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Timerover51's Daily Thoughts Blog Tools Rate This Blog
Creation Date: October 28th, 2017 08:28 PM
Timerover51 Timerover51 is offline
Citizen: SOC-14
My Daily (sort of) Thoughts on Various Topics. Not Politically Correct.
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Entries: 262
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In Moot Member Blogs Why My Ancestors Came Entry Tools Rating: 5 Stars!
  #216 New May 13th, 2020 09:05 PM
I spend about 6 months working with my Grandfather delivering propane gas to trailer courts and some houses in northwestern Indiana. We spend quite a bit of time talking in the truck as we drove about and also when we stopped for lunch. We had a regular route, and generally by the time we had the truck parked and were walking in the door, our booth and coffee were waiting for us. My Grandfather was born 3 months after my great-grandparents arrived in the United States from the Netherlands. This was my father's side of the family, My mother's side came earlier from the Amsterdam area in the 1850s. I asked my grandfather about why his parents left Holland, and his reply was that in Holland they were dirt poor with no way of improving their lot. So they came.

I was poking about in Project Gutenberg and came across a book with accounts written by immigrants. This account by a Dutchman pretty much sums up all of what my grandfather had to say.

“I am convinced that a settlement in some healthful region there will have, by the ordinary blessing of God, excellent temporal and moral results, especially for the rising generation.... Should it then excite much wonder that I have firmly resolved to leave The Netherlands and together with[69] so many Christian relatives adopt the United States as a new fatherland?

“There I shall certainly meet with the same wickedness which troubles me here; yet I shall find also opportunity to work. There I shall certainly find the same, if not still greater, evidence of unbelief and superstition; but I shall also find a constitutional provision which does not bind my hands in the use of the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God; there I can fight for what I believe without being disobedient to the magistrates and authorities ordained by God. There I shall find among men the same zeal to obtain this world’s goods; but I shall not find the same impulse to get the better of one another, for competition is open to all; I shall not find the same desire to reduce the wages of labor, nor the same inducement to avoid taxation, nor the same peevishness and groaning about the burden of taxation.

“There I shall find no Minister of Public Worship, for the separation of Church and State is a fact. There I shall not need to contribute to the support of pastors whose teachings I abhor. I shall find no school commissions nor school supervisors who prohibit the use of the Bible in schools and hinder the organization of special schools, for education is really free. I shall find there the descendants of earlier inhabitants of Holland, among whom the piety of our forefathers still lives, and who are now prepared to give advice and aid to Hollanders who are forced to come to them.”
When they arrived, my great-grandparents headed to the Dutch community that had developed to the south of Chicago. My grandfather said that they never thought of returning to Holland. I still have distant relatives in the Groningen on my great-grandfather's side. My great-grandmother was Jewish, That side of the family disappears in 1942-43. It is hard to say what death camp they may have gone too.
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