Tag Archives: New Jersey

What we (think) we know about James Vanderbeek’s Parents…

29 Sep

Our family has been working on genealogy for a long time. My ancestors were actually working family history long before me and my brothers were born, so “we” have been at it for decades. And with all of that work, we’ve been stuck trying to find the parents of James Vanderbeek. So this post has two purposes:

  1. To describe what we know about this mystery…well, what we think we know and what the options may be.
  2. To get the help of possible relatives of James Vanderbeek. Maybe a descendant has a bible, some letters, or some kind of information that we can use to make some connections to continue to Vanderbeek line back to Holland (we’re assuming).

So, here’s James Vanderbeek, who we do know:

  • James Vanderbeek
  • Born: 23 February 1813, New Jersey (USA)
  • Married to Margaret Blauvelt, 11 Jan 1832, in Bergen County, New Jersey
  • Children: Margaret, John B., Court Lake, Garrett, and James Jr.
  • Death: 2 March 1888, Englewood, Bergen, New Jersey

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What we’re pretty sure about:
James Vanderbeek’s mother is (probably) Mary A. Stagg. We have two pieces of information that tie James to Mary. James’s death certificate lists his mother as “Mary A. Stagg” and lists his father as “— Vanderbeek” (notice there is a dash rather than a first name). We haven’t found any record of Mary A. Stagg being married to a Vanderbeek and can’t find her in many records after she is an adult. There is a chance we’ve found her baptismal record, but we’re still working to substantiate that.
The second tie between Mary A. Stagg and James is that James has a grandson with the middle name of “Stagg” (William Stagg Vanderbeek). That leads us to believe that “Stagg” is considered a family name and the only guess we have is Mary A. Stagg as the source.
Some possibilities pertaining to James Vanderbeek’s father:
We really don’t know who the father of James is. We don’t know if he was ever married to Mary or if he lived a long or short life. No idea.
  1. Maybe James Vanderbeek’s father was killed in the War of 1812. We don’t have any record either way and need to continue researching this option. Just a thought since we can’t find anything.
  2. There is a baptismal record listing a James Vanderbeek being “baptized on April 4” 1813 but it also may have another date attached to the record which is April 25, 1813 and we’re not sure what that means. The parents are listed as “Paul Vanderbeek” and “Hannah ?”. So, the dates lines up reasonably well, but we’re not sure where “Hannah” would fit in. Is “Hannah” Mary’s middle name (or visa versa)? Is “Hannah” James’ actual mother but then she died and Mary A. Stagg married James’ father and was listed on the death certificate? We really have no idea at this point. There could very well have been a James Vanderbeek born to Paul and Hannah and that could be separate from our James, born to Mary A. Stagg and ______ Vanderbeek. This option look promising in one regard, but then why would the family use the “Stagg” name as a middle name a few generations later?Screen Shot 2019-09-29 at 6.07.11 PM
  3. Could James have been born out of wedlock in 1813 and his family only knew that the father was a Vanderbeek, but never knew the real identity of the father?
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Henry Conrad Vanderbeek, the Minister…

31 Jan

Hey…there’s a minister/missionary in my family. Good. I like ministers and missionaries. Here’s the low down…

Henry Conrad Vanderbeek was born to Court Lake Vanderbeek and Mary Jane Vanderbeck on 6 March 1865 (ten months after their marriage) in Bergen County, New Jersey. Henry was the oldest of what appears to be three living children (more on that later).

Here’s an entry about Henry from The Ministerial Directory (1898) by Edgar Sutton Robison III

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We find that Henry graduated from Williams College with a BA in 1886 and from Union Theological Seminary in New York in 1890. He was licensed as a minister on June 13, 1890 and served in Newark, New Jersey starting in 1890.

Here’s an another entry about Henry from the Catalogue of the Delta Kappa Epsilon Fraternity (1910)

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We find from this record that Henry was also an organist and assistant librarian at Williams. Very cool stuff. I went to Union Theological Seminary’s website and found that it was founded in 1836 and is the “oldest independent seminary in the nation”.

in 1895, apparently, Henry travelled abroad. I don’t know the reason, but I have the passport. There is a some interesting info about Henry contained therein, regarding his appearance:

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He was 5′ 9.5″ (and so am I), with a high forehead, straight nose, brown eyes, brown hair and an oval face. That’s me exactly. Except, he had a dimpled chin and I don’t. Here is his signature:

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in 1900 we find Henry living in Newark as a boarder with the Simonson family. He is listed as a minister.

In 1910 we find him listed with his father and step-mother in Tenafly, New Jersey (listed as a son) and listed as a minister. But we also find him on the 1910 Census living in Williamstown, Massachusetts living as a boarder with the Adams family. He is listed as a clergyman. What gives?

Well, the censuses were taken a week apart. There is a chance that he was visiting home during the week and was listed by both families. There is a chance his dad just listed him because he had recently moved. Who knows. Either way, America counted one too many citizens (which through off the entire data set, I’m sure).

In 1920, we find Henry living in Sweetgrass County, Montana, in School District #5 (according to the census). He is listed as a clergyman and “Home Missionary”. I don’t know what that is (I mean, I’m sure I could guess I suppose), but I’d kind of like some info on that in the future.

