Those baffling Belgians

When I met Dedra Van Zandt nearly fifty years ago, I sensed that she was unlike anyone I had ever known. Our life together, regardless of challenges, just keeps getting better. Having grown up in an ethnic suburb of Chicago, Dee brought new perspectives to this boy from rural Michigan.

Dee’s ancestry, half of our son’s and daughter’s heritage, has been an interesting challenge to discover and understand. Dee’s paternal grandfather was born in Flemish Belgium. Her other three grandparents were children of emigrants from Bohemia, then part of the Austro-Hungarian empire. All of them immigrated to Chicago.

Although the Flemish Dutch language and culture are marginally more familiar to me than Czech, I had the benefit of knowing some of Dee’s Bohemian-American family personally. I never met her father’s family, so learning their history is a greater challenge.

Flemish emigrants

Several families seem to have left Belgium in close association with Dee’s Van Zandt ancestors. Most of them came from the Buggenhout area in East Flanders (Oost-Vlaanderen in Dutch). Passenger L. Van Sande (or something similar) arrived in the port of New York from Antwerp aboard the ship SS Belgenland on 16 August 1889. He and fellow steerage passenger J. Annaert, both farmers, were bound from Buggenhout to Chicago.[1]

Excerpt from Belgenland manifest, 16 August 1889, lines 6-7 (29-30)

The SS Belgenland arrived at the port of Philadelphia from Antwerp on 16 April 1890 with several passengers of interest to us.[2]

Excerpt from Belgenland manifest, 16 April 1890, lines 216-228
Excerpt from Belgenland manifest, 16 April 1890, lines 229-240

The Annaert and Van Zande family members who arrived in the spring of 1890 appear to be the wives and children of the men who had sailed together the previous summer. Richard, on line 238, was Dee’s grandfather. These families, as well as the Verests, Albrechts, and Meerts travelled together because they were apparently related. As you might guess from the title of this article, I’m still trying to sort out their connections.

Settling in the new world

The next glimpse we get of these families is in the 1900 U.S. Census. Have fun matching these people with the Belgenland ship manifests:

  • Albert Verest household, Chicago Ward 9, Cook County, Illinois, sheet 9A, family 148[3]
  • Bruno Van Nack household, St. Charles, Kane County, Illinois, sheet 3A, family 59[4]
  • Joseph Annert household, Chicago Ward 13, Cook County, Illinois, sheet 7A, family 130[5]

I previously talked a bit about my investigation into these families in an article titled Families—handle with care. As mentioned in that article, early parental death and family reshuffling were factors in their lives.

Understanding old clues

I recently discovered additional clues to family relationships in my paper files. This information came from an informal interview with Dee’s mother Dorothy Van Zandt, and it should be remembered that she was providing information about her ex-husband’s family more than twenty years after their divorce. I believe she was being fair-minded in her responses to my questions, but it is still third-hand information.

Notes from Dorothy Van Zandt about her former husband’s family, part 1
Notes from Dorothy Van Zandt about her former husband’s family, part 2

I wish I had been more familiar with the Van Zandt family at the time I took these notes in the 1980s. The Grandpa Van that Dee knew as a child was her grandfather’s brother Louis. Being entirely unfamiliar with the Van Zandt family at the time, it looks like I used the term Grandpa Van in one place to refer to her Grandpa Van’s father. I was focused primarily on Dee’s father and his siblings and never registered what appear to be important clues to his father’s family structure. Looking at these notes now, two statements stand out:

  • Grandpa Van’s father was widowed. Richard’s mother was widow of Grandpa Van’s brother.
  • Uncle Charles, natural bro. to Louis Van Zandt

I think that Dee’s grandfather Richard was a son of the elder Louis Van Zandt and Monica Meert. If that is true, Richard’s mother was not likely the widow of Dee’s Grandpa Van’s brother, but of his father’s brother. I think I lost a generational transition in the middle of that note.

These paper notes might help explain another inconsistency that I had questioned in my previous article. Emma Wille’s death record identified her parents as Louis Van Zandt and Francis Annaert, which was hard to reconcile with my assumption that Richard and all his siblings were the children of Louis Van Zandt and Monica Meert.[6]

Let’s look further at these immigrant families from Belgium.

Joseph Annaert and Maria Theresa De Bleser

Joseph Annaert was born 26 August 1844 in Buggenhout, Belgium.[7] He married Maria Theresa de Bleser in 1875. [8], [9] They had at least five children:

  1. Marie or Maryanna Annaert, born in May 1876 in Belgium,[10] married Henry Deblieck 20 February 1901 in Chicago.[11] She died 2 March 1909 in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois.[12]
  2. Celina Annaert, born 10 May 1877 in Belgium, [13] married William Vanderpool 19 May 1900 in Chicago.[14] I don’t know when or where she died.
  3. John Peter Annaert, born 29 May 1879 in Belgium,[15] married Mary Van Walleghean 12 March 1900 in Chicago.[16] He died in October 1963 in Broward County, Florida.[17]
  4. Frances Catherine Annaert, born about 27 December 1884 in Brussels, Belgium, [18], [19] married Maurice Thomas O’Connell 8 June 1907 in Chicago.[20] She died in May 1978.[21]
  5. Sophia F Annaert, born about 19 December 1886 in Belgium,[22], [23] married Victor Frederick De Wulf 17 June 1908 in Chicago.[24] She died 26 February 1969 in Cook County, Illinois.[25]

Joseph Annaert died 28 March 1925 in Chicago.[26] His death record tells us that he was a retired carpenter. Theresa died 5 March 1934 in Chicago.[27] Her death record, as does Joseph’s, identifies origins in Buggenhout.

Louis Van Zandt and Francisca Annaert

Dee’s great-grandfather Louis Van Zandt was born in Buggenhout about 1852.[28], [29] It appears that Louis first married Francisca Annaert, who might have been a sister of Joseph Annaert. I have seen undocumented claims that Francisca was born in Buggenhout, Belgium on 13 July 1853 and that she died in Buggenhout on 8 December 1886.[30] Note that Louis’s Dutch name might have been Lodewijk Van Sande. These might have been Louis and Francisca’s children:

  1. Louis Van Zandt, Dee’s Grandpa Van, was born 14 October 1877 in Belgium.[31] He married Carolina Vanstacy, known as Lena, 29 September 1906 in Chicago.[32] Louis died 14 July 1972 in Elmhurst, DuPage County, Illinois.[33]
  2. Johannes Van Zandt was born about 1880 and was among the passengers with Mornia [Monica] Van Zande in 1890.[34] Was he instead a son of Monica and Louis’s brother? What happened to him?
  3. Charles Louis Van Zandt, born 23 June 1881 in Belgium,[35] married Josephine Dorothy Baxa 5 June 1906 in Chicago.[36] Charles died in January 1963.[37] He was identified in my paper notes as a natural brother of Louis.
  4. Emma Van Zandt was born 6 August 1883 in Belgium.[38] She married Fred Wille 1 August 1906 in Chicago.[39] Emma died 18 November 1922 in Chicago.[40] As previously mentioned, her death record identified her mother as Francis Annaert.

