Thursday, February 22, 2007

Research Log - HOEKSTRA

I spent a little over an hour the night before last working on some documents for my 3rd-great-grandfather (ahnentafel #58), Jan Martens "John" HOEKSTRA (1820 - 1909). I realized that I did not have a copy of his enumeration on the 1900 U.S. Federal Census, so I went to Ancestry to download and print it. The copy printed onto a standard 8 1/2" x 11" sheet of paper was rather small to read, so I then printed a copy of the free 1900 census form they offer. With pencil I filled in all the information on the form pertinent to Jan and third wife Grietje "Grace" [--?--] Van DAM, then placed both the census image copy and the filled-out form in my Hoekstra Family binder.

(The census image has been removed)

I then opened up my RootsMagic genealogy software, and used the Source Wizard feature to add all the pertinent census data to Jan and Grietje's personal records in proper format.

Observations I noted:
  • The couple are enumerated as "John" and "Grace" HOEKSTRA, anglicized versions of their forenames.
  • Jan's age (79) and date of birth (Mar 1821), while consistent with each other, are incorrect. He was 80 years old and born in March 1820, information shown in abstracts of the birth records found online in the archives of the Province of Friesland, the Netherlands. His county death record and obituary match his birth record abstract.
  • There are squiggles in the columns for "Number of years of present marriage" for both Jan and Grietje. They had been married for nearly 6 years at that point (I have their county marriage record). I know it was his third and her second marriage.
  • Jan's year of immigration (1881) and number of years of residence in the United States (19) were way off. He immigrated in 1867 and so had lived 33 years in the U.S. by 1900. I am beginning to wonder if this was Grietje's immigration information.
  • He was listed as a naturalized citizen. I then went to the State of Michigan's website and found a Jan Hoekstra listed in the Ottawa County Naturalization Index. The first paper for this individual is in Volume 2, Page 368. I can access these on microfilm through my local Family History Center to see if this Jan Hoekstra is the same man as my ancestor.
  • Jan is listed as a home owner of a mortgage-free home at 481 Wood Avenue, Muskegon (5th Ward), Muskegon Co., Michigan. Obtaining deed records would be a good idea. A while ago, I did a keyword search for "481 wood" at Ancestry's "Muskegon, Michigan Directories, 1887 - 1890" database. For the year 1887 - 1888, there were four Van DAM gentlemen, Guerin (laborer), Jeremiah (laborer at Ryerson manufacturing Co., boarder), John (laborer, boarder), and Joseph (laborer for T. D. Stimson). For the year 1889 - 1890, only Guerin (laborer) and Joseph (laborer at Ryerson manufacturing Co.) were listed at the home. Jan and Grietje were married in September 1894, and from his obituary we learn that he moved to Muskegon around 1895 from Holland, Ottawa Co., Michigan (likely at the time of his marriage to Grietje). I need to do further research on Grietje's first husband and children to see how the above names fit into her family group record. I think her first husband probably died, as did Jan's first and second wives, before she married Jan. But I don't know her husband's first name, and looking at a Van DAM family in Holland, Michigan in the 1880 U.S. Federal Census--a possible match for Grietje--does not clarify things for me, but rather leaves me with more questions. So I'll be doing more research on her first marriage and subsequent children later. And I'm curious about the transfer of the property from the Van DAM family to Jan HOEKSTRA.

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