Grandma Lee's Hope Chest: Treasure Chest Thursday

Author: Brenda Leyndyke / Labels: ,

This hope chest belonged to my husband's maternal grandmother, Leona Dollaway Corcoran, who we called Grandma Lee.  I have it under my wall of family pictures in my 'genealogy room'

Currently, I am storing a few linens in it.  It also makes a great area for genealogy research overload and, occasionally, the top of it is full of files and paper records.  It is a treasure as our family has fond memories of Grandma Lee.

Key Words for Dutch Genealogy: Tuesday's Tip

Author: Brenda Leyndyke / Labels: ,

One of the obstacles to researching records of a foreign country can be the language differences.  Once I was ready to research with Netherlands records, I knew I was going to need a little help in this area.  So, I turned to Family Search for help.  It was there that I found dutch genealogy words.

To find these words one needs to go to the Family Search wiki for "Netherlands Language and Languages".  Here you will find Dutch language help for key words, dates, times, and other words.

Here are a few words that will help you get started:

baptism           dopen, doop, gedoopt
birth                 geboren, geboorte
burial               begraven, begraaf
child                 kind
death                overleden, overlijden, gestorven
father               vader
husband          echtgenoot
marriage         huwelijk(en), trouwen, gehuwden, getrouwd
month             maand
mother            moeder
town                stad, gemeente, dorp
wife                 huisvrouw, vrouw, echtgenote
year                 jaar

The Family Search wiki for dutch words has helped me when translating records from Dutch to English.  Eventually, I decided to purchase an English/Dutch Dictionary, which is helpful too.

If you are doing any Netherlands research be sure to check out the Family Search "Netherlands Language and Languages" wiki.

VanOeveren: Surname Saturday

Author: Brenda Leyndyke / Labels: ,

I have traced the VanOeveren or VanOveren surname back to 1596 in the Netherlands.  The VanOeveren's in my husbands family originated in Sint Philipsland, Zeeland, Netherlands. 

Abraham VanOeveren and Neeltje de Bruin immigrated to the United States in 1870.  They eventually settled in Grand Rapids, Kent, Michigan.

My husband's, Kirk, line is as follows:
Nellie VanOeveren (1896-1994)
Abraham VanOeveren (1865-1943)
Abraham VanOeveren (1832-)  (the immigrant)
Abraham Johannisse vanOeveren (1788-1852)
Johannis vanOeveren (1750-1794)
Abraham Leendertszn vanOeveren (-1775)
Leendert Jansz vanOeveren (1663-1738)
Jan Huybrechtszn vanOeveren

The Leyndyke Men at a Wedding

Author: Brenda Leyndyke / Labels:

L-R  James Alan, James Marvin, Kirk (the Groom)

My husband, Kirk, and I are celebrating our anniversary today.  I have always liked this picture of Kirk; his father, Jim; and brother, Jim, that was taking on our wedding day at St. John's Lutheran Church, Palms, Michigan.

Happy Anniversary, Honey!

Peter Leyndyke's WWI Draft Registration: Military Monday

Author: Brenda Leyndyke / Labels: , , ,

Source:  "World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918," [database on-line], ( : accessed 21 March 2011), Entry for Peter Leyndyke; United States, Selective Service System. World War I Selective Service System Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration. M1509, 4,582 rolls. Imaged from Family History Library microfilm.

The above record is the World War I draft registration for my husband's grandfather, Peter Leyndyke.  Peter's birth date was recorded as 4 October 1894, which is an error.  According to his certificate of live birth, his birth date was 5 October 1894.  I only discovered this error a few weeks ago!  Even when Peter was alive I thought his birthday was the 4th.  I guess that is better than the 6th, as his birthday card should have arrived on time, if not early.

My Top 5 Dutch Research Websites

Author: Brenda Leyndyke / Labels:

Do you have Dutch ancestry?  If so, you will want to be aware of these great resources available online.  I refer to them often when researching Kirk's dutch ancestry.

1.  Genlias:  This website provides birth, marriage, and death records from civil registers in the Netherlands.  This is a broad based database from archives across the Netherlands.  A list of the archives can be found on this site.  For English speaking researchers, be sure to click 'English' in the upper right corner.  To get started searching, click 'Searching in Genlias'.  Help for searching is available under this tab, also.  Good luck!  And don't blame me if you get so involved in your searching you lose track of time.  I have had many two am nights because of this website.

Updated February 2013.  Genlias is no longer available, but a new website has taken its' place:

WieWasWie:  This website has replaced the Genlias website.  At this time (February 2013) there is not an option for English.  I used Google translate to help navigate the site.  This site is a database of Netherlands vital records that are from various record groups in Netherlands.  To get started, enter a name in the Find People blue search box or use the advanced search option.  The participating archives is greater in number than at the old genlias site.  I would recommend this as the starting place for your Dutch research

2.  Yvette's Dutch Genealogy- I have barely touched the surface with the wonderful resources available here.  Yvette, a professional genealogist who works for The National Archives in The Hague, is the genius behind this website.  There is a lot of background information on archives, sources, dutch terms and names, emigration, history, and geography.  The database link will take you to a genealogy page with more information.  There are many links available and every click leads you to more.  There is a Dutch Genealogy Store with a few books about Dutch Genealogy, history and culture.  Yvette provides everything you need and she will even do the research for you, if you choose.  Yvette's website should be included in every Dutch researcher's toolbox.

