Romke and Jiskje van der Beek
My great-grandfather on my father’s side was Romke Gerardus van der Beek.
He was born on 26-09-1843 in Jislum, he was the son of Gerardus Pieters van der Beek and Akke Gaatses Tulp.
Here you see his birth certificate, click on it for an enlargement.
Apparently his father, Gerardus, could not write, because the last sentence is: The declarant did not sign this, declaring that he had not learned any writing. But later he apparently learned, because after Gerardus’s parents had died in 1858, the inventory was notarized, and his signature was there.
Romke was a worker. He was rejected for military service because of physical defects, below you see the details of the inspection. Apparently he missed one or more fingers, that was lack no. 76 at the militia. He was not tall either, he was 1 t 530 stripes, and you should read that as 153 cm. His grandfather Pieter was even smaller, because he was rejected for military service because of lack of length.
Romke was convicted on 3 April 1872 for ill-treatment, together with his brother Doeke. So they were not sweeties. They were then sentenced to 8 days in prison (see a section from the police archive below).
Romke married Jiskje Jans Popma on 09-11-1872. Romke was 29 years old and Jiskje was 18 years old. Romke was a laborer in Molenend, and thats why he probably met Jiskje. The parents of Romke were already deceased when they married, and the mother of Jiskje too.
Click here for the marriage certificate of Romke and Jiskje.
Romke and Jiskje could not write when they got married. Because at their marriage certificate is the last paragraph:
after reading it was signed by us with the Comparanten and the witnesses, with the exception of the bridegroom and the bride, who stated that they could not do this since they never learned to write (see below).
Romke later on learned to write. For the first four children, the birth certificate always stated that the father could not write, but from that moment on he started to sign the birth certificates. Below you can see, for example, the birth certificate of my grandfather Jan, with the signature of his father Romke underneath.
Jiskje was born on 24-01-1854 on Dr. Kijlstraweg 67 in Molenend, which is about where the Kingma contracting company is now. She was the daughter of Jan Bruins Popma and Grietje Tjipkes Biesma.
In 1869 she went with her father to the house next door (that has been demolished and therefore no longer exists), her mother was already deceased at the time.
In January 1873 her father married again and now with Tjipkje Pieters van der Beek.
Jiskje was just married to Romke before, she probably did not like living with her father and his new wife. Her father was the fourth man of Tjipkje, and Tjipkje was an aunt of Romke, my great-grandfather. So from then on Jiskje her father was also her (unmarried) uncle.
When her mother died Jiskje inherited f 60.85. In the notarial deed she is always called Jitte, click here for that deed.
That deed is difficult to read, that’s why I copied it, you’ll find that typed version here.
Jiskje herself was not present at the deed signing, but her husband Romke represented her. That usually happened during that time, there was hardly ever a woman present.
Romke also signed the deed, he had apparently already learned to write by then (that was in 1874). He couldn’t do that at his marriage. But it is curious that the birth certificates of the first four children state that the certificates were not signed by Romke because he could not write, while Akke, Gerardus and Tjipke were born in 1876, 1878 and 1879.
Click here for Tjipke’s birth certificate in 1879 .
From the fifth child he did sign, see above for example the birth certificate of my grandfather Jan in 1884.
Romke and Jiskje lived at different locations in Molenend, among others at Flokhernepaad 4.
Their life was not about roses.
They had 12 children together, but only three became older than 22.
Romke died of TB on 19 February 1900.
At that time 6 children had already died: Jan in 1879 (6 years old, he was their first child and was born in 1873), Gaatze in 1888 (7 months), Akke in 1893 (17 years), Antje in 1894 (1 year), Jantje (probably died as a baby) and another Akke in 1896 (14 days).
Their children Gerardus and Tjipke were arrested in 1889 when they were 11 and 10 years old.
They had only taken some branches from the forest. That was in the winter, probably their parents needed the wood to burn the stove.
