Saturday, April 12, 2014

Surname Saturday: DOLSTRA

The surname DOLSTRA is of Frisian origin. The Frisians are an ethnic minority who live in the north of the Netherlands, mainly in the provinces of Friesland and Groningen. The suffix -stra means "from" or "of"; however, I have not been able to determine what the root word, dol, means. There seem to be very few families with this surname in either the Netherlands or the United States. It would be interesting to learn more about the origins of this surname.

Stories and History:

Ahnentafel #392 - Gerrit (dates unknown) - this is the earliest known ancestor of this line. He probably did not use the surname DOLSTRA at all, as most surnames were not taken until 1811, when Napoleon, who ruled the Netherlands, required the Dutch to register their family names. Before this, especially in Friesland, most families used patronyms. The only way I know about this man is that his son used the patronym, Gerrits.

Ahnentafel #196 - Hendrik Gerrits (dates unknown) - again, I know little about this individual. His name appears as the father of my ancestor, Gerrit Hendriks DOLSTRA, below. His wife was Grietje Douwes.

Ahnentafel #98 - Gerrit Hendriks DOLSTRA (c. 1782 - 1838) - although I don't know this man's birthplace, it likely was in the municipality of Ferwerderadeel, Friesland. On 29 June 1806, he married Willemke Gerryts ENGBRENGHOF (1788 - 1843) in Marrum in Ferwerderadeel. At the time, he was living in Jubbega, Schoterland (now Heerenveen), Friesland. They had at least three daughters, only one surviving past young adulthood. In 1811, Gerrit registered the surname DOLSTRA in Marrum. Gerrit died in Ferwerderadeel and was buried in the Marrum Churchyard, as was Willemke, five years later.

Ahnentafel #49 - Trijntje Gerrits DOLSTRA (1826 - 1912) - born Ferwerderadeel, she is the only known child of her parents to survive young adulthood. On 23 May 1857 in Ferwerderadeel, she married Wieger Tjammes VALK. They had three sons, but like her own parents, only one child survived young adulthood. This was her son Tjamme "James" Wiegers  VALK, who emigrated to the US in 1882 with his fiancée. Trijntje remained behind with her husband and helped raise his nephew, Tjamme Hendriks VALK. After Wieger's death in 1888, Trijntje immigrated to Rock Island, Illinois to live with her son and his wife. They later moved to Western Michigan, living first in Ottawa County and later in Kent County on the outskirts of Grand Rapids. Trijntje died there in Walker Township and is buried next to her son and daughter-in-law in Greenwood Cemetery. I have a copy of a photo of Trijntje taken before she left the Netherlands. It is a favorite, as she is wearing traditional Dutch dress:

Ahnentafel #24 - Tjamme "James" Wiegers VALK (1860 - 1922) - immigrated to Illinois with his fiancée, Berber ("Barbara") J. DeJONG in 1882. After their marriage and living for approximately five years in Rock Island, they moved to Western Michigan, where VALKs continue to live to this day.

Ahnentafel #12 - William James VALK - (1886 - 1950) - fathered 16 children between two marriages (only 12 survived infancy), plus raised a stepson

Ahnentafel #6 - William ("Bill") VALK - (1912 - 1989) - my paternal grandfather, WWII veteran

Ahnentafel #3 - my mother (living)

Ahnentafel #1 - myself

More About the DOLSTRA Family:

1. Online database (I update this at least once a month): DOLSTRA ancestors and relatives (no info on living persons available)

2. Some DOLSTRA obituaries [on website - scroll down the page a bit from this link]

3. Posts about DOLSTRA ancestors and relatives on this blog

My DOLSTRA Immigration Trail:

Schoterland (now Heerenveen), Friesland, the Netherlands > Ferwerderadeel, Friesland, the Netherlands > Rock Island Co., IL > Ottawa Co., MI > Kent Co., MI > AK > Stevens Co., WA > Spokane Co., WA

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Tuesday, April 08, 2014

How to Save and Print Images from Chronicling America

Whenever I teach my class on using online historical newspapers, I always get asked how to save and to print images from the various newspaper websites. I thought it would be helpful for my readers to view some video tutorials on the subject, and today's post is how to do so with the Chronicling America website. These are not my videos, but were found by doing a search at YouTube. Enjoy!

