Today I found my great grandmother all over the Internet on Pinterest originating in an online exhibition on the history of Amsterdam as told through documents. Thanks to a distant cousin in Friesland, Jelle Rietsma, I was able to trace my maternal lineage to the 1700s. My paternal lineage is less clear but perhaps this will also become more evident in the near future.
Other mentions of Gatske de Jong on the Fading Ad Blog here!
The Schwabacher Brothers—Louis Schwabacher (1837 – June 3, 1900), Abraham (Abe) Schwabacher (c. 1838 – September 7, 1909), and Sigmund (Sig) Schwabacher (May 14, 1841 – March 20, 1917)—were pioneering Bavarian-born Jewish merchants, important in the economic development of the Washington Territory and later Washington State. They owned several businesses bearing their family name, first in San Francisco, then in Walla Walla, Washington, and later in Seattle…..
The three Schwabacher brothers’ only sister, Barbetta (Babette) Schwabacher (January 3, 1836 – January 7, 1908), married the brothers’ business associate Bailey Gatzert in 1861. The couple headed in 1869 for Seattle—then a town of barely 1,000 people—where Gatzert established a branch of Schwabacher Bros. & Company. Gatzert would go on to become Seattle’s first (and, as of 2009, only) Jewish mayor. Schwabacher Bros. & Company became Seattle’s first wholesaler, with a business opened October 11, 1869. Schwabachers’ 1872 Seattle shop at Front Street (now First Avenue South) and Yesler Way was the city’s first brick building. Under Gatzert’s direction, the company also constructed a warehouse, a grist mill, and Schwabacher’s Wharf. – Wikipedia
This is a 5 lb Coffee Can on the front it says: M.K. (Milk Kettle) Coffee Schwabacher Bros. & Co Seattle On the back it reads; “Five Pounds Net weight, M.K (Milk Kettle) Coffee is packed in a kettle with the idea of placing Coffee in the hands of consumers in best possible condition. The package – which furnishes brand name – is more costly than the ordinary can and has a virtue aside from its use as a coffee container, no doubt apparent – particularly to house keepers. RULES FOR MAKING COFFEE: Take dry coffee, quantity desired, add boiling water, boil water and coffee five minutes, settle by adding a dash of cold water. Serve immediately with cream.” In small letters it says St. Louis Tin and Sheet metal Working Co. – Worthpoint
- Seattle: Schwabacher & Co. – Tracing the Tribe – March 26, 2008
- Schwabacher Family – Jewish Genealogy Society of Seattle
Joseph John Friel was born on March 15, 1853. He emigrated from County Donegal, Ireland in 1875 to the United States with five dollars in his pocket. Soon, Friel got a job as a ditch-digger in a construction company in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. When digging a ditch one day in the hot sun, he looked up at a beautiful house at 699 Willoughby Avenue and proclaimed that he would one day own it. His supervisor thought Friel must have been suffering from heat prostration and made him sit down and rest. After being a ditch-digger, Friel worked faithfully for several years for a pawnbroker on Grand Street. Friel had made arrangements with his boss to buy the business from him “on time.” By the time his boss died, Friel had begun to grow this brokerage company into million-dollar business.
According to the Brooklyn Genealogy Website, J.J. Friel ran a pawnbroker business within the years 1880 – 1890 at 86 Myrtle Avenue off of Duffield Place[i] where the new Metrotech Building high-rise casts its shadow on the Flatbush Avenue extension. An additional office was listed at 989 Myrtle Avenue between Sumner & Throop where there is now a NYC Housing Project. Both addresses no longer exist. In a New York Times obituary, it states that Joseph John Friel started in the pawn brokerage business on Grand Street in 1870.[ii] Numerous signs for this business can be found from Park Slope, Brooklyn to Jamaica Queens. This sign on Coney Island Avenue in the Kensington section of Brooklyn however no longer sees the light of day.
Recently, a family member of Friel, Michael Hughes (great-grandson), of Detroit Michigan contacted me about the whereabouts of the Park Slope J.J. Friel sign I had posted on my blog. Hughes spoke about the possible restoration of the sign and he got me in touch with his aunts, Friel’s surviving grandchildren – DeDe Burke of Mt Kisco, NY and Aileen Schaefer of Islip, NY. Almost of all the historical and genealogical information on Friel was gleaned through these telephone interviews with Friel’s descendants.
