The holidays are different and sad this year because of Covid-19. Although many people are flagrantly abusing recommendations to stay away from each other, which has caused the virus to be out of control, many are staying home, and we will be doing that, missing our families. The good news is vaccinations are starting to roll out so it may be the beginning of the end of it, but I’m sure it will be chaotic and confusing for awhile. In the meantime, I’m posting some photos of holiday things for your enjoyment.

Here is our Christmas tree, electric cords and all. I’m not patient with tinsel so it’s a little messy but pretty.

Here are the back ends of our dogs, Coco and Eddie, because they refuse to pose for me. Yes it’s going on our holiday cards again.

A menorah for my son-in-law. My daughter sent me a beautiful photo of their lit menorah on the first night of Hanukkah but I didn’t include here because a photo directly behind it might identify people who aren’t in the family, and it’s an intrusion. Anyway, they also have a beautiful Christmas tree.

And the last photo is of a fruitcake.

For many years when I was younger, our family received a Collin Street Bakery fruitcake from my paternal grandfather, Simon Ooms. I hated the taste of that fruitcake but as I grew older, actually began to enjoy it (as often happens). So I had to try it out again to see if it is just as good. It is! This fruitcake is marvelous, and Collin Street Bakery is famous for it, has been making fruitcakes since 1896 in Texas. I highly recommend it!

Happy holidays, peace and blessings for 2021!

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DNA and common ancestors

I haven’t been doing much research lately and I tend to gravitate toward genetic research these days if I do. DNA reports are interesting and my father’s report is very interesting since though he is majority Dutch (well classified as French/German), he shares a common ancestor with some Irish guy named Niall of the Nine Hostages.

I really thought the Irish came more from my mother, but interestingly, according to 23andme, it comes more from my father. So my father’s haplogroup starts with haplogroup A, where all of everyone’s paternal lines can be traced to one man, the common ancestor of haplogroup A. Other male-line descendants lineages died out except the one guy, and his lineage gives rise to all other haplogroups today.

Then his paternal line stems from a branch called R-M269, a very prolific paternal lineage across Eurasia. These farmers pushed east into Central Asia and into the Caucasus Mountains. Some reaches the steppes above the Black and Caspian Seas. Eventually, a new steppe culture called the Yamnaya was born and they spilled into Siberia and into Central Asia, to the west they pushed into the Balkans and central Europe. Their descendants spread from central Europe to the Atlantic coast. The spread of my father’s haplogroup in northern Ireland and Scotland was probably aided by men like Niall of the Nine Hostages.

One website says Niall may be the big daddy of Ireland. His actual name in Irish was Niall Naoi Noigiallach and the myth is that he was descended by an unknown number of generations from Conn Ceadcathlach aka Conn of the Hundred Battles, who may have lived in the middle of the second century and was the first high kind of Ireland. Research has revealed that as many as three million men living today may carry his y-DNA signature. y-DNA is only traceable through men, women do not have y-DNA. Niall got his name by taking nine key hostages, including Saint Patrick, in raids on his opponent chieftains in Ireland, Britain and France to cement his power. He is said to have twelve sons.

You never know what you’ll find when you check out your DNA!

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Wednesday Weddings — Bass

This is the marriage certificate for my maternal grandparents, William Peter Bass and Madeline (Schoudel) Bishop (“Pap and Gram”), married on October 18, 1941. I love these old marriage certificates, they’re so beautiful.

They were married at St. Willibrod Catholic Church in Roseland. Witnesses were Pap’s sister, Ruth, and her husband Bob Smith. I swiped this photo off of a FB thread, it was taken in 1909. The church was organized in 1900 and located at 114th and Edbrooke.

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Fun DNA Stuff!

My father finally got his DNA tested! It’s really interesting to see someone’s DNA versus paper genealogy results and people make alot of assumptions and some are very disappointed when they get their results.

Looking at the paper genealogy for my father, one would think all of his DNA would be French and German (the tests do not categorize Dutch yet), and he does have 77.3% of that DNA in him, but I was even surprised with a couple of the things.

What’s interesting is how specific his British and Irish DNA is, as it is very specific as to the location of the DNA. The Ashkenazi Jewish is surprising, and the amount of Scandinavian DNA. The biggest surprise of all is Cypriot, which is Greek.