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I can’t find a death notice or certificate, so I’m searching for that stuff. Until then, I don’t have a concrete death date…

Two Children or Four? (Help from the census records!)

23 Jan

I’ll make this quick. I think James “D” Vanderbeek and Nettie Ward Vanderbeek only had two children. Shocking, I know…

When I recently went to FamilySearch.org/tree, I found four children listed for James and Nettie:

  1. James Lawrence Vanderbeek (1892)
  2. Ruth Vanderhoek (1894) suspect!
  3. Stuart Ward Vanderbeek (1895)
  4. James L. Vanderhoek (1908) suspect!

Here’s why I think there are really only two children, James (1892) and Stuart (1895). I remembered that the census records often ask the mothers how many children they had given birth to and how many were alive:

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Notice the little “1” and the “1” next to it? This mother claimed to have given birth once and the child was still alive.

So here is Nettie’s line (along with her two boys) in the 1910 US Census. Here husband is listed on the previous census page, so you won’t see him here:

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Notice, all the way on the right hand side, the little “2’s”? Two births, two living children. It is the same on the 1900 Census.

So, I’ll do a little more work..check birth records, etc., but I really can’t find anything remotely close to a Ruth or James L. Vanderhoek…so, they’re probably on the verge of getting cut…

She travelled where?

9 Jan

I recently found my great-great-grandmother residing at the YMCA in Philadelphia in 1930. She “expired” eight years later, and I’ve been feeling kind of bad that her circumstances weren’t a little better during the last decade of her life. But now I think I’ve found that maybe things were better than I was imagining. I mean, if things were so bad, would she have travelled all over the world in 1924?!

Maybe she would have. I don’t know. Maybe it was cheaper to travel back then. Or maybe I don’t know how money works.

Where did I find the information? Ancestry’s Immigration records! I found a 1924 passport for William’s ex-wife, my g-g-grandma, Marie Elizabeth (Schuck) Ziesel. Here it is:

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It is kind of a goldmine of information. For instance:

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Her son Edward went with her. And, for some reason there is a marriage date here (June 27, 1889). Now, we have her marriage date (to William) as June 26, but this says June 27. So I’ll have to get to the bottom of that.

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We have her birth information here, and William’s birth area, and that in 1924 William was living at 1626 Spruce Street in Philadelphia. That’s nice, because the census records would only show his residence in 1920 and 1930. They were divorced at this point (even though she said she was married on the passport) which explains his residence being different from hers.

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See? She is living in Wildwood, New Jersey in 1924. And she is not employed. I’ve heard that William gave her a hotel in Wildwood after the divorce, but I don’t know. Maybe this is how she made her living.

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Here we find a list of the possible destinations. I don’t know if she went to all of them. That’s a lot of places to go on a cruise, but it is totally possible. This part of the record also says that they were going for her son’s health. But then it is crossed out and something is written to the right of it (and if you can figure it out, please comment). They were on the S.S. Leviathan (kind of a neat article on the S.S. Leviathan on Wikipedia) and were leaving in May of 1924.

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Also, here’s her signature. That’s fun to have.

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Lastly, here is what I presume to be a picture of my great-uncle Edward about age 20.

I already have a lot of info on Marie, but if I didn’t, this passport would be so helpful.

I also found the passenger list where Marie and Edward are listed as passengers coming home. If what I’m reading is correct, this trip lasted from May of 1924 to October of 1924. That’s a long trip. And she doesn’t come home on the Leviathan so I’m assuming they stayed in one of the countries they travelled to. Were they visiting family? Were they really at a hospital for Edward’s health? Ahh! What were they doing? I’m nosey enough to have to know!!!

Here’s the passenger list:

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The only new information I find here is her residence address, which appears to be 222 East Maple Avenue in Wildwood, New Jersey.

Next, I need to figure out how to use land records to determine stuff. I have no idea how to do that, but when I figure it out, I’ll post about it (I know, exciting…)

Well, lookey what I found on a Passport…

25 Dec

So, in my search for William Ziesel, I was also looking for clues regarding his first wife, Marie Elizabeth Schuck. After they were divorced, apparently Marie and her son Edward took a trip overseas. That required a passport. I found it on Ancestry.com! Here’s what the indexed page looked like:

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Ok, obviously Marie’s husband wasn’t named “William William”. I don’t know why that’s on there. Lame. Either way, I checked the orignal record and the husband is “William Ziesel”. Another indexing error, I’d suppose.

Here’s what I saw when I clicked on “View Original Image”:

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On here I found that Marie listed William as her husband. I thought they were divorced by 1924 (the year she travelled). Wait, the address she lists for William is in Pennsylvania, and the address she lists for herself is Wildwood, New Jersey. I don’t know why she lists him as her husband, but there isn’t a place to write “ex-spouse” or anything like that, so maybe she just did the easiest thing. Who knows?

There was a lot of other useful info on the passport, which maybe I’ll discuss later, but I was particularly excited to see the little picture on the bottom left corner of the passport. Here, take a closer look:

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Taped to the passport, and scanned into Ancestry.com is a picture! My guess is that this is Edward, Marie and William’s youngest son. I don’t know for sure, but Edward was abut 20 years old when they went on the trip and this looks like a 20 year old to me.

Just a fun little moment of coincidence from finding a passport!