Growing up in a big family resulted in me taking our extended family for granted. With 5 brothers and 5 sisters, I already have more family members than most people. Then you add all of the Jacobs’, the Reindels, and the Geerts’ and you have more cousins, aunts, and uncles than most people can imagine. With that as a background, it is easy to understand why we did not concern ourselves with the Geerts cousins that we had in Iowa. At least I know that I didn’t, even though I lived in Iowa for 8 years.
Then a few months ago, Pete Jacobs told me that he saw my name on the Geerts web site: www.stamboomgeerts.com. When I went to the website, I found that we (the siblings) were listed as were our parents and Grandpa Geerts but that was all of the USA Geerts’ that were on the web site. I assume they somehow got this information from everything that Theo, Curly, and Pete have done on the Jacobs Genealogy.
Based on that, I decided to gather the information for the Geerts genealogy that is missing most of the Geerts descendants that are in the USA. As a part of that effort, we went to New Hampton, Iowa to visit those Geerts’ that stayed/returned to Iowa. My expectation was that I would connect with members of Uncle Dud’s family, Uncle Ben’s family, Uncle John’s family, and Aunt Kate’s family. That was an erroneous assumption. I certainly made plenty of contacts for Uncle Dud’s family (most of them did not know of the Dud nickname) but they do not know members of the other branches of the family any better than we do so there is still a lot of work to be done.
The time we spent in New Hampton was very well spent. Bobbie and I met at least 10 cousins including Uncle Dud’s youngest daughter, Monica. We enjoyed the time we spent with each of them. Steve Geerts, Grandson of Uncle Theodore (Dud), was our host and we stayed at his home the night we stayed in New Hampton. When we told Amy what we were doing she asked us, “so you are staying with someone you have never met? Have you ever heard of a serial killer?” While we were there we met Steve’s daughter, Lacy, and she told us she had said the same thing to her dad. We decided that our Iowa cousins are great people too. If you can provide me with any information on the other branches of this tree, please do.
By the way, here is an excerpt from the Geerts website: “It is hereby noted that it can be shown that Jacob de Wael (ca. 1280), our Edelbetovergrootvader a bastard son of William II of Egmont (1235-1304) that a relationship with Mabilia de Wael (ca. 1250) from Ouderkerk had was .” There are a lot of ways to look at this but I think that makes us Dutch Royalty!
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