Top Family History Blogs Saturday, Sep 28 2013 

Although I haven’t been great about keeping this up, it was nice to get recognized recently as #3 on this list of Top 50 Family History Blogs.

Free People Top 50 Family History Blogs

Free People

Top 50 Family History Blogs


Thaine Dorin Van Antwerp Saturday, May 22 2010 

Thank you Lisa.

On Friday ,May 14 ,2010, Thaine Dorin VanAntwerp passed away after a brief illness.

He was born April 17, 1921.  He was a WWII Veteran with Honors, Merits in the 12th Armored Division under General George Patton.  He retired from Ford Motor Car Company Division.

He is survived by his wife of 62 years Anna I. Cronander-VanAntwerp, daughter Judith M. Kershner (Royal), son James Dorin  (Lisa) VanAntwerp.  Preceded in death by daughter Linda M. VanAntwerp.

Fr. Tom McDevitt Obituary Thursday, May 6 2010 

I just found this online:

The Rev. (Father) Tom McDevitt passed away May 3, 2010 at the age of 77. He was born Oct. 5, 1932, the son of Gerald and Alice McDevitt.

He was a 1950 graduate of St. Mary’s High School, Jackson. Fr. Tom was ordained on June 29, 1958 in Louvain, Belgium. After attending Sacred Heart Seminary in Detroit, he completed seminary at the American College in Louvain, Belgium. In 2000, he reached Senior Priest status (priests never really retire) at St. John Student Parish, East Lansing, but continued to be active in many areas.

He was on the retreat team at St. Francis Retreat Center in DeWitt. He has been priest/chaplain and presenter at Retrouvaille weekends around the country and on the board of Retrouvaille International. 

He has continued his love of learning, teaching, and preaching the word faithfully and with love: studying at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago and elsewhere, and teaching classes. As an International Fellow of Catholic Relief Services, he has traveled to Palestine and Israel and spoken at parishes throughout Michigan and beyond on behalf of the work done by CRS.

Tom deeply loved his God, his family and friends, his fellow priests and his own life as a priest, celebrating the sacraments and ministering to the people. Prayer and meditation were staples of his life.  He liked a good game of cards or Scrabble, enjoyed bowling with the Knights of Columbus and with family and walking or riding his bike. He loved to sing, saying, “I believe everything when I sing.”

He was enthralled with nature in its many forms; birds singing, surf pounding, stars at night. He had a great spirit of adventure both spiritually and concretely. Spiritually, this led him to explore different forms of spirituality and prayer, both Eastern and Western. Concretely that spirit led him to travel to many parts of the world, including a trip around the world with priest friends. In those travels he delighted in the culture, sights, and foods of each place he went. Now he is on the greatest adventure of his life.

He was preceded in death by his parents; sister-in-law, Kay McDevitt and brother-in-law, Stas Karasek. 

He is survived by his brothers, Jerry (Shirley) and Pat (Phyllis) McDevitt; sisters, Shirley (Bill) Phillips, Mary Karasek, and Kathy McDevitt; 18 nieces and nephews; 27 great-nieces and nephews; his much loved best friends, Fr. Jake Foglio and Jean Mather and family.

A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Thursday at St. John Church and Student Center, 327 MAC, East Lansing. The visitation will be held from 2-8 p.m. Wednesday at the church with a Scripture Service at 7 p.m. and one hour prior to the Mass on Thursday. The Rite of Committal will be held at 11 a.m. Friday in St. John’s Catholic Cemetery, Jackson.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Catholic Relief Services, 228 N. Walnut St., Lansing, MI, 48933-1122 in memory of Fr. Tom McDevitt.

The family is being served by Gorsline Runciman Funeral Homes, East Lansing, Michigan. Online condolences may be made at

Fr. Tom McDevitt Dies Wednesday, May 5 2010 

One of my favorite cousins died at age 77 yesterday.  I can remember spending many summers with him and his family growing up.  He married my wife and I.  He performed the baptism on one of my children.  He’s been a very special person in my life and someone who I always enjoyed seeing. 

Fr. Tom was a longtime pastor at the St. John Student Parish in East Lansing.  I was trying to find more information on him, but I didn’t find much online.  I know he celebrated 50 years as a priest a few years ago.

50th Wedding Anniversary Saturday, Jan 31 2009 

My Uncle Danny and his wife Cecelia are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary in a few days. He is the one that has tracked and documented much of the family history.

He sent out this note to the family that I thought I would share here…

Cecelia Elizabeth and Daniel Janse Van Antwerp of Troy announce the celebration of their 50th Wedding Anniversary on February 7th. Cecelia Martin lived in Royal Oak, Michigan. They were married in her parish church at St. Dennis, where five priest-relatives presided at the Mass.

Cecelia was born in Ramapo, New York, and is the youngest of four children of Thomas Stuart and Bernice Elizabeth (Frushour) Martin. Her father was a top salesman for West Disinfectant Company. Her family traces its roots back to Scotland and Ireland. She worked in the office both at Witbeck’s Appliances and at Dingeman Incentives. Thereafter she worked in sales at the J.L. Hudson Company, Jacobson’s Department Store, Bon-Wit Teller, and, most recently, at The Poster Gallery in the Fisher Building in sales and office work.

