Gertrude Dekker Ooms

I was going through some old photos recently from my father and was excited to find a couple of older photos of some of my great grandparents and great-great grandparents.

This is my paternal great-grandmother, Gertrude Dekker, whose Dutch name was Grietje. She was born on August 25, 1866 and married to Adam Ooms.

According to Find a Grave, the Dekker family emigrated in June 1865. I have not been able to find the record of this yet. According to 1870 census records, they lived in Hyde Park Township, Illinois, which existed as a separate municipality from 1861 until 1889 when it was annexed to the city of Chicago. At that time, Hyde Park’s borders were Pershing Road (fka 39th Street) on the north, State Street on the west, Lake Michigan and the Indiana state line on the east, including the eastern part of Roseland, and 138th Street and Calumet River on the south. In the record, the last name is incorrectly spelled as Decker. The children listed as: Simon, 16; Catharine, 13; Edie, 11; Abram, 9; Ellen, 7; Gertrude, 3; and Mary, 8 months.

In the 1880 census, the family is listed as living in Calumet, and the children are: Airy (Arie), 21; Abraham, 19; Ellen, 17; G. (for Gertrude), 13; M. (for Mary), 10; and Ellen, 7. They also had a boarder.

There is no 1890 census since most 1890 census records were destroyed in a fire. By the time the 1900 census rolled around, Gertrude is listed as Bertie (instead of Gertie) and married to Adam Ooms, and living at 249 W. 111th Place. They had been married on April 26, 1886 so would have been married fourteen years then. The children listed are: Johanna, 13; Harry, 11; Alice, 9; Aggie, 5; Johny, 3; and Simon, 3 months. They also had a servant named Kate.

In the next census in 1910, Gertrude and Adam had been married 24 years and had had twelve children by that point, with 9 living children and 3 deceased. The children listed as living at home are Harry, 21; Alice, 18; Aggie, 15; Johannes, 12; Simon, 10; Casper, 7; Andrew, 4; and Johanna, 0.

In 1920, Gertrude is still living with her husband and family at this house at 147 W. 111th Place in Roseland –

My father believes this house was built before 1900, and didn’t have a bathroom until it was added on later along with a kitchen sink and pantry. I looked up the house details on redfin.com and it was indeed built before 1900, in 1895 in fact. It doesn’t look as good as this photo but it at least is not boarded up.

Some of the children had begun to get married and have their own families by this point. The children still living at home are Agnes, 24; John, 21; Simon, 19; Casper, 17; Cathryn, 15; Andrew, 13; and Johanna, 10.

Gertrude’s daughter-in-law, my grandmother Lena (Kros) Ooms (married to Simon), was a prolific photo taker when she was in her twenties. Here is a photo of Gertrude hanging laundry:

In 1930, Gertrude and her husband were still living in the same house, with one child at home, Johanna, age 20.

In 1940, Gertrude is a widow, having lost her husband nine years before in 1931. She is age 73 at this point, and her daughter, Johanna Ledeboer, age 30, is living with her. Johanna was married to a man named Jacob Ledeboer, who unfortunately died of pneumonia in 1934 at the young age of 24.

On March 3, 1953, Gertrude died at the age of 86. Johanna continued to live in the house until the late 1960s. Gertrude is buried in Mt. Greenwood Cemetery.

Wednesday Weddings — Ooms/Yff

Today’s photo is of Nicholas Yff and Agnes Ooms, who were married on August 20, 1921 in Chicago (I’m presuming Roseland). They are my great uncle and aunt on my father’s side.

Source: Collection of Janet Ruth Myers

Again, I will give credit where credit is due, this comes from Ancestry in public member trees from one of my father’s cousins. Thank you!

What I love most about wedding photos are the different fashions. Although this photo is not very clear, just the veil/hat is so interesting. The other thing I love are the flowers!

Wednesday Weddings – Ooms/DeVries

This photo is of Harry Ooms and Jennie DeVries — my great aunt and uncle on my father’s side. This would have been taken on May 5, 1910 in Chicago, which is the date I have in my records for their wedding.

