Mary Kortlever’s parents came from the Netherlands in one of the later wave of immigrants in the 1880s. Jan Kortleever was born 18 January 1849 in Leerdam, Zuid, Netherlands, to Cornelis Kortleever and Maaike den Besten.1 He was married to Maaike Flora Bel on 6 March 1873 in Kedichem, Zuid, Netherlands.2 Maaike was born 5 February 1853 in Leerdam, and was the daughter of Hugo Bel and Maria de Leeuw.3
Jan left the Netherlands aboard the Waesland, landed in New York on 15 May 1882,4 and proceded to Sioux County, Iowa. Maaike made the trip on the W. A. Scholten and arrived in New York on 15 September 1882.5 She travelled with her children; Cornelis age 11, Maria age 8, Hugo age 6, Bastian age 4, and John age 4 months.
The Kortlever family appears on the 1885 Iowa State Census and at that time is: Jan age 36, Magie Flora age 31, Maria age 10, Hugo age 9, Jan age 3, Cornelis age 1.6 There is some confusion about oldest son Cornelis who would be 13 or 14 at the time of this census. He is not with the family on that 1885 census and a baby boy has been given the name. Baby Cornelis (born about 1884) and the older Cornelis are never heard of again in this family group. An unsourced family group sheet lists only the older Cornelis with no death date.
A Cornelis of the right age (23) appears on the 1895 Iowa State Census, and then again on the census records in Lynden Washington. After further research I have conclude that this Cornelis is the son of Jan’s older brother Bastiaan Cornelis Kortleever (1847 – 1920).7 Bastiaan also immigrated from the Netherlands in the early 1880s with his wife Jannigje van Klei and his son Cornelis and daughter Maaike. Once again the repeating names makes searching a challenge. However, Bastiaan Cornelis and his family would take the same journey as his brother – first to Iowa, then to Minnesota, and finally to Lynden.
Jan and Maaike had three other children born in Iowa; Maaike (Maggie) in 1885, Cornelia (Nellie) in 1890, and Jantje (Jennie) in 1892.
1. Genlias database, Genlias (http://www.genlias.nl/en : accessed 11 Aug 2009), Birth, Jan Kortleever, 18 Jan 1849; Nationaal Archief (Rijksarchief Zuid-Holland).
2. Genlias database, Genlias (http://www.genlias.nl/en : accessed 11 Aug 2009), Marriage, Jan Kortleever age 24 & Maaike Flora Bel age 20, 6 Mar 1873; Nationaal Archief (Rijksarchief Zuid-Holland).
3. Whatcom County, Washington, death certificate no. 90 (15 Aug 1931), Maaike Kortlever; Washington State Vital Records, Olympia, Washington.
4. “New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957,” online images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 10 Feb 2010), manifest, Waesland, 15 May 1882, Line 14, Jan Kortlever.
5. “New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957,” online images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 10 Feb 2010), manifest, W.A. Scholten, 15 Sep 1882, Line 31, Maaike Kortlever.
6. 1885 Iowa State Census, Sioux County, Iowa, population schedule, Alton, p. 6 handwritten, 266 stamped, dwelling 32, family 37, line 26, Jan Kortlever; digital images, The Generations Network, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 28 Jun 2009); citing Iowa State Census Collection, 1836-1925.
7. Washington State Digital Archives, “Death Records,” database, Washington State Digital Archives (http://www.digitalarchives.wa.gov/default.aspx : accessed 20 Feb 2010), Bartiaam C. Kortuver, died 29 Aug 1920.