Albert Bass Family

At this point because of Covid-19, we are unsure what the fall/winter will be like and if we will be able to see our families at holiday time. This photo reminds me of holiday times with my family, except we smile in our photos. It is a photo of the family of Albert Charles and Clara (Schaafsma) Bass, taken about 1937 in Roseland. Albert and Clara are seated in the second and third seats on the right. They are having dinner with their grown daughters, Kathryn, Jean, Ann, their husbands/children, and a couple of Schaafsmas.

Albert is my maternal great-great uncle. He was the oldest of eleven children born to Peter and Katherine/Trijntje (Ambuul) Bass and the brother of my great-grandfather William.

For many years I was on the hunt because I was told that Albert Bass had written a family history of the Bass family. Of course I had dreams of a fabulous book type history with photos and stories and summaries of the family. This is really wishful thinking on the part of many genealogists. Eventually, I got in touch with one of their grandsons and he sent me names and dates of what was passed down. It was good information but alas, disappointing as I already had that information. But it was good to confirm the information. Sigh…..

I don’t know much about Albert or Clara, or their family. I do know Albert was born in 1876, and they were married on October 5, 1898. In 1918 when Albert completed his WWI registration card, he was 42 years old and working as a salesman for the I.B. Williams & Sons Co. in Chicago. He described himself as tall (a definite Bass family trait), with hazel eyes and dark brown hair. He and Clara and their family were living at 58 W. 111th Place in Roseland. This is now where the Christ Temple Cathedral Church parking lot is.

I don’t have a photo of his tombstone, but Albert died on February 10, 1953 in Chicago.

Thanks for reading!

Jan and Teetje Jonker

I’m focusing a little bit on the Bass side right now, and today’s post is about Jan Jonker, whose sister is Grietje (Jonker) Bass, my maternal great-great-great-great grandmother. Jan Jonker was one of the first settlers of Roseland, he came over on the boat with the group that included Johannes Ambuul, my maternal great-great-great-great grandfather. In fact, Johannes’ daughter, Trijntje, married Grietje’s son (and Jan’s nephew), Pieter Bass.

A quick note before I go on. I go back and forth about using Dutch and Americanized names in my blog posts, but for this post I am starting with the Dutch names and then changing to the Americanized names. When I refer to the family’s time in America, I will use their Americanized names unless census records show them different.

Jan was born Jan Jonker, but when he died his name was John Yonker. He was born in Schoorl, Netherlands on December 28, 1811. He and Grietje’s parents were Gerrit Jonker and Jannetje van Lienen, and they had another brother, Sijmon. Schoorl is in the municipality of Bergen in the province of North Holland.

Here is also a photo of present day Schoorl:

On November 28, 1841, Jan married Teetje (Tillie) Veldhuis, who also lived in Schoorl and whose parents are Cornelis and Kniertje (Van Der Velde) Veldhuis. Tillie was born on January 21, 1821, and ten years younger than Jan.

In 1849, they were ready for the voyage to America. Sadly, they had a baby right before they sailed but the baby died in LeHavre, France. There is confusing information in some of the sources about this. I like the book Down an Indian Trail in 1849-The Story of Roseland by Marie K. Rowlands, but have found a number of errors. For example, it says that Johannes’ wife died during the sailing, however, I have a copy of a church record that shows she did not die until she was in America some years later. The book also says that Jan and Teetje sailed with their two children, one born in 1811 (!?) and the other born in 1821 (!?) – well this is an impossibility as Jan himself was born in 1811 and Teetje was born in 1821.

The book is actually a compilation of articles written and published in 1949 for the 100th anniversary of Roseland. I attribute that some of these stories were passed down through many people and inaccuracies occurred along the way. However, I’ve seen that people still rely on some inaccurate information (i.e., Facebook thread and others). This is why it is always best to check your sources.

Through records on WieWasWie, I have confirmed their children:

Jannigje, born 1842 (died 1926)
Cornelis, born 1844 (death year unknown)
Gerrit, born and died at 11 days old in 1845
Kniertje, born and died at 8 months old in 1846
Kniertje, born and died at 3 months old in 1847
Unnamed baby born and died in LeHavre, France in 1849 (mentioned above)
Garrit, born 1850 (died 1913)
Kniertje, born 1852 (died 1900)
John, born 1853 (died 1943)
Cornelius, born 1855 (death year unknown)
Klaas Nicholas, born 1856 (died 1896)

I have seen Katherine listed as a child but have not confirmed her existence yet. Also, Kniertje is the Dutch name for Cornelia.

This is all actually a really good example of the Dutch naming system. All of the children up until John were named after the grandparents, and then John was named after his father. Jannetgje is not the exact spelling as Jannetje, but it still means Jane. Klaas is Nicholas but I don’t know who he is named after, perhaps an uncle on Tillie’s side? Usually the order in the Dutch naming system is for boys, grandfathers first, then father, then uncle. Same way for girls, grandmothers first, then mother, then aunt.


