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Re: [Friesland-genealogy] wyoming/montana - some background information

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  • j vw
    Walter, 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 the
    Message 1 of 4 , Jul 2, 2002
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      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
      the information.

      J. :)

      >From: "W. Aardsma" <wj2a2@...>
      >Reply-To: Friesland-genealogy@yahoogroups.com
      >To: "Friesland genealogy" <Friesland-genealogy@yahoogroups.com>
      >Subject: [Friesland-genealogy] wyoming/montana - some background
      >Date: Mon, 1 Jul 2002 23:29:08 -0500
      >Dear Webmaster:
      >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
      >familiar with.
      >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"
      >(pages 217-218).
      >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
      >east, however.
      >Throughout her book she mentioned several families from Ie/Ee, somehow
      >missing mine.
      >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.
      >Walter Aardsma
      >Kansas City, Missouri, U.S.
      >[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

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