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The Ortonville Independent
Ortonville, Minnesota
July 14, 2009     The Ortonville Independent
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July 14, 2009

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iI John and Anna Van Lith arrived at Ellis Rotterdam on the steamship Ryndam tracted during the voyage. SD where two more girls,Adelia (Del) and Island on March 16, 1909 with their four along with 1800 other third class passen- Upon their discharge from the hospital, Jane (Cozy) and four more boys, John, children Cornelius (Case), Anna,gers. Upon arriving at Ellis Island, John they traveled by train to Loretta, Min- William, Maurice (Marty) and Joe were Petronella (Nellie) and Nicholas. The had and Anna and the children were put in hos- nesota to stay with relatives. A few years born for a total, of ten children. traveled from Empel, Holland by way of pital quarantine due to an illness con- later, they moved to rural Grant County, John Van Lith was killed in action in iii~ ii~ ilii ili i Tunisia during WWII. All the other chil- She loved to play poker and was known to souri, Nebraska, Iowa, Idaho, Oregon, dren married and raised children giving have access to "home brew" which she Washington, South Dakota, Minnesota, John and Anna a total of 49 grandchildren shared with her poker playing friends. North Dakota. Each of the families of and many great-grandchildren and great- Each family had a picture board along John and Anna Van Lith wore a color so great grandchildren, with photo albums which everyone thor- that the family was easily identified. A The descendants of John and Anna Van oughly enjoyed, flag was laid by John's picture board in Lith, over 240 strong, gathered at the Two of the grandchildren have done ex- honor of his service and death in WWII. Gertje-Van Lith American Legion Post in tensive research on the family tree tracing Pictures clockwise from upper left is Big Stone City on June 27, 2009 to cele- the roots back to the 1600's in Holland. the Nick and Edie Van Lith family, the Earl brate the 100 year anniversary of John and This research was used to present an oral and Nellie (Van Lith) McKercher, the Pete Anna Van Lith's coming to America. The family history to family members present and Ann (Van Lith) Spanjers, the Joe and oldest grandchild present was 84 years old at the reunion. Iris Van Lith family, the Bill and Betty Van and the youngest grandchild present was Dennis Van Lith, son of Nick and Edie, Lith family, the Case and Agatha Van Lith 38 years old. plans to have the family history along with family, the Marry and Lucille Van Lith The older grandchildren shared stories pictures of the reunion posted to the Van family, the Andy and Delia (Van Lith) of their grandparents especially Grandma Lith Family website at Karels family and the Bud and Cozy (Van Van Lith or Ma Van Lith as she was known Family members came from Arizona, Lith) Schmidt family. around the Ortonville and Big Stone area. Texas, Nevada, Michigan, Wisconsin Mis- Tuesday, July 14, 2009 INDEPENDENT Page 11