Thursday, June 15, 2006

HOEKSTRA - JONKER - TON - ZIGTERMAN - DICKINSON marriages, Ottawa Co., Michigan

I went to my local Family History Center this evening. The film I had ordered (FHL microfilm #0984231: Ottawa County, Michigan Marriage Records, Vol. 5 - 7, 1867 - 1902) was in. I had a number of marriages to search. The first was for my great-great-great-grandparents, Jan Martens HOEKSTRA and Grietje JONKER. Both widowed, they emigrated separately to the U.S. from Kloosterburen, Groningen, the Netherlands to Holland, Ottawa County, Michigan. Jan came in 1867 with a daughter, Geertje "Gertrude", from his first marriage. I haven't been able to find Grietje JONKER's immigration information, but it had to be between 1862, when her youngest son, Filippes DEKKER, died in Kloosterburen, and 1867, when she married Jan.

I found Jan and Grietje's marriage in Volume 5, page 3. It was record #45, and extremely difficult to read. They were married in Holland (Michigan) on 28 Oct 1867, a mere short four months after Jan emigrated. The officiant was J. B. DeBEE(K?), officiant of the "T. Ref. Ch." Now looking at the Ottawa County GenWeb site, I cannot find a Reformed Church that starts with a "T." It might be a "J" or maybe a "1". Couldn't find a pastor's name with DeBEE or DeBEEK, either. More investigation needed. Also, I had a difficult time reading the witnesses names: J. HUIGESTAGES (?) and E. HATLE/HIGTE/SLIGTE (?), both of Holland.

The second important marriage record was for Jan and Griete's son and daughter-in-law, Martin HOEKSTRA and Jennie TON (my great-great-grandparents). I had long suspected that the "Martin HOEKSTRA - Jana FOW" marriage I had seen listed in the bride's index at the Ottawa County GenWeb site was for my ancestors, with TON misspelled. I found their record (#233) in Vol. 6, pg. 59. Yes, TON was misspelled as FOW on the record itself...which probably was copied from the original marriage certificate or the clergyman's records incorrectly. Martin and Jana/Jennie were married 27 Nov 1886 in Holland (Michigan). I know this is their record, because Jennie's birthplace is correctly listed as Ohio, and Martin's parents, Jan and Grietje, were the witnesses. It also matches the information Martin and Jennie's son, John (my great-grandfather), wrote in his Family Record Book, that his parents were married November 1886.

A fun new discovery was a marriage record for Catherine DEKKER, Grietje JONKER's daughter by her first marriage to Jans Freerk DEKKER, and a half-sister to Martin. She married Bene HAIT of Grand Rapids, Kent County, Michigan on 12 Jan 1874 in Holland (Michigan), according to their marriage record (#83) found in Vol. 5, pg. 98. It lists Catherine's birthplace as Kloosterburen, which is terrific! Groningen does not yet have all its birth/baptisms listed online at the Dutch National Archives website, so I did not have a specific birthplace for Catherine before now, although I did find other family records (marriages and deaths) located in Kloosterburen. I suspect now that the E. HATLE/HIGTE/SLIGTE witness to Jan and Grietje's marriage may actually be HAIT. UPDATE: I've since discovered that this difficult-to-read surname was actually STUIT, and not HAIT. The witness was very likely Hattie STUIT, mother of Beene STUIT, who married Grietje's daughter Catherine.

Other marriage records found of lesser importance include those for Zigert ZICHTERMAN - Anna BRONSEMA (Zi was a brother to my step-ancestor, Trientje ZIGHTERMAN BOS BARSEMA); and Wallace William DICKINSON - Elizabeth GARRISON (Wallace was a brother to my ancestor, Lucy May DICKINSON). I could not locate a marriage record for Fonytje "Finnie" HOEKSTRA (Jan and Grietje's daughter) to Riekel VanTIL, although a descendant of theirs lists 27 Oct 1892 in Holland (Michigan) as their marriage date and location. I found Sherman DICKINSON (a brother to Wallace and Lucy) in the index, but ran out of time to locate the record. And I still need to investigate all DEKKER listings to see if I can locate Fredrich DEKKER's marriage (brother to Catherine/son of Grietje from her first marriage).
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