Hello Maarten, It is good to see that we are beginning to get Europeans on this board since apparently there are many more located there rather than here in the USA.There are probably no more than 300 to 400 total individuals in the USA using the two variations FIERS and FIRES.My line has been here since at least the mid 1700s, and we don't know where it was from.There are more recent lines and they seem to be from Belgium or the Netherlands.Russ
And to Lynn:I think I know who your Catherine Fires is.This is not my line but I have picked up a little information that I want to pass along to you.Coxsackie, NY is located just south of Albany and as you know that area was settled first by the Dutch.In the church records of Coxsackie, there are the baptism records of the Leendert and Catharina Feyer family.
Lourens bp 5-5-1776Wit: Lourens Diel & Catharina Diel.This indidual turns up later in census records as Lawrence Fiers.
Johannesbp 1-14-1778 Wit: Johannes & Barbara Coenli.This is probably the John Fires seen later in Green and Yates Counties.There are several descendants of this John and they use the spelling of Fires.
Mareytje bp 5-3-1781 Wit: Theunis Wolf & Maejke Withbeek.I have no information beyond this.
Catharina bp 6-15-1784 Wit: Pieter Wolf & Doritie Tounsen.I think this is probably your Catharine Fires.
Anna bp 2-15-1789 Wit: Jonathan and Elizabeth Yoemans.I know nothing else.
Pegge bp Jan 1791 Wit: Juri and Elizabeth Wolf.No further information.
And still in the family, records in the same church records:
John Feyer and Anne McGuire had Leonard b 9-7-1799 Wit: Coenradt Sluiter and Catharine Wolfe.This seems to be the Johannes of the previous family.Notice how the names are beginning to take on a more normal USA spelling.
Hope this helps.Good luck on your search.Russ Fiers