Louis Van Zandt and Monica Meert

It looks like Louis Van Zandt then married his unknown brother’s widow. Monica Meert was born in April 1852 in Steenhuffel, Brabant, Belgium.[41], [42] Louis and Monica might have had four children:

  1. Josephine Agnes Van Zandt was born in August 1884 according to the 1900 census,[43] but appears to have been born 9 August 1883 in Mechelen, Antwerpen, Belgium.[44] Social Security records claim that she was born 8 August 1887 and identify her parents as Louis Vanzandt and Veronica Mart.[45] Was she in fact the daughter of Monica Meert and Louis Van Zandt’s unknown brother? Was Josephine Agnes Van Zandt born after the birth and death of Maria Josephine Van Zandt or were they, as appears fairly likely, the same person? Josephine apparently divorced August Joos, with whom she had a daughter, and later married Phillip Kent.[46], [47] I have found no clear evidence of her date or place of death.
  2. Richard Van Zandt, Dee’s grandfather, might have been born in October 1888,[48] by one report in Brussels, Belgium. Various documents indicate birth from 1885 to 1890. He appears to be the Charles Van Nack in Bruno Van Nack’s [Van Hacke’s] household in 1900; perhaps that was his middle name.[49] Richard married Emma Hrobar on 23 September 1916.[50] I don’t yet know when or where he died.
  3. Helene Van Zandt, born about January 1890 in Belgium, died 4 June 1890 in Chicago.[51]
  4. Willie Van Zandt, born 19 July 1892 in Chicago, [52] died 9 September 1892 in Chicago.[53]

Louis Van Zandt died 3 February 1892 in Cook County, Illinois.[54]

Jeanette Meert, born about 1880, sailed with Monica Van Zande in 1890. [55] Was she Monica’s daughter? Was she Monica’s niece, the daughter of a brother? Jeanette, with her resident siblings, was called Van Nack in the 1900 census although she was noted as Bruno Van Nack’s [Van Hacke’s] step-daughter.[56] When Jeanette married George Lake Barrett, her marriage record identified her as Jennie Van Zandt.[57] Jeanette is reported to have died in 1964, but I have found no evidence of her death. Dee shares DNA with a Barrett descendant of Jeanette, supporting the conclusion that Jeanette was their common ancestor.

Bruno Van Hacke and Monica Meert

After Louis Van Zandt’s death, Monica married Bruno Van Hacke on 16 April 1893.[58] Bruno was born 13 October 1853 or 1863 in Belgium.[59] They had three children:

  1. Karl Van Hacke, born about 1891, apparently died after he sailed with Monica from Antwerp to New York in early 1899 and before the 1900 census was taken.[60], [61]
  2. Marie Van Hacke, born in January 1894 in Cook County,[62] married Roy Wesley Pedersen 5 June 1915 in Chicago.[63] Note that their marriage record reported her name as Marie Van Zandt. I don’t know when or where she died.
  3. Frank Van Hacke, born June 1896 in Chicago, died 20 April 1913 in Cook County.[64]

Monica Van Hacke died 14 January 1901 in Cook County, Illinois.[65] Bruno died 11 November 1931 in Cook County. [66] In 1900, Monica’s daughters Jennie and Josephine were working with their step-father Bruno in an iron foundry. Monica’s son Charles, attending school, was presumably Dee’s grandfather Richard Van Zandt.

Alphonse Verest and Marie Meert

Felix Alfons Verest was born 7 April 1862 in Ghent, Belgium.[67] He married Anna-Maria Meert on 8 January 1890 in Buggenhout.[68] Marie was born in March 1862 in Steenhuffel, Brabant, Belgium.[69] Alfons and Marie had six children of which I am aware:

  1. Maria Gabriella Verest was born 19 February 1889 in Mechelen, Antwerpen, Belgium.[70] A note on her birth registration states that her birth was legitimized by the marriage of her parents. She appears to have died before the 1900 census.
  2. Helena Verest was born 17 November 1890 in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois.[71] She died 6 July 1891 in Chicago.[72] Was she named for Helene Van Zandt who had died in June 1890?
  3. Lillian Abigail Verest was born 19 February 1891 in Chicago.[73] She married Charles Curtis Bennett 21 September 1911 in St. Paul, Ramsey County, Minnesota.[74] Lillian died 7 October 1950 in San Diego, California.[75]
  4. Raymond James Verest was born 3 January 1894 in Illinois.[76] He married Florence McDermott 26 April 1916 in Chicago.[77] Raymond died in July 1971 in Wauconda, Lake County, Illinois.[78]
  5. Genevieve Elizabeth Verest was born 11 May 1896 in Chicago.[79] She married Louis Charles Kuper 4 August 1920 in Indiana.[80] Genevieve died 20 December 1991 in Brecksville, Cuyahoga County, Ohio.[81]
  6. Erma Marie Verest was born 2 July 1903 in Illinois. She died in August 1985 in Chicago.[82]

Alphonse and Marie Verest had taken in Emma, Louis, and Charles Van Zandt before the 1900 census enumeration, suggesting that Emma, Louis and Charles might have been related to the Verests and that they might have been full siblings. I have not yet found a link between Marie and Monica Meert, but I suspect that they were sisters. Both were born in Steenhuffel, which is a few miles from Buggenhout. When Monica spent time in Belgium in 1899, she lived at Hombeek, just outside of Mechelen, where Josephine [Van Zandt] and Gabriella [Verest] Meert were born.[83], [84] I surmise that Monica and Marie’s family moved to Hombeek after living at Steenhuffel. Mechelen is about fifteen miles from Buggenhout.

Alphonse Verest died 22 December 1940 in Chicago.[85] His death record reported his birthplace as Kent, Belgium, which I believe to have been Ghent. Marie died 16 April 1945 in Chicago.[86] Her death record reported her birthplace only as Belgium and her father’s name as Maart.

Dee shares DNA with a woman whose mother is a Verest descendant of Felix Verest, born about 1857 in Belgium. I have not yet linked this Felix to Alphonse’s family. Unless this Felix is in fact our Felix Alfons Verest, which does not appear to be the case, this suggests another connection between Dee’s ancestors and Verest ancestors in an earlier generation. Dee’s DNA match believes her ancestor Felix to have died in Buggenhout. Felix’s son Emil might have been the witness for Charles Louis Van Zandt’s naturalization.[87] Alphonse died 22 December 1940 in Chicago.

What about the Albrechts?

I have suggested that Albrechts travelled to Illinois with Annaerts, Verests, Van Zandts and Meerts by more than coincidence. Were they neighbors in Belgium or were they also related? I don’t yet know the answer to that question but I have seen hints of relationship. Francisca Annaert’s mother Maria Ludovica Hofmans might have been a daughter of Anna Maria Albrecht. Dee’s Verest DNA match reported on Ancestry.com that her Felix’s mother was Anaa [sic] Theresa Albrecht.

Van Zandt family challenges—the immigrant generations

Among these interconnected families, the Van Zandts particularly seem to have faced many challenges. Here is a recounting of my understanding of displacement and other significant events in the immigrant Van Zandt generations:

In Belgium,

  • Jeanette Van Zandt was born of unclear parentage.
  • Louis Van Zandt married Francisca Annaert. Louis, Johannes, Emma and Charles might have been their children.
  • Francisca Van Zandt died at the age of 33.
  • Louis married Monica Meert. Josephine, Richard, and Helene were apparently born to them there.
  • Louis Van Zandt sailed for America in 1889 with Joseph Annaert.
  • Monica Van Zandt sailed for America in 1890 with Johannes, Jeanette, Karell [Charles], Anna [apparently, Emma], Josepha [Josephine], Richard, and Helene, also with the Annaerts, Verests, and Albrechts.

In Illinois,

  • Helene Van Zandt died in 1890 at four months of age.
  • Monica’s husband Louis Van Zandt died 3 February 1892 at age 40.
  • Willie Van Zandt was born in July 1892 and died in September at less than two months of age.
  • Monica married Bruno Van Hacke in 1893, bringing Jeanette, Josephine, and Charles [Richard] to his household.
  • Emma, Louis, and Charles Van Zandt became part of Alphonse and Marie Verest’s household by 1900.
  • Monica died in 1901 at age 48. Josephine and Richard, not yet grown, had lost most of their direct family.