Source: Collection of Janet Ruth Myers

I will give credit where credit is due – I found this in a public member tree on Ancestry, from the genealogy collection of one of my father’s cousins and Harry and Jennie’s granddaughter. I don’t have many photos going back that far so it’s quite a find. Thank you!!

Probate records – Ooms

Lately I’ve been starting to dig into other kinds of records instead of just census, immigration, or birth/marriage/death records. Our ancestors left a lot more records behind than we think, such as land records, probate records/wills, church records, voter registration cards, draft cards, etc.

Last week I found the will of my paternal great-great-great grandfather Adam Ooms, dated September 7, 1898. This is a very interesting document and I’ve tried to blow up a part of it and not be too obnoxious with it so you can see it better. At this point in his life, Adam would have been 91 years old, his wife had died two years before, so he probably figured it was time to set things down on paper for what he wanted done with his estate after his passing.

The first item he bequeathed was $100.00 to his housekeeper, and the bed and bedding she used.

I looked it up and $100 in 1898 would be equivalent to $3,109.82 today. Not too shabby.

The second item he bequeathed was his old Holland family Bible to his grandson, Adam Ooms, described as “with brass corners and hooks”. This is really interesting because I’ve never heard of this Bible, nor has my father, and I would sure love to find out where it went to see if there are any family records written in it. However, at this point it would be well over 120 years old and who knows that it hasn’t fallen completely apart. In fact, if it’s from the time he was in Holland and he emigrated in 1849, that would actually make it 171 years old.

The rest of the document pretty much outlines how he wanted the rest of his estate to be bequeathed to his grandchildren. All of his children by this point had already passed away, so this makes sense.

Finally, Adam assigned Herman Teninga and his grandson, Adam Ooms, as executors.

Hope you enjoyed my blog post and come back for more!

Dutch Bingo Anyone?

One day last week I received two family history surprises in the mail. One of them was Marlene Cook’s “History and Mystery in First Church Graveyard”, which is a book about the graveyard of the First Church PCA (formerly the First Reformed Church of Lansing), located at the corner of Burnham Avenue and Ridge Road in Lansing, Illinois. Here’s a newspaper article about it.

I met Marlene through the Roseland Facebook thread my father told me about – she introduced herself to me when she saw a thread between myself and someone else (who turned out to be a distant cousin on the Eenigenburg/Ton/Dekker side). Marlene wrote a book about the graves at that cemetery and many of my family members are there, mostly indirect but very important nonetheless. Some of the names are: Schoon, Dekker, Ton, Munster. In fact, it is the same cemetery that Jacob Munster is buried in, who I wrote about before, and the cemetery my father and I were going to visit this spring before COVID-19 became a problematic pandemic. The earliest date found on any tombstone in the cemetery is dated 1864 and is of Grietje Schoon Ton, who is my great-great aunt on my father’s side.

It’s a very interesting read. During our chat, Marlene mentioned her mother was an Ooms and descended from Richard Ooms, another grocer in Roseland – but the “talk” was our grocer guys’ families were not related. Of course you never really know about these things, so I was determined to find out, and I am very happy to say we are truly cousins – distant cousins but cousins nonetheless!!  That’s when I learned about the phrase “Dutch Bingo”, which I didn’t know is a game Dutch people play  when they’re trying to figure out if they’re related to each other. Anyway, it’s really nice to make new friends with cousins I never knew I had. Here’s the shortest version possible of the connection without dates, I’ll write up a longer post later:

Adam Ooms is the son of Jan Ooms and Neeltje Baas, he is my paternal fourth great-grandfather (the grocer Adam Ooms is a great grandson and my great grandfather). Willem (William) Ooms is another son of Jan and Neeltje, so William and my Adam are brothers. William Ooms married Fija (Sophia) Hogendoorn, they had a lot of children, most who died, but there were three surviving children: Jan (John), Gerrit, and Jannigje. John Ooms married Magteltje Huisman, and they had three children: Sophia, William and Richard. Richard is the grocer.


