Ancestral Homeland – Winschoten, Groningen, Netherlands

The Noteboom family moved to Winschoten, Groningen, Netherlands from Emden, Lower Saxony, Germany in 1843.1

Winschoten is located in the northeast of the Netherlands, near the River Eems and the border with Germany.

Winschoten, Netherlands

Winschoten, Netherlands, Map Data ©2016 Google

It became a city in 1825, being granted its city rights.  The town was once populated with 13 mills, earning it the nickname “Molenstad” or “Milltown”.  Three of those mills still remain today:

  • Molen Berg, built in 1854.  Originally designed to grind corn.
  • Dijkstra Molen, built in 1862.
  • Molen Edens, built in 1763.  It is the oldest mill in Groningen.

Molen Edens

Molens Edens. Michel Dellebeke [GFDL ( or CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

The Dutch Reformed church, which is the one my family most likely attended, is located on the Marketplein.

Dutch Reform Church, Marktplein

Dutch Reform Church, Marktplein, Rijksdienst voor het Cultureel Erfgoed [CC BY-SA 3.0 nl (], via Wikimedia Commons

Residents of Winschoten have a funny nickname – they are often called “tellerlikker”, which means one who licks their plate clean.  They have a reputation for eating their meals with great gusto.2


Tellerlikkers, By Gerardus (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


  1.  Lamoraal Noteboom, “Genealogy of Sije Sjoukes,” p. 4; report to Larisa Thomas, [STREET ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE,] Novato, California, 18 Dec 1908, rev. 1996-1998; photocopy held by Peggy McKnight Weymer, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE]. Rec. Date: 20 Sep 2015.  Cit. Date: 20 Sep 2015; Revised by Wouter Antoon Noteboom, Antoon Noteboom and Johanna Lodewijks-Dusseljee. 
  2. “Winschoten,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, Accessed: 5 Jan 2016. 

Abraham & Strauss Department Store, Brooklyn, NY

The Brooklyn Historical Society has a photo of the week blog post and this week’s post is a photo of the Abraham & Strauss department store, circa 1895.  My great-grandmother Dolly worked at the A&S as a young woman, circa 1920.  She earned about $5 per week.

[Abraham & Straus storefront.], circa 1895, v1972.1.611; Early Brooklyn and Long Island photograph collection, ARC.201; Brooklyn Historical Society.

[Abraham & Straus storefront.], circa 1895, v1972.1.611; Early Brooklyn and Long Island photograph collection, ARC.201; Brooklyn Historical Society.

The thing I really like about the photo posted this week by the BHS is the display appears to be a complicated display of handkerchiefs and linens.  The store, early on, specialized in “silks and dress goods, cloths, laces, embroideries, cloaks, shawls, linens, gloves, china and glass, sterling silver, bronzes, ribbons, house furnishings, upholsteries, art embroideries, books, furniture, carpets, and stationary.”  The display is beautiful, with its geometric design.  Additionally, my aunt Lulu, how is named after my great-grandmother, has her own business that was started reselling antique handkerchiefs.  There is a symmetry across generations that mimics the beautiful design in the window.  It’s really quite stunning.

Zion German Evangelical Lutheran Church

Zion German Evangelical Lutheran Church, Brooklyn Heights

Zion German Evangelical Lutheran Church, Brooklyn Heights
By Beyond My Ken (Own work) [GFDL or CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The Zion German Evangelical Lutheran Church was founded in 1856 and still operates today at 125 Henry Street in Brooklyn Heights, New York.  My 3rd great-grandparents Walter Noteboom and Beta Frederike Christiane Nullmeyer were married there on 11 November 1876.  They were married by the founding pastor, Friedrich W.T. Steimle.

The first church service was held on the first Sunday in Advent in 1855 (December 2nd), with twelve worshipers in attendance.  The service was held in a hall at Nassau and Fulton Streets.  The congregation was comprised of recent German immigrants, who wished to maintain their traditions as Lutheran Christians.  The services were conducted in German.  In the early days, the church was very small, with no more than four worshippers in atttendance.  However, the congregation grew quickly, welcoming the many recent Germans who immigrated to the New York area and necessitating the move to a new home at 189 Washington Street in May 1856. Before the end of the year, the church was incorporated and purchased its permanent home at 125 Henry Street for $14,500.  The Henry Street church was originally built as a Dutch Reform church in 1839, making it the oldest church in Brooklyn Heights that is still being used.1

Pastor Friedrich Wilhelm Tobias Steimle was born in 1827 in Wurttemberg, Germany, and earned his missionary education in Basel.  He arrived in New York in January 1851, and served as an assistant pastor to Dr. Stohlmann until 1855, when he began the Zion German Evangelical Lutheran Church.  He was licensed by the Ministry of New York, and helped found the German New York Synod for which he served as President for six years.  He passed away on 28 February 1880 at almost 53 years of age.2

  1. Church Marriages“, The German Genealogy Group,, Accessed: 2 Feb 2015.
    Nicum, John. Geschichte des Evangelisch – Lutherischen Ministeriums vom Staate New York und Angrenzenden Staaten und Ländern (History of the Evangelical – Lutheran Ministry of the State of New York and Adjacent States and countries), New York: Lutheran Church, New York Ministry, 1888, page 351, digital images, Google Books (, Accessed: 2 February 2015). 
  2. Nicum, 375.