Monday, April 30, 2012

Isaac Van Valkenburg

A Van Valkenburg Treasure chest....

For a family historian and genealogist, a week like mine last week is a true treasure. After I made contact with a distant family member, Lorine McGinnis Schulze last week, I continued to search to see what I could find on the Van Valkenburg family. An low and behold there' s a whole Website and an association devoted to them ut them at :

I do remember seeing this page before but I did not know exactly how we connected with the family.
After spending several days looking at it, I know how we fit! ...And all the way back to the Netherlands. I had been told that we had Dutch bloodlines and now I know for sure we do!

Isaac Van Valkenburg  was christened on 13 Feb 1712 in Schenectady RC, Schenectady, Schenectady Co, NY. He died in 1789/1796 in Wysox, Bradford Co, PA. He was buried in Wysox, Bradford Co, PA. He is the son of Isaac Van Valkenburg and Lydia Van Slyck.  He is the the fourth child of nine children born to this couple. 

There is no evidence to support a marriage between Isaac Van Valkenburg and Maria Bradt who was the daughter of Storm(Sturm) Bradt and Sophia Uzielle.  Maria was christened on 24 May 1713 in First DRC, Albany, Albany Co, NY. Isaac and Maria had one son;

Isaac Van Valkenburg who would later become known as Isaac Vollick.  He used his father surname until after the Revolutionary War when his name changes to Vollick.  It appears that the Vollick name started after his war records reflected the Vollick name.  It was thought to have been a nick name of sorts for him. 

Isaac  Van Valkenburg (the elder or senior) eventually did marry Jannetje Clements the daughter of Pieter Clement and Anna Ruijter on 28 May 1737 in First DRC, Albany, Albany, NY. Jannetje was christened on 1 Oct 1712 in DRC, New York, New York, NY. She was buried in Wysox, Bradford Co, PA.

Isaac and Jannetje had the following children:

Lydia Van Valkenburg - 1737
Annaatje Van Valkenburg - 1739
Eva Van Valkenburg - 1741
Maytje Van Valkenburg - 1744
Margarith Van Valkenburg - 1745
Janetje Van Valkenburg  - 1752

 Note This information has been copied from the Van Valkenburg Association Website.  Expect to see more on the Van Valkenburg family in future blogs.

Happy Hunting, Jan

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Isaac the Loyalist

It has been quite a while since I looked at this linage of my family. When Lorine contacted me this week, it caught me by surprise. As a Genealogist, I find that this is how I obtain some of my best information and it is always when you least expect it.  All of the research which I will present to you is available because of years of research completed by Lorine McGinnis Schulze.

Isaac the Loyalist served in the Butler Rangers under the command of John Butler on the British side of the American Revolution.  It was at this time when Issac  became  known as Isaac Vollick.  This is probably why I had so much trouble finding him in the early years of my search. He was born Isaac Van Valkenburg in 1732.  He was the illegitimate child of Isaac Van Valkenburg and Maria Bradt.

From the Olive Tree Genealogy Website,  Lorine states that there is no record of a marriage found for Isaac and Maria, their son Isaac used his father's surname until 1782. During his years as a private in Butler's Rangers, Isaac's surname changed from Van Valkenburg, meaning in Dutch, 'from the castle of the falcons' (van=from; valken=falcons; burgh=castle), to Valk or Valck which means 'falcon'. It appears that Valk was his nickname and on being recorded by English clerks, a vowel was inserted between the final 'l' and 'k' making the surname Valic or Volick. Over the years, the surname was written as Vollick, Volic, Valic, Valck, Valk, Volk and Follick (the German/Dutch accent making a 'v' sound like 'f' to English ears).  So it is no wonder that I had trouble finding out who Isaac Vollick truly was.  

This is the family crest  for the families which include the surnames ; Van Valkenburg, An Valkenburgh, Van Volkinburg, Van Falkenburg, Valkenburg, Vollick, Van Velkinburgh
Isaac Van Valkenburg (Vollick)  1732 - 1807  married Anna Maria Warner 1735 -

These are the children of Isaac and Anna Maria Vollick

.... 2 Maretje Vollick 1758 -
.... 2 Matthias Valck 1759 - +Baertie Bradt 1758 -
.... 2 Cornelius Vollick 1761 - 1818 +Eve Larroway 1776 -
.... 2 Annaje Vollick 1763 - 1823 +Derrick (Richard) Hainer 1759 - 1801
.... 2 Storm Follick 1765 - +Esther 1770 -
.... 2 Sophia Vollick 1766 - +Adrian Bradt 1765 -
.... 2 Elizabeth Vollick 1767 - +Christian Bradt 1763 -
.... 2 Catharina Vollick 1769 - +Albert Hainer
.... 2 Sarah Vollick 1770 - +Benoni Crumb
.... 2 John Vollick 1772 - +Sarah DeCow
.... 2 Maria Vollick 1775 -

My Hainer family linage is through Albert Hainer and Catharina Vollick.  Corlene Taylor's family linage is through Derrick (Richard) Hainer and Annaje (Hannah)Vollick.  Derrick  is Albert's brother and brothers married sisters, Catharine and Hannah Vollick.  Lorine's linage is through Cornelius Vollick and his wife Eve Larroway.  Ironically, I have photos of tombstones for Eve Larroway's parents which I took on a trip to the Niagara area when I met up with Corlene.  Corlene had given me some of this info  but for a beginning researcher, it was confusing. Now that I look back at it all these years later it make more sense.

