Family Genealogy and History


Compiled by Robert P. Swierenga with the assistance of John Verdonk, Judith K. Hoffmann, Kees Kolstein, and Anton Kroeske (last revised, 10/04/2014)


My great grandfather Jan Swierenga (1847-1899), a canal bargeman in the Netherlands, died thirty-six years before my birth, but his decision in 1893 to emigrate to Chicago from Groningen, in God's Providence, had a direct bearing on my life. Perhaps my grandfather Robert and my father John, and even myself, would have been teamsters in Groningen instead of in Chicago, if Jan had not had the courage to emigrate.

Jan Swierenga's heritage is a goodly one. His descendants were a humble, peasant folk of Reformed persuasion who devoted themselves to family and faith. For at least nine generations since the mid-1600s, the family, despite frequent moves, lived clustered within an eight mile radius of Stedum, which is located about eight miles north of the city of Groningen, the provincial capital. They quite frequently married cousins and even in-laws, which suggests that the clan shared a social life together. Until the early nineteenth century the family heads were farmers or farm hands, but subsequently for three generations, until Jan Swierenga emigrated, they were canal bargeman.

They also had a common faith. Until the nineteenth century the family belonged to the Reformed (Hervormde) Church, but after the spiritual revival in the Church in the 1830s, some joined the more orthodox Christian Reformed (Christelijk Afgescheiden and later Christelijk Gereformeerde) Church and served as elders and deacons.

The name Swierenga (also spelled Swieringa) first appeared in the records after 1811 when, under government edict of the Napoleonic regime, all families in the Netherlands were required to adopt surnames. The reason for the selection of the surname Swierenga is unknown, but the enga (inga) ending apparently refers to "belonging to," and was added to an old family or tribal name; hence Swierenga means "belonging to Swier." The name is a Frisian surname, as one would expect since in ancient and medieval times the Frisian peoples inhabited the entire northern region of the Netherlands, as well as the North Sea coastal region of West Germany up to the border with Denmark. In Old England the name Swier or Swire signified a dweller on, or by, a neck of land or pass through the hills. But in Old Germany, the name Swearingen or Swearingin signified one who came from Schweringen (swamp water) near Hanover. Take your choice: hills or swamps. (Source: Elsdon C. Smith, New Dictionary of American Family Names [New York: Harper and Row, 1956, 93]).

The families Swierenga (also spelled Swieringa) are "echte Groningers," although the name points to Frisian origins. In ancient and medieval times the Frisian peoples inhabited the entire northern region of the Netherlands, as well as the North Sea coastal region of western Germany up to the border with Denmark. The -a ending in Frisian signified lineage, e.g., "son of," as did ing, which could also mean "belonging to." These two types of suffixes were combined into the -inga/enga ending in the Middle Ages. Swier is the Frisian and Groningen contraction of the germanic name Sweder: swind meaning "strong, fast," and her, meaning "army." The compound name Sweder or Swier likely has no actual meaning. [NOTE: This information on the Swierenga name was kindly provided by Dr. Rob Rentenaar, an expert at the P.J. Meertens Institute of Dialects, Culture, and Names at Amsterdam, who also has Swierenga blood in his veins. Letter of July 17, 1991 to author.]

Two other possibilities, provided by Netherlands physician and genealogist Tjalling T. Wieringa in 2014, is that the name Swieringa combines Sweder , an old Frisian word “swerigia,” meaning “to make difficult,” and “bi-sweringa,” meaning “strengthen” or “aggravate.” The second possibility is that the name has a genitive origin. Barteld Hindriks told the municipal official: “I am Bartel Hindriks of the Wierenga’s.” The official may have written the name as Bartel des Wierengas and later Bartel Swierenga.

The surname Wieringa/Wierenga are the “people of the wier, or the offspring of the people of the wier. A wier is a natural elevation in a swampy area, having the same meaning as terp, a man-made elevation to escape floods. This would make the name Wierenga an address-name, but the deeper meaning is a struggle against water.

The genealogical information is derived from Hervormde Church records of baptisms, marriages, and deaths until 1811, and thereafter from civil registers (burgerlijkestand) of births, marriages, and deaths, and from population registers (bevolkings-registers). Military records, historical accounts, and land records augment the main civil records to provide a more complete history of the family. The pre-1811 church records from Groningen were consulted in microfiche in the Central Bureau for Genealogy Library in The Hague: the civil registers after 1816 are available on microfiche at the Rijksarchief in the city of Groningen; and the population registers are available after 1839 in the municipal courthouse (gemeentehuis) of the municipalities of Stedum and Ten Boer. Interestingly, the courthouse of the municipality of Ten Boer is housed in the former house and barn of Jan Geerts Swierenga and Cornelia Bronno's Bebingh, his wife, which they purchased in 1882. Subsequently, Jan's son Simon Swierenga and his wife Tjaakje nee Swierenga, lived on the farm, followed by Simon's son, Jan Cornelis Simon, and unmarried daughter Aukelina Hiltina, who at this writing are still living in a home next to the courthouse along a street named "Swierengapad" (Swierenga path). The local government of the municipality of Ten Boer purchased the Swierenga farmhouse (boerderij) in 1961 and spent more than 3.5 million guilders ($1,250,000) to renovate it and adapt it for use as the municipal courthouse and government office center. The adjacent street was named Swierengapad in honor of Jan Bartels Swierenga (Jan Geerts' grandfather), who served as the first councilman (wethouder) of the municipality of Ten Boer following the end of the Napoleonic occupation in 1815. #9;

Synopsis of Jan Swierenga's Genealogy (Since 1665)

Ten generations, nearly four hundred years, is a long time in the history of a family or a nation. Hopefully, even earlier ancestors can be identified. But at this time the earliest known progenitor of Jan Swierenga is Jan Bartels around 1600.

I. Barteld Jans in the year 1600 is recorded in the Farm Register (Boerderijenboek of Middelstum/Kantens, p. 215) as using (gebruikte) (renting?) 15 "grazen" [a land measure] of the farm Fraamweg 9, Middelstum. This proves that the Swierenga progenitors lived in and around Middelstum since at least 1600.

II. Jan Bartels

b. ca. 1665 at Lellens, m. Aaltje of Hemert (small hamlet near Lellens) ca. 1689. at least one child, Bartelt Jans, b. May 1691 in Hemert, bapt. May 31, 1691 at Lellens Hervormde Kerk.

III. Bartelt Jans

Oldest (?) son of Jan Bartels, b. May 31, 1691 in Hemert, m. Aaltjen Geerts of Zandeweer Apr. 14, 1717, 5 children, d. 1728 or 1729.

IV. Barteld Jans

Youngest son of Bartelt Jans, a farmer, bapt. Feb. 6, 1729 in Middelstum; m. #1 Geertjen Hindriks of Zandeweer on Dec. 28, 1754 at Kantens, 9 children; m. #2 Anje Popkes of Zandeweer on Dec. 29, 1778, 9 children, buried Aug. 4, 1796 at Menkeweer. Thus Barteld Jans fathered 18 children, only two of whom died in infancy.

V. Hindrik Bartels

Third son of Barteld Jans and Geertjen Hindriks, a farmer, bapt. Oct. 5,1760 at Huizinge, m. #1 Loeke Jans Jacobs of Stedum on Feb. 16, 1787 at Stedum, 6 children; m. #2 Jantje Geerts of Stedum on June 7, 1800 at Stedum, 5 children.

VI. Bartelt Hindriks

Fifth son (a twin) of Hindrik Bartels and Loeke Jacobs, a canal bargeman and grain commissioner, b. Dec. 10, 1798 at Stedum, m. #1 Aaltjen Geurts Ritzema of Stedum on Dec. 21, 1816 at Stedum, 6 children; m. #2 Trijntje Jakobus of Stedum on May 30, 1829 at Stedum, 1 son; m. #3 Jantje Klazens Zarkema of Stedum in 1841 at Slochteren, 4 children, d.? but after 1865.

VII. Hindrik Bartelds Swierenga

Oldest son of Bartelt Hindriks and Aaltjen Geurts Ritzema, first to bear the Swierenga surname, a canal bargeman, b. May 24, 1816 (illegitimate) m. Kornelske Jans Niehoff of Ten Boer on May 19, 1841 at Stedum, 3 children, d. Oct. 18, 1865 at Lellens.

VIII. Jan Swierenga

Youngest child of Hindrik Bartelds, a canal bargeman, b. Apr. 16, 1847 at Lellens, m. Katrijn Koning of Garmerwolde on Apr. 2, 1875 at Stedum, 9 children, emigrated to Chicago in 1893, d. m? d?, 1899.

IX. Robert (Bouwko) Swierenga

Seventh child and youngest son of Jan Swierenga, a food wholesaler and teamster, m. Grace (Gerritdina) Dykhuis of Chicago on Apr. 27, 1910 at Chicago, 5 children, d. Dec. 17, 1949 at Cicero, Ill.

X. John R. Swierenga

Oldest child of Robert Swierenga, proprietor of Excel Motor Service, a cartage company, b. Jan. 21, 1911 at Chicago, m. Marie Ann Hoekstra of Cicero on Aug. 8, 1934 at Cicero, 6 children, 22 grandchildren, 1 great grandchild. Marie died in their home in Elmhurst on 1987, and John died in Sunset Manor, a retirement home, in Jenison, MI on Feb. 1999. Both are buried in Forest Home Cemetery, Forest Park, IL.

The next task is to compile a complete genealogy for the eight living children of Jan Swierenga and Katrijn Koning.



I. Barteld Jans

In the year 1600 he was recorded in the Farm Register (Boerderijenboek of Middelstum/Kantens, p. 215) as using (gebruikte) (renting?) 15 "grazen" [a land measure] on the farm at Fraamweg 9, Middelstum.



II. Jan Bartels

He was born about 1665, likely in Lellens, and married Aaltje of Hemert (small village near Lellens) about 1689. From this marriage one child is known:

a1. Bartelt Jans, born May, 1691 at Hemert, bapt. May 31, 1691 at Lellens Hervormde Kerk.



III.a1. Bartelt Jans

He has born in May, 1691 at Hemert. On April 14, 1717, he married Aaltjen Geerts of Zandeweer. At this time, he lived in Westerwijtwerd, but formerly he resided in Rottum. (It is possible that Jan Bartels and family had moved from Zandeweer to Rottum after 1691.) Rottum was a small village about 3 miles west of Zandeweer. Westerwijtwerd was a small village 1 mile south of Middelstum.

