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?”

Grietje (Margaret) Jonker Bas (Bass)

Grietje (Jonker) Bas (now Bass) was the sister of Jan Jonker, one of the founding fathers of Roseland. She is my maternal great-great-great grandmother and one of the reasons why the Bass line continued in America and, of course Roseland. Her parents were Gerrit Jonker and Jannitje Van Lienen and she was born in 1810 in Schoorl, a village in North Holland. Grietje married Albert Bas on June 6, 1835 in Zipje, North Holland when she was 24 years old. Here’s their marriage certificate—

The next document is an undated population register from the Netherlands. It is apparent from the record that Albert died on January 7, 1857 when he was only 47 years old. Sadly, Grietje became a widow with many young children. Nine children are listed in this record, some alive and some deceased.

However, when I was going through WieWasWie, I found records of more children. There are a lot of confusing dates and names, but this is a list I put together from actual Netherland birth registration records from through WieWasWie (I added known death dates as well) —

Jan Bas, Dec. 22, 1835 – Dec. 15, 1852
Gerrit Bas, 1838 – June 25, 1839
Pieter Bas, April 18, 1939 – May 23, 1919 (my great-great grandfather)
Jannetje Bas, 1840 – March 10, 1892
Gerrit Bas, 1841 – Nov. 16, 1852
Gerritje Bas, March 1843 – death date unknown
Maartje Bas, 1845 – Nov. 16, 1852
Aagje Bas, 1845 – 1927
Maartje Bas, 1847 – Feb. 8, 1915
Klaas Bas, Jan. 1849 – May 30, 1849
Unnamed stillborn, died Jan. 31, 1849 (assuming twin born with Klaas)
Klaas Bas, May 30, 1850 – Dec. 2, 1908
Jantje Bas, April 7, 1854 – death date unknown

Grietje gave birth to thirteen children!  Very sadly, as you can see, more than half of them died very young.

Some years later, Grietje emigrated to America with her remaining living six children and her mother Jannetje:  Pieter, Klaas, Jannetje, Aagje, Maartje, and Jantje. They sailed on the Duisburg of Prussia and arrived in New York on June 16, 1866 (Grietje is listed on the next page of the emigration record but here are the children and their ages):

This journey was described in the book Journey Homeward: Blokker, Ton, Zilligen, Mayer, by John Jay Blockker. I’ve only seen bits and pieces of it and would love to get my hands on the entire book. Because Jannetje eventually married a Ton, it has some good information about her family in it.

Eventually everyone’s names became Americanized and Grietje was known as Margaret. The name of Bas also changed to Bass.

I had quite a bit of trouble locating information on Grietje after she and her family arrived in America. I cannot confirm exactly where she was in 1870, in fact, I cannot confirm where any of them were living that year as there are no census records on them. Unfortunately some 1870 census records are missing and most 1890 census records were destroyed in a fire. Also, many times names were transcribed incorrectly.

I did find her in 1880, living with one of her daughters and her family at 800 Worbach Avenue in Roseland. One thing I haven’t figured out yet is what the name of that street is now, many of Chicago’s streets were renamed but this one is a mystery. Anyway, Grietje is listed as Margret Bass, age 70, living with her daughter Maartje (Mary), Mary’s husband Henry Benschop, and their family. The spelling in the transcription is Renochop. Sure it looks like that in the census because of the handwriting but that is incorrect (again, incorrect transcription).

Grietje (Margaret) died on August 16, 1885 in Roseland at the age of 75 and is buried in Mt. Greenwood Cemetery.

Thanks for reading!

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!!

Roseland and the Underground Railroad

One of the most fascinating things about Roseland I recently learned is that it was a part in the Underground Railroad for runaway slaves passing through northern Illinois. According to Larry McClellan in “Crossing the Calumet River: First Settlers and the Underground Railroad”, after Roseland was settled in 1849, leaders in the community wanted to help these “freedom seekers”. One man, Cornelius Kuyper, helped many who had traveled north on railroad lines. After 1853, Jan (John) Ton’s farm became a regular stopping point on this path. Apparently, Ton would hide them and wait until night to take them by wagon three blocks to the next stop on their way to Detroit, Hohman Bridge in Hammond, Indiana.

John Ton — photo: Wikipedia

In a Chicago Tribune article from February 26, 2017 by Matt McCall, an estimated 3,600 to 4,600 freedom seekers passed through this southern Chicago area. It was an open secret that Ton and Kuyper participated in the Underground Railroad and it was just simply something they did, believing in freedom for all.

According to the article, Hohman Bridge was located where the current Indiana Avenue bridge crosses the Little Calumet River.

Hohman Bridge is gone and so is John Ton’s farm. As stated in the article, what is very sad and ironic is the area is now economically depressed, prone to poverty and violence, while once being a gateway to freedom for many African-Americans.  

Tuesday Tales — A Tale of Two Tons

Tons were a common name and big family in Roseland and other Dutch areas. Jan (John) Ton came from the Netherlands and was an abolitionist and a big part in establishing a link in the Roseland area to the Underground Railroad (more about that in a future post). He came from a large family and over the years there have been large Ton family reunions. According to numerous sources, seven of his siblings also came to the United States. I always knew a Ton married into my mother’s side of the family, and it was one of John Ton’s brothers, Jacob Ton — but last week I was shocked to find another brother married into my father’s side of the family, Cornelis (Cornelius) Ton. I’ve had alot of practice from a former boss in creating schematics so I thought I would put that skill to good use to show what I mean:

My great-great grandmother on my father’s side (Aaltje Schoon) had a sister who married Cornelius Ton and their family eventually ended up in Lansing, Illinois. His brother, Jacob Ton, married Jannetje Baas (Jane Bass) after his first wife died. Jannetje was the sister of my great-great grandfather (Peter Bass) on my mother’s side.

So from what I can tell, my parents aren’t really related but there are indirect connections through marriages — yowza and whew!!! But when reading through genealogy posts from other people on one of my Facebook pages it is very common and many people there have very, very close connections in their families, first or second cousin close. Eh, we’re all really related to each other anyway.