22 April 2012

Hop relatives come to America

To find more information on the Hops in Michigan I searched Ancestry.com for individual given names I knew were related.  In a search for Jacob Hop, it came up with 9 Jacobs on passenger lists.  One of these was an Arrival in 1867 of Jacob born about 1866.  This fit well with one a Jacob I was interested in - son of Brand Hop and Lubbertjen Luchtenberg.  His mother was related to me on two lines - her mother was the sister of Aalt Lubbertsen Hop, her father was the brother of Pietertje Willems.  Aalt and Pietertje were the parents of Lubbertje Hop, wife of Willem Morren.  So, two of my great-great-great-great-grandfathers were Jacob's great-grandfathers.  Got that??  I think Brand Hop (father of Jacob) is also related to me, but not sure yet.

So. I pulled up the image of that passenger list   It was definitely the Jacob of interest.  Listed directly above him is Jan Witteveen, age 14.  This is Jacob's half-brother from his mother's first marriage, to Jan Witteveen. (Jan the father died in October 1852, and Jan the son was born in February of 1853.) Next above on the passenger list are Wilhelm ", Jeannette  " and above that Hendrik  ".  I believe them to be Willem, Jannitje and Hendrik Luchtenberg - the brother, sister and father of Lubbertje.  Then is Lubbertje Luchtenberg  and listed above her name, Brand Hop.

So, clearly, this is the Luchtenberg family related to me..  It certainly helps that on this list the women are listed under their own surnames in the Dutch manner, not under the husband's name.

But - the real find of this story is this:
Since I was already browsing the list to find who was traveling with Jacob, I continued to scroll up the list.  Next was a Timmer family.  I know there are Timmers from the same village and who married Hops (although so far not proven to be related).
Next up the list -- my Morren family!! But that is a whole other story...

30 March 2012

the problem with indexes....

Some time ago, I started on a project to find the interrelationships between the various members of my family who were Hops or married Hops.  It all started when I discovered that the mother of my great grandmother, Aaltje Morren (married Douma) was NOT Neeltje Dekker, as we thought from the North Holland church records and cemetery, but was actually Lubbertje Hop and that Aaltje's sister married a Hop.  I wondered if the two Hops were related.  Thus began a project to identify Hop families and make connections to Morrens and other families.  (See earlier posts, beginning in August 2009, for more about this family.)

The fourth daughter (5th child) of Willem Morren and Lubbertje Hop was Willempje Morren.  In 1881, Ottawa Co., Michigan, she married William Hop.  There are quite a few William (or Willem) Hops, so it takes some sorting to get the families straight.  It is not made easier sometimes by the indexing.
In various indexes, I have found Willempje Morren Hop listed as:
Wittentje Monen
Wiley Morren
Wilsie Mavien
Weley Mairen
Wilcy Morren
...llemptfe Morren
Willanke Hop
Willentji Hop
Willtje Hop
Williamtje Hop
Willamtje Hop
Wielemtje Hop
Willamke Hop
Wiltse Hop
Wilcy Hop
Wilwetze Hop
Willemtje Hop
Wilhelmina Hop

Many times, when I look at the actual record I can tell the indexer simply could not read the handwriting, but many times it is creatively spelled.  (And spell-check here goes crazy!)

One would think it would not be a problem with a simple name like William Hop, but even that can be a problem.  Is he recorded with the Dutch spelling Willem?  Many Ottawa Co. records in late 19th century especially do maintain the Dutch names.  Maybe his name is Americanized to William.  Or abbreviated to Wm.  Depending on the database, it may make a difference in search results.  But in general, that is the only variation.  Or so I thought.  Then I discovered:

William Heop
Wm Klep
and a daughter is indexed as Katie Hep
In some OCR newspaper indexes, what turns up is William Bishop, or William, bell hop, or Wm Hughes, hop grower.

Of course, if I don't specify a place and just search for the surname, I'll get hundreds of unrelated people like:

Yee Hop
Chow Lum Hop
Wong Hop and
Fung Sen Hop Ho

Surely they ARE unrelated to me!!????

18 March 2012

When I was in Holland last fall and spent time going through old probate files, I found pages of wonderful information about many branches of the family.  To continue with the Morren family -
In the index I found a listing for William Morren, not as a probate file, but listed as an "Incompetency" case.  Reading the file I found that the children of William Morren are petitioning the court for a guardian to be appointed to have the care and custody of his person and his personal estate (valued at $400) and real estate (valued at $1500).  It is 1895 and William is at this time 72 years old. 

"The said William Morren is old and at times is very forgetful, his mind becoming very weak and at times when his mind becomes weak (which is very often) he is utterly unable and mentally incompetent to have the care and management of his property and during such periods and in fact almost all of the time he is liable to be imposed upon to such and extent as to lose his property (by and through designing persons) ...
It then goes on to say he has expressed the desire to his children that a guardian be appointed to protect him. and look after his property.
  It then goes on to list his next of kin: 
Peterje Van der Schraaf, daughter, lives at Holland
Aaltje Douma, daughter, lives at North Holland
Willemtje Hop, daughter, lives at Beaverdam
John Morren, son, Post office North Holland, Mich.