The above is from the 1850 census, a year after the family landed in America. At this time, John is 38, Tillie is 29, Janka (Jannegje) is 8, Cornelis is 6, and there is a baby but I cannot read the name. This confirms that they sailed to America with the two oldest children.

The 1860 census shows that the family as living in Worth. John and Tillie now have a total of five children: Cornelis, 16; Garret, 9; Grete, 8; John, 7; and Nicolaus, 4. The last name is also now Yonker, but the name is mistakenly spelled at Younker.

In 1870 above, the census shows that the family is living in Calumet. John is working as a gardener, and is 58. Tillie is 49, Garret is 19 and working with the railroad; Cornelia is 18 (listed in the 1860 census as Grete); John is 17; Nicholas is 14; and there is now a Cornelius, age 7. Since there is now a younger Cornelius who is 7 years old, I can guess that the older Cornelius died somewhere between the last census taken in 1860 and 1863.

In 1880, the family is still living in Calumet. John is 68 and Tillie is 59 and the last name is again mistakenly listed as Younker. The only children still living at home are Nicholas, 24, and Cornelius, 17.

John died on March 25, 1891 at the age of 79, and Tillie died on April 2, 1891 at the age of 70. I don’t have photos of their tombstones but both are buried in Homewood Memorial Gardens in Homewood, Illinois.

Thanks for reading!

15 generation family chart

No, I just can’t quit you. I wanted to post some photos of a quick side project I had done some weeks back when things were quiet and not nutso, and oh, I don’t know, when I had nothing better to do one evening. I find during my research that I have trouble keeping track of how far the family lines are going back, even using my Legacy family software. So I bought one of those massive 15 generation family charts, just to quickly fill in the names I have to show how far I have gotten on each side. This first massive photo is of both my father’s and mother’s direct ancestors (mind you, I continue to work on indirect lines and their families too):

Now I know it’s still hard to see but you get the drift. The upper half is my father’s side, the lower half my mother’s. You can see there is a lot more information completed for my father’s side, going back five and six generations. What really helped there is professional genealogy information and the Netherlands has the best registration records around.

Here’s a closer look at my father’s family above, but grainy and really annoying. Virtually all of the fifth great grandparents are completed and a quarter of the sixth.

My mother’s side above is not so good. This one is more difficult because of the annoying brick walls. Many missing people here, at least half of the fifth great grandparents and a ton of the sixth generation. Still so much work to do!

In the meantime, Ancestry has decided to update their ethnicity estimates again and now I supposedly have Scottish in me. I can’t even find the Irish connections and now need to find Scottish connections? Supposedly it happens because of updated technological and science advances, but every time they do that, it gives me a stomach ache. Oy vey!!! Well that’s not Scottish but you get it. And for some reason right now I am really obsessing about the Irish connection again, but it’s like trying to find a needle in a haystack. But now Ancestry says it’s not Irish, but Scottish, but the Scotland ancestry is part of Northern Ireland and Scotland. And then there’s the UK in there. Ughhh.

This is the area they’re now focused on, I think the DNA is hard to tease and figure out between the three, so I don’t believe the Irish completely disappeared:

Sometimes I think of giving up but it keeps drawing me back. There’s just so much to do!

Thanks for reading! Stay safe and healthy!

Winarski/Lichnerewicz deaths

I had a bunch of posts already written but have been on a week’s hiatus because the world kind of went crazy. Two weeks ago my daughter and son in law contracted Covid-19 (they live in Chicago). My previously healthy son in law was severely sick for 6 days and then in the hospital for 7 days from Covid pneumonia. My daughter fared better with secondary sinus/respiratory infections but it hit her like a ton of bricks, causing constant severe exhaustion and other issues. They have said Covid-19 is a monster.

Then my husband ended up in the hospital with a couple of issues but he is back at home now. In the meantime it was my youngest daughter’s birthday which I tried to make as special as possible (since we can’t go anywhere like Medieval Times which she loves). And I was struggling all week with bad asthma issues and finally got treatment today and am simply exhausted from that and all of the stress. So I’m going to run my remaining four written posts once a week and then get back into posting twice a week, unless I find something really super interesting I want to share in the meantime.

So back to the Winarski/Lichnerewicz lines, and speaking of health, it’s more of a health related post than anything else.

In my research, I often find out what an ancestor died from, usually through death certificates, burial records, or word of mouth through family. Frank and Julia each died from stomach cancer, which made me think of how unusual it is to see spouses dying from the same cancer. Frank died from stomach cancer, whereas Julia’s death certificate states that she died from stomach and bowel cancer, but the stomach cancer was primary so it began there. That made me think of h. pylori, is it possible that they each had h. pylori, which then lead them each to getting stomach cancer? I don’t know much about it except it is basically an infection. But then I googled and read more about it. It is an infection that causes chronic inflammation and significantly increases the risk of developing duodenal and gastric ulcer disease and gastric cancer. And yes, it can be passed to other people through kissing! So it is very possible that one had gotten h. pylori and passed it to the other and then they each subsequently got cancer from it, but we’ll never really know.

