PHOTO: Gullicksen siblings in the 1950s

Gullicksen siblings in the 1950s

Gullicksen siblings in the 1950s

This is a photo my grandmother Carmen Gullicksen (n. Dominguez) showed me last year when I went to Missouri to meet her for the first time. It makes me smile just looking at it. I’m guessing it’s from Halloween from the late 1950s. From left, Christina Gullicksen, Otto Gullicksen, and my dad, Steven Gullicksen.


#tbt photo: Christina Siersema (n. Kool) and Joy-Anne Siersema

Christina Siersema (n. Kool) with daughter Joy-Anne Siersema.

In this photo (circa 1960s), Christina “Tineke” Siersema (n. Kool) plays with daughter Joy-Anne Siersema at brother Maurice “Morris” Kool’s home in Scarborough, Ontario. Christina was born in Eindhoven, Noord-Brabant, Netherlands, on Aug, 2, 1927. She and Johan Siersema eloped in or around North London right around the end of WWII and were later married in front of family and friends on July 29, 1950. They had three children: Nick, Michael and Joy-Anne. Joy-Anne, shown here in Canada where the family immigrated to after the war, was the youngest.

I’ve decided to adopt the ongoing Throwback Thursday (#tbt) social media trend of folks posting old pictures on this blog. I have to have about a couple thousand that I’m afraid will never see the light of day unless I share them out, so I plan to highlight one a week with an extended cutline.

Klaas Siersema appointed an Officer of the Order of Orange-Nassau


My great-grandfather, Klaas Siersema, was a career military man, and the official document above appointed him as an Officer of  the Order of Orange-Nassau, which honors selective individuals for their contributions to society through either civilian or military efforts.

I know he served in WWII and had achieved the rank of colonel before retiring. My step-grandmother tells me he also worked a lot with soldiers who suffered from disorders resembling what we now call post-traumatic stress disorder.

1959: Wubbina Engellina Johanna Petronella Swalve dies

This is the death announcement for Wubbina Engellina Johanna Petronella Swalve, who died the 7th of March, 1959. As far as I can tell, her daughter, Helena de Wit, took care to use elegant stationary for important occasions, and this was no exception. Below, you will find scans of the announcement and thank you card that were mailed out, and a rough translation at the bottom of this post.

You may notice the initials are mixed up on the announcement. My only guess is that Helena was quite distressed when she sent them out, so that could have contributed to the typo.

Rough translations:

“Our gentle and calm, dear mother, grandmother and great-grandmother has died

W.J.E.P. Swalve
Widow of D. de Wit,
At age 79 years

H.F. de Wit

Beverwijk, March 7, 1959
Vondellaan 64
Condolence address:
H.F. de Wit, Tolsteegsingel 37, Utrecht.

The deceased will be laid out in the funeral at Velserweg 18, Beverwijk. Visit from 3-4 and from 7 am to 7.30 am. The funeral will take place Wednesday, 11 March …”


“For the many condolences for the death of our dear mother, grandmother, great-grandmother

Mrs. W.E.J.P. de Wit-Swalve

we express our heartfelt thanks.

H.F. de Wit

Utrecht, April 1959”

GALLERY: Envelopes sent by Maria Wilhelmina van Erp (Part 1)

Maria Wilhelmina van Erp, my step-great-grandmother who was married to Klaas Siersema, had a reputation for liking stamps. Oma Doorn, as the grandchildren would call her, would regularly send envelopes to my mom and uncles. The envelopes were empty about half the time, with the occasional note on the back saying “There is nothing inside dear, only a big hug!” or a short letter inside.

The way my mom puts it, Oma Doorn didn’t have a lot of money, so what she did have as discretionary income, she put toward these stamps and envelopes so she could send something special to her grandchildren. As a result, these had enough sentimental value for a couple people in my family to keep them through the years, and I have scanned them since.

This gallery is the first in a series of four (Hint: Click on the thumbnails to make them bigger):

To see the first gallery, go here.

To see the second gallery, go here.

To see the third gallery, go here.

To see the fourth gallery, go here.