Nicholas Van Cossaboon was my husband’s great grandfather.

His obituary was in the Wyoming County Times, Wyoming County, NY, dated 7 July 1949.

Retired Methodist Minister Died at Silver Lake
The Rev. Nicholas Van Cossaboon, 72, Methodist clergyman for 41 years, who retired only a month ago, died unexpectedly at his cottage at Silver Lake last Saturday, July 2nd.
His death occurred one month after his retirement from the ministry. During the last eight years, he had been pastor of the Silver Springs Methodist church. Recognition of his 41 years in the ministry was paid last month at the annual meeting of the Genesee Conference at Asbury-Delaware Church in Buffalo.
He was honored this spring at a testamonial dinner given by members of the Silver Springs congregation.  Bishop W. Earl Leden of the Syracuse area of the Methodist church, who had once been a Sunday school pupil of the retiring minister, was the principal speaker.
He had held a number of pastates in Western New York, including ones at Woodhull, Sardinia, Ellicottville, Salamanca, Depew, Buffalo, Lockport, Marilla, Middleport, Addison, and Silver Springs, where he was located at the time of his retirement.
He was born at Winslow, N.J. , October 4, 1877 and on February 9, 1901 married Lillian Pierce, who survives him.
He also leaves four daughters, Mrs. John Dull and Mrs. William Johnson of Buffalo; Mrs. Elsie Woods of Lockport and Miss Ruth Van Cossaboon of Middletown, Pa.; a brother Loveman Van Cossaboon of Camden, N.J.; two sisters, Mrs. Edward Cottrell of Glassboro, N.J. and Mrs. Mary Woodruff of Monroeville, N.J. ; four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
The Rev. Mr. Van Cossaboon was a member of the Masonic lodge at Castile, the East Aurora Capter R.A.M., of the Buffalo Consistory, and Ismaila Temple of the Shrine, Buffalo.
Bishop W. Earl Leden of Syracuse, officiated at the funearl services which were conducted at the Silver Springs Methodist church at 1:00 p.m. Tuesday.  Assisting him were the Rev. Harold Hewiit, former district superintendent of the Methodist church, now pastor of the East Aurora church; the Rev. Charles Boellinger, present district superintendent, and the Rev. Homer Evans, pastor of the Silver Springs church. The burial was in Acacia Park cemetery, Tonawanda, at 4:00 p.m. with Masonic services at the grave.
The organist was Kenneth Motts and the bearers were Norman Tallman, Robert Humphrey, Elmer Gardner, Edwin Chase, Clayton Husted, and Frank Granger.

  • Cherie Cayemberg - September 4, 2011 - 6:28 am

    Everytime I see “died unexpectedly” I wish I knew more. Any idea what happened or is it still a mystery?ReplyCancel

  • Jen - September 4, 2011 - 9:27 am

    I don’t know what his cause of death was. I don’t have his death certificate – it’s one of those I didn’t order because I already knew his death date. I skipped so many things my first time around!!!ReplyCancel

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I am really keeping my fingers crossed for orders to Germany when we move from this duty station next summer.  I already have a list of places I want to visit in Europe and it seems to be growing daily.  Can you blame me??  I’ve only been to Europe once (specifically to Germany, Denmark, Switzerland, and Austria) and I was 15 at the time and with my German class.  I wasn’t exactly free to roam about the continent as I wished.

One of the places I really want to go is Norway – specifically to the Inderøy region where my ancestors lived, and the neighboring city of Trondheim.

There are two churches that I really want to see – the Old and New Sakshaug Churches.

The Sakshaug “Old” Church dates back to around 1150.  That is a seriously old building!!

It was decommissioned in 1871, when the new church was built. After sitting for many years with no roof, it was renovated from 1910-1958.  Many of my ancestors were christened in this church.

{Both of the following pictures and the above info were found on Wikipedia}.

And this is the new church, which was built in 1871.  My great-grandmother was born in the area in 1881, so it is most likely that she went to this church before they emigrated.

_I wonder if any of my ancestors are buried around one of these churches.

  • Heather Roelker - September 1, 2011 - 11:27 am

    I hope you get to Germany, too. It is awesome!ReplyCancel

  • Wendy - September 1, 2011 - 2:01 pm

    It would be fantastic to walk where your ancestors walked, to stand where they once stood. I hope you get to go there.ReplyCancel

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I was born a bicentennial baby in August of 1976.  That makes me 35 this year!  How can I possibly be 35 years old????

I thought in honor of my birthday, I’d share my hospital picture.  I was 8 lbs, 11 oz.

  • Wendy - August 31, 2011 - 6:16 am

    You appear already to be analyzing all those people looking at you. Cute post and Happy Birthday!ReplyCancel

  • Lisa Wallen Logsdon - August 31, 2011 - 6:45 am

    Happy Birthday Jen! What a cute, chubby little baby, sweet!ReplyCancel

  • Heather Roelker - August 31, 2011 - 7:50 am

    Happy birthday! I am also a bicentennial baby…you are one day older than me. Have a terrific day!ReplyCancel

    • Jen - August 31, 2011 - 9:41 pm

      How cool Heather!!! :)ReplyCancel

  • Christopher Shaw - August 31, 2011 - 10:44 am

    Happy Birthday and many more.ReplyCancel

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I love this old postcard.  It was sent to my great-great grandfather, Peter Andreas Peterson Melhus by his sister, Elen Pauline Petersdatter (Melhus) Kvam.

Peter immigrated to the United States in 1888 and settled in Franklin, Renville county, Minnestota {big surprise that my Norwegian ancestors settled in MN, huh?}

Kvam was a farm in Inderoen, Norway – near Trondheim.

