The Worland Family in America and Beyond

I began my life in the Puget Sound area of Washington State, on an island filled with forests and wild rhododendrons. I was separated from my Worland family there at an early age. Recently, I was reunited with my family and learned of my heritage. And so, this journey to know my ancestors began. The Worlands, Gideons, Newtons, Conards... they were the colonists, the settlers, the pioneers. They fought in the American Revolution, the War of 1812, the Civil War. This is their story, and the story of a nation. -Deci Worland MacKinnon

Sunday, January 18, 2015

On This Day, January 18th

January 18, 1608- My ninth great grandaunt, Hester Pletjes Op den Graeff, the daughter of Hermann Op den Graeff & Gretjen Driessen Pletjes, is born in Krefeld, Herzogtum Kleve, Germany. She is one of 18 children, half of whom would die in infancy.
Hester's father, Hermann, (my tenth great grandfather), was the first reported member of the Op den Graeff family.

Op den Graeff  stained glass window at Krefeld
He was a Mennonite bishop and a wealthy linen weaver and merchant in Krefeld. He lived in a house with notorious stained glass windows full of hymns (partly to himself) and mystical religious symbolism, some of it Catholic. A window from his house, now in the Krefeld Museum, says in German "To be God-fearing, devout and of good morals; zealous, hospitable and truthful in speech--is Christian, and pleases the Lord; brings favor, and sets many a one to great honor. Herman op Den Graff und greitgen lein hoffrow. A 1630."  (Translated from the German.)
Pictured is the Op den Graeff window of Krefeld, with the coat of arms  showing the "Lohengrin Swan" of the Arms of Cleves.

The Op den Graeff family were said to be tall and spare in physique and have strongly marked features.

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