The reason it surprises me is that I basically know his family history on paper going back five/six generations and everyone is from the Netherlands. The Netherlands has an excellent registration system, which goes back through the 1800s. There are a couple of little blanks on the family tree, so I can’t say I know all of his ancestors, and most likely some of that surprising DNA is going to be from just one or two people. But so far I haven’t found any names other than Dutch names. Another puzzle to work on!

Another exciting feature in 23andme is when it has one parent’s DNA, it can show the inheritance from both parents, here is mine:

My father’s DNA is on the left side and mother’s estimation is on the right side. I already know from my paper genealogy that alot of my mother’s family is from the Netherlands and Germany. I also know there is British and Irish on her side, but am surprised by the low amount. I’m not at all surprised by the Eastern European DNA, that 8.6% would be the Polish ancestry from my grandmother’s side. I have no idea where the Scandinavian will come from, it may be tied into the Irish side.

Now one of the things about these DNA tests is they are not 100%. DNA testing like this in it’s infancy stage, and as it evolves and the testing companies get better at it, they change it all. For example, I had a very small amount of Ashkenazi Jewish DNA in me but recently they removed it; and they completely changed my daughter’s DNA results. And you can get different results from the different testing companies. My DNA results from Ancestry is very similar to 23andme’s results when it comes to French and German, British, and Scandinavian DNA, but they recently changed the Irish to Scottish. Go figure.

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First Annual Shoudel Reunion- 1924

On September 18, 1924, the first annual Shoudel family reunion was held in Indiana one-half mile from St. Michaels Catholic Church, with 157 Shoudels in attendance.

This news clipping is from the September 29, 1924 edition of the Garrett Clipper in Garrett, Indiana. The reunion was held at the home of the oldest living Shoudel at that time, Michael L. Shoudel. He was maternal my great-great grandfather’s (Balthasar) brother, and was 79 years old at that time. Among the attendees I see that my great grandparents were there: “Mr. and Mrs. Edward Shoudel, along with their children, Magdalen (my grandmother, misspelled name), Paul, Edward and Rita”. I think 150 family members is pretty good attendance, quite a large family. I don’t know how many years the reunions were held. By the third year, even though it was well attended, it was much smaller.

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Reverse genealogy

I again am obsessed with my Galway, Ireland connections, it will just not go away. It’s so maddening. Gedmatch is a website where a person can upload his/her DNA test results and compare their DNA with those from people who have tested at other companies, so it’s an interesting website. I haven’t focused on any part of my DNA results except the Galway Ancestor Project thru Gedmatch. I’ve seen alot of comments from others who also find out they are connected cousins but cannot find the common ancestor connection, just like me.

There are various ways like triangulation to work with DNA matches, but it was really taxing my brain so before I do that, I decided to focus on just one name and try reverse genealogy. Instead of working backwards through time like normal, reverse genealogy is where you find a potential ancestor and work forward hoping to link that potential ancestor with a targeted ancestor.

The Manion/Mannion name is a surname that I have many connections to, in fact, I counted about 20 so far. So I started to make a list of all of these connections, all of the DNA information, email contact information, and notes on who their ancestors are if that information has been provided. I don’t know anyone in my family tree with this surname, but I will make a bet it’s probably connected to Martha Carr, that Irish lass I keep writing about.

I tried to start with the closest connection I have, someone whose most recent common ancestor is 6.0, which would mean that we are seventh cousins and most likely share a sixth great grandparent. That person never responded to my (two!) emails, so then I picked two other connections. Even though they are further, most likely eighth cousins, both of their family trees show that they appear to descend from the same couple, John Manion and Sara Conner, who were both born in Galway in the latter 1600s. I don’t believe Sara Conner is from my Conner line but I will keep that in the back of my mind.

These cousins each descend from different sons of John and Sara’s. So then because I was so determined, I started writing out their family trees, hoping to see if anyone matches someone I know in my tree. Holy cow, what an absolutely huge project. It will take me forever.

The Manion/Mannion name has a very long history in Galway, Ireland, and there are many surname variations, such as Manning. I have that surname also in my matches. The final determination if I am ever able to connect the surname is to then find out John Manion’s connection to Ireland, and then if I am a part of the super huge Mannion clan in Ireland.

A little history about the Mannion Clan in Ireland from their website: “Way back in the third century, six tribes collectively called the “Sogain” came to Galway from Ulster and occupied an area which stretched from the river Clare in the west to the river Suck in the east and from the river Shivern in the north to the Raford river in the south.