Next blog well talk about Isaac Vollick's father and his parents.

Happy Hunting, Jan

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Unexpected email....

I got an unexpected email this week from a previously unknown distant relative... A long lost cousin to be exact whose name is Lorine McGinnis Schulze. She is probably better known as the creator of the Olive Tree Genealogy website at She started her site in 1996 and to this day, it is a FREE genealogy website! And for those of you who think the internet has always been around ..surprise... it has not...In early 1990 Commercial internet service providers (ISPs) began to emerge when ARPANET was decommissioned. Commercial internet service providers were for business use generally not for individuals. The Internet was commercialized in 1995 when NSFNET was decommissioned, removing the last restrictions on the use of the Internet to carry commercial traffic. I know that this is all computer jargon which most of you are not interested in but the point I am try to make here is that what we all know as the “Internet” really was born after 1995. I am telling you this because I want you to understand that Lorine's website started in February of 1996, in the early days of the internet, as we know it today. I remember, shortly after I beginning my family history search in 1997, I was reading computer technical articles and came across an article about how the genealogy community had fully embraced the whole Internet concept. They totally understood the power of the Internet and were ready to make the best use of it. Lorine was one of those early adapters as we call them! I do remember using her site early in my search on my mother's side of the family.

Years ago I found what I thought was a brick wall then...with Isaac Vollick. I found a Hainer cousin, Corlene Taylor, in the Niagara area who had thoroughly researched our Hainer line. It thrilled me and my mother, who was still living then, to know who our Hainer relatives were. Albert Hainer married Catharine Vollick, she was the daughter of Isaac Vollick but I was never able to get much further back than that. The Hainer brothers, Albert and Derrick, and Isaac were members of Butler's Rangers (1777–1784), a British provincial regiment composed of Loyalists (or "Tories") in the American Revolutionary War, raised by Loyalist John Butler. These were the first family members I found who were participants in the Revolutionary War.

This week Lorine was able to shed some light on Isaac Vollick and where he came from. So our story continues with the next blog. Isaac the Loyalist!

Happy Hunting,

Shared Memories - Week 17

Learning to ride a bike.

Now that is a good topic to start with for my shared memories. We spent a great deal of time on our bikes when I was a kid. All the neighborhood kids had a bike; big bikes mostly, old bikes and “hand me down” bikes. I do not remember anyone ever getting a new bike. I do not remember who taught me to ride a bike. It was likely my father, Harold Smith, because I do remember him going through this ritual with my younger siblings so surely he did the same for me. It would have had to have been a Sunday because he worked 6 days a week back then. I do remember that he occasionally had Saturday off and a few years later, he had every Tuesday off.

Janet(5) and Sharon(6 months) in 1960 - First day of school for the "big girls and I had to stay home. I was so disappointed because I knew I was a big girl!  - The bike in the photo may have been the one I learned on.
During the week, my older sisters, Sue and Pam helped me too I.  I remember a time or two when Sue helped me a little too hard and made me fall too!!!  The bike I rode had no hand grips on the handle bars and it was far too large for me. I could not sit on the seat as I peddled, so I stood the whole time I rode. So imagine the skinny little spidery looking girl trying ride this over sized bike. That was me! The lessons started in the grass. I do remember that. It was suppose to lessen the hurt when you fell but it still hurt. I remember so many road rash sores on my knees and legs, I fell down a lot at first and got very frustrated. 

But having said all that, my best memory was the first time I realizing that I was actually pedaling and riding alone! The warm sun is soaking my face and the wind is blowing my pigtails back as I was pedaling as if my life depended on it...and it kinda did! From the top of Fritz Drive to 29 Mile Rd could not be more than a tenth of a mile but when you could ride it the whole time you knew that you had learned to ride a bike.. Now I see 29 Mile Road looming...I am getting closer...oh no, now what do I do? How do I stop? What did they tell me to do now? You see, 29 Mile Road was a pretty busy road with a steady gravel truck traffic so it was very important that you did not go darting across it before looking both directions. Oh yes, I thought, go in the grass, it will slow you down and give me time to think. Well, it slowed me down alright and then I fell. One more skinned knee was better than darting across 29 Mile Road. An now I realized I have a thing or two more to learn about bike riding! The rest of the summer would be used to perfect my bike riding abilities. I knew that this bike riding would be a ticket to much more freedom! And it was.



Monday, April 16, 2012

Just a couple who inspired me at a pretty early age..

This late week I was recipe hunting, I seem to do alot of that lately, when I came across this site:

I read through it and thoroughly enjoyed myself.  There are some awesome recipes here, the "French Onion Soup" recipe is great! I have had it for lunch all week!!!  Check it out and tell Tom I sent you...While reading his blog I began to reminisce about a time quite a number of years ago...over 30 years ago to be exact and decided to write about my friends, Mary and Lyal Watkins.  First I reminisced with Tom and then decided I need to add it to my blog I hope you enjoy it...I did.