In 1898, Friel married Frances Noonan, and by 1903 at age 50, he and his wife had a daughter Mary Margaret Friel. J.J. Friel died in May 1914 at age 60 from pneumonia in his home at 699 Willoughby Avenue. Mary Margaret, who inherited the family fortune upon her father’s death, went on to graduate from Manhattanville College in 1924 and to marry Henry Mannix in 1926. Henry Mannix became a partner in the law office of White & Case, which was already a legendary Wall Street firm. Mary Margaret Henry Mannix had ten children, nine of whom lived to adulthood. According to Friel’s granddaughter Aileen of Islip, NY, the Friel business continued to be run by the family well into the 1970s. Friel was buried in Holy Cross Cemetery in Brooklyn.
After getting off of the phone with a family member and realizing how closely Friel was buried to where I lived, I immediately cut some flowers from my garden and headed over to the cemetery on my Vespa. After a three-minute ride, I picked up a map from the cemetery office where they had kindly written the names of the family members buried at the plot with the years of their birth and death, and placed the flowers on the Friel – Mannix family burial ground. It seems almost unfathomable that this man, whose name I’ve known for over 15 years, and about whom I knew next to nothing, was buried 1.2 miles from my home, and I now have contact with his family ninety-seven year after his death.
Solemnly, I stood in front of the Friel tombstone while “Taps” was played at a funeral procession nearby. I cannot begin to describe how deeply profound and moving this experience was for me. The tombstone bore the many names of the Friel – Mannix family, beginning with the Friel’s first child, a son named James who died at birth in 1899. Mary Margaret Friel, was thereby their second child and their only child, having lost her father at the age of ten, lived a rich and full life with 48 grandchildren to recount their great-grandfather’s legacy. I returned home and spoke on the phone with the eldest living daughter of Mary Margaret, Aileen Schaefer. We spoke about faith, trust and surrender. We spoke about the remarkable circle of life that brought us to this telephone conversation and life’s mysteries. I feel honored to take part in the telling of their story. Perhaps one day in the next century this sign will be exposed again and the story of J. J. Friel will come to light yet again. – Fading Ads of New York City (History Press, Nov 2011)
After WWII, my great grandmother, Gatske de Jong sold flowers & plants from her domicile storefront a block southeast of Leidseplein in Amsterdam. My mother remembers spending days with her at the flower market learning the “bloemenhandel” or flower trade. I love the surprise when I enlarged this to find my grand mother with her back turned in the window to the left and the little girl hiding in the lower stoop looking around the steps. I don’t know who the customer in front was, but I know from her upturned smile, she was pleased with her purchase.
UPDATE: Just sitting with my mom, she remembers riding on the bicycle flower cart with her grandfather during WWII when they came upon young men from the Dutch Underground being lined up and shot down by the Nazis. The SS soldiers made everyone watch or else they were shot as well. My great grandfather grabbed my mother by the pigtails and held her still so she would see.
A War Story – ‘n Oorlogs Verhaal – Former Home of Gatske de Jong – 70 Korte Leidsedwarsstraat – Amsterdam, NL
This is the site where my great-grandmother Gatske de Jong lived and where she later sold flowers during and after World World II. Gatske was originally from Leeuwarden, Friesland before moving to Amsterdam and marrying my great-grandfather Frans Ludwig Broekveldt on April 27, 1904 – who died before my grandfather, Frans Ludwig Broekveldt II was born. She remarried Jan de Wit, a professional diamond cutter who lost an eye and became a flower merchant, and continued to live here until she died in 1960 of tuberculosis. Due to her illness, Gatske did not want to see me through a window – not being able to take me in her arms. I was ninth months old when she died on my first trip to Amsterdam.
During the war, a Canadian airman was shot over Leidseplein and parachuted to uncertain safety in front Gatske’s modest little stoop, which is now next door to a headshop. Ignoring Jan de Wit’s protests about getting caught by the Germans, Gatske pulled in the Canadian arm over arm, parachute and all, and cleaned his wounds with Jonge Jenever – a Dutch gin. Gatske nursed the pilot back to health – returning him to the Dutch resistance where he disappeared into obscurity.