These “Sogain” were descended from Sodain, the son of Fiachra Araidh, King of Ulster. They were thought to be originally from a Cruithin (Pict) tribe. The Ó Mannáin were the chief tribe of the 6 Sogain, had their chief seat at Menlach O Mainnin (modern day Menlough in County Galway) until 1617. The clan’s lands were confiscated during the Cromwellian Wars but a small portion was restored to Aodh Ó Mainnín’s family in the Act of Settlement of 1676. From this time, the Mannion clan spread from the clan lands of Killascobe into the surrounding areas of modern counties Galway and Roscommon the following years.”

So wish me luck, I’m going to need it!!

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Edward Bernard “Red” Schoudel

On this Veteran’s Day, we are celebrating my great uncle, Edward Bernard “Red” Schoudel, who bravely fought for our freedom and democracy in World War II. He is my maternal grandmother’s brother.

Uncle Eddie was only 22 years old when he registered for the draft in 1940, single and living in Chicago at the time. He landed on Utah Beach. He was injured in France from an ammunition explosion in June 1944 and had shrapnel in his back for the rest of his life. Doctors could not remove it because it was too close to the spine.

Uncle Eddie was born in 1918 and passed away in 1993 at the age of 74.

Thank you so much for risking your life to defend our freedom and free others from Nazi oppression and tyranny!

Johannes (John) Ooms

Not much is known about Johannes (John) Ooms), my great-great grandfather, who died at the very young age of 26 in 1866. The biography of his son, Adam Ooms states he was a boy when his parents came to America. Here is the passenger list from June 15, 1849 from the ship the “Franziska”, he is 9 years old:

The biography also says John was a veterinarian, and left a wife, Johanna (Van Mijnen), and two young children, Adam and Aggie:

When a young man he studied veterinary surgery with a physician, and practiced at Roseland until his death in 1867.

I have found no other record of his veterinary years, or of himself. As far as his death, there is no record of what he died from and the only record of his burial is from Find a Grave that states he was buried of the churchyard of the First Reformed Church of Roseland. When streets were being put in in that area, all of the remains there were dug up and transferred to Mt. Greenwood Cemetery, this is detailed in a few resources. Many were moved and then in 1910, to use the area for commercial building purposes, an excavating company’s steamshovel starting digging up the area really ruthlessly. After protests, the excavating company removed all the bodies using a shovel by hand and the undertaker of Mt. Greenwood Cemetery supervised the removal to a plot of ground in Mt. Greenwood. I believe this plot is at the front of the cemetery. There may still be bodies buried under 107th Street, according to Find a Grave. Burial records from Mt. Greenwood would have cause of death information for burials, but not from transfers.

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This woman’s work: Jannetje (Nieuwenhuizen) Oudendijk

There aren’t a lot of records or history about women years ago, but I did find some interesting information on one of my women ancestors, my maternal great-great-great-great grandmother, Jannetje (Nieuwenhuizen) Oudendijk. Jannetje, her husband Pieter and their only daughter, Neeltje, came from Holland with the original group of settlers that founded Roseland in 1849. Sadly, Pieter died during the voyage of cholera and was buried at sea.

In his book, “The History of Roseland and Vicinity”, Simon Dekker mentions Jannetje in his section about doctors:

When the pioneers of 1849 settled on the prairie what is now called Roseland, there was no doctor among them. The nearest town to them was Blue Island, a small place a few miles to the southwest, where there was a doctor. And his name, if I remember well, was Dr. Egan. It was not an easy matter to get him if he was needed in those pioneer days. The quickest way to get him was to go on foot as the only way of transportation was by oxen team, and that was a slow process. In confinement cases, they hardly ever got a doctor, only in case of emergency.

There was a widow among them, Mrs. Jantje Oudendyke (sp), who acted as midwife for a number of years, until a doctor settled here, and that was about twenty years after the first settlers came. All these years she acted as midwife. And she was successful in this work…this old lady was an all around lady. She had different homes where she would come certain days of the week to do the mending of the old clothes or of shoes and stockings. She had her home with her only daughter and son-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. Johannes Ambuul.

It is very rare to get a glimpse of a pioneer woman’s life, but with Mr. Dekker’s snapshot, we can see what this woman did, and the important contributions she made.

Too bad I don’t have a photo! But here is a painting of a pioneer midwife!

Midwife: Thy Path Her Chosen Way, by Crystal Haueter, courtesy Church History Museum

Thanks for reading!