Out of this marriage five children were born:

a1. Aaltje(n), baptized Dec. 25, 1718 in Zandeweer.

a2. Geert, baptized Nov. 2, 1721 in Middelstum. This place of baptism suggests that Bartelt Jans and family moved to Middelstum in 1719-1721.

a3. Grietje, baptized Jan. 16, 1724 in Middelstum.

a4. Metje, baptized July 28, 1726 in Middelstum.

a5. Bartheld, baptized Feb. 6, 1729 in Middelstum.

Bartelt Jans died between 1728 and 1729, probably at Middelstum. He was under 40 years of age. On Oct. 22, 1730 at Middelstum, his widow Aaltjen Geerts married Derk Peters of Zandeweer. The children of this marriage, all baptized at Middelstum, were Peter, May 3, 1731; Peter, April 11, 1732; Grietje, Feb. 27, 1733; Anje, Oct. 10, 1734; Peter, Mar. 23, 1736; and Jan, May 17, 1739.



IV-a5. Barteld Jans

He was baptized on Feb. 6, 1729 in the church of Middelstum. He was most probably married two times and he was a farmer (landbouwer). During his first marriage, until about 1778, he lived mainly in Huizinge, but in the early years he lived in Middelstum (about 1.5 miles west of Huizinge), and in 1773 he moved 3 miles north to Zandeweer. In 1778, after his second marriage, he moved permanently to Menkeweer (Mun. Bedum) where he died in 1796.

Menkeweer no longer exists. It was a very small farm hamlet located less than a mile north of Onderdendam, and has since been absorbed into this larger village, which is located four miles west of Middelstum on the main Boterdiep Canal fron Groningen to Warffum. It is in the polder region that was drained in the early middle ages. The soil is a rich heavy sea clay that is fully farmed. Prior to 1651 the inhabitants worshipped in the Hervormde church in Stitswerd less than two miles to the north. But in 1651, Menkeweer obtained its own church and pastor, Domine Johannes Boekenberg (1651-1666). In 1692 the Menkeweer church was joined with the church at Westerwijtwert four miles to the east. Finally in 1828 the Menkeweer congregation was combined with a new church in Onderdendam and in 1843 the Menkeweer congregation building was demolished. The children of Menkeweer always attended school in Onderdendam.

Barteld Jans first wife was Geertjen (Geertien) Hendriks of Zandeweer, born Sept. 16, 1740 at Winschoten (parents yet unknown). The marriage took place on Dec. 28, 1754 at Kantens (marriage cert. RA LVb 1). Witnesses for the ceremony were Aaltjen Geers (Geerts), mother; Pieter Dersc (Derks), half-brother; and Jacob Pieters, brother in law. According to the records of the Hervormde Diaconie (Board of Deacons, or Poor-law Board, of the Reformed Church) of Zandeweer, Geertjen Hendriks was buried on April 29, 1777.

Out of this marriage nine children were born:

a1. Bartelt, baptized Nov. 23, 1755 in the Hervormde church of Middelstum. He died in infancy (date unknown).

a2. Hendrik Bartels, baptized June 4, 1758, in the Hervormde Church of Huizinge (Mun. Stedum) (birth cert. no. 27). He died in infancy (date unknown).

a3. Hendrik Bartels, baptized Oct. 5, 1760 at Huizinge (birth cert. no. 39). He passed away on Nov. 3, 1809 in Stedum, then married to Jantje Geerts Hoekzema. For further details see point V-a3.

a4. Aaltje (Aaltien) Bartels, baptized Mar. 2, 1763 at Huizinge (birth cert. no. 2). She married Pieter Peters on Apr. 30, 1786 at Menkeweer and died Sept. 20, 1825 at Stedum (death crt. no. 23), then 61 years old and widow of the late Pieter Peters SWIERINGA, an innkeeper. Her late husband probably adopted the family name SWIERINGA after their marriage. Pieter Peters was baptized in the Hervormde Church of Bedum on Mar. 18, 1757, as the son of Pieter Abels and Trientje Pieters, farmers (landbouwers) at Bedum. He died at Stedum on June 11, 1825 at house no. 78 at age 68 years, having been an innkeeper (kastelein) (death cert. no. 19). An interesting detail from her death certificate of Aaltje Bartels (Swieringa) is that her father Barteld Jans had been a grain bargeman (korenschipper).

a5. Bartelt Bartels, baptized Oct. 12, 1765 (or 1764) at Huizinge (birth cert. no. 3). He probably died in infancy.

a6. Jantje (Jantie) Bartels, baptized Mar. 20, 1768 at Huizinge (birth cert. no. 2).

a7. Jan Bartels, baptized Aug. 12, 1770 at Huizinge (birth cert. no. 4). For further details see point V-a7.

a8. Grietje (Grietien) Bartels, baptized June 20, 1773 at Zandeweer (birth cert. no. 4) and died Mar. 18, 1845, in Stedum at the age of 72 years. She married twice. When she died she was the widow of Jan Thyles (Tieles) Oosterling whom she had married on Feb. 17, 1805 at Stedum. Jan Thyles came from Oude Pekela and was an innkeeper (kastelein) at Stedum. The Stedum Census of 1830 lists Grietje as a 54 year old widow and innkeeper (kasteleinsche). Her first husband was Jakob Harms (Boerma) baptized October 24, 1733 at Westerwijtwerd,a tavern keeper (tapper) by occupation, who was buried on June 16, 1804 at Stedum. The marriage took place on Aug. 13, 1797 in Westerwijtwerd. Grietje had two children by Jakob Harms: Grietje, baptized November 30, 1800 in Stedum and married on Aug. 12, 1820 to Hendrik Jans Bolwijn (born ca. 1795 to Jan Pieters, a shoemaker, and Jantje Bartels, who were married at Wittewierum on Apr. 22, 1781); and Bartelt, born Apr. 17 1803 and baptized April 24, 1803 in Stedum. Grietje had three children by Jan Tieles (Oosterling) of Oude Pekela: Aaltje, born Sept. 8, 1805 and baptized Sept. 15, 1805 in Stedum; Klaas, born August 14, 1807, and baptized Aug. 23, 1808 in Stedum; and Hindrik Bartelds, born Feb. 23, 1809 and baptized Mar. 5, 1809 in Stedum, and died May 23, 1810 in Stedum.

Grietje Bartels' death certificate gives two interesting details. It said that her father (Barteld Jans) had been a farmer (landbouwer) and that her mother had been Geertje Boerma. This means that the family of her mother (Geertje Hendriks) must have adopted the family name Boerma (also spelled Boerema).

Grietje signed her name "Grietje Bartels Swierenga" in 1825 on the marriage document of her son Barteld Jans.

a9. Barteld Bartels, thought to be baptized at Zandeweer in 1775. He married a widow, Kunje Senes (Sins) on Mar. 3, 1795 at Warffum, and after her death in 1802, he married Aaltje Wigboldts (father Wigbolt Jans and mother Antje Jurriens) at Loppersum on June 11, 1808. Children of the first marriage were: Bartelt Jans, born Oct. 6, 1796; Cene, born Mar. 31, 1798; and Eltje, born Feb. 10, 1802. Kunje Senes died in childbirth and was buried on Feb. 15, 1802 in Stedum.

Among the witnesses at the marriage of Barteld Bartels and Kunje Senes were Barteld Jans and Anje Popkes as father and stepmother; Hendrik Bartels and Jan Bartels as brothers; and Eltje Pieters and Willem Gerrits as mother as stepfather of Kunje. Among the witnesses of Barteld's second marriage to Aaltje Wigboldts were Jan Bartels as brother, Hendrik Bartels and Jantje Geerts as brother and sister-in-law, and Jan Tieles and Grietje Bartelts as brother-in-law and sister.

Barteld Jans' second wife was Anje Popkes. Anje was baptized on Feb. 2, 1755 at Zandeweer. The marriage took place in the Hervormde Church of Zandeweer on Dec. 29 (20?), 1778. They both resided in Zandeweer and were farmers. Anje Popkes' father was the late Popke Fokkes (Fockes), a baker by trade, and her mother was Johanna Jacobus, both of Uithuizermeeden. They were married May 12, 1754 at Uithuizermeeden. Popke Fokkes was baptized April 1, 1729 at Uithuizermeeden, a son of Focke Jans and Anje Popkes. His mother remarried Claas Pieters on Sept. 12, 1732 at Uithuizermeeden.

From this marriage nine children are known:

b1. Anna Bartels, born Jan. 30, 1779 at Zandeweer, baptized Jan. 31, 1779. She married Albert Wolters of Stedum on Nov. 27, 1803 at Zandeweer. She died on Apr. 21, 1832. Two known children of this marriage are Grietje, born Feb. 22, 1804 and baptized Mar. 11, 1804 in Stedum, and Bartelt, born Dec. 12, 1806 and baptized Dec. 25, 1806 in Stedum.

b2. Aaltje Bartels, baptized Sept. 30, 1780 at Zandeweer. She married Fokkert Williams of Appingedam on Nov. 10, 1809 at Stedum. Aaltje was living at Wittewierum at the time of her marriage. She was listed as a widow in the 1840 census. Her date of death is yet unknown.

b3. Jantje Bartels, baptized Mar. 15, 1782 at Zandeweer, died on Feb. 11 (16?), 1809 at t' Zandt. She is thought to have married Geert Jans and had at least three children: Grietje Jans, born Oct. 12, 1802 and baptized Oct. 24, 1802; Bartelt, born Nov. 11, 1804 and baptized Nov. 25, 1804; and Anje, born Nov. 30, 1806 and baptized Nov. 18, 1806.

b4. Pieternella Bartels, born Jan. 8, 1784 and baptized Jan. 25, 1784 at Menkeweer. Pieternella at age 22 years married Jan Baukes Braam (born May 12, 1754), age 52 years on June 15, 1806 at Krewerd (Mun. Appingedam) and they had two children born in Krewerd: Bauke, born Mar. 18, 1807, and died Dec. 25, 1808, and Bauke, born Mar. 16, 1808. Pieternella died on Feb. 19, 1814, and the widower Jan Braam later married Pieternella's sister Geertruit (b7).

b5. Popke Bartels, born Apr. 3, 1786 and baptized Apr. 13, 1786, both at Menkeweer. The birth certificate states that the family was "living by the church at Menkeweer." Popke married Auke Aarts Polee, daughter of Aart Tonnes Poleee and Janeke Aukes Kuip, baptized May 23, 1790 at Losdorp, died May 2, 1868 at Losdorp. He was a farmer and commissioner, who died Sept. 9, 1853 in Godlinze. Their children were Bartelt Popkes born Apr. 4, 1813 in Losdorp; Anje Popkes born May 9, 1815; Anje born May 8, 1816 in Losdorp; Aart born Dec. 22, 1817; Janneke born Jan. 8, 1820; Janneke (?) born 1821 at Bierum; Kornelis born Mar. 27, 1823 in Bierum; Jan Popkes born May 3, 1826 in Loppersum; and Hendrik born 1827 in Loppersum.