How to Save and Download Content from Chronicling America by NEHgov

NDNP Podcast 9 - How Do I Print an Image by Video Ohio History 

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Saturday, April 05, 2014

Surname Saturday: OSBORNE

OSBORNE is from the Old Norse personal name, Ásbjorn (ás: god + björn: bear). This name was found as Osbern in England before 1066 and in Ireland since the sixteenth century.

OSBORNE is one of my paternal grandmother's adoptive lines. I use the letter "B" after each ahnentafel number to distinguish my adoptive family ahnentafel from my biological one. I have not done much research on this family.

Stories and History:

Ahnentafel #94B - Johnathan OSBORNE (dates unknown) - married Hannah [--?--].

Ahenentafel #47B - Hannah "Matilda" OSBORNE (1822 - 1893) - born in Youngstown, Mahoning Co., Ohio, she married Stephen HIGBY (1810 - 1873) in 1840 in that state. They had eleven known children; the first four were born in Bedford, Cuyahoga County. They removed to Ganges, Allegan Co., Michigan between July 1853 and December 1854. Another move to Byron Center, Kent Co., Michigan occured c. 1857. They either briefly moved back or visited Ohio, as their youngest daughter was born there in Augusta, Carroll County in 1861, but their youngest son was born in Byron Center in 1865. Hannah died in Byron Township, as did her husband. They are both buried there in Winchester Cemetery

Ahnentafel #23B - Anna Matilda HIGBY (1861 - 1903) - She supposedly was born in Augusta, Carroll Co., Ohio, although that doesn't fit into her parents' migration journey, unless she was born on a trip back to Ohio to visit family. Both her immediate older and younger siblings were born in Byron Center, Byron Twp., Kent Co., Michigan, where her family had settled several years before her birth. She married John Dennis CONCIDINE (1854 - 1925) in 1879 in Kent Co., Michigan. They had seven children, five of whom survived childhood. Anna died at the age of 42 in Byron Township, due to septic periotonitis, usually caused by a ruptured appendix.

Ahnentafel #11B - Nellie Mae CONCIDINE (1883 - 1953) - my paternal grandmother's adoptive mother; She was born in Byron Center, ByronTwp., Kent Co., Michigan and married Alfred Henry HOLST (1882 - 1952) in 1905 in Byron Center. She died in Coopersville, Ottawa Co., Michigan. Nellie and Alfred had three children, with only one surviving infancy, before they adopted my paternal grandmother.

Ahnentafel #5 - Jane Marie YORK (a.k.a. Jeanne Marie HOLST) (1924 - 2012) - my paternal grandmother, an adoptee. She married Robert Louis ROBBINS (1920 - 2003) in 1940.

Ahnentafel #2 - my father (living)

Ahnentafel #1 - myself

More About the OSBORNE Family:

1. Online database (I update this at least once a month): OSBORNE ancestors and relatives (no info on living persons available)

2. Posts about OSBORNE ancestors and relatives on this blog

My OSBORNE Immigration Trail:

Mahoning Co., OH > Cuyahoga Co., OH > Allegan Co., MI > Kent Co., MI > Carroll Co., OH > Kent Co., MI > Ottawa Co., MI > AK > Stevens Co., WA > Spokane Co., WA

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Tuesday, April 01, 2014

No Tuesday's Tip Today

I apologize. Due to technical difficulties, Tuesday's Tip was not published today. I hope to be posting another one next week. Thank you for your understanding!

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Saturday, March 29, 2014

Surname Saturday: McLALLIN

My paternal surname,McLALLIN, is interchangeable, spelling-wise, with McCLELLAN and other variations. The meaning appears to be Scottish and Irish. It is an Anglicized form of the Gaelic "Mac Gille Fhaolain" (Scottish) and "Mac Giolla Fhaoláin" (Irish), which means "son of the servant of (Saint) Faolá. The pronunciation of "Fhaolain" is similar to the English "Whelan."

This line has been incredibly difficult for me to research for several reasons. Besides the many, many spelling and pronunciation variables, this is my paternal grandmother's biological line. She was an adoptee. Also, early deaths of adults left orphans in the family, and there seems to have been a low literacy rate in this line. As a result, there were no stories, documents, or photos passed down to the present generations.

Stories and History:

Ahnentafel #188 - William McLALLIN (d. bef. 1850) - my earliest known ancestor; he married Rachel [--?--], born about 1797 in Ohio.

