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Friday, January 9

History Lesson

Who is this girl and what was her life like? Where did she come from? How does she relate to me? These are all the questions I posed to my kids as we studied Genealogy today. We covered a lot of geography with maps and also world history pertaining to our ancestors and what was going on in their countries when they lived. We questioned why they would move from their Mother country to America and we also had loads of fun.

Tena Margaret LIENEMANN was born on 29 Dec 1874 in Carthage, , ILLINOIS. First person in this line born in the US. She was christened on 17 Jan 1875 in Glidden, Scott, IOWA. She died on 23 May 1965 in Boone, Boone, IOWA. She was buried on 25 May 1965 in Onawa, Manona, IOWA. My Dad was born in Onawa.

Personal knowledge of Laurene Charlotte Jenkins Simpson Lewis
Baptismal Certificate from Lutheran Church, Glidden, IA. Pastor Conrad Kuhl
From LaVonne Simpson: After Grant died, Tena sold the house to Amy and James Simpson. She reserved a bedroom upstairs for herself and lived there until she went to live in the Eastern Star nursing home in Boone, IA.
Aunt LaVonne Simpson said that Tena was a beautiful seamstress

Living in Iowa at the end of the 19th century was a lot of hard work. This is where the first ancestors on my Dad's side of the family moved too after immigrating to the US from Ostfriesland in the early1870's.{never heard of it? Now is your chance and no it is not some made up fairyland, although Claire would have listened better if that was the case I bet.} This Map shows all the cities where they show up in census, birth, marriage and death certificates. The boys wrote a letter to the Ostfriesen Genealogical Society in Iowa asking for more info on these lines and Ostfriesland. We will see what happens.

If you Click on the ever so cute picture above you can read an article from a news paper about the weekly duties of housewives in Iowa around 1880. The boys liked that the women and girls did most of the work, whatever. Sorry boys times have changed.

I was researching what brought these immigrants to America and came up with two plausible reasons. The first was the economic outlook for the area in Ostfriesland {Germany}at the time was tough. Family that had immigrated to the US would have probably written letters talking of the glories of America as to how great the farming was.The second was the railroad. During the late 1850's to the late 1870's railroads did a lot of advertising in German States and other parts of Europe they promised discounted passage to America and free railroad passes to Il and IA if they purchased land from the railroad. They also offered to give discounts to them on shipping their future crops, plus paying all land taxes till the land was paid off. This was a pretty good deal and the land was much better than the land the government was giving away at the time. By 1880 every county in Iowa had a railroad running through it.

This is the land of my Dad's ansestors Ostfriesland { Northern Germany} .

INTERESTING HISTORY OF EASTFRIESLAND, When Rome's Imperial army invaded northern Europe in the First Century, it met an unexpected obstacle, a tribe of ash blond, gray-blue eyed seamen and farmers known as Frisans. The tribe traded with the Romans but drew the line at providing men and material for Roman wars. In their rebellion in A.D. 28, 1300 Roman soldiers were killed.

Today in the Netherlands, Frisans still inhabit a 1,350 square-mile province known as Friesland, and their pride and nationalistic determination have preserved their heritage through the centuries wherever they have gone. Frisans once dominated the coastline from what is now western Netherlands to southern Denmark, areas which are still called East, West and North Friesland. Franks, Vikings, Spanish and Hollanders forced their retreat, but they retain pockets in Northwest Germany and the Netherlands.

Friesans have a traditional saying: "The Friesans are never on the side of the majority". Their penchant for independence drew them to sympathize with the colonies in North America. Their recognition of American independence in 1782 led, on April 19 of that year, to a formal acceptance by the Dutch federated states of an American diplomatic envoy, John Adams, as well as loans of 30 million guilders to help America.

Friesland's four islands - Vlieland, Terschelling, Ameland and Schiermonnikoog - have become havens for 20th Century vacationers. Privacy-conscious Frisians regret the influx, but their incomes once buoyed by whaling and seafaring, would be skimpy without tourists.

Friesland joined the Dutch union for defense reasons in 1579. By the late 1800's less than five percent of the province spoke Dutch, yet the Dutch government banned the teaching of Frisian.
They still keep their age-old motto: "To be Frisian is to be free".

This article was taken from "Valley Advance" Vol. 18 No. 44, Vincennes, Indiana, 1982.

We did have a birthday party for one of our ancestors. Jack helped me decorate and light the birthday wreath of candles and life candles. It took a while, but he finally got it.

Okay, yes we got the name wrong. What can I say it was two in the morning when I came up with this stuff. The kids loved it.

I know you love this history lesson. Thank you Mom for all your hard, hard work, without it I wouldn't have this lesson to teach!


Cristy said...

Wow, that was a good history lesson. I think it was a fun idea to have a Bday party for him..I have to say Skip looks so enthralled.

Lewismom said...

Good Lesson Laurene! I really admire what you have done with the information I sent you. Perhaps you are inspiring a future genealogy sleuth. I'm looking forward to seeing what you do for your other lessons. Hope that you post them too.

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