Saint Michael the Archangel Church

History from the website of the Saint Michael the Archangel Church in Waterloo, Indiana:

Fourteen Catholic families settled in Smithfield Township, DeKalb County, Indiana, near the small town of Summit. They met resistance from their neighbors because they did not speak the same language or have the same beliefs. The immigrants all spoke the Bavarian dialect of their native land. They attended St. Francis Xavier Church (built in 1967) in Waterloo, Indiana, once a month….

November 8, 1879 – Owing to the distance and inconvenience of attending mass in Waterloo, a meeting was held in the home of Mr. & Mrs. John Mathias Shoudel, and was then decided by these 14 members to erect a church 30′ X 46′. The men present at the meeting were (the fourteen founding families):

John Mathias Shoudel, Michael L. Shoudel, Sr., George May, Mathias E. Shoudel, John Miller, Frank Miller, John Hoffelder, Sr., George Ellert, Frederick Reinig, Frederick Gfeller, Sr., Xavier Smith, Baltazar Shoudel, Michael Leidner, Ferdinand Fetters

You recognize the name Shoudel but the Millers and Fetters are also part of the Shoudel family. John Matthias Shoudel’s wife is Maria Magdalena Miller (originally Muller or Mueller), and her brother is Frank Miller, originally in German Franz Anton Muller. John Miller is probably another brother but I haven’t confirmed that. Fetters married into the Shoudel family.

When John (Shoudel) came to America from Germany, he joined with four others and bought 40 acres of land in Smithfield Township, those four men were Frank Miller, John Miller, Xavier Schmidt and Frederick Schmidt:

There are also many Trapps in the same area, and I’m going to guess those are most likely family connected to Maria as her mother was Anna Maria Trapp. I don’t believe it’s a coincidence.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday’s Child — Sarah Dorwart

Sarah Dorwart was one of George and Sarah (Nixdorf) Dorwart’s daughters, they are my maternal great-great-great grandparents. Sarah died from a boiler explosion while she was working at the Fulton Cotton Mill in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, on July 13, 1867. She didn’t die right away, but eventually died from her injuries.

This is so sad. Sarah was only 15 years old. There was also an 11 year old killed. He was working because his father was unable to work.

Yes, the days before child labor laws, when children went to work to keep the family afloat and were killed on the job. Very sad.

Thanks for reading!

Arie Dekker

Simon Dekker’s book “History of Roseland and Vicinity” written in 1938 is a goldmine of information about Roseland and what some of its early inhabitants were doing. Simon arrived with his family (his sister is my paternal great grandmother Gertrude Dekker) in Roseland in 1865 when he was 11 years old, just sixteen years after the original founders arrived. He goes into detail about the founders, their lives, and also touches upon almost every aspect of early Roseland: businesses, schools, churches, stores, roads, railroads, and other aspects.

Simon Dekker

Some of his passages are an interesting look into what life was like for his their father, Arie Dekker. Talking about his father in the early days they were there after arriving in America, he mentioned they lived in a shack on Klaas Madderom’s land for nine months:

My father was a laboring man, working at whatever he could get. For quite a while he worked for an American, Mr. Murray by name….But when fall came father was laid off. Then he applied for a job on the Illinois Central Railroad, where he was taken temporarily, and when winter came he was again laid off, getting a job here and there. And when the spring came into the land he got a steady job on the railroad again. But the distance from his work, and from church and school was too great to remain in the shack in the woods, so we got the privilege to put up a little house, or call it a shack on Railroad company ground on ninety-five street, which he did and so in the early spring of 186(number cut off), we left the shack on the edge of the woods to go to our new home on company ground. Father had only five minutes to walk to his work. My father worked on the Illinois Central for five or six years straight not missing a day if he was well, and this was necessary for coming to this country, and the expenses all paid by an uncle of mine, there was some hard thinking to be done to get the debt paid.

I tried to find old photos of exactly where this “shack” may have been with no luck, and believe it to be in Burnside, which used to be part of Roseland. There is a triangle where all of the railroads meet and 95th Street is on the lower bottom end of the triangle, now near where Chicago State University is located.

My father confirmed that the “IC” ran north and south approximately somewhere around Cottage Grove Avenue on 95th Street, and that 95th Street is/was definitely part of Burnside. I did find this photo of the area, this is at 9500 S. Cottage Grove:

Continuing on:

One summer he worked for the town of Hyde Park and he also worked in the brickyard at Burnside. The children grew up and earned something by working out or taking onions to share and so all our debts were paid…Our parents got new courage and went into debt again by buying five acres of land on Wallace Street at 106th for $1600.00 without a house on it. Our next door neighbor was building a new house and we bought his old one which had to be moved only a few feet.

