Thursday, August 18, 2016

Throwback Thursday To Great Grandpa & Grandma John & Tillie

Earlier in the month whilst searching for an illustrative photo to illustrate my mom and dad's 65th Wedding Anniversary I came upon that which you see here.

I do not remember seeing this before, but obviously I had, because it would have been me who scanned the original news clipping, way back earlier in the century when I found myself making the most elaborate family history website the world has ever seen.

I may be hyperbolizing.


That would be my great grandpa and great grandma, according to the caption under the photo, "Pioneer Lynden citizens".

John and Matilda Slotemaker. I knew Matilda as great grandma Tillie. Great grandpa John died before I was born.

My great grandpa John, grandpa of my dad, Jack, moved to America in 1892, along with his mom and dad and sister, Anna.

Noord Scharwoude is the town in Holland my Dutch ancestors left behind when they moved to America.

I do not know if my Dutch ancestors were what we now call illegal immigrants. I believe their point of entry was Ellis Island, but I am not sure of that.

Upon arrival in America the family of four began to journey west, eventually settling in Orange City, Iowa, where John met and eventually married great grandma Tillie.

My Dutch Ancestors were not happy with Iowa. They heard of a Dutch community way out west, a town named Lynden in the new state of Washington. Great grandpa John was sent west, solo, to see if this might be a good place to move to.

Great grandpa John made the journey to Lynden via train. He spent a summer in Lynden, quickly deciding that this would be a good place to move to, partly because the farmland reminded him of Holland. I am guessing the towering mountains and nearby Mount Baker volcano did not much remind him of Holland.

Great grandpa John returned to Iowa with a knapsack full of things to show his family from this new place he wanted to call home. Things like apples and the thick bark off a giant tree. He told them about the fertile green land, berries growing wild, rivers abundant with fish.

So, my Dutch ancestors loaded up their possessions and moved one final time. to the Pacific Northwest. Soon a large chunk of land was purchased on which the Slotemaker farm was built. Along with Slotemaker Road. Both of which exist to this day.

But, before the move could be made to Lynden, great grandpa John got married to great grandma Tillie. The train ride to Lynden was their honeymoon.

Fifty years later great grandpa John and great grandma Tillie had their 50th Wedding Anniversary, attended by their four sons and two daughters. One of the sons was my grandpa, Cornelius, who I was supposed to be named after, but my mom and dad decided to break the family naming tradition of the oldest son of the oldest son alternating between John (Dutch version, Jan) and Cornelius (Dutch version, Cornelis).

My grandpa, Cornelius, died before I was born, not long after his mom and dad's 50th Wedding Anniversary.

And that is my Throwback Thursday for the month....

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