Heart of a Southern Woman

A snapshot of life one blog post at a time.

Genealogy Research Identifies Easter Traditions from Relatives and Ancestors Worldwide

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In my genealogical research, I have learned that my family is a typical American melting pot of ethnic origins! Our ancestors hail from Denmark, England, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Scotland, Sweden, and Switzerland—at least. As we are preparing for our own Easter celebration, I was wondering how similar or how different some of my ancestor’s traditions might have been.  

Our own traditions include attending church as we were raised Protestant and believe that Easter represents the death and the rising of Jesus Christ, Son of God, to save us all from our sins and to give us eternal life.  It is basically, the basis of our Faith, and, is such an important time in the life of Christians.  We celebrate Easter with a long season of Lent.  However, Holy Week is marked with Maundy Thursday Communion in church on the Thursday before Easter Sunday.  This communion celebrates the Lord’s last supper with his disciples. On Good Friday, we gather at church to mourn the death of Christ upon the cross. Our own church holds a “Tenebrae service of Shadows”.  One of our daughters will sing special music with the choir, “One Sacrifice”.   The service itself begins with 14 lighted candles in the sanctuary, and as Christ walks his final passion, each candle is extinguished to signify his abandonment.  Easter Sunday, we gather to celebrate the joy of Christ’s resurrection and His salvation for each of us individually throughout the whole world. This is an astounding day for many of us faith wise!

Part of the joy of Easter at our house is gathering with family and friends for dinner.  Many in the United States serve ham for this dinner with other spring vegetables especially like asparagus and carrots for the Easter bunny. Surely you see turkey and beef as well. My own sister, however, serves a Crown Roast of Lamb every Easter without fail!  Bunny rabbit salads made of half pears are a treat for our family.

Since our family includes young grandchildren, an Easter egg hunt is in order for the day!  Of course, we give the children Easter baskets full of trinkets, chocolate, and other candy.  We hard boil and decorate Easter eggs as well.  In our own family, we often hide the baskets and the children have to follow clues to find them!

Easter 2015, hunting eggs with Katy and Evie

This is one way to hunt eggs! -grandchildren of author, personal library, HY Holshouser. 

Evie, Katy, and Liam with Easter Bunny, 2016

Grandchildren visiting the Easter Bunny—from the personal library of this author, H Y Holshouser.

What about our Hogue ancestors from Scotland?  I understand that they especially were sheepherders and that their and most Scottish Easter dinners include roasted lamb!  As with us in America, chocolate is the taste of the day!  Dessert might be chocolate cake and coffee! Chocolate eggs and bunnies are ever present for both! Easter egg hunts, horse displays, and battle reenactments make for fun and festive occasions. Of course, churches throughout Scotland hold special Easter services like ours, to celebrate Christ’s rising from death and giving us the grace of salvation. We had many ministers, mainly Presbyterian, in our Hogue family.  In fact, we are told that our first immigrant from Scotland was a Covenanter.  A covenanter was one of the many Scottish people who fought against the Catholics for the right to have their own personal covenant with God. In fact, his persecution by the Catholics apparently led to his flight to America.

Our Kearse family from Ireland and the same ancient family, the Des Cearsais of France, how did they celebrate Easter?  The French word for Easter is Pâques. To say Happy Easter, you can say “Joyeuses Pâques or “Bonnes Pâques.”  According to my general research, Easter is an important holiday in France also. It is a religious one, and a lively, fun time with Easter egg hunts to honor the coming of Spring. Like Ireland, roast lamb is the choice for a large family meal. In Ireland, it is also an important religious holiday as well, with many traditions. Confession on Good Friday, silence on the Saturday before Easter lends to a meditative state. Eggs take center stage on Easter as they are given up for the forty days of lent by many.  Chocolate eggs, decorated eggs—all symbolizing Spring, new beginnings, renewal and joy!

What about the Langhornes and others from England? Among many lovely and fun Easter traditions, Easter parades are one of the greatest. Children and adults don new clothes for good luck, and often children make elaborate paper hats to wear as they march in their local town parades!  Fun! Egg rolling, hot cross buns, Simnel cake, Morris dancing, and so much more contradicts the vision of the staid Englishmen and women! 

Abingdon Traditional Morris Dancing Princess Royal

 

Our marvelous Italian ancestors and relatives add so much spirit to our family. The BottosRaffosRivaros, Costas, DeSantos,  and more, mostly originate in the coastal area of northwestern Italy, near Genoa. Italy of course, is home to the Vatican, and the place for the pilgrimage of so many Catholics on Easter.  My mother’s Italian ancestors were Catholic as well.  Mass on Good Friday in St. Peter’s Basilica is followed by the Pope leading a candlelight procession on a walk symbolizing Christ’s walk to the cross.  Our own church reenacts this walk to the cross, and we are protestants.  

