Sunday, February 23, 2014

52 Ancestors # 8: Abraham van Lare

This week from my blogging jar I selected Abraham van Lare; he is my 3rd great grandfather in my father's paternal line.  The topic that was selected was to pick a vital record and write about what you know.   I have decided I will focus on Abraham's wedding.

Abraham van Lare was born on June 29, 1825 in Zuizande, Zeeland, Netherlands to Abraham van Lare and Pietranella Franke.  He grew up in the Zuizande, Zeeland area working as a laborer.  At some point most likely in late 1852 or early 1853 he began courting Katharina Neufeglise a young servant maid from Cadzand, Zeeland, Netherlands.  Katharina was the daughter of Abraham Neufeglise and Sara Suwijn.

Abraham would have began courting Katharina by coming to call on her on a Sunday at her parents house. Zeelanders often lived at home until they got married which was much later than Americans.  It allowed them to help and continue providing for the family.  In the southern parts of holland, courtship would have consisted of Abraham coming to call on Katharina working very hard to gain the acceptance of both Katharina as well as her parents.  He probably would have left flowers for her on her doorstep to show his interest.  In some cases suitors also came to visit on Wednesdays as well as on Sundays but it would have been to take her out to religious celebrations and festivals.  Obviously, Katharina was interested in Abraham because they got married, this means that she would have been expected to smooth her hair and dress and arrange her bonnet as a way to make herself look pretty.   Tradition followed that if a young suiter called on one's daughter a second time parents knew he intended to propose marriage and they would be expected to inform him whether they are in favor of his intentions during his third visit.

The average age for dutch couples to marry was 25 for males and 22 for females, and if they were lucky they would be married for 20-25 years before one of them  died.  Abraham was 27 when he married Katharina, she was 23.   It was law that if a they were under the age of 30 they would need to get written permission from their parents to marry.

The couple officially declared their intention for marriage on June 4, 1853.  They were required to enter their names with the town hall and legally declare their intentions.   They would then have to post banns for the next couple of weeks before they could marry in order to allow any one who has the right to make an objection the ability to do so.  These were posted in both Cadzand, where the wedding was going to take place as well as Zuidzande, Abraham's home town.

Abraham and Katharina's Declaration of Intent to Marry

Abraham and Katharina's Banns Postings in Cadzand, Zeeland Netherlands

It was custom that the bride's family give their daughter a trousseau and her future father-in-law would have given her a "chatelaine."  A chatelaine was a chain or rope usually made of leather or silver -- this chain would have been equipped with various items that would prove useful for the bride to be.  It might have included such things as a scissors, a pin cushion and needle, a small knife and a mirror.  Katharina would NOT have received this traditional gift as her father-in-law had already passed away.  Abraham's parents were both deceased at the time of the wedding.  Abraham's father was identified as being deceased in all of the marriage documentation and his mother, Pieternella Franke had died on January 5, 1848.  Parental consent was required, and since both of Abraham's parents had died he needed to provide documentation proving their deaths as part of  the process in declaring their marriage legal.

Between the declaration date and the actual wedding date it was custom for the homes of both the bride and the groom to be decorated and "banns dinners" were organized for the couple.   Guests would be offered to eat "bruid suiker" (bridal sugar) a kind of sweetmeat and spiced wine called "bride's tears." 

It was also customary for the front door of the bride's house to be painted green the day of the wedding and flowers would be scattered all along the walk by the wedding guests as the bride and groom made their way to the Town Hall for the wedding.  All couples had to be married in a civil ceremony and then some would have a second church ceremony.  After the wedding, there would be great feast and celebration with music and dancing.  It was customary for a large silver bowl filled with brandy and raisins to be passed around to the guests.  The song "How Sweet it is Where Friendship Dwells" was sung on these occasions.

Abraham and Katharina had their civil wedding on June 16, 1853.  All of the necessary documentation was filed and complete making their marriage lawful.

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 -


Sunday, February 16, 2014

52 Ancestors #6: Jakob Carlier

A Family Sketch

Jakob Carlier is one of my 5th great grandfathers in my mother's paternal line.  He was born in 1755 in Groede, Zeeland, Netherlands as the first child of Jakob Carlier and Barbarina Notebaard.  I know that he had at least one sibling; Christiaan.  Jakob died on 08 Dec 1829 in Zuidzande, Oostburg, Zeeland, Netherlands  Jakob married Sara Scheerens, the daughter of Jakob Scheerens and Maria Ramat.  I have not yet been able to locate their record and date of marriage as they were married before 1796, which means their record would be documented in church records instead of in the civil records.  I am guessing that there is a strong likelihood that they would have attended a Dutch Reformed Church so this is where I am spending my time researching.  Sara was born around 1759 in Nieuwvliet, Zeeland, Netherlands.  She died in 1815 at the age of 56.  Her death record states that she was working as a laborer.  Records indicate that Jakob was also a laborer.

