe not. The house shows one room and behind it another room, so maybe from the photo we can’t see the depth of the house. As to the first question, what if the photo is reversed? I don’t know too much about the process of taking photos or developing them in those days, and maybe the photo is reversed.

OR. What if this is an outbuilding and that building off to the left is a house on the street from another angle?

The more answers I find, the more questions I have. I think my husband is right: I ask way too many questions.

This map is invaluable to me because so many of my relatives lived in this neighborhood. I am going to use it to plug in the addresses on the census reports–yippee!!!

Thank you, Jill-O!

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After my last post was published, Elly and I conferred again about our Mulder family. We discovered that of the six children of Adriaan and Johanna (Mulder) Zuijdweg, we had two differences. First of all, Elly didn’t have a record of the first child, Kornelis, born in 1837. And I did not have another child who died at a very young age. Although I had on my tree, Johanna, born 1847, I did not know that there was an earlier Johanna, born in 1845, who died on 5 March, 1847. She passed away two months before her Grandfather Mulder died, and less than two years after her father applied for emigration.

Now we know why the newspaper account said there were 5 children and not 6–or 4. At the time of the application for emigration there were five Zuijdweg children. But afterwards, one died and two more were born.

So it seems likely that there really were seven in total, with one dying as a baby.

But that ain’t all, folks. There are two other exciting discoveries made by Elly.

First, she found an advertisement for Johanna Mulder Zuijdweg’s 70th birthday! Johanna’s family must have been proud of her living to that age. Elly says it is customary in the Netherlands, even today for some people, to advertise 50th, 60th, 70th, etc. birthdays. It might mean that her family and friends had a small party for Johanna’s birthday.

Look at that ad. Very very interesting. It says ZUIDWEG. Not Zuijdweg. What is up with that? I thought the boundary between the two spellings was the Atlantic Ocean. But now I see this spelling used in the Netherlands! ***

Second, Elly noticed a “coincidence” when we saw the name Hogesteger in more than one place and she checked it out. I noticed it and just assumed (you know what they say about that word, right?) that it was a coincidence. But it’s no coincidence.

Adriaan Zuijdweg and his wife, Johanna Mulder Zuijdweg, wanted to emigrate to the United States in 1845. He might have been part of the group seceding from the Reformed Church. His wife’s brother, Johannes Mulder was married to Henderika Johanna Hogesteger. Johannes and Henderika emigrated to Holland, Michigan, in 1857 with their three children. But ten years before that, Henderika’s brother Johannes Hogesteger emigrated in 1847 for religious reasons. He actually was one of the leaders of the movement that seceded from the Reformed Church.

In fact, you can read here in Michigan History about how Johannes Hogesteger, a Mulder in-law, figured into the history of Michigan.

The city of Zeeland has a rich history of Christianity, beginning with the first settlers who emigrated from the Netherlands due to persecution from the State Church.

The First Reformed Church of Zeeland was formed before the city of Zeeland was founded; it was organized in the Netherlands before the 457 immigrants sailed to the United States. It is thought that this was the only other group of people besides the Pilgrims that immigrated to the U.S. as an organized church.

Reverend Cornelius Vander Meulen

Reverend Cornelius Vander Meulen

The first church service as a congregation was held three months after the arrival of the settlers, in the home of Jan Steketee. Many Sundays found the settlers worshipping outside, though in inclement weather they held services in one of the larger homes in the village. Rev. Vander Meulen was asked to be the pastor. Jannes Van de Luyster, who played an influential role in facilitating the immigration movement, was elected as elder, along with Johannes Hogesteger. Jan Steketee and Adrian Glerum were elected deacons.

In May 1848 the first church building was dedicated, but by the end of the year so many immigrants had arrived that it was necessary to build a new church. In 1849, the church recorded 175 families in the congregation.

 

 

What I get out of this is that my relatives were involved in the only other group besides the Pilgrims that moved an entire church to the United States. It seems that the Mulders (Johannes and Henderika) came ten years later than Henderika’s brother, but their 14-year-old son Karel arrived earlier. And Adriaan and Johanna never did make it to Michigan to join their fellow worshipers.

