My Family History
- Christian Gerloff, probably born near Brunswick, Germany, arrived in Iowa in 1843.
- Dena Sandvoss, from near Brunswick, landed at New Orleans in 1845 and made her way upriver to Iowa, where she married Christian Gerloff.
- Ernst Friedrich Wilhelm Roembke (aka Romkee) came to Iowa about 1868 from Windheim, Germany.
- Pieter Fonkert emigrated from Zuid Holland to Iowa in 1870. He married Neeltje Toom, also from Zuid Holland.
- Sipke Zorgdrager and Trijntje de Vries sailed from Terschelling, an island off the Netherlands coast in 1868.
- Johan Emanuel Manson, emigrated as a teenager from Sweden to Iowa in 1908. He married William Romkee's daughter.
Most of my research has focused on my wife's Swedish Falks, Norwegian Morstads, German Ehlenbachs, English Tidballs, and especially the Faulconer/Fawkner family of Virginia and Kentucky.
Then, there are the Fonkerts of the Hoeksche Waard, an island in the Rhine-Maas delta. When I visited the Hoeksche Waard in 1993, I quite by accident met an 11th Fonkert cousin. Nearly 30 years later, we reconnected on the streets of Klaaswaal.
Together with Rokus, I was able to see and photograph the silver baptismal bowl my ancestors gave to the Klaaswaal church in 1787. CLICK HERE to view a slide show chronicling this amazing experience.
CLICK HERE for a summary to my relationship to my 11th cousin, Rokus Fonkert.