Happy Birthday, Grandma Lee

Author: Brenda Leyndyke / Labels:

Kirk's grandma, Leona Dollaway Corcoran, was born 30 May 1905, near Lowell, Kent, Michigan.  She was the eighth of nine children born to Willis George Dollaway and Francis A. Denny. 

Leona married Bertrand Francis Corcoran on 3 June 1925 at St. Andrew's Cathedral in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  She had five children:  Richard, Elizabeth, Helen, Nancy and John.

She lived to be 100 years old.  She spent most of her life living in the Grand Rapids area.  She was fondly referred to as Grandma Lee.  My family was fortunate to get to know Grandma Lee.  She and her friend, Lois, would go for a Sunday drive and stop by and visit.  I remember visiting Grandma Lee one time, when she was in her 80's, and she was complaining about the old people who drive and go to the grocery store.  I had to chuckle.  She was still driving at this time.

Sometime in her 90's she moved to South Carolina, where her son lived.  Unfortunately, we didn't get to South Carolina before she died in 2005.  I will forever be thankful for her grandmotherly presence in our lives.   


Netherland's Stained Glass Windows-Those Thursday Places

Author: Brenda Leyndyke / Labels: ,

Stained Glass Window at the Dutch Refromed Church in Vierpolders, Netherlands

Previously, I wrote about the church in Vierpolders, Netherlands that our Luijendijk ancestors attended.  This church has beautiful (at least from the pictures I have seen) stained glass windows.  One window in particular is important to the Leyndyke family.  My genea-friend, Tom deMeijer, traveled to Vierpolders and visited the church and took pictures.  This is what he wrote about the windows:

The window was donated to the church, together with 5 other persons, by Jan Cornelisse Leuijendick in 1721 when the little church was built.

In the window with the 6 Coats of Arms.
Left top down:
Crins Janse, alderman-sheriff of Nieuwland (New Land of Brielle was the old name of Vierpolders), the cow indicates he had cattle.

Jan Hoogerwerf
Vasal of Voorne, sheriff of Vierpolders and Swartewael (now Zwartewaal, a village nearby) with fish and star.

Leendert van Doorne, Alderman, arms with merlon/ battlements; this indicates an old origin of his coats of arms maybe form the chivalry period.
Jan Cornelisse Luijendijk Portion of the Window

Right top down:Jans Cornelisse Luijendijk-Captain and Sheriff living in 1721; The Coat of Arms contains a grapevine and is inspired by John:15 "and Jesus said, I am the true grapevine and you are the vines; who stays in me and I in him, will bear many fruits".

Leendert Meuldijk (means mill dyke), so he was running a mill on the dyke. He was captain (of the warship) and alderman.

Sir Pieter de Boo; arms with sun, three trees and three swords. He was secretary of Swartewael and Vierpolders.

In the upperside of the window;
The Lady of Justice with her balance on the left and the Lady of Wisdom with mirror and snake to the right.

Thank you to Tom for providing us a glimpse into the past.  Kirk and I hope to visit the Netherlands some day and the church at Vierpolders will be on our list to see.

Researching at Downers Grove Public Library

Author: Brenda Leyndyke / Labels: , ,

Our daughter, Kirsten, was performing in a musical in the Chicago area a couple of years ago and my  husband and I went to see it.  We decided to take advantage of a Chicago trip and do some family history research while there.  We decided on Downers Grove Public Library in Downers Grove, Illinois, just west of Chicago.

The Downers Grove library has a wonderful family history section.  This section covers the topics of:  general history of the area, atlas and maps, yearbooks, telephone directories, cemetery records, census records, newspapers and more.  In addition, there is a local history information file available.  Check out their website if you are planning a visit.  It has lots of local history information on it.  I used their card catalog search to prepare for our trip. 

Our research concentrated on Kirk's great, great grandfather Quirin Schmitt.  Luckily, he was a local businessman and we found quite a bit on him at the library.  The newspapers on microfilm start around 1891, with limited issues from 1891-1893; and from 1895-present they have a very good selection.  We found a large obituary for Quirin Schmitt in the Downers Grove Reporter.  You have to ask for the microfilm at the desk; but they were very helpful and pleasant to work with.

The cemetery records for DuPage county seemed quite complete.  I found all the records I was looking for without any trouble.  Other records I found were biographical in nature.  The library has "History of Dupage County, Illinois by Rufus Blanchard which was great.  It is available as a free ebook at google books. 

Another helpful resource was the book, "Downers Grove 1832-1982" by Montrew Dunham and Pauline Wandschneider.  It was this book where I learned about a 1893 fire that destroyed the Querin Schmitt livery and seven other buildings.

We had planned to visit the Wheaton Public Library that day too.  We were so busy at Downers Grove we never made it.  If you have Downers Grove or DuPage County, Illinois ancestors be sure to give the Downers Grove Public Library a look.

Schmitt: Surname Saturday

Author: Brenda Leyndyke / Labels: , , ,

The Schmitt surname can be found on Kirk's maternal side of the family.  The Schmitt family originated in Alsace area of France.  The verifiable information I have so far includes:

  • Kirk
  • Elizabeth
  • Helen Schmitt Corcoran (1882-1949)
  • Quirin Schmitt (1853-1927)
  • Roman Schmitt
Quirin Schmitt immigrated to the United States and settled in Downer's Grove, DuPage, Illinois.  He owned a livery there for many years. 

Are you related to these Schmitt's?  Please leave a comment or contact me. 