The home he built no longer exists, but this is the area of the land that Simon described, at 10600 S. Wallace Street:

Continuing on:

He did not have the money to pay for the land, only a small payment down, so there was a lot of debt to work for again. He rented the five acres next to it and started market gardening, and the children all doing their best to help along. The Lord blessing the labor of our hands, that debt was soon paid and at old age father had accumulated enough retire. He had learned gardening in the old country, a work to his liking. In that we differed. I never did like it. Our tastes were not alike. When father retired he built a small cottage nearer to church to spend the last years with mother there.

Simon’s mother, my great-great grandmother, Aaltje (Alice) (Schoon) Dekker, died in 1894. There is no 1890 census, but in the 1900 census, Arie is listed as living at 117 W. 110th Place, and by that time, he had remarried to Maartje (Mary) Hart, in 1897. I’m assuming this is probably the same place Simon is referring to since it is less than a mile from the church (if he’s referring to the First Reformed Church of Roseland, which I am assuming he is). There is no house left at this address, but here is where it would have been, I’m assuming there used to be a house there because of the sidewalk leading up from the street:

All of this helps to show some of the things Arie Dekker was doing after he came to this country, what kinds of jobs he had, etc. Information from records help to shape a story or a glimpse of someone’s life, but Simon Dekker told the entire story and I just added some pictures. I’m sure I’ll be including more of his pages in future posts.

Thanks for reading!

Martin Dorwart

I was starting to go batty with the East Galway/Irish genetic genealogy search and had to completely take my mind off of that and focus on other genealogical things. I know there are connections to that area, but the connections are most likely so far back and will take so much time to figure out, I just don’t want to focus on that right now. Instead, I began to work on the Dorwart side of my family, who are from Lancaster, Pennsylvania. This has been easier because of records on Ancestry and Family Search websites. Today I will focus on Martin Dorwart.

Martin Dorwart was born in 1735 (supposedly in Alsace, France), to Martin and Elizabeth Dorwart, and is my maternal fifth great grandfather!  I am fortunate that I was able to verify my connection to him through my DNA matches and then records. His great-great grandson is Charles Conner, who married Anna Schadel, I’ve mentioned them before. Alsace is in northeastern France and borders Germany and Switzerland. It’s so close to the border that it has alternated between German and French control over the centuries.

Here is a current photo of Alsace, pretty!

According to records from the Latter Day Saints, Martin emigrated to America and landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on the ship Banister in October 1754, and took the oath of allegiance in the State House of Philadelphia the same day he landed. At some point he settled in Lancaster. Lancaster is one of the oldest inland cities in our country and is 71 miles west of Philadelphia. German immigrants first settled the area, when it was known as “Hickory Town”. The city took the name of Lancaster and symbol, the red rose, from Lancashire, England. It was the capital of the US for a day in 1777, and during the Revolutionary War, was home to military stables and barracks where British and Hessian soldiers were imprisoned.

According to records from the First Reformed Church of Lancaster and the Latter Day Saints, Martin’s occupation was a shoemaker. He first married Elizabeth Grim on May 21, 1759, and they had one child, John Martin, born in 1765. After she died in 1771, Martin married Maria Joanetta Spitzfaden on April 30, 1768. They had nine children: Martin, born 1769/1770; Jonas, born 1771; Johannes (John), born 1772; Adam, born 1775; George, born 1781; Jacob, born 1783; Philip, born 1786; and Michael, born 1789. Not one girl in the bunch!!!

At some point, Martin joined the Revolutionary War. He is listed as a private in the 4th Company, 8th Battalion in Capt. William Wirtz’s Company during 1781. I have visions of the movie The Patriot, hahaha.

His name is incorrectly spelled as Darewart. On the Ancestry website, Dorwart is said to be a German occupational name which means doorkeeper, or gatekeeper. I have seen a resource that states his father is from Baden, Germany and the name is Dorwarth, so maybe Martin was actually born in Germany. I did see a short biography of his grandson, and it is mentioned that Martin is of German descent.

Martin died on May 2, 1797 at the age of 62. According to his will, he lived on Prince Street in Lancaster, and left behind his wife and eight sons.

