Friday, April 18, 2014

The Siersema Farm

One of my most fruitful genealogy connections has come via my great grandmother Hilda (Kraai) Hugmeyer.  In about 2004 I discovered that her youngest brother Robert Kraai was still alive and got in contact with him.  He was about 86 at the time and had indicated that a granddaughter of his brother Willis had "a bunch of information".  I got in contact with her and have been in contact with her now for many years.  She's a retired teacher and is a whiz at digging through the old Dutch records on the websites I previously mentioned.  Her and I have made several visits to distant relatives and the Siersema farm trip was by far the one that provided the best information.

Hilda was the daughter of Albert Kraai and Gertrude Wieghmink.  Albert's parents were Jacob Kraai and Demutje Siersema.  Demutje's parents were Albert Siersema and Tryntje Dogger.  So Mary and I share common ancestry here and we tracked down a grandson of Demutje's brother Henry Siersema and met with him August of 2008.  He had this stack of pictures on the table waiting for us when we got there.  This is the original Siersema farm at 11525 New Holland St, Holland Michigan - I'm not sure when they were taken but it was incredible how many good photos of this farm he had.  I've got a couple pictures of Tryntje (one was in this stack) but no pictures of Albert - I like to think that Albert is in one of these photos, just not yet identified.

 This barn still stands and is still used - Mary and I got to tour the inside of it with the hand-hewn timbers.  It was very neat being in the barn that my 4th great grandparents worked.
 I like to think Albert is in this photo - none of the people in here are identified but the property still looks like this.  Albert died in 1888, Tryntje in 1893 so this farm is well over 100 years old. 

Is Albert in this photo?  I sure hope that someday we can track a photo of Albert down but I think this stop was the best chance we had. 

1 comment:

  1. Chris - just love what you are doing.

    I am researching the same Kraai family on behalf of a good friend who has a good deal less interest in family tree research than I have. So far my small amount of work has generated 88 names but all are closely linked with your names.

    Should you would be willing to share information on Kraais I would be very interested, but if not then I would understand that too.

    My email address is
    Best wishes
    Grant Scroggie