They were sentenced to 2 days in prison! The court record you see above at left (G. R. v. B. is Gerardus Romkes van der Beek and T. R. v. B. is Tjipke Romkes van der Beek).
Romke died of TB.
After he had died, everything with which he had been in touch at home had to be burnt (see the municipal council report on the right).
A few weeks later their daughter Grietje (14 years old) died and a year later their son Gerardus (22 years old).
After that Jiskje stayed behind with four children.
To make matters worse, her daughter Hinke died in 1914 at the age of 21 because of an accident: Hinke walked, two and a half months after she was married, to a house when a wall fell over because of the strong wind. She came under the wall and died. She was two and a half months before, married on 20-05-1914 to Ale Visser, see the newspaper article on the left.
Now Jiskje had only three sons: Tjipke, Gaatze and Jan, my grandfather. With Tjipke my great-grandmother also experienced a lot, which you can read below.
Jiskje lived, after her husband died, in many different places, often with other people in and near her birth house. Jiskje had to peddle with bread to get money, she was “bôlekoerrinster“.
From 1918 to 1928 she lived in a part of the house on Dr. Kijlstraweg 75, then she went to the house opposite, Dr. Kijlstraweg 66. She had one room there in the old “skoallehûs” until 1930.
In 1930 her son Gaatze bought the house from the Dr. Kijlstraweg 54 (where later Rom van der Beek went to live). Jiskje then went into the southern part of that house, and until her death in 1940 she lived there.
She has been photographed as a “bôlekoerrinster” in front of the house of her son Gaatze, see below left.
During Floralia, a celebration in Trynwâlden that was held once every two years, Jiskje was depicted as a “bôlekoerrinster” by means of flowers in Stania State (by the women’s association of my mother), see below right.
Tjipke Romkes van der Beek was the oldest son (who remained alive) of Romke and Jiskje van der Beek, and he was a brother of my grandfather Jan. He was born on 27-07-1879 in Molenend.
When he was 10 years old, Tjipke and his brother Gaatze, aged 11, once went into the forest to look for branches and take them to serve as firewood. But that was forbidden.
They were caught by the forester and had to stand trial. They were given two days in prison (see a section from the police archive below).
Tjipke was very ill when he was about 20 years old, he had typhus. He survived, but because of that he became bald early.
Tjipke married Pietje Bil on 22-04-1905.
Tjipke, like his brothers Gaatze and Jan, worked at the flax factory in Molenend. Tjipke worked his way up to foreman (manager).
Tjipke first lived with Pietje on Jelte Binneswei 34 (the house in which his nephew Tjip van der Beek later lived with Sjoerdje and children), followed by Dr. Kijlstraweg 48 (that is the house where the Reformed church later had a meeting room, see the picture on the left, the mother of Pietje lived in), until 1931.
Tjipke and Pietje had four children: Froukje, Jitske, Oepke and Hinke.
In 1930 Tjipke and Pietje had been married for 25 years (see the family report on the right), but then another woman was already involved.
Tjipke had discovered that Gerrit Visser, who also worked at the flax factory, had a nice wife. And she also liked Tjipke. Gerrit (fat Gerrit was called) was regularly sent into the country by Tjipke to work in the flax, because then Tjipke had time to get involved with Grietje.
That was not accepted at that time, and that is why a peoples-court took place: Tjipke and Grietje were driven on a flat cart through the village, so that everyone could see who the “wrongdoers” were. The attention was drawn because loud kettle music was made and eventually they would be thrown into the water at the harbor of Molenend, but someone has put a stop to it.
Tjipke then divorced his first wife Pietje, and he went to live with my grandparents. That was in 1931. They lived at the farm on Jelte Binnesweg 37, and that farm was actually owned by Tjipke.
Tjipke wanted to prevent them from taking them again by scaring off a revolver by anyone who came after him. That’s why he slept with his brother, my grandfather Jan Romkes van der Beek, with a loaded revolver under his pillow. My father, Jan van der Beek, had to get the load out of pake at night while Tjipke slept.
