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Henri Godefroid (known as Godfried) Baeten was born at 126 Everlo Street, in Helden, Limburg, Netherlands on November 10, 1818. His parents were the 33 year old, John Baeten, a cultivator and his wife Elizabeth Janssen. When Godfried was 8 years old on May 24, 1827, his mother died.
On April 26, 1843 the 24 year old Godfried married Petronella Janssen, 24 years old, resident of Blitterswijk, and the daughter of Johannes Janssen (a deceased day laborer) and Hendrina van Hees (also a deceased day laborer). Godfried was working as a farm hand and residing in Broekhuizenvorst, Limburg, Netherlands at this time. Their first child, John Renier, was born November 29, 1844 in Broekhuizen as were Johannes Henry (called Henry), Elizabeth, and Hendrina. Sometime between the birth of Hendrina on February 3, 1852 and Johanna on June 18, 1854 the family moved to Blitterswijk, where Johanna and all of the remaining children were born.
In 1870 Godfried and his family immigrated to the United States. Shortly after arriving in the U.S., Godfried jointly purchased 160 acres of land with Hubert Berken for $3,300 on April 16, 1870. The property consisted of 660 feet of waterfront on the west side of the Fox River at Green Bay, Wisconsin and stretched 11,220 feet to the west and was officially "the lower or north one equal quarter of Private Claim Number 26 on the west side of the Fox River at Green Bay." Ashwaubenon Creek also ran through the property. After the death of Hubert Berken on October 17, 1872, his eldest son John Berken filed suit against Godfried and three of John's siblings regarding the division of the property. This land is now part of the Village of Ashwaubenon.
Sometime before 1873, Godfried also started a brickyard. In June 1875 Godfried lived in the Town of Ashwaubenon with his wife and children Henry, Leonard, Peter, Petronella ("Nellie") and Christina. In February 1880, Godfried was living on Eleventh Street in West DePere with his wife; sons Henry, Leonard, Peter; daughters Nellie & Christina; Christina's husband Jacob Smits, who worked in the brickyard; and Jacob & Christina's children (Godfried's grandchildren) Dora Smits (age 3) and John Smits (age 1).
On May 10, 1890 Godfried's wife Petronella died at the age of 71. Two of Godfried's children died in the 1890's, Christina (36 years old, wife of Jacob Smits) on July 29, 1893 due to complications from childbirth and Henry (50 years old, husband of Wilhelmina Broekmans) on April 17, 1898 of diabetes. In June 1900 Godfried was living on Main Street in West DePere with his granddaughter Dora Smits (Mathey), her husband Peter Mathy (sic Mathey) who was head of household, and their children Christina & Johanna (Anna). Godfried could not read, write, nor speak English.
On February 10, 1901 at the age of 82, Godfried Baeten died in West DePere, Wisconsin with his final estate valued at $3,318.06 and was buried at Mount Calvary Cemetery.
"Old" Grave marker at Mount Calvary
Note: As shown on the sources page, much research has been done on the Baeten family in DePere by E. Virginia Hunt and is published in The Baeten Families of Brown County, Wisconsin (June 2002, rev Nov 2003). Much of the above biographical information on Godfried comes from her research.