Timothy Corcoran's WWI Draft Registration-Military Monday

Author: Brenda Leyndyke / Labels: , ,

Source:  "World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918," [database on-line], Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 24 March 2011), entry for Timothy Francis Corcoran.

The above World War I draft registration is for Kirk's maternal great grandfather, Timothy Francis Corcoran.  As far as my research has taken me, all of the information on the form is correct.  

van den Bos: Surname Saturday

Author: Brenda Leyndyke / Labels: ,

Anyone who has done Dutch research has come across names similar to  van den Bos.  The van and den part of the name are prefixes.

Prefixes are common with Dutch surnames.  Some of the common prefixes are de, der, den, van, te, ter, ten.  Combinations of these prefixes can be found also:  van den, van der, etc.  Kirk's dutch heritage has a variety of these prefixes in their surnames.

van den Bos is one of those surnames.  van means 'from'; den means 'the'.  So van den Bos means 'from the Bos'.  Bos is bunch or bundle.  van den Bos means 'from the bunch (or bundle).  The van den Bos family in Kirk's family tree comes from Sint Philipsland, Zeeland, Netherlands.

One of the interesting things about dutch names with prefixes is that the name is alphabetized in dutch search engines and dutch records without the prefix.  If searching a Dutch surname with a prefix in an online Netherlands search engine, search without the prefix(es).  When I search for van den Bos, I search for Bos.  A few of the online search engines provide a separate space for the prefixes.  If looking at registers that are alphabetized, I would look in the 'B' section, for those records in the Netherlands.  In the United States records, I have found them alphabetized by the 'V'.

Kirk's van den Bos, which became VandenBos in the United States, ancestry is:

Kirk Leyndyke
James Leyndyke
Peter LeynDyke (1894-1991)

The following van den Bos family members were all born in Sint Philipsland, Zeeland, Netherlands.

Neeltje 'Nellie' van den Bos (1877-1910)
Marinus 'Martin' van den Bos (1856-1916)
Cornelis van den Bos (1825-)
Marinus van den Bos (1793-1865)
Johannes van den Bos (abt 1759-1829)

Arend van den Bos (no sources for dates yet.)

Dutch Reformed Church, Vierpolders, Netherlands: Those Thursday Places

Author: Brenda Leyndyke / Labels: , ,

 Dutch Reformed Church
Vierpolders, Netherlands

Dutch Reformed Church
Vierpolders, Netherlands

The Dutch Reformed Church in Vierpolders, Netherlands was built in 1721.  This church is the one that Jan Cornelisse Luijendijk, the son of Cornelis Arend Luijendijk-Kirk's eight great grandfather, helped found. 

Tom deMeijer, a Netherland's genea-friend told me, "It is not more than a chapel really, but very nicely situated on a higher part in the middle of the village between old trees and very well restored.  Besides the church,  you will see the old pulpit (original of 1721) and the State Bible offered to the church by Lady C.A. van Salis de Marcheling, born Baronesse van Leyden.  The organ is not original, but a recent copy of an organ as used in the early 18th century."

He explained the Dutch Reformed Church also, "In the Netherlands we distinguish the Dutch Reformed Church (Nederlands Hervormde Kerk) and the later separation, the more orthodox "Gereformeerde Kerk".  Both words "Hervormd " and "Gereformeerd" translate as "Reformed" in English.  The "Hervormde" branch was a more liberal form of Calvinism, but since a couple of years both churches have merged again.

Timothy and Helen (Schmitt) Corcoran: Tombstone Tuesday

Author: Brenda Leyndyke / Labels: , , , ,

OCTOBER 27, 1876
APRIL 17, 1952
AUGUST 1, 1882
APRIL 10, 1949

Kirk's great grandparents, Timothy "Pa Tim" and Helen (Schmitt) Corcoran are buried in Restlawn Memorial Park, 3450 Eastern Avenue SE, Corner of Eastern Avenue and 36th Street, Grand Rapids, MI 49058.  They are in Section 32, Lot 23.

Peter LeynDyke and NellieVanOeveren-Wedding Wednesday

Author: Brenda Leyndyke / Labels: , , , ,

Kirk's paternal grandparents, Peter LeynDyke and Nellie VanOeveren were married New Year's Day, 1917 in Grand Rapids, Kent, Michigan.  They were married an amazing 74 years. 

This Certifies
That on the first day of
January in the Year of
our Lord 1917
Mr. Peter Lijndyk
Miss Nellie VanOeveren
were by me united in
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Rev. Edward J. Tanis
Minster of the Gospel
Witnesses:  Mr. E. Glen Reed
                    Miss Anna Wertz

Happy Birthday, Kirk and Karen

Author: Brenda Leyndyke / Labels: ,

Happy Birthday, Kirk and Karen

L-R:  Kirk, Karen Age 1

My husband has a twin sister, Karen.  Today is their birthday.  I hope they are enjoying their day.

