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Iowa Peelen clan charted for U.S. version of Dutch book

Family history a retirement mission

Tags: Genealogy

SIOUX CENTER, Iowa - Retired hotel executive Fred Peelen wants to publish another book on his family’s history. After finishing a Dutch edition of ‘Five Centuries of Peelen Families’, the New York resident now wants to detail its American branch in a book. Peelen who in 1962 came to the U.S. to do graduate work at Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration, soon used the opportunity the visit distant relatives in Northwest Iowa. This summer he returned to Sioux Center to chart the Peelen clan there.

The U.S. Peelen clan descends from Jacob Peelen who settled in Sioux County in 1885. Jacob arrived from the Netherlands with his wife, four sons and three daughters. Still unknown is where he entered the country or when he arrived that year. Most of the Peelens remain in Iowa but some spread out to Arizona, California, Florida, and Michigan.

Fred Peelen and a friend started to work on their book in 1998 and presented it at a August 2002 family reunion. Work on an American version already began in 2001 and is slated for completion late next year.

Through Jacob’s daughters the Peelens now are related to such Iowa Dutch clans as Van Heukelom, Postma and Hoeven. Others are Blankers, Wandscheer, Peiper, Boerhave, Scheerhorn, Te Grotenhuis, Schutt, Hulstein and De Kok. Several of these hail from the Veluwe and Achterhoek regions.