Wim & Willem are doing research on the genealogy of the people that immigrated as of 1848 from the north of Brabant.
Wim Rovers (pictured on the left) is a member of the historical society in Uden. Wim has been working on finding out the genealogy of the families of North -Brabant in Little Chute and vicinities for about 50 years. His fascination started with a box with old photographs of his aunt. These photographs pictured family members that immigrated to the US in 1850. One of them was his great aunt Johanna Sanders. She immigrated to Little Chute in 1908. She welcomed many families from The Netherlands that made the crossing to America, amongst others Piet & Marie Arts who immigrated to Little Chute in 1960.
In 1984, Wim went to visit Little Chute with his dad for the very first time. At that point in time Little Chute was just like ‘little Uden’ according to Wim. Many people still spoke Dutch, there were Dutch shops and on the cemetery many Brabanders his father knew were buried.
For the past 25 years Wim has visited Little Chute every summer together with Willem. Wim is mostly curious about the people that immigrated to Little Chute during the 50’s and 60’s.
Willem Keeris (pictured on the right) comes from the village Zeeland (North-Brabant).
He visited Little Chute for the first time in 1994. His interest in the North-Brabant immigrants started with a picture amongst the inheritance of his father. A family photograph with the text ‘Family Van der Hei immigrated to America’ written on the back of it. Willem went looking for the story behind the picture and got into contact with Wim Rovers. When travelling to the United States for the first time in 1994 he was captured by this historical story. When he got back home, he immediately wanted to return to start genealogy research. Willem’s primary interest is the immigrants that immigrated to The Fox Valley in 1848 and 1910.
When Wim and Willem are in the Little Chute area, they look in the local archives and visit the descendants of the immigrants of North-Brabant. They are always searching for new stories. Wim and Willem frequently have readings about the North-Brabant migration to The Fox Valley.