NGS Family History Conference 2018 ended a few hours ago. Now to put all of this new-found knowledge to work. I attended about 15 sessions, reviewed successful BCG portfolios, reconnected with friends, ate some great food, and bought a few souvenirs.
It was interesting to learn about how many Dutch immigrants settled in this area of Western Michigan. Over the past twenty years I have been researching my father’s paternal line in earnest. I have discovered that they came from Ostfriesland, which included northwestern Germany and northeastern Netherlands, not far from the North Sea. The Davids branch, his paternal grandmother’s line, have roots in the Netherlands. I have located records for the Brinkman line in Marienhafe, Engerhafe, and Siegelsum, all part of the province of Hannover, kindgom of Prussia, during the years before their emigration.
One of the highlights of the conference for me was a special presentation shared by Yvette Hoitink, a certified genealogist from the Netherlands, at last night’s NGS banquet. She shared a heartfelt story of a Dutch tradition that occurs every May 4th and 5th–Remembrance Day (Dodenherdenking) and Liberation Day (Bevrijdingsdag), respectively. At about 8 pm, after explaining the significance of these two special days, Yvette invited everyone at the banquet to stand in silence for two minutes in honor of those who lost their lives in WWII, and in wars since, fighting for freedom from tyrrany and oppression. The following link explains those special days in the Netherlands.
The more I study and learn about my family’s history, the more I want to learn and know. Maybe it is the same with you. Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Every man is a quotation from all his ancestors.” As I come to know more about the lives of my ancestors, about my roots, I am beginning to understand what parts of me come from each of them.