3. Zeeuwen Gezocht (Zeelanders Wanted)- If your ancestors came from the province of Zeeland, Netherlands, then this searchable database is a must.  For English speaking researchers, click 'English' in the top right corner.    Other information on sources, new data added, frequently asked questions, and tools are available.  The tools section has a translation of dutch words, civil registrar, historical maps of Zeeland from 1816-1970, websites and more.  This is another website adding to my sleep deprivation.  Be sure to take a look.

4.  go site has paid and free information.  The section I like is the 'Genealogy Research Section".  You will find "The Basics-A Guide" free online.  This is a very comprehensive guide to researching your Dutch ancestry.  Oh, I almost forgot-it has Dutch recipes, too!

5.  Hear Dutch Here-This website provides dutch pronunciation and spelling help .  You can hear dutch words pronounced or if adventurous, learn to speak Dutch with their lessons.  Historical maps of the Netherlands can be found here too. 

These are my five top go-to websites when researching Dutch ancestry.  Clicking on the red lettering will take you to the website section referred to.  Do you have a favorite website for Dutch ancestry?  Please share it in the comments section.

Bertrand and Leona Corcoran: Tombstone Tuesday

Author: Brenda Leyndyke / Labels: , , ,


Bertrand Francis Corcoran was born 7 January 1903 in Chicago, Cook, Illinois to Timothy Francis Corcoran and Helen F. (Schmitt) Corcoran.  He died 21 July 1959 in Elk Rapids, Antrim, Michigan.


Leona Adelia Dollaway was born 30 May 1905 in Lowell Township, Kent, Michigan to Willis George Dollaway and Francis A. (Denny) Dollaway.  She died 2 July 2005 in Pawleys Island, Georgetown, South Carolina.

Bertrand Corcoran and Leona Dollaway were married in St. Andrew's Catholic Church, Grand Rapids, Kent, Michigan on 3 June 1925.

They are buried in Woodlawn Cemetery, 2530 Kalamazoo Avenue SE, Grand Rapids, Kent, Michigan.

Corcoran: Surname Saturday

Author: Brenda Leyndyke / Labels: ,

The Corcoran name is Irish in origin.  I haven't researched very far on this family as I am having trouble finding the parents of my husband's great grandfather, Timothy Corcoran.  Recently, I spent some time on this line and feel like I am getting closer to an answer.  Kirk's Corcoran line includes:

Bertrand Francis Corcoran (7 Jan 1903-21 Jul 1959)
Timothy Francis Corcoran (27 Oct 1876-17 April 1952)

Genea-Friends! What Would We Do Without Them?

Author: Brenda Leyndyke / Labels: ,

I can't go any further on my blog without recognizing a wonderful genea-friend, Tom de Meijer, of Maastricht, Netherlands.

I started communicating with Tom when I found a message on the ancestry message board.  He was looking for information on Pieter Luyendyk, who immigrated to the United States with his wife, Jaapje Maasdam.  I emailed Tom telling him I may be able to help him.  Pieter and Jaapje Luyendyk were my husband's great, great grandparents.  From this one email a wonderful friend was found.

Tom has been unbelievably helpful with research in The Netherlands.  He met with a Professor Luijendijk, who had the family history back to 1470, in Dutch!  Tom gladly sent me a copy of this research.  Tom also went to Vierpolders, Netherlands and took numerous pictures at the church that the Luijendijk's help found.  He met with a Luijendijk descendant and sent me that information.  He has answered many, many questions of mine and provided historical and Dutch related familial information.  In return, I helped answer the question of where Pieter and Jaapje Luyendyk settled.  I shared my research with him.  I will never be able to thank Tom enough for all he has done.

Tom's interest in the Luyendyk/Maasdam family is because his wife's family traces to the Maasdam family.  Tom has a wonderful Maasdam Family website where he shares his research.  For more information on this family, check his website out, here.

As for the information Tom has provided to me, I will be sharing it soon on this blog.

Dutch Naming Tendencies

Author: Brenda Leyndyke / Labels:

My husband, Kirk, is of Dutch ancestry.  Some of the following naming practices were generally followed by the Dutch.  It sometimes varied by the location and time period.

v  When a child died, the next child born of the same gender was often given the name of the deceased child.  Neeltje van den Bos Luyendyk, Kirk's great grandmother,  was the third Neeltje in her family. 

v  If the father died before a son was born, the child was given the name of the father.

v  If the wife died and the husband remarried, his first daughter was given the name of the deceased wife.

v  The child’s middle name was often the first name of the father.  Thus, Jacob Christiaan Luijendijk would mean that Jacob’s father was Christiaan Luijendijk.  A girl name Neeltje Christiaane Luijendijk would be the daughter of Christiaan Luijendijk.  We didn't know this when we named our son, Travis Kirk.  We just got lucky!

