Shall thirst again

Ross CD 098

This is an interesting photo as it was in my Great Grandma and Great Grandpa’s photo albums.  David Delos Donaldson and Berendena Van Leeuwen Donaldson.  I assume it is from a trip they took to California.  Maybe they knew the person in the photo, I don’t know.  One of those photos that evoke more questions than answers.  I believe this picture was taken in 1919.

Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again:

But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

John 4:13-14.


te Groen family

Johanna and Pieter to Groen

Johanna and Pieter te Groen

I have been corresponding with a distant cousin of mine, Carol Mann, in California.  She provided a couple of pictures, one of which is of my great, great, great grandparents.  It is very washed out so I hope she has the original or knows where she can get a better copy of the picture.

Among the other photos she provided is the one above.  This is of her grandparents Pieter Willem te Groen and Johanna van Leeuwen.  I have written of Johanna’s parents, Gerrit and Elsebina (Weenig) van Leeuwen, my great, great, great grandparents.  Johanna is the sister to my Gerhardus Hendrik van Leeuwen.

Pieter Willem to Groen was born 4 September 1865 in Arnhem, Gelderland, Netherlands and died 27 August 1942 in Long Beach, Los Angeles, California.  His parents are Derk Meindert to Groen and Jannetje Maria (Duverni) te Groen.

He married Johanna van Leeuwen 5 March 1890 in Arnhem in the Lutheran Church.

Johanna was born 1 September 1867 in Oldenzaal, Overijssel, Netherlands and died 24 February 1963 in Long Beach.

Together Pieter and Johanna had 10 children that I am aware.

Johanna Maria te Groen born 7 December 1890 supposedly in Transvaal, although that did not exist until 1902, so it was likely the South African Republic.  She died 2 January 1891 in Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa.

Johanna Maria to Groen born 3 December 1891 in Transvaal, again likely South African Republic.  She died 10 January 1899 in Pretoria.

Gerhardus Hendrick te Groen born 19 February 1894 in Pretoria and died 5 May 1955 in Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California.

Willem Pieter te Groen born 14 September 1895 in Pretoria and died 4 May 1967 in Santa Ana, Orange, California.

Dirk Meindert te Groen born 27 January 1898 in Pretoria and died 20 July 1988 in Laguna Hills, Orange, California.

Paul Johannes Stofanas te Groen born 1 June 1900 in Pretoria and died January 1987 in Crescent City, Del Norte, California.

Elsebinia Maria te Groen born 17 October 1902 in Pretoria and died 5 February 1904 in Pretoria.

Jan Hendrick te Groen born 7 December 1904 in Pretoria and died 10 September 1999 in Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii.

Leendert te Groen born 14 October 1908 in Annapolis, Anne Arundel, Maryland and died 3 July 2003 in Laguna Hills.

Emil Fredrick te Groen born 27 November 1911 in Annapolis and died 27 November 2000 in Palo Alto, Santa Clara, California.

I have no idea what took te Groens to South Africa.  It was a time of change and turmoil in South Africa and the Dutch were active in Southe Africa.  It would be interesting to know if it was military or some other purpose for which they went there.  Maybe they left as the Dutch were losing influence and British were gaining more and more influence.  Hopefully someone can shed more light on the moves.

Another Angel

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And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,

Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.

Rev 14:6-7.

John & Regina Wanner

John & Regina Wanner

John & Regina Wanner

Thanks to Melece Hudson Salisbury, a Wanner cousin, for this photo.

She found this picture of John & Regina Wanner in a box of photos.  I am glad she was diligent and sought out who they were rather than some of the alternatives.

It appears this might even be a wedding picture, or close to that time, of John & Regina.

I have shared the biography of John & Regina written by their daughter, Mary, before.  Click on the link to read that history.

John George Wanner Jr was born 29 October 1870 in Holzgerlingen, Böblingen, Württemberg, Germany and died 5 January 1947 in Chicago, Cook, Illinois.  He had been married once already and had two children  before this photo.  After Regina passed away, he remarried two more times.

Regina Friederike Nuffer was born 26 January 1869 in Neuffen, Esslingen, Württemberg, Germany and died 10 March 1942 in Preston, Franklin, Idaho.  She had been married once already and had one child before this photo.

Hopefully some day I can write a more comprehensive history of John & Regina.


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Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.

He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

Rev 3:12-13.

Andra Letter, 23 October 1902


October 23, 1902

Heartily best wishes to your birthday today sends you,

Dear Minna, from your dear, your loving Theodor.

