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2 2 Introduction My father Jan Middelhoek ( ) (Fig.1) retired in 1965 as headmaster and then, having more time, decided to find out whether all Middelhoeks in the Netherlands are related. He often saw a large moving van in Rotterdam with on it in big letters Middelhoek. Before he began his study of the family he had no idea whether this mover was possibly a distant relative. Also in the Hoeksewaard south of Rotterdam the name Middelhoek is quite common. The investigative efforts of my father finally resulted in the writing of five books, in which all branches of the family are described: Fig. 1 Jan Middelhoek 1967 ( And indeed all Middelhoeks in the Netherlands are family and originate from a single family around In the Dutch telephone directory we find now 40 Middelhoeks and according to a study by the Institute Mertens, there were 129 inhabitants in 2007 with the name Middelhoek (Fig. 2). In the whole family Middelhoek there was one member where my father had no record of. This was a certain Pieter Middelhoek, who had emigrated to America in On page 8 of Part V of the books of my father one can read: Leendert Middelhoek and Adriaantje van Willigen had 5 children:

3 3 1. Joris 2. Pieter 3. Heiltje 4. Hugo 5. Erkje November 26, December 17, December 27, January 10, July 30, (to USA) Fig. 2 Number of Middelhoeks in The Netherlands In the United States in Loveland, CO, and later in Fort Collins, CO lived a descendant of Pieter Middelhoek with the name Adelaide June De Jonge - Middelhoek. June was herself very interested in her heritage and wanted to know whether in the Netherlands some

4 4 Middelhoeks still might live. After some detours she heard about my father and his study of the Middelhoeks and in 1988 she even traveled with her daughter Beverly to the Netherlands to meet my father (Fig. 3) and to exchange data. June was so interested in the family that they even had parts of the books of my father translated. Fig. 3 June De Jonge - Middelhoek visits Jan Middelhoek in Rotterdam My father's curiosity about the pedigree of the Middelhoeks is also shared by some of his children and I, Simon, second son, especially liked to know more about the adventures of Pieter Middelhoek, who in 1848 emigrated to the USA. Unfortunately, in June 2003, June De Jonge - Middelhoek deceased and I could not ask her about her family. Luckily she sent, during her life, a lot of material to my father and sister Bea, of which I could make very good use. Her daughter Diane Wolf - De Jonge was so kind to

5 5 help me make the pedigree of Pieter Middelhoek complete. Today, you can also find a lot of information on Internet about the Dutch, who emigrated to Holland and Zeeland in the state Michigan. These first years the Dutch immigrants have been through very hard times and probably also Pieter Middelhoek. In reading about the setting up of their communities one gets great respect for their courage, perseverance and hard work. Pedigree of the first Middelhoeks From the books of my father Jan Middelhoek you can learn that: The grandfather of the Pieter Middelhoek, who went to the USA, was a Pieter Huygsz Middelhoek ( ). The grandfather of this Pieter Huygsz was another Pieter ( ). This Pieter was like his brother Arie baker in Kralingen near Rotterdam. Because Kralingen had too many bakers, Peter in 1732 moved with his family to the village Lage Zwaluwe in Noord-Brabant. Such a move was at that time more or less seen as emigrating to a foreign country. The Middelhoeks came originally from Delft. The oldest Middelhoek (born around 1500) was a Wouter (the name "van Middelhouck" or Middelhoek was then not used). Wouter was a butcher in the Fig. 4 Vlamingstraat 81, Delft Vlamingstraat in Delft. His house with the gate is still there (Fig. 4). However, the branch of

6 6 Middelhoek in Delft is extinct. Fortunately, one of the Middelhoeks in Delft, a shipbuilder, with the name Wouter Adriaens moved in 1620 to Vlaardingen and my father found after some research, that all now living Middelhoeks in the world descended from this Wouter Adriaens. Pieter Middelhoek the baker was a grandson of this Wouter Adriaens. Pieter Middelhoek had one daughter and five sons of which two sons are important for our story: Huyg Pieterse Middelhoek and Abraham Middelhoek. The American branch descends from Huyg Pieterse Middelhoek, whereas my family descends from Abraham Middelhoek. Fig. 5 From Wouter (1500) to Pieter (1827) The genogram in Fig. 5 shows how Pieter, the immigrant descended from the first known Middelhoek. Pieter Middelhoek emigrates to America Pieter Middelhoek arrived in the USA on the barque "Edwina" on

