Sunday, September 16, 2018

Proving the Generations 3: My Mom

In the first post of this series, Proving the Generations, I wrote how my goal is to use the Genealogical Proof Standard to show my ancestry through my great-great-grandparents' generation.

In this third post, I will be proving that my mother, Faith Lillian Valk, is the daughter of William Valk, Jr. and Ruth Lillian Hoekstra.  Because my mother is living, I will not be providing as many details or citations in this post as I will in the posts where all the ancestors are deceased.

My mother, around 3 1/2 years of age.

My mother was born in Michigan during World War II.  Her father was serving in the U.S. Army, and so was not present at the time of her birth.  My grandmother told me her memories of my mother's birth, and I have numerous photos of my mother with her mother from infancy through adulthood.  Because my grandparents divorced when my mother was 22 months old, I have not seen photographs of my mother in infancy or young childhood with her father.  However, I have in my possession professional photographs taken of my mother in infancy and early childhood with "To Daddy, from Faith" captioned on the back, which I received from my grandfather's widow and son after his death.

The following documents were created at or near the time of my mother's birth:

  1. A Certificate of Birth issued by the Michigan Department of Health, Bureau of Records and Statistics, stating my mother's full name, date of birth, place of birth (hospital and city).  It lists her parents as "William Jr. Valk" and Ruth Lillian Hoekstra, their ages, and their birthplaces.
  2. A Notification of Birth Registration issued by the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, stating my mother's full name, date and place of birth, and listing her parents as "William Jr. Valk" and Ruth Lillian Hoekstra.
  3. My maternal great-grandmother, Lillian Fern (Strong) Hoekstra, mentioned my mother's birth and her parents' names in two places in her Family Record book.  This information would have been written between the time of my mother's birth and 10 September 1967, when my great-grandmother passed away.  Although this information may not have been written close to the time of the event, it was written by her maternal grandmother who lived in the same city and would have had personal knowledge about the birth of my mother, her first grandchild.

Additionally, my mother's DNA matches her parents' biological relatives on both sides of the family.  Her paternal cousin shares 758 centimorgans (cM) of DNA, which is consistent with a first cousin relationship.  She also shares DNA with numerous 2nd - 3rd cousins on both her father's and mother's sides, consistent with the estimated relationship ranges.

Finally, I am providing some information on my parents' marriage, even though it is not used to prove parentage.  My parents' Marriage License/Certificate of Marriage document states my parents' full names, age at the date of the license (issued four days before their wedding), residences, full birth places, and names of their parents: Robert Lewis [sic] Robbins, Jeanne Marie Holst, William Valk Jr., and Ruth Lillian Hoekstra.  The license half is signed by the deputy county clerk.  The certificate half is signed by the officiating minister, best man, and matron of honor, and gives the date and location of their marriage.  I have in my possession professional and informal photographs of the event, an invitation to the wedding from their scrapbook, and copies of articles from the local newspaper regarding their engagement and their wedding.

My mother is the daughter of William Valk, Jr. and Ruth Lillian Hoekstra.

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