Abraham and Jennie VanOeveren: Tombstone Tuesday

Author: Brenda Leyndyke / Labels: , , ,

JENNIE                        ABRAHAM
1866 MOTHER 1932      1865 FATHER 1943

Abraham and Jennie (Kosten) VanOveren are buried in Fairplains Cemetery, 2056 Diamond Ave Northeast, on the NW corner of Knapp Street and Fuller Avenue, Grand Rapids, Michigan.  They are in Lot 387; Block 2; Grave 1 & 2.

Abraham was born 20 June 1865 and died 22 October 1943.  Jennie was born 11 May 1866 and died 19 June 1932.  They both died in Grand Rapids, Kent, Michigan.

Kirk's parents visited the cemetery office and were given the burial information below.  It looks like it is a family plot.  The handwritten notes on the bottom are written by Kirk's mother.  Jennie's 1931 burial date is an error.  She died in 1932.  I haven't researched the others enough to identify where they fit into the family.  I surmise that baby Abram was a child of Abraham and Jennie, but do not know that as fact.

Leona Adelia Corcoran: Sunday's Obituary

Author: Brenda Leyndyke / Labels: ,

CORCORAN-Leona A. Corcoran, of Myrtle Beach, SC, passed away on July 2, 2005. Born May 30th 1905 in Lowell, Michigan, the former Leona Dollaway lived the majority of her 100 years in Grand Rapids. A long time member of St. Thomas the Apostle Church, she was active in many church and social organizations. She is survived by her daughters, Betty and Jim Leyndyke of Stanwood, Helen and Jack Nelson of Portage; her son, John Corcoran of Pawleys Island, SC; her 23 grandchildren and several great and great-great grandchildren. Preceded in death by her husband, Bertram Corcoran; her son, Richard Corcoran; her daughter, Nancy Sypien; her son-in-law, Chester Sypien and her daughter-in-law, AnnMarie Corcoran. A memorial service will be held at 10:30 a.m. August 6 at St. Thomas the Apostle Church in Grand Rapids. Interment will be at a date to be set in the future.

(Note:  Leona Corcoran was Kirk's grandmother, known to the family as Grandma Lee.)

Janna 'Jennie' Kosten VanOeveren

Author: Brenda Leyndyke / Labels: ,

Jennie Kosten VanOeveren, date unknown

Janna 'Jennie' Kosten, daughter of Adriaan Kosten and Jennie Jansen was born 11 May 1866 in the Netherlands, 146 years ago today.  She married Abraham VanOeveren on 23 July 1885 in Grand Rapids, Kent, Michigan.  Jennie died 19 June 1932 in Grand Rapids, Kent, Michigan.

Jennie Kosten VanOeveren is Kirk's great grandmother.

Where in the World is Peter Leyn Dyke?

Author: Brenda Leyndyke / Labels: ,

Peter Leyn Dyke Census Table
Gaines Township, Kent, Michigan, United States

Grand Rapids, Kent, Michigan, United States
Chicago, Cook, Illinois, United States
Flint, Genesee, Michigan, United States
Flint, Genesee, Michigan, United States
Flint, Genesee, Michigan, United States

Kirk's grandfather, Peter Leyn Dyke, can be found in the above census records.  His name was recorded a few different ways.  In 1900, it was indexed as Lundyk; 1910 as Peter Kennedy (his mother remarried and Peter was using this name); 1920-1940 recorded as Leyn Dyke.

Wedding of Pieter Luijendijk and Jaapje Maasdam

Author: Brenda Leyndyke / Labels: ,

Pieter Luijendijk and Jaapje Maasdam, Kirk's 2x great grandparents, were married 165 years ago, today on 7 May 1847 in Zuid-Beijerland, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands.

The image above, which I apologize for it's fuzziness-this was the best I could do with it, is the record of marriage for Pieter and Jaapje Luijendijk.  I haven't transcribed it yet, but you can see their names clearly and the parent's names.

Pieter Luijendijk is the son of Jacob Luijendijk and Johanna 'Anna' van der Burg.  Jaapje Maasdam is the daughter of Bastiaan Maasdam and Lijntje Stroobergen.

Pieter and Jaapje Luijendijk immigrated to the United States two years after their marriage.  They settled in Owasco, Cayuga, New York before moving to the Grand Rapids, Michigan area before 1870.

Pieter and Jaapje had nine children: Anna, Bastian, Jacob, Annie, Allen, Cornelius, Daniel, Rachel, and one other. 

Kosten: Surname Saturday

Author: Brenda Leyndyke / Labels: , ,

The Kosten surname is found on Kirk's paternal side of the family.  In the late 1700's the family was living in Heinkenszand, Zeeland, Netherlands

Adriaan Kosten and family emigrated from Wolphaartsdijk, Zeeland, Netherlands in 1873.  They eventually settled in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Here is the line from Kirk through his 4x great grandfather, which is as far as I have researched.
Nellie VanOeveren Leyn Dyke (1896-1994)
Janna 'Jennie' Kosten VanOeveren (1866-1932)
Adriaan Kosten (1830-)
Maarten Kosten (1788-1835)
Jan Kosten

The First van den Bos Immigrant: Marinus van den Bos and Family

Author: Brenda Leyndyke / Labels: , , , , , ,

The first van den Bos (Vandenbos) immigrant in Kirk's family came to the United States on 12 Mar 1881.  Marinus 'Martin' van den Bos; his wife, Lena (Quist) van den Bos; and four year old daughter, Neeltje Cornelia 'Nellie' van den Bos travelled in steerage from Rotterdam, Holland (Netherlands) to New York, USA aboard the ship 'Amsterdam'. 

The family eventually settled in Grand Rapids, Kent, Michigan.  Nellie van den Bos married Cornelius Luyendyk 17 November 1893 in Dorr Center, Allegan, Michigan.  Cornelius and Nellie Luyendyk are Kirk's great grandparents.