7 7 January 2, 1849 (Fig. 6) and was just 21 years old. The U.S. Congress had passed a law in 1819, that forced captains of immigrant ships to hand over to Customs a list of all the passengers. Thanks to such a list, we know now for sure, that Pieter arrived on January 2, 1849 (Fig. 7). The sailing ships usually needed 6 weeks to travel from Rotterdam to Fig. 6 Barque EDWINA New York. Pieter thus left at the end of 1848 from Rotterdam. As far as I can see Pieter travelled alone and not as a member of a church group. Fig. 7 List of passengers on the Edwina, no. 43 Pieter Middelhoek

8 8 At that time also many Germans emigrated to the USA and they often embarked in Rotterdam. I think that Pieter probably with some other Dutch emigrants joined a German group. Pieter had an older brother Joris, born in 1824, and two younger sisters Heijltje (1829) and Erkje (1837). His younger brother Hugo died at an early age. When Pieter went to the USA in 1848, both his parents Adriaantje van Willigen and Leendert Middelhoek did not live anymore (1845) and consequently Pieter and his sisters were orphans. When Pieter went to the USA, his sisters were only 18 and 11 years old and he knew he would never see them again. That did not prevent Pieter to start his adventurous journey. Probably his older brother Joris and other family members took care of the sisters. It seems that Pieter, although a member of the Afgescheidenen (Secessionists) church did not leave for religious reasons, like the group around Reverend Van Raalte, but rather for the lack of future for young farm workers in the Netherlands. Especially because of the potato disease of 1845, the poverty and unemployment increased dramatically in also Klaaswaal. A trip on a sailing ship was no fun. Often there were too many people on board, there was too little food and it smelled terrible (Fig. 8). During such a journey always a few passengers deceased and with some ceremony were put overboard. The Edwina was an American Fig. 8 A trip on an emigrant ship was no fun sailing ship and transferring emigrants was a lucrative business for the ship owners. Conditions on emigrant ships were sometimes so bad that the U.S. government felt they had to set rules. They decided that a captain would get a fine for every immigrant who would die on his ship.

9 9 When Pieter arrived in America, the Ellis Island gateway to the USA did not yet exist and he could travel further. As far as we know he did not immediately travel to Holland in Michigan, he probably had not enough money to do so. The government in Washington carried out on a regular base a census and the census of August 7, 1850 showed that Pieter Middelhoek was living with a certain family Jahe in Hackensack, New Jersey (Fig. 9). Fig. 9 Pieter Middelhoek living with the family Pahe, US Census 1850 The government official who recorded the data was not very accurate and Pieter Middelhoek became Peter Middlehook. The list also shows that the farm of Peter Pahe was worth $ 5000 and that his father and mother in law lived also on the farm. Probably Pieter after 1850 earned enough money to travel to Michigan, because he married as we shall see later in 1859 in Kalamazoo, near Holland township.

10 10 Holland township and Reverend Albertus van Raalte The state church in the Netherlands was the Reformed Church. In 1834 a large group of Protestants felt that the Reformed church was too liberal. They separated themselves from the state church and contnued under the name "Afgescheidenen" (Secessionists). Because only one state church was recognized, life for the group was made difficult. They were not allowed to own church buildings or schools. These restrictions were lifted in 1840 after the death of William I, but the Secessionists felt still not very accepted. It was, therefore, that a certain Reverend Albertus C. Raalte (Fig. 10) decided to take his congregation in 1846 to emigrate to America. They thought they could practice their faith more in their own way for example by establishing their own schools. Moreover, most parishioners were rather poor and hoped to build a better life for their children in America. Also a sense of adventure played a role. The group around van Raalte was 53 persons and they left on September 24th on board of the Southerner to New York City. Van Fig. 10 Rev. Albertus van Raalte Raalte was not the only group that settled in the USA, there was also the group from Zeeland in the Netherlands that travelled under the leadership of Reverend Cornelius Van der Meulen. It is estimated that between 1820 and 1880 about Dutch people settled in the USA. During the trip to the USA three passengers died on board of the Southener. After arriving in New York City, the van Raalte group traveled via Albany, Rochester and Detroit to West Michigan and founded the Holland township. The original goal was Wisconsin. Wellmeaning Indians taught them to cut down trees to build log cabins (Fig. 11) and to hunt wild animals. This led to the settlement Holland

11 11 township surrounded by wild cats, panthers, snakes, bears and wolves. In 1853 there were already 1418 and in immigrants in Holland and surroundings. Fig. 11 Loghouse of Dutch immigrants in Holland township It was a very hard time with many sick and dead, but with much sense for community. The neighboring town Zeeland led by Reverend Cornelius Van der Meulen built already in 1847 a church (Fig. 12) in Noordeloos, soon followed by a second church and school (Fig. 13). In addition roads were constructed (Fig. 14), making it possible to go to church on Sundays and to keep contact with other communities, such Fig. 12 First Reformed Church 1847 as Holland, New Groningen, Overisel, Graafschap and Vriesland (Fig. 15).

