with Lorelle and Brent VanFossen

Ohio VanFossens – Michigan Wests and Farlins

My father and I made it to Alliance, Ohio, near the original homestead for the VanFossens, my husband’s family. We spent two days with one of his cousins and got a tour of the family homestead, VanFossen school, and the cemetery in Mechanictown, Ohio, filled with dead and buried VanFossens.

We had a fantastic time going back through history, learning about where and how Brent’s ancestors lived, worked, and then spread out across the United States after their journey to the New World from Holland. Some went north into Canada, others straight across to Washington State, and Brent’s direct ancestors headed south, eventually arriving in Oklahoma during the land expansion there.

For the most part, they were farmers, carpenters, and hard workers, but an amazing number of them were also scholars, engineers, teachers, and brilliant folks. There are a LOT of engineers in the family tree, I was not surprised to learn.

We are now on the edge of the Ohio-Michigan border and will be spending the next few days exploring the Lenawee County area where my father’s ancestors came from. With the help of new found cousins, we are hoping to dig up some lost connections in my father’s family tree.

Then it is on towards Seattle, at fastest pace possible as my father is now in a hurry to get home. Unfortunately, I don’t think his cat, Squirt, is ready to go home. She’s been in a pout since we left. We’ve decided that she missed the outdoor play time with Holiday, our new kitten, as they used to chase each other and roll around on the grass for hours during my father’s stay in Mobile, Alabama, with us.

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