Van Zandt family challenges—the next generation

I can find most of Richard Van Zandt’s immigrant siblings and cousins in the 1910 census but I don’t know where Richard was living at that time. He married Emma Hrobar 23 September 1916 in Chicago.[88] Their marriage record and some other sources reported her surname as Robash. Richard and Emma had seven children:

  1. Richard Van Zandt, born 25 September 1916 in Chicago,[89] died four days later, on the 29th.[90]
  2. Evelyn Mary Van Zandt was born 17 October 1917 in Chicago.[91] She married Melvin Radenz and Huston Stillman “Jack” Jackson. Evelyn died in May 1995 in Lake County, Indiana.[92]
  3. Richard Van Zandt was born 15 June 1920 in Chicago.[93] He married Rosalie Victoria Johnson. Richard died 18 June 1983, probably near his place of burial in Menominee County, Michigan.[94]
  4. Louis Peter Van Zandt, Dee’s father, was born 24 October 1921 in Chicago. He married Dorothy Lorraine Dlouhy and Diane Geannopulos. Louis died 11 May 2009 in Hinsdale, DuPage County, Illinois.[95]
  5. Jeanette Ellen Van Zandt was born 29 December 1923 in Chicago.[96] She married John Melvin McNichols and Arthur Balter. Jeanette died 4 October 1980 in Cook County.[97] Dee’s top DNA match on AncestryDNA appears to be a McNichols grandson of Jeanette and John.
  6. Dorothy Ann Van Zandt, initially named Isabelle, was born 21 November 1926 in Chicago. She apparently married a Heichert about 1971 but was recorded with the surname Van Zandt at the time of her death. Ann died 5 June 1996. Her last residence was in Oak Lawn, Cook County, Illinois.[98]
  7. Elizabeth “Betty Lou” Van Zandt, born 3 December 1929 in Chicago,[99] married Robert H. Shlemon. She died 4 September 2001 in Chicago.[100]

We can see the growth and dispersal of their family in the census enumerations for 1920, 1930, and 1940:

  • Richard Van Zandt household, 1920, Chicago Ward 10, Cook County, sheet 7B, family 136[101]
  • Richard Van Zandt household, 1930, Chicago Ward 26, Cook County, sheet 4B, family 52[102]
  • Rudolph Hrobar household, 1940, Chicago Ward 15, Cook County, sheet 10B, family 202[103]
  • Melvin Radenz household, 1940, Chicago Ward 31, Cook County, sheet 1B, family 25[104]
  • Louis Van Zandt household, 1940, Elmhurst Ward 2, DuPage County, sheet 29A, family 538[105]
  • Ella McEvoy household, 1940, Chicago Ward 43, Cook County, sheet 11A, family 203[106]
  • Roy W Pedersen household, 1940, Chicago Ward 41, Cook County, sheet 1B, family 13[107]

Sometime after the 1930 census enumeration, probably early in the decade, Richard left Emma and their family. Apparently without the means to take care of her children, Emma placed most if not all of them in a Catholic orphanage. At some point, Richard’s older brother Louis and his wife Lena took in Evelyn, Richard, and Louis. By 1940 Emma was living with her widowed father, Evelyn was married to Melvin Radenz, and Richard and Louis were living with their Uncle Louis and Aunt Lena. Jeanette and Ann were living with an apparently unrelated woman. Betty Lou was living as a daughter of her father’s half-sister Marie (Van Hacke) Pedersen.

Dee’s grandfather Richard Van Zandt might not have moved far after leaving Emma, but I have found no further trace of him. Dee’s mother told me that she and Louis left a baseball game sometime in the 1940s when Louis saw his father among the spectators.

Piecing together the puzzle

You should notice a fair bit of conjecture here. Would anyone who knows more than I do about these families please augment, correct, or refute my speculation with additional information and especially source documentation? I am of course interested in the Van Zandts but I am equally curious about their cousins’ families. We can see that they were quite interconnected. There is much to learn about their relationships and life experiences.

Notes

[1] “New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1957,” database with images, Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/interactive/7488/NYM237_537-0153?pid=7263147&backurl=http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?indiv%3D1%26dbid%3D7488%26h%3D7263147%26ssrc%3Dpt%26tid%3D78781976%26pid%3D42392778934%26usePUB%3Dtrue&ssrc=pt&treeid=78781976 : accessed 30 April 2017); citing Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at New York, New York, 1820-1897, NARA microfilm publication M237, National Archives at Washington, D.C.

[2] “Pennsylvania, Passenger and Crew Lists, 1800-1962,” database with images, Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/interactive/8769/PAT840_13-0734?pid=99973&backurl=http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?indiv%3D1%26dbid%3D8769%26h%3D99973%26ssrc%3Dpt%26tid%3D78781976%26pid%3D42464676429%26usePUB%3Dtrue&ssrc=pt&treeid=78781976&pers : accessed 30 April 2017); citing Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania;  Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, 1787-2004, NARA microfilm publication A3543, National Archives at Washington, D.C.

[3] “United States Census, 1900,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MS33-N4R : accessed 30 April 2017), Alfred Verest, Precinct 12 West Town Chicago city Ward 9, Cook, Illinois, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 230, sheet 9A, family 148, NARA microfilm publication T623 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1972.); FHL microfilm 1,240,253.

[4] “United States Census, 1900,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MSW2-24L : accessed 30 April 2017), Bramo Van Nack, St. Charles Township St. Charles city Ward 1-3, Kane, Illinois, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 114, sheet 3A, family 59, NARA microfilm publication T623 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1972.); FHL microfilm 1,240,312.

[5] “United States Census, 1900,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MS3N-43N : accessed 30 April 2017), Joseph Annert, Precinct 3 Chicago city Ward 13, Cook, Illinois, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 384, sheet 7A, family 130, NARA microfilm publication T623 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1972.); FHL microfilm 1,240,260.

[6] “Illinois Deaths and Stillbirths, 1916-1947,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:N3H1-RYF : 27 December 2014), Emma Wille, 18 Nov 1922; Public Board of Health, Archives, Springfield; FHL microfilm 1,877,161.

[7] “Illinois Deaths and Stillbirths, 1916-1947,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:NQC8-2M7 : 27 December 2014), Joseph Annaert, 28 Mar 1925; Public Board of Health, Archives, Springfield; FHL microfilm 1,877,718.

[8] “Illinois, Cook County Deaths, 1878-1994,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:Q2MD-HDW4 : 17 May 2016), Theresa Annaert, 05 Mar 1934; citing Chicago, Cook, Illinois, United States, source reference, record number, Cook County Courthouse, Chicago; FHL microfilm.

[9] “United States Census, 1900,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MS3N-43N : accessed 30 April 2017), Joseph Annert, Precinct 3 Chicago city Ward 13, Cook, Illinois, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 384, sheet 7A, family 130, NARA microfilm publication T623 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1972.); FHL microfilm 1,240,260.

[10] “United States Census, 1900,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MS3N-43V : accessed 30 April 2017), Mary Annert in household of Joseph Annert, Precinct 3 Chicago city Ward 13, Cook, Illinois, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 384, sheet 7A, family 130, NARA microfilm publication T623 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1972.); FHL microfilm 1,240,260.

[11] “Illinois Marriages, 1815-1935,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:V2G6-TWD : 29 December 2014), Henry Deblieck and Maryanna Annaert, 20 Feb 1901; citing Chicago, Cook, Illinois; FHL microfilm 1,030,320.

[12] “Illinois, Cook County Deaths, 1878-1994,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:N7N3-89R : 17 May 2016), Mary Deblieck, 02 Mar 1909; citing Cook, Illinois, United States, source reference cn 5287, record number 166, Cook County Courthouse, Chicago; FHL microfilm 1,239,829.

[13] “United States Census, 1900,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MS3N-43V : accessed 30 April 2017), Mary Annert in household of Joseph Annert, Precinct 3 Chicago city Ward 13, Cook, Illinois, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 384, sheet 7A, family 130, NARA microfilm publication T623 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1972.); FHL microfilm 1,240,260.

[14] “Illinois, Cook County Marriages, 1871-1920,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:N7DR-4JY : 26 December 2014), William Vanderpool and Celina Annaert, 19 Aug 1900; citing Chicago, Cook, Illinois, 313406, Cook County Courthouse, Chicago; FHL microfilm 1,030,313.

