Family Ties and History

With the birth of our fifth great grandchild “Finn,” our granddaughter wrote about family ties and her family history. I have compiled some information for this and will send it to her and add some special notes, which she can include. Here are two items.

The Clemmer family from my mother’s side was French Huguenot and fled the persecution in France. They settled in Baltimore and pioneered the wilderness of Pennsylvania and met hostile settlers. The family erected palisades and sturdy log houses to protect their small farms.

According to the record Dr. Clemmer was a surgeon and served all during the Revolutionary War. One day he was tending his crops when a war party attacked. Everyone fled to the small fort for protection, not noticing that their small daughter was left outside. She ran into the forest and hid successfully but came out of hiding before the war party had departed.

She was captured and held for a bit. The young girl survived, but according to the records, she understandably never fully recovered from the awful experience. Such was the harsh life on the frontier, and a bit of history for young Finn.

On the Dingeman side of the family, here’s a small item. They fled Holland from the Spanish persecution and hired a boat and sailed to America.

Two hundred of them purchased fertile farm land and settled in Iowa in a town called Pella. Some still live there and prosperous, and I must say look like Dingemans! Of course, the town is famous for the Pella windows, its beautiful annual tulip festival, and golden bantam corn harvest.

Enough history but nice to know something about your ancestors and their lives. Note, we were all immigrants.

The End of an Era

When I first enlisted in the army in 1940 at Schofield Barracks in Hawaii, I was assigned an insurance policy that was a leftover from, believe it or not, World War I. I guess that was because so few enlisted in Schofield Barracks. It carried a small fee, and I paid it for 30 years for my Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance. It paid a small dividend each year for my 40 years after retirement.

With the death of WWI soldiers the insurance apparently had a few accounts of unpaid policies still in effect. Anyway, we just received the last check for a nice sum, ending the era and closing the account and my ties with two wars. It was a very unexpected—but welcome—payoff for living to 95 years.

I’m happy to be such a lucky American citizen soldier and survivor, who is proud to have been able to serve our wonderful country. It was such a privilege. Then I had the honor to help found our beautiful community of Scripps Ranch.

Bob Dingeman