Two of my more difficult family lines have been the Kros and Verkruissen lines, my paternal great-grandparent lines, so I was working on those a little bit last week. I was really focusing on where some of the Kros family ended up and if two Kros brothers married two Verkruissen sisters (hence the title).

I already knew that my paternal great-grandparents, John and Jacoba (Verkruissen) Kros were married in 1900 in Roseland and settled there (see my April 21 post). I also already knew that both of them came from the Netherlands. I was doing some research on the website WieWasWie, which is owned by the Center for Family History in The Hague in the Netherlands that has made all Netherland birth, marriage and death records accessible to the public (fantastic website!). This is where I found that Jacoba has a sister named Janke, and also where I found that Janke was married to a Kornelius Kros. At first I thought it was a mistake, but you’ll see as I go on that it wasn’t.

It’ll help if I begin with the parents of each:  John’s parents are Kornelius Kros and Lena Slagboom; Jacoba’s parents are Jan Verkruissen and Antje Koopmans. I have known this for a long time and there are multiple resources confirming this.

So this is what I found — the marriage record of Janke Verkruissen and Kornelius Kros which took place on March 29, 1893 in Haarlem, North Holland. Janke’s parents are listed as Jan Verkruissen and Antje Koopmans, and Kornelius’s parents are listed as, you guessed it, Kornelius Kros and Lena Slagboom.

Here is the record transcript of it:

Here’s a closeup of the signatures from the marriage certificate:

So now we know that John had a brother Kornelius (later Cornelius) who was married to Jacoba’s sister, Janke. My father doesn’t remember hearing this in the family but this really is going a long way back.

Here is a clip from their immigration record — Cornelius, Janke, and John (originally Jan in Dutch) sailed together from Liverpool, England on June 8, 1893 on the Parisian, and arrived in Quebec, Canada, with their port destination being Kensington, Illinois. I’ve almost given up on finding Jacoba’s immigration record, she came separately a different year and I’ve tried all different name variations and searches. The only way I found this immigration record was by using a Soundex search for the name Janke Verkruissen and it happened to be listed under the misspelled name of Verkruistsen, and thinking she came from the Netherlands, decided to look at the record anyway even though it was from Liverpool. Also, what a person reports on census records for their immigration year can be very different than what it actually was. In the 1910 census, they all reported that they immigrated in 1889, which was actually four years off from their actual immigration year. This was quite a find!!

In a future post I’ll discuss more of this line and how part of it splits off to Indiana.

Tombstone Tuesday — Michael L. Shoudel

Today’s tombstone is the tombstone of Michael L. Shoudel, one of the sons of my maternal great-great-great grandparents, Matthias and Magdalena (Miller) Shoudel. He was one of the pioneers of Smithfield Township in Dekalb County, Indiana, along with his parents, who came to our country from Bavaria, Germany, when he was about 11 years old. He was born on December 3, 1844 and died on April 28, 1929.

The History of Dekalb County, Indiana is a goldmine of information on the area and has a long biographical sketch of him (page 866), along with his father, which I’ve mentioned in a past post. I also recognize another family name, Joseph Hohl (page 868), who was also a settler. My DNA tests list a number of Hohl cousins. Matthias Hohl, his son, was married to Mary Shoudel, the daughter of Balthasar and Martha (Carr) Shoudel — Balthazar and Michael were brothers. This is on my maternal side, my grandmother Madeline’s cousins.

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 (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.

Wednesday Weddings — John and Jacoba Kros

No, I don’t have a photo from the marriage of John and Jacoba (Verkruissen) Kros but I do have a clipping from the Chicago Tribune of them having applied for their marriage license in Cook County. Recently, my father told me about a free weekend the Trib was having and I ran to the computer to see what I could find. I enlarged the clip because it’s a little hard to see —

This was from the June 13, 1900 edition and they were married the day before in Roseland. John was 33 years old, and Jacoba was 24 years old. Per the 1900 census, they were living with John’s brother and his wife, Cornelius and Janke (Jennie) at 10459 Michigan Avenue.