***

Info on Johanna from Zeeuw Archief

Birtday registers Zeewuws Archief

 

25.GOE-G-1845 Goes geboorteakten burgerlijke stand

Geboorteakte Johanna Maria Zuidweg, 10-05-1845
Soort akte:
Geboorteakte
Aktedatum:
10-05-1845
Aktenummer:
89
Geboortedatum:
10-05-1845
Geboorteplaats:
Goes
Kind:
Johanna Maria Zuidweg

Geslacht: Vrouwelijk
Vader:
Adriaan Zuidweg
Moeder:
Johanna Mulder
Gemeente:
Goes
Toegangsnummer:
25 Burgerlijke Stand Zeeland (1796) 1811-1980, (1796) 1811-1980
Inventarisnummer:
GOE-G-1845
Owner:
Zeeuws Archief

 

 

Death registers Zeeuws Archief

 

25.GOE-O-1847 Goes overlijdensakten burgerlijke stand
Overlijden Johanna Maria Zuidweg, 5-3-1847
Soort akte:
Overlijdensakte
Aktenummer:
74
Aktedatum:
1847
Gemeente:
Goes
Overlijdensdatum:
5-3-1847
Overlijdensplaats:
Goes
Overledene:
Johanna Maria Zuidweg

Geboorteplaats: Goes
Geslacht: Vrouwelijk
Leeftijd: 2 jaar
Vader:
Adriaan Zuidweg

Leeftijd: 42
Beroep: Kleermaker
Moeder:
Johanna Mulder

Leeftijd: 39
Beroep: Zonder
Toegangsnummer:
25 Burgerlijke Stand Zeeland (1796) 1811-1980, (1796) 1811-1980
Inventarisnummer:
GOE-O-1847
Owner:
Zeeuws Archief

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My new friend (and Xth Mulder cousin) Elly sent me something she found in the Goes archives that I think is quite special.

Let me give a little context first. My grandfather, Adrian Zuidweg, was the son of Adriaan Zuijdweg who immigrated to the United States in 1893. Adriaan’s father and mother, Johannes and Jennie, also immigrated after their son–in 1901. Here are Johannes and Jennie who you have seen before.

Johannes’ father was Adriaan Zuijdweg, 1801 (or 1805)-1851. He only lived to be 46 or 50 years old.

I also want to “remind” you that both my maternal grandparents are descended from Carel Mulder, the jailer’s hand. So while Elly was researching the Mulders she came across information about not only a descendent of Carel in the form of Johanna, his daughter, but also her husband Adriaan Zuijdweg, my 3rd great-grandfather through my grandfather’s line.

Elly says:
I found a quote in the archives of Goes, that Adriaan Zuidweg (born in 1805 and married [to] Johanna Mulder, daughter of Carel Mulder) made a request at the town-councelors to make it possible ( to emigrate with his family –5 children) to the USA.
Apparently it was denied, because 6 years later he died in Goes.
 !!! He wanted to bring his branch of the family to the United States long before the family actually did come here!
Here is the text:
Landverhuizers
Als gevolg van de misoogst en armoede, maar ook vanwege de tegenwerking van de afgescheidenen van de Hervormde kerk, verlaten de zogenaamde ‘landverhuizers’ ons land en emigreren naar Amerika en Canada. Op de 26e juli 1845 verzoeken twee ingezetenen van de stad om in de gelegenheid gesteld te worden buiten hun kosten te vertrekken naar Noord Amerika omdat ze zich buiten staat bevinden hier in hun levensonderhoud te voorzien. Het betreft de ongehuwde 39-jarige Adriaan Johannes de Wolff, timmerman, metselaar en schilder, en de 40-jarige Adriaan Zuidweg, kleermaker, gehuwd en vijf kinderen.
Elly continues:
It was an article about emigration.
Translated it says:
Because of crop failure and poverty, but also because of the opposition against the members of the separated Reformed church , many people leave the Netherlands and emigrate to the US and Canada.
On 26 July 1845 two citizens of Goes made a request to be enabled to emigrate, with the costs of this emigration paid by the town, because they are not able to support their means of living in this town.
It concerns A.J.de Wolff ( 39 years old, not married), carpenter, bricklayer and painter, and Adriaan Zuidweg, tailor, married and 5 children.
Of course, my mind went off in many directions. I wondered if the family was very poor and if they were even hungry. I thought that Adriaan had absolutely no resources. That he had to essentially beg to leave. That he was denied that opportunity, which seems cruel, like imprisoning someone without food. That my information shows Adriaan had six children, not five (note to self: investigate further). That here was confirmation that Adriaan was a tailor as I had already learned.
Then it dawned on me that I didn’t know what “separated Reformed church” means. I had vaguely known that most of my Dutch ancestors were adherents to the Reformed religion (a branch of Calvinism), at least until they came to the United States. But what did this “separated” thing mean?
I tried to Google the information, but it got more and more confusing to me, so I asked Elly if she could help. She sent me some sources. A Google translation of a passage from http://encyclopedievanzeeland.nl/Emigratie_van_Afgescheidenen goes this way:

As the Pilgrim Fathers in 1620 as a community have migrated to America, so are also left the secessionists of South Beveland in the spring of 1847 and she settled in Michigan as a congregation.