The other thing I received was a death certificate for one of Anna Conner’s children. I’m still trying to track down her maiden name, and track down her parents. This death certificate confirmed what I believe Anna’s maiden name to be: Schadel. The first time I saw the name was on her son Harry’s marriage record, spelled as Shadel. I thought it was a fluke since he was so young when his mother died. But on her son Arther’s death certificate (note last name spelled Conners), her maiden name is listed as Schadel. So I feel pretty confident it is Schadel/Shadel. Census and death certificates list her original country as Germany, so at least I have something to go on but you wouldn’t believe how many Anna Schadel’s were born in Germany around 1872.

I hope you enjoyed my blog post, thanks for reading!

Continue reading “Dutch Bingo Anyone?”

Monday Meanderings — Ooms Netherland locations

Every now and then I’m going to post about where my ancestors settled and came from. I would guess three-fourths of my ancestors total from both sides came from the Netherlands – today I will begin with the Ooms line. I’m going back farther, not the Ooms/Dekker or Kros lines, but beginning with the Adam Ooms/Nellie Hogendijk line, my paternal great-great-grandparents, the other lines will be separate because they came from other areas. I will try to figure out how to make this pedigree chart accessible.

First, the Netherlands is divided into twelve provinces:  North and South Holland, Friesland, Groningen, Drenthe, Overijssel, Flevoland, Gelderland, Utrecht, North Brabant, Zeeland and Limburg.


The majority of the Ooms family were located in the province of South Holland. I was going to map out each town where they all settled, but that became a very difficult task so I decided to show each municipality and then name the towns instead.

South Holland province

It’s very hard to see without making the map very large so I  have highlighted the municipalities. Ooms family members were concentrated in four different municipalities in South Holland: Kaag en Brassem (upper highlighted area), Rotterdam, Krimperwaard, and Molenlanden, with the majority being in Krimperwaard. The towns in Krimperwaard that Ooms family members settled in were Ouderkerk aan den Ijssel, Bergambacht, Stolwijk, Schoonhoven, Lekkerker, and Gouderak. In Kaag en Brassem, some settled in Woubrugge. Kaag en Brassem was a separate municipality until 1991 and then it became part of Jacobswoude municipality. In Rotterdam, a couple settled in Charlois, and in the municipality of Molenlanden, some settled in the towns of Oud-Albas, Streefkerk, Goudriaan and Groot-Ammers. The Molenlanden municipality was created after January 2019, when it merged the municipalities of Giessenlanden and Molenlanden.

Two other provinces Ooms family settled in were Utrecht and North Brabant.

Utrecht province

One town Ooms family members came from in Utrecht was Poelsbroek, which is part of the Lopik municipality, in the southwestern part of Utrecht.

North Brabant province

Finally, the one area in North Brabant Ooms family members settled in was Bergeijk, which is a town and municipality in the southern part of North Brabant.

Interestingly, my DNA test found the strongest evidence of my ancestry in the following regions of the Netherlands: South Holland, North Holland, Friesland, Groningen, Overijssel, Gelderland, North Brabant, Utrecht, Limburg, and Zeeland.

More to come!

Ooms Genealogy

This is what did it — this made me a hardcore genealogist at the tender age of 16. I was a geek at heart and I’ve never looked back. Although I did take like a 25 year break while raising my children, forgive me, but I am back in the saddle again!

I remember when my father gave me this (thanks a million Dad!!). I believe someone on his aunt’s side had a professional genealogist research the Ooms/Sluis lines. A lot of this information is online now but I have kept the original of this for the sheer memory of it. Although my purpose for this blog is to not just provide names and dates, but more personal information, or at least more comprehensive histories, however, I can do that – but everytime I look at it, it gives me goosebumps. I had never gotten anything like it and was so thrilled to have it. This page wasn’t even all of it, someone actually had traced the Ooms line back to the 1600s!  And now I have just discovered a blog by a John Ooms in Holland which traces the Ooms line at- John Ooms.nl (you’ll need to translate the website through Google Translate). Cornelius Jansz. Ooms and Meijnsje Verduijn are my great-great-great-great-great grandparents on my father’s side.

Discoveries like this are thrilling to me, and I am so happy my oldest daughter has the bug too! From my father, to me, and to my daughter, the information will never disappear.

Nine Founding Fathers of Roseland

My first post on this blog was about Johannes Ambuul, my maternal great-great-great grandfather, one of the nine founding fathers of Roseland. Little did I know that I am connected in some way to not just him but SEVEN of the founders!  See if you can keep up!!