[15] “United States World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:K6XD-HMZ : 12 December 2014), John Peter Annaert, 1917-1918; citing Jackson County, Michigan, United States, NARA microfilm publication M1509 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 1,675,759.

[16] “Illinois, Cook County Marriages, 1871-1920,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:N7DD-FYX : 26 December 2014), John P Annaert and Mary Van Walleghean, 12 Mar 1900; citing Chicago, Cook, Illinois, 305896, Cook County Courthouse, Chicago; FHL microfilm 1,030,307.

[17] “Florida Death Index, 1877-1998,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VV3Z-FTG : 25 December 2014), John Peter Annaert, Oct 1963; from “Florida Death Index, 1877-1998,” index, Ancestry (www.ancestry.com : 2004); citing vol. 2507, certificate number 42853, Florida Department of Health, Office of Vital Records, Jacksonville.

[18] “United States Census, 1900,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MS3N-43V : accessed 30 April 2017), Mary Annert in household of Joseph Annert, Precinct 3 Chicago city Ward 13, Cook, Illinois, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 384, sheet 7A, family 130, NARA microfilm publication T623 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1972.); FHL microfilm 1,240,260.

[19] “United States Social Security Death Index,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:V94V-2X7 : 19 May 2014), Frances Oconnell, May 1978; citing U.S. Social Security Administration, Death Master File, database (Alexandria, Virginia: National Technical Information Service, ongoing).

[20] “Illinois, Cook County Marriages, 1871-1920,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:N7HH-WB3 : 26 December 2014), Maurice T. O’Connell and Frances Annaert, 08 Jun 1907; citing Chicago, Cook, Illinois, 459010, Cook County Courthouse, Chicago; FHL microfilm 1,030,422.

[21] “United States Social Security Death Index,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:V94V-2X7 : 19 May 2014), Frances Oconnell, May 1978; citing U.S. Social Security Administration, Death Master File, database (Alexandria, Virginia: National Technical Information Service, ongoing).

[22] “United States Census, 1900,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MS3N-43V : accessed 30 April 2017), Mary Annert in household of Joseph Annert, Precinct 3 Chicago city Ward 13, Cook, Illinois, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 384, sheet 7A, family 130, NARA microfilm publication T623 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1972.); FHL microfilm 1,240,260.

[23] “Illinois, Cook County Deaths, 1878-1994,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:Q2MF-QWL6 : 17 May 2016), Sophie F De Wulf, 26 Feb 1969; citing Chicago, Cook, Illinois, United States, source reference, record number, Cook County Courthouse, Chicago; FHL microfilm.

[24] “Illinois, Cook County Marriages, 1871-1920,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:N7HL-9X1 : 26 December 2014), Victor T. Dewulf and Sophie Annaert, 17 Jun 1908; citing Chicago, Cook, Illinois, 484536, Cook County Courthouse, Chicago; FHL microfilm 1,030,441.

[25] “Illinois, Cook County Deaths, 1878-1994,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:Q2MF-QWL6 : 17 May 2016), Sophie F De Wulf, 26 Feb 1969; citing Chicago, Cook, Illinois, United States, source reference, record number, Cook County Courthouse, Chicago; FHL microfilm.

[26] “Illinois Deaths and Stillbirths, 1916-1947,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:NQC8-2M7 : 27 December 2014), Joseph Annaert, 28 Mar 1925; Public Board of Health, Archives, Springfield; FHL microfilm 1,877,718.

[27] “Illinois, Cook County Deaths, 1878-1994,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:Q2MD-HDW4 : 17 May 2016), Theresa Annaert, 05 Mar 1934; citing Chicago, Cook, Illinois, United States, source reference, record number, Cook County Courthouse, Chicago; FHL microfilm.

[28] “Illinois, Archdiocese of Chicago, Cemetery Records, 1864-1989,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:Q2HN-CDQ7 : 31 October 2016), Louis Van Zandt, 05 Feb 1892; citing Evanston, Cook, Illinois, United States, Calvary, Archidiocese of Chicago; FHL microfilm 1,509,034.

[29] “New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1957,” database with images, Ancestry (http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?indiv=1&dbid=7488&h=7263147&ssrc=pt&tid=111478206&pid=360086293805&usePUB=true : accessed 30 April 2017); L Van Sande, citing Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at New York, New York, 1820-1897, NARA microfilm publication M237, National Archives at Washington, D.C.

[30] “Ancestry Family Trees,” database, Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/family-tree/pt/PersonMatch.aspx?tid=15682961&pid=371053065&src=m : accessed 30 April 2017), Francisca Annaert.

[31] Find A Grave, database with images (https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=162162262&ref=acom : accessed 30 April 2017) memorial 162162262, Louis Van Zandt (1852-1892).

[32] “Illinois, Cook County Marriages, 1871-1920,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:N7HS-WQ5 : 26 December 2014), Louis Vanzandt and Carolina Vanstacy, 29 Sep 1906; citing Chicago, Cook, Illinois, 442173, Cook County Courthouse, Chicago; FHL microfilm 1,030,409.

[33] Find A Grave, database with images (https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=162162262&ref=acom : accessed 30 April 2017) memorial 162162262, Louis Van Zandt (1852-1892).

[34] “Pennsylvania, Passenger and Crew Lists, 1800-1962,” database with images, Ancestry (http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?indiv=1&dbid=8769&h=99980&ssrc=pt&tid=78781976&pid=420047687931&usePUB=true : accessed 30 April 2017); Johannes Van Zande, citing Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania;  Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, 1787-2004, NARA microfilm publication A3543, National Archives at Washington, D.C.

[35] “United States World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:K6D3-R1W : 12 December 2014), Charles Louis Vanzandt, 1917-1918; citing DuPage County, Illinois, United States, NARA microfilm publication M1509 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 1,613,183.

[36] “Illinois, Cook County Marriages, 1871-1920,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:N74B-TXV : 26 December 2014), Charles L. Van Zandt and Josephine Baxa, 05 Jun 1906; citing Chicago, Cook, Illinois, 432999, Cook County Courthouse, Chicago; FHL microfilm 1,030,402.

[37] “United States Social Security Death Index,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:J2T6-5PV : 19 May 2014), Charles Vanzandt, Jan 1963; citing U.S. Social Security Administration, Death Master File, database (Alexandria, Virginia: National Technical Information Service, ongoing).

[38] “Illinois, Cook County Deaths, 1878-1994,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:Q237-5S68 : 20 May 2016), Emma Wille, 18 Nov 1922; citing Chicago, Cook, Illinois, United States, source reference 27550, record number , Cook County Courthouse, Chicago; FHL microfilm 1,378,972.

[39] “Illinois, Cook County Marriages, 1871-1920,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:N7HM-JB9 : 26 December 2014), Fred Wille and Emma Vanzandt, 01 Aug 1906; citing Chicago, Cook, Illinois, 437864, Cook County Courthouse, Chicago; FHL microfilm 1,030,406.

[40] “Illinois, Cook County Deaths, 1878-1994,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:Q237-5S68 : 20 May 2016), Emma Wille, 18 Nov 1922; citing Chicago, Cook, Illinois, United States, source reference 27550, record number , Cook County Courthouse, Chicago; FHL microfilm 1,378,972.

[41] “United States Census, 1900,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MSW2-24L : accessed 30 April 2017), Bramo Van Nack, St. Charles Township St. Charles city Ward 1-3, Kane, Illinois, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 114, sheet 3A, family 59, NARA microfilm publication T623 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1972.); FHL microfilm 1,240,312.

[42] “Belgique, Anvers, registres d’état civil, 1588-1913,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XXXC-7YF : 11 March 2016), Maria Josephina Meert, 09 Aug 1883; citing Birth, Mechelen, Antwerpen, Belgium, België Staatsarchief, Beveren (Belgium State Archives, Beveren); FHL microfilm 1,979,701.

