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My Language Background

Several WR members from the Netherlands have been curious about my language background. The only language I speak natively is English. In particular, I do not speak Dutch, and that is a significant personal disappointment. My maternal grandmother spoke Dutch natively, and my maternal grandfather picked up an adequate knowledge of Dutch by growing up in the Netherlands-American community of Grand Rapids. But they only used Dutch in their home as their language for discussing things they didn't want their children to understand, and did not teach Dutch to their children.

There are several other languages I have studied over the years:

  • French (5 years in junior high and high school)
  • German (2 semesters in college)
  • Latin (2 semesters in college)
  • Hellenistic Greek (2 semesters in college)

Because of my studies of the above, I have a minimal level of reading knowledge for Spanish, Italian, and Dutch.

Yiddish is a language I would love to study. If anyone knows of a course "Yiddish for Genealogists" offered in the Baltimore area, please let me know on my talk page.

Quick Links


My Paternal Grandparents and Great-Grandparents

My Maternal Grandparents and Great-Grandparents

Parents of my Aunts and Uncles

My Favorite and Prominent Relatives

My Girlfriend's Great-Grandparents

My Girlfriend's Favorite and Prominent Relatives

Various Curious People and Families

  • This family has two sons named Jacob Jans, both of whom lived to adulthood (my great-great-great-uncles).
  • This family has two sons named Gosse Jans, both of whom lived to adulthood.
  • This family has two sons named Jan, both of whom lived to adulthood, and both of whom married women named Niesjen Post.
  • This family has a Klaas and a Nicolaas both of whom lived to adulthood.
  • This family has a Pier and a Pieter both of whom lived to adulthood.
  • This family has a Suzanna and a Suzannetje both of whom lived to adulthood.
  • This family had two pairs of (fraternal) twins, and all four lived to adulthood.
  • This Friesland resident and his descendents have a surname which sounds rather Eastern European (probaby a son of this person from Krakov).
  • This person, patrilinear ancestor of this famous physicist, also seems to have an Eastern European surname, but the line does not yet seem to have reached the ancestor who migrated.
    Tantalizingly, three Stadtholders of Friesland and Groningen also have Casimir in their names: Ernst, Hendrik I, and Hendrik II.
  • Of all the women in my tree, I think this one, Aurelia Wieringa, has the prettiest name.
  • This man died of accidental gunshot injuries incurred during Fourth of July celebrations in Michigan.
  • This man had (at least) six wives, with no evidence of either bigamy or divorce.

Common Ancestor Research Objectives

Several of my research objectives involve a search for common ancestors linking various people.

(To claim a reward, the connection should be documented on WeRelate with each added step of the connection sourced.)

My Father and my Mother

Specifically, a common ancestor between either of Neale Paul Keegstra and Elizabeth Catherine Ritzema and either of Melvin Houseman and Rena Bouma.

The most promising lead is from the area of Burum. That town is the place of origin for the Keegstras, and it also is the birthplace for some of my maternal grandfather's Westras. In addition, it looks possible that the given name Metske originated in a single individual from the area of Burum, so even though this woman is not the ancestor of all the Keegstras, her existence is a hint to look further.

My Maternal Grandfather and Maternal Grandmother

Specifically, a common ancestor between Melvin Houseman and Rena Bouma.

While the Friesland line of the former seems mainly from around Kollumerland, and the Friesland line of the latter was from the area around Kimswerd before they moved to Harlingen, both families have Westras (her and her).

My Girlfriend and my Brother-in-Law

My girlfriend and my brother-in-law both have lines back to New Amsterdam, but I haven't yet located a common ancestor. The one line seem to be mainly from upstate New York and the other line more from New Jersey. Specifically, my girlfriend's line is through Miriam Quick and my brother-in-law's is through Nellie Covenhoven. (Apologies for the lack of sourcing in both lines.)

Jan Tjibbeles Kamp and Sint Hendriks Baron

Both are from Drachten, so it is plausible to seek a common ancestor for Sint Hendriks Baron and Jan Tjibbes Kamp.

My Mother and Sint Hendriks Baron

While there is less reason to suspect the existence of such a connection, a connection between Sint Hendriks Baron and either of Melvin Houseman and Rena Bouma would be even more interesting than the preceding, as it would link my aunt with her late husband.

Myself and Fridus Gerards Ritsema

Another connection for which I can't suggest any specific leads, but it would be very interesting if any of my four grandparents (Neale Paul Keegstra, Elizabeth Catherine Ritzema, Melvin Houseman, Rena Bouma) had a common ancestor with Fridus Gerards Ritsema from Ten Boer. (Three of my four grandparents, all but Rena, have strong connections to northern Groningen.)

Brick Walls

Parents for Jacob Keimpes

My line with which I am least satisfied is the one which ends at Jacob Keimpes. His family seems to have been Doopsgezind, so there are no baptismal records from infancy. His parents may have been Ceijmpe Hotses and Aeltje Hendriks, but it is unclear how to prove that.

Many thanks to User:Guppie who tracked down the actual image for Jacob's 'doop op belijdenis' and found text which was not indexed which enumerates the names of his parents and his birthplace.

How Many Different Popke Metskes

I see three marriages for Popke Metskes. How many of them are the same person?

A Popke Metskes made Lidmaten in Grijpskerk in Dec 1729. That or another Popke [Metskes] made 'doop volwassene' in Oldehove on 13 Mar 1722. Jan Metskes in that record may be a typo for Metske Jansen, cf genealogieonline.

(I have seen this topic in various discussion groups.)

This huwelijkscontract would seem to link all three marriages together.

Parents for Abraham DeWitt Vought and link to Chauncey Vought

I suspect that Abraham DeWitt Vought has an immediate ancestor who is a DeWitt from New Amsterdam (either a mother or a grandmother). I also have a report that Abraham's grandson Valoris Virgil Vought was 2nd cousin to Chauncey Vought of the Vought Aircraft Company, i.e. Abraham's father is the common ancestor of the two.

Parents for Isaac Lincoln (1773-1843) and Isaac Lincoln (1784-1842)

One of the ancestors of my girlfriend is Isaac Lincoln (1784-1842), whose family history is recorded in this family Bible. That family Bible also mentions an Isaac Lincoln (1773-1843). I would like to know the parents for both of these and the nature of the relationship between them.

Isaac Lincoln (1773-1843) is one of three persons named Isaac Lincoln born that year:

  • Isaac Lincoln, who married Deborah Rogers (1775-1841) and died in 1829 at age 56, and whose information is widely available on the internet (cf Eastham, Wellfleet and beyond). His ascending line is available in the same places, but none of it looks to exist on WeRelate.
  • A person who died in Wiscasset, Maine in 1843 at age 70 and who was related to this Isaac Lincoln born in 1784. The Lincoln Family Bible described above mentions him.
  • A person (as per the internet) born on 18 Feb 1773 and died 25 Aug 1775, son of Isaac Lincoln (1735-1775) and Elizabeth Lincoln (1742-1776). None of his ascending line looks to exist on WeRelate either.

User and MySource Pages

Railroads and Interurbans of West Michigan

(During a key period in the development of Michigan and the American Midwest, the railroads were the crucial linkages mediating that development. Since World War II they have lost that role to the interstate highways, and I would welcome a similar project to tie interstate exits to WeRelate places.)

Calvin College

Dordt College

Charter Members of Christian Reformed Church Congregations