Tjipke lived with my grandparents for a year, then he married Grietje and went with her and the three children she already had close to the house of my grandparents.
Grietje de Boer was divorced from Gerrit Visser in 1932. She already had two daughters and a son: Antje (born 7 February 1929), Douwina (born June 19, 1930) and Sake (born May 25, 1931).
On 12-05-1933 Grietje married Tjipke. Tjipke was 23 years older than Grietje, and they had three children together: Romke (born January 17, 1935 in Molenend), Jantine (born March 2, 1938 in Hijlaard) and Akke (born in 1943 in Menaldum).
Pietje Bil, the first wife of Tjipke, still lived on Dr. Kijlstraweg 48 with the four children until 1938.
Then Oepke (her son) went to live there with Ietje Greydanus.
When Oepe and Iet had a son, they did not call him Tjipke, as you would expect, but Piet to his mother Pietje.
In 1936 Tjipke bought the old dairy in Hoptille at Hijlaard, and had it converted into a flax factory. The opening of the factory was in 1937, see the article below (right). Tjipke also lived there with Grietje and their son Romke. A few years later they left for Menaldum, where Tjipke also managed another flax factory.
Below you can see Tjipke, and there under the obituary of his second wife.
Gaatze was the youngest son (who remained alive) of Romke and Jiskje van der Beek, and he was also a brother of my grandfather Jan. He was born on 22-06-1889 in Molenend. Gaatze married, 20 years old, with Trijntje Boonstra.
Gaatze was a machinist from the flax factory until 1948, when she lived at Halligenweg 7 (the machinists’ house, see the picture below on the left).
In 1930 Gaatze bought the house to Dr. Kijlstraweg 54, which the director of the flax factory had built there (see the picture below on the right). His mother, Jiskje Popma, lived in the part on the south side, his son Romke in 1936 on the north side.
In 1940, when Jiskje Popma died, Rom and Akke lived in the whole house. They lived there for 40 years, then Akke another 14 years with her son Durk. Durk now lives there.
Gaatze (the owner) and his wife Trijntje came to live in a part of the house in 1948.
Gaatze and Trijntje had three children: Romke, Klaas and Tsjip.
Rom was a bicycle mechanic, he did that in the loft behind the house. He also drove a taxi.
Tsjip was a machinist of the flax factory from 1948 to 1961, when they lived at Halligenweg 7 (the machinist house).
When the flax factory closed, they moved to Jelte Binneswei 32. Tjip became a plumber in the Diaconessen hospital.
In 1946 Tsjip and Sjoerdje got a motorcycle accident. That accident (see the article below, right) has had a significant impact on the family. Sjoerdje has been in hospital for six weeks. She had come under the motor, they have long thought that she would not make it.
Tjip could not use his left arm for a long time, the doctors gave him a 5% chance that things would turn out well again. By practicing a lot, it has almost come true. But with 50 years, Tjip ended up in the WAO.
Then he did a lot of jobs at home and in the area, because he was very handy. If my father’s milking machine broke, Tjip came by to repair it.
Bauke van der Beek was a brother of Romke van der Beek, my great-grandfather.
He was born on 02-06-1845 in Jislum, and he married Antje Feitsma on 26-01-1878.
Antje was a daughter of Janke Feitsma, and the father is considered “not mentioned” in the birth certificate.
Bauke was a shoemaker in Wijns, his wife helped him with that. He was flawed, his one leg was shorter than the other. In the birth certificates of all children it says: “Father because of illness prevented from declaring the birth”.
On the site http://www.wynzertsjerkje.nl/Schaafsma.html tells a certain Symen Schaafsma from Wijns about the family, see below.
Bauke and Antje lived right next to the church, in a house of the board.
Bauke hardly had any work as a shoemaker, and in 1899 the council asked the town council whether the Bauke family could be admitted to the poor house. The beginning of that letter can be seen below, right. If you click on it, you will see the whole letter.