William Morren signs a statement that he desires and consents that Halbe Douma (husband of his daughter Aaltje) becomes his guardian and cares for his property and person.  Interestingly - the statements are notarized by Wietse Douma, brother of Halbe (not my grandpa).
And so, the court does appoint Halbe Douma as guardian.  Halbe, however, dies in 1898. In the 1900 census, William is living with his daughter Petertje van der Schraaf.  I did not find another hearing for appointment of a new guardian.  Possibly his daughter Aaltje carried on the responsibility, or her sister and her husband took over.  He died in 1908 at age 84.

24 February 2012

In all the trips I made to Michigan after Mom moved back and before she moved down to Texas, I never once made it to the Ottawa County court house or archives or wherever they have records.  Most of my trip time was spent visiting, not researching.  I did occasionally spend some time at Herrick Library, and I wandered in a few cemeteries.  But I never got up to Grand Haven, the county seat, where I assumed records would be. 
Finally, last fall I made a trip to Holland just to get more stuff out of storage.  No Mom to visit (although I did visit a bit with aunts and cousins).  So I allowed an extra day to do some research.  I looked online first to find out where probate records are, and called to make sure they would be available. (They are not available from the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.)  And so, on one snowy day in November, I had my first real research day!
I first went up to the counter and said I would like to look at old wills.  The building also holds the juvenile and family courts, and it looked like everyone else was there for that.  The nice woman behind the counter asked what name I wanted.  Well.  I started a list!  She looked at the 9 or 10 names so far and said maybe she should just bring out the index volumes for me to look through.  Good idea!  So she buzzed me in and set me down with the volume of the first half of the alphabet.  I started scribbling lists of names, film and file numbers.  After a bit, she came around and took a set of numbers and pulled films for me. 
Now, even though I had not done this type of research in Ottawa County, I have done plenty of courthouse research.  I was expecting microfilms of will books.  I picked up the first one, popped in the film cartridge and fast forwarded to the right file number.  Whoa!  Not will books.  These are films of the complete probate packets.  Fabulous!!  (Well, ok, makes sense now that it needed a file number.)
Some of the pages were pretty poor and a few actually illegible.  Sadly, the originals no longer exist, so was not possible to request a copy from an original.  But most were fine.  I started to hit the print button.  Then went to ask the crucial question - how can I pay?  Once she said they take a credit card, I printed at will. 
I was there from about 10 a.m. until about 4 p.m.  I nearly closed the place up!  Everyone was astounded at the number of pages I printed at the outrageous price of $1 per page (you don't want to know!).  But, I am so glad to have the information, it was worth it to me. Very considerately, they did not charge me for the pages they thought were unreadable - even though I was happy to have them, however poor the copy. 

15 February 2012

Sorry I've been away

It has been nearly a year and a half since I last posted here.  A lot has happened, family- and research-wise.  But I am hopeful that now I will get back to a sort-of-routine of posting bits of family history.
For now, the explanation (or excuse) for being gone so long.  I was doing a lot of research for my friends.  Their 8 grandparents came from at least 6 locations in Europe.  Two grands married in the old country and one I believe came from a town near her American-wed husband's birthplace.  I did a lot of research in US records and also in online indexes and microfilms.  I ordered records from England, films of Polish records, worked with a researcher in Buffalo, learned a lot about Jewish research and entered data into the database.  With the native towns identified (2 cities in England, one now in Belarus, 2 in Poland and one in Ukraine), my friends are now about to hire overseas researchers to trace the lines back further.
In the meantime, there were changes in my own family.  My Mom, who had moved to Texas in 2009 to be near my sister, passed away in May 2011, a month after her 90th birthday.  She was ready to go, and fully expected to join my Dad, my sister and brother, so I can't be sad for her.  Just for me.  I still miss her - especially about 9:30 at night when she used to call just as I was getting ready for bed.  We had a lovely service in Holland in June with all the grandkids and great-grandkids (including the week-old great-grandson!),  my 2 aunts, cousins, second cousins, and a lot of Mom and Dad's friends of old.  We stayed at a fabulous beach house and had a great family reunion.  Then, a lot of paperwork to deal with after.
Now, with my friends pretty much set (I have reached the end of my capabilities in that case), it is time to get back to my own research.  To give me a kick-start -- last week at work, a visitor came to the Library asking about descendants of New Netherland settlers (That's old New York.)  My coworker suggested he talk to me.  So we had quite a chat (me doing most of the talking as usual).  Turns out, he works at the Centraal Bureau voor Genealogie in The Hague, a major source for Dutch genealogical research.  So I was inspired to get myself moving and start back on this blog!

So.  That's the long and the short of the explanations.  Next time, real info!  I did have one great research trip in that time, so new things to write about.