12 12 Van Raalte's church joined the Reformed Church in America (RCA), then known as the Dutch Reformed Church. Because some parishioners felt that the RCA again was too liberal and that members of the Masons should not be members of the Church, in 1857 a new church under the name "Christian Reformed Church" or "True Dutch Reformed Church" was formed. As far as I can tell, the early Middelhoeks were member of the CRC. Dutch immigrants were devout Calvinists and just as in the Netherlands there was the tendency to split off and set up new churches. A joke is about a Dutch immigrant who is stranded on a deserted island. His rescuers see that he has three primitive buildings built Fig. 13 Second Log Church 1849 and ask him, "Why three". His answer was, one building is my home and the second is my church. Asked about the third building, the answer is: "that's the church I was going in the past." Fig. 14 Road Holland township Fig. 15 West-Michigan

13 13 Pieter Middelhoek settled in Holland Rev. van Raalte and his group succeeded in building a fairly close-knit community of like-minded people. Therefore, it was not surprising that Pieter, his deceased parents went along with the Afscheiding, that he, once he had saved enough money, headed for Holland township in the county of Ottawa on the west coast of Michigan. He went to work as a laborer at a farm. But in the winter because there is not much work on the farm, farm-laborers like Peter usually worked in the newly established factories to earn a little extra. In 1859 Pieter married with Geesje Veneklasen and settled first in Kalamazoo and later in Holland. This Geesje was a daughter of Jan Hendrik Veneklasen, who, in 1847, with his family emigrated from Friesland, in the Netherlands, to Holland in Michigan. This Jan Hendrick and his son Berend were masons and came up with the idea, given the fine clay in the neighborhood, to start a brick factory (Fig. 16). Fig. 16 Veneklasens Zeeland Brick Company Most houses in the USA were and are made of wood. Veneklasen with his brickyard produced red, yellow and white stones. With these bricks schools, churches and homes were built. Several hundred of these remarkable Veneklasen homes still exist, as shown in the picture (Fig. 17). In 1892 the factory produced about 20 million bricks per year. The plant has existed until 1920.

14 14 As Peter married Geesje Veneklasen it is not unreasonable to suppose that he during the winter worked in the brick factory and that he there met his wife. Soon Pieter was able to establish himself as independent farmer, because the U.S. offered farmland at very low prices. On the Internet I found that he possessed Section 35 of Holland Township. Of course many Dutch went to America, but they were quickly swallowed by the crowd in the big cities. But the settlement Fig. 17 Veneklasen brick house around van Raalte stayed in relative isolation with the result that even today both Holland and the resulting community Zeeland have a lot of typical Dutch characteristics. Fig. 18 Holland Tulip Festival Each year in spring the so-called Holland's tulip festival is held

15 15 (Fig. 18). I, Simon, have traveled extensively in the USA and found the traffic around Holland always very Dutch, therefore more dangerous than elsewhere in the USA. Pieter and Geesje Middelhoek-Veneklasen found a family. Pieter and Geesje Middelhoek had six children, three sons and three daughters (Fig. 19). Fig. 19 Family of Pieter en Geesje Middelhoek-Veneklasen In the census of 1870, they appear to live in Holland (Fig. 20). Fig. 20 US Census Holland township In 1870 they had three children Leen, Jan and Aaltje, the other three were born after Peter is according to the form farmer and Geesje "keepshouse" which means is doing the housework. The

16 16 eldest son was named after his grandfather and was also a farmer. Leendert married on November 18, 1885 with Gezina Drost. They had a daughter Gezina E. Middelhoek. Leendert died a year later, on November 28, 1887 and is buried in Pilgrim Home Cemetery. Gezina Drost married again two years later on October 22, 1889 to Albert Riddering, a widower (Fig. 21). Fig. 21 Gezina Drost with mates Leendert Middelhoek and Albert Riddering Albert belonged to the group of 447 parishioners, led by Reverend Cornelius Van der Meulen that had emigrated in 1847 from Zeeland. Fig. 22 Zeeland pioneers 1887, Albert Riddering (arrow)