b6. Pieter Bartels, born Apr. 29, 1788 and baptized May 12, 1788 at Menkeweer. On Nov. 22, 1816, at Menkeweer (or Bierum?) he married Jantje Harms Oosterhof (born Dec. 24, 1797 at Uithuizermeeden as daughter of Harm Kornelis Oosterhof and Rijne Jans). He died at Leermans (Mun. t' Zandt) on Dec. 23, 1858. The couple had at least three children: Harm, born Oct. 2, 1817; Pieter Pieters, born June 11, 1825 in Stedum; and Bartelt Zwieringa, born ca. 1825 in Stedum, a day laborer at Godlinze, who married Anna Rozeboom.

b7. Geertruit (Gertruida) Bartels, born on Apr. 26, 1790, baptized May 9, 1790 at Menkeweer, and died Mar. 7, 1866. On Dec. 16, 1814 she married Jan Baukes Braam, widower of her older sister Pieternella at Bierum, and after his death, she remarried Klaas Pieters Ockema on Oct. 17, 1828 at Bierum. Jan Baukes Braam was 60 years old and Geertruit was 24 years old when they married and before Jan died the couple had six children, all born at Bierum: Bartels, born Oct. 13, 1813 and died June 26, 1813; Bauke Jans, born Oct. 9, 1815; Anje, born Dec. 12, 1817 and died Sept. 9, 1833; Hindrikje, born Nov. 23, 1819; Tonnis, born May 27, 1822; and Barteld, born May 31, 1826. From Geertruit's second marriage on Oct. 17, 1828 at Bierum to Klaas Pieters van Ockema, two children were born at Krewerd: Grietje, born Apr. 9, 1830 and died Sept. 12, 1832; and Pieter, born Oct. 8, 1833

b8. Cornellis Bartels, born Apr. 12, 1792, baptized Apr. 22, 1792, at Menkeweer in the local Hervormde Church, married Sept. 12, 1818 to Geertje Jakobs Boerema. For further details see point IV-b8.

b9. Hendrik Bartels, baptized Feb. 23, 1794, at Menkeweer. Married Hilje Bernardus Emmelkamp (baptized Oct. 1, 1797, died July 1, 1856) on July 31, 1822, at Bierum (Mun. Appingedam).Hilje was baptized on Oct. 1, 1797, at Krewerd, and died on July 1, 1856 at Appingedam. Hendrik died on Dec. 1, 1862, at Appingedam. He lived at Losdorp and was a farmer by occupation. For the rest of the family's history, see Judy Hoffman, The Ancestors, Life and Descendants of Gerard Swieringa.

Note re b3. Jantje: The passenger manifest of the ship IJSSEL from Rotterdam to New York in 1847 includes a Jantje Swierenga age 66 years, and her daughter Antje, age 36 years. Could this be Barteld Jans' daughter?

Barteld Jans passed away in the year 1796 and was buried in Menkeweer on Aug. 4, 1796, according to an entry in the records of the Hervormde Diaconie.

The widow Anje Popkes remarried in the Hervormde Church of Menkeweer on Nov. 12, 1797. (Another record says Anje Popkes remarried on May 4, 1800 in Losdorp (Mun. Bierum). The bridegroom was Thomas Jans (Hovinga) of Westerdijkshorn. Anje Popkes died on Dec. 16, 1821, at Losdorp, Bierum. See Guardianship document of Oct. 13, 1797, and Land Sale document.



V-a3. Hendrik Bartels (Bartelds), a farmer at Grangeweer, baptized on Oct. 5, 1760 at Huizinge, son of Barteld Jans of Rottum and Geertjen Hendriks. He married twice. His first wife was Loeke Jans Jacobs, the widow of Jan Engberts Hoving of Stedum, whom she had married on Mar. 15, 1777 in Stedum. The marriage between Hindrik Bartels and Loeke Jacobs took place in the Hervormde Church of Stedum on Feb. 16, 1787. Hindrik Bartels was living in Huizinge at the time of this marriage. One witness to the marriage was Bartelt Jans, a half brother. Loeke Jans Jacobs was born in Stedum on July 10, 1758, as daughter of Jacob Jans of Westerwolde and Aaltje Timens, born on Dec. 5, 1717 at Stedum, who had been married on July 16, 1752, at Stedum. Aaltien Timens was then the widow of Lammert Jacobs of Stedum. Subsequently, on Mar. 16, 1776, Aaltjen Timens was again widowed and married Roelf Pieters of Westeremden at Stedum.

From the marriage of Hindrik Bartels and Loeke Jacobs six children were born:

a1. Geertje(n) born Oct. 27, 1787 and baptized Nov. 4, 1787, at Stedum. She married Jakob Alberts Kol, a farmer, of the Hervormde Church. A child Loeke was born Aug. 25, 1809 at Ten oer. According to the Ten Boer Bevolkings-register of 1839, Geertje H. Swierenga, widow of Jakob Alberts Kol, lived in House No. 33 at Ten Boer. She was 53 years old and lived with two children: Henderikus J. Kol, age 16, born at Ten Boer, a servant (dienstbode) and Frits B. Kol, age 15, born at Ten Boer, without occupation. Geertjen died at Ten Boer in the year 1853 (death cert. no. 31).

a2. Aaltje(n), born May 21, 1791 and baptized on May 29, 1791 at Stedum. She passed away on Apr. 6, 1820 in Stedum (death cert. folio 7v). At the time of her death she was married to Jacob Pieters Zandt. She and her husband were farmers (landbouwers). She died at the age of 29, leaving behind her husband and five children.

a3. Jacoba, born Mar. 30, 1794 and baptized Apr. 6, 1794 at Stedum. On Dec. 9, 1810 she married Pieter Jacobs Haverkamp, a son of Jacob Haverkamp and Bouchien (Bouke) Aeiljes (Aljes), and died June 30, 1849 at Ten Boer (death cert. no. 76). Pieter, a baker by trade like his father, died on Feb. 9, 1830 at Farmsum after the couple had nine children all born in Stedum: (1) Jacob born Nov. 29, 1812, married June 22, 1835 at Delfzijl to Hindriktje Tjapkes Jager, two daughters: Jacoba Haverkamp, born Sept. 10, 1839 at Termunten (Winschoten), married Gerard Swieringa (son of Hendrik Bartels Swierenga and Hilje Bernardus Emmelkamp) May 2, 1861 at Slochteren, died Dec. 20, 1875 at Surrhuisterveen, Achterspelen, Friesland; and Trijntje, born Mar. 18, 1850 at Termunten, married Tjapke Jager, May 1, 1848); (2) Loeke born Sept. 11, 1815; (3) Bouwgjen born Oct. 20, 1817 and married Aug. 24, 1854; (4) Geertje born Apr. 1, 1820; (5) Hendrik born Dec. 31, 1821 and died Mar. 14, 1822; (6) Hendrik born Nov. 1, 1823, married Loeke Bartelds Swieringa; (7) Bartelt born Mar. 21, 1825 at Stedum, married Meinje Kruger (born Dec. 24, 1825 at Delfzijl); (8) Geert born in 1827(?); and (9) Anna born June 29, 1831.

a4. Beerent, born Aug. 21, 1797 and baptized Aug. 27, 1797 at Stedum.

a5. Bartelt Hindriks, a twin, born Dec. 10, 1798 and baptized Dec. 23, 1798 at Stedum. In 1825 when he was a witness at the wedding of his first cousin Barteld Jans (son of Jan Bartels), his occupation was canal boatman (snikkevaarder) at Stedum. He signed his name as "B. H. Swirenga."

a6. Loec (or Loce), a twin, born Dec. 10, 1798 and baptized Dec. 23, 1798 at Stedum.

Loeke Jacobs died and was buried on Dec. 17, 1798 in Stedum, according to an entry in the records of the Hervormde Diaconie.

Hendrik Bartels remarried Jantje (or Antje) Geerts Hoeksema in the church of Stedum on June 7, 1800. She was born on Jan. 27, 1771 in Stedum and was baptized as Jantien on Feb. 3, 1771 in the local church of stedum as daughter of Geert Fridsgers and Ebelia Elleri, both of Stedum, who had married at Stedum on Apr. 21, 1770. Her father would later adopt the family name HOEKZEMA. He was a merchant (koopman).

Out of this second marriage five children were born:

b1. Geert, baptized Apr. 19, 1801 in the church at Stedum. He is thought to have died in infancy.

b2. Geert, born Feb. 28, 1802 and baptized Mar. 7, 1802 at Stedum. He married Trientje Jans Lanting (born 1806 and living at Lellens, a small hamlet near Ten Post) on Apr. 7, 1824 at Lellens at age 19 years.

Note: Trientje Lanting was a sister of Siemen Jans Lanting who married Geert's sister Ebelia. Siemen in 1838 was elected deacon in the Christelijk Afgescheiden Gereformeerde Church of Stedum. In 1843 Geert Hindriks Swierenga was elected elder (ouderling) shortly after he and his family transferred their membership from the Christelijk Afgescheiden Gereformeerde Church of Thesinge, a nearby village, where Geert had served as elder since 1836. Geert was a farmer at Thesinge. (The source of this information about Geert's extensive activities in the Gereformeerde Church of Groningen is J. Wesseling, De Afscheiding van 1834 in Groningerland: Deel III De Classis Groningen van de Afgescheiden Kerken (Groningen: De Vuurback, 1978, esp. chs. 3 and 4.)

Geert Hindriks Swierenga and Trientje Jans Lanting had at least two children: Jan, born June 3, 1825 at Ten Boer (birth cert. no. 34), and Hindrik, born Aug. 24, 1828 at Ten Boer (birth cert. no. 46). According to the Ten Boer Bevolkings- register of 1839, the family lived in House No. 2 at Garmerwolde. Garmerwolde, as well as the villages and hamlets of Lellens, Ten Post, Thesinge, Kröddeburen, Wittewierum, and Woltersum were all near Ten Boer, the municipal center, which stood 7 miles north of the provincial capital city of Groningen on the main canal, the Damsterdiep. Before the Secession of 1834, all the people in these villages had worshipped in the Hervormde Church at Ten Boer.