Johannes Ambuul:  You already know about this, but I’ll repeat the connection – Johannes married Neeltje Oudendijk; their daughter Trijntje (Katherine) was married to Peter Bass, they are my maternal great-great grandparents.

Pieter De Jong:  Pieter and fellow founder, Jakob DeJong, were brothers. Pieter was married to Trijntje Dalenberg. Their daughter Antje (Annie) married Simon Dekker, brother of Gertrude Dekker, who is my paternal great-great grandmother.

Jakob De Jong:  See above. Also, Jakob was married to Geertje Eenigenburg, who was the sister of Gerrit Eenigenburg. Gerrit was married to Jannetje (Jane) Ton, daughter of fellow founder, Jan Ton (whose brothers were connected by marriage to both of my maternal and paternal lines, see below).

Klaas Dalenberg:  Brother of Trijntje Dalenberg, whose daughter married Simon Dekker, brother of Gertrude, my paternal great-great grandmother.

Pieter Dalenberg:  Brother of Trijntje Dalenberg. See above.

Jan Jonker:  Jan Jonker is the brother of my maternal great-great-great grandmother, Grietje (Margaret) Jonker (mother of Peter Bass).

Cornelis Kuyper:  No connection.

Jan Ton:  Jan Ton’s brother Jacob married Jannetje (Jane) Bass, daughter of my maternal great-great-grandmother Grietje (Margaret) Jonker and sister of Peter Bass. Jan Ton’s other brother Cornelis married Grietje Schoon, sister of Aaltje Schoon Dekker, my paternal great-great grandmother. AND…….their daughter, Hillegonda Ton, married George Dekker, who happened to be the brother of Arie Dekker, Aaltje Schoon’s husband.  Huhhhhh?

I did a schematic for that one because I was really confused, here it is.  

Leendert Van der Sijde:  No connection.

Wow, I am disappointed that I am not connected in some way to the remaining two founders, I was really on a roll there for awhile. When my father said the Dutch were clannish, he was really right about that. Then again, all of these people were just starting out in a new country and knew no one outside of their whole group. It is seriously mind boggling — who knew how deep my family’s roots really go into Roseland!!

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.

Johanna Van Mijnen Ooms Rieve Vellenga

Wow, look at that name! I don’t know anything about my great-great-great grandmother, but from this photo she appears to me to be a tough, grim woman. People never smiled in old photos for a variety of reasons, but I wonder sometimes if Johanna didn’t smile much given the tough life she must have endured. I don’t have a date for this photo, but she appears to be in her late 60s or early 70s.

Johanna was born in Woubrugge in the southern part of Holland on July 11, 1845, to Barend Van Mijnen and Aagje Kroon. In the records from Dutch Immigrants to America, it is noted her father, Barend, sailed on the Arnold Boninger of Prussia ship leaving Rotterdam, arriving in New York on June 26, 1856. Barend is listed as husband and I presume that his family was with him. Johanna would have been 11 years old.

In 1863, Johanna married Johannes (John) Ooms, a local Roseland veterinarian, and they had two children:  Adam, born 1865 (my father’s line), and Aggie, born 1866. On September 11, 1866, John died at the very young age of 28. There is no information on his death, but given the fact illness was very common back then, it wouldn’t surprise me if that was a reason. Johanna was left a widow with two very young children.

A couple of years later, Johanna married Kasper Rieve, and they had three children:  Antje (Annie), born 1869; Barendina (Dina), born 1871; and Casper Willem, born 1873. Unfortunately, Kasper died in January 1873 at the age of 41. Johanna was left a widow once again, now with three more very young children – five children under the age of 10. Very sad indeed.

However, one year later on May 12, 1874, Johanna married again, to Age Vellenga. This marriage produced five children:  Andries (Andrew), born 1875; Lysbert (Elizabeth), born 1876; Bernard, born 1878; Kate, born 1879; and Harry, born 1886.

This marriage lasted much longer. In June 1917, when Age was 77 years old, he died of a stroke. Johanna was left a widow once again, but she passed away the next year on August 12, 1918 at the age of 73 in East Grand Rapids, Michigan.