Dutch Genealogy – The Alberding Family and Ellis Island Records

Chapter One

My current research project concerns my husband’s maternal lines.  His mother’s maiden name was ALBERDING, her father an immigrant from The Netherlands.  This is a new kind of research for me.  Most of my direct family lines came to America in the 1600s and 1700s.  This is the first time I have needed to dig into immigration records, foreign records, etc. It is much more interesting than I could have imagined.

I am very grateful for the wonderful Ellis Island site with their easy to use and comprehensive database.  Of my great-grandparents in-law’s 10 children, 7 immigrated to the US.  My grandfather-in-law was the first of the children to immigrate, Coenraad Abraham Alberding.  He arrived on Ellis Island 10 Oct 1911 at the age of 21.  There were relatives already here, living in New York City, and he settled with them for a time.

I only knew the names of some of the siblings who immigrated, so the challenge began there. A generic search of the surname in the Ellis Island database helped a lot.  There is a column on the immigration form that the immigrant must fill out with the name and address of the relative or friend he or she is coming to see.  By looking at this column on immigration records, I could see which Alberdings listed brother, C.A. Alberding as the person they were joining in America. The next to immigrate was Elisabeth, who arrived on Ellis Island 6 Jul 1914 at the age of 17. I have yet to learn much about her, so that will have to come in another post. Living relatives remember her as Aunt Betty and say that she lived in Queens, New York.

After Elisabeth came Johan, who arrived on Ellis Island 23 Apr 1915.  He also settled in NYC and stayed there for the rest of his life. He married a woman named Elizabeth, maiden name not yet determined, Americanized his name to John, worked hard and was able to open a tuxedo rental shop in New York that he and his wife ran for many years.  Sadly, Johan, or John, died from a heart attack at the age of 48.  His wife ran the business successfully after his death.

Now, it gets really interesting.  The next family member to immigrate was my great-grandmother-in-law, Johanna Blitz or Blis Alberding.  She landed on Ellis Island 4 Dec 1916.  Her immigration papers list her as widowed and her “person” in the US was her son, C.A. Alberding.  There is also a column on the immigration papers for the immigrant to name their closest relative in the country of origin and Johanna listed “daughter, A. Kuyper” with an Amsterdam address.  Johanna married again not long after arriving in the US, a man named George Riede.  He was also a native of Holland, according to the 1920 Census, but no Ellis Island immigration information exists for him.  He was about 20 years younger than Johanna. They are found together in the 1920 Census in Queens, NY as the proprietors of a boarding house.

The family story is that Johanna placed her minor children in an orphanage in Amsterdam when she immigrated.  A family member has the paperwork on this and I am looking forward to seeing that.  She also left behind a married daughter, A. Kuyper, based on the information on her immigration papers.  At this point in the research, it wasn’t clear who else had been left behind.

Johanna was an astute businesswoman and reportedly bought several boarding houses.  As she prospered, she must have decided it was time to bring over the children she had left behind.  The next to immigrate was Antoon who arrived on Ellis Island 17 Apr 1921 at the age of 19.  On his immigration papers he listed the relative he was come to be with as “Parents: G. Riede-Alberding,” and the closest relative in The Netherlands as “Sister: A. Kuiper.”  There she is again, the mystery sister.  He Americanized his name to Anton and married Mae Bascom. They lived and died in Brooklyn, NY.

George arrived on Ellis Island 5 May 1922 at the age of 18.  On his immigration papers he listed the relative he was immigrating to be with as “Mother: G. Riede.”  Listed as the closest relative in Amsterdam was “Brother, J.P. Alberding.”  George married Adrianna Albers, an immigrant from The Hague, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands.  They settled in Toms River, Ocean County, New Jersey and both died in the 1980s.

1 Nov 1924, the youngest and last of the Alberding children to immigrate from Amsterdam were Hendrick, age 18, and Hendrika, age 13.  Johanna returned to Amsterdam in August of that year, presumably to make the arrangements to bring her youngest children over. Hendrika had been fostered in Amsterdam with a wealthy doctor’s family from the age of 5 until she was brought to the US at the age of 13.  Apparently she was treated as a daughter in that home and never got over being taken from the fine home and brought to America where she had to work for a living. According to family members who knew her, she never got over it until they day she died at 83. years of age.

On Hendrick and Hendrika’s immigration papers, they listed as the closest relative living in Amsterdam “Brother: J. P. Alberding.”  Now there is another brother to search for in Amsterdam. As the relative they are coming to be with, they listed “Mother: G. Riede.”

Hendrick became Hank and married Hermione Bascom, sister of the Mae Bascom who married his brother, Anton.  They settled in New Haven, Connecticut and had two children.   It is their daughter, Ellen, who has been a huge help to me in putting all of this together. Hendrika became “Rita” or “Ricki” depending on which relative was referring to her. She married Henry Muuse and they settled in Brick, Ocean County, New Jersey. Ricki and Henry had no children.

