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Aardsma Family History





The name Aardsma was registered as a surname in 1811 when Napoleon required everyone to have a surname for census purposes. Before this time, a child was named and added only the father's name. Durk (also spelled Kirk) Jans (Dutch for John) would therefore be "Durk the son of Jans". In 1811, Durk Jans registered in Ee in the county of Oosdongeradeel in the province of Friesland located in north Netherlands by the North Sea. His registration papers list him as a gardenier, a farmer, and since "Aard" in Dutch mensa "earth", he felt the name reflected his tie to the earth. (Most names that end in "sma" come from Friesland.) Apparently, a joke from some of the Aardsma ancestors was something like this: "Our name was "Mud."





Gerald's Paternal Great Great Great Great Great Grandfather

Tjeerd Dirks, born?
(Wife's names were not listed in those days.)

Children:
Jan Djeerds on June 20, 1756 in Ee.
Other children ?

Tjeerd Dirks was a carpenter and innkeeper. In 1746 a church in Engwierum had a pulpit torn down and Tjeerd carved a new one. Apparently there is a famous pulpit in that area which is reported to be over 200 years old and quite beautiful. Picture of the pulpit, anyone?

Gerald's Paternal Great Great Great Great Grandparents

Jan Tjeerds on June 20, 1756 in Ee.
Willemke (Hendriks)

Married: May 10, 1778.

Children:
Durk Jans born Dec. 4, 1783 in Ee.(He registered in Holland in 1811.)
Other Children ?



Gerald's Paternal Great Great Great Grandparents

Durk Jans born Dec. 14, 1828 in Engwierum.
Antje [her father was Siegers Jaalstra Jacobs and her mother Grietje Freerkes.]

Married: Dec. 14, 1828.

Children:
Alle Durks (Also recorded as Ale and Allen in some documents.)
Other children ?

Durk (also spelled Kirk) Jans (Dutch for John) would therefore be "Durk the son of Jans". In 1811, Durk Jans registered in Ee in the county of Oosdongeradeel in the province of Friesland located in north Netherlands by the North Sea. His registration papers list him as a gardenier, a farmer, and since "Aard" in Dutch means "earth", he felt the name reflected his tie to the earth.



Gerald's Paternal Great Great Grandparents

Ale (Allen or Alle) D. Aardsma, born Dec. 14, 1828, deceased Nov. 21, 1899 at seventy-one years old.
Jetsc(k?)e (De Vries)[daughter of Wouters Roelofs De Vries and Jitske Eelkes Braaksma of Engwierum], born Feb. 19th, 1831, deceased Feb. 17, 1873 at forty-two years old.

Married:

Ale and Jetsce were married in May 23, 1856 in Oostdongeradeel.

Children:
Jetsche, born Feb. 25, 1857, deceased July 22, 1884 at twenty-seven years old.
Anna, [Antje?] born May 2, 1862, deceased May 2, 1863 at one year of age.
Dirk, born April 27th, 1864, deceased June 29, 1931 at seventy-seven years of age.
Anna, [Antje?] born Oct, 30, 1866, deceased June 29, 1931 at sixty-five years of age.
Walter [Wouter] Aardsma, born Sept. 12, 1870, deceased Sept. 19, 1953 at eighty-three years of age. (This is Gerald's great grandfather.)



Naturalization Papers for Ale D. Aardsma,
April 3, 1893.



Ale was born in the Netherlands. After Jetsce died, Ale and his five children came to America and settled in South Holland, Illinois near Chicago, IL. Ale became a U.S. citizen on April 3, 1893. The Aardsma American family history begins with Ale and to the best of our knowledge every Aardsma in the U.S. is related to him. Since "d" and "t" in Dutch are interchangeable, some believe that there may be a family relationships between the "Aardsmas" and the Aartsma's" but we have not been able to substantiate this linkage.



Gerald's Paternal Great Grandparents

Walter Allen Aardsma, born Sept. 12, 1870, deceased Sept. 19, 1953 at eighty-three years of age.
Mary (Von {Van} Nieweland), born April 8, 1871, deceased Nov 3, 1919 at forty-eight years of age.

Married: Walter and Mary were married on July 14, 1891.

Children:
Allen Walter born March 25, 1892, deceased Sept. 28, 1958 at sixty-six years of age. (This is Gerald's grandfather.)
Alice (Aardsma) Hoekstra born Nov. 11, 1893, deceased date?

After Mary's death, Walter married Seena (Dood) on Nov. 17, 1926.

Seena (Dood), born Jan 29, 1883, deceased June 9, 1964 at eighty-one years of age.

She was forty-three years old when she married Allen Walter and they did not have any children.

Walter was also born in the Netherlands. The family roots were in the Leeuwarden area of Friesland. Seena was from Groningen. Friesland is bounded by the Wadden Zee. Zuider Zee is to the south and west.