Bauke and Antje had six children: Gerhardus, Janke, Sjoerd (after 7 months died), Aukje, Sjoerd, Sjoerdje (after 2 days died), Grietje.
Aukje van der Beek was one of the daughters of Bauke and Antje, she was born on 25-01-1884 in Wijns. Aukje got a son Gerardus van der Beek on 08-02-1911 in Rotterdam. Aukje was then unmarried.
Aukje was after that birth housekeeper with Johannes Jans de Jong (he was a farmer and his wife was deceased) in Oudkerk from 24-06-1911 (she then came from Rotterdam) until 19-04-1912, because then she left for Terband.
Aukje married soon after, 28 years old, with Jitze Veenstra, 35 years old.
Jitze was a merchant in Terband.
Aukje was convicted for abuse in September 1921. The requirement was: 20 days of sitting or paying 10 guilders (see below).
Sjoerd van der Beek, born on 24-09-1885 in Wijns, was also a son of Bauke and Antje.
Sjoerd was very small, not very clever, and he had body defects.
Sjoerd remained unmarried, he was admitted to Bergum’s armhouse in 1907 (see the sections from the minutes below and the letter of 1899. If you click on the letter, a larger letter from 1907 appears in which Sjoerd is requested to be admitted to the hospice. ).
Sjoerd died in March 1951 in Leeuwarden, 65 years old.
Tjibbe Thomas Spoelstra was my great-grandfather on my mother’s side, he was the father of my grandmother Jisseltje.
Tjibbe was born on 17-09-1846 in Garijp. He was the son of Thomas Minderts Spoelstra and Tyttje Tjibbes Pebesma.
Tjibbe married Tetje Baukes Meyer on 14-05-1870. Tetje was born on 27-06-1844 in Leeuwarden, daughter of Bauke Egberts Meyer and Jisseltje Tijmens Jasper.
Bauke Egberts Meyer, Tetje’s father, was freight skipper on the “Jonge Binne”, living in Leeuwarden.
He transported peat from the peat bogs to the villages.
The ship was about 30 tons, the whole family lived on it. When there was no wind, mother and children had to walk along the canal on the shore to pull the ship. Sometimes a horse could be hired for it. If there was enough wind, they sailed.
Bauke was a son of Egbert Andries Meyer and Tettje Feddes Rodenburg, he was their fifth child. Egbert was also skipper. And Fedde Meyer, a brother of Tetje, was also a cargo skipper, namely on “The three brothers”.
Egbert and Tettje had 10 children together, the last 2 were twins. The twins Hielke and Akke were born on 19-08-1829, and mother Tettje died 10 days later. The twins died after three weeks, Hielke and Akke both died on September 12, 1829.
After his wife died, Egbert Andries Meyer married Harmina Karels Friso on May 22, 1831. They had a daughter together, Carolina was born March 16, 1833, but Harmina died six months later.
Tettje Feddes Rodenburg, Bauke’s mother, was a daughter of Fedde Jelles Rodenburg and Trijntje Trientje Klazes. Fedde and Trijntje had three children: Tettje, Klaas and Jelle. Mother Trijntje died soon after Jelle was born in 1796.
Fedde Jelles married Antje Ages after the death of Trijntje Klazes. Antje was 16 years older than Fedde. Antje Ages died on 13-02-1832 in the ship located in Gorredijk.
After the death of Antje Ages, Fedde married again, on 20-12-1832 (10 months after the death of Antje) to Antje Jeltes Bijlstra, age 34, born in 1798 in Lippenhuizen. Fedde was 67 years old at the time. She was therefore 33 years younger than Fedde, and almost 50 years younger than his previous wife Antje. But less than a year later Fedde passed away; he was on his way with their peat ship, they were in Franeker.
Jisseltje, Tetje’s mother, was “inlands kramerske“. And Jisseltje’s mother, Aukje Klazes van der Wal, was also a “inlands kramerske”.