[43] “United States Census, 1900,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MSW2-24L : accessed 30 April 2017), Bramo Van Nack, St. Charles Township St. Charles city Ward 1-3, Kane, Illinois, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 114, sheet 3A, family 59, NARA microfilm publication T623 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1972.); FHL microfilm 1,240,312.

[44] “Belgique, Anvers, registres d’état civil, 1588-1913,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XXXC-7YF : 11 March 2016), Maria Josephina Meert, 09 Aug 1883; citing Birth, Mechelen, Antwerpen, Belgium, België Staatsarchief, Beveren (Belgium State Archives, Beveren); FHL microfilm 1,979,701.

[45]U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007,” database, Ancestry (http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?indiv=1&dbid=60901&h=11257801&ssrc=pt&tid=78781976&pid=42508830805&usePUB=true : accessed 2 May 2017); Josephine Agnes Kent, citing Social Security Applications and Claims, 1936-2007.

[46] “Illinois, Cook County, Birth Certificates, 1871-1940,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:Q239-PBPM : 18 May 2016), Bernice Frances Joos, 22 Apr 1913; citing Chicago, Cook, Illinois, United States, reference/certificate 72800, Cook County Courthouse, Chicago; FHL microfilm

[47] “United States Census, 1920,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MJSR-LBH : accessed 3 May 2017), Josephine Joco, Chicago Ward 6, Cook (Chicago), Illinois, United States; citing ED 372, sheet 11A, line 13, family 314, NARA microfilm publication T625 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1992), roll 310; FHL microfilm 1,820,310.

[48] “United States Census, 1900,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MSW2-24L : accessed 30 April 2017), Bramo Van Nack, St. Charles Township St. Charles city Ward 1-3, Kane, Illinois, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 114, sheet 3A, family 59, NARA microfilm publication T623 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1972.); FHL microfilm 1,240,312.

[49] “United States Census, 1900,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MSW2-24L : accessed 30 April 2017), Bramo Van Nack, St. Charles Township St. Charles city Ward 1-3, Kane, Illinois, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 114, sheet 3A, family 59, NARA microfilm publication T623 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1972.); FHL microfilm 1,240,312.

[50] “Illinois, Cook County Marriages, 1871-1920,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:N7ZK-5XT : 26 December 2014), Richard Van Zandt and Emma Robash, 23 Sep 1916; citing Chicago, Cook, Illinois, 741341, Cook County Courthouse, Chicago; FHL microfilm 1,030,630.

[51] “Illinois, Cook County Deaths, 1878-1994,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:N7K2-22C : 17 May 2016), Helene Van Sante, 04 Jun 1890; citing Cook, Illinois, United States, source reference cn 14862, record number 1, Cook County Courthouse, Chicago; FHL microfilm 1,030,952.

[52] “Illinois, Cook County, Birth Certificates, 1871-1940,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:NQR5-QYV : 18 May 2016), Van Zandt, 19 Jul 1892; citing Chicago, Cook, Illinois, United States, reference/certificate 16476, Cook County Courthouse, Chicago; FHL microfilm 1,287,937.

[53] “Illinois, Cook County Deaths, 1878-1994,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:Q2M3-RKDS : 17 May 2016), Willie Vanzandt, 09 Sep 1892; citing Chicago, Cook, Illinois, United States, source reference 18816, Cook County Courthouse, Chicago; FHL microfilm 1,030,978.

[54] “Illinois, Cook County Deaths, 1878-1994,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:N7VJ-Y38 : 17 May 2016), Louis Van Zandt, 03 Feb 1892; citing Cook, Illinois, United States, source reference cn l 8876, record number 26, Cook County Courthouse, Chicago; FHL microfilm 1,033,005.

[55] “Pennsylvania, Passenger and Crew Lists, 1800-1962,” database with images, Ancestry (http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?indiv=1&dbid=8769&h=99974&ssrc=pt&tid=78781976&pid=42508830804&usePUB=true : accessed 30 April 2017); Jeanette Meert, citing Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania;  Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, 1787-2004, NARA microfilm publication A3543, National Archives at Washington, D.C.

[56] “United States Census, 1900,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MSW2-24L : accessed 30 April 2017), Bramo Van Nack, St. Charles Township St. Charles city Ward 1-3, Kane, Illinois, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 114, sheet 3A, family 59, NARA microfilm publication T623 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1972.); FHL microfilm 1,240,312.

[57] “Illinois, Cook County Marriages, 1871-1920,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:N7HK-J84 : 26 December 2014), George L. Barrett and Jennie Van Zandt, 14 Oct 1903; citing Chicago, Cook, Illinois, 375819, Cook County Courthouse, Chicago; FHL microfilm 1,030,359.

[58] “Illinois, Cook County Marriages, 1871-1920,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:N76L-W6K : 26 December 2014), Bruno Van Hecke and Monica Van Zands, 16 Apr 1893; citing Chicago, Cook, Illinois, , Cook County Courthouse, Chicago; FHL microfilm 1,030,225.

[59] “Illinois, Cook County Deaths, 1878-1994,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:Q2M8-99JT : 17 May 2016), Bruno Van Hacke, 11 Oct 1931; citing Illinois, United States, source reference , record number , Cook County Courthouse, Chicago; FHL microfilm.

[60] “New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:JXZX-3Z2 : 6 December 2014), Karl Van Hack, 08 Mar 1899; citing departure port Antwerp, arrival port New York, ship name Westernland, NARA microfilm publication T715 and M237 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).

[61] “New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1957,” database with images, Ancestry (http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?indiv=1&dbid=7488&h=4041730514&ssrc=pt&tid=78781976&pid=420088594238&usePUB=true : accessed 4 May 2017); citing Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at New York, New York, 1820-1897, NARA microfilm publication M237, National Archives at Washington, D.C.

[62] “United States Census, 1900,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MSW2-24L : accessed 30 April 2017), Bramo Van Nack, St. Charles Township St. Charles city Ward 1-3, Kane, Illinois, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 114, sheet 3A, family 59, NARA microfilm publication T623 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1972.); FHL microfilm 1,240,312.

[63] “Illinois, Cook County Marriages, 1871-1920,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:N7ZZ-TJ8 : 26 December 2014), Roy Pedersen and Marie Van Zandt, 05 Jun 1915; citing Chicago, Cook, Illinois, 697563, Cook County Courthouse, Chicago; FHL microfilm 1,030,597.

[64] “Illinois, Cook County Deaths, 1878-1994,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:N7N2-3Z4 : 17 May 2016), Frank Van Hacke, 20 Apr 1913; citing Cook, Illinois, United States, source reference 12089, record number 23, Cook County Courthouse, Chicago; FHL microfilm 1,287,701.

[65] “Illinois, Cook County Deaths, 1878-1994,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:Q2MQ-48B7 : 17 May 2016), Monica Van Hacke, 14 Jan 1901; citing Chicago, Cook, Illinois, United States, source reference 19753, Cook County Courthouse, Chicago; FHL microfilm 1,239,665.

[66] “Illinois, Cook County Deaths, 1878-1994,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:Q2M8-99JT : 17 May 2016), Bruno Van Hacke, 11 Oct 1931; citing Illinois, United States, Cook County Courthouse, Chicago; FHL microfilm.

[67] “Illinois, Cook County Deaths, 1878-1994,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:Q2M6-C15H : 17 May 2016), Alphonse Verest, 22 Dec 1940; citing Chicago, Cook, Illinois, United States, Cook County Courthouse, Chicago; FHL microfilm.

[68] “Belgique, Anvers, registres d’état civil, 1588-1913,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XXXZ-KYB : 11 March 2016), Maria Gabriella Meert, 19 Feb 1889; citing Birth, Mechelen, Antwerpen, Belgium, België Staatsarchief, Beveren (Belgium State Archives, Beveren); FHL microfilm 1,979,703.

