Adam Ooms, Sr.

Yes, we’re still in the middle of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and it’s very hard to keep my mind off of it. Lately, I’ve been cross-stitching a lot because it keeps me calm (and helps me to ignore the news stories which seem to get worse and worse). At this point, we are in for a long haul, estimates are Illinois will peak sometime in April, but other states are different as the governors of about 10 states have not ordered shelter in place so who knows when this thing will end? 

I’ve been doing a little less family research but it’s still really important during this time. It always fascinates me how information is gleaned through other people in various ways, even non-family members. This is a photo of the land where Adam Ooms had his house in Roseland. This is not Adam Ooms, the grocer, but his grandfather, and I will call him Adam Ooms, Sr. just to differentiate between the two.

Adam and his wife, Neeltje (Nellie) Hogendijk Ooms arrived in our country on June 15, 1849 from the Netherlands on board the Franziska or Franzelia, with their son Johannes (John) and daughter Neeltje (Nellie). According to a later published biography of his grandson, the family first lived on Prairie Avenue near 35th Street, where Adam had a dairy. About 1850 they moved to Calumet Township and he bought forty acres of land in what was West Roseland. The 1880 census lists him as being a farmer.

This map shows where Adam Ooms and his family lived on Wallace Street (see left lower coroner). This came from Paul Petraitis, who runs a Roseland thread on Facebook (thanks for telling me about it Dad!) Paul said the house of Adam Ooms was torn down about 1969. My Dad said that he and his father used to walk there.

Simon Dekker, who in 1938 wrote History of Roseland and Vicinity, included some of this information in his book:

“Now we will go to school section road now Wallace Street. We will take the east side first…Now we will take the west side of Wallace Street and go north again. The first one we find is Adam Ooms (grandfather of Adam Ooms who has a store on the corner of Wentworth Ave. and 111th St.) He lived near 110th St. Next was his son Johannes Ooms near 109th Street.”

I believe when my father and I visited the Chicago Historical Society decades ago we found this. The book is about 300 pages and very interesting.

I didn’t know until a few years back that Simon Dekker is also related to the Ooms family — he is the brother of my great-grandmother, Gertrude Dekker Ooms, the wife of grocer Adam Ooms.

Adam Ooms, Sr. was born on December 1, 1807 in Ouderkerk aan den Ijssel in the southern part of the Netherlands, and died on July 2, 1900 at the age of 92. He is buried in Mt. Greenwood Cemetery.

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