Genealogy comes to life when we read stories and anecdotes about real family members. Do you remember any stories about your ancestors? Please share them with us. All of us will gain some insights about our family, and the stories may even bring a smile to our faces.
Written stories about the past can help us better understand the present. Our family history is more than just nostalgia for a time gone by. Writing about one’s family history is like putting together a jigsaw puzzle that has hundreds of pieces missing. If you take the trouble to lay out the pieces that you do have, you begin to see a vague picture of what the complete puzzle would look like. You start to see the contours of a landscape, dotted with a few houses and farms. With luck you can distinguish some of the people who populated that landscape and lived in those houses. Sometimes you will find exactly the puzzle piece you need to fill an important gap and shed new light on some adjacent pieces.
We created this website to begin assembling our own puzzle pieces, and to help those who may be searching for missing pieces of their own puzzles. In the process we hope that you will share some of your puzzle pieces that may also fit with ours.
Our journey began with the wonderful discovery of the “Letters from America”, which shed a new light on the life and times of our ancestors and relatives who emigrated from the Netherlands to America so many years ago. As you read those letters, you briefly find yourself in the shoes of those early settlers, struggling to build a life in a strange, new world. Those letters represented the strong family connection between our American and Dutch families, each wanting to share their experiences and find out how their relatives are doing. With this website we want to renew that sense of connection between our family members by sharing the stories and memorabilia that may have helped each of us become who we are today.
The family. We were a strange little band of characters trudging through life sharing diseases and toothpaste, coveting one another’s desserts, hiding shampoo, borrowing money, locking each other out of our rooms, inflicting pain and kissing to heal it in the same instant, loving, laughing, defending, and trying to figure out the common thread that bound us all together.