That lead further to me thinking in general about diseases and illnesses, and why it is a good idea for people to research the health history/genealogy of their family to look for any patterns that may be there.

What else is in my health family tree? Well without divulging too much information on everything, there is definitely heart disease, nephritis, alot of stomach issues on one side, ulcers, things like that, but there’s also longevity as well. It makes me think about how we inherit things, or how we may have tendencies to inherit things. For example, I have asthma, and my daughters each have asthma. Asthma is not genetically inherited, but a person can inherit the tendency to develop asthma. My husband has it and his family is loaded with it, so there we go. There is the tendency, and most likely then with the right triggers, whatever those would be, boom, asthma. The one thing I am very grateful for is that they did not inherit juvenile diabetes. Their father has it, his father had it, and his grandfather had type 2 diabetes. So you can see how some things are passed down in generations.

Another thing which I wasn’t aware of that can be passed down is high blood pressure or high cholesterol. Studies have found that high blood pressure often runs in families, and mutations in genes can cause inherited high cholesterol.

And don’t forget about mental health when you research. Five of the most common disorders related to mental health are genetically linked: autism, ADHD, depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia.

Not a lot of people really think of investigating their family tree for medical reasons, but it’s a really good idea.

Stay safe, social distance and wear masks please!

Thanks for reading!

Menasha – Winarski Family

In continuing my research on the Winarski/Lichnerewicz lines, since I’m having some trouble finding information on the parents and family of my maternal great-great grandfather, Frank Winarski before he emigrated to America, I thought I would focus on the family’s time in Menasha, Wisconsin. I know that at first he was a farmer, then for a time he was the proprietor of the Fox River House in Menasha. After that ended around 1916 or 1917, I don’t know what he was up to. However, as I learned through my research about the Fox River House, sometimes city directories can be very helpful to see what an ancestor was doing at a certain point in time. I took a look at the 1920-1921 Menasha City Directory, and found some interesting information.

Frank, Agnes, Bernard and Paul Winarski are all listed in the directory. Agnes, Bernard and Paul were all children of Frank, and at this point, Agnes is 18 and the sons were quite a bit older and still living at home with their parents. The family lived at 500 1st Street in Menasha. The house appears to no longer exist, here is about where it should be:

Winarski Agnes emp MP&CCo b 500 1st
Agnes is listed as working as an employee at the Menasha Printing & Carton Company. In the 1920 census, her occupation is reported as Cottrell machine in the printing industry, so that is what she was doing at the company.

David Galassie describes the company and includes a photograph from 1905 in his interesting blog about Menasha.

The company was first known as Menasha Carton Company (building on the left), later merged with the Menasha Printing Company (building on the right), and then they both became known as the Menasha Printing and Carton Company. Eventually, the company became known as the Menasha Products Company , and then Marathon Corporation after a merger with Green Bay and James River Corporation of Richmond, Virginia. Thank you David for the photo and details!

Winarski Bernard lab b 500 1st
Bernard (or Ben as he was called), was 30 years old at this point and his occupation is listed as laborer, however, there is no company listed. In the 1920 census, he is reported as a stockman in a paper company. I’m going to assume this is the same job.

Winarski Frank (Julia) mach b 500 1st
Frank is listed as a machinist in the directory, but it is not listed where he is working. In the 1920 census, he is reported as working as a millright in a paper mill. A millright is a high-precision craftsman or skilled tradesman who installs, dismantles, maintains, repairs, reassembles, and moves machinery in factories; related but distant crafts include machinists.

Winarski Paul lab J Strange P Co. b 500 1st
Paul is 27 years old at this point in time and is listed as working as a laborer at the John Strange Paper Company. In the 1920 census, he is listed as a pipe fitter in a paper mill, so we get more of an idea as to what he was doing at the company.

I googled the company and apparently it began as a wooden pail and butter tub factory. In 1888, the company began fabricating manila paper, strong wrapping paper and newsprint. It was one of the first companies to make Kraft wrapping paper, the paper was used in butcher shops throughout the entire mid-section of the United States.

Thanks for reading!

Tombstone Tuesday — Joseph Winarski

This could be classified either under Tombstone Tuesday, Tragedy Tuesday or Wednesday’s child. This is the tombstone of Joseph Winarski, and no that’s not a crooked photo.

Source: Find a Grave

Joseph was one of the children of my maternal great-great grandparents, Frank and Julia (Lichnerewicz) Winarski and he was very young when he died. He was born in 1897 and died in 1908, and is buried in St. Mary Cemetery in Rib Lake, Wisconsin. I was told by a Winarski fourth cousin that he died in a farming accident. Farming was very hard work, but for children, especially dangerous. For people back then, children were a necessary part of helping their parents on the farm, but I cannot imagine ever being able to deal with the tremendous guilt from a fatal accident to my child helping out on the farm.