The Cyrille DeValkeneer Family

 Meet Cyrille De Valkeneer and his family (at least those living at this time).
Cyrille was born 3 Aug 1856 in Sint-Maria-Lierde, Belgium. He was the son of Pieter Francies DeValkeneer and Joanna Catherina Casteleyn. On 8 Sep 1881 in Antwerp, Belgium, he married Maria Francisca Heiremans. She was born 10 Jul 1858 in Langdorp, Belgium, and was the daughter of Josephus Heiremans and Maria Josepha Parioux.
Together they had 11 children. Joseph DeValkeneer, (5 Jan 1880-8 Mar 1966), Maria Josepha DeValkeneer (8 Jan 1882-???), Louis Andre DeValkeneer (16 Sep 1883-8 Mar 1971), Cecilia Marie DeValkeneer (5 Feb 1886-27 Feb 1971), Maria Celestina DeValkeneer (20 Dec 1887-???), Maria Louise DeValkeneer (29 Mar 1890-1 Sep 1974), Victor DeValkeneer (12 Aug 1892-6 Feb 1975), Camille Peter DeValkeneer (7 Oct 1895-15 Jan 1962), Vital DeValkeneer (25 Dec 1897-16 Mar 1965), Jeanne Helene DeValkeneer (9 Dec 1899-24 Apr 1900), Alfred Joseph DeValkeneer (16 Dec 1902-29 Dec 1979).
Cyrille was a shoemaker. He and Frances lived in Antwerp until around 1896, then moved to the Charleroi, Belgium area. In 1911 and 1912 the family made their way from Belgium to Pennsylvania, USA. By then Cecilia and Celestina had married. Cecilia and her husband immigrated in 1914 to America, but Celestina and her husband stayed in Belgium (hence the photograph of her in the family photo). Two other daughters, Jeanne Helene and Maria Josepha, had died in Belgium. In Pennsylvania, the family was mostly farmers and miners.
Maria Francisca Heiremans (more commonly known in America as Frances Hermans) died 30 Sep 1934, and Cyrille DeValkeneer died 25 Dec 1941 in the home of his daughter Louise (kind of a bummer Christmas for them I think).
In researching the family, I have found birth certificates for each person listed here in the Belgian Archives, also found on FamilySearch. I have the marriage record for Cyrille and Maria Francisca, and several of the children (in America). There are passenger lists for the family's crossing to America (May 1911 Mauretania, and Apr 1912 Carmania), and Cyrille's naturalization application (Feb 1920). I also have 2 obituaries for Cyrille that list his surviving family.

Who Are August Vandenberg's Parents?

My great-grand-aunt Louise DeValkeneer married a man named August Vandenberg in 1913. From what I have found, he was born in Belgium and moved to America as a small child. He married Louise in Pennsylvania, probably Allegheny county. I haven't been able to find their marriage license yet.
One thing we don't yet know is who his parents are. But I have a working theory.
In the 1900 census for Allegheny County we find a family of Vandenbergs, from Belgium, with a child named August, the right age of my guy. The parents are Campbell and Predan. There are 3 other siblings listed: Alice, Gusty, and Emma.
In 1910 we find the same family again. Parents are Campbell and Prudant, and the kids are August, Gustave, Emma and Leo. Alice would be old enough to be married by now, or she may have died.
Then in 1920 in Allegheny County we find August Vandenberg married to my relative Louise. We also see that just a few doors down from them is Gusti Vandenberg and his wife.
Could this be the same family? I think so. Hopefully I will soon be able to find the marriage record for Louise and August and hopefully it has his parents names on it. But for now I am just penciling them in, and will continue to look for evidence that Campbell and Prudant are my August's parents.

