A few weeks I was perusing my family’s book of genealogy and had an idea. I’m not sure why I hadn’t thought of it before. I’m going to contact distant relatives in hopes of updating the book. The “Swart Book” was compiled in 1960 by Myrtle Clarissa Picking-Nanninga, (b. 1884). The book outlines the descendants of my great, great, great-grandfather, Martin Hinderk Swart, who was born in Mitling-Mark, Germany, in 1814. He had a total of 17 children with two wives. His two oldest daughters stayed in Germany, while all the rest of the clan came to America in 1867, 1872, 1894 & 1895.
My great, great grandfather Hinderikus Martens Swart, stayed in Germany until 1894 to run the family bakery. His wife and children arrived in Ellis Island on April 15, 1895. They lived in Riley County, Kansas until 1910, when his family moved to Washita County, Oklahoma.
Since that time, my family has lost contact with Hinderikus’ brothers and sisters. One brother, George, settled in Salem, Oregon. Others stayed in Riley County.
I’ve gone through the book and found about 22 distant relatives and their addresses. Thank you switchboard.com!
So far, I have been in contact with about 5 of these. They have sent me numerous updates and photos on the various branches of the family. It is very exciting to re-establish connections with the various branches of this family after so many years. These cousins have sent me family updates, photos and hand-written letters dealing with this family.
Slowly but surely, I will be able to update the Swart Family Tree. I will forever be in debt to Myrtle Nanninga for her early research. Without her efforts, this endeavor would be almost impossible.
A photo of George Gerhardt Swart, brother of Hinderikus. His daughter Renska, is seated on the left. Apparently, Renska and her brother Hedda, were prominent citizens of Salem, Oregon. George was a medical doctor of some sort. In a letter he wrote to Hedda in 1917, he mentioned his own research on the “incurables” in the world such as cancers and tuberculosis.
My only hope is that other descendants in this family might be as generous with their information and family heirlooms. It is only with their cooperation that this great effort will be a success.
In other genealogical news, my grandmother, LaWana Davis Swart, called me yesterday to inform me of the arrival of the Davis/O’Bryan family record. Aunt Pearl, who had passed away earlier this year had a hand-copied version of this book. Her daughter mailed us this book from California. This is the book that contained the information about the slave auction in Georgia in the 1840s. I am very excited to see what bits of information this family register holds.