One year blogiversary!

Happy first anniversary to my blog !!

Yes, I started my blog one year ago today. Even though I don’t have alot of readers, I appreciate those I have and will keep blogging as long as I have things to blog about. Genealogy is really a never-ending hobby, so we’ll see how long this goes!

What do I see in the next year for my blog? Probably more posts on DNA as I am working more and more in the DNA realm. I also plan on posting more photos of family, probably photos from a trip or two to cemeteries, and other goodies.

Speaking of DNA (again), I was trying to figure out a puzzle over the weekend in my DNA results from 23andme. For every match, you can click on the ‘relatives in common’ feature and it will show relatives in common with that match and you. Since my father recently took a DNA test through 23andme, it segregates if my matches are from his side or my mother’s side, I love that feature. Anyway, lately, I have been finding some cousin matches to both my father and my mother.

For example, I was looking at the profile of a third cousin of mine on my father’s side. The strange thing I first noticed is he has a variation of my mother’s haplogroup. I’ll have to dive into that at some point, but I clicked on the relatives in common feature. The matches come up in order of closeness, so the first two were my father and daughter, that makes sense. The third match was a first cousin on my father’s side, that also makes sense. That’s when it got really weird, the fourth and fifth matches were a first cousin once removed and a second cousin on my MOTHER’s side, who are also fourth and fifth cousins to Jim. This also happened to three other matches.

So this most likely means there are multiple ways we are related. It’s possible it could be the result (without doing extensive research) of the two Ton brothers I mentioned in a long ago post. Two brothers married into the two lines of my family: Jacob married into my mother’s side of the family, and his brother, Cornelis, married into my father’s side of the family. I won’t know until I figure it out. I started to work on it but I think I may need a big whiteboard or something to plot this out and make sense of it!

Thanks for reading!

Nerd work odds and ends

A huge happy birthday to my mother! Happy Birthday Mom!!!

During the New Year’s Day weekend with three glorious days off, I spent some time doing what I call “nerd work”. Working on my genealogy of course, and entering information into a new database I found some information on, Genome Mate Pro.

I’m in a couple of genealogy groups on Facebook and someone suggested this database, sometimes those genealogists are very clever and have great ideas! Since I am waiting for DNA results from a third company (but this time mtdna, not autosomal), I was trying to think of a way to keep track of all of my DNA cousin matches in one place. I’m really horrible at spreadsheets so that kicks out Excel, plus I want to not have to do all of the work and wanted to have a way to import those matches from each company into something. Hence, Genome Mate Pro.  This data management program stores information on relatives and their associated autosomal DNA data. I was a little overwhelmed when I first started looking at it, because the learning curve is very steep, but the creator (Becky Mason Walker thank you!) of the database recorded short 5-6 minute videos so I was able to basically muddle my way through it that way and import all of the DNA matches I have so far. The only thing now that I have to do is to identify who everyone is and where they go, i.e., paternal or maternal side, which ancestor, etc. That is a huge amount of work but alot less than I wanted so that’s good.

I’m still trying to master the DNA thing, and have a great book for it, but am having trouble just mastering the book:

Fortunately, there is a very nice person in one of the FB groups that has volunteered at low cost to give ten weekly zoom “lessons” starting in February to a bunch of us. It’s really perfect timing for me since about that time I should be getting my mtdna results back from FamilyTreeDNA. I definitely need as much help with it as I can to completely understand genetic genealogy.

Thanks for reading!

Simon and Lena (Kros) Ooms

My oldest daughter has been asking for me to post photos of the family, so today I am posting some of my paternal grandparents, Simon and Lena (Kros) Ooms.

This photo was taken in May 1919 when they were on a trip with friends in Miller, Indiana, four years before they were married. Not a very clear photo, but the photo is not a close up.

This is a photo of my grandmother also from 1919, she looks so happy here. If anyone looks like her, it’s definitely me, and the resemblance is really uncanny. I have her eyes, her nose, her cheeks, her smile. One time when I was younger, someone told me I looked like Maggie Gyllenhaal.

I won’t post a photo of myself here, but I think she looks like my grandmother so I can see why someone would say that if I look like my grandmother. It’s so interesting what we inherit from our ancestors!

Here is a photo of their marriage certificate from June 20, 1923. And I know I’ve posted their wedding photo before, but I absolutely love that photo so I’m posting it again:

They had three children during their marriage: Laverne Johanna, James Wesley (“Wes”), and my dad, Simon John (“Si” or “Skip”).

Here’s a nice one, a little fuzzy, and was taken probably about 1951 (thanks Dad!), they look pretty stylish there. Grandma you look awesome, but smile Gramps!

Here’s my last photo of them, there’s no date on this photo but it was probably when they still lived in Roseland.

I barely remember their house in Roseland because I was so young — I can remember only part of the living room and kitchen, a red chair, a wooden puzzle I used to play with, and the smell of coffee. It always smelled so good!

I remember more when they moved to to their trailer in Dolton. I was 12 when Grandma died in 1977 (at the age of 73), I remember her mostly being bedridden for many years and bent up terribly and in pain from rheumatoid arthritis. Grandpa died in 1989 at the age of 89, but years before when we would visit him in Dolton, every visit he would serve us Pepperidge Farm’s classic coconut cake. It’s funny what you remember as a kid about your grandparents.

Thanks for reading!

Ooms Grocer Connection Part Two

Happy New Year!! Peace to all and that we may have a better 2021!!

I was on the Roseland Facebook thread last week, researching connections to cousins with the surname Hoekstra. I have to work more on that, but our Ooms connection to the other Ooms grocer in Roseland popped up again. In June, I wrote a blog post about two Ooms Roseland grocers and their connection: Adam Ooms, grocer, who is my great-grandfather, and Richard Ooms, another grocer.

To refresh, back some years family said the two were not related. My blog post was about how my paper trail showed different and they are related through a common ancestor couple, Jan (Cornelis) Ooms and Neeltje Baas, who are my fourth great grandparents on my father’s side. To make it easier to visualize, here is the schematic I posted then showing their cousin connection:

The reason I’m bringing this up again is to show the power of DNA and how “genetic genealogy” is really the future of genealogy.

A paper trail is excellent but to answer any doubt or question that ever comes up about it, I wanted to find DNA matches to back up my paper trail. To help me, I had my paper family tree and a paper family tree from my “cousin” friend who has been helping me on that side.

So I started looking at Ancestry and found someone who is a DNA match to me at the fifth cousin level. That match is the only one on Ancestry that is from the Richard Ooms side, but is a person who was adopted out of the family as an infant. Well, I decided to let that be and to go look at 23andme to see if I could find any DNA matches there. And sure enough, I was able to find a cousin DNA match to me at the same level, who is listed on the other paper family tree and is a great-grandson of Richard Ooms. All of the information he lists on his 23andme account corroborates with the information on the Richard Ooms paper family tree, and he has quite a few relatives in common, so I can explore that line further.

DNA doesn’t lie, and solidly answers the question (again) that yes, the two sides are in fact connected and Adam Ooms, grocer, is related to Richard Ooms, grocer.

Thanks for reading!!