Did Joseph Carpenter Serve in the Revolutionary War

In researching Revolutionary War ancestors I have found 3 people who seem to have served. Two of them I know served, it's a matter of proving my relationship to them. The other I can fairly easily prove my relationship, but am having a harder time figuring out his service. This person is Joseph Carpenter.
According to his gravestone (as recorded in the 1920's) he died in 1849 and was 78 years old. This puts his birthday around 1771. Too young to have served in the revolution. But, as we know, ages and dates tend to be more fluid back then than they are today.
In "A Carpenter Genealogy" by Lyle Sharp and Frances Stoner, it says Joseph Carpenter was the child of John Carpenter (Zimmerman) and Drucilla Tomlinson. 3 of his siblings were Thomas, John, and Robert. He was married to Sinah Gilespie and had 14 children. He died in 1849 in Beaver Township, Noble county, Ohio.
In the book "Official Roster of the Soldiers of the American Revolution buried in the state of Ohio" on page 69:
"Joseph Carpenter (Noble Co.). Va Mil. Said to have had 3 terms of service. D 1849, Beaver Twp. Came to Belmont Co in 1806; to Noble Co 1812 and settled in Beaver Twp, where he died in 1849."
 In the book "History of Noble County, Ohio", 1887, page 576:
"The first settlement in the {Beaver} township was made by the Reed family, elsewhere mentioned, and by Thomas, John, and Joseph Carpenter and John Tyrrell as early as 1810. The Carpenters came from Virginia. They reared families and died in the township. In early years they were noted hunters.

Page 581: Joseph Carpenter, the pioneer, was a native of Virginia, and for two years served in the Revolutionary War. He lived near Moundsville, and he and his family encountered many dangers from hostile Indians. He came to Belmont County, Ohio, about 1806, and a few years later removed to this township {Beaver}, where he died in 1849."

In the book "Family Research in Monroe County, Ohio" by Catharine Fedorchak, page 29:
"Watkins' HISTORY OF NOBLE COUNTY indicates that a Joseph Carpenter, a Rev. Soldier died in 1848. That source also says that a Joseph Carpenter, of Noble Co. was a soldier in the War of 1812. I have no such records to prove these statements in my books, but a Mrs. Stoner did send me a copy of a voucher for a JOSEPH CARPENTER of Virginia in the Rev. War who received a certificate of the balance of his full pay in April, 1783."

In the book "Revolutionary War Records, Virginia" page 200:
Carpenter, Joseph, soldier, Art.

In the book "Historical Register of Virginians in the Revolution":
Carpenter, Joseph  Art. nbll
nbll means: name appeared on Army Register, but had not received bounty land.

So, even if we assume he served in the last 2 years of the war (1782-3), and was 15 when he joined (the youngest he would conceivably be), a birth year of 1771 is still at least 4 years too late.

One other possibility is that he was born in 1762, the year commonly attributed to his brother John. There is conflicting evidence as to the birth order for John and Joseph. If Joseph was the oldest, and born in 1762, he would have been old enough to serve in the Revolution, but certainly wouldn't have been 78 at the time he died in 1849, he would have been 87.

So the mystery continues. But, I'm inclined to think he did serve, since it is mentioned in several books, and his name is found in the Virginia army registers. And who knows, maybe the stone carver for his grave just got the numbers reversed.

Merryweather Family Tree

This is the family tree for my maternal grandmother Afton Merryweather. Both her parents, William Mark Merryweather and Ida Lovina Ellison, were the children of Mormon immigrants from England, and were born in Utah.
Other names on this tree:
Frank Merryweather (1864-1947)
Fanny Boweter (1866-1951)
William Ellison (1863-1921)
Lovina Clarissa Dye (1865-1922)
Mark Merryweather (1836-1879)
Sarah Ann Thick (1833-1914)
William Boweter (1841-1911)
Emma Beddoes (1835-1915)
John Ellison Jr (1830-1868)
Sarah Hemingway (1827-1914)
Richard Dye (1822-1905)
Sarah Kemp (1823-1903)

Edwards Family Tree

Here is the family tree for my paternal grandfather Wilford George Edwards. His family were miners in Utah. His father, Thomas Edwards, was the son of English immigrants, and was born in Nebraska. His mother, Flora Sophia Maggie Hasemeyer, was the daughter of German immigrants, and was born in Colorado.
Other names on this tree:
Edward Edwards (1848-1923)
Mary Ann Gregory (or McGregory) (1855-1926)
Dietrick (possibly Kietrick) Henry Hasemeyer (1859-1925)
Magda (or Martha) Sophia Elizabeth Schmidt (1865-1949)
Thomas Edwards
Robert Gregory (or McGregory)
William Hasemeyer (1833-1890)
Sophia {Hasemeyer} (1837-1900)
Fritz Schmidt (1839-1919)
Martha Trimer/Treimar (1838-1910)