I am sorry I can’t congratulate you myself. I am in a house I think always that the dear God will let me go soon to my family and then we all will celebrate your birthday together. So Fathers and children will eat and it will taste good.

Dear Minna. Today they pumped out my stomach again. Maybe things will straighten out without cutting. I pray every evening to our dear God that he will help and soon make me well, so I can go to you and the children. This morning I cried again. I think the whole day about you.

Dear Minna, don’t go and get the sick money, but go this Saturday about noon over to Mr. Kohle and ask him if you can get anything for the family. Also talk with him, because if you go and get the sick money, we cannot claim any pay.

Dear Minna, be so good and get a quart of wine for me, by Borsdorf. But only the best. Just tell them it is for me and put it in a bottle. Also the felt slippers, because my feet are always cold. Bring also the thick book, on top of the closet, the new magazine. Also about the sick money (probably a hospital insurance) you have to go first to Mr. Reiter in the hospital and get a slip of paper. Then you can go to the Government Insurance Office (something like Medicare). But before you do this, go first and talk it over with Mr. Kohler and ask him if you get something for the family. Two to three weeks I will have to stay here yet. An operation I will not have to have, things will go. The bowel moves, too. I am satisfied the way things are going.

Best greetings–your Theodor–for a healthy seeing you again, till tomorrow.

Nice greetings to my Frieda, Walter, Willi, Klarchen (Clara) and my Ottchen (Otto).

Your Pappa, Husband and Father

But children be good. Otherwise you get no Yezlin.


Unfortunately Theodor died 23 November 1902.

Clara, Theodor’s daughter, wrote the following:

Father worked hard and he made a good living. He worked hard as a stone cutter and one day he and another man had to lift a large stone down from somewhere. Father was at the bottom and this other man at the top. The stone slipped and Father, not wanting it to fall and break, held it with his chest, it must have pushed real hard to the inside of his chest. He started to have pains in his chest. They got worse so they decited to operate but somehow it didn’t work right. Food couldn’t go down in his stomach. He died Nov 23, 1902 leaving Mother with a small family to raise. She was only 33 years old and a widow.”

Theodor was only 33 years of age at the time of his death. Clara went on to write, “He was a good husband and a good Father.”

This is another letter sent to me by my cousin, Deanne Driscoll, from her grandmother’s collection.  I posted another letter here.

The picture below is one I took in 2008 while waiting for the train back to Dresden.

Meissen, Germany, 2008

Meissen, Germany, 2008

Andra Letter, 18 January 1901


18th of January 1901

Greetings from the Far,

From your true-loving Theodor

My Dear Good Minna,

You and the children probably long to see me again.  This time it took the longest Sunday morning I will go away from Bunhe.  And I will come again home.  Wednesday and Thursday I chopped plenty of wood. This morning-Friday- I came to Rosswein and wrote right away to you, dear Minna.  Today I will stay with Mother and tomorrow-Saturday- I will go again to Bunhe because Auguste will give me a big pan of krufen crakelings (Left over from fresh fat pork after you pour away the fat, after cooking) and other things I could not take with me to Rosswein.  Mother isn’t well.  She caught a cold.  So I will come on Sunday, but by Wednesday for sure home, it is the nicest.  How is my little Lola (likely Clara) and my little Dickhen (likely William), Walter and Friedel?  Not one morning or night went by when I did not think of you and I hope you are well.  Dear Minna, nothing new happened.  Otherwise I have no news to report, except when I get home, I will get work again.  Many greetings from Andra and Mother and Hartungs.  I will close now and look forward to seeing you again.

Yours—your loving husband,



My cousin, Deanne Driscoll, sent this letter to me.  Her grandmother, Frieda Minna, had this letter and one more I will share next week.  The original letter is in German.

This is Friedrich Theodor Andra (1867 – 1902), married 1892 to Christiana Wilhelmina Knauke (1869 – 1957), father to Frieda Minna (1893 – 1978, Walter Theodor (1896 – 1967), William Fredrick (1898 – 1990), Clara Anna (1899 – 1989), and Otto Carl (1902 – 1982).

Theodor’s mother is Auguste Wilhelmine Andra (1844 – 1908), who married Friedrich August Schneider (1840 – 1900) after Theodor’s birth.

Here is a picture I took in Rosswein in 2008.  The birth town of my Great Great Grandfather and his ancestors that we can trace until at least the early 1800’s.  This picture is of the little train station in Rosswein.

Rosswein Germany

Rosswein Germany