Ghosts of Christmas Past


Since my fathers passing the pictures that I was able to come home with have really been haunting me. These pictures evoke strong memories for me every time I see them.

Every one (except for the lady I don’t know) and every thing in this picture holds such strong memories. The painting over the mantle lasted until my dad passed away. The television you can barely see behind the tree lasted until the early 80’s. The xmas picture above must be from around 1966-68. It’s taken in the living room at our house on 64th Place in Inglewood. People in the picture ( Clockwise from the top left): Russell Duntley, Luella Knickerbocker, me, Eleanor Knickerbocker, someone I don’t know, Alice Wainer (kneeling), Ernest Vesterby ( Nice blue Socks!),Mildred (Snookie) Knickerbocker, Marjorie Knickerbocker ( My mom) and Jim Duntley ( with hair!)


Above the same people,but now in the dining room of the Inglewood house later the same Xmas. I spent more than a few hours on one of those chairs in a corner of that dining room for being less than good.


This is an earlier Christmas at my Uncle John and Aunt Helen’s house. From left to right: My mom ( Marjorie Knickerbocker), me with my head in a box, Uncle John Vesterby, Cousin John Bayte, Cousin Bob Bayte.

26 April 1651

If you are related to me through a Knickerbocker then you are also related to Johannes Dyckman(Dijckman). Johannes is one of the first of our Dutch ancestors to set foot in the new world. I’ve posted a new page of some descendants of Johannes here.

In the following letter to Peter Suyvesant, Director of the colony of New Netherlands, Johannes is introduced and a recommendation made to place him in any avaiable vacancy. In 1652, Johannes is made commissary of Fort Orange ( Now Albany, New York) and Vice-Director of the colony.

The following letter is from: Correspondence 1647-1653 Translated and edited by Charles T. Gehring The Holland Society of New York and the New Netherland project of the New York Library.


More references to Johannes, here.

William R Knickerbocker and Helen Burgess

This picture took a little figuring out. The notes on the back say “Taken as they were leaving Preston July 7th”. The only Knickerbocker that I know of that lived in a city named Preston was Nellie Jane Knickerbocker, her husband Charles Snyder and their flock of children. They lived in Preston, Minnesota beginning about 1910. Nellie Jane was the second child of William and Helen so I’m going to say that this is a picture of William R. and Helen Burgess as they were visiting their married daughter sometime between 1910 and the end of summer 1915 when William R. passed away. So this picture is at least 99 years old ( or the original was – this is a copy I think).


I keep forgetting to add a little context to these pictures: William R. Knickerbocker and Helen Burgess are the parents of Clarence Knickerbocker. So, for me, these are my great-grandparents. I know for quite a few Knickerbocker descendents out there this would be a picture of your great-great-grandparents, and for some (say Bryana W. for example) these would be her great x 3 grandparents.

Kinda cool!

Here’s a previous post with William and Helen’s wedding certificate.


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