Re: [Friesland-genealogy] wyoming/montana - some background information
The information was taken from CD-269 Dutch in America 1800's.
That is the way it was referenced on the CD and that is the way I translated
>From: "W. Aardsma" <wj2a2@...>_________________________________________________________________
>To: "Friesland genealogy" <Frieslandemail@example.com>
>Subject: [Friesland-genealogy] wyoming/montana - some background
>Date: Mon, 1 Jul 2002 23:29:08 -0500
>Please see if this is helpful for the those on the list.
>The most recent post had an entry for the Westra family, some of which
>emigrated to "Montana/Wyoming". "Wyoming/Montana" sounds odd to me, we
>don't normally link those two states together. I have heard of
>Idaho/Montana, those states are similar. Montana is mountainous and
>forested, its name comes from the Spanish word for mountains. Wyoming is a
>traditional western state. Its name comes from the Wyoming Valley in
>northeast Pennsylvania, where settlers were massacred by the Indians (urged
>on by the British) during our war for independence. Wyoming, Michigan, a
>community bordering Grand Rapids, is named for the state of Wyoming.
>In the hope that this will narrow down the search for Westras to certain
>communities with a Netherlandic presence, I checked the directories from
>the Reformed Church in America and the Christian Reformed Church for
>congregations in Wyoming and Montana. Neither had a congregation in
>Wyoming. The earliest church in Montana was in Wormser City (RCA) in 1896
>and it lasted until 1903. Other Montana communities with Netherlandic
>congregations: Columbus (CRC 1916-1939), Shepherd (1908-1943), Conrad (1
>RCA in 1908 and 1 CRC in 1911), Big Timber (1911-1925), and Stanford
>Bozeman, Gallatin Gateway, and Helena have congregations but these were
>started after World War II
>Regretfully the Reformed Church lists congregations by city and not by
>state so I could have missed some. I used their timeline of when
>congregations were organized to find congregations in Montana. In the
>process I became aware of several in Nebraska and Kansas that I was not
>I also consulted Frisians to America by Gallema. She has a section entitled
>"Big Sky Country and westward". After mentioning agricultural and
>industrial problems she writes "...Frisians turned their hopes westward to
>Montana, Washington, and later California, and fresh immigrants from theh
>Netherlands followed in their wake.
> In the land of the Crow Indians in Montana, or the Big Sky Country as
>it is now called, Frisian immigrants in the 1890's and 1900's settled in
>the villages of Manhattan, Amsterdam, Belgrade, and Church Hill."
> A few lines later she writes "Frisians from settlements in Michigan
>and Iowa were the first Dutch settlers who came around the 1890s. The
>Weidenaar family, for example, originally from Ee in Oostdongeradeel, came
>via New Jersey and Michigan to the Gallatin Valley, attracted by the
>glowing advertisements of Rev. Andreas J. Wormser, who worked for the Board
>of Domestic Missions of the Presbyterian Church...and who was an agent for
>the West Gallatin Irrigation Company with the task to recruit Dutch
>farmers from the Netherlands as well as from other parts of America"
>She goes on to mention some of the settlements and family names. No Westras
>were mentioned. Westras were mentioned in Wisconsin and other states to the
>Throughout her book she mentioned several families from Ie/Ee, somehow
>Someone who researches Netherlandic-American history in Minnesota told me
>that the Presbyterians aggressively pushed forsaking your old heritage in
>favor of Americanism. There were a few East Frisian (Duitser) Presbyterian
>congregations in Minnesota and Iowa. I was going to research them but they
>are dying out as is the farm economy in those states.
>One last thing. The first Methodist biskop of Wyoming was nicknamed
>"Brother Van". His last name was Van something-or-other so presumably he
>had a Netherlandic ancestry. Regretfully I cannot find the magazine article
>which I thought I had saved. There is a famous painting of him in western
>art, "Brother Van Shooting Buffalo", depicted when an Indian tribe honored
>him by letting him lead their annual buffalo hunt.
>Kansas City, Missouri, U.S.
>[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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