Barend Van Mynen

I’m looking at an obituary for Barend Van Mynen (the Dutch spelling was Van Mijnen). I have hung onto this for years and have no idea where it came from. It’s more of a biographical sketch than an obituary and I’m fortunate to have it. I noted some discrepancies between the obituary and other resources, but the obituary gives an interesting look at his life.

Barend was my great-great-great grandfather on my father’s side. According to birth records, he was born in Woubrugge in the southern part of Holland on November 22, 1804 to Arie Van Mijnen and Hendrica Visch. He married Jannetje Van Egtelt on March 3, 1826 and they had five children. On June 15, 1839, Jannetje died in Holland and not long after, he married his second wife, Aagje Kroon. They had five children: Arie, Trijntje, Johanna (my great-great grandmother), Hendrika, and Martina.

The family came to our country on June 26, 1856 and settled in Roseland. Barend was a carpenter and butcher. In the fall, he went from farm to farm killing hogs for winter meat, and when those months passed and when the warmer season came, he made wooden shoes.

On March 10, 1866, Aggje passed away and Barend was left a widow again. However, in 1871, he married again at the age of 67, to Geesje Tuensma, and they were married until his death twenty-two years later.

He was an elder of the First Reformed Church in Roseland for more than thirty years. In the absence of the minister, he could read the sermon and conduct services in an able manner.

Source:  Glen DeYoung/Find a Grave

Barend died at the age of 89 on December 4, 1893.

Wednesday weddings

What a beautiful photo, this is one of my favorites and it is on the red wall with all of my other family photos. These are my grandparents on my father’s side, Simon and Lena (Kros) Ooms on their wedding day. They were married on June 20, 1923 in Roseland. The little flower girl is Simon’s niece, Alyce Sluis, and the best man is his brother, Casper William Ooms. Lena’s bridesmaid is her sister, Anna Kros.

Lately, alot of people are coloring the black and white or sepia photos of their family but I would never change them. It’s part of what makes old family photos so special.

More about the women — Jacoba Kros

In genealogical research there is generally more information on the lives of husbands than wives because wives were busy inside the home taking care of the children and house. This picture made me think about this woman’s life. This is Jacoba (Verkruissen) Kros, my great-grandmother on my father’s side, and this is only the second photo of her in existence that I know of. Based on the style of her dress, I’m going to guess it was taken sometime during the 1920s.

Thanks for the photo Dad!!

According to Jacoba’s birth record on “WieWasWie” (“Who Was Who” in Dutch), a website that “contains digitally accessible historical documents and personal data”, Jacoba was born Jacoba Verkruissen on May 11, 1876 to Jan Verkruissen and Antje Koopmans in the Municipality of Barradeel, in the province of Friesland of the Netherlands. According to Wikipedia, Barradeel is a former municipality which existed until 1984, and is now largely a part of Franekeradeel, Netherlands. When I magnify the original document, it appears the father’s name is written in as Verkruisfen, and that he signed it Ver Kruisfen with a space. Prefixes were used commonly in Dutch surnames, which gives me another avenue for research on her father’s line under the name of Kruisfen. Nevertheless the translation of Verkruissen was carried down, as apparent in census records and Jacoba’s death certificate.

Jacoba’s birth record entry is at the bottom left

Jacoba eventually emigrated to the United States and landed in Roseland but there are date discrepancies for her emigration year. On June 12, 1900, Jacoba married John Kros and within a couple of years they had two daughters, Antje (Anna) and Lena, Anna being one year older.

In 1910, census records list the family as residing on Wentworth Avenue, with no further information as to house number or address. In 1920, census records list the family as still residing on Wentworth Avenue, Jacoba was listed as Coba, with her emigration year being listed as 1890. Anna and Lena were still living at home, and it appears John’s brother, Cornelius, was living with them during this time, and a young woman named Cora, 18, who my father said is his daughter.

By 1923, Lena had moved out after having married Simon Ooms, and Anna had moved out in 1926 after having married George Wiersma. Sadly, Anna, died from appendicitis not long after having married George Wiersma. I cannot even imagine the sadness.

In the 1930 census, John and Jacoba are listed as living at 10919 S. Wentworth Avenue — here’s a current pic of the house, which on the outside appears to be in fairly good condition. During this census, Jacoba’s emigration year is listed as 1900.

Thanks for the photo Dad!

In the 1940 census, Jacoba and John are listed as still living at the same house, she was 63 years old and John was 73 years old. According to John’s death certificate, he died that same year on July 5th. His death is listed as chronic myocarditis due to chronic nephritis and hypertension.

1950 census records will not be available until 2022, but I found more information about Jacoba’s later years on her death certificate and also from my father. Jacoba had been a resident in the Ogden Park Nursing Home in Chicago for a year and then Bowman Nursing Home in Midlothian the next year prior to her death, which was on June 10, 1960. Her residence was listed as 10919 S. Wentworth Avenue. She died extremely quickly of a non-traumatic cerebral vascular accident (stroke), twenty years after her husband died.

