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Erika Lopresti
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Christina van der Slik was born on the island of Goeree-Overflakkee in 1839 to Johannes Pietersz van der Slik and Jannetje Kruijthof. Both sides of her family have a long and documented history on the islands stretching back into the 1500s. The van der Slik family immigrated to America in 1855, settling in Ottawa County, Michigan. Christina married GIjsbert Haan from Hilversum, Noord-Holland, Nederland. He was the son of Gijsbert Haan, founder of the Christian Reformed Church in North America, and his wife Marretje Pos. Gijsbert died in 1869 of tuberculosis, leaving her with eight small children. In 1875, Christina married Jan de Groot from Menaldum, Friesland, Nederland, the son of Eeltje Aukes de Groot and Trijntje Teunis.
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Gijsbert Haan was born in 1801 in Hilversum, Noord-Holland, Nederland. He was a carpet weaver and manufacturer, and lived on a farm at the corner of the Groest and the Herenstraat. As a part of Afscheiding (the Secession of 1834 from the Dutch Reformed Church), Gijsbert faced religious persecution and financial hardship. In 1847, he immigrated with his family to America, where he founded the Christian Reformed Church in North America.
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Gertrud Wilhelmina Frieda Behmenburg, better known as Wilhelmina Cooper, was born on 1 May 1939 in Culemborg, Gelderland, Nederland. She was the daughter of a German butcher, “Willy” Wilhelm Robert Karl Behmenburg and Klasina van der Straten, a cigar-maker’s daughter from Culemborg, Gelderland. The Behmenburgs immigrated to America in 1954, where Wilhelmina worked as a model, eventually founding her own agency, Wilhelmina Models.
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Jacobus van der Moere is the earliest confirmed ancestor of the van der Moere family. He was a sailor or skipper by trade and lived in the town of Wissenkerke in the province of Zeeland. At the tail end of Napoleon’s occupation of the Netherlands in 1813, poorly-armed citizens of the small island of Noord-Beveland fought back the last of the French occupying troops. Surprised by the determined resistance, the French troops tried to flee back to their ships. Jacobus van der Moere was among the Dutch fighters defending Noord-Beveland. He survived a stab wound to side of his body from a Frenchman’s bayonet.
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Josephine Theresa Murray was born in 1908, the daughter of William Murray of Montezuma, Cayuga, New York, and Catherine Scanlon of Scartmountain, Waterford, Ireland. William's parents John Murray and Mary Meehan had emigrated from Mountain Castle, Waterford, Ireland during an Gorta Mór (the Great Hunger, also known in the United States as the Irish Potato Famine).
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John Hayes and Johanna Mulcahy were parents of eight children born in Kilkeany, County Waterford, Ireland between 1842-1862: Timothy, John, Hanorah, Thomas, Catherine, Ellen, Johanna, and Maurice. Many of their children immigrated to Auburn in Cayuga County, New York.
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This is a partial transcription of the manuscript “Abstracts of Leases in respect of the Estate of the Earl Fitzwilliam in the Counties of Wicklow, Kildare and Wexford, 1795-1797 and 1800-1808.” Transcribed by Erika Ward Lopresti. 49 leases extracted, mostly near Tinahely Co. Wicklow. Index of names and townlands. Further information can be found in related documents at the NLI or through a local genealogist.
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Tithe Applotment Books help fill the gaps left by Ireland’s missing Censuses, but several parishes were filed in the wrong counties. Spelling variation and poor transcriptions make finding them difficult. Three of these misfiled parishes are indexed here with modern spellings and links to each townland page on The National Archives of Ireland website: Graney, Co Kildare; Kilrush, Co Wexford; and Carnew in Counties Wicklow & Wexford.
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James Joseph Ward enlisted in the US Navy in 1942, first serving in Samoa, and in 1944 on the newly commissioned USS St. Mary's. The St. Mary's participated in the Battle of Okinawa, and was the target of kamikaze attacks on multiple occasions. On 2 Apr 1945, Transport Squadron 17 was retiring for the night from Kerama Retto. The USS St. Mary’s was the second ship in the center column after the flagship USS Chilton. At 18:38, the formation was attacked without warning by about 15 Japanese suicide bombers. One hundred and forty one men died within minutes.
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Hopestill Armstrong was a private in Capt. Elijah Dewey’s Co. of Col. Moses Robinson’s Regiment of the Green Mountain Boys of Vermont. Ensign Nathaniel Fillmore Sr. was Hopestill’s relative by marriage and the grandfather of the Thirteenth President of the United States, Millard Fillmore. Together they fought at the Battle of Bennington.
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