Just like her husband Bauke, Jisseltje came from a skipper’s family. Her father, Tymen Alberts Jasper, was first peatmaker and later peat skipper on the “Zelden tehuis”. Tymen had 18 children, of which Jisseltje was the tenth. Jisseltje’s mother was Aukje Klazes van der Wal, she was Tymen’s third wife.
Tymen was born on 10-01-1776 in Oudehaske, he was a son of Albert Tymens Vink (son Tymen took the name Jasper in 1811, why he did not keep the name Vink is unclear) and Margje Hendriks Nymeier. He married February 12, 1797 Martzen Harmens Wilde in Lippenhuizen. They had 5 children of which the last 3 died young. Their daughter Margje was born on 30-01-1808 and soon afterwards mother Martzen passed away.
Tymen married again on 15-01-1809, so within a year, and now Aaltje Johannes, again in Lippenhuizen.
They had 2 children, Johannes and Hendrik. They then lived in Oudehaske and Tymen was a peatmaker. Hendrik was born on 14-01-1812, and mother Aaltje died 9 days later on 23-01-1812 at the age of 29. Henry died a year later.
Tymen found a new wife: Aukje Klazes van der Wal, she was 18 years younger than Tymen. Tymen now became skipper and on 15-07-1815 Tymen and Aukje had a son Klaas. Tymen was then 39 years old and Aukje was 21 years old. Klaas was born on the ship “Rare home” that was then in Wijnjeterp. You can see his birth certificate below, left.
Tymen died on March 17, 1854 at the age of 79 in his ship, which was moored in Oudehaske. His death certificate (see below, top right) does state that he was a widower of Martzen Harmens Wilde and Aaltje Johannes, but not that he married Aukje Klazes van der Wal. Aukje died a year later, on April 2, 1855, at the age of 62. Her death certificate states that she was unmarried. Apparently Tymen and Aukje never married, while they had 11 children together: Klaas, Jitze, Jisseltje, Martijntje, Pieter, Harmen, Margje, Baukje, Rienk, Aaltje and Rienk.
Tjibbe and Tetje had built their own house of second-hand materials at the Eendrachtsweg No. 1 in Garijp.
The house consisted of a living room with two bedsteads and a side room with a bedstead. A fourth bedstead was in the barn. There was a stable for four cows and an outdoor toilet.
When they lived there the streets had no names, the address was Garijp 77. You can see that on the section of the population register below.
In the picture below on the left you see the house with Tjibbe and Tetje in front of the door, my grandmother Jisseltje and her youngest brother Titus in front of the windows. On the right you see the marriage certificate of Tjibbe and Tetje, click on it for an enlargement.
Tjibbe was op zaterdag barbier. Tjibbe was a barber on Saturday. He shaved the men and cut the hair in the side room for some extra income.
Tjibbe also made brushes. Right you see such a brush, which is probably made by Tjibbe, TTS means Tjibbe Thomas Spoelstra.
Together with Tetje he ran a kind of café.
Tjibbe was a barber on Saturday. He shaved the men and cut the hair in the side room for some extra income. Tjibbe also made brushes and together with Tetje he ran a kind of café. If there was ice in the winter, they had a cake and a zopie tent on the ice.
Tjibbe has also been in military service. His data with the militia can be found below. So he was about 1.70 m, had blue eyes, a broad mouth, a flat chin and light brown hair.
After Tjibbe passed away in 2016, Tetje sold everything from and around the house. She sold, among other things, a dog cart for f13, two cows for f230 and f185, a pig for f36 and a sheep for f32. Furthermore, a lot of wood, poles, hay, grass, etc. Click here if you want to see the complete deed of the lottery.Tjibbe and Tetje had five children: Bauke, Thomas, Jisseltje (my grandmother), Mindert and Titus. She sold, among other things, a dog cart for f13, two cows for f230 and f185, a pig for f36 and a sheep for f32. Furthermore, a lot of wood, poles, hay, grass, etc.
