27 November 2016

"And the walls came tumbling down"

Another major genealogy brick wall has tumbled to the ground. I have managed to locate a Dutch birth record for my 2nd great grandfather, Evert Huigen! We have been working on finding this info for decades. Suddenly it's like I poked a hole in the dyke and the water came rushing in! OK, bad analogy, but you understand what I mean.

It began with an oft repeated search on Ancestry.com finally turning up a useful link to what must be a new record in the Dutch genealogy website, Wie Was Wie. The record was a birth record for an Everardus Huigen born 7 Dec 1827 to Evert Huigens and Evardina Sloot in Didam, Gelderland, Netherlands. The birth date was a day off from the date we calculated based on the info from his broken tombstone (for more details, see here) and the name of his father matched one of the names he used in America. I was pretty sure this was my 2nd great grandfather, but I still had lingering doubts about whether Everardus was really Evert.

Later that night, lying in bed, it hit me--the  "-us" at the end of his name was the Latin nominative ending used for baptisms. His first name was really "Everard" which matched the German version "Eberhard" that was on his tombstone! Everything fell into place. I got up and right back on Ancestry and WieWasWie and was up until 2:30 in the morning tearing down as much of the brick wall as I could.

One of the first finds was a birth record for his father, who was also listed as "Everardus" in his birth record, but went by "Evert." I'm guessing "Evert" is a nickname for "Everard" and I'm working verifying that.

In addition to Everard's birth record, I found birth records for his parents, Everard "Evert" Huigen and Everdina Sloot, and a variety of birth, death and marriage records for them and their other children: sons Herman, Joann (Johann), Jacob, the twins Gerard and Bernard and daughters Gerarda and Elisabeth. My great grandfather, John Huigens, was named for his uncle, Joann (That's Johann, not Jo Ann). His brother, Bernard Haugens, was named for another uncle. Herman and Jacob may be buried in a Catholic cemetery in Damiansville, Clinton Co., IL. It's possible my ancestor was not the only one to make his way to America.

I was able to go back another generation and find info on all four of Everard's grandparents: Herman Huigen and Agatha van den Berg and Johann Sloot and Gerharda Koning. I even found info on Agatha's parents: Peter van den Berg and Johanna Hatting.

Here is what I have so far in taking this branch back:

1. Everard "Evert" HUIGEN, Jr.(b. 7 Dec 1827 in Didam, Gelderland, Netherlands; d. 27 Feb 1864 in Marshall Co., IL)
2. Everard "Evert" HUIGEN, Sr. (b. 31 Mar 1788 in Groessen, Gelderland, Netherlands; d. 5 Mar 1832 in Didam, Gelderland, Netherlands)
3. Everdina SLOOT (b. 25 Apr 1789 in Didam, Gelderland Netherlands; d. Unknown)
4. Herman HUIGEN (b. 3 Mar 1730 in Leiden, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands; d. 27 Mar 1805 in Duiven, Gelderland, Netherlands)
5. Agatha VAN DEN BERG (b. about 1740 in Amersfoort, Utrecht, Netherlands; d 5 Jan 1823 in Duiven, Gelderland, Netherlands)
6. Johann SLOOT (b. Unknown; d. 24 Feb 1810 in Didam, Gelderland, Netherlands)
7. Gerharda KONING (b. Unknown; d. 15 May 1808 in Didam, Gelderland, Netherlands)
8. Unknown HUIGENS
9. Unknown
10. Peter VAN DEN BERG (b. Unknown; d. 1 Apr 1747 in Hoogland, Utrecht, Netherlands)
11. Johanna HATTING (b. Unknown; d. Unknown)
12.Unknown SLOOT
13. Unknown
14. Unknown KONING
15. Unknown

You can understand why I was up until 2:30 in the morning tracking all of this down and doing my genealogy happy dance. I also found records for several more children of Herman and Agatha. Evert Sr. and Herman Huigen gave their occupation as "day laborer." We do not come from the upper class. Not a surprise.

Next steps are to have my daughter's Dutch friend, Anne, help translate the wording on the civil birth, marriage and death records and the church records for baptisms, marriages and funerals. I still need to verify that "Evert" is a nickname for "Everard." I plan on tracing all of the branches of the various families down to find some living relatives. I hope I can find a living male Huigen or Huigens who will take a Y-DNA test to lay to rest all doubts that we've finally found our Dutch family.

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