These pages are dedicated to those who came before me, especially to my mom, Elizabeth Maude Wright, born in Homestead, Blaine County, Oklahoma and my dad, Jouke Boeles Kooistra, born in Hallum, Friesland, The Netherlands. How these two, from such different worlds, found each other, met, married, and had three children is nothing short of amazing.
Jouke Boeles Kooistra came from The Netherlands, having been born to Boele Annes Kooistra and Trientje Joukes Schat.. At the age of 21, Jouke immigrated to Ontario, Canada. Here he spent two years working at a number of jobs before going back to his homeland, The Netherlands. After a brief stay in The Netherlands, when he was 25 years of age, he immigrated to the United States where he spent the rest of his life and became a very proud American citizen.
Elizabeth Maude Wrightís ancestry came from many generations of men and women who were long time residents of the United States with the exception of her motherís family. Her mother, Nellie Mabel Christensen, was born in Jamestown, Cloud County, Kansas to Martin Christensen and Ellen Sophia Johansen, who had both come to this country at an early age from Denmark. Her father, Willard Listen Wright, was born in Clinton, Henry County, Missouri to Ruel Orlando Wright and Amanda Sophina Ross whose ancestors were from a long line of United States citizens. Many of their ancestors arrived in this country in the late 1600ís and 1700ís and settled in Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, and Virginia.
I am very proud of all of my ancestors, though none of them were famous to the outside world, they are all an important part of who I am today. They immigrated to the United States from The Netherlands, Germany, England, Scotland, Denmark, Switzerland, and Italy for many different reasons. Some to find religious freedom, some to escape the hardships of living in their motherland, while others received land from the King in their country, but all of them having one thing in common, to be able to make a better life for themselves and their families. My ancestors have fought in every war that this country has ever participated in. Some taking part in the actual fight and others, because of religious beliefs, participated by aiding the men who were actually fighting. They came from various religious backgrounds whether it be Quaker, German Baptist Brethren, Methodist Episcopal, Presbyterian, Christian Reformed to join together and become part of my heritage. They have worked as farmers, saddle makers, ferry operators, ministers, school teachers, surveyors, cattle dealers, beauticians, and many other occupations to earn a living for their families and to aspire to the American dream. It is to their memories that I have dedicated this site in the hope that their stories will not be lost but live on for generations to come.
This is a work in progress, for I have come to the conclusion that no one ever completely finds all the answers to all the questions researching their family history. One new discovery leads to yet another unanswered question, it is a never ending search into the unknown. I have listed sources for the facts of each family member that I have been fortunate enough to find, sometimes with the help of other family members. However, for those listed without sources I have yet to discover the documentation to prove the validity of those facts. I have stacks of information patiently waiting to be entered which I will update as time allows thus leading to yet another family history problem, so much to do, so little time.
Here are some of my favorite websites:
Census Records | Vital Records | Family Trees & Communities | Immigration Records | Military Records Directories & Member Lists | Family & Local Histories | Newspapers & Periodicals | Court, Land & Probate | Finding Aids