Although I don’t have a wedding photo, here is another photo of them when they were older. Don’t they have nice faces? Thanks for the photo Dad!!


For a change of pace, I’m adding family recipes to the blog!  This one is courtesy of my sister who makes it for every family party — thank you Lori, and  big super huge Happy Birthday to you as well!!  Both of our grandmothers made it and it is very labor intensive (which is why I’ve never even attempted it).

Banket is a Dutch almond pastry, which originated in the Netherlands. It was traditionally eaten on December 5 for Saint Nicholas Day and called Banketstaaf or Letterbanket.

According to Wikipedia, Banket was introduced in the United States by Dutch immigrants in Pella, Iowa, Orange City, Iowa, and Holland, Michigan. Well obviously someone also brought it to Roseland. It is typically prepared using a mixture of flour, eggs, and butter or puff pastry as its base, then filled with almond paste and dusted with sugar. Marzipan is sometimes used as the filling. Usually it is rolled and folded into a log a foot or two long, baked, then cut into short lengths for serving. For the Letterbanket version, it is rolled and shaped into a letter.

BANKET (Dutch Almond Pastry)
This recipe should have both mixtures refrigerated overnight.

Part I  – Dough
1/2 pound butter
1/2 pound margarine
4 cups flour
1 cup cold water

— Cut butter and margarine in small pieces, blend with flour.
— Add cold water and mix into a dough ball. Refrigerate overnight.

Part II – Filling

1 pound almond paste (do not use almond pie filling)
3 eggs
2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
3 Holland Rusk biscuits (you can find at Jewel Food Store)

— Crumble almond paste and Rusk biscuits.
— Add the remaining ingredients.
— Mix well. Refrigerate overnight.

Part III – Next Day

— Divide dough and filling into 8 sections. Keep cold, take a section at a time.
— Sprinkle flour and roll out dough into a thin rectangle. About 4 inches by 10 inches.
— In hands, roll filling roughly 1 inch by 10 inches, placing in center of rectangle.
— Roll the dough from wide end, making a log, seal seam and ends.
— Brush top of each log with egg white or yolk.
— Use fork to prick holes every inch or so.
— Place on cookie sheet covered in parchment paper.
— Bake at 425 degrees for 35 minutes, making sure it does not get too golden brown.

Genieten!! (Enjoy!!)

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!!

Military Monday — Jacob Munster

Today we will focus on another military man in my family, this time a Civil War veteran, Jacob Munster — and I have always had a real interest in the Civil War. Last week one of my posts was about Jacob and his history as a founder of Munster, Indiana. Today I will do a short dive into his military background in the Civil War.

Cindy Watson Badten has written a fascinating history of Jacob Munster’s participation in the Civil War for the Munster Historical Society, and even included a photo of Jacob as a soldier.

Jacob Munster was born on February 28, 1845 in the Netherlands near Strijen. The name Monster was anglicized to Munster but Jacob used the original name when he enlisted. Jacob was recruited as a private into the northern army on October 18, 1864 in the 30th Illinois Infantry, Company K as a substitute. “Substitute” means that someone paid him to take his place and serve for him. At that time, Generals Grant and Sherman were pursuing Confederate General Hood into Alabama. Eventually Jacob was a part of General Sherman’s “March to the Sea”.

In February of 1865, the troops moved north into the Carolinas. Sherman and his men burned the City of Columbia and continued north into North Carolina. Late in March of 1865, they faced Joe Johnston and the confederate troops at the Battle of Bentonville, North Carolina. On April 9, 1865, Lee surrendered to Grant in Virginia. Then on April 26, 1865, Jacob was there during the historic moment when Johnston surrendered the southern Confederate troops. He was mustered out on July 17, 1865 in Louisville, Kentucky and discharged in Chicago on July 24, 1865.

