Family history

Lewis Redman family small
Lewis and Emma [Motz] Redman of Indiana and their children, Clara, Oliver, Della, and Beulah; c1913
I’ve been researching my family history since November of 2014, and since my Fotki albums are not spidered by Google, I figure I’d create a special page here where distant relatives might find me by searching on my grandparents and great-grandparents names.

Phillip and Martha Senff - cropped
Phillip and Martha[Shaffer] Senff of Bremen, Indiana. Parents of Ben, Roy, Wayne, Charles, and Mary; c1933.
My name is Derek Jensen, the son of Bill Jensen and Luella Kilian of Bremen, Indiana. I’ve built an extensive family tree at The links below go there (requires signup, but it’s a free service).

My grandparents were:

  • Ray Jensen, son of Peter Jensen and Rose Mellott of Denmark and Elkhart County, Indiana
  • Ardella Senff, daughter of Ben Senff and Clara Redman of Marshall County, Indiana
  • Rev. Richard Kilian, son of Ralph Kilian and Pearl Elder of Kosciusko County and Marshall County, Indiana
  • Fern Landis, daughter of Edgar Landis and Alta Tavernier of Elkhart County and St Joseph County, Indiana
Kilian family reunion, 1910, with Ralph and Pearl [Elder] Kilian and Ralph's parents John W Kilian and Elizabeth Hepler.
Kilian family reunion, 1910, with Ralph and Pearl [Elder] Kilian and Ralph’s parents John W Kilian and Elizabeth Hepler.

I’d love to connect with 2nd and 3rd cousins and fill in gaps in my family tree and share photographs. You can find my family photos on Fotki in several albums, along with family history presentations that reveal that parts of my family have been in the US since its earliest European settlements.

Henry and Ida [Stutsman] Tavernier and their children, including Alta, c1915
Henry and Ida [Stutsman] Tavernier and their children, including Alta, c1915
I’ve uncovered direct relations to people such as:

  • John Mellott, Jr, who served in the Indian Wars and married half-Indian Elezebeth Sampson
  • Gedeon “La Plante” Merlet, a constable and magistrate in early New York
  • Robert Hutchins, a scofflaw and later lawyer and sea captain in Jamestown, Virginia
  • Richard Mather, brother of the man who prosecuted Charles I in the English Civil War and father of Increase Mather, who founded Harvard University.

Click the photo album below for various albums of old family photos, documents, and slide presentations….


18 thoughts on “Family history”

  1. Derek,

    The picture of the Henry and Ida Tavernier is familiar to me and I believe that my mother has individual pictures of Henry and Ida. Big oval framed pictures. Maybe a foot and a half tall and fifteen inches wide. It will be interesting to see what there is to share.


  2. I continue to add photos, better descriptions, and maps to all the family photo albums. I updated the family history slide presentations as of March 2015.

    I’m also continuing to reach out to other cousins, both on and in person.

    Trying to contact:

    • Elaine [Kentner] Hall, great-granddaughter of Arvilla [Jensen] Swartzlander (street address but no e-mail or phone)
    • Tina Nishimoto-Burch, granddaughter of Mary [Senff] Burch (address may be outdated and message never received)
    1. I am Teresa Gee Burch aka Tara Mosley, Last sibling of Chikako Nishimoto. Sister to Sherril Lee, Tina Vee, Linda Dee, Rina Ree, and Tawn Chi Burch.

    2. Hello! Thank you for commenting on my family history blog page! I saved the Burch and Nishimoto photos that Tina had posted and put them with my family photos of the Burches. Norman was my grandmother’s cousin. She was Ardella [Senff] Jensen, daughter of Ben Senff, who was Norman’s mother’s brother. You can find the Burch photos I have here:

      And the whole Senff collection is here:

      I’m interested in any photos of this side of the family that you might have.

  3. Hi Derek, Martha Senff was a daughter of Benjamin and Mary Ann[Roose] Shaffer, Her sisters were Sarah, Luetta, Florence and Addie, she also had one brother Edward who died in infancy. Addie was my grandmother. My grandmother named her oldest daughter Martha.

    1. Wonderful to hear from you, Molly! I recently got a picture of Mary Ann with Addie and Osa from one of my dad’s cousins and a whole album of photos apparently assembled by Mary Ann from another of my dad’s cousins. It’s a treasure I’m thrilled to share.

      Here’s one of the whole Ben and Mary Ann Shaffer family…

      There is even a picture of Ben’s father, my 4x-great-grandfather.

      I’d love to know if you have more photos of Addie’s line!

  4. Derek,

    I have somewhat recent photos of Virgil and Jay (Julius junior) that were not included in all the pics that I lended to you. Give me an e-mail and I’ll forward it to you.

  5. Just had to thank you again for posting the ink drawing of my grandmother, Marguerite Clinton Park. It is wonderful that you took the time to research who she was, who she became, and then posted that artwork for people who weren’t even related to you. When I knew her, she was not a curly brown haired bride who could ride a bike 100 miles in less than 16 hours, but instead a wispy grey haired matron who could barely get around, so crippled by arthritis. What a gift to open that window to her past! Best to you — Marge

  6. Hello Derek. My mother was Velma Burch Parish, the daughter of Lawrence Burch. My grandmother was Mary Senff Burch. I used to visit Phillip Senff at his house in Bremen and sit on his front porch among the flowers that he loved but could only smell because of his blindness. I have downloaded the photos you posted of Lawrence Burch and Mary as well as the one of just Mary. Wonderful photos. I have a family tree that includes all of Lawrence and Mary’s children, including my mother. I spent many summer days at the Burch farm outside of Tyner and still visit the area almost every year for the annual Burch family reunion. I would be very interested in any additional photos you have of the Burch/Senff family.

  7. Hi Derek, I’ve just found your record for Don Bunge, my grandfather. I loved seeing all the photos uploaded to his record, but I also noticed that someone has marked him as deceased. I’m happy to report that he’s still very much alive.

    I’ve requested that your record be marked as still living so that I can merge your duplicate record with the one that is connected to his family. But are you able to go in and mark him as living yourself?

    Let me know what you find out. Thank you!

    1. Hi. I regularly mark living persons as deceased in FamilySearch for two reasons. Records for living persons can’t have source documents attached to them, which makes it difficult to even get started on researching someone. And, living person records are private; only the creator can see them. So there is no way to merge duplicate records for living persons: you can’t see mine, and I can’t see yours.

      As a result, there would still be two records, and a third party might notice that Don is missing from the Jay and Oma Bunge family and create yet another record for him.

      It’s very annoying that they don’t offer a “living but public” setting, but I’ve now changed the location of death to “living” to be a little clearer.

      By the way, Coach Bunge taught me Driver’s Ed back in ’84. Great memories of his little tricks!

    1. Sorry, I’m the researcher for Historic Bremen of Bremen, Indiana, and I research a lot of people tangentially when I research local families. I don’t have any relation to the Pendls personally.

  8. Hi Derek. I am working up a family history narrative for a friend who is descended from Virgil DeLanghe. I perused your family album for the DeLanghes and wondered if you could point me towards photos of Virgil and/or his father Julius DeLanghe, if you can. Thanks so much.

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