This is a photo of Pieter Schoon and his family. Pieter is a brother of my paternal great-great grandmother, Aaltje (Schoon) Dekker. The information in this post, the photo below, and the tombstone photo all came from the book The Dutch in the Calumet Region by Ken Bult, which is an excellent book and I only wish it was longer! According to the book, in 1867, the family left their home of Broek op Langendijk in the Netherlands, settled first in Roseland, then moved to Riverdale, and finally settled permanently in Munster, Indiana. The Schoons were early and important settlers of that area.
From left to right (first row): Pieter, Lizzie, Simon, Katie and Pieter’s wife, Mary; (second row): Hillegonda (Alice), Dirk, Cornelius, and Mary.
In 1890, Pieter and his brother Jacob (who had arrived earlier), each bought an eighth of an acre of land from Pieter’s son, Dirk. At first this land was where only Schoon family members were buried but eventually the name was changed to Munster Christian Cemetery and church member were included. I have counted at least 55 Schoon tombstones in the cemetery on Find a Grave, but there are probably more.
Here is the unusual but interesting tombstone of Pieter and Mary Schoon (you can also see it in the above photo). Impressive!
A ditch which Pieter and his sons dug along Fisher Street in Munster is called the Schoon Ditch and still drains much of the southwestern side of the town. Many, many Schoon descendants still live in the area.
I was doing some research in my DNA matches and found connections to a number of Bults at the 4th to 6th cousin level. Upon further digging, it turns out that I am related to Ken Bult’s grandfather, Hendrik Bult, who married Hillegonda (Alice) Schoon. Hillegonda is Pieter and Mary’s daughter. Whew, I am really having a challenging time keeping track of all of these interconnections!
Thanks for reading!!