Photo: Lawrence Varkalis

After the war, Jacob returned to his village to marry and raise thirteen children. He opened the Munster General Store in 1870 and became the first postmaster. Besides doing this and being a farmer, he was Road Supervisor, Town Trustee and School Board member. In 1907, the town was incorporated and named after him.

Jacob died on February 8, 1924 and was buried in the First Reformed Church of Lansing Cemetery.

Munster, Indiana

Some of my Dutch ancestors not only founded Roseland, but also founded Munster, a small town in the extreme northwestern part of Indiana, 27 miles southeast of Roseland.

According to Munster historical records, the Monster family (anglicized to Munster) arrived in America from the Netherlands on July 5, 1855 on the ship the “Mississippi”. Eldert Monster and his wife, Neeltje, purchased some land north of Ridge Road and east of what is today Calumet Avenue and eventually the wilderness land was converted into productive farm land. Eldert’s son, Jacob, was an important part in the growth of Munster later on after opening the Munster General Store in 1870. The store not only attracted customers from Lansing to Highland, it also served as a gathering place. In the corner of the store stood a small oak desk, which served as the area’s first post office, with Jacob being the first postmaster. The town was incorporated and named after Jacob in 1907, eventually becoming a booming town that attracted many people.

Before opening the store, Jacob served in the Civil War. After the war, he returned and married Henrietta Van Mijnen in 1867, who was the sister of my paternal great-great grandmother, Johanna. They had a total of thirteen children.

Source: Munster Historical Society — around 1905

Other Dutch ancestors were also early settlers in Munster. According to a Chicago Tribune article dated April 2, 2016 by Nancy Coltun Webster, Jacob Schoon was born and farmed there until getting a job at U.S. Steel because the farming was so labor intensive. Jacob was a brother of Aaltje Schoon Dekker, my paternal great-great grandmother. Family members of his decided to stay, including Dirk and Dora Schoon. They owned almost all of the land south of Ridge Road to the Schoon Ditch along Fisher Street between Hohman and Calumet avenues.

My father and I planned to take a trip this spring to see Munster and where Jacob is buried, but that trip has been put on hold because of the pandemic. But something to look forward to when things eventually become normal again!

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.

Anna Conner

I don’t have very much information on the very short life of my maternal great-great grandmother, Anna Conner. What I’ve mentioned on this blog is that she died very young, leaving four young children and a husband that was not able to keep the family together.

According to the only census with information available on her, the 1900 census, Anna’s birth date is listed as April 1872 and that she was born in Germany. Her parents were also born in Germany and she emigrated to America in 1890 when she was 18 years old. She and her husband, Charles, married in 1892 and at the time of the census, they were living at 3 Park Avenue in Chicago, in house number 2541. Charles’ occupation at that time was listed as blacksmith. They had four children: Bertha, 6; Harry, 4, Arther, 3; and Edward, 11 months.

On a couple of Ancestry personal family trees of members, Anna is listed as Clara Anna Schadel, born in Germany in April 1872, the daughter of Carl Gotthilf and Charlotte Wilhelmine Schade. However, according to German birth records on Ancestry, Clara Anna Pauline Schadel, born in April 1872 and the daughter of these same parents died in August that same year. I don’t believe our Anna’s parents were actually Carl and Charlotte and the information in those family trees are most likely incorrect. This will take more work to figure out and I have only busted half of my brick wall with this part of the family.

I emailed with someone who maintains one of those family trees who happens to be related to one of the sons, Harry. She believes that after his mother died, her Uncle Harry was left in Mansfield, Ohio with a foster family. I did not mention the error, however, it is always so important to check and verify sources.

Sadly, Anna was only 31 years old when she died on October 20, 1903. According to her death certificate, she died of an antepartum hemorrhage while pregnant with her fifth child, who also died. She was buried in “Oclanland” in Dolton, which I believes means Oakland. I’m including a photo of the death certificate here as it does not show any sensitive information.