Tuesday, January 7, 2014

52 Ancestors: #1 - Peter Derks

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks

I have decided to accept the challenge thrown out there for 2014 by Amy Johnson Crow at No Story Too Small.  She had a great idea to have one blog post each week devoted to a specific ancestor.  I am hoping that accepting this challenge will get me back in my blogging mode.  So here goes my first week.

My first ancestor is Peter Derks.  He was my great grandfather.

Peter Derks was born in Groede, Oostburg, Zeeland, Netherlands on January 13, 1881.  He was the son of Abraham Dierx and Jozina Johanna Bulting.  I was told he was one of 21 children (3 sets of twins) but I have yet to be able to prove that -- I do know of 10 siblings most of which stayed in Holland.

When Peter was 24 he married Sarah Vergouwe, daughter of Pieter Vergouwe and Catharina van Bortel.  They were married on January 26, 1904 in Zuidzande, Oostburg, Zeeland, Netherlands.  Soon after they were married they had their first child; Abram.

On June 13, 1905 Peter, his wife and 8 month old son arrived in America coming through Ellis Island.  They left Rotterdam; Peter with $14.00 and Sarah with $10.00.  They were headed to Penfield, NY to stay with Sarah's uncle, J. van Bortel.  This uncle also paid for their fare for their trip.

Once they arrived in America they found their way to their destination and lived in the City of Rochester. Peter worked for many years as a private gardener.  Between 1920 and 1925 they moved to Williamson, NY where Peter took up farming.  Peter and Sarah had 10 children, one of them being my grandfather Arthur Derks.

Peter died in 1960 and is buried in a cemetery on Lake Road in Williamson, New York.   From writing this I realize I know the basics about my great grandfather but I need to fill in and find a lot of missing pieces to his story.



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