Geert Swierenga's son, Jan Geerts Swierenga of Lellens married Dieuwerke Formes Douma of Lellens ca. 1856 and they had at least two children: Trientje, born ca. 1857 at Lellens, who died in infancy on Sept. 13, 1858 at Lellens (death cert. no. 60); and Geert, born Feb. 19, 1860, who also died in infancy at Lellens on Feb. 24, 1860 (death cert. no. 31). Jan Geerts was a farmer (landbouwer) at Ten Boer. After the death of Dieuwerke (date unknown) he subsequently married Cornelia Bronno's Bebingh, born Oct. 9, 1846 at Kantens, from which union 8 children were born in Ten Boer at House No. 133: Geert Hendrik Jan, born Sept. 9, 1863, who became a farmer at Lellens and after 1880 lived at House No. 14; Brunno Fredrik, born Oct. 9, 1864; Hindrik, born Oct. 22, 1866 and died Oct. 8, 1953, who was also a farmer living in House No. 14 at Lellens after 1880; Reinder, born Mar. 15, 1868, who moved to Middelstum in 1897; Simon, born Apr. 18, 1869 and died Mar. 13, 1958, who became a farmer at Ten Boer, living in House No. 134 in 1900-1920 with his wife Tjaakje, nee Swierenga, born Sept. 17, 1872 and died Mar. 22, 1969 at Ten Boer, and their four children: Jan Cornelis Simon, born Dec. 11, 1897 and married to J. J. Wigboldus; Jantje Jantina, born July 21, 1901; Cornelia Catrientje, born July 28, 1904 and married to Johannis Haar at Schmeeda; and Aukelina Hiltina, born June 15, 1906 [As of this writing in 1988, Jan and Aukelina, the latter never married, are living together at Ten Boer and they have been visited several times by members of the Swierenga family in the United States] Trientje, born May 19, 1871 who, according to the Stedum Bevolkingsregister of 1880-1920, married Harmannus Smedema (born Mar. 30, 1875 at Middelstum), a farmer at Ten Boer and later at Stedum, and they had two children: Roelf Harm, born Apr. 27, 1901 at Ten Boer; and Cornelia Jantina, born July 29, 1903 at Stedum. (The family moved from Ten Boer to Stedum on Apr. 30, 1903 and moved back again to Ten Boer on May 6, 1904. They lived in House No. 170 at Stedum on May 22, 1903, when the register entry was recorded); Douke, born Sept. 26, 1878 and died Jan. 2, 1954 at Ten Boer and married to Jantje Swierenga, born about 1897 and died July 19, 1959; and Eppe Johannus, born Sept. 30, 1883, who in 1920 was a farmer at Ten Boer and who died July 16, 1960 at Ten Boer. The information on the Jan Geerts family is from the Ten Boer Bevolkingsregister, 1880-1920.

b3. Jan, born Aug. 18, 1803 in Stedum and baptized in the local church on Aug. 20 (or 28), 1803). He died on Feb. 17, 1806 at age 2 years, 6 months.

b4. Jan, born Dec. 28, 1806 in Stedum and baptized in the Hervormde Church on Jan 11 (18?), 1807. He died on Sept. 18, 1807, at nine months.

b5. Ebelia (Ebelina), born on Mar. 4, 1809 in Stedum and baptized in the local church on Mar. 19, 1809. Ebelia married Siemen (Simon) Jans Lanting of Ten Boer at Ten Boer on Jan. 29, 1826 and she died on Jan. 19, 1856 at Ten Boer (death cert. no. 6). Siemen, born about 1800 in Lellens, was a large farmer in Ten Boer.

Hindrik Bartels died on Nov. 3, 1809 in Stedum according to an entry in the records of the Hervormde Diaconie of Stedum. The records mention that Hindrik was 50 years old at his death.

Jantje Geerts Hoekzema, the widow, remarried on Dec. 31, 1814 with the deceased Hindrik Bartels' half-brother Jan Bartels Swierenga.

V-a7. Jan Bartels (Swierenga)

Note: Jan Bartels signed his name as "J. B. Swirenga" in 1815, but as "J. B. Swierenga" in 1814 in a marriage document.

Jan Bartels was baptized on Aug. 12, 1770 in Huizinge, as son of Barteld Jans and Geertjen Hendriks (later named Geertjen Hendriks BOERMA or BOEREMA). Jan Bartels' second marriage document states that he was born in Menkeweer, rather than Huizinge. Jan Bartels married four times. He was a farmer. His first wife was Jantje Fokkes, born in Usquert and living at Oldenzijl, widow of Alle Meijnderts of Oldenzijl on Aug. 27, 1797. From this marriage one daughter was born:

a1. Geertje, born Nov. 21, 1798 and baptized Dec. 9, 1798, but she died on Jan. 4, 1799.

Jantje Fokkes also died and was buried on Dec. 6, 1799 at Oldenzijl.

Jan Bartels second wife was Aakje (Aagtie) Harms of Stedum. Their marriage was solemnized in the Hervormde Church of Stedum on Sept. 21, 1800. It is very likely that Aakje Harms' family adopted the family name Boerma or Boerema. This supposition is based on the fact that Jan Bartels Swierenga's third marriage was witnessed by two of his brothers-in-law, e.g. Alje Harms Boerma (born around 1763) and Teebe Harms Boerma (born around 1768, who thus must have been brothers of Aakje Harms. If this supposition is correct, the question arises if those Boermas or Boeremas were related to Jan Bartels' mother, Geertjen Hendriks Boerma or Boerema.

From the second marriage of Jan Bartels with Aakje Harms three children were born:

b1. Grietje (Geertje), born in Oldenzijl on July 11, 1801 and baptized on July 19, 1801. On Sept. 9, 1824, at Garsthuizen, Mun. Appingedam, she married Bronno Frederikus Bebingh, a baker and miller by trade. Grietje died at Stedum on Apr. 23, 1828 at the age of 27 years (death cert. no. 23) leaving two minor children: Johannes Bronno, born about 1826 in Stedum, and Jan Bartelds, born Feb. 12, 1827 at Garsthuizen. Brunno Frederikus Bebingh in 1840 lived in Kantens with his second wife Sjouke Reinders Wierenga, sons Johannes and Jan, and infant daughter Cornelia, born ca. 1840 at Eppenhuizen.

b2. Barteld Jans, born on Nov. 17, 1802 in Oldenzijl (Mun. Uithuizermeeden) and baptized in the local church on Nov. 21, 1802. In the 1821 military lottery, he drew the very low number 11 and paid a substitute. Barteld Jans's National Militia Certificate, dated Jan. 21, 1825, described his physical characteristics as follows: length--l El, 6 Pm, 3 Dm, O Str, face--oblong ("langwerpig"), forehead--low, eyes--blue, nose--pointed ("spits"), mouth--ordinary ("ordinair"), chin--same, hair--blond, eyebrows--blond, perceptible marks-- none.

Barteld Jans married on Mar. 25, 1825 in Stedum with Aaltje Jans Oosterling, age 19 years, born Sept. 8, 1805 at Stedum and baptized Sept. 15, 1805 at Wittewierum, who was the daughter of Jan Tieles Oosterling and Grietje Bartels Swierenga. This means that Barteld Jans married his first cousin. On his marriage document Barteld signed his name "B. J. Swierenga." Barteld was an inn-keeper (kastelein) and tavern-keeper (tapper) at Dijkshorn "onder Wittewierum" in the municipality of Ten Boer. One child was born from this marriage, a son, Jan, on Feb. 16, 1826 at Dijkshorn (Mun. Ten Boer). After Aaltje's death (date unknown), Barteld remarried Rientje Pieters Kreemer (Kriemer) of Wittewierum (born about 1808 at Lellens), on Jan. 5, 1829 at Wittewierum, daughter of Pieter Freerks Kreemer, store-keeper, and Aafke Pauwels.

Barteld Jans and Reintje Pieters Kreemer had 10 children:

1. Pieter, born Oct. 28, 1829 at Dijkshorn (birth cert. no.72), married Oct. 15, 1870 in Ten Boer to Geesien van der Beek.

2. Aafke, born July 29, 1831 at Wittewierum, married May 18, 1859 in Ten Boer to Jakob Woldinga of Garmerwolde (also a Swierenga descendent), son of Jan Pieters Woldinga (born in Garmerwolde to Pieter Jans, a farmer, and Hilje Gerrits Oosterhuis) and Johanna Jakobs Kol (born in Ten Boer to Jakob Alberts Kol, a farmer, and Geertjen Hendriks Swierenga, daughter of Hendrik Bartelts and Loeke Jacobs).

3. Harm, born Jan. 26 (or 25), 1833 at Wittewierum, married May 19, 1866 at age 33 while a hired hand at Ten Boer, with Anje Nanninga age 24 years, a servant girl, born in 1844 at Westerwijtwerd by Middelstum, daughter of Gerrit Pieter Nanninga (deceased) a farmer at Westerwijtwerd, and Klazina Jacobs Koopman. Harm and Anje had at least two children: Barteld, born in 1873 and deceased Aug. 29, 1958, and Klaziena of Garmerwolde, plus two half-sisters (?), Gerritje, married to Jan Eisinga, and Dina, married to Willem Van Zalen (born 1876, died Aug. 9, 1954 daughter of Hendrik Plegter and Stientje Jansen). Barteld married on May 23, 1901 to Jantje Plijter of Thesinge (1876-1954) and they had four children: (1)Anje, married to Luitje Huisman, deceased, who had eight children: Peter, Barteld (lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan), Jan Hendriks, manager of the Gemeentehuis (Municipal Building) in Ten Boer, Dina, Harmannus, Dienko (Dick), Jantje, and Cornelis; (2)Steintje, born Jan. 20, 1904. married at age 43 in 1947 to Anka Bolhuis (died 1975) and emigrated to the United States the same year and lived in Manhattan, Montana; (3)Harmina, born Dec. 23, 1908, a head nurse at Ermelo who retired in 1968 and lived in Apeldoorn; and (4)Hendrik, married T. Dijkstra who had 6 children (Barteld, Trijntje, Sander, Piet, Auke, Janke, and Christian), lived in Zuidwolde, and died in 1980.

4. Hindrik, born Sept. 9, (or 8?), 1834 at Wittewierum, and died in infancy on Oct. 6, 1836 at Wittewierum in House No. 10 (death cert. no. 10).

5. Freerk, born Jan. 19 (or 29?), 1836 at Wittewierum. Barteld Jans, the father, at this time was a inn-keeper (herbergier).

6. Jantje, born May 20 (or 25?), 1839 at Ten Boer, and died in 1852 (death cert. no. 16). Barteld Jans at this time was listed as a land developer(?) (landgebruiker).