Happy Birthday Willy Broekveldt Jump – August 2, 1936
Frans Ludwig Broekveldt & Gatske de Jong – Marriage License – April 27, 1904 – Amsterdam Historic Museum – State Archives – Death Notice of Frans Broekveldt III
Today I received a comment from an old friend of my uncle’s. Rudy Leine wrote me this message about my uncle:
Frans and I had been very good friends. We had the nicknames Ghandy and Goof when we were about 16 to 18 years old. I live in Brazil for many and many years. These days I was remembering him and started an Internet search and found this page. Frans – I will meet you in the future, thanks that you have been my friend.
This led me to do another search myself of my maternal grandfather’s name (Frans Broekveldt) and I discovered that a Dutch museum in Amsterdam is using my great grandfather’s and grandmother’s marriage license as an example of turn-of-the-century marriage documents.
The exhibition is called Bronnen uit Amsterdam (Sources from Amsterdam). Below are the accompanying materials from the website.
4 Johannes de Wit, geboren op 31-10-1858 om 10.00 uur te Amsterdam. Geboren in de Goudsbloemstraat, buurt GG, Nr. 497. Getuigen: Willem Ruijs, 77 jaar, won. Boomstraat 534 en Hermanus Ruijs, schuitenvoerder, 33 jaar, won. Goudsbloemstraat Nr. 498.
Werkman, pakhuisknecht, overleden op 17-11-1930 te Amsterdam op 72-jarige leeftijd, gehuwd op 20-jarige leeftijd op 23-07-1879 te Amsterdam met de 19-jarige
5 Grietje Leek, geboren op 28-06-1860 te Amsterdam. Dochter van Arie Leek, ovld. < 23-07-1879 en Susanna de Man
(gezindte: RK), overleden op 06-11-1935 te Amsterdam op 75-jarige leeftijd. Aanwezig waren de ouders van de bruidegom, Johannes de Wit, werkman en Maria Brugman, won. alhier en de moeder van de bruid Susanna de Man, won. alhier. De vader van de bruid, Arie Leek was overleden.
In tegenwoordigheid van de volgende getuigen: Johannes Antonie Hermanus de Wit, broeder des echtgenoots, werkman, 35 jaar: Jan Gerrit de Wit, oom des echtgenoots, werkman, 60 jaar; Pieter Willem Goedertier, werkman, 30 jaar en Theodorus Thomas Beelen, meubelenmaker, 42 jaar, wonende allen alhier.
Uit dit huwelijk:
4 Johannes 4 John de Wit , geboren op 31-10-1858 om 10.00 uur te Amsterdam. Geboren in de Goudsbloemstraat, buurt GG, Nr. de Wit, born on 31-10-1858 at 10.00 in Amsterdam. Born in Goudsbloemdwarsstraat Street near GM, Nr. 497. 497. Getuigen: Willem Ruijs, 77 jaar, won. Witnesses: William Ruijssenaars, 77 years, won. Boomstraat 534 en Hermanus Ruijs, schuitenvoerder, 33 jaar, won. Boomstraat 534 and Hermanus Ruijssenaars, barge carrier, 33 years, won. Goudsbloemstraat Nr. Goudsbloemdwarsstraat Street Journal. 498. 498.
Werkman, pakhuisknecht, overleden op 17-11-1930 te Amsterdam op 72-jarige leeftijd, gehuwd op 20-jarige leeftijd op 23-07-1879 te Amsterdam met de 19-jarige Werkman, warehouseman, deceased on 17-11-1930 in Amsterdam at the age of 72, married at the age of 20 on 23-07-1879 in Amsterdam to the 19-year-old
5 Grietje 5 Grietje Leek , geboren op 28-06-1860 te Amsterdam. Dochter van Arie Leek, ovld. Leek, born on 28-06-1860 in Amsterdam. Daughter of Arie Leek, ovld. < 23-07-1879 en Susanna de Man <23-07-1879 Susanna and the Man
(gezindte: RK), overleden op 06-11-1935 te Amsterdam op 75-jarige leeftijd. Aanwezig waren de ouders van de bruidegom, Johannes de Wit, werkman en Maria Brugman, won. (religion: RK), deceased on 06-11-1935 in Amsterdam at the age of 75. Present were the parents of the bridegroom, John de Wit, laborer and Maria Brugman, won. alhier en de moeder van de bruid Susanna de Man, won. here and the mother of the bride Susanna de Man, won. alhier. here. De vader van de bruid, Arie Leek was overleden. The father of the bride, Arie Leek was deceased.
