Paper ‘from Winterswijk to Wisconsin’

In 2008, I wrote a paper called ‘From Winterswijk to Wisconsin’ for the Dutch in Wisconsin conference in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. I decided to put the paper online so more people will be able to read it. 

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About Yvette Hoitink

Yvette Hoitink, CG®, QG™ is a professional genealogist in the Netherlands. She holds the Certified Genealogist credential from the Board for Certification of Genealogists and has a post-graduate diploma in Family and Local History from the University of Dundee. She has been doing genealogy for over 30 years and helps people from across the world find their ancestors in the Netherlands. Read about Yvette's professional genealogy services.


  1. Kathy Lisowski says

    I have relatives that are on the family tree section of the Dutch Genealogy website. They didn’t settle in Wisconsin, but Forestport NY. They were the Nekkers. They ended up with the last name Nichols. Christian and Anna Oonk Nekkers settled in Forestport along with Henry, Garret, John, Jane, Hannah, and Dora. Hannah was married in Winterswijk to a Henry King. Do you know of a Dutch last name that King would match up to? Hennrietta ended up marrying a Henry Meyers, and ended up in South Dakota. The only child that I don’t know where they ended up was Getruid. Dora was my 5th great grandmother.

    • Nekkers to Nichols is a very interesting name change, thank you for bringing that to my attention! There was a Konings family, also from Winterswijk, who went by the name King in the Clymer area. I don’t know of a Konings-Nekkers marriage in Winterswijk so they may have been married after their emigration. As far as I know, Harmen Jan (the oldest son of Christian and Anna) was the only one who was married before the family left Winterswijk in 1855.

      • BTW, Anna Catharina Oonk is my 3rd cousin 5x removed through the Oonk line so that makes us distant cousins too 🙂

      • Kathy Lisowski says

        I see that Jan was the only one married. In William King’s obit it says that he was born in Holland to Henry and Hannah Nichols Nekkers King in 1850. He is listed on the Family Tree. He is listed as Hendrik Willem Nekkers. That must have been hard for Hannah, being an unwed mother. A couple of the children had run ins with the police for stealing. Things must not have been easy for them. Henry Nichols Nekkers really did well for himself in Foretport NY. I also have Jane Nichols Nekkers married to a John Coscomb from Holland but not in Holland. Do you know of any matching name? Thanks for this website. Kathy

      • The Konings marriage was to warnshuis.. not neckers. Family warnshuis (US 1845) and family Neckers (US 1852) became connected via marriage. Johanna Warnshuis (1849) to Albert Neckers, Sr (1837) married in 1867? I have a picture of Johanna Konings when she was old – 1904 or so. She was born in 1819 or so.

        I have the real dates, but wanted to make the point of who’s who.

        doug neckers

  2. Hello,
    I just found this article and learned so much. Like Ms. Lisowski my relatives were the Nekkers-Nichols. (3rd great grandparents.) Jane Nekkers married John Coscomb, my 2nd great grandfather. I have looked for several years to try to find his original name and more information on him. He and his wife did well as prosperous farmers in the Forestport, NY area.
    Like Kathy, can you offer any leads into his name? He was born in Holland in 1831. Thank you so much!

    Martha Lynch

    • Hi Martha,
      Coscomb sounds like the name Koskamp which occurs in Aalten. I can’t seem to find a candidate for him in the list of Aalten emigrants. Do you have information about his children’s names? Since children were often named after their grandparents, their names can give us a clue about his parents’ names.

      • Hello,
        Sorry for the delay, but it took me awhile to find your reply. John Coscomb’s children’s names were John, Anna, Henry, Christopher, Garret and Emmilia. Thanks for any help you might give.


  3. Martha Lynch says

    Hello, This is Martha Lynch again. I am still looking for my 2nd great grandfather, John Coscomb. I am trying to follow a lead from the ship Viking, which left Belgium in 1857 for America. The woman Janna or Joanna Nekkers(later Jane Coscomb) is listed on that manifest with her family, father Christian Nekkers. On that same manifest is a man named Franz Coguelin, who was born around the same time as my grandfather, John. I wonder if it would be possible that Mr. Coguelin changed his name to Coscomb(an English name) when he came to America. Is the name Coguelin common to Winterswijk? Could he have been German and listed himself as coming from Holland? Thanks for any help you might give.

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