But this all brings me back to the first photo. What was Jacoba doing that day when this photo was taken? What was she thinking? What was her life in Roseland compared to life in the Netherlands? What was it like to emigrate from another country and how did she adapt to a new country? So many questions I wish I knew the answers to!

Wordless Wednesday — Winarski

This is a two for one but not really a photo Wordless Wednesday. One of the toughest lines I have been researching is the Winarski line, my maternal grandmother’s mother’s line. Well thanks to Ancestry’s newspaper database, $5.95, and a search for the name “Frank Winarski”, I was super thrilled to find a couple of obituaries in “The Menasha Record”, a newspaper in Menasha, Wisconsin.

The first obituary is for Julia Winarski, Frank Winarski’s wife, who died on August 22, 1929 and lived in Menasha. The obituary does not even mention her first name, which irritated me but times were very different back then.

The second is of Frank, who died on October 19, 1935. It mentions he was a pioneer of the fifth ward in Menasha. Unless it is a mistake, Frank must have remarried since it says his wife survived him and Julia died 6 years before.

One of Frank and Julia’s daughters was Margaret Winarski, who married Edward Schoudel, and who is the mother of my maternal grandmother, Madeline (Schoudel) Bass. The information in these obituaries have certainly given me more avenues to research!

Notice the Schoudel name is mistakenly spelled differently in each obituary, Shoerdel and Shoudell. How many different ways has that name been spelled?

Adam Ooms

My great-grandfather on my father’s side, Adam Ooms, made quite a living with the grocery store he started in Roseland on April 1, 1886 at 124th W. 111th Street. At the age of 21 and with no prior experience, he went into business for himself and began one of the first independent grocery stores in the area (photo from the original Tribune Co-Operator dated March, 1930 and my father – thanks Dad!).

A new store was built near the old location in 1904 at the old Wentworth building at 146 W. 111th Street.

Sometime later, Adam added a little annex on the east for his son John, who was a radio dealer/repairman who stayed there until his death around 1960 or 1961. Adam retired after 43 years at the age of 65, selling the store to his sons, Harry and Simon. 

Adam was born to John and Johanna (Van Mynen/Van Mijnen) Ooms in Roseland on September 16, 1864, and married Gertrude Dekker on April 26, 1886. They had 12 children together, four of whom died young. He was elected Supervisor of the Town of Calumet in 1886 after previously serving a year and a half as Constable of the village of West Roseland. 

He died on October 4, 1931 from “toxic thyroid”, two years after his retirement.

What happened to the store?  Harry and Simon sold the business in 1964, and Monarch Laundry bought it, tore it down and made it into this —

It is currently a 3 story low income housing complex.

Wordless Wednesday

Every Wednesday I will be posting a photo but I can guarantee most won’t be wordless! Today’s photo is of my paternal grandmother with her only sibling and was taken in Michigan in 1925. My grandmother is on the left, her full name was Helena Jacoba Kros (everyone called her Lena), and her sister is Anna Kros. Sadly, Anna died the next July from appendicitis, not long after her marriage to George Wiersma.

Tombstone Tuesday – John Mathias Shoudel

This tombstone is where John Mathias Shoudel is buried in Waterloo, Indiana (thank you to Scott Bowmar for the photo and information on Find a Grave). In the near future, I will be posting more information about John Mathias but what’s interesting about this is the various ways the surname has changed. My maternal grandmother changed her maiden name of Shoudel to Schoudel, and all of my cousins have always spelled it as Schoudel. Now this is the first time I have seen it spelled “Schaudel”, it appears that is the way it is spelled on the tombstone. I was thinking it should be spelled Shoudel as various records for him have his name as Shoudel. For instance, in land ownership records for him for the Township of Smithfield in DeKalb County, Indiana, the name is spelled Shoudel. The 1880 census records also spell his name as Shoudel (although sometimes census records have been incorrect). I haven’t been able to confirm yet but have seen a family tree online that shows his father spelled the last name as Schaudel. Since John Mathias emigrated to America from Germany, I am guessing it may be the original German spelling. His first name is listed as Johann, which I’m also guessing is his German birth name. More research to do!

How am I connected to him? He is my maternal great-great-great grandfather. He was married to Magdalene Miller and one of their sons, Baltzis Shoudel married Martha Carr; one of their sons was Edward Ambrose Schoudel (again notice the name change here, which is why my cousins spell it that way I’m sure); Edward married Margaret Winarski and their daughter, Madeline Cecilia Schoudel, is my maternal grandmother. My grandmother was really big on changing names, she changed her name from Magdalena Sophia Shoudel to Madeline Cecilia Schoudel.