Western Michigan Genealogical Society-Follow Friday

Author: Brenda Leyndyke / Labels: ,

I started my research into Kirk's family in the Grand Rapids and Kent County, Michigan area.  One of the first places I looked was the Western Michigan Genealogical Society (WMGS) website.  I was amazed.  It was, and still is, one of the best society website's I have found.  I have spent hours looking at their database section. 

WMGS has basic society information such as membership, meetings, newsletter, and publications.  The publications can be purchased from their website.  In addition, the website has resource pages that includes research assistance, databases, biographies, and internet links.

If you have Western Michigan ancestors, especially Grand Rapids and Kent County ones, then you must check the database section out.  The majority of the databases are free, with a few requiring payment.  The free databases are:

  • WMGS Manuscripts
  • Member's Genealogy
  • Black Monument Company Records
  • Michigan Census
  • Kent County Deaths
  • Kent County Marriages
  • Chapman's History of Kent County
  • Goss's History of Grand Rapids and Its' Industries (1906)
  • Index from Periodicals compiled by Maud Quigley
  • Surnames and Queries
  • WMGS Website Links
The paid portion includes:
  • Newspapers
  • School Census Records
  • WWI Veteran's Census
  • Farm Bureau News
  • Latzek Funeral Home Records
With over 2 million records in their database you will be sure to find helpful information here.  I know I did.

50 Years of Marriage in 1876-Seraphim and Adelaide DeGanne

Author: Brenda Leyndyke / Labels: ,

186 years ago today Amable Seraphim (DeGanne) DeGan and Adelaide Ducharme Tetreau were married in Quebec, Canada.  They celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary in 1876.  An article in The Daily Courier on 28 April 1876 reported the occassion.   This well written article made you feel like you were there.  I did find it interesting that Adelaide was never mentioned by name.

Golden Wedding.

Fifty years ago yesterday our well known

citizen, Mr. Seraphan DeGan, led to the altar;

a bride of eighteen years, and promised, just

as lovers of to-day promise, to share tbe joys

and sorrows of life with the partner of his

choice. How well the vow made before the

clergyman has been kept during the many

eventful years since that happy 27tb of April,

1826, was shown last evening In the

Britoher Block, where the aged but uprightly

couple were surrounded by their children and

grandchildren-—a sight that is seldom witnessed

in this age when death and divorce combine their

forces to break the silken cord of wedlock.

Thirteen children were the fruit of their marriage,

of whom ten are now living.

Tbey are Heury DeGan, of Chicago;

S. A. DeGan, the well known and

popular carpet man In the store of M. S.

Price; John DeGan, of the firm of Whit more

& DeGan; Joseph and Ed. DeGan, of this city,

aud Louis DeGan. of New York; Mrs. Denny,

Mrs. Hossler, Mrs. Gotie and Mrs. Cousnio.

Besides the above, the aged couple have sixty-nine

grand children and twenty-nine great

grand children—quite a large family. The

relatives present at the reception, old and

young, numbered about fifty. At eight o'clock

supper was announced in the large dining hall,

and the bill of fare contained everything that

the palate of the most fastidious epicurean

could wish for. In the centre of the table was

a fine wedding cake, on the top of which wore

tho significant figures, " 1826—1876," the

tempting " loaf " being surrounded by a myrtle


After all had feasted to their hearts' content,

the cloths were removed and a few hours passed

away very pleasantly In conversation, interspersed

with vocal and instrumental music

Mr. E. DeGan sung several pretty airs, while

the duets of Miss Jennie and Master Horton

Warner were superb. Miss Warner seemed to

be perfectly "at home" at either the piano or


Tbe company separated at eleven o'clock,

each wishing that the aged couple may live to

reach the half-mile post In the next Centennial


(Amable-Seraphim DeGanne and Adelaide Ducharme Tetreau are Kirk's maternal 3rd great grandparents.)

Dollaway: Surname Saturday

Author: Brenda Leyndyke / Labels: ,

The Dollaway surname can be found on Kirk's maternal line of ancestors.  I am not sure of the origin of the name, but I believe it may be English in origin.  The Dollaway's can be found in the United States as early as 1762.  Kirk's line of Dollaway's came from New York (Dutchess, Orange, and Schuyler counties) and Lowell Township, Kent, Michigan.

Here is Kirk's lineage of Dollaway's:

Leona Adelia Dollaway (30 May 1905-2 July 2005)
Willis George Dollaway (29 October 1863-28 June 1940)
Andrew Dollaway (1840-)
Isaac Dollaway (1810-1861)
Andrew Dollaway (about 1762-27 May 1826)

The Migration of the Luyendyk's

Author: Brenda Leyndyke / Labels: , , , ,

One of the fun things about researching family history is delving into the reasons people leave their home country and immigrate to the United States.  I find this fascinating whether it is my family I am researching or my husbands.  