Walter became a U.S. citizen in Cook County, Illinois on April 2, 1892, one year before his father. His first wife, Mary Von Nieweland (believed to be half Jewish) was twenty years old when they married and they wre married twenty eight years before she died. They lived in South Holland, Illinois excpet for a brief span in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Walter married Seena (Dood) in Grand Rapids, Michigan sever years after his first wife died. She lived all her married life in Grand Rapids. Walter retired from American Seating Co., in the early 1940's and when he died, Grandma Seena sold the house on Franklin St., and moved in the Holland Home where she died. Both are buried in Oakland Cemetery in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Gerald's Uncle Paul Aardsma says that Gerald looks alot like his great-grandfather, Allen Walter.



Gerald's Grandparents

Allen Walter Aardsma born March 25, 1892, deceased Sept. 28, 1958 at sixty-six years of age.
Clara Jane Ver Beke (VerBeke?) born Nov. 7, 1893, deceased August 12, 1958 at sixty-five years of age.

Married: Nov. 7, 1918.

Children:
Walter Philip, born Mar 1, 1920, deceased March 4, 1920 at three days old.
Walter Jacob born Jan 27, 1921, deceased of Parkinson's disease, Oct 29, 1960 at thirty-nine year's of age.
Mary Alida (Johnson), born April 5, 1922,
Jacob [called Jake]Allen born July 19, 1923, deceased July 3, 2000 at seventy-seven years of age. (This is Gerald's father.)
Dorothy [called Dottie] Johanna (Kircher)[named after Dorothy Marsden, who was she?] born Oct. 10, 1924,
Paul William (named after Paul and William Pontier, missionaries to Africa) born Dec. 28, 1925,
Allen Philip, [called Phil]born Apr. 14, 1928,
Clara Alice (Drewry) born Nov 7, 1929
Ruth Margaret (Denny) born Mar 9, 1932
Three other babies died at birth. Names?

It has been said that Gerald's grandfather, Allen, died of heartbreak six weeks after his wife Clara died.

Allen Walter was born in Chicago, Illinois one month before before his father was naturalized. He lived in Chicago, Cincinnati and Grand Rapids except for the time spent in Brooklyn, where he met Clara Jane Ver Beke. Walter was in training to be a medical missionary at Missionary Training Institute, later National Bible Institute and then became Shelton College. Clara was in training to be a nurse at Brooklyn School of Nursing. They met in a Christian Reformed church.



Gerald's paternal grandparents
Allen and Clara (Ver Beke) Aardsma



Allen apprenticed himself to a German master barber in Cincinnati and learned barbering for two reasons: first to be his own boss and secondly to raise canaries. Walter Philip and Walter Jacob were both born in Grand Rapids. Mary Alida was born in Lindenhurst, L.I. where Allen barbered and also worked in the pin factory. Jacob, Dorothy, Paul, Allen Philip and Clara were all born in Grand Rapids, Michigan where Allen barbered and also was a fruit-vegetable huckster. Ruth was born in West Sayville, Long Island. They then moved to Lindenhurst that same year (1932) when Allen opened a barber shop.

Allen Walter has a one-chair barber shop on West Hoffman Avenue and School Street. He later moved to the Barasch Building on the south-west corn of West Hoffman Avenue and South 1st Street. Still later, he worked in his home. Allen Walter was known for giving a sermon or quote a Bible verse with every haircut he gave. He charged children twenty-five cents for a haircut and then would return a penny to "go buy candy."

Clara's grandfather was Albertus Ver Beke and her grandmother was was Maria De Witte. Clara Jane Ver Beke's father, Jacob Ver Beke, born Nov. 27, 1871), came to America with his brothers and sisters after the death of his mother in the late 1880's. His father was a night watchman in the Netherlands and was murdered by two Englishmen in the course of burglarizing the seafood shanty where his Dad worked. One of the murderers confessed on his deathbed in England. Jacob Ver Beke spoke often of his working on the dikes in Noord-Holland. After coming to American, he worked all his life as a clam-digger on the Great South Bay. He lost his eyesight in 1935 and lived most of his last thirteen years with his daughter Clara, and her family. He married Johanna DeWaal in 1891 and she died in 1926. Clara has a sister who was one year older than herself, May. She had three brothers and four sisters. Jacob Ver Beke died in 1948. Most of the Ver Beke family are buried in Union Cemetery in Sayville, Long Island.

Left to right:
Mary, Paul, Walter, Phil, Jacob (Gerald's father), Dorothy
Ruth, Clara (Gerald's grandmother), Allen (Gerald's grandfather), and Clara.
1944





The whole clan gathered for Thanksgiving, 1948.





Gerald's father is the one left with his elbow on the table.
Thanksgiving, 1948.



To be continued......






            

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