In tegenwoordigheid van de volgende getuigen: Johannes Antonie Hermanus de Wit, broeder des echtgenoots, werkman, 35 jaar: Jan Gerrit de Wit, oom des echtgenoots, werkman, 60 jaar; Pieter Willem Goedertier, werkman, 30 jaar en Theodorus Thomas Beelen, meubelenmaker, 42 jaar, wonende allen alhier. In the presence of the following witnesses: Johannes Hermanus Antonie de Wit, brother of spouse, worker, 35 years: Jan Gerrit de Wit, uncle of spouse, worker, 60 years Pieter Willem Goedertier, laborer, 30 years and Theodorus Thomas Beelen, furniture maker , 42 years, all residing here.
Uit dit huwelijk: From this marriage:
1. 1. Maria Susanna , geboren op 08-12-1879 te Amsterdam. Maria Susanna, born on 08-12-1879 in Amsterdam.
2. 2. Johannes , geboren op 03-02-1882 om 23.30 uur te Amsterdam. Als getuigen waren aanwezig: Antonie de Wit, metselaar, 20 jaar, gehuwd, wonende Rozenstraat 39 en Jacobus Schalken, zeeman, 56 jaar, wonende Bloemstraat 196. John, born on 03-02-1882 at 23.30 hours in Amsterdam. If witnesses were present Antonie de Wit, bricklayer, 20 years, married, residing Rozenstraat 39 and Jacobus Schalken, seaman, 56 years, residing Bloemstraat 196.
Diamantbewerker, gehuwd op 30-jarige leeftijd op 17-04-1912 te Amsterdam met Diamond cutter married at the age of 30 on 17-04-1912 in Amsterdam to Gatske Gatske de Jong , 30 jaar oud, geboren op 21-02-1882 te Leeuwarden. Gatske de Jong was widowed by Frans Ludwig Broekveldt. de Jong, 30 years old, born on 21-02-1882 in Leeuwarden. Gatske Young was the widow of Frans Ludwig Broekveldt.
De ouders van de bruidegom, Johannes de Wit en Grietje Leek , en de ouders van de bruid, Pieter de Jong en Simkje Oosterhof waren aanwezig. The parents of the bridegroom, John de Wit and Gretel Leek, and the parents of the bride, Pieter de Jong and Simkje Oosterhof were present. Getuigen: Joannes Winters, 50 jaar; Aldert Meilis, 37 jaar; Willem Frederik Snijders, 51 jaar en Cornelis Hermanus Bouer, 38 jaar, allen werkman van beroep en wonende alhier. Witnesses: John Winters, 50 years; Aldert Meilis, 37 years; Frederik Willem Snijders, 51 years and Cornelis Hermanus Bouer, 38 years, all working professional and living here.
Uit het eerste huwelijk van Gatske de Jong werd op 21-09-1905 een zoon Frans Ludwig Broekveldt geboren. From the first marriage of Gatske de Jong was a son 21-09-1905 Frans Ludwig Broekveldt born. Deze trouwde op 26-10-1933 met Johanna Maria Fokkens. They married on 26-10-1933 with Maria Johanna Fokkens. Uit dit huwelijk: Willy Broekveldt, geb. From this marriage: Willy Broekveldt, born. 02-08-1936. 02-08-1936.
And Frans Broekveldt – October 2, 1940 – February 9, 2009 – who would have been thrilled to have known his grandparent’s marriage license was being used as a sample document for the Amsterdams Historical Museum.
My maternal uncle, Frans Broekveldt III died in his sleep over the weekend in his new home in Badhoevendorp, Amsterdam. Frans was survived by his wife Dickey Broekveldt, two daughters Susan & Sonia, and his grand daughter Linsey and grand son Rick and his only sister Willy Broekveldt-Jump. Condolences may be sent to the family Broekveldt – Azaleastraat 38, 1171WV, Badhoevendorp, Amsterdam, NL and Willy Jump, 1445 Geneva Loop 17E, Brooklyn NY 11239.
I’ll always remember him listening to his Ben E. King albums up in the attic bedroom on the Geuzenstraat. On occasion he would read to me from his thick oversized book about evolution or rail against the evil imperialist and racist America. He loved his motorcycle when he was riding it. He cherished his grandchildren and family.