Tuesday, February 18, 2014

52 Ancestors #7: Jacob Van Lare

This week's ancestor is Jacob Van Lare and my focus is on his education level.

Education (as stated on Wikipedia):  is a form of learning in which the knowledgeskills, and habits of a group of people are transferred from one generation to the next through teaching, training, or research.

Jacob Van Lare is my 2nd great grandfather in my father's paternal line.  Jacob was born Jacobus van Lare on August 26, 1856 in Zuidazand, Zeeland, Netherlands to Abraham van Lare and Catharina Neufeglise (Nevelizer).  He emigrated to America with his family arriving in New York on May 17, 1873 - he was sixteen years old.   They settled in the Wayne County area of New York.  He married Nellie Bushart on March 9, 1884, they had two daughters Katherine and Sarah.  Jacob died on August 31, 1932 - he is buried in the Marion Cemetery.

Jacob was born during a time in the Netherlands' history when education was transitioning and a battle was waging that the Dutch referred to as "De Schoolstrijd."  In 1806 an education law was instituted that encouraged the establishment of primary schools with a mandatory curriculum that included Dutch language, reading, writing, arithmetic, history and geography as well as modern languages.  However, in 1848 Freedom of Education was proclaimed which gave parents the right to educate their children based on their religion and other views.  An argument pursued over funding which ultimately led to the government funding both public and private schools equally.   This means that Jacob most likely attended some form of primary school before his family moved to America.

The census records pertaining to Jacob's ability to read and write were varied.  

  1. 1880 Federal Census -- he is 24 years old.  He is living with his parents and is working as a farmer.  He is NOT checked off as being unable to read and write.
  2. 1900 Federal Census - he is 44 years old.  He is married, he is working as a farmer and is now a naturalized citizen.  He is identified as able to read.  He can speak English but it states that he can't write.
  3. 1910 Federal Census - he is around 54 years old.  He is working as a laborer/farmer.  He owns a mortgaged home.  It indicates that he can speak English and that he can read and write.  It does not indicate that he attended school.
  4. 1920 Federal Census - he is now around 64 years old.  He is still working as a laborer/farmer.  It states that he can not read and write.  There is no mention that he attended school but does indicate that he can speak English.
  5. 1930 Federal Census - his is about 74 years old.  It states that he can't read and it indicates that he did not attend school.
It is hard to get a true sense of his abilities from the census record.  If I had to take a guess I would be lead to believe that he mostly likely could read and write in his mother tongue but was unable to read and write English.  So, does this mean he was or was not educated?

I would conclude that he was educated -- Education as defined above is the knowledge, skills and habits of a group of people transferred from one generation to the next through teaching and training.  Jacob was a farmer just like his father -  he had to learn the skills and knowledge to be able to provide for  his family which it appears he was able to do.

I also found an article that appeared in the Marion Enterprise on September 27, 1918 that states... 
The Marion Enterprise; Sept. 27, 1918

 This would be evidence that he was good at his job and appreciated for his efforts - he would have had to have knowledge and skills, meaning he was educated. 

As I was thinking about Jacob's education I found a quote that I thought was fitting.

Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself. ~ John Dewey

From the little that I know about Jacob I would conclude he had a full life that was likely full of education and learning experiences.  He was born in Holland, emigrated to America, raised a family, became an American citizen and was a well respected member of his community.

His obituary does a nice job of summarizing the "education" of his life -


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