Ahnentafel #94 - Levi Edward McLALLIN (c. 1823 - 1882) - probably born in Montgomery Co., New York. He married first to my ancestor, Clarissa Mary CLEVELAND (c. 1832 - 1877), in 1848 in Cottrellville Twp., St. Clair Co., Michigan. They had at least four children: William, Cornelia, Edmund, and Ira. Levi was a farmer and a carpenter, and served in Company C, 27th Michigan Infantry during the Civil War. He was promoted to corporal during his service. After Clarissa's death, he married Mary C. FORD (c. 1831 - 1894). Levi died of consumption related to a wartime bullet lodged in his lower chest cavity. His body is supposed to be buried at Chesterfield and Lennox Union Burying Ground, Macomb Co., Michigan; however, inquiries to the cemetery have yielded no record or apparent tombstone.

Ahnentafel #47 - Cornelia McCLELLAN (1856 - 1919) - born in St. Clair, St. Clair Co., Michigan, Cornelia married my ancestor and Civil War veteran, Sylvester FREDENBURG (1844 - 1879), in 1872 in Ridgeway, Lenawee Co., Michigan. Sylvester was a widower with two small daughters. He and Cornelia had three more children: George, Mary Jane, and William. Sylvester died of disease contracted during the war. Cornelia then married another Civil War veteran, Washington Foster JUDD, also known as Charles F. KING (c. 1830 - 1896). They married in 1893 in Lapeer, Lapeer Co., Michigan. After Washington's death, Cornelia's third and final marriage was to Clark CRAWFORD (b. 1854) in 1897 in Leonard, Oakland Co., Michigan. Cornelia was illiterate and poor. She probably had to keep marrying to support herself and her children. She died in Lake Orion, Oakland County of cerebral thrombosis, and was buried in the Orion Cemetery.

Ahnentafel #23 - Mary Jane FREDENBURG (1875 - 1962) - born in Chesterfield Twp., Macomb Co., Michgan. Married four times; her first marriage was to my ancestor, Orlando BARBER (1868 - 1910). She died in Lapeer, Lapeer Co., Michigan (obituary).

Ahnentafel #11 - Mary Jane BARBER (1909 - 1975) - read her AnceStory here. She also married at least four times. I don't have one of her husbands listed in her biography yet. Again, I descend from the first husband, Howard Merkel YORK (1898 - 1945).

Ahnentafel #5 - Jane Marie YORK (a.k.a. Jeanne Marie HOLST) (1924 - 2012) - my paternal grandmother, an adoptee. She was born Jane Marie YORK and her name was changed at adoption. She married Robert Louis ROBBINS (1920 - 2003) in 1940.

Ahnentafel #2 - my father (living)

Ahnentafel # - myself

More About the McLALLIN Family:

1. Online database (I update this at least once a month): McLALLIN and McCLELLAN ancestors and relatives (no info on living persons available)

2. Posts about McLALLIN and McCLELLAN ancestors and relatives on this blog

My McLALLIN Immigration Trail:

Montgomery Co., NY > St. Clair Co., MI > Macomb Co., MI > St. Clair Co., MI > Lapeer Co., MI > Genesee Co., MI > Ottawa Co., MI > Alaska > Stevens Co., WA > Spokane Co., WA

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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Tuesday's Tip:'s Surname Meanings and History

If you've read my blog for awhile, you'll notice that on my Surname Saturday posts I generally have the surname meaning and history at the top of each one. Many of these I've been able to find using's Surname Meanings and History in the Learning Center. You don't have to have a subscription to Ancestry to use this fun feature.

First of all, enter your surname, or your ancestor's surname, into the search engine and click on the Search button. You will generally be given the meaning and origin of your surname, courtesy of the Dictionary of American Family Names. So far, I've been able to find the meanings of most of my surnames, even some o the more unusual Frisian surnames, such as Tuinstra.

Under this section, you can view the name distribution of your surname in the United States, England and Wales, and Scotland, based on census statistics in those countries. You can change the census years to see how the name became more or less distributed over time.

Further down the page, you can view family origin by country (based on U.S. immigration records); immigration information showing statistics and years of immigration; average life expectancy of those with this surname (based on Social Security Death Index data); family occupations and military service (from census records); and links to corresponding message boards.

Keep in mind that this data is highly "U.S.-centric" and all of it appears to be from records held on Ancestry, so there is definitely room for error. Nevertheless, it is a nice way to learn some basic facts about a surname.

Take some time exploring this free feature from Ancestry. What do you think?

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