St. Peter’s Square, Vatican City, Andreas Tille – Own work, Permission details Quote of http://fam-tille.de/italien/rom/2004_030.html – Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this images under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.1 or any later version published

 

As I understand it from relatives, northern Italian Easter feasts often feature ham, like us!  Interesting. Of course, salami is a big choice as well.  Colomba, a dove shaped cake, made of almonds, egg whites, and sugar, is probably the most famous cake and available worldwide these days.

Italian bread with almonds and sugar,Colomba-Pasquale

Colomba Pasquale, An Italian Sweet bread J.P.Lon~commonswiki

What about our German JungblutsYoungbloods? And my husband’s Haulzhausen—Holshouser family?  According to a wonderful article from DW –Deutsche Welle —  http://www.dw.com/en/german-easter-traditions/a-1520904 — the Germans of course, also celebrate a religious holiday like most Christians.

Although mainly a Christian holiday commemorating the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, Easter also marks the beginning of spring. The Germans, of course, have a whole range of customs and traditions to celebrate the change of seasons in proper fashion.

A time for eggs and bunnies

Eggs and bunnies are two of the oldest symbols of Easter in Germany and every spring shops boom with eggs and bunnies made of chocolate, cardboard or flowers in different sizes and wrappings.

The tradition for using eggs and bunnies for Easter originates from pagan worshipping where they were symbols of fertility and new birth and traditionally used for celebrations of the coming of the spring.

The Germans have a number of egg games which the children play over the holidays. One tradition is to blow eggs and paint them in multiple colours and patterns on Good Friday. The eggs are then put in a basket for the Easter bunny — Osterhase— to hide around the house on the night leading up to Easter Sunday. On the morning of Easter Sunday, the children go hunting for the eggs and often find that the Easter bunny has also left chocolate eggs and Easter presents for them to find.

It is also a custom that friends exchange the painted eggs as gifts or that young people in love paint eggs for their sweetheart.” Now that is a different tradition, which I find so special and romantic!  

For the Netherlands and our Van Vreeland, Van Swol, Voorhees, and Banta families, what was Easter like for them? According to many articles, they celebrate much the way we do…. or we celebrate much the way they do!  One of our favorite meals is a festive brunch and apparently, it is theirs as well:  eggs, cheese, ham, rolls…and did I say eggs?  The Dutch also take great pride in providing the thousands of tulips to decorate St. Peter’s in Rome for the Pope’s Easter service.  Wow!  Back home, they are also known for their beautiful painted eggs.  However, they do not have the Easter bunny, but the “Paashaas, the Easter hare!  

Our ancestors represent many more countries and traditions from around the world, but as you and I can readily see, we are more alike than different.  This Easter, as I pray, and as I play, I will have a keener sense of connectedness due to my genealogical research, and our worldwide collaboration.

Until we meet again, Helen Youngblood Holshouser

 

 

 

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Vreeland, Hartman My 7th Great Grandfather and a Founder of the State of New Jersey! –52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks, # 40

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Hartman Mickelson/Michielse Vreeland was famous in his own little world, and he was my 7th great-grandfather! He was one of the founders of the State of New Jersey! In fact, he is credited with being “the first white man to settle in what is now the city of Passaic“, New Jersey. He actually purchased from the Lenni Lenape Tribe of the Algonkin nation of Indians an island in the Passaic River, now part of Acquackanonk Park where he settled. In Passaic there is a plaque honoring Hartman and thanks to the Passaic County Historical Society, I can now see it and learn about my own grandfather! 

“This tablet is erected to the memory of Hartman Michielse. 
The first white man to set foot in this county, 
who on April 4, 1678, settled on this spot then known as 
Meneheniki Island, which he then purchased from the Indians.”

Isn’t that amazing! The blood of a true pioneer runs through my veins, and my sister and brothers’ veins, my children and grandchildren and cousins! Wow! Hartman’s father, Michael Jansen Vreeland was born in Zeeland, Netherlands in 1610 and died in Bergen, New Jersey, in the American Colonies in 1663. Hartman himself was born 1651 in New Amsterdam, New York and died in Bergen, NJ in 1707. He was a wealthy man as was his wife, Maritje Braecke, 1652-1724.  He and Maritje had 13 children together! He was a skilled wheelwright, a man who made wooden wheels for carts and carriages, although his wealth was inherited according to The History and Genealogy of the Vreeland Family, 1999, by Nicholas Vreeland.