Turner Family Tree

This is a family tree for my paternal grandfather Louis Turner. His father, Raymond Earl Turner, was born in Somerset, Ohio. His family has been in America for generations. It is through his line that I have revolutionary war soldiers. His mother, Elizabeth Alice Tavernier, was born in Pennsylvania, 2 years after her parents immigrated from Belgium.
The other names on the tree are:
Joseph Francis Turner (1876-1920)
Sarah L Carpenter (1869-1958)
Charles Louis Tavernier (1869-1919)
Rosalie Dieudonne Balieu (1874-1910)
John Francis Turner (1853-1912)
Catherine Louise Butler (1857-1939)
Isaac Carpenter (1826-1905)
Sarah A Brown (1835-1907)
Charles Louis Tavernier (1833-?)
Adelle Joseph Leblon (1837-?)
Jean Pierre Desire Balieu (1839-?)
Marie Catherine Daudois (?-?)

DeValkeneer Family Tree

Here is a digital scrapbook page I did of my grandmother's family tree. Her name was Alma Celestine DeValkeneer. Her parents were Belgian. Her dad, Vital DeValkeneer, immigrated to America with his family in 1912, when he was just 12 years old. Her mom, Adele Pireaux, was born in Pennsylvania less than 2 years after her parents immigrated in 1901. All the others on this tree are from Belgium.
Other names on the tree:
Cyrille DeValkeneer (1854-1941)
Maria Francisca Heiremans (1858-1934) aka Frances Hermans
Emile Piraux (1869-1929)
Irma Henri (1870-1947)
Pieter Frances De Valkeneer (1815-?)
Joanna Catharina Casteleyn (1817-?)
Josephus Heiremans (1827-?)
Maria Josepha Piraux (1829-?)
Henri Joseph Francois Piraux (1841-?)
Marie Chirese Paris (1848-?)
Jean Baptiste Henri (1840-?)
Adele Dumont (?-?)

Begin At The Beginning

In the book Alice in Wonderland it says:
     "Being at the beginning, and go on until you come to the end: then stop."
This is nice in theory, but where is the beginning, and how do you know when you reach the end. With genealogy, there really isn't an end, just a bunch of brick walls. And I suppose my beginning is me. So, the following is a short summary of my 'beginning' genealogy research (of course, I've been doing this for a few years now).
On the maternal branch of my family tree, they were Mormon immigrants. They weren't handcart-pushing pioneers, but they did immigrate straight to Utah in the second half of the 19th century. And as Mormons, they were fairly well documented. Also, there has been a lot of genealogical work done for them already. Convenient for me...if they kept documentation and sources. Well, for some they did, and for others not so much. One part of that side was also not Mormon, just miners in Utah.
On the other side of my family I have 3 out of 4 great-grandparents that were immigrants from Belgium. I personally have been doing a lot of research on them. I may not speak French and Dutch, but I am getting pretty good at reading through vital records in those languages. The other great-grandparent has deeper roots in America. Some of his ancestors were in the Revolutionary War (I am currently working on my DAR application).
I inherited a bunch of information, and a gedcom from my father. He is still alive and well and working on genealogy. But, not all his information is cited in the gedcom and paf files. I trust him, and have seen the stacks of papers, that he has documentation for his ancestor claims, but just hasn't put it all in to his software (or maybe it just didn't all transfer over).
So, my big project currently is to get sources and documents for all those people already on file. This is not always an easy task. But I recently discovered that my software (RootsMagic, that has a free version!), which connects directly to FamilySearch, can import sources from there as well, and have them all neatly cited on my computer. Perfect! I can add them online, and have them put directly onto my home computer. That gives me an extra backup of the information and I don't have to type things in twice. I love technology sometimes.
So there is my beginning, and I'm going along...where will it end...who knows.