[69] “United States Census, 1900,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MS33-N4R : accessed 30 April 2017), Alfred Verest, Precinct 12 West Town Chicago city Ward 9, Cook, Illinois, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 230, sheet 9A, family 148, NARA microfilm publication T623 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1972.); FHL microfilm 1,240,253.

[70] “Belgique, Anvers, registres d’état civil, 1588-1913,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XXXZ-KYB : 11 March 2016), Maria Gabriella Meert, 19 Feb 1889; citing Birth, Mechelen, Antwerpen, Belgium, België Staatsarchief, Beveren (Belgium State Archives, Beveren); FHL microfilm 1,979,703.

[71] “Illinois Births and Christenings, 1824-1940,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:V2L3-KXF : 12 December 2014), Helena Fress, 17 Nov 1890; Birth, citing Chicago, Cook, Illinois; FHL microfilm 1,287,903.

[72] “Illinois, Archdiocese of Chicago, Cemetery Records, 1864-1989,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:Q2HN-C6Z5 : 31 October 2016), Ellen Verest, 07 Jul 1891; citing Evanston, Cook, Illinois, United States, Calvary, Archidiocese of Chicago; FHL microfilm 1,509,034.

[73] “Illinois, Cook County, Birth Certificates, 1871-1940,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:Q239-HK98 : 18 May 2016), Lillian Abigal Verest, 19 Feb 1891; citing Chicago, Cook, Illinois, United States, reference/certificate 233219, Cook County Courthouse, Chicago; FHL microfilm.

[74] “Minnesota, County Marriages, 1860-1949”, database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:Q2M5-SZ8B : 13 June 2016), Charles C Bennett and Lillian A Verest, 1911.

[75] “California Death Index, 1940-1997,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VP7Q-VZ4 : 26 November 2014), Lillian Abigail Bennett, 07 Oct 1950; Department of Public Health Services, Sacramento.

[76] “United States World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:K68L-L93 : 12 December 2014), Raymond James Verest, 1917-1918; citing Chicago City no 31, Illinois, United States, NARA microfilm publication M1509 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 1,493,583.

[77] “Illinois, Cook County Marriages, 1871-1920,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:N7ZN-55H : 26 December 2014), Raymond J. Veerst and Florence C. Mcdermott, 26 Apr 1916; citing Chicago, Cook, Illinois, 725157, Cook County Courthouse, Chicago; FHL microfilm 1,030,618.

[78] “United States Social Security Death Index,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:J2PK-VN5 : 20 May 2014), Raymond Verest, Jul 1971; citing U.S. Social Security Administration, Death Master File, database (Alexandria, Virginia: National Technical Information Service, ongoing).

[79] “Illinois, Cook County Birth Registers, 1871-1915,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:N7MR-PZ4 : 26 December 2014), Verest, 11 May 1896; citing P368 Ln18367, Chicago, Cook, Illinois, Cook County Courthouse, Chicago; FHL microfilm 1,287,742.

[80] “Indiana Marriages, 1811-2007,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:KF8Q-XSD : 21 January 2016), Louis Charles Kuper and Genevieve Elizabeth Verest, ; citing Starke, Indiana, United States, various county clerk offices, Indiana; FHL microfilm 1,605,300.

[81] “Ohio Death Index, 1908-1932, 1938-1944, and 1958-2007,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VKBQ-VDL : 8 December 2014), Genevieve E Kuper, 20 Dec 1991; from “Ohio, Deaths, 1908-1932, 1938-2007,” database and images, Ancestry(http://www.ancestry.com : 2010); citing vol. 28803, certificate number 097573, Ohio Historical Society, Columbus; Ohio Department of Health, State Vital Statistics Unit, Columbus.

[82] “United States Social Security Death Index,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:JR2M-D2N : 20 May 2014), Irma Verest, Aug 1985; citing U.S. Social Security Administration, Death Master File, database (Alexandria, Virginia: National Technical Information Service, ongoing).

[83] “New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:JXZX-3ZV : 6 December 2014), Monica Van Hacka, 08 Mar 1899; citing departure port Antwerp, arrival port New York, ship name Westernland, NARA microfilm publication T715 and M237 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).

[84] “New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1957,” database with images, Ancestry (http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?indiv=1&dbid=7488&h=4041730512&ssrc=pt&tid=78781976&pid=42464676429&usePUB=true) : accessed 4 May 2017); citing Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at New York, New York, 1820-1897, NARA microfilm publication M237, National Archives at Washington, D.C.

[85] “Illinois, Cook County Deaths, 1878-1994,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:Q2M6-C15H : 17 May 2016), Alphonse Verest, 22 Dec 1940; citing Chicago, Cook, Illinois, United States, Cook County Courthouse, Chicago; FHL microfilm.

[86] “Illinois, Cook County Deaths, 1878-1994,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:Q2M8-GSC9 : 17 May 2016), Marie Verest, 16 Apr 1945; citing Chicago, Cook, Illinois, United States, Cook County Courthouse, Chicago; FHL microfilm.

[87] “Illinois, Northern District Naturalization Index, 1840-1950,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XKP7-G44 : 12 December 2014), Chas L Van Zandt, 1902; citing Illinois, NARA microfilm publication M1285 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), roll 172; FHL microfilm 1,432,172.

[88] “Illinois, Cook County Marriages, 1871-1920,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:N7ZK-5XT : 26 December 2014), Richard Van Zandt and Emma Robash, 23 Sep 1916; citing Chicago, Cook, Illinois, 741341, Cook County Courthouse, Chicago; FHL microfilm 1,030,630.

[89] “Illinois, Cook County, Birth Certificates, 1871-1940,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:N795-HDQ : 18 May 2016), Richard Van Zundt, 25 Sep 1916; citing Chicago, Cook, Illinois, United States, reference/certificate 37958, Cook County Courthouse, Chicago; FHL microfilm 1,308,619.

[90] “Illinois, Cook County Deaths, 1878-1994,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:Q2MQ-BYVG : 17 May 2016), Robert Vanzendt, 29 Sep 1916; citing Chicago, Cook, Illinois, United States, source reference 27505, Cook County Courthouse, Chicago; FHL microfilm 1,276,307.

[91] “Illinois, Cook County, Birth Certificates, 1871-1940,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:N79Q-W4Y : 18 May 2016), Evelyn Van Zandt, 17 Oct 1917; citing Chicago, Cook, Illinois, United States, reference/certificate 43718, Cook County Courthouse, Chicago; FHL microfilm 1,308,779.

[92] “United States Social Security Death Index,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:J1ZK-YZ2 : 19 May 2014), Evelyn M Jackson, May 1995; citing U.S. Social Security Administration, Death Master File, database (Alexandria, Virginia: National Technical Information Service, ongoing).

[93] “Illinois, Cook County, Birth Certificates, 1871-1940,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:N7QG-79B : 18 May 2016), Richard Van Zandt, 15 Jun 1920; citing Chicago, Cook, Illinois, United States, reference/certificate 31243, Cook County Courthouse, Chicago; FHL microfilm 1,309,410.

[94] “Find A Grave Index,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QVKD-282W : 13 December 2015), Richard Vanzandt, 1983; Burial, Menominee, Michigan, United States of America, Mellen Township Cemetery; citing record ID 44769776, Find a Grave, http://www.findagrave.com.

[95] “United States Social Security Death Index,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VMZC-M3J : 20 May 2014), Louis P Van Zandt, 11 May 2009; citing U.S. Social Security Administration, Death Master File, database (Alexandria, Virginia: National Technical Information Service, ongoing).

[96] “Illinois, Cook County, Birth Certificates, 1871-1940,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QV3G-F7QT : 18 May 2016), Jeanette Van Zandt, 29 Dec 1923; citing Chicago, Cook, Illinois, United States, reference/certificate 55735, Cook County Courthouse, Chicago; FHL microfilm.