But what a sad time in history for the Native Americans who already lived here,  whose rights of ownership were totally ignored by the Monarchs of England. Look at this bit of history provided by William Winfield Scott, City Historian of Passaic, NJ, Passaic County Historical Society Publication, Sept. 1, 1929:

For perhaps twelve hundred years, previous to A.D. 1678, the Lenni Lenape Tribe of the Algonkin nation of Indians was considered the owner and possessor of all land now included in the limits of the present city of Passaic.  As is well-known in process of time Charles II, of England, ignored the title of the Indians by conveying all land in New Jersey to his brother, the Duke of York, and from him through mesne conveyances, East Jersey became vested in the Lords Proprietors, who granted patents or deeds for the lands, but not until there was produced a deed from the Indians. 

 The first white man to settle in what is now the city of Passaic was Hartman Michielse, who, by deed, dated April 4, 1678, purchased from the Indians an island in the Passaic River, now  (1929) part of Acquackanonk Park, in the First Ward, where he at once settled. 

Adjoining the island were two contiguous tracts of land containing nearly three hundred acres, purchased from the Indians by Christopher Hoagland, a New York fur dealer, in May 1678, and by him conveyed to Hartman Michielse on February 16. 1679.  The latter subsequently divided the same with this three brothers, two of whom settled thereon.  This land was known as the Point and is today (1929) covered by huge mills, business houses and dwellings.  Hartman’s objects in making these purchases were to establish upon the island a fur trading post with the Indians, and, by acquiring the adjacent land, to protect it from competitors.  He was so well satisfied with his purchases that he set about to interest, in addition to his brothers, ten other men, all of Communipaw (Jersey City), fourteen in all, in the purchase of an adjoining tract of thousands of acres called Acquackanonk, which embraced not only all remaining land now comprising the city of Passaic, but included the present cities of Clifton and Paterson, for which a deed was obtained from the Indians, dated March 27, 1679.  The name Michielse became Vreeland, and (members of) this family for many years were the largest real estate owners in the county. 

 From a legal standpoint, deeds from Indians conveyed no title to the land, the real title, as held at present, being derived from the English Sovereign, who claimed it by right of discovery and conquest.  The only right the Indians posses was that of occupancy, but with no title to the fee.  In the United States Supreme Court, Chief Justice Taney held, in the case of Martin et al. vs. Waddell, as reported in 16 Peter, 347: The English possessions in America were not claimed by right of conquest, but by right of discovery.  According to principles of international law, then understood by the civilized powers of Europe, the Indian tribes of the new world were regarded as mere temporary occupants of the soil; and the absolute rights of property and dominion were held to belong to the European nations by which any portion of the new country was first discovered.”

When I read this last paragraph, I thought, oh my gracious, way to “spin” the conquest of the Indians! How very sad not to take responsibility for one’s actions! It makes me so very proud that my grandfather bought the land from the Indians! 

seal of Descendants of Founders of new JeerseyNow I’ve learned that since I am a direct descendant of one of the citizens of New Jersey who settled there before 1702, I am eligible to become a member of the “Descendants of Founders of New Jersey! Touch me…LOL…I was already eligible to be a member in the Grande Dames of Virginia–those with family in the colonial days of Virginia. Now, New Jersey also, and settlers on the Mayflower!  I am not the bravest person in the world, it amazes me that I come from such incredibly adventurous stock! I will have to brave-up to live up to their legacy!

Evelyn Ogden, PhD, has provided a revised and updated book published in 2011 titled  Founders of New Jersey, Brief Biographies by Descendants. It is available to be downloaded as a pdf at this link.   Biographies are included for  the people listed below, of whom, I am pretty sure I am related to six or seven more families! That’s what happens when your family is present at the beginning of settlements and the population is limited. 

Biographical entries include:

DAVID ACKERMAN (1653 – 1710/24)

THOMAS ALGER (16XX – 1687) 

OBADIAH AYERS (1636 – 1694) 

GUILIAEM BERTHOLF (1655 – ABT. 1726)

JOHN BISHOP SR. (1621-1684)

THOMAS BLOOMFIELD SR. (16XX – 1685)

ROBERT BOND (1596 – 1677) 

RICHARD BORDEN (1595/6 – 1671)

ALEXANDER/SANDER BOYER (1618-1661)

JAMES BOWNE (1636 – 1695)

GEORGE BROWN ( 16XX -1717/8)

JAMES BROWN (1656-1715/6) 

MATTHEW CAMFIELD (1604 – 1673) 

CALEB CARMAN (1644/5 – 1693) 

ROBERT CARR (1614 – 1681)

JOHN CHAMBERLIN (1687-1739) 

RICHARD CLARK (C. 1613 – 1697)

WILLIAM CLAYTON (1632 – 1689)

ROBERT CLEMENTS, JR (C 1634-C 1714)

FRANCIS COLLINS (1635 – 1720)

JOHN CONGER (C 1645-1712)

CORNELIS WILLEMSE COUWENHOVEN.