7. Aukje, born Jan. 4, 1842 at Ten Boer. Barteld Jans had no occupation at this time.

8. Liefke, born Apr. 24, 1844 at Ten Boer.

9. Geertje, born Sept. 9, 1846 at Ten Boer (birth cert. no. 34).

10. Ebelia, born Mar. 30, 1850 at Ten Boer. Barteld Jans was listed on the birth certificate as a store-keeper (winkelier) at Ten Boer.

In the Ten Boer Bevolkingsregister of 1839, the Barteld Jans Swierenga family was living in House No. 11 with wife Reintje and children Jan. B., Pieter, Harm B., Freerk B., Aafke, and Jantje, plus a 20 year old servant girl, Laaulie, of Lellens, a sister of Reintje.

b3. Harm, born May 6, 1805, baptized May 19, 1805 at Oldenzijl, and died Feb. 6, 1806, at the age of 3/4 years. He was buried at Oldenzijl on Feb. 11, 1806.

Aakje Harms died on Dec. 1, 1805 and was buried in Oldenzijl on Dec. 6, 1805, which was the same day of the year when Jan Bartelds' first wife was buried six years earlier. Aakje left three minor children.

Jan Bartels' third wife was Anje (also Antje, Aaltjen and Aaltje) Klasen (Klaasen) from Bierum near Spijk; they married on Jan. 16, 1809 at the Hervormde Church in Bierum. She died on Mar. 5, 1811 at Oldenzijl, without any children from this marriage. The collection at the funeral service in Oldenzijl for the costs of the burial, according to the "Diaconie boek," amounted to f7.84 and for the black cloth f3.00.

Jan Bartels' fourth wife was Jantje(n) Geerts Hoekzema, the widow of his deceased brother Hindrik Bartels. Their marriage took place during a civic ceremony on Dec. 31, 1814 in the town hall of Stedum. It was recorded in the marriage records on Jan. 1, 1815. The marriage certificate mentions that Jan Bartels Swierenga, formerly of Menkeweer, Municipality Bedum, was 42 years old, a landbouwer (farmer or farm-hand) and widower of Aaltjen Klaasen, and that Antje Geerts Hoekzema (whose baptized name was Jantien) was 37 years old, a farmer's wife or farmer's maid (landbouwersche) and widow of Hindrik Bartels Swierenga. Both were residing in Stedum. In 1820, when serving as a witness to the birth of a daughter of H. T. Elenius at Stedum, Jan Bartels listed his occupation as a retired farmer (rentenier) and signed his name "J. B. Swierenga."

For their marriage they obtained special permission from King Willem the First, Prince of Orange-Nassau and ruler over The Netherlands. It is not clear why they needed this permission as it was quite common that younger brothers would marry their deceased older brothers' widows.

Antje Geurts Hoekzema's father Geert Fridsgers (Fritgers) Hoekzema was still alive, a merchant (koopman), and he witnessed his daughter's marriage. Her mother, Ebelia Ellerie, had passed away already on Jan. 16, 1814 in Stedum. Other witnesses at the wedding ceremony were Alje Harms Boerema, 50 years of age and of independent means and Teebe Harms Boerema, a 46 year old man of independent means, both residing in Stedum and both brothers-in-law of the groom Jan Bartels Swierenga. They must have been brothers of Jan Bartels Swierenga's deceased first wife Aakje Harms.

Out of this fourth marriage twins were born:

d1. Hindrik, born Nov. 27 (29?), 1815 at Stedum in House No. 65. He married Tjaakje Geerts (Jakobs) Kol (born ca. 1816 at Ten Boer) on Sept. 13, 1838 at Ten Boer, at the age of 24 years. The couple lived at Ten Boer in House No. 21 and Hindrik was without occupation at the time. Five children of this union were: Jakob, born Aug. 20, 1839 at Ten Boer; Jan, born Feb. 1, 1842 at Garmerwolde; Jantje, born Aug. 4, 1844 at Garmerwolde birth cert. no. 31); Geertje, born June 13, 1847 at Garmerwolde (birth cert. no. 18), married O. J. Mensema, died Nov. 29, 1891, buried in Noordwolde Hervormde Church cemetery; U>Geert(?) Jan, born Jan. 8, 1850 at Garmerwolde (birth cert. no. 108). Regarding Geert(?) Jan, the Ten Boer Bevolkingsregister of 1880-1920 reports a Geert Swierenga, born Jan. 8 1850 and baptized Jan. 11, 1850 at Ten Boer, married to Miena Ritsema, born Jan. 5, 1850 at Ten Boer. Geert in 1880 was without occupation, living in Thesinge, and a member of the Christelijk Gereformeerde Church. Geert and Miena married on May 20, 1880 at Thesinge, and had at least the following children: Tjaakjes, born Mar. 12, 1881 at Ten Boer, who married Pieter Pilon (born Aug. 20, 1874 at Stedum, a commissioner and merchant in flax, and member of the Gereformeerde Church, and they had three children: Jantje, born Sept. 13, 1909 at Stedum; Geert, born Nov. 11, 1911 at Stedum; and Miena, born Nov. 24, 1915 at Stedum); Jantje, born Dec.18, 1882 at Ten Boer, who went to Bedum on Sept. 24, 1882; Henderika, born Mar. 23, 1885 at Ten Boer, went to Bedum on Aug. 4, 1904, married Hendrik Mensema, died Apr. 27, 1967 at Noordwolde; Geertje, born Mar. 18, 1887 at Ten Boer, who married on June 11, 1908 and went to Bierum on Aug. 2, 1911; and Willemina, born on Nov. 27, 1890 at Ten Boer, who moved to Stedum on July 1, 1909 and to Bierum on July 16, 1916.

d2. Fritgers, born Nov. 27 (29?), 1815 at Stedum in House No. 65. He died unmarried at age 19 years on Oct. 27, 1835 at Garmerwolde.

Jan Bartels Swierenga died on Sept. 18, 1822 in House No. 5 in Stedum at the age of 51 years and at that time he was of independent means and widower of the late Jantje Geerts Hoekzema. Alje Jacobs Haverkamp, age 28, a friend and neighbor, was a witness to Jan's death. He was a brother-in-law to Jacoba Hindriks (Swierenga), daughter of Hindrik Bartels and Loeke Jacobs, and wife of Pieter Jacobs (Haverkamp). According to the "Diaconie boek" of Oldenzijl, Jan Bartels Swierenga served as a deacon in the Hervormde Church from 1807 through 1812.

The death certificate of Jantje Geerts Hoekzema has still to be found.

V-b8. Cornellis (Cornelis) Bartels Swierenga

He was born in Menkeweer on Apr. 12, 1792, baptized in the #9; local Hervormde Church on Apr. 22, 1792 as son of Barteld #9; #9; Jans and Anje Popkes, and died on June 22, 1839 at Leermens, Municipality t' Zandt. He signed his name in the 1819 birth certificate of son Barteld as "Kornelis Bartelts Swirenga." He lived in Eenrum from 1826 to 1835 and Leermens from 1836 to 1839. He married on Sept. 12, 1818 in Stedum with Geertje Jacobs Boerma, baptized Nov. 3, 1797 at Bedum, a 20 year-old daughter of the late Jacob Harms Boerma and Grietje Bartels Swierenga. This means that Cornelis Bartels Swierenga married the daughter of his half-sister, since Geertje Jacobs Boerma was the daughter of Grietje Bartels Swierenga (the daughter of his father Barteld Jans and his step-mother Geertje Hendriks whose family would also adopt the family name Boerma or Boerema and Jacob Harms Boerma). It is also very likely that this Jacob Harms Boerma was the brother of Alje Harms Boerema (or Boerma) and of Teebe Harms Boerema (or Boerma) and, therefore, also the brother of Aakje Harms (Boerma or Boerema) the first wife of Jan Bartels Swierenga. (Could Aakje Harms be a sister to all these men?)

Another interesting piece of information from the marriage certificate of Cornellis Bartels Swierenga and Geertje Jacobs Boerma is that the latter's parents (Jacob Harms Boerma and Grietje Bartels Swierenga) had been tavern keepers (tappers), people who owned or ran a public house in the town of Stedum.

At the time of his marriage Cornellis Bartels Swierenga was a farmer's hand (boerenknecht). The bride, Geertje Jacobs Boerma, was without occupation.

From this marriage five children were found:

al. Barteld Kornelis, born Apr. 19, 1819 at Stedum and died Aug. 11, 1892 at t' Zandt. He was a shopkeeper at Zeerijp, married Goedina Stoffers Veendijk (born Apr. 17, 1830 in t' Zandt and died June 5, 1909 in Bierum) also a shopkeeper. Their children were: Kornelis, born Dec. 16, 1847; Aagtje, born Feb. 11, 1850 at Oosterwijtwerd, and died Mar. 1, 1898 at Ten Boer, a milliner (hoedenmaakster) who married Pieter Dertien, a carpenter, (born 1842 in Zeerijp, son of Hendrik Dertien and Tietje Reinders Vos), had a daughter Goedina born Apr. 24, 1872 at 't Zandt; Siepko, born Aug. 19, 1863 (see next paragraph); Jan Pieters, born Oct. 8, 1869 at 't Zandt; and possibly Geertje born Feb. 16, 1852, and Jakob born Mar. 16, 1861 at 't Zandt.

Additional information about Barteld Kornelis and his descendants was found at the Central Bureau for Genealogy in the "Vragenlijst" report that the German occupying regime required of Netherlanders who held any government posts. The questionnaires specifically sought to reveal any Jewish ancestry in the family. Barteld Kornelis's great-grandson, Harm Swierenga and Barteld's grandson, Barteld Swierenga, Harms's father, filled out such questionnaires. These state that Barteld Swierenga was born at Stedum, Apr. 19, 1819, was a store-keeper by occupation, and a member of the Netherlands Hervormde Church. He died at 't Zandt on Aug. 11, 1892. His son Siepko Swierenga was born at 't Zandt on Aug. 19, 1863, married Tijtje (Tietje) Wiers at 't Zandt on May 24, 1888 (she was born at Bierum on Sept. 13, 1866 and died at Appingedam, Feb. 5, 1924). Siepko was a carpenter at Zeerijp, Garsthuizen, and 't Zandt, and the family belonged to the Netherlands Hervormde Church. Seipko died at 't Zandt on June 26, 1893, after fathering three known children: Grietje, born Nov. 15, 1888 and died Aug. 11, 1889 at Zeerijp; Barteld, born Dec. 24, 1889 at Garsthuizen; and Grietje, born Mar. 21, 1891 at Garsthuizen.