One source says Martin is buried in the Lancaster Cemetery. According to Find a Grave, 42% of the tombstones have been photographed – there are 160 graves in the name of Dorwart alone. However, on the webpage for Revolutionary War Patriot Graves for the Sons of the American Revolution Pennsylvania Society, he is listed as buried in the 1st Reformed Church of Lancaster cemetery plot, which would be in here:

Dorwart seems to be a common name in Lancaster. There are two streets named Dorwart – Old Dorwart and New Dorwart, and they are, coincidentally, not far from Prince Street (an area known as “Cabbage Hill”), named in the 1880s I believe. There is also a park named after a recently deceased Dorwart. I’m hoping to find if my Martin or anyone in the family line is connected to these Dorwart-named places, odds are there is probably a connection.

Thanks for reading!!

Roseland founders at a Ton reunion

This photo was taken in 1898 or 1899 in Thornton Grove as part of the Ton Reunion. Those Ton reunions were famous because it was such a huge family, and news of the reunions even made the cover of Life Magazine about 60 years ago. Anyway, at this one, they honored the final five surviving founders of Roseland (all in black):  Mrs. Peter Dalenburg (aka Lijntje VanderSyde); Goris VanderSyde (her brother), and his wife, Engeltje DeJong; Cornelis Kuyper; Nicholas Madderom. Fabulous photo!

Source:  Marie Eenigenburg

I remember saying in a previous blog post that I am not related to two of the Roseland founders, one of them being Leendert VanderSyde — that is incorrect, I am connected in a way. Goris VanderSyde is his son, and Goris’ wife, Engeltje, is Hendrik DeJong’s daughter. He’s the one I just posted a blog about that founded South Holland. Hendrik DeYoung was married to Jannetje (Jane) Ambuul, one of the daughters of my great-great grandfather, Johannes Ambuul.

Again, we are all connected – especially the Dutch!

Thanks for reading!

Monarch Laundry

Monarch Laundry was one of the largest laundries on the south side of Chicago. In Roseland, it was very popular and many people on the Roseland Facebook thread have commented they worked there. In fact, my father said he worked in the laundry area for a few months, my mother worked in the office for a few years, and her mother worked in the office for many years.

I don’t know the exact year, but it was founded by Bernard Vellenga, Sr., who is the son of my paternal great-great grandmother, Johanna Ooms Rieve, from her third marriage to Age Vellenga. He is a half-brother to my great-grandfather, Adam Ooms. A great-uncle or grand-uncle is the brother of one’s grandparents, so that technically would make him my (half) great-great-uncle or great grand-uncle then?

According to Robert Swierenga in his book, Dutch Chicago, Monarch Laundry had more than fifty trucks in service at one time. Simon Dekker mentioned Monarch Laundry in 1939 on page 225 of his book, History of Roseland and Vicinity, written in 1939:

“It has been built some twenty or twenty-five years ago by a stock company, but gradually the stockholders sold their stock to Mr. Ben Vellenga. Then it was only a small concern, a one story building fronting on Wentworth Ave. After it had been operating for a few years it was ruined by a fire on a Sunday morning. It was then rebuilt and a story added to it, later extending it on the north side. Business expanding they enlarged again, adding an addition on the south side. So it now fronts on 111th St. also, where the main office is now located, that street being more prominent than Wentworth Ave. How many hands they employ I could now say. I guess quite a few. The Monarch Laundry has a large garage on 104th Street near Michigan Ave. which will hold more than 50 trucks, and room for washing and repairing them. The Monarch Laundry is one of the largest if not the largest laundry on the south side.”

So that makes it sound as if it was built about 1919 or before that time.

I remember my father telling me and I mentioned it in an earlier blog post, that when the Ooms store was sold, Monarch Laundry had bought it and tore it down to make a parking lot. He also mentioned that when he worked at the gas station (now I can’t remember which one), that station had a contract to provide gas to Monarch’s trucks and he spent many afternoons doing this and got to know a lot of Monarch’s drivers. There was also a store on the southeast corner of 111th and Wentworth, which is still standing, where people could drive up and drop off/pick up laundry and dry cleaning. He said he spent much of his time in the backroom there hanging out with Ben, Sr.’s grandsons, Dave and Dan Vellenga (his cousins). He also mentioned that Dick Van Beek’s father owned the Mattmiller laundry on the south side.