Click here if you want to see the complete deed of the auction.
Tjibbe and Tetje had five children: Bauke, Thomas, Jisseltje (my grandmother), Mindert and Titus.
Bauke Tjibbes Spoelstra was born on 10-01-1871 in Garijp. He was the eldest son of Tjibbe and Tetje Spoelstra, and he was the eldest brother of my grandmother Jisseltje.
Bauke got his training as a teacher in Garijp from the head of the school there: Pieter Lub.
He came into contact with Pieter Lub’s daughter: Gerbreg Henriëtte Alida (Jet) Lub, his later wife. Bauke married her on 06-02-1896 in Garijp. Jet was born on 31-07-1871 in Garijp.
In 1894 Bauke got an appointment as a teacher in Nijkerk.
From there, Bauke and Jet and the eldest two children emigrated to South Africa in 1899, see the article from June 1899.
Bauke wrote a number of letters from South Africa to his brothers and sisters in the Netherlands.
If you click on the letter part alongside you will see a number of letters from 1934 and 1935 and 1946.
There are also two letters from Jet from the time after Bauke’s death.
A letter from Tjibbe from 1954 to his nephew Fedde, and a letter from Johanna from 1960 to her uncle and aunt, probably my grandparents Rienk and Jisseltje.
Pieter Lub, the father of Jet, was born in 1838 in Enkhuizen. There is a street named after him in Garijp, the “Master Lubwei” (see the map below).
Pieter married Femkje Hart, born in 1839 in Enkhuizen. They had a son on 01-05-1868: Jacob. On 10-11-1869 Femkje died when her second child had to be born.
Pieter Lub married again fairly quickly on 27-07-1870, now with Sophia Eleonora Steringa, born on 13-07-1840 in Harlingen.
They had four children, the oldest being Gerbreg Henriëtte Alida (Jet). Sophia died on 22-11-1881 in Heeg, when Jet was 10 years old.
Pieter Lub married for the third time, less than a year later, on 01-07-1882 with Hendrika Christina Hillebrand, born 16-05-1850 in Leeuwarden. Pieter and Hendrika had five more children.
Hendrika, the stepmother of Jet Lub, treated Jet more as a worker than as her child. Jet therefore ran away from home when she was 18, and then went to live with her godparents in Barendrecht, that were Reverand And Ms. Fortuin.
Jacob Lub was Jet’s favorite brother. Jacob Lub emigrated to South Africa in 1894.
He was, like Bauke, a teacher, later an inspector. See the article and the photo below.
Bauke and Gerbreg had nine children.
The first two were born in the Netherlands, in Nijkerk: Maria (Marie) Jacoba Sophia, born on 10-01-1897 and Petronella (Nellie) Leonora, born on 16-11-1898.
The other children were born in South Africa: Tjibbe Thomas (Tom), Pieter Cornelis Johan, Sophia Eleonora, Thomas Nicolaas, Cornelia Johanna, Bauke, and Jacob (Japie) Spoelstra.
Bauke and Jet emigrated to South Africa in 1899.
When they left for South Africa, the Boer War broke out, and on Bauke’s first day at the school in Doornbult the war really began; there they suffered greatly, see the article below that starts with the name of a grandson of Bauke: Hermanus Izak Johannes Spoelstra. That article was in a South African geneology magazine: the Famnea 2014 year 11 issue 3.
A son of Bauke, Tjibbe, published in 1987 a booklet on the life of his parents: “Bauke Tjibbe Spoelstra, 1871-1947, a Dutch underweamer and sy gesin in Transvaal“, see right.
A grandson of Bauke has also written a book about the experiences of his grandparents: “Soot blackboard“. That grandson is also called Bouke, and is the eldest son of Jacob (Japie).
Jan Sybrens Douma was my great-grandfather on my father’s side, he was the father of my grandmother Sepkje.
He was born on 24-12-1861 in Rinsumageest, he was the eldest son of Sybren Jans Douma and Grietje Jans van der Meer.
