Category Archives: CLOUD OF WITNESSES … COMMUNION OF SAINTS

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” – Hebrews 12:1-2

Letters to the Netherlands: May we be childlike and humble …

Not long ago, I learned a saying: “One Dutchman, a theologian. Two Dutchmen, a church. Three Dutchmen, a schism.” There is truth in this. Our great-great grandfather, Jan Willem, migrated to America from the Netherlands with his wife and children in 1889. … Continue reading

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The death of Peder Malum: I wish I’d known him …

In recent years, I’ve come into possession of a lot of information about our Norwegian ancestors who settled in Iowa. Sometimes it’s the result of diligent, focused searching, and sometimes it’s somewhat random … what some would call “luck” but I prefer to … Continue reading

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Wednesday’s Child: the Clausen sons

This gravestone was discovered on a walk through a small-town Iowa cemetery … on a search for the final resting places of our Clausen ancestors. The discovery of a gravestone for Clausen children came as a surprise. J.J. and M.J., … Continue reading

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Letters to the Netherlands: Before the throne of grace …

In a previous excerpt from our 2nd great-grandfather’s letters from his new home in Iowa, he spoke of his distress over the illness of his adult daughter, who had remained in the Netherlands. He would later learn that she did … Continue reading

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Letters to the Netherlands: It broke our hearts to hear …

When our 2nd great-grandparents came to America from the Netherlands, they were following their eldest son to northwest Iowa and brought with them their three youngest children, two girls and a boy, including our great-grandfather.  An adult daughter and her … Continue reading

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Wednesday’s Child: Margaret Vanden Bosch (1924-1930)

Margaret was our grandmother’s younger sister. Heart complications took Margaret’s life when she was only 5 years old, a loss that came just three years after the death, at a relatively young age, of their mother, Mary. The obituary tells us that … Continue reading

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Letters to the Netherlands: The waves rise mountain high …

My great-great grandfather arrived in America from the Netherlands in 1889 with his wife and three children, including my great-grandfather. In his letters from Iowa to family and friends back in the Netherlands, he seemed uncertain whether he would be able … Continue reading

Posted in CLOUD OF WITNESSES ... COMMUNION OF SAINTS, IOWA (ALL), IOWA (Sioux County), Kreykes, Letters to the Netherlands, NETHERLANDS, Smalbrugge, THINGS OUR ANCESTORS DID | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Haugianerne in my home

So I finally got this framed print hanging on the wall in my living room. It’s called Haugianerne, or The Haugeans. The original was painted by Norwegian artist Adolph Tidemand in 1852 and illustrates an 18th to 19th century spiritual revival movement in the Church … Continue reading

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My Father’s House …

In my cemetery sojourns across Iowa last August, my uncle and I left at least one ancestral gravestone better than we found it. With years of natural debris having accumulated and hardened on the shared 1890s grave marker of Joseph and … Continue reading

Posted in Case, CLOUD OF WITNESSES ... COMMUNION OF SAINTS, IOWA (ALL), IOWA (Central), NEW ENGLAND - NEW YORK, Russell, UNITED KINGDOM | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Letters to the Netherlands: All is well with us in America

One of the more wonderful discoveries in my family history research has been a collection of turn-of-the-century letters written by my maternal great-great grandfather from Iowa to some of his family and friends who remained in the Netherlands. His letters are … Continue reading

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