When my aunt Ella Kruse showed this tombstone to me (I was about ten years old) my lifelong interest in genealogy began.
Through a whole series of events and adventures, about six years ago I connected with Anke and Hinrich Groeneveld, residents of Germany. Hinrich and I are eighth cousins. Anke and Hinrich were both born and raised in Ostfriesland in the northwest of Germany but they live in the Bavarian town of Moosburg now.
Our common ancestors are Sara Folkerts ( (1650-1700) of Esklum, Germany, and Jan Hindriks (1648-1694/95) of Coldemüntje, Germany. (For the historians: Sara Folkerts is a descendant of Focko Ukena, (b. Neermoor, between 1360 and 1370, d. 1435) a prominent East Frisian chieftain (hoofdeling), who played an important part in the history of Ostfriesland. Read more about Focko.)
When they visited us, it was a highlight to show Anke and Hinrich the tombstone of the first generation of one branch (my great-great grandparents) of the Groeneveld family that had emigrated from Germany to the United States.
The tombstone is located in St. Peter’s UCC Cemetery, rural Wellsburg, Grundy County, Iowa.
(There are actually three branches of the Groeneveld family, all of which have been richly documented. More on that in a future post.)