Arthur Conners

I did not know that brothers Harry and Arthur Conner were in contact with their sister, Bertha (Conner) Bass, as adults until recently when talking to my father. As I’ve mentioned in previous blogs, the siblings (including youngest brother Edward) were split up and sent to different families after their mother, Anna, died in 1903 and their father, Charles, went who knows where. This was quite an exciting revelation!

Although I have Arthur’s death certificate, I’ve had some trouble identifying other records of him until talking with my father. A couple of tidbits: “Art” as he was known, was married to a woman by the name of Lillian, lived in Roseland for awhile, and was missing a couple of fingers. I started looking at some of the records on Ancestry and found some interesting records, one a marriage record, and the other a WWII draft registration card.

The first is a marriage record between Arthur Conners and Lillian K. Morman – they were married in Chicago on July 14, 1942.

On his death certificate, Arthur was identified with the last name of “Conners” instead of “Conner”, and even though there is no birth date or other identifying information in the marriage record, I am going to assume that this is my Arthur and Lillian. There are no other marriage records anywhere that I can find for people with these names. There are also marriage records to a Hazel, but at the present time I believe they may not be connected because the birth dates do not match, but will be looking at those further.

The next record is a WWII draft registration card. There are a couple of draft registration cards floating around on Ancestry that are connected with my Arthur but I believe this is the correct one as the other ones have his birth date as seven years earlier, yet this Arthur’s birth date is exactly the same as my Arthur’s birth date.

The most intriguing thing that makes me believe this is my family’s Arthur besides the birth date is where he identifies obvious physical characteristics on the back of the card:

This Arthur mentioned that he is missing a finger on his left hand. My father and I debated about this, because he thought Art was missing fingers on his right hand, but it is too coincidental. My father also remembers Art as being tall and thin, and this card lists his height as 6’1-1/2″, which is quite tall, and 145 pounds – that weight and height would make this man quite thin. The other draft registration cards list the  height as 5’6″, and well that is not very tall. As height goes, we would know about this — my father is 6’2″ and I am 5’11”, we know tall people when we see them. As it was a few short months before his marriage date, Lillian would most likely not have been mentioned.

I believe based on the birth date and identifying physical characteristics of the hand that this is my Arthur Conners.

Thanks for reading!!

WordPress angst

Even though I’ve been blogging twice a week, lately I’ve been not really feeling into it when it comes to the family tree. I don’t know what it is but I may have just gotten myself overwhelmed, because I still work full-time remotely, or gotten what we call “shelter fatigue”, or just the doldrums from the shelter fatigue. But the other day I did widen the circle of where I go and went browsing in the bookstore, of course in my protective gear.  I think what I miss most is the entertainment part — movies with our daughter, and eating in restaurants. But I am seeing my family soon, yay, very much looking forward to it!

In the meantime, I’ve been thinking about how I can include the family tree for everyone to see on my blog — you know, that big unwieldy thing I have with over 1,900 individuals in it in my Legacy family software program? I was reading about how to share it and decided to dip my toe in and was able to download all of the data from Legacy into what is called a GEDCOM file. GEDCOM is an acronym for Genealogical Data Communication and is a data structure created by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints for storing and exchanging genealogical information so that different computer programs can use it. It basically looks something like this, not very pretty:

Now what do I do with this GEDCOM file? I decided to upload it to Ancestry since I have a membership. I still have a lot of work to do but have added a ton of photos and sources so it looks like an actual family tree now. The most fun part is since I have submitted DNA, it matches “perceived” common ancestors to me and anyone who matches my DNA and has also uploaded a family tree:

When I click on “common ancestor”, it then brings me to who the common ancestors are between my DNA match and myself:

And then clicking on the “view relationship” link shows the whole connection with the DNA match through something called Thrulines:

I wanted to show with pics from my actual account, but that would break the privacy between my DNA match and myself, but what it shows is exactly the breakdown of the link between my cousins and myself, super cool!!

