The TUINSTRAs were a part of a mass migration from Friesland and Groningen provinces to Western Michigan in the mid-nineteenth century which was motivated by religious freedom during the Seceder movement - a group of religious conservatives that seceded from the state-run church. It was also precipitated by the same Northern European potato blight that affected Ireland.
When the TUINSTRAs first arrived in Michigan, they farmed in Wyoming Township, southwest of the city of Grand Rapids. This family was quite large, with many sons; the head of the household, Auke Caspers TUINSTRA, survived at least two of his three wives. A few years after settling in Wyoming Township, they moved to the edge of town on the west side across the Grand River, where it's likely they had quick access to the rural farmland near them. Some of the TUINSTRA family members were produce peddlers, while others ran grocery stores. A florist shop and nursery originally started by one of the TUINSTRA brothers is still in existence in Grand Rapids today.
Stories and History:
The TUINSTRA Family History on my website - includes drawing of the ship on which the family immigrated!
Ahnentafel #416 - Harmen TUINSTRA
Ahnentafel #208 - Auke Harmens TUINSTRA - m. 1784 to Eelkje Kaspers WITTEROUW
Ahnentafel #104 - Caspar Aukes TUINSTRA (1787 - 1864)
Ahnentafel #52 - Auke Caspars TUINSTRA (1818 - 1898) - immigrated to the United States in 1874 with his third wife and children
Ahnentafel #26 - Geert Aukes TUINSTRA (1851 - 1928) - immigrated to the United States in 1874 with his father, step-mother and many siblings - read his AnceStory here
Ahnentafel #13 - Agnes TUINSTRA (1885 - 1921) - read her AnceStory here; a tale of tragedy
Ahnentafel #6 - William VALK (1912 - 1989) - read his AnceStory here
Ahnentafel #3 - my mother
Ahnentafel #1 - myself
More about the TUINSTRA family:
1. Online database (I update this at least once a month): TUINSTRA ancestors and relatives (no info on living persons available)
2. Some TUINSTRA obituaries
3. Posts about TUINSTRA ancestors and relatives on this blog
4. My TUINSTRA Virtual Cemetery on Find A Grave
5. The TUINSTRA Mailing List on RootsWeb
My TUINSTRA immigration trail:
Franeker, Friesland, the Netherlands > Sneek, Friesland, the Netherlands > Kent Co., MI > AK > Stevens Co., WA > Spokane Co., WA