About two decades ago, I corresponded with one of Bernard, Sr.’s children, Florence (Vellenga) Spindler, and saved her letter. She was a very nice lady who was so helpful with the Vellenga side. She told me that Bernard, Sr’s sons, Bernard, Jr., Arthur and William (Bill), her brothers, worked there, along with Dick Van Beek. After Bernard, Sr. and Arthur died, Dick Van Beek and Bill carried on until they sold the laundry in 1967.

This photo is from Calvin College’s Origin’s magazine from 1987, not sure what year it was taken:

Three weeks ago, my father gave me a Roseland area directory from August 1971-72 and I found an add for Monarch Laundry:

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday Weddings – Jan Verkruisjen and Janke de Graaf

These are photos of records from 1845 from the Netherlands from the marriage of my paternal great-great-great-great grandparents, Jan Verkruisjen and Janke de Graaf. Jan and Janke were married on December 28, 1845 in Leeuwarden, located in Friesland. Jan was 27 years old, and worked as a “koopman”, which means “merchant”, and Janke was 22 years old.

I found these on one of my favorite websites, WieWasWie.

(Ignore the left page)

I’m confused about the names, but Dutch names confuse me. Is it Jankese Graaf or Janke de Graaf? I’m guessing Janke was a shortened version of Jankese but why are they different on the marriage record?  Surnames can also be confusing. I know many surnames used prefixes, like “de”, which means “the”. When I read about Dutch surnames, I found out they did not become mandatory in the Netherlands until 1811, when Napoleon required them, so then everyone had to choose a surname, which could be absolutely anything. Many chose the patronymic surname their male head of household was using, others chose surnames based on their occupation, place of origin or other things. According to some resources, De Graaf is an occupational surname, and was the most common name in 2007. It means “the count”. It also appears Verkruissen was actually Verkruisjen way back when and the Americanized version became Verkruissen.

Thanks for reading!

Genetic Genealogy — East Galway, Ireland

I received an interesting email the other day. Where I’m normally contacting people who are my DNA matches in my never ending quest, I was contacted by someone who is a DNA match of mine. I’ve submitted DNA to two companies, 23andme and Ancestry. One day a couple of months ago I was experimenting and uploaded the raw data from 23and me to a website called “Gedmatch”. I didn’t know much about it except it is another company that specializes in finding close and distant relatives using DNA.

When I looked at the information that came up, I was completely confused. It brings up a list of people who match your DNA, their chromosome segments, numbers that didn’t make sense, and a whole lot of other information I absolutely did not understand. I thought I would let it sit and then another day get back into trying to understand what is a new kind of research for me.

So, like, I said, someone emailed me to say that he and I matched on Gedmatch and we have an ancestor from East Galway, Ireland and would I like to join the East Galway group? This is like if I asked someone to join a Facebook group I made for cousins, it just puts you in a group – it doesn’t have all of your secret important information. The reason I wanted to do this was because I would like to know who the heck that ancestor is that is from Ireland. Is it the elusive Martha Carr who nobody knows anything about other than that she died very young and supposedly wasn’t accepted into her husband’s German community at first because she was Irish? My curiosity got the better of me to try to solve this problem.


DNA results from both 23andme and Ancestry definitely show I have Irish ancestry, most likely from someone from the years 1810 through 1870. In addition, my daughter’s DNA results on 23andme get more specific and show “potential” locations in Ireland where her Irish DNA is, and sure enough, East Galway is on that list. I started reading about Gedmatch to try to understand everything about DNA and chromosomes and how to find a common ancestor through that type of research.

The interesting thing about Gedmatch is it can show you and your matches in a graphical representation of every single chromosome, like this:

This tool actually proves a relation to someone, where with 23andme and Ancestry, you assume you are related to someone on their match lists. When I look at my DNA match’s information, it shows this:

What does all this gibberish mean?  The numbers 11 and 19 are the chromosome numbers, we match on chromosomes 11 and 19. The long numbers next to them are the centimorgan numbers (cM), where on the chromosome the matching DNA is — a measure of genetic linkage. The 10.4 and 8.6 are how large the segment is, larger segments totaling over 7 cm mean that more likely my DNA match and I share a common ancestor. Anything lower than 7cm is usually questionable. The 4.8 is the MRCA — which is an abbreviation for “most recent common ancestor”. It’s the estimated number of jumps to our most common ancestor — it would be the ancestor from which my match and I received common DNA segments. I’m supposed to round up, so we’re looking at 5 jumps – which would be a great-great-great grandparent. Unfortunately, there is no way to figure out if it is on a maternal or paternal line.   