The majority of the matches on my list (all who are second, third, fourth fifth-eighth cousins) are Schoons and Schoudels, then quite a bit of Basses, some Dekkers, some Oomses, some Winarskis, a couple of Slagbooms, a couple of Van Mijnens, about four Verkruissens, one Kros, and one from the Conner side, a Dorwart cousin.

So then I thought, what if I could take that, or part of that tree on Ancestry, and figure out a way to show it on my blog?  Well you will see why I titled my blog “WordPress Angst” — because I have learned a whole lot more about it since I roped myself into using it as a hosting program for my blog five months ago. If I wanted to, I could show the tree on the blog, but that would mean upgrading to another plan – for just $200 more dollars. Which I’m not doing as I find it ridiculously expensive and I don’t need all of the other things it offers in the upgraded plan. And of course for $200 more, I could download specific family tree plugins that would allow me to include it and present it in a very pretty way. Which I’m still not doing.  And of course, WordPress does not allow anyone to create their own plugins, so I cannot create plugin code from scratch and include it. Sneaky smart WordPress!!  So today we’re doing this the old fashioned way, taking a crummy photo with my phone to show you what it looks like:

There may be a way to embed a link into the blog with WikiTree or something else, so I will be looking into that.

The reason I chose Ancestry is because of the presentation, and how user friendly it is. It gives me hints from its database of sources that it believes matches your family member and then you can review and include the source or ignore it, and of course I can add photos. It is a lot easier than I thought it would be!  I may eventually also invite people to view the tree, but want to see if I can figure out another way.

Thanks for reading!


Ooms Grocer Connection

In a recent post, I mentioned a connection between my great grandfather, Adam Ooms, a grocer in Roseland, to Richard Ooms, another grocer in Roseland. I had mentioned that my new cousin on that Ooms side had said she was told the families were not related (the way I understand is someone from my side said if it’s “the red-headed ones, we’re not related”). Well, I beg to differ, I went through all of my records again and confirmed everything, and this post outlines that connection.

To begin, Jan Ooms and Neeltje Baas are the common ancestors that connect the two grocers. They are my fourth great grandparents on my father’s side. They had a number of children, among them Adam Ooms (my 3rd great grandfather), and another son named Willem.

This photo is a record of the marriage of Adam Ooms to his wife Nelligje Hogendijk from WieWasWie through Ancestry. I’ve mentioned WieWasWie before, it’s a website which contains registrations for births, marriages and deaths in the Netherlands, and it’s a goldmine. You’ll see Adam’s parents are listed as Jan and Neeltje.

This next photo is a record of the marriage of Willem Ooms and Fija Hogendoorn. Willem’s parents are listed as Jan and Neeltje.

So Adam and Willem are brothers, both born to Jan and Neeltje.

Willem and Fija (actually Sophia) had a lot of children, most who died, but three survived to adulthood: Jan (John), Gerrit, and Jannigje. John married Magteltje Huisman, as you can see from this record of their marriage:

John and Magteltje had three children:  Sophia, William, and Richard. Richard Ooms is the grocer.

Adam and Nellie had a son named Johannes (John). John married Johanna Van Mijnen, and one of their sons is Adam Ooms the grocer.

Here’s a little schematic to show the entire connection:

I do have birth dates that match as well, but I tried to make this blog post as interesting and concise as possible.

Long story short, the records I have verified show that there is a connection, and Adam and Richard appear to be third cousins. Why anyone said the families were not connected is a mystery to me because it’s very obvious!

Adam Ooms and Richard Ooms

Thanks for reading!

Freedom Fighter?

I’m still working on the lineage of Cornelius Kros and Lena Slagboom and found an interesting connection to a man named Andreas Hofer, an Austrian freedom fighter who fought against Napoleon.

Source: Wikipedia

By the way, I don’t always trust Wikipedia, but am just including the link for some interesting background information on him.

“Supposedly”, the Dutch family by the name of Hofer in the Netherlands claimed to be related to this man, and my connection is to that Hofer family. Whether or not this is actually true remains to be seen, as I would have to work on that to completely confirm it, but I have too much work right now to do on family lines. But it is very intriguing, and is set out in this blog, which I found purely by accident when I was doing a Google search for Martinus Theodorus Slijper and Adriana Kros.

