Life of Hendrik Schoonveld (1894-1991)

by Alex Berry

Hendrik Schoonveld, my great grandfather on my mother’s, mother’s side, was born February 1st, 1894, in ’t Zandt, the  Netherlands to a family with thirteen brothers and sisters. He lived with his father, Aldert (Abel) Schoonveld, and his mother, Harmke Van Dam on a small farm owned by a farmer from ’t Zandt until they left for America in 1905. Hendrik went to America with his parents, leaving from the port of Rotterdam on April 26th, 1905, and arriving in America May 14th, 1905.

When he arrived in America, he lived in a small town on the outskirts of Chicago called Summit, where he also attended the local school. Hendrik only received a fifth grade level education before he left school to find work. He enlisted in the army September 22, 1917. Hendrik fought in St. Miluil from Sept. 12 to Oct. 7th, 1918. He also fought on the Verdun Front from Oct. 17th to Nov. 11th, 1918.According to his army

After his discharge from the army, he married Florence Brower on June 11, 1919. He and Florence had 3 children, my grandmother, Bernice Schoonveld, and two other sons. Hendrik died on March 27, 1991 in Rest Haven Central, Palos Heights, Illinois.  


  • Bernice Knol. Personal Interview. December 12, 24, 26, 2001.
  • Helen Colijn. Of Dutch Ways. Minneapolis, Minnesota: Dillon Press Incorporated, 1980.
  • John Garraty. American History. United States; Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. 1982-86
  • June Noorlag. Interview by Mail. Jan. 14, 2002.
  • “Netherlands.” Encarta Encyclopedia Deluxe 2000. Microsoft Corporation, 1993-99
  • Netherlands Board of Tourism. Holland., Jan 22, 2002.
  • Pat Seward. Cultures of the World, Netherlands. New York: Marshall Cavendish Corporation, 1996.
  • Rudy Schoonveld. Interview E-Mail. January 23-February 12, 2002.

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