Danny was born in Detroit, Michigan, and is the youngest of eleven children born to Eugene Ignatius and Mary Frances (Mc Devitt) Van Antwerp. His father served on the Common Council of the City of Detroit for thirty years and was Mayor of Detroit in 1948-49. The family traces its Dutch roots back to 1655 in Schenectady, New York, and its Irish roots back to 1810 in Ennis, Maherrah and Ballyclough, Ireland. Danny served as a judge for over thirty-five years. He was Presiding Judge of the former Common Pleas Court of the City of Detroit and was Chief Judge Pro Tem of the 36th District Court in Detroit. He retired from that court in 1992 and served many years thereafter as a visiting judge throughout Southeastern Michigan.

Both Cecelia and Danny love meeting with friends and relatives, walking their three dogs, traveling, cruising, reading, jigsaw puzzles, photography, computers, shopping at Eastern Market, cider mills, berry-picking, parades, festivals (espc. Strawberry, Peach, Apple, etc.), flea markets, free arts & craft shows (espc. Ann Arbor, Rochester, Pontiac, Warren, Royal Oak, Birmingham, Bloomfield, Orchard Lake, Ferndale, Troy, etc.), neighborhood outdoor concerts, and watching, photographing and videotaping their grandchildren at T-ball, soccer, cross-country, swimming, plays, musicals, birthdays, holidays, recitals, ballets, etc. They also involve themselves in volunteer work, babysitting, and raising rescue dogs. Cecelia loves solitaire and is an expert cook and flower gardener. She is an outstanding folk dancer and dance teacher (Israeli, Armenian, Romanian, etc.), as well. Danny loves bridge, genealogy (14,000 on his data base), investing (formerly), crossword puzzles, spider solitaire, writing, weekly emailing out jokes (13th year), and Bible classes. He has written one book and co-authored two others. Sorry to say, neither are good athletes nor sports lovers (except for UDM & Notre Dame).

They are the proud parents of four wonderful and God-fearing children: Ann Elizabeth [Daniel] Wyers; Catherine Denise [Matthew] Partalis; Mary Patricia [Dennis] Moylan; and Karen Marie [Michael] Heupel.

They also have six wonderful and talented grandchildren: Audrey Ann Wyers, Patrick Daniel Wyers, Dakota Edwin Holbrook, Tyler Martin Moylan, Alec Matthew Moylan, and Lydia Mary Moylan.


William C. Van Antwerp Addresses Commonwealth Club 1929 Saturday, Nov 1 2008 

Interestingly, I found this posted on a financial blog.  I don’t know William’s relation to the family but given the original family resided in NY, I think it’s a safe assumption he’s related.

This is from one of the earliest Commonwealth Club speeches reacting to the stock market crash of 1929. Titled “The Panic of 1929,” the December 6, 1929, speech by William C. Van Antwerp of E.F. Hutton, offered some initial reaction to the market panic and included some surprisingly thought-provoking ruminations on the human spirit.

Here are some excerpts from Mr. Van Antwerp’s speech:

A panic is a state of mind in which fear supplants reason. It cannot be stopped by statute law or arrested by the police. The best that can be said of such a phenomenon is that it doesn’t occur very often.

In the panic of 1907, there were fundamental conditions that were not sound — in 1929, we merely suffered a case of nerves following a debauch. It is not to be expected that sound and conservative industry will be shaken this time.

This present panic had its roots back in 1917, when our masses found that they could invest money in bits of paper called Liberty Bonds. From investing to speculating was an easy step.

Whether it be public excess, saxaphones or modern art, the American public always goes too far. If we emerge from our excesses somewhat sadly, we are also somewhat wiser.

The stock market was running wide open and good judgment was forgotten. Most of the post-mortem warnings we now hear about were never given until after the panic occurred.

The recent rise had to stop in one way if it did not in another. Even a billion dollar pool would not have averted the panic.

We have for some time been “rotten rich” — now for a short time we are to be merely “affluent.”

President Hoover will bring into action the confidence reserves which everybody knows we possess. When we start forward again as we surely shall, trade and prosperity will go forward to heights not now imagined.

George Van Antwerp Sr. 80th Party Monday, Nov 19 2007 

We had a great party for my dad at a restaurant in Birmingham, MI with about 90 people. I am not going to post a lot of pictures, but here are a few:

Mary Lou and George Van Antwerp


Dr. Dacia Van Antwerp


Bernie and Deanna Van Antwerp (front)


The McDevitt’s (relatives)…My grandmother was a McDevitt.


Cousin Going for Record Saturday, Nov 10 2007 

Tara Akstull who plays women’s hockey for St. Lawrence in Albany, NY has scored in 7 straight games. The record is 8. We are watching diligently to see if she does it.

Tara is related through the Shannon side of the family. Her mother is Frances Shannon who was the daughter of Joan Van Antwerp (one of 11 Van Antwerp siblings) of Detroit, Michigan and John Francis “Jack” Shannon II (one of 7 siblings) of Troy New York .

Harry Van Antwerp Family Reunion 2008 Wednesday, Nov 7 2007 

I haven’t talked to them yet, but I found this posted.  Perhaps all from the same tree.  Not sure.

Major Van Antwerp Wednesday, Nov 7 2007 

Here is a story about a Major Van Antwerp and the battle of Cane Hill, AK in 1862.

Sotherby’s Sale of Van Antwerp Library Wednesday, Nov 7 2007 

Just an interesting blurb about selling William Van Antwerp of NY’s books in 1907.

George Sr. Turns 80 Friday, Nov 2 2007 

This weekend is my father’s birthday.  He turns 80 years old.  He is one of 11 children.  Should be a exciting party.