Siepko's son Barteld Swierenga was born on Dec. 26, 1889 at Stedum and died June 8, 1959 at Winschoten. He was also Netherlands Hervormde and married Janna Pals of Beerta (born May 3, 1890 at Beerta, daughter of Harm Pals and Wobbina Klok) on Dec. 5, 1917. Barteld lived in Noordbroek at Dorpstraat b-2. Barteld's son Harm Swierenga was born at Enschede on Feb. 19, 1919. He lived with his parents at Noordbroek when he completed the questionnaire on May 30, 1941. He was unmarried, an electrician by training, but worked as a municipal policeman (veldwachter). He had served in the Netherlands infantry from Oct. 24, 1938 to May 29, 1940. He married on Dec. 5, 1942 at Noordbroek to Lina P. Gunster and had at least one child, Nanneke.

a2. Jakob Kornelis, born May 30, 1821 at Eenrum (birth cert. no. 33). His occupation was that of a skipper (schipper) at t' Zandt. He married Trijntje Jacobs Homan of Leermens on July 4, 1850 at t' Zandt (marriage cert no. 19). Her parents were Jacob Egberts Homan and Anje Jacobs Groothuis. On his marriage certificate, Jacob Kornelis signed his name as "J. K. Swieringa." Jakob and Trijntje's children were: Geertje, born Feb. 16, 1852, and Aaltje, born ca. 1863 at Uithuizermeeden. After Trijntje's death, Jacob Kornelis married Frouwke Veenstra (born July 7, 1841 at Doezum to Jan Wybes Veenstra and Hiltje Siemons Zijlstra) on Mar. 7, 1873 at ; Grootegast, and they had at least two sons: Wiebe, born Jan. 3, 1874 at Opende who married Hendriktje Vander Molen (1877-1933) and died on Aug. 16, 1950 at Doezum; and Hilbrand J., born ca. 1875 and died Oct. 13, 1891 at Sebaldeburen. Frouwke died Apr. 21, 1910 at Doezum.

a3. Grietje, born Sept. 11(or 13?), 1823 at 't Zandt (birth cert. no. 62). She died at the age of 14 on July 30, 1838.

a4. Aaltje, born Mar. 9, 1826 at 't Zandt (birth cert. no. 17). She married Hendrik Jacobs Hartog, a korenschipper, of Appingedam on May 18, 1850 at Bierum. Hartog was born Oct. 27, 1821 at Appingedam to Jacob Hendriks Hartog and Aake Jans de Boer, laboers at Siddeburen. They later were inn-keepers (kasteleins) and had four known children: Auke, born Feb. 24, 1851 at Krewerd; Geertje, born July 19, 1853 at Hellum; Kornelis, born Apr. 14, 1856 at Hellum; and Anje, born Feb. 29, 1860 at Hellum.

a5. Anje, born Jan. 24, 1829 at 't Zandt (birth cert. no. 10).



VI-a5. Bartelt Hindriks Swierenga

Note: Barteld Hindriks signed his wedding certificate as "B. H. Swirenga," but all of his children's birth certificates are signed as "B. H. Swierenga." He also signed his National Militia Certificate on May 8, 1829 at "B. H. Swierenga." He was born in Stedum on Dec. 10, 1798 and was baptized in the local Hervormde Church on Dec. 20, 1798 as son of Hindrik Bartels and Loeke Jacobs. He married three times. On May 24, 1816 he became the father of a son who was born out-of-wedlock by Aaltjen Geurts Ritzema, a 27 year old maid-servant residing in Stedum. The birth of this child was registered by Bernhard Anton Majer, a 55 year old physician who assisted during the confinement. The baby boy was immediately recognized by the then 17 year old Barteld Hindriks Swierenga as his son and is registered as:

a1. Hindrik Bartelds Swierenga, born May 24, 1816 in Stedum. For further details see point VII-al.

Barteld Hindriks Swierenga and Aaltjen Geurts Ritzema married in Stedum on Dec. 21, 1816. She was born on Nov. 29, 1789 in Stedum and baptized in the local church on Dec. 6, 1789 as daughter of Geurt Pieters and Anje Jans. Her occupation before marriage was servant girl (dienstmeid). Her father had passed away already and had resided in Loppersum where he had been a day laborer.

Witnesses at the wedding ceremony, among others, were Jacob Alberts Kol, a 42 year old farm-hand residing in Boertange and brother of the groom, Albert Leewes Wierenga, a 61 year old day laborer residing in Loppersum and "stede vader" (which most probably means stepfather of the bride), and Anje Jans, mother of the bride.

Aaltjen's father, Geurt Pieters, had passed away in Sept., 1807 and was buried on Sept. 23, 1807 in Garrelsweer, according to an entry in the records of the Hervormde Diaconie of Garrelsweer. In 1816 (at the time of his marriage) Barteld Hindriks Swierenga was without occupation, but in 1817 he was a farmer or farm hand (landbouwer) at Stedum and after 1820 he was a bargeman (snikkevaarder and schuitevaarder) at Stedum. His National Militia certificate of May, 1829 lists his occupation as commissioner in grain (commissionair in granen). He drew Lot No. 10 in the 1821 lottery, but was not required to serve. On May 19, 1841 (the day of the marriage of his son Hindrik Bartels Swierenga and Kornelske Jan Niehoff) he was still a grain commissioner residing in Stedum. His National Militia certificate of May, 1829 lists his occupation as commissioner in grain (commissionair in granen). He drew Lot No. 10 in the 1821 lottery, but was not required to serve.

Other children of Barteld Hindriks and Aaltje Geurts Ritzema are:

a2. Geert Bartels, a waggoner and later a merchant, born Oct. 3, 1817 at Stedum in the house of his parents, House No. 42. He was baptized in the Hervormde Church of Stedum on Oct. 14, 1817. He married Christa Derks Wijchel (widow of Jacob Tamminga, born Feb. 22, 1814 at 't Zandt, a store-keeper) ca. 1851. The Stedum Bevolkingsregister of 1839-1859 states that the family lived in House No. AW 138, formerly No. 87, with three step-children: Jakob Tamminga, born 1836 at Stedum; Pieterke Tamminga, born 1839 at Stedum; and Remke Tamminga, born Apr. 4, 1842 at Stedum. Geert and Christa had at least four of their own as well: Barteld, born in 1847 in Stedum; Barteld(t), born Oct. 24, 1852 at Stedum, who died at Stedum on Sept. 24, 1871; Aaltje, born Feb. 1, 1853, who died on Feb. 11, 1853 at Stedum; and Aaltje, born Feb. 24, 1855 at Stedum, who on Jan. 23, 1875, married Aike Pastoor, a carpenter, and bore him fourteen children. Geert Bartels Swierenga on Feb. 27, 1904 moved in with his daughter Aaltje Pastoor in Stedum at ; House No. 183. Geert, a widower, died at Aaltje's home on Jan. 25, 1906, according to the Stedum Bevolkingsregister of 1880- ; 1920.

a3. Loeke Bartels, born July 16, (or June 27?), 1820 at Stedum in House No. 16, married on May 8, 1851 to Hindrik Pieters Haverkamp, a day laborer (dagloner) at Lellens, who was born Oct. 21, 1823 at Stedum (to Pieter Jacobs Haverkamp and Jacoba Hindiks Swierenga) and died at Lellens at age 30 in 1850. At least one child of this marriage is Jacoba, born Mar. 2, 1852 at Lellens. Loeke was widowed before her marriage in 1851. The first husband is not yet known.

a4. Jan Bartels, born July 23, 1822 at Stedum in House No. 16 and died Mar. 29, 1892. He was a farmer at Woltersum and a member of the Christelijk Afgescheiden Church. Before his first marriage he boarded with his married sister Ebelia and her husband Siemen Lanting, a farmer and leading member of the Christelijk Afgescheiden Church. Siemen and Ebelia lived in House No. 9 at Ten Post, according to the Ten Boer Bevolkingsregister of 1839.

Jan Bartels married three times. On May 27, 1852 at Ten Boer, he married Roelfina Onnes Boon, who was born in 1817 at Appingedam, a day laborer living at Lellens, of the Christelijk Afgescheiden Church. Jan and Roelfina had two children: Barteld, born June 3, 1854 at Woltersum who died Apr. 29, 1891 at Woltersum; and Aaltje, born May 4, 1857 at Woltersum, who died on June 8, 1857 at Woltersum. Roelfina also died at Woltersum on Dec. 26, 1858.

Jan Bartels's second wife was Grietje Folkersma of Over't Schild, who he married at Woltersum in 1859 and who died ca. 1872 after bearing six children, most of whom died in infancy. The first two were Eike, born Oct. 25, 1860 and died Nov. 25, 1860; and Heike, born Dec. 5, 1865, who later married W. Hofman in May of 1892. Other children were Jacob who died after 1872, Harmannus who died in 1883, and Geert who died in 1884. Geert was crippled and mentally retarded, according to step-brother Hendrik Swierenga's autobiography.

Jan Bartels's third wife was Maartje Zijlman, born Dec. 23, 1850, daughter of Hendrik Zijlman, a blacksmith at Bovendijk, Mun. Loppersum, and died on July 6, 1881, at Woltersum. They were married in l874 and their first child was Hendrik, born Sept. 10, 1875 and died Jan. 30, 1952, who worked as a clerk in Ten Boer in 1890, in Veendam in 1894, in Ten Boer in 1901, and in Stad Groningen in 1903. Hendrik married Catherine Magrietha Mulder on Apr. 20, 1898 and they had three children: Johan Barteld, born Mar. 1, 1900 at Veendam and married Antje Tunlelda; Jan Barend, born May 10, 1902 at Ten Boer and married Roelina Hallegonds Reijenga; and Roelof Gerard, born July 22, 1905 at Groningen, who on Oct. 1 1942 at Veendam married Schw. (Winne) E. Muusse of Groningen and had three children: Anthonie Magrietha, born Aug. 17, 1944 and married to Kees H. Swierenga on Mar. 10, 1967 at Veendam; Johan Barteld, born Jan. 27, 1946; and Barteld Roelof Hindrik, born Dec. 2, 1948. Johan Barteld and Barteld Roelof are deceased. Jan and Maartje also had a daughter, Martje, who died in infancy in 1878.

a5. Frijdus (Friedus) Bartels, born Nov. 28, 1824 at Stedum in House No. 16. He married Anje Wieringa, who was born Nov. 25, 1820 at Ten Boer, on May 30, 1856 at Ten Boer. The family lived in House No. A.W.127 in Stedum, where Friedus was a farmer (akkerbouw). The family belonged to the Christelijk Afgescheiden Church, according to the Stedum Bevolkingsregister of 1850-1880. The register also lists two children: Aaltje (Alice), born May 3, 1857 at Stedum who married John Hoffenkamp; and Hendrik (Henry), born Nov. 3, 1860 at Stedum, who married his stepsister Dora Sietsma on Mar. 31, 1883, had 10 children, and died in Chicago on May 8, 1942 at 80 years of age. Dora died in Chicago on Aug. 19, 1936. Six of Henry and Dora's ten children were Fred, Annie (Mrs. Jake Molter), Cornelius married to Theresa Wierenga who had two children, Effie Swierenga, Alice (Mrs. Pete Doornbos), and a son of Dora by her first marriage, Rynie Sietsema, married Jennie, died in Cicero. According to the 1885 Chicago City Directory, Henry was a varnisher living at 457 South Wood Street. He served as a deacon in the First Christian Reformed Church of Chicago, according to the Church's seventy-fifth anniversary booklet of l942. In 1928, Polk's Chicago Directory gives the family's address as 928 South Wood Street.