Jan married on 13-10-1883 with Imkje Annes Faber. Imkje was born on 13-04-1863 in Giekerk, she was a daughter of Anne Jacobs Faber and Sepkje Sjoerds de Vries.
Jan was a cattle farmer. Jan and Imkje lived in Boskwei 19 from 1890 to 1892 in Roodkerk, later on to Dr. Kijlstraweg 50, Molenend, then from 1903 on JelteBinnesweg 11 (on the sand road where later Siebe Rekker lived).
In 1910 they had a house built on JelteBinnesweg 5 (next to JelteBinnesweg 11). My grandparents Jan and Sepkje first rented the house at JelteBinnesweg 11 of them, and my father was born there.
My great-grandmother Imkje died on 24-03-1916 in Oenkerk, 52 years old.
Everything was then inventoried, and described at the notary, to see what the children could inherit.
- There were two houses: Jelte Binnesweg 5 and Jelte Binnesweg 11. They were estimated together at f 2800, – My grandparents Jan and Sepkje lived at Jelte Binnesweg 5, so they rented it from the parents of Sepkje.
- There were 6 cows and 4 stalls, estimated together at f 2430,-
- There was a horse, 8 calves, two pigs, a sheep and a goat, estimated together at f 508,-
- There was a narrow gold earring of 70 grams, which was estimated at f 69,-
- And much more. Click here for the description.
After his wife died, my great-grandfather Jan married again, now with Doedtje Hendriks Pietersma. My great-grandfather was 60 and Doedtje was 57 years old.
Doedtje had previously been married to Johannes Sjoerds Visser. They had, among others, a son: Jan Visser, b. 06-12-1904 in Oenkerk, the later messenger.
Doedje first lived with Jan Douma in the house at JelteBinnesweg 5. My great-grandfather, Jan Douma sold then everything from the farm. Click here to see what yielded everything.
The house, where my grandparents Jan and Sepkje lived and which they hired from the father of Sepkje, sold my great-grandfather Jan Douma in 1918 to Jan and Sepkje for f 1500,-. Click here for the purchase deed.
In 1932 Jan and Doedtje went to Dokkum.
The father of my great-grandfather, Sybren, was a gardener, later a laborer, a day laborer, a toll collector and a merchant.
The grandfather, great-grandfather and great-great-grandfather of my great-grandfather Jan were all skipper of the barge in Birdaard.
The great-great-grandfather of my great-grandfather Jan was Oeds Sybrens, who was born in 1725.
From 1780 Oeds Sybrens was skipper of the barge in Birdaard, and he lived at Mounewei 1.
The Birdaarder barge sailed at Dokkum and at Leeuwarden.
On Saturday we went to Leeuwarden, departure time 4 o’clock in the morning. On Thursday to Dokkum, departure at 7 am.
According to the book by Auke Kingma: “Three centuries of Burdaard”, a single trip with the barge to or from Leeuwarden and from or to Dokkum (before 1800) took one penny when it was possible to sail, and 8 pennies extra when the horse was used. In 1806 it was one penny and 8 pennies if it could be sailed, and 2 pennies if the horse was used.
The journey to Leeuwarden took about 2 hours.
A sheep could go for a penny, a pig for 4 pennies, a bag of grain 8 pennies, a ton of beer 4 pennies, a sealed letter 1 penny, wedding and letters of 2 pence. Money could also be transported, which cost 2 pence per 100 guilders.
The son of Oeds Sybrens, that was Sybren Oedzes Douma, was born in 1757 in Wanswerd.
Sybren was first a ranger, later he also became skipper on a barge, just like his father.
He lived from 1826 to 1827 to Mounewei 1 Birdaard, in the same house where his parents also lived.
The third child of Sybren Oedzes Douma, that was Jan Sybrens Douma, was born on 20-02-1804.
Also this Jan was first a ranger and later a skipper (from 1826 after the death of his father), just like his father and grandfather, until 1838.
