RENEMA is a Frisian clan name. The Frisians are an ethnic minority in the north of the Netherlands and the west of Germany. Our family oral history indicates that the name came about because the family is descended from a French Huguenot by the name of René who took religious refuge in what would have been the Dutch Republic, sometime during the religious persecutions of the late 17th and early 18th centuries. In 1811, the people of the Netherlands, which had been annexed to France by Napoleon, were required to register a surname with the local government. Before this time, most used patronyms, although it was not unusual for others to already have a surname.
The family is more recently found in the vital records of the municipality of Wonseradeel, Friesland, the Netherlands. The municipality, Wonseradeel, was merged with the municipalities of Bolsward, Nijefurd, Sneek, and Wymbritseradeel to become Súdwest-Fryslân (Southwest Friesland) in 2011. Also, before the merge--and even now when reference is made to it--it was spelled Wûnseradiel in the Frisian language. However, Frisian was not recognized by the Dutch government as a second state language until the 1950s and as an official minority language until 1996. In this post, I am using the original municipality name with the Dutch spelling as it was used at the time my ancestors lived there.
Stories and History:
Ahnentafel #880 - Eable (dates unknown) - earliest known named male ancestor of this line
Ahnentafel #440 - Freerk Eables (dates unknown) - married Antje Siedses
Ahnentafel #220 - Sieds Freerks RENEMA (1762 - 1834) - registered the RENEMA surname under Napoleon's decree. Born in Makkum, Wonseradeel, he married Akke Klazes BANGMA (1767 - 1813) in 1787.
Ahnentafel #110 - Dirk Siedses RENEMA (1797 - 1859) - born in Zurich, Wonseradeel, he married Baukje Wipjkes TERPSTRA (1804 - 1873) in 1824.
Ahnentafel #55 - Akke "Aggie" Dirks RENEMA (1832 - 1882) - born in Zurich, she married Wijbren Joukes WIERSMA (1831 - 1909) in 1852. At the time of their marriage, she was already expecting the first of what may have been as many as 17 children! Not all of them have been accounted for at this point, but there were likely two sets of twins in the family. After Akke's death, Wijbren and a number of their children emigrated to Grand Rapids, Kent County, Michigan.
Ahentafel #27 - Doetje WIERSMA (1854 - 1916) - My immigrant ancestor. Born in Zurich, she married another Frisian immigrant, Geert Aukes TUINSTRA (1851 - 1928) in 1884 in Grand Rapids. They had 10 children, including a set of twins. She died in Grand Rapids.
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 (living)
Ahnentafel #1 - myself
More About the RENEMA Family:
1. Online database (I update this at least once a month): RENEMA ancestors and relatives (no info on living persons available)
2. Posts about RENEMA ancestors and relatives on this blog
My RENEMA Immigration Trail:
Wonseradeel, Friesland, the Netherlands > Kent Co., MI > AK > Stevens Co., WA > Spokane Co., WA
Related Saturday Surname Posts:
WIERSMA, TUINSTRA, HOEKSTRA, VALK, ROBBINS