The entry in the Stedum Bevolkingsregister concludes with the comment that the Friedus Swierenga family had emigrated to "Noord Amerika Michigan" without giving notice to municipal officials. Friedus, according to the written reminiscences of his nephew Hendrik Swierenga (1875-1952), suffered financial difficulties and bankruptcy in the agricultural depression of the 1860s and in 1867 emigrated to Chicago with his family, where he took on the name Fred. He was a day laborer (dagloner) at the time. The family joined the newly formed (1867) First (Old Fourteenth Street) Christian Reformed Church. The seventy-fifth anniversary booklet of the church lists a "J. Swierenga" elected as deacon in 1868. This was likely Fred, since no other Swierenga was known to be living in Chicago at the time.

Fred's first wife, Anje, died in Chicago and he married a widow Sietsma with whom he had three children:

(1) Maggie who married Fred Goris and died in Chicago in July, 1921, leaving two children, Tessie and George;

(2) Barteld F., born Sept. 4, 1870, in Chicago, married on Aug. 4, 1897 by Rev. John Riemersma to Mary Speyer (born Jan. 8, 1875 at Three Oaks, MI, and died Oct. 24, 1945 in Denver) and who died on Nov. 2, 1933 at Alamosa, CO, after fathering nine children: Tessie, born Sept. 10, 1898 in Chicago, died Grand Haven, MI. Dec. 12, 1961; Effie, born Mar. 13, 1900 in Chicago, died Feb. 23, 1929 at Cicero, IL.; Fred, born Oct. 9, 1902 in Chicago, died Dec. 4, 1963 at Alamosa, CO; Mina, born Apr. 24, 1904 in Chicago, married June 25, 1930 in Cicero, IL to Harry Overset; Martha, born Apr. 8, 1909 in Alamosa, CO, died May 5, 1909 at Alamosa; Marthe Alice, born Oct. 30, 1910 at Alamosa, married Jan. 24, 1931 at Cicero, IL to Ervin A. Lustig, died June 14, 1941 in Chicago; Margaret Ruth, born July 26, 1913 at Alamosa, married Adrian Ed Witt on Nov. 21, 1935 at Kiowa, CO, died Jan. 8, 1978 in Denver; William Edward, born Apr. 15, 1916 at Alamosa, married Sept. 19, 1940 at Denver to Hendrika Elizabeth Ritsema, died Jan. 28, 1976 in Grand Rapids, MI, Chaplain at thr Michigan Veterans Facility; and Henry Harold, born Oct. 24, 1918 at Alamosa, married Mar. 9, 1944 in Denver;

(3) John F., born at Chicago, married June 1, 1904 to Geertina Oosterheerdt at Cicero, IL, and had four children: Fred John, married in 1929 to Anne Brouwer with two children: Geraldine, married to Pete Woldman, and Roger, married to Marilyn Wierenga; Stella, married in 1936 to George Vande Werken, with one child, son George John of Highland, IN married to Gayle Bremer of Holland, MI; Pieter John, married Katherine Potts, two children: David formerly of Fairfax, VA, and Charlene Vanderveen of Calgary; and Tessie, who married John E. Klunder, with three children, all in Mt. Vernon, WA: Clarence married to Eleanor, John married to Deana, and Jim, now deceased, married to Judy.

Freidus Swierenga later married for the third time died in Chicago.

a6. Jacobus Bartelds, born Aug. 9, 1826 at Stedum in House No. 16 and died at 11 weeks of age on Oct. 24, 1826 (death cert. no. 46).

Aaltje Geurts Ritzema died on Jan. 15, 1829 at Stedum.

Barteld Hindriks Swierenga married his second time on May 30, 1829 to Trijntje Jakobus, a shopkeeper (winkelierster) and widow of Jan Willems Kriema, age 42 years of age, born at Stedum in 1787 to Jakobus Jans, who had died at Hoogezand and Janna Winkelman who died at Stedum. The widower, Barteld Hindriks was 30 years old at his second marriage, a commissioner of grain (marriage cert. no. 7). Barteld Hindriks and Trijntje had one son: Simon Bartelds, born Dec. 19, 1829 at Stedum in House No. 24.

Subsequently in 1841, after Trijntje's death, Barteld Hindriks married for the third time to Jantje Klazens Zarkema (born 1820 in Stedum) at Slochteren, and they had four children: Klaas, born 1844 at Stedum; Ebelia, born Sept. 3, 1845 at Stedum who on May 30, 1861 married Roelf Boezman, a farmer at Slochteren; Jantje, born in 1847 at Stedum who married Johan Hendrik Pelgrim (born Aug. 13, 1844), a police officer at Groningen; Geertje, born Mar. 24, 1851 at Stedum, who married a Rozema and had a son Barteld; and Aaltje, born May 3, 1857 at Stedum. Barteld Hindriks was a cattleman (veehouder) at this time, until moving to Groningen City on Mar. 6, 1865.



VII-al. Hindrik Bartelds Swierenga

He was born on May 24, 1816 in Stedum as son of (the then not yet married) Barteld Hendriks Swierenga and Aaltjen Geurts Ritzema.

Hindrik Bartelds's National Militia Certificate, dated Apr. 28, 1844, states that the drew lot number 22 in the 1835 lottery for Stedum, but he was not required to serve. He signed his name as "H. B. Swierenga" and his physical characteristics were as follows: length--l El, 7 Pm, 9 Dm, 2 St, face--broad, forehead--high, eyes--Blue, nose--long ("lang"), mouth--ordinary, chin--broad, hair--brown, eyebrows--brown, perceptible marks--none. Hindrik in 1835 was a farmhand (boerenknecht) and his father, Barteld Hindriks was a bargeman (schuitevaarder). His mother, Aaltje Geerts Ritzema, was deceased, having died on Jan. 15, 1829 at Stedum.

He married on May 19, 1841 in Stedum (marriage cert. No. 11) with Kornelske Jans Niehoff, age 22, who was born in Ten Boer on Apr. 20, 1819 as daughter of Jan Klasens Niehoff (a farmhand) and Bouke Lubbertina Bierma (a farm maid), both of Noorddijk. Kornelske resided in Garmerwolde at the time of her marriage and had no occupation. Her father, Jan Klasens Niehoff, had passed away in Noorddijk on Dec. 28, 1840, where her mother was still residing.

Hindrik Bartels Swierenga, who at the time of his marriage was a bargeman (schuitevaarder), signed his name as "H. B. Swierenga" and Kornelske Jans Niehoff signed her name as "K. J. Niehof."

Hendrik's father, Barteld Hendriks Swierenga, also signed his name as a witness of the ceremony. His mother had died in 1829.

Three children out of this marriage are known:

al. Barteld, born Oct. 22, 1842 in Stedum (birth cert. no. 23). His first wife was Geziena (Geesina) Hammingh, who was born #9; on Jan. 29, 1843 at Adorp to Martinus Hammingh and Geeske Faber; the family was of Christelijk Gereformeerde church background. Barteld and Geziena lived at Stedum in House No. A. W. 110 (formerly no. 97), having moved there from Ten Boer on Jan. 3, 1871, according to the Stedum Bevolkingsregister of 1870-1890. In 1871 Barteld was a waiter (oberman), and belonged to the Christelijk Gereformeerde Church.

Barteld and Geziena had three children: Hendrik, born Sept. 24, 1871 at Stedum, who married in Chicago to a Polish- born woman and had a son Barney; Gezine, born Sept. 12, 1873 at Stedum; and Cornelia, born Feb. 28, 1875 at Stedum, who died on Nov. 3, 1875.

Geziena, the wife and mother, died 7 months after the birth of the infant Cornelia, on Sept. 13, 1875, and the infant died two months later.

Barteld remarried on Dec. 19, 1876 in Stedum. His second wife was Geertruida Steenhuis, born Jan. 22, 1842 at Middelstum to Jan Jelmers Steenhuis and Heilinga Roelfs Faber, all of the Christelijk Gereformeerde Church. She moved to Stedum on Nov. 16, 1876, from Nieuwolde.

Barteld and Geertruida had three children: Knelske, born July 21, 1878 at Stedum; Jan (John), born July 2, 1879 at Stedum. He was the owner of Swierenga Cartage Company, a Chicago trucking company that hauled steel primarily. Jan died in Chicago on May 19, 1955, having been married to Henrietta Hoving of Bovendijk near Loppersum, who had emigrated in 1898 at 17 years of age. The 1928 Chicago City Directory lists John and Henrietta living at 7726 South Winchester Avenue. One of their children was Barney, born Sept. 9, 1901 in Chicago, later proprietor of Swierenga Jewelers of Grand Rapids, Michigan. #9; Barney in 1928 was working in his father's cartage business and living with his wife Catherine and family at 7350 South Aberdeen in Englewood. The third child of Barteld and Geertruida was Bouke, born Aug. 27, 1881 at Stedum.

Barteld and Geertruida emigrated to Chicago in 1882 with their five children, where he became a deacon and custodian at the First Christian Reformed Church. However, the intended destination, according to the 1882 Groningen Emigration Record was Michigan. According to the Chicago City Directory of 1884, Barteld was a carpenter living at 265 Johnson Street. In the 1886 directory, he was a laborer living at 684 S. Union Street.

Other children of Hindrik Bartelds and Kornelske Jans Niehoff are:

a2. Bouke (Boukje), born Mar. 4, 1845 in Stedum (birth cert. no. 5). She married a Reverend Harkema of the Hervormde Church at Winschoten.

a3. Jan, born Apr. 16, 1847 in Lellens. For further details concerning Jan, see VIII-a3.

The religious affiliation of Hindrik and Kornelske in 1850 was Netherlands Hervormde. Hindrik Bartelds died on Oct. 18, 1865 in Lellens and the widow Kornelske Jans Niehoff died on Nov. 11, 1874, also in Lellens.