17 17 In Michigan, they founded the township of Zeeland. It was a close-knit homogeneous community of farmers helping each other.today the city of Zeeland exists next to Holland, absorbing other communities like New Groningen. The Zeeland pioneers in 1887 had their picture taken. Albert Riddering is also on this picture (see Fig. 22 arrow). That Zeeland was still a small town in the making shows the next picture (Fig. 23). In 1933 Zeeland looked already a lot better (Figure 24). Leendert died early and had only one daughter Grace or Gezina. She married on October 27, 1923 with Arthur C. Christopher. Gezina was the last bearer of the name Middelhoek as the daughter of Leendert Middelhoek. Gezina became a nurse. Fig. 23 Mainstreet Zeeland 1900 When daughter Gezina was only one year old, her, as stated above, father Leendert died. Fig. 24 Zeeland township 1933 The widow Gezina Middelhoek, her mother, married (Reverend Boer of Drenthe, MI) as said above with Albert Riddering. Albert was a farmer and, according to the census of 1870 had 70 acres of farmland

18 18 and 42 acres of forest. The value of his farm was estimated at $ 4,000. Gezina and Albert got three children, two boys and a daughter. The sons Gerrit and Arthur already deceased 4 May 1893 and January 9, Albert Riddering also was not going to be old and died on 3 April 1895 and left Gezina with two daughters. Gezina from her first marriage and Geertje from her second marriage. I can not find if mother Gezina became old, but the census of 1900 showed that both daughters were living with the family Hulsman. Fig. 25 Gezina Middelhoek and Geertje Riddering "D in law" with fam. Hulsman On the corresponding Census page they are listed as "Daughters in law" (Fig. 25). Probably Gezina did not live anymore in In the early settlements of the Dutch people life was very difficult and many known and unknown diseases made a lot of victims. The families of Gezina with Leendert and later with Albert also must have had a hard time. The second son of Pieter Middelhoek, Jan Hendrik or John Middelhoek was born on March 7, This John did have sons, so the name Middelhoek was not lost. The next section will further focus on this John. The third son was called Peter, he was born on November 10, 1865, but already died June 18, 1866 and was only 7 months old. The next child was a daughter Aaltje Middelhoek, she was born on September 29, 1868, married on March 24, 1892 with Jacob Rozema. Her children bore the name of the father Rozema as usual and not Middelhoek. After Aaltje followed twins Johanna and Jantje (Urip), born September 27, 1874.

19 19 Johanna married on August 28, 1893 with Klaas Eilander. They had five children with the name of the father and thus not Middelhoek. Jantje remained unmarried but had a daughter Lena Middelhoek. Jantje passed away on September 13, 1895 at age 20. Lena was adopted by a family in Grand Rapids. Her beings is further unknown. Conclusion, the branch of Peter did not lead to descendents with the name Middelhoek. Father Peter Middelhoek died on December 10, years old and was buried in Pilgrim Home Cemetery in a grave (PH2), which he had purchased on September 12, On his gravestone is in Dutch (Fig. 26): Fig. 26 Text on tombstone of Pieter Middelhoek Geesje Middelhoek-Veneklasen died on 27 October 1920 at age 80 and is buried next to Pieter. After the death of Pieter Geesje lived with her son John on the farm. She was severely bothered by rheumatism. John and Ada Rijzenga Middelhoek John the second son of Pieter and Geesje was born March 7, 1861 and married on May 21, 1884 to Anna Rijzenga, born in 1868 (Fig. 27). John initially worked in the brickyard of Veneklasen, but later had

20 20 his own farm. In 1925 John was killed by an accident on his farm. John and Anna had 6 children (Fig. 28). Fig. 27 Family of John Middelhoek and Anna Rijzenga The oldest was born in 1886, but probably died after a few days. The second child was Lena Middelhoek. Fig. 28 John and Anna Middelhoek-Rijzenga with three children 1917

21 21 Lena married on July 2, 1921 with Andrew Verhoef. Fig. 29 Family of Lena Middelhoek and Andrew Verhoef They had three daughters, Marcella, Shirley and Maxine bearing, of course, the name of the father (Fig. 29). On the Internet I found that the grandson of Andrew and Lena is a famous surgeon and that the son in law is professor Joseph Hurley a known historian. Shirley and Maxine went to live in Panama City in Florida and are cousins of, as will appear later, to June De Jonge - Middelhoek. On the photo (Fig. 30) is June with Shirley and Maxine during a visit of June to Florida. Shirley was a nurse and Maxine was a teacher. After the death of her husband Joseph Hurley in 1980, the sisters lived Fig. 30 June with Maxine and Shirley in Florida together. Following Lena in