Peter’s sister, Pauline married Johannes Erikssen Kvam and I’m assuming that this is where they lived since she didn’t immigrate to the US like Peter did. What do you think – is this their house or perhaps just near where they lived?


Interestingly enough, Peter’s wife’s maiden name was Anna Margret Kvam.  I don’t know if she is related to Pauline’s husband or if perhaps they just lived on the same farm and took the same name.

I might be able to solve the mystery if I could actually translate the message on the postcard.  But it happens to be in Norwegian.  Which I don’t speak.  I can pick out the “Dear Brother” and “Your Sister, Pauline'” and something about a picture of Kvam, but that’s about it.

Does anyone out there know what this says??  Is it just small talk or is there something important there?


  • Heather Roelker - August 30, 2011 - 7:56 am

    Jen-check out It will translate Norwegian.ReplyCancel

  • Dee Burris Blakley - August 30, 2011 - 12:41 pm

    Have you tried typing out what you think it says – then go to Google Translate and see what you get…

    I’ve been having to do that with Norwegian and Swedish lately for some work I’m doing on my BIL’s direct lines.ReplyCancel

  • Øystein Ellingsen - October 25, 2011 - 10:34 am

    It says:

    “Dear brother! (I’m) sending you a picture of Kvam. (I) hope you recognize it. We are all alive and healthy. It would be fun to hear from you sometime. (I) hope you will write to me soon. I wish you a merry christmas and a happy new year. Friendly regards to you and your family from your sister Pauline”

    I saw your Facebook-profile on Ellingsen slekt.ReplyCancel

    • Jen - October 25, 2011 - 11:32 am

      Thank you so much!!!ReplyCancel

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I always love looking at my ancestors’ estate inventories. It gives me a little peek into what their life was like by seeing what they owned. I sometimes have a hard time with some of the vocabulary pertaining to the farm equipment, since I know nothing about farms – neither current, nor past. I love that he owned a lot of books worth $12.00. I wonder how many books that may have been.:)

Commission to Appraisers.
State of Iowa,          } SS.       Estate of John Robertson Deceased.
Washington County

To David Teter, Hugh Draper [Frank ? is crossed out], and Walter Mckinnie:
You are Hereby Notified that you have this day been appointed to appraise all the personal property belonging to the estate of John Robertson, deceased, and after being sworn as required  by law, you will proceed with the least possible delay to perform your duties in the premises, and file your report in the office of the Clerk of the Circuit Court of said County.
A copy of the Inventory filed by the Administrator of said estate is hereto attached, and in performing your duties as appraisers, you will affix to each item or article in said list whatever sum you consider to be its present cash value.
Witness, J. A. Cunningham Clerk of said Court, with the Seal thereof affixed, at Washington, this 19th day of March A.D. 1879.
J. A. Cunningham, Clerk of the District Court
J.B. Tiller, Depy.

Oath of Appraisers
State of Iowa,
Washington County,}SS
We and each of us do solemly swear that we will well and truly, without partiality or prejudice, value and appraise the goods, chattels, and personal estate of John Robertson deceased, so far as the same shall come to our knowledge; and that we will in all respects perform our duties as appraisors, to the best of our skill and judgment, as required by the foregoing commission

Walter McKinnie [signed]
David Teeter [signed]
Hugh Draper [signed]
Subscribed and sworn to this 21 day of March A.D. 1879
By Walter McKinnie David Teeter + Hugh Draper
J.A. Cunningham __CC
J.P. ______ ___

[page break]

1 Gray Horse     50.00
1 Dun Horse     30.00
1 Brown Mare  60.00
6 Milch Cows  112.00
3 Steers   54.00
7 Shoats  21.00
1 Wagon  12.00
1 Buggy  15.00
2 Satts of Harness  10.00
1 Corn Planter. 25.00
1 Stirring Plow  2.00
1 Gopher Plow .25
1 Reaper + Mower  10.00
1 Hay Ra____  1.50
1 Harrow.  1.00
1 Saddle  .50
1 Grind Stone  .20
1 Cross Cut Saw. 1.50
1 Lot Barbd Wire  2.00
1 Trow ______  1.50
1 Satt Sleigh Bells  2.00
1 Pair BobSleds  3.00
1 Wheel Barrow  .75
1 Lot Sacks  1.20
1 Lot Shools  .25
1 Lot Forks  .75
1 hoe .10
3 AugurS  .40
3 Ream_s  1.00
1 Hand Saw  .25
1 Brace  .25
2 Bitts  .10
[page break]
1 chisel  .[0]5
1 file  .10
1 _row Wedge  .20
1 Ring Maul  .15
2 Log Chains  .75
1 axe  .20
1 SauSage Mill  .75
1 Rifle  4.00
1 Lot Corn  20.00
1 Lot Hay  6.00
1 Lot Wheat
1 Lot Oats  9.00
1 Lot Wheat
1 Lot of Barrells.  .20
1 Cupboard  2.00
2 Tables. 5.00
3 Stands.  2.00
2 Lounges  1.50
2 Satts of ChairS  3.00
2 Rockig ChairS 1.00
1 clock  7.00
1 watch.  7.00
1 Cook Stove  4.00
1 Parlor Stove  1.50
1 Lot Books  12.00
1 Ladder  .50
1 Monkey Wrench  .25
1 Grubbing hoe  .10

  • Sheryl - September 2, 2011 - 9:18 pm

    I know that money was worth more back then, but I’m still amazed at how many very small items were included in the inventory. For example, a hoe was listed that was worth only $.10. It’s also interesting how some of the items are spelled–milch cow, shoats.ReplyCancel

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