Much was revealed from these searches and just as many question were raised. When did    my great-grandfather-in-law, Coenraad Abraham Alberding, die in Amsterdam? Who are the other three children, A. Kuyper, J. P. Alberding, and another sister called Cory, all who remained in Amsterdam?

Chapter Two – Research in the City Archives of Amsterdam – coming soon.


A Heart Stopping Discovery – THE Family Bible

In the “About” section of this blog, I tell how it was a very, very old family Bible that got me started in genealogy about 17 years ago.  My mother handed me this crumbling Bible and said she really wanted to know how we are related to the people in the Bible.  It was given to her by her Aunt Mary Sue Thorne and we knew we were descended from the Foster family whose names and births were recorded on the pages.  I decided to find out and that led to the kind of research mania that only someone truly hooked on genealogy can understand.

I am currently working on our TURNER line and remembered that there was a mention of them in Dr. J.B.O. Landrum’s “History of Spartanburg County” published in 1906.  I pulled out my copy, that also came from Great Aunt Mary Sue Thorne, and started paging through it.  I found a letter tucked into the pages of the book that I had never noticed there before.  The letter was from my mother to Aunt Sue.  In the letter, she says, “Randy finally remembered to bring me the old Bible you gave me. It was in my cedar chest which is in his storage unit.”  My heart literally stopped beating for a moment.  Randy is my brother, and he was not very dependable at that time.  Unknown to us, he didn’t pay the bill for the unit and everything that was in that unit was lost to us.  I silently thanked my wonderful mother for badgering him to bring that Bible to her.  Had she not done that, that Bible would have been lost to us forever.

The Bible lists family records for William “Mill Creek Billy” Foster and his wife and children. It also lists records for Joseph Barnett, his wife, Lucy Wade and their children. There are also records for Micajah Barnett, son of Joseph and Lucy, his first wife and their children.

It wasn’t very difficult to find Barnett ancestors of Joseph Barnett. However, the mystery wasn’t solved, as they had no information linking our two families. The information about the Barnetts that is contained in the Bible was very exciting to the Barnett researchers, since this was the first source they had found for actual birth dates of some of the earlier Barnetts. Of course, they were also anxious to figure out why records for the two families are contained within the same Bible. As of yet, we haven’t been able to do this.  I did, only recently, find a link to the Barnetts through my Thorn(e) line.  I still have no clue as to why there are records for the Barnett family and the Foster family listed in the same old Bible.

A little about the Bible: The bible is in very poor condition. It is actually falling apart and is coming unbound. Many of the pages are crumbling.

The bible appears to me to have been rebound at some point in time. This rebinding appears to have been a “homemade” job. The pieces of cardboard that form the front and back covers have scribbling on them and are covered with thin pieces of leather sewn into place with heavy thread. The old and new testaments appear to have come from two different Bibles. As indicated from the copies of the old and new testament fly leaf pages, these two bibles have different publishers and different publication dates. Since the flyleaf page for the new testament is loose, it is possible that the page is from an entirely different bible. However, the styles of print and language used in the old and in the new testaments are completely different. This would indicate that two separate bibles were bound together.

Most of the Foster pages have come loose, but at least one is still attached to the Bible. Both of the Barnett pages are still attached. The only writing in the bible other than the family records recorded on the blank pages is the name “Malinda Foster” written on the top of one of the Genesis pages.

I am SO grateful this Bible was saved.  My next post about the Bible will be about the records contained it it.  Maybe someone out there has the missing information that will connect the Fosters and the Barnetts.

The Reid v Covert, Kinsella v Krueger Paper

First of all, I really wish I liked blogging more than I do.  I am a Research Junkie, not a blogging junkie.  The thing about blogging is that it gets the word out there and brings people to us that we never find any other way.  Several family members of the parties involved in the Supreme Court case commonly known as Reid have contacted me about this blog.  I have connected with cousins because of this blog.  I am going to make a concerted effort at the end of each day to recap my day’s research here so that sort of thing continues to happen.

As for the paper on the Supreme Court case that started this blog, I can tell you that my daughter got an A+ on the paper and Clarence Thomas said it by far the best paper turned in for the class.  The thing that impressed them all most was the way that the parties involved in the two cases combined for the sake of the Supreme Court hearing were humanized by the paper.  The family information, the facts about the people and the background on their families made the paper come to life for the readers.  Genealogy can even improve a Constitutional Law paper!

I wish I could give you more details, but I am sworn to secrecy on many of the facts we uncovered until the paper is published.  My daughter wants those special pieces of information to appear first in print in her paper.  I can say that I am very proud that my research and genealogy skills could help to make this paper so special.

I will end by saying thank you to those who contacted us and helped with information on the paper.  She still wants to hear from you as there is time to edit the paper before it is published.  I vow to try harder to update this blog daily with what is going on in my research. I want to meet more members of my family through this blog.