Adriana Kros was a daughter of Cornelius and Lena (Slagboom) Kros, she is the sister of my great grandfather, John Kros. Anyways, she was born on April 9, 1868 in Sliedrecht in the Netherlands and when she was 24 years old, married Martinus on September 28, 1892 in Bloemendaal, Netherlands.

They proceeded to have a few children, among them a son named Kornelis Kros, born on May 8, 1897 in Haarlem. Kornelis eventually married a young woman by the name of Alberdina (Dien) Hofer on August 17, 1922 in Haarlem. All of these dates and connections were confirmed through WieWasWie, which is a registry of all births, marriages and deaths in the Netherlands.

Alberdina is where the connection comes in to the Dutch Hofer family, and I haven’t had time yet to go back and figure that out. But it sure would be interesting if we had a freedom fighter who fought against Napoleon, especially considering all that is going on right now in our country! 

Thanks for reading!!

William Bass – Draft cards

Today’s post is about the WWI and WWII draft cards for my maternal great-grandfather William Bass. He never served in the military, but draft cards can be interesting and have some good family history information in them.

WWI Draft Card

At the time he filled out his WWI draft card in 1917, Bill listed his birth date as February 8, 1889, so he was 28 years old. He worked as a Switchman for the New York & Chicago St Louis Railroad in Stoney Island, was married and had a wife and three children to support. They were living at 11020 State Street in Roseland – unfortunately with all of the changes and desecration that occurred there, that property is now vacant land and I’d rather not show the picture. On his card, Bill described himself as tall and slender, with grey eyes and blond hair. Here is a photo of him when he was older:

Thanks for the photo Mom!

In 1942, at the time he filled out his draft card for WWII, Bill was 53 years old and working for the Chicago West Pullman Southern Railroad. 

WWII Draft Card

At that time, he was living at 11832 Stewart Avenue in Roseland with his wife, Bertha and kids.

Thanks for the photo Dad!

Bill died at the age of 70 on October 24, 1959 of a perforated duodenal stomach ulcer and peritonitis, which really sounds agonizing. He is buried in Cedar Park Cemetery in Calumet Park, Illinois.

Thanks for reading!

Schoon Family and Munster, Indiana

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.

Source: Rita Figueroa

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!!

Monday Meanderings — Dekker/Schoon Netherland locations

Today’s post is about the locations the Dekker and Schoon family members lived in in the Netherlands. This would be starting with my paternal great-great grandparents, Arie and Aaltje (Schoon) Dekker and going back.

Here is the map of the Netherlands again and showing all of the provinces:

The Dekker line is not as complete but so far Dekker/Schoon family members resided in the province of North Holland in the following municipalities: Koggenland, Langendijk, Harenkarspel now known as Schagen, and Alkmaar.

So they were more concentrated around the mid to north area of North Holland. The towns they lived in were (listed by municipality):  Koggenland: Scharwoude; Langendijk: Oudkarspel and Broek op Langendijk; Alkmaar: West Graaftdijk and Oudorp. For Harenkarpsel, I don’t have specific towns but do know some were from there.

Thanks for reading!!

Family Recipe Friday — Apple Crunch

My maternal grandmother Madeline made apple crunch and apple cake recipes. I think it’s also called apple crisp, but this recipe does not use oats. If you like warm apples with sugar, you’ll love this, but woah, sugar rush!! 

Apple Crunch
Cover pan with sliced apples until fully covered so the bottom of pan is not visible. Mix together the following ingredients and sprinkle over apples.

1/2 cup of sugar
1 tsp. of cinnamon
1/4 tsp. of nutmeg

To make the topping, mix until crumbly and fine and sprinkle over everything.

1 cup of flour
1 cup of sugar
1 tsp. of baking powder
1 egg

Melt 1 stick of butter and pour over all and spread.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

Enjoy and thanks for reading!

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 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.