So I blogged on 12/3 promising to blog more and then vanished for 16 days. I guess that's par for the course. I do have a pseudo-excuse though! I got to looking through the letters written by Albert Siersema to see what ones I wanted to post. I read Albert's letter from 21 Jul 1866 where he mentions to Paulus den Bleyker that "nephew Klaas Vlaming has died in Halifax, Canada". I knew that his wife Tryntje's sister Pietertje married to Biem Vlaming so I went to find Klaas. Klaas was born 4 Nov 1832 at Texel to Biem and his 1st wife Antje Bakker. I started to write him off as not actually related until I noted that the marriage record of Biem and Antje 19 Dec 1830 listed Antje's parents as Cornelis Bakker and Trijntje Dogger. Klaas was indeed related, just in a different way. (The number of cousins from Texel that married is mind-blowing, in today's day). I got down the rabbit hole of working on Cornelis and Trijntje's family and then the siblings of Trijntje. With the records available online I found (in the last 16 days) 711 new people to add to my tree. These kinds of rabbit holes are a big reason I end up not blogging.
Anyway, since I mentioned that letter I'll start the Albert Siersema letters with that one. The translation at the end is courtesy of my stepmother, who has been a godsend when it comes to translations.
July 21st, 1866
We have received your letter in good health and from it we also learned, to our delight, about your well-being. Nowadays it is with us and the here living family also well, except for our little Duwertje, who is suffering with the reed in the front finger of her right hand for 4 weeks and suffered a lot of pain.
After a long wait, I can inform you that here, in the previous week, we received the message from Pella, Iowa, that nephew Klaas Vlaming has died in Halifax, Canada, but which day we don't know yet.
A. Eelman has received this message on his letter from a man, who arrived with him and who knew nothing else to report. We will further investigate the time and circumstances via a man, who stayed behind with Klaas at Halifax and arrived eleven days, after the first in Pella.
A. Eelman bought 80 fields of land for a thousand dollars. It is on the same road where Sakom Dogger lives. Just a mile north of him. There is 40 fields between Aris (Eelman) and that what Paul now owns.
It is, as far as I know, very beautiful and a good field. I would not be able find a better field here in North-Holland, Michigan.
Paul already offered him 100 dollars in profits when he was here with his goods.
Paul also has a good piece of land, but has with his experience deteriorated a lot, but this is how it goes, if man is so unsatisfied with the appreciation of God's benefits.
The crop are generally good here and if there isn't much weevil (an insect) in the wheat, which have been detected initially, it can yield good results as far as the crop is concerned.
There is also quite a lot of grass.
Warm greetings from us to you and your wife and children and friends.
With respect and wishing you good health.
Written in haste.
In a letter 14 Dec 1866 he informs Paulus the following update about Klaas Vlaming's death:
Since I wrote to you last, we have also received further information from Pella (Iowa) about Klaas Vlaming. Namely that he died on the night between April 22 and 23. He also came to his end under sad circumstances. While the Dutch, who looked after him a bit during the day, left him alone at night, so that they found him dead in the morning and already robbed of what was still valuable to him. His money, that he still had with him because he still had hope for a better future.
Still a sad situation, so abandoned of everyone. To die alone under a piece of canvas.
These finds are really cool because in all of the online trees Klaas exists in, none of them had a death date for him. This letter is probably the only existing proof of what happened to him, although I don't know why he was in Canada. His wife Neeltje Boon and his daughter Antje both died in 1864 so he had no immediate family at the time of his death.
More letters to come.