In my early 20's in Imlay City, Michigan, I had a retired couple who live next door to me.  Lyal, who was in his late 70's, and my 4 year old son, Shawn became fast friends soon after we moved into the house next door.  Mary, Lyal's wife, was 20 years younger than Lyal and he always said, "she's my spring chicken".  Mary would call me to warn me that Lyal was coming over to get Shawn so they could pudder, as they called it. It was a daily occurrence no matter what season it was. Puddering might have been working on the tractor or shoveling snow or any other job that Lyal could think up. One day it was hang my shutters that my husband did not get around to doing.  What ever it was, Lyal and Shawn did it together.

Between our two houses there was a one acre lot on which Lyal grew a pretty large garden. The first summer we were in the neighborhood, I asked if I could help him in the garden. I had never been exposed to gardening before. In my 20 year old immature mind, I thought this old man should not be doing such hard labor so I should help him. Little did I know how much I would learn in that summer from my new friend.

It was truly one of the most amazing years of my life.  He was a totally organic gardener long before anyone talked about organic gardening, an avid recycler and he had mulch piles, not one but several! Lyal taught me so much that year. We grew Chicago reds and Yukon gold potatoes, three or four rows of each. Several rows of green beans, yellow beans and a row of peas.  Then the onions, carrots, garlic, beets, tomato, broccoli and cauliflower and in the middle of the garden there was a raspberry and a strawberry patch.

He taught me when to add the mulch and turn the ground over.  How to space the rows and the best use your garden space. When to plant what plants and when to sow seeds. I learned how and when to mound the potatoes. How to thin out the root veggies and how to keep the broccoli going as long as you could . When to pick the beans and what to do with them after they were picked.  We bought a used freezer and between my neighbor Mary and my Mom, I learned to how to freeze vegetables.  What fruits and vegetables were best canned and how to do it!  How to make jams, pickles and relish! The list of things I learned is very long and not to mention how a 20 year old woman can become friends with a retired couple.  The twenty year old who thought she knew it all learned how really little I really knew about life. The things I learned that year I have and will always used for the rest of my life.

Anyway....I got  a little side tracked down memory lane reading through Tom's  site and it got  me fondly remembering my garden experiences....I really meant to tell him about my "fresh Peas" story it goes... "Our row of peas served the same purpose as yours!"  I told him.  During the summer if either of my two boys disappeared from the yard or the garden when I was weeding, I knew right where to look for them.  They were in the row of peas.  We never had any peas which made it to the house..never ...they were to be eaten in the garden as you worked!  The boys would watch them grow and ask, 'When can we pick them, Mom?"  I must also add that you have never had a potato which taste as they are suppose to taste...unless you have dug them from the garden and eaten the right away!  It is a taste which come from heaven.

Eventually I moved to Arizona and then to Illinois.  I have not had a large garden for some time but I will have one again soon.  I am now 57 years old, Mary and Lyal are both long gone and I think of them and the lessons that they taught me every day.  Every time I plant a seed..pull a weed or dig in the dirt. I know what I am going to do when I retire.  I am going to have a big garden! I also hope that I too have had an impact of some younger people through my years.  I plan to have many more opportunities to pass these lessons down to other 20 "something" year old  between now and when I leave this earth...And part of the plan will be to do it while tending a big garden.

So remember, every person you come in contact with in your life, you will touch and teach! You never know when you will make an impact on someones life! Thanks, Mary and Lyal, for being a part of mine. I went looking for a photo of Mary and Lyal and I did not find one. I was young, broke and had no they have to remain a photo in my mind but I am sure that you have a similar story in your life and a similar photo in your mind.  Honor them today!

Love, Jan Smith

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Tombstone Tuesday - April 10, 2012

Tombstone Tuesday highlights  the tombstone of Lyal H Watkins  and his first wife  Grace Lee.  Lyal was born in 1905 and died in 1997. He is buried in the Imlay Township Cemetery just outside of Imlay City Michigan .

He was my neighbor and we struck up an unusual friendship.  I was a mere 20 years old and he was 75 when we became neighbors and friends. Who would have thought that a 75 year old retiree would take a interest in the young family who moved in next door and he adored my young children especially Shawn who was 4 years old.  They puddered around almost every day.  At that time in my life, I thought I knew it all but in the few short years that we were neighbors,  he taught me that I infact really knew very little! He was the one of the wisest men I ever met. 

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Tombstone Tuesday - April 3, 2012

Tjome Church Cemetery - Tjome Norway

Photo taken of the Tjome Church in 1973 for Leah Smith by Harold while they visited the grave site of Leah's grandfather Han Andersen.

This photo was also taken by Harold of the Tjome Cemetery when Leah and he cousins were looking through the cemetery.

This is the tombstone of Han Andersen  (1859- 1946) and Mathilde Andersen (1863-1940) in the Tjome Cemetery.