Apparently for a short time in the mid-19th century, there were people seceding from the Reformed Church–and these people must have included my 3rd great-grandfather, Adriaan Zuijdweg. Apparently they were from Zeeland, and this was not a big “wave” all over the Netherlands.

According to Elly, this period lasted from approximately 1830-1850, and the people were not persecuted but did find a lot of opposition. The movement must have been very small and confined to the region because apparently it is not taught in history classes in the Netherlands.

According to Wikipedia:

During the early nineteenth century, large numbers of Dutch farmers, forced by high taxes and low wages, started immigrating to America. They mainly settled down in the Midwest, especially Michigan, Illinois and Iowa. In the 1840s, Calvinist immigrants desiring more religious freedom immigrated. West Michigan in particular has become associated with Dutch American culture, and the highly conservative influence Dutch Reformed Church, centering on the cities of Holland and (to a lesser extent)Grand Rapids.

Waves of Catholic Dutch emigrants, initially encouraged in the 1840s by Father Theodore J. Van den Broek, emigrated from southern Netherlands to form communities in Wisconsin, primarily to Little Chute, Hollandtown, and the outlying farming communities. Whole families and even neighborhoods left for America. Most of these early emigrants were from villages nearUden, including Zeeland, Boekel, Mill, Oploo and Gemert. By contrast, many Protestant agrarian emigrants to Michigan and Iowa were drawn from Groningen, Friesland, and Zeeland; areas known for their clay soils.[4]

The Dutch economy of the 1840s was stagnant and much of the motivation to emigrate was economic rather than political or religious. The emigrants were not poor, as the cost of passage, expenses and land purchase in America would have been substantial. They were not, however, affluent and many would have been risking most of their wealth on the chance of economic improvement. There were also political pressures at the time that favored mass emigrations of Catholics.[4][5][6] Yda Schreuder, Dutch Catholic Immigrant Settlement in Wisconsin, 1850-1905 (New York: Garland, 1989); and H. A. V. M. van Stekelenburg, Landverhuizing als regionaal verschijnsel: Van Noord-Brabant naar Noord-Amerika 1820-1880 (Tilburg: Stichting Zuidelijk Historisch Contact, 1991).

It’s true that most of my Dutch ancestors did come from Zeeland and perhaps one branch from Groningen, although one branch came from Zwolle. So was Adriaan really that poor or was he rather temporarily economically “flat” because of the worsening economy in his country? I’d say the latter.

I do feel bad that the family had this hardship and wonder how it affected the children, especially Johannes, Grandpa’s grandfather. Although his father Adriaan couldn’t get him to America, apparently his son Adriaan did so. But in the meantime Johannes’ other son Lucas was killed at age 21 in Goes by “falling on an anchor.” I wrote about him in A Sailor’s Death.

As an aside, when I was a kid I used to love the folk and fairy tales that featured tailors and shoemakers, so I find it charming when I hear that so many of my ancestors were tailors and shoemakers, as well as merchants.

Here’s another tangent. Why do the men have occupations like that so often, but the women are usually maids or servants? Is that because those were their jobs when they got married and then they generally quit work after getting married? Did the daughters of tailors and shoemakers become maids when they were old enough to work but still unmarried? Or did they remain maids throughout their lives? What did it mean to be a maid in Zeeland in the 1800s? And, most importantly, did they wear white pinafore aprons?

Elly and I both wonder what happened to Johanna after Adriaan’s death. I checked out my family tree to see what chronology I could see.

Johanna was 29 when she married Adriaan. Then she had four children in a row. On 26 July, 1845, when Adriaan made his application for emigration, the children were 8, 7, 5, and 3. That’s quite a handful. Less than two years after the application, Johanna’s father, Carel Mulder, died. He is the one who got sick and his prison guard job was award to another son-in-law, NOT to Adriaan. Seven months after Carel’s death, Johanna gave birth to yet another child. I also show that she had a sixth child two years after the birth of the fifth, but he is the only one I do not have a death date for. He is not yet documented, in my opinion.

It’s no wonder that in 1869, when Johanna was 62 years old, she was working as a laborer in Goes. She must have had to go to work after Adriaan’s death, if not before. Did she work when she was pregnant? Who took care of her children? Her own father was undergoing his own problems before his death, so he couldn’t help her. First he was suspended from his job for insubordination, then he became ill and eventually passed away.

What of Adriaan’s parents? The other grandparents of the children . . . .   Adriaan’s father, a fish inspector, passed away in 1841, five years before the application to emigrate was made. His mother died in 1838 after seeing only one of her grandchildren by Adriaan born.

Where does some of this information about Adriaan and Johanna (Mulder) Zuijdweg come from? The Goes archives.  Elly says that this archives is linked to the archives in Zeeland.

Zeeuws Archief

 

 

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