Jakob appears to have lived in the Zeeland area of the Netherlands his whole life.  Zeeland is a province in the lower western part of the Netherlands.  It is a sea coast area made of many small islands, it also borders Belgium.  During Jakob’s lifetime the Netherlands went through many historical changes.  When he was born the country was the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands.  From 1795 to 1813 it was under French control.  In 1805 the Kingdom of Holland was ruled by Napoleon's brother.  By 1815, at the time of his wife’s death the French had left the country and Prince Willem VI of Orange-Nassau became king and a new constitution had been adopted.  

Jakob Carlier and Sara Scheerens are known to have had the following children – the write up includes what I know about each of them at this time:

1.    Barbarina Carlier was born in 1789. She died on 03 Jul 1816 in Zuidzande, Oostburg, Zeeland, Netherlands.

2.    Sara Carlier was born in 1795 in Cadzand. She died on 31 Jul 1870 in Oostburg Zeeland Netherlands.  She married Adriaan Contant and had 6 children (4 daughters and 2 sons).  Her daughter Elisabeth born in 1832 married Pieter Vergouwe on 12 Feb 1849.  Pieter and Elisabeth had 4 children, one being Pieter Vergouwe.  He married Catharina van Bortel on 22 May 1878.  They gave birth to at least 2 daughters; one being Sarah Vergouwe who married my great grandfather Peter Derks.  They emigrated to the United States in 1904.

3.     Abraham Jacob Carlier was born about 1796 in Holland. He died in Williamson, New York – his name had been changed to Collier.

4.    Elizabeth Carlier was born in 1798 in Cadzand, Oostburg, Zeeland, Netherlands. She died on 05 Jul 1827 in Zuidzande, Oostburg, Zeeland, Netherlands.

5.    Adrianna Carlier was born on 24 Nov 1799 in Zuidzande, Oostburg, Zeeland, Netherlands.

6.    Isaac Carlier was born on 10 Nov 1801 in Zuidzande, Oostburg, Zeeland, Netherlands. He died on 14 Feb 1802 in Zuidzande, Oostburg, Zeeland, Netherlands.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

52 Ancestors Week #5: Maria Katharina de Bruijne

This week I selected Maria Katharina de Bruijne  from my Ancestor Blogging Jar with the topic - what was this ancestor doing when they were at age 40?

Maria Katharina de Bruijne is a 4th great grandmother in my mother's paternal line.  She was born approximately 1803 in Cadzand, Zeeland, Netherlands.  She was the daughter of Jannis de Bruijne and Katharina de Ruijssche.

Maria would have been 40 around 1843;  at that point in her life she had had the following life experiences:

Maria was once widowed.  

Maria had married Jakob Baas, a peasant servant, on June 11, 1823.  He was the son of Francois Baas and Elizabeth den Decker.  He was born on September 9, 1802 in Retranchement, Zeeland, Netherlands.  They were both 20 years of age, unfortunately their life together was cut short when he died on October 3, 1827. They had been married just over 4 years and had 3 children before Jakob passed away and a fourth child was born after his death.  Maria was just 27 years old.  Her children were aged 4, 3, 1 and she was pregnant.

Their children were:

  • Jannis Baas, a son, born September 6, 1823 only three months after getting married
  • Elizabeth Baas, a daughter, born December 29, 1824
  • Izaak Baas, a son, born April 30, 1826
  • Katharina Maria Baas, a daughter, born after her father's death on February 10, 1828

Maria was married a second time.

Maria raised her four children as a single widowed parent from the time of Jakob's death in October of 1827 until she remarried Kornelius van der Maas on October 20, 1834.  Kornelis was the son of Marinus Van der Maas and Maria Bakker.  At the time of her 2nd marriage, Maria was 32 years old.  Her children would have been 11, 10, 8 and 6.  Her second husband was 26 at the time of their marriage.   Maria and Kornelis went on to start a family of their own.  They had four children.

Their children were:
  • Suzanna Jakoba van der Maas, a daughter, born on July 28, 1835.
  • Sara van der Maas, a daughter, born on October 6, 1836.
  • Marinus van der Maas, a son, born on December 30, 1837.
  • Janneke van der Maas, a daughter, born on September 7, 1840.

Maria had buried a child.

Maria and Kornelius' son, Marinus did not make it to adulthood.  He died at four months of age on April 29, 1838.  Maria was around 35 years of age. 

During her fortieth year she would have had 7 living children.  They were 20, 19, 17, 15, 8, 7, and 3.  More than likely all of them were still living at home. It appears that she had always lived in Cadzand, Zeeland, Netherlands which is a coastal town in the southern part of country very near Belgium.