07 September 2009

The family across the chart

So now I set aside the Cole family and move to my paternal side. I have recently been researching my father's grandmother's family. Her name was Aaltje Morren and she was born 1854 in the Netherlands. My uncle had directed me to the part of the cemetery where the family is buried and I found the graves of Willem Morren and Neeltje Dekker, as described last time.
In 1870, the family is living in Olive Twp., Ottawa Co., Michigan.

This record lists Willem and his wife Neeltje and three of the children living at home. But here's where things go wrong -- Aaltje is recorded as Albrecht, male, 15 and Willemtje is listed as Willem, a 10 year old male. The ages are correct for these two, but the names are garbled and the sex wrong. None the less, this is the family. Pietje, 20, is living in the city of Holland working as a domestic.

Looking ahead to this family - I find Willem in 1900 living with his daughter Pietje van der Schraaf. One column on the 1900 census asked year of arrival in the US and Pietje and father both answer 1867. Aaltje also reports the same year of arrival as does sister Willemtje ("Wilcey") Hop. Son Jan ("John") reports the same year of arrival.

In the 19th century, the Netherlands kept records of emigrants leaving the country. Robert Swierenga published a book of abstracts of these records from the middle of the century.

Here we can see W. Morren listed, traveling with wife and 5 children in 1867. The age is right for the man in the census, his death certificate says he was the father of 5 children -- looks fine -- except daughter Cornelia died in the Netherlands in 1866! So who is the extra child traveling with them?? So far I have not found an actual passenger list for this family. They are not listed in Swierenga's book of arrivals and they don't turn up in online searches. So I'm still looking.

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