In 1834 the “Separation”, many municipalities followed Hendrik de Cock from Ulrum and separated themselves from the Reformed Church. A number of Church members from Birdaard also held their own meetings. That was forbidden, if more than 20 people attended a service, there was a performance.
Ranger Jan Sybrens Douma had to keep an eye on that. But he refused and joined the Delegates himself, see the article below. That is why he was fired.
Jan died on 14-07-1842 in Birdaard, 38 years old. His wife, Rinske Jacobs Kooistra, died two months later, she was only 36 years old. At that time they still had pretty young children, the youngest (Sjoukje) was only 4 years old. They grew up with the parents of Rinske in Rinsumageest. See the death certificate of Sjoukje next door, she died at the age of eight.
Wybe Veenstra is my great-grandfather on my mother’s side. He was the father of my grandfather Rienk Veenstra. He was the son of Symen Veenstra and Duifke Smids and he was born on 07-05-1839 in Bergum.
Wybe married Trijntje Boskma on 19-05-1864. Trijntje was born on 22-10-1837 in Veenwouden.
Wybe was a laborer. At the age of 12, on 18-08-1851, he was convicted of theft; that cost him eight days in prison.
Wybe was convicted on 12-10-1859 for ill-treatment when he was in military service.
He was then sentenced to three months in prison and paying the procedural costs (see the notes from the criminal record below).
Wybe and Trijntje had 9 children, of whom my grandfather Rienk was the sixth.
The youngest three were all three Metske, the first two died as babies.
The oldest five were Symen, Klaas, Ebe, Ybeltje, and Duifke.
Wybe and Trijntje did not grow old. Wybe died in 1895, he was 56 years old. And Trijntje died in 1900, 62 years old. Their son Rienk, my grandfather, then bought the house and a plot of land in Bergum on the street Tussendijken, that had belonged to his parents and that they had inherited together, for f 480 of his brothers and sisters. The house was then simply sold publicly, and in the final sale pake Rienk bought it through his brother Klaas. Click here to see the purchase deed.
Symen was the oldest son of Wybe and Trijntje, he was a car rider by profession. He married Baukje and they had four children, the oldest of whom, Wybe, also became a driver. And his children then took over the company again.
Wybe married Aaltje and their sons Sijmen and Frans were director of the transport company VAB (Veenstra automobile company) in Bergum / Suameer.
This company went bankrupt in 2003 (see below article, bottom right).
Ebe, the third son of Wybe and Duifke, was also a brother of my grandfather Rienk. Ebe was a worker in Tietjerk in 1901. Later Ebe and his wife Grietje lived in Giekerk.
Ebe had a big mustache, which he always turned. He chewed tobacco, he could spit in a cup from meters away. Ebe had the nickname “Ebe liegt net (Ebe does not lie)”.
Ebe talked a lot and gladly. Usually his story ended with: It is the truth, I do not lie.
Ebe built every time he bought something again, for example an extra horse or an extra car, a loft at his house. He certainly had 10 pens behind his house.
My uncle Jelle devoted a chapter to Ebe in his book “A Journey 1”, click here if you want to read that.
When he was 14 years old, he was in court, together with 8 others because of “verbreking van afsluiting (breaking off)”. He had to sit two days before (see the note from the criminal record below).
Metske was the youngest brother of my grandfather Rienk, he was also a lorry on appeal.
The eldest son of Metske was called Wybe.
Wybe married Jantje Smeding in Leeuwarden in 1933. They lived in Leeuwarden.
Wybe was blind and he was a well-known figure in Leeuwarden with his blind guide dog.
Below you can see an article that was in the Leeuwarder Courant and that related to Wybe and Jantje.
Wybe went to Canada for the second time in 1983, click here if you want to read that report and his life story.
Click here for further details of the offspring of Metske Veenstra
About my grandfather Rienk Veenstra you can read under Mijn verhaal/Mijn ouders en grootouders (My story / My parents and grandparents).