Ancestral Clues and Lessons: Focke Janssen Goldenstein

Focke Janssen Goldenstein was born in 1857 in Wrisse, Ostfriesland, Germany and died in Golden, Adams County, Illinois, in 1913. He married Anna Dirks in Coatsburg, Adams County, Illinois. Some things I’ve learned about research from Focke:

  • the importance of migration chains. Focke’s parents and two siblings remained in Germany, but he was part of a chain of immigrants in his family that included four siblings of his parents, all but two of his siblings,  and several nephews that arrived between the 1860s and the early twentieth century.
  •  male children may not have your last name. One of Focke’s sons used the last name of Ehmen instead of Goldenstein, reverting to the surname used by a great-grandparent. Two of his other sons used the last name of Golden instead of Goldenstein.
  • immigrants can make return visits home. Focke and one of his brothers made a return trip to visit their homeland in the early 20th century.

My ancestor table can be viewed on my site. Focke is my great-great-grandfather.


One thought on “Ancestral Clues and Lessons: Focke Janssen Goldenstein

  1. Patty Gilbert says:

    Wow, that quite a bit of important information about the surnames. I’ve had quite a time trying to figure out what a surname was.I thought it was the given last name, then I thought it was the married name. Now I know it has several meanings which was part right, just not quite there yet. Thank u.

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