[97] “United States Social Security Death Index,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:V3QX-YY3 : 19 May 2014), Jeanette Balter, Oct 1980; citing U.S. Social Security Administration, Death Master File, database (Alexandria, Virginia: National Technical Information Service, ongoing).

[98] “United States Social Security Death Index,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:JR27-ZPJ : 19 May 2014), Ann D Vanzandt, 05 Jun 1996; citing U.S. Social Security Administration, Death Master File, database (Alexandria, Virginia: National Technical Information Service, ongoing).

[99] “Illinois, Cook County, Birth Certificates, 1871-1940,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QKDC-L36N : 18 May 2016), Elizabeth Van Zandt, 03 Dec 1929; citing Chicago, Cook, Illinois, United States, reference/certificate 54619, Cook County Courthouse, Chicago; FHL microfilm.

[100] “United States Social Security Death Index,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:V94C-W2X : 20 May 2014), Elizbeth Shlemon, 04 Sep 2001; citing U.S. Social Security Administration, Death Master File, database (Alexandria, Virginia: National Technical Information Service, ongoing).

[101] “United States Census, 1920,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MJ3X-XQ8 : accessed 3 May 2017), Richard Van Zandt, Chicago Ward 10, Cook (Chicago), Illinois, United States; citing ED 633, sheet 7B, line 57, family 136, NARA microfilm publication T625 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1992), roll 319; FHL microfilm 1,820,319.

[102] “United States Census, 1930,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XSG6-JBV : accessed 3 May 2017), Richard Vangandt, Chicago (Districts 0751-1000), Cook, Illinois, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) ED 925, sheet 4B, line 69, family 52, NARA microfilm publication T626 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 2002), roll 456; FHL microfilm 2,340,191.

[103] “United States Census, 1940,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:KWYB-FWL : accessed 3 May 2017), Rudolgen Hrobar, Ward 15, Chicago, Chicago City, Cook, Illinois, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 103-1001, sheet 10B, line 71, family 202, Sixteenth Census of the United States, 1940, NARA digital publication T627. Records of the Bureau of the Census, 1790 – 2007, RG 29. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 2012, roll 951.

[104] “United States Census, 1940,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:KW1F-C3Q : accessed 3 May 2017), Melvin Radenz, Ward 31, Chicago, Chicago City, Cook, Illinois, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 103-1990, sheet 1B, line 78, family 25, Sixteenth Census of the United States, 1940, NARA digital publication T627. Records of the Bureau of the Census, 1790 – 2007, RG 29. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 2012, roll 984.

[105] “United States Census, 1940,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:KW42-VZ9 : accessed 3 May 2017), Louis Van Zandt, Ward 2, Elmhurst, York Township, DuPage, Illinois, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 22-4, sheet 29A, line 15, family 538, Sixteenth Census of the United States, 1940, NARA digital publication T627. Records of the Bureau of the Census, 1790 – 2007, RG 29. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 2012, roll 796.

[106] “United States Census, 1940,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:K4MX-RZR : accessed 3 May 2017), Ella Mcevoy, Ward 43, Chicago, Chicago City, Cook, Illinois, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 103-2712, sheet 11A, line 4, family 203, Sixteenth Census of the United States, 1940, NARA digital publication T627. Records of the Bureau of the Census, 1790 – 2007, RG 29. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 2012, roll 1007.

[107] “United States Census, 1940,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:K4M8-5X3 : accessed 3 May 2017), Roy W Pedersen, Ward 41, Chicago, Chicago City, Cook, Illinois, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 103-2618, sheet 1B, line 43, family 13, Sixteenth Census of the United States, 1940, NARA digital publication T627. Records of the Bureau of the Census, 1790 – 2007, RG 29. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 2012, roll 1004.

Families—handle with care

In our families we might not always get along with each other, but for most of us our families are our home. Whether received by birth, adoption, or marriage, our families are people we share a great deal with in everyday life, in accomplishment, and in trial. Family experiences are often felt for generations. Yet, even with such an impact, we all too easily take them for granted.

Marie and Coyne Kidder
Marie and Coyne Kidder

My Mom, Lois Springsteen, lost her father, Coyne Kidder, to  tuberculosis when she was six years old. My Dad, Ed Springsteen, was sixteen when his father, Aden Springsteen, died from injuries sustained as a passenger in a car-train accident. I have heard Mom say many times that she and Dad earnestly hoped in their early years together to both live to see their children reach adulthood.

Lois and Ed Springsteen, 1947
Lois and Ed Springsteen, 1947

I have seen undocumented claims that both of Staats Springsteen’s parents died before he was five years old. If that is true, it must have had a significant impact on him. Who raised him? Johannes and Maria Seger, who were witnesses for Staats’s baptism on January 5, 1755, might have assumed that responsibility. They were presumably Staats’s mother Maria’s brother Johannes and his wife Maria Bradt Seger. Staats was associated with Segers/Sagers and Bradts during and after the American Revolution. Were Staats and his brothers and sisters split up?

Verda and Aden Springsteen with John, Ed, Lorna, Loretta, Madge, Harold and Donovan
Verda and Aden Springsteen with John, Ed, Lorna, Loretta, Madge, Harold and Donovan

Heartache also comes with the loss of sons and daughters, whether as children or adults. Mom never knew her two older sisters. Coyne and Marie Kidder lost daughters Phyllis Marie  and Betty Lou as infants before Mom was born.  Dad’s oldest brother Johnnie died at age 14 as the result of a farm accident. My brother Eddie died in a car accident in 1997, leaving his young daughters and wife without their truly lovable and devoted father and husband, and bringing sadness to Mom and Dad even though they had lived to see their children grown. Our extended family has experienced early death for too many loved ones.

Ron and Dee Springsteen, 1971
Ron and Dee Springsteen, 1971

When I met and married Dedra Van Zandt, I gained her small immediate family—Dee, her mother Dorothy Van Zandt, and her grandmother Rose Dlouhy. Dee’s father Louis Van Zandt had not been part of her life for many years. Dee was raised an only child of an only child in a predominantly Czech suburb of Chicago. Dee’s aunts and uncles were actually her mother’s cousins. Her extended maternal family gathered for Thanksgiving or Christmas meals featuring food from their Bohemian heritage. When I came into the picture during our college years, I was introduced to family experience and food that were new to this country boy.

The impacts of the Great Depression do not need to be explained to the older generations still with us today. Dad’s family lived on a farm in Fairplain Township just south of Sheridan, Michigan, my hometown. Aden Springsteen farmed with a team of horses, not a tractor. He fed the horses hay produced on the farm. Aden had a car, but it was put on blocks during the Depression because it was too costly to run. Still, they had food on the table and were able to barter with merchants in town.

Rose Karel and Joseph Dlouhy, 1921
Rose Karel and Joseph Dlouhy, 1921

Dee’s grandfather Joseph Dlouhy, a carpenter and contractor, reached a point during the Depression when there was no work of any kind to be found. Dee’s Grandma Dlouhy was able to get work as a tester in a perfume factory, but it was very hard to make ends meet. Dee’s Mom remembered being sent down the street to get two apples from the store for a pie but being sent home with one apple because their credit was already thin. They had a small garden on their lot that helped feed them. Nevertheless, when Dee’s grandmother appeared outdoors after one long winter, her neighbors didn’t recognize her due to the pronounced effects of malnutrition. Their life might have been even more difficult had they not chosen to limit their family to one child after growing up in large families.

The world changed for Mom’s, Dad’s, and Dee’s Mom’s families after the Depression and the Second World War.

Marie Kidder married Harold Sovereign in 1935. They gave Mom a brother and sister, Don and Nancy. Following Aden’s death, Verda Springsteen sold the farm, moved to Lansing for a few years, then moved back to Fairplain Township when she married Fred Olsen in 1945. Even though both of my parents had lost their fathers, I had grandfathers from the day I was born.