Here is a photo of chromosome 11. More than one segment matches mean that a DNA match is closer related, whereas only one segment match means that person is more distant, so since we have two segments, one on two chromosomes, we will be closer than further.

And this little blue section is exactly on chromosome 11 where we share our DNA:

I found another cousin match to someone in the Galway project, and he is also a match of mine on my Ancestry list. I haven’t figured out our connection, except Gedmatch shows that there are 7 jumps to our common ancestor, so we would be probably something like sixth cousins. Since then, two more cousin matches have popped up but the problem is I don’t know the common ancestor to them either. A lot of work to do!

Now because I have done so much extensive work and know where the bulk of my direct ancestors come from, I can deduce probably where to look. All of my father’s ancestors came from the Netherlands; most of my mother’s ancestors came from the Netherlands and Germany, but there are three lines that are puzzles on her side. The common ancestor should be located in one of those lines: (1) Charles Conner, (2) Anna (Schadel) Conner, or (3) Martha (Carr) Shoudel. For Charles, I already know both of his parents’ family going back quite far lived in Pennsylvania, although I believe his ancestors further back probably come from Ireland as Conner is a very Irish name, there could be a Galway connection there. For Anna, she reported herself as coming from Germany in her 1900 census record but there are still issues with her. For example, even though I have two confirming maiden names in records for her, her maiden name in her 1893 marriage record from Chicago is listed as Cowrost. I can’t completely rule her out yet.

Then there is Martha. Now given the fact she was born around 1850, and family rumors say there were issues with her acceptance into her husband’s German community because she was Irish, perhaps she came from Ireland with her family? She reported on a census that she was born in Ohio — but I have seen another ancestor report that she was born in Wisconsin when actually she brought over from Germany when she was two months old. Martha certainly is in the time frame of 1810-1870, even her parents would be. I cannot confirm she actually was from Ohio. Yes, there is a record connecting on Ancestry to her, but I cannot confirm that it is an accurate record yet – so I have some doubts about Ohio, and Carr is a very Irish name as well. There was a huge upswing of Irish immigrants that came to America from the 1840s-1850s, and alot of tension was created because of stereotypical judgment, especially with German people who already lived in America. It remains to be seen but I am curious and hopeful!  So times a wasting, must get back to my genetic genealogy research!

Thanks for reading!


The other day my sister, father and I were texting about Roseland and my sister included a link to the Dennis DeYoung song “Goodbye Roseland“, which is a pretty, sad song when thinking of how much Roseland has changed. Anyway, I said wouldn’t it be really cool if we were related to him as I know we have DeYoungs in our family????

Well, I am sad to say I have found no connection yet to Dennis DeYoung. However, one of our DeYoungs was the founder of another very Dutch enclave in another south side area of Chicago, South Holland. Roseland was known as “DeHooge Prairie”, or “The High Prairie”, and South Holland was known as “DeLaage Prairie”, or “The Low Prairie”.

Source:  Glen H. DeYoung

This is Hendrik Arie DeJong, and he is the grandfather of my great-great uncle, Harry DeYoung. Hendrik (Harry) DeYoung was married to Jannetje (Jane) Ambuul, one of the daughters of my great-great grandfather, Johannes Ambuul. DeYoung is the Americanized version of the DeJong name, but some still keep the DeJong name, as I noticed on my DNA match list.

Apparently Hendrik and his wife, Guurtje (DeVries) DeJong had a massive brood of children (12), and they, along with 11 of them, emigrated from Noordeloos, Netherlands to America in 1847. What I’m amazed at is none of them died, what with cholera being a huge threat on those ships during that time. They were originally going to settle in Wisconsin, but according to the Village of South Holland’s website, Hendrik DeJong purchased 300 acres along the Little Calumet River which is now in what is known as South Holland. They became its first settlers. The community’s first post office came about as a result of Pieter DeJong, Hendrik’s son. In 1860, Hendrik built a combination general store and post office and the post office was recognized by the federal government in 1870. DeLaage Prairie officially became the village of South Holland that year.

The area settled by the Dutch in the south side area includes the communities of Roseland, South Holland, Lansing, Munster, and Highland. So, that makes THREE ancestors I am related to that founded three out of five of these Dutch communities:

     Johannes Ambuul — Roseland
     Hendrik Arie Dekker – South Holland
     Jacob Monster (Munster) – Munster

Have a great fourth!

Thanks for reading!