THOMAS COX (1620 – 1681)

JASPER CRANE (1605 – 1681)

DAVID DEMAREST (1620 – 1693)

ROBERT DENNIS (C. 1619 – 1683+)

DANIEL DOD (C.1649 – 1701+) 

CORNELIS DOREMUS C 1655-1715)

SAMUEL DOTY (1643 – 1715)

GAVINE DRUMMOND (1659 – 1724)

JONATHAN DUNHAM (1639/40 – 1702)

NICHOLAS DUPUI (1634-1691) JOSHUA ELY (16XX– 1702)

DAVID FALCONER (1630-1713)

EDWARD FITZ-RANDOLPH (C.1607 – 1675/6)

THOMAS FRENCH (1639 – 1699) 

HANNAH FULLER (1636 – AFT.1686)

WILLIAM GIFFORD (1615-1687)

THOMAS HAND (C. 1646-1714)

RICHARD HARTSHORNE (1641 – 1722)

MATTHIAS HATFIELD ( 16XX – 1687)

JOHN HAVENS (C. 1635 – C. 1687) 

REV. OBADIAH HOLMES (1606/7 – 1682) 

HENRY JAQUES (C. 1618-1687)

JEFFERY JONES (C.1643 – 1717)

ISAAC KINGSLAND (1648 – 1698)

FRANCIS LINLE (LINDSLEY/LINDLEY) (16XX – 1704) 

HENRY LYON ( 16XX – 1703) 

SAMUEL MARSH (C.1620 – 1683)

WILLIAM MATLACK (1648-1738) 

SAMUEL MOORE (C.1630 – 1688) 

THOMAS MORRIS ( – 1673)

JOHN OGDEN (1609 – 1682) 

GEORGE PACK (C. 1634-1704)

JOHN PANCOAST (PANCKHURST) (C. 1630 – 1694)

REV. ABRAHAM PIERSON (1611-1678)

JOHN PIKE (1613 – 1689/90)

RICHARD PITTENGER (PEWTINGER) (ABT 1645 – 17XX)

ELIZABETH POWELL (1677 – 1714)

BENJAMIN PRICE (1621-1712) 

JOHN PRIDMORE (PREDMORE) (1661-1702) 

JOHN READING (1657-1717)

WALTER REEVE (1650/57 – 1698) 

EDWARD RIGGS (C. 1614 – 1668) 

THOMAS SCATTERGOOD ( 16XX – 1697)

JOHN SCHENCK (1670-1753)

THOMAS SCHOOLEY (1650 – 1724) 

ANDERS SINNICKSON (C. 1651 -1699)

GILES SLOCUM (C. 1623 – 1681) 

JOHN SOMERS (1623/24-1723)

JAMES STEELMAN (JONS MANSSON) (1660/70 – 1734/35)

ROBERT STILES (1655-1728)

RICHARD STOUT (C. 1615 – C. 1705)

CAPTAIN SAMUEL SWAINE (SWAYNE) (C. 1620 – 1685)

JOHN THROCKMORTON (1601 – 1684) 

MARTIN TICHENOR (C.1615 – 1681)

ROBERT TREAT (1622/24 – 1710) 

CORNELIUS (TEUNISSEN) TUNISON (1694 – 1775)

JOHANNES UPDIKE (OPDYKE) (1651 – 1729)

LUBBERT GYSBERTSEN VAN BLARICUM (C.1601 – C.1655)

CORNELIS VAN VOORST (C. 1580 – 1638) 

WALING JACOBSE VAN WINKLE (C.1650 – C.1729) 

HARTUIAN “HARTMAN” (MICKIELSEN) VREELAND (1651-1707)

JOHN WARD ( – 1684)

JOHN WARD (C. 1625 – 1694)

THOMAS WARNE (C. 1652 – 1722)

BARTHOLOMEW WEST ( 16XX – C.1674)

JOHN WINANS (WYNANTS) (1640 – 1694)

BARNABAS WINES (1628 – 1715)

JOSEPH WOODRUFF (1676-1742)

WILLIAM WOOLMAN (C.1625 – 1692)

JOSHUA WRIGHT (BEFORE 1633-1695) 

ROBERT ZANE (1642-1694)

 

For those who like to see the relatioship charts, and I do, this shows my descendancy from Hartman Vreeland:

Hartman Vreeland (1651 – 1707)

is your 7th great grandfather
son of Hartman Vreeland
son of Dirck Vreeland
daughter of Dirck Vreeland
son of Metje Vreeland
son of Jacob Speer
daughter of Edwin Speer
son of Clara B. Spear
son of Edwin Spear Youngblood
You are the daughter of Cecil Hogue Youngblood
I know that several genealogical bloggers I know will find their ancestors here, Clements, Moore, Ackerman, Wright, Price, Clayton, and Fuller just to name a few! I can hardly wait to see if you have recognized your ancestors on this list! Until we meet again, Helen

 

 

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