Pieter Luijendijk, Kirk's great, great grandfather, was born 29 August 1823 in Zuid-Beijerland, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands.  He was the twelfth generation of Luijendijk men who lived in Zuid-Holland.  I was curious what would make someone leave such strong family ties to the area and set out for the United States.

To understand his reasoning one needs to understand the history of the emigration in that period. Tom deMeijer shared the following with me, "Both Pieter and his father Jacob are known as “workman”.  They were part of the rural upper class of that time, with official positions as deputy mayors, sheriffs and “dijkgraaf” which is the highest authority in each polder.

What happened? In the period after the Napoleonic wars ending with the battle of Waterloo in 1813, the population in The Netherlands was growing exponentially. After the Congress of Vienna, the Southern Netherlands (now known as Belgium and Luxembourg) were united with “Holland” under the Orange monarchy. The population initially got work, energy and children, a lot of them. In the previous period the land was attributed to the elder son or daughter and the others made sure that they married a wealthy farmer or farmer’s daughter as well. With the explosion of the population these options became increasingly scarce. At the same time there were no good alternatives yet. It was too early for the industrial revolution that started only after 1870 (that could have absorbed a lot of people) and there was no fertilizer yet, allowing more intensive agriculture. Result was impoverishment all over, rather than the improvement of conditions hoped for after the wars."

The reason Pieter stated for emigration was "improvement of existence".  Like many others from many lands, he thought the United States would give him a better life.  In 1849, at the age of 26, Pieter and his wife, Jaapje (Maasdam) emigrated to the United States.

Source: "Dutch Immigrants to America, 1820-1880," database, Ancestry.com
(ancestry.com : accessed 19 May 2007), Entry for Pieter Luijendijk.

Pieter and Jaapje Luijendijk settled in Owasco, Cayuga, New York for a time.  They can be found in the 1850 and 1860 U.S. Federal Census in Owasco.  Jaapje's brother, Johannes, settled in this area, too.  Sometime before 1870, Pieter, Jaapje and their seven children migrated to the Grand Rapids area of Michigan.  I don't know the reasoning for this move, but do know that the Grand Rapids area is heavily populated by Dutch people.

The migration of Pieter Luijendijk took him from Zuid-Holland, Netherlands to Owasco, Cayuga, New York to Grand Rapids, Kent, Michigan.  A journey of almost four thousand miles.  I hope he found the better life he was looking for.

Bertrand Francis Corcoran-Sunday's Obituary

Author: Brenda Leyndyke / Labels: , ,

Kirk's maternal grandfather, Bertrand 'Bert' Francis Corcoran, died of a heart attack on 21 July 1959 in Elk Rapids, Antrim, Michigan.  Bert and his wife, Leona, were in Elk Rapids visiting his daughter, Elizabeth 'Betty', and her husband Jim (Kirk's parents).  Jim was on a temporary assignment for Western Electric at the time.

Kirk remembers the days before his grandfather's death as fun.  His grandfather was a very generous person.  He would talk to his grandchildren and was fun to be with.  Whenever Grandpa Corcoran came to visit he would slap a silver dollar in his grandchildren's hands.  That week Grandpa Corcoran had taken Kirk and his brother and sisters to a dime store type store and the kids got to buy a toy.

The morning of Bert's death was a sunny, summer day.  Kirk, who was eight at the time, remembers the family eating hamburgers on the screened-in porch.  While Bert was eating he started having problems.  He went inside to lay down and an ambulance was called.  The kids were kept on the porch while the paramedics attended to Bert, so they wouldn't see anything.  But kids being kids, they peeked through a window.  Kirk remembers the paramedics plunging a hypodermic needle into his grandfather's chest before being told to get away from the window.  Bert died shortly afterwards at the age of 56.

Below is the obituary for Bertrand Francis Corcoran (7 Jan 1903-21 Jul 1959).  Bertrand was the son of Timothy Francis Corcoran and Helen (Schmitt) Corcoran.

Source:  The Grand Rapids Press, (Grand Rapids, Michigan), 22 July 1959, microfilm owned by Grand Rapids Public Library, Grand Rapids, Michigan.


B.F. Corcoran, Salesman, Dies
Bertrand F. Corcoran, 56, of 2601 Frederick dr. SE. real estate salesman for Battjes Real Estate Co. and member of St. Thomas' church, died unexpectedly from a heart attack Tuesday in Elk Rapids while he was vacationing.

Mr Corcoran was born in Cook county, Ill., but lived in Grand Rapids most of his life. He was a member of the Holy Name society of St. Thomas' church and the Elks, and was a fourth degree member of the Knights of Columbus.

Surviving are his wife, Leona; two sons, Richard of Grand Rapids and John D. of College Point, N.Y.; three daughters, Mrs. James M. Lenendyke and Mrs. Chester Sypren of Grand Rapids and Mrs. Jack L. Nelson of Traverse City; a brother Howard of Grand Rapids, and 15 grandchildren.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Friday in St. Thomas' church. Burial will be in Woodlawn cemetery.

The body is at O'Brien's Colonial funeral home.