Joe Dlouhy found plenty of work in the post-war housing boom. Hard work, Rose’s careful management of resources, and Joe’s genuine concern for others in need marked their fulfillment as first-generation Americans. Joe doted on his granddaughter. I wish I had met him. He died after a heart attack in 1966, a year before I met Dee. Rose lived for another thirty years, looking after her family with great care.

Dee’s father Louis Van Zandt’s family has been a challenge to discover. I never met him and didn’t know much about his family. I did know that Louis experienced significant family instability as a child. The ‘Grandma and Grandpa Van’ that Dee knew as a girl were actually her father’s aunt and uncle. Dee’s Mom informed me that sometime during the Depression years Louis’s father Richard Van Zandt left Louis’s mother Emma with six children and no means of support. The children were placed in an orphanage. At some point the three oldest children were taken in by Richard’s older brother Louis Van Zandt and his wife Lena, who had no children of their own. Dee’s father Louis, along with his brother Richard and his sister Evelyn, were raised to adulthood by Louis and Lena. Dee thinks that one of the younger sisters, Jeanette, Dorothy, or Elizabeth, was eventually adopted.

How did Dee’s father’s childhood experience influence his life? Dee remembers a family story about teaching children not to trust anyone, even family members. After a contentious divorce, Louis remarried and had another daughter and a son. Hopefully the rest of his journey in this life brought a greater sense of assurance and trust.

Dorothy Van Zandt
Dorothy Van Zandt

Dee’s Mom saw Louis’s father Richard Van Zandt just once. Louis had taken her to a baseball game, probably at Wrigley Field. As Louis was leading her to their seats, he spotted his father, turned abruptly, and they left the ball park.

How did Louis’s father Richard Van Zandt get started in life? His 1917 draft registration card stated that he was born in Brussels, Belgium on October 14, 1890. It also reported that he was a Belgian citizen and that he was working as a teamster for the Lashaw Teaming Company in Chicago. The earliest record I have found that is definitely for Richard is a Cook County index entry for his marriage to Emma Robash (Hrobar) on September 23, 1916.

I found some clues to Richard Van Zandt’s earlier life by tracking his siblings. I discovered Louis (Dee’s ‘Grandpa Van’), Charles, and Emma Van Zandt, but not Richard, in the 1900 US Federal Census. They were listed at the ages of 22, 18, and 16 as boarders in the household of Alfred and Mary Verest of Chicago, who had younger children of their own. Other records identify them as Alfonse and Marie Verest. Who and where were the Van Zandts’ parents, and what had happened to them? Who were the Verests, and why were the Van Zandts living with them? Were the Van Zandts related to the Verests?

Alfred Verest household, 1900 census
Alfred Verest household, 1900 census

Searching online for earlier records of Van Zandts or Vanzandts in Chicago, I found records for Willie Van Zandt, who was born on July 19, 1892 and died less than two months later on September 9. His parents were reported as Louis Van Zandt and Monica Meert. Louis was reported to be 40 years old and Monica 29 when Willie was born. Further investigation revealed that Louis Van Zandt, born in Belgium in 1852, had died on February 3, 1892 before Willie was born. I remember seeing information somewhere indicating that Louis Van Zandt had arrived in Chicago only a short time before his death. Monica had lost her husband, then given birth to a son only to lose him.

Was there a connection between Louis and Monica Van Zandt and the young Van Zandts found in the Verest household? Emma Van Zandt, sister of Louis, Charles, and Richard, married Fred Wille in 1906. Emma Wille’s death index record in 1922 identifies her parents as Louis Van Zandt and Frances Annaert, both born in Belgium. Were Monica Meert and Frances Annaert the same person? Whoever reported Emma Wille’s death might never have known her mother. In the Verest family, Marie’s death certificate reports her father’s name as Maart. Further evidence is needed, but it seems likely that Monica Meert Van Zandt and Marie Maart Verest were sisters.

If Louis and Monica were Richard Van Zandt’s parents, he would have been just fifteen months old when his father died. Richard might have remained with his mother Monica Van Zandt when his siblings Louis, Charles, and Emma were taken in by the Verests, but what happened to her after the events of 1892? I couldn’t find a record of either remarriage or death.

Since I started working on this message, DNA testing has finally begun to shed some light on Dee’s paternal ancestry. Although Ancestry.com doesn’t provide tools for analysis and comparison of DNA segments shared with other people, they have revealed distant cousins with ancestors I had not yet discovered.

Shared surnames, AncestryDNA match

One DNA-identified cousin, Ronald Barrett, is descended from Jeanette Van Zandt, born in Belgium in 1881. Jeanette is shown in the Barrett family tree as the daughter of Bruno Van Hecke and an unknown mother. Armed with this information, I found records revealing that Monica Van Zands married Bruno Van Hecke on April 16, 1893 in Chicago.

The 1900 census listed five children in the Bruno and Monica Van Nack household. All are surnamed Van Nack, but the oldest three were identified as Bruno’s step-children. Jennie (Jeanette), age 20, Josephine, age 15, and Charles, age 11, all born in Belgium, were apparently children of Louis and Monica Van Zandt. Where was Dee’s grandfather Richard? Was Charles, born in October 1888, our missing Richard? An 1899 ship passenger list shows Monica Van Hecke returning from Belgium with Karl, age 8, Marie, age 4, and Frank, age 2. Charles, Richard, and Karl might be the same person.

Bruno Van Nack household, 1900 census
Bruno Van Nack household, 1900 census

The Cook County death index reports that Monica Van Hacke died on January 14, 1901, when Richard Van Zandt was still a youth. Dee’s father Louis’s family appears to have endured considerable upheaval through several generations.

Family exploration is not just about the past. I learned this summer that Dee’s father’s sister-in-law Rosalie Van Zandt had passed on earlier this year. In the course of learning more about Rosalie’s family, I found and contacted Dee’s first cousin Dick who she hasn’t seen since she was a young girl. Dick’s response was encouraging for Dee because her relationship with her father and separation from his family had been difficult.

Main Street, Scottsville
Main Street, Scottsville

Dee and I recently took a research trip to the Rochester, New York area. My third-great grandparents Jacob and Margaret Smith Springsteen met there after their parents’ families moved to Scottsville. We were pleased to meet several very helpful and kind people during our stay in Scottsville. Barbara Chapman, Historian for the Town of Wheatland, put in extra time and effort to find and share material and to guide us through a historic house in Scottsville that has been restored by the Wheatland Historical Association.

Elaine, Chris, Sue, and Ralph
Elaine, Chris, Sue, and Ralph

Barbara Chapman also put us in touch with Elaine Massena, a niece of Frank Van Rensselaer Phelps. Frank extensively researched the Smith and Springsteen families of Scottsville back in the 1960s and 70s. I had received a copy of Frank’s research report in the early 1970s and had exchanged information with him in 1981.  Frank died in 2010, but Elaine has all of his research files and has generously shared more information with me. John and Nancy Smith were Elaine’s fourth great grandparents and mine as well, making us fifth cousins. Elaine and her family welcomed us into their home for dinner and produced a small cake with candles when they learned it was our anniversary. They were a joy to meet and claim as cousins.

How does our family history influence family relationships? Do we need healing from hidden scars? The actions and beliefs of our ancestors might still be with us, whether rejected or embraced. Our forebears were people dealing with life in their times and circumstances as best they could, just as we are today. Learning about their lives sheds light on the stream of family experience that has much to do with who we are. We are people with personal responsibility to our own families and communities in our own time. While I will not preach from this platform, I will openly claim my Christian faith. I pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit to be a help and not a hindrance to our family.

We should be mindful of the past so we can benefit from family lessons, seek healing from unfinished trials, and carry on the gifts our families have given us. We didn’t come to our lives in a vacuum. If we care for our loved ones with compassion helped by some understanding of where we came from, our families can be a good home.