v  Before 1811 it was not required to have a last name.  Most people did, however.  Often the last name was the name of the father.  An “s” or “sz” or “e” or “dr” was usually added in the child’s name.  Thus, Baartje Claesdr would be the daughter of a man named Claes.

v  If you see a name ending in “a” or “je”, it is probably a female.  A male name would be “Klaas”.  The female name would be “Klaasje”.  Most male names ended in a consonant, not a vowel.
v  Children were often given names of close relatives.  The first children were often named as follows:

o   1st son was often named after his father’s father.
o   2nd son was often named after his mother’s father.
o   1st daughter was often name after mother’s mother.
o   2nd daughter was often named after her father’s mother.

v  English speaking persons should not be confused by the use of the letters “ij” which are often used in Dutch names.  It is pronounced like you pronounce a “y”.  If you write a cursive “ij” and leave off the two dots above the i and the j, it looks like a “y”.

The Luyendyk/Luijendijk family followed Dutch naming patterns for the men in the family from early 1500's into the 1800's.

Luijendijk to Luyendyk to Leyn Dyke to Leyndyke: Surname Saturday

Author: Brenda Leyndyke / Labels: , , , ,

The Luijendijk name originated in 1470 on the island of Hoekse Waard, Netherlands.  The name is directly related to the life and work in the polders of ancient Holland. 

Luijendijk means the lazy dyke.  It is the second dyke behind the one that protects the polder from the invasion of sea or river water.  It is not the "active" dyke, hence the word lazy (or luie/luye dijk).  The family lived near such a secondary dyke, when people started to adopt family names.

Luyendyk is the more common American spelling of the surname.  Although no one is certain of the change in spelling, one can infer the the ij was changed to y, when ij is written it is almost identical to y.

Leyn Dyke is the spelling my husband's grandfather, Peter, adopted.  Peter was five years old when his father, Cornelius Luyendyk died.  His mother, Nellie, remarried Addison B. Kennedy.  Peter used the surname Kennedy until he was older and wanted to take his father's surname back.  He was unsure of the spelling so he spelled it Leyn Dyke, with the capital D.  Peter continued using this spelling until his death.

Leyndyke is the spelling my husband's family uses.  Kirk's father, Jim, changed it during his time in World War II.  During the war, Jim wouldn't receive all his mail as it was called to Jim Dyke.  He dropped the capital D and Leyndyke was born.

Here is my husband's Leyndyke lineage:

Kirk Leyndyke
James Leyndyke
Peter Leyn Dyke (1894-1991)
Cornelius Luyendyk (1859-1900)
Pieter Luijendijk (1823-1903)
Jakob Luijendijk (1789-1834)
Klaas Luijendijk 1745-1829)
Jacob Christiann Luijendijk (1708-)
Christiaan Corstiaan Luijendijk (1678-)
Corstiaan Cornelis Luijendijk (1648-1707)
Cornelis Arend Luijendijk (1618-1701)
Arend Jan Luijendijk (1583-1647)
Jan Arend Luijendijk (1556-)
Arend Jan Luijendijk (1530-1561)
Jan Arend Luijendijk (1500-)
Arend Luijendijk (1470-)

The First Luyendyk Immigrant

Author: Brenda Leyndyke / Labels: , , , ,

Source:  1850 U.S. Census, , Population Schedule, Owasco, Cayuga, New York,
p164A, dwelling 140; family number 151, Peter Loundick.

Pieter Luijendijk and Jaapje Maasdam immigrated to the United States in November, 1849.  The first United States Federal Census they would be in is the 1850 Census.  I had a hard time finding them as they are indexed under "Loundick".  I don't remember exactly how I found them, I may have found them in a later census living in the same place and scrolled through the Owasco 1850 Census page by page. 

The names found were Peter Loundick, Orphy Loundick, and Basty acon Loundick.  Their names were Pieter Luyendyk (American spelling), age 24; his wife, Jaapje Luyendyk, age 23; and their son, Bastian Luyendyk, age 8/12.  The ages given here were taken from the census image.  Pieter and Jaapje's birthplace was listed as Holland.  Bastian's birthplace was listed as N.Y. 

This census page was enumerated on 11 September 1850, just a mere ten months after Pieter and a pregnant Jaapje, stepped foot on American soil.  I imagine their dutch accent was pronounced enough that this is what the enumerator heard. 

From this first brave immigrant came many ancestors, whom I plan to share with you in the months ahead.

Journey to His Past

Author: Brenda Leyndyke /

Welcome to Journey to His Past!  I am Brenda (Glover) Leyndyke, current author of "Journey to the Past" blog.  I have created this blog to share with you my journey as I (and sometime's he/Kirk) research the Leyndyke/Luyendyk, vandenBos, VanOeveren, Kosten, Corcoran, Schmitt, Dollaway, and Denny surnames.

I have to thank Tina Lyon's of Gen Wish List for the idea of starting a separate blog for her husband's side of the family.  She started Mr. Gen Wish List to tell the story of her husband's family and I thought it was an excellent idea.  (Thank you, Tina!)   So, here it is Journey to His Past!  I hope you enjoy the journey!