VIII-a3. Jan Swierenga

He was born in Lellens (Mun. Ten Boer) on Apr. 16, 1847 as son of Hindrik Bartelds Swierenga and Kornelske Jans Niehoff. He married on Apr. 2, 1875 in Stedum (marriage cert. no. 3) with Katrijn Koning, who was born in Garmerwolde (Mun. Ten Boer) on Oct. 2, 1853, a daughter of Hindrik Hindriks Koning and Trientje Willems Maats. Her father Hindrik Hindriks Koning had passed away in Garmerwolde on Feb. 22, 1859 and Katrijn Koning and her mother Trientje had settled in Stedum.

Jan Swierenga at the time of his marriage was living in Lellens and was working as a farmhand (landbouwer). One year later, at the time of the birth of his first child, he was without occupation, but from 1878 he became a corn bargeman (korenschipper) on the Damsterdiep like his father and grandfather before him.

Jan Swierenga and Katrijn Koning had nine children:

a1. Kornelia (Kate), born May 21, 1876 in Stedum (birth cert. no. 31). Died at Chicago, Oct. 10, 1946. Married Nicholas Tillema, born Mar. 18, 1865, died May 7, 1948.

a2. Trientje (Catherine), born Aug. 20, 1878 in Ten Post (Mun. Ten Boer) (birth cert. no. 110). She married John Nienhuis in Chicago in 1903 and died soon six months laterafter in 1903. Nienhuis in 1906 married Grace (Magie) Wiersum, (b. 08/30/1884 Chicago, d. 08/??/1942 Chicago).

a3. Hendrik (Henry), born Nov. 22, 1879 in Kröddeburen (Mun. Ten Boer) (birth cert. no. 180). In 1905 he married Mary Wiersum, born Apr. 20, 1881 and died Feb. 24, 1974. Henry died in Platte, S.D. on Mar. 29, 1923 and the remains were shipped to Chicago for the funeral and burial at Forest Hone Cemetery.

a4. Hillechien (Alice), born June 19, 1881 in Kröddeburen (Mun. Ten Boer) (birth cert. no. 95). Died in Des Plaines, Illinois, July 9, 1967. First married Henry Dykema and after his death, Kiempe Miedema. Medema farmed a truck farm in Des Plaines at Wolfe Rd. and Touhy Avenue, where he raised tomatoes, melons, and other vegetables for the Chicago wholesale market.

a5. Eppe (Edward), born Mar. 21, 1883 in Kröddeburen (birth cert. no. 55). Died in Chicago, May 1, 1959. Married Effie Wiersum, sister of Henry's wife Mary, who was born on Apr. 12, 1885 and died Jan. 25, 1948.

a6. Hendrikus, born Apr. 3, 1886 in Kröddeburen (birth cert. no. 50). He died in youth, date and place unknown. When the family emigrated in 1893, the records report the number of children as 9. Thus Hendrikus may have died just before the family emigrated or shortly thereafter.

a7. Bouwko (Robert), born Feb. 28, 1888 in Ten Post (birth cert. no. 33). Died in Chicago, Illinois, Dec. 17, 1949. Married on Apr. 27, 1910 to Grace Dykhuis, born Mar. 23, 1889 and died June 11, 1967.

a8. Hendrika (Henrietta), born Jan. 2, 1890 in Ten Post (birth cert. no. 2). Died in Chicago, July 22, 1942. Married Frank Fokkens, born Mar. 29, 1887 and died July 3, 1969.

a9. Bartelda (Tillie), born Mar. 21, 1893 in Ten Post (birth cert. no. 33). Died in Chicago, June 29, 1965. Married Johannes Tameling, born Jan. 27 (or 29), 1893, died July 12, 1961.

From the places of birth of these children one can see that this family moved in May, 1876 from Lellens to Stedum, two miles to the north, only to move back again on Apr. 30, 1878 to the hamlet of Kröddeburen a half mile northwest of Ten Post. The Bevolkingsregister of the Municipality of Ten Boer, 1880-1920, lists the address of their home as Kröddeburen No. 20, which was located immediately adjacent to the windmill "Olle Widde" (Old White, because it was painted with a white lime) at No. 20a according to the l834 plat map. The house and mill remain standing today. Until 1876, the family belonged to the Netherlands Hervormde Church, and thereafter to the Christelijk Gereformeerde Church. Since the church in Ten Post does not list them as members, it is thought they belonged to the church in Ten Boer, but this has yet to be determined. Jan Swierenga's National Militia registration certificate, dated at Groningen Mar. 3, 1875, states his occupation as farmhand (landbouwer) living at Lellens. He was inscribed in the militia register of the Municipality of Ten Boer in the year 1866 for the lottery of 1867 and drew lot no. 4, which low number made him subject to serve. As the law allowed, he paid for a substitute on May 9, 1867, and thus met his service obligation.

Jan Swierenga emigrated with his wife and nine children to the United States in 1893. The intended destination, according to the 1893 Emigration Record of the Municipality of Ten Boer, was Grand Rapids, Michigan, but the family settled instead in Chicago, near Jan's older brother Barteld who had immigrated to Chicago in 1882 with his family. Jan's uncle Friedus Swierenga had also immigrated to Chicago in 1867 and was well established there.

For the history of Jan Swierenga's family in Chicago see the Robert (Bouwko) Swierenga Family History by grandson Robert P. Swierenga.


Appendix A: Church Activities of Geert H. Swierenga

Geert H. Swierenga served as an elder in the Hervormde Kerk of Thesinge but when Hendrik De Cock of Ulrum, the leading Seceder cleric in northern Groningen preached in a private home in Thesinge in September 1835, Geert was attracted to his message. Evidence of this fact is that on June 4, 1838, the minutes of the Thesinge Hervormde Church consistory note that Geert H. Swierenga was absent because "he is visiting with our Shepherd and Teacher H. de Cock who is on the island of Urk bringing the congregation to the Lord."

In 1840, Geert was chosen as an elder in the Christelijk Afgescheiden Church of Thesinge. He was then a 38 year old farmer. But in 1843, when the congregation contributed f1200 to build a new church and parsonage, Geert's name is not on the list. By this time, he was dissatisfied with the Thesinge church.

In 1843 Geert H. Swierenga and his wife Trientje J. Lanting transferred from the Afgescheiden Church of Thesinge to that of Ten Boer because of "differences and difficulties" in the church. Geert then was elected as an elder in the Ten Boer church in 1843, along with his brother-in-law Siemen Jans Lanting. Geert lived in the hamlet of Bovenrijge near the three-forked Molenweg-Bovenrijge road. The condition of this main road from Bovenrijge to Ten Boer was better at this time than the shorter road from Bovenrijge to Thesinge. This made it possible for the family to worship at Ten Boer.

Other charter members of the Ten Boer Christelijk Afgescheiden Church in 1843 when it received its government charter (Vrijheid) were Barteld Swierenga and Geertje H. Swierenga. The first church building in Ten Boer stood on two lots on the main highway at Stadsweg Nos. 4-6. The members also lived in the hamlets to the north and east--Woltersum, Garmerwolde, Lellens, and Kröddeburen.

In April 1844 elder G. H. Swierenga went to Middelstum to personally deliver the congregation's "call" letter to their first pastor, Dominie Engel Ritsker Breitsma who served from 1845 until 1850. When the first consistory was elected in June 1845, no Swierenga was elected. But in 1856, Geert H. Swierenga again served as an elder in the Ten Boer Church.

Source: J. Wesseling, De Afgescheiden van 1834 in Groningerland, Deel III, 245-251, 56-63, 67, 85-86.


Appendix B: Descendants of Jan and Katrijn Swierenga

1. Nicholas Tillema and Kate Swierenga, 24 grandchildren

John Tillema and Marie Boltjes (Gerrit's sister), 2 children

Cornelius Bierma and Effie Tillema, 6 children

Gerrit Boltjes (Marie's brother) and Susie Tillema, 6 children

Hank Tillema and Lottie Ferrell, 2 children

John Hubbeling and Catherine Tillema, no children

Art Tillema and Marie De Boer (Nellie's sister), 2 children

Edward Tillema and Nellie De Boer (Marie's sister), 5 children

Robert Tillema and Esther Schreiner, 1 child


2. Keimpe Miedema and Alice Swierenga, 22 grandchildren

Abe Miedema and Florence Bos, 3 children

Sam Miedema and Bertha Brouwer, 2 children

Bert Keizer and Catherine Miedema, 3 children

Steve De Haan and Nellie Miedema, 6 children

Henry "Hank" Miedema, unmarried

John Miedema and Coba De Boer, 3 children

William Hoeks and Susie Miedema, 2 children

Bill Miedema and Dorothy ???, 3 children


3. Edward Swierenga and Effie Wiersum, 24 grandchildren

Dick Rispens and Catherine Swierenga, 4 children

Edward Buurma and Henrietta Swierenga, 1 child

(first husband ?? Pope)

John E. Swierenga and Marie ???, no children

Joe Swierenga and Sarah Myrtle Camphouse???, 1 child

Henry Swierenga and Marge ???, 3 children

Edward E. Swierenga and Tillie Wiersum, 4 children

Thomas Van Vossen and Alice Swierenga, 6 children

Robert Swierenga, unmarried

George Hiskes and Connie Swierenga, 3 children


4. Henry (Hendrik) Swierenga (1879-1923) and Mary Wiersum De Vries (second marriage to Otto De Vries, 1928)

John H. Swierenga and Henrietta Bakker, 3 children

Sam Breems and Henrietta Swierenga, 3 children

William Breems and Catherine Swierenga, 2 children

Edward H. Swierenga and Helena Breems, 5 children

Les Swierenga and Johanna Wieberdink, 6 children


5. Robert Swierenga and Grace Dykhuis, 20 grandchildren

John R. Swierenga and Marie Hoekstra, 6 children

Paul Tuitman and Henrietta Swierenga, 2 children

John Davids and Catherine Swierenga, 4 children

Ralph Swierenga and Angeline TerMaat, 5 children

Henry R. Swierenga and Anne Dykstra, 3 children


6. Frank Fokkens and Reka Swierenga, 12 grandchildren

Theodore Rozendal and Bernice Fokkens, 5 children

John Folgers and Jeanette Fokkens, 2 children

Jacob Heerdt and Ruth Fokkens, 5 children


7. John Tameling and Tillie Swierenga, 2 grandchildren

Henry Tameling and Grace Dykstra, no children

Catherine Tameling, unmarried

Celia Tameling, unmarried

John Tameling and Ruth Postma, 2 children


Total descendants: 43 grandchildren and 123 great grandchildren