22 and 1892 two children were born, who lived only a few months. The next child was Henry Middelhoek on April 30, He married on April 18, 1919 with Ada de Haan, born on September 12, They had no children, but had an adopted daughter, Alma Ruth. On the Internet I found that Alma as a nurse in 1947 received a pay increase from $ 2200 to $ 2400 a year! Henry owned a shop in New Groningen. He had a cart, with which he distributed groceries for miles around. Finally, on 11 October 1898 Peter Middelhoek was born, the father of the at the beginning of this story mentioned June De JongeMiddelhoek. Peter married on April 2, 1923 to Winnifred Louwsma (Fig. 31), born January 15, Her family came from the province of Friesland in the Netherlands. Peter and Winnifred had a daughter Adelaide June Middelhoek. As is apparent from the foregoing, she was the only descendant of Pieter Middelhoek with the surname Middelhoek. Fig. 31 Winnifred Middelhoek-Louwsma Winnifred Louwsma mother of June died at the age of 55 already on 25 November Peter married a few years later in November 1960 with Cora Ellen Aussicker (Fig. 32). Cora was born on December 6, 1901 and became very old. She died at age 86 on October 10, She is buried on the Lakeshore Cemetery in Holland. Peter was 63 and died two years after his marriage to Cora Aussicker on May 1, He was buried Fig. 32 C. Aussicker in Pilgrim Home Cemetery in Holland, the oldest

23 23 cemetery of the Dutch community, where several other Middelhoeks are buried (Fig. 33). Fig. 33 Pilgrim Home Cemetery, Holland, Mi Graves of the Middlehoek family On the Internet I found a list of the buried Middlehoeks (Fig. 34). Fig. 34 Locations of the graves of the Middlehoek family Adelaide June De Jonge - Middelhoek, the last Middelhoek Adelaide June Middelhoek married on June 4, 1945 with Willard De Jonge (Fig. 35) He is also a descendant of a Dutch immigrant, which under the leadership of Reverend Cornelius Van der Meulen, on the

24 24 ship Princess Sophia entered the USA. The ship was built for 100 passengers but carried 157! It is no wonder that during the passage of 54 days, 26 immigrants died. June and Willard lived close to each other as children in the neighborhood. June lived in the province of Zeeland Paw Paw Drive with her parents (Fig. 36) and Willard lived in a house nearby. The father of Willard had built his house on land purchased from John Middelhoek the grandfather of June (Fig. 37). The house, in which June grew up in New Groningen (part of Zeeland) used to be the post office Fig.35 Willard and June 1995 and was built in In 1901 John Middelhoek bought the house for his family. Later Middelhoeks have always lived in this house until the father of June Peter sold the house because of the ill health of himself (Peter died on May 1, 1962) and his wife Winnifred Middelhoek-Louwsma (deceased on November 25, 1958). Fig Paw Paw Drive, Zeeland The house has recently been substantially refurbished and sold for

25 25 $ 112,000. When John and Annie lived there, everyone called the house "Aunt Annie's hotel," because a lot of nephews and nieces, her sister with mother Rijzenga and her mother-in-law Geesje Middelhoek-Veneklasen (deceased 27 October 1920) lived there for some time. June and Willard have three children: Beverly Rose (Fig. 38), William and Diane Sue all with the surname of the father: De Jonge (Fig. 39). The photo (Fig. 40) shows Willard and June with their children. In 1960 Willard De Jonge, who had a construction company for 42 years and June De Jonge - Middelhoek Fig. 37 House where Willard grew up moved from Zeeland, Michigan, to Loveland, CO, and later to Fort Collins, CO. June died on July 11, 2003 and is buried in the Resthaven Cemetery in Fort Collins. Willard and June and their parents were member of the Baptist church. June served as church organist for the First Baptist Church in Zeeland before moving to Colorado. The eldest daughter is a beautician and married on August 28, 1965 with Charles Bender, an electrical engineer. In 1976 they Fig. 38 Four generations Middlehoek opened a restaurant together: Bender's Brat Haus in Aurora, Denver (Fig. 41), which they sold again in 2000 because of the poor health of Charles. Son William De Jonge is working in a dairy. He married on

26 26 June 28, 1969 with Jean M. Schifferns, a nurse. They have two daughters, Tamara and Teresa (Fig. 42). The couple is now divorced. Fig. 39 Family of Willard and June De Jonge - Middlehoek The youngest daughter Diane married on January 10, 1978 with John Wolf (Fig. 43). John worked at the U.S. Government in Los Angeles. On March 12, 2009, John died at the age of 67. Diane is a Speech-Language Pathologist and has her practice in Orange county, CA. Diane has helped very much to gather information about her family. Conclusion Fig. 40 June, Willard with children When we regard the descendants

27 27 of Pieter Middelhoek, it is striking that only a few family heirs were born. The Middelhoeks had either no children or early deceased sons and a few daughters. The last family heir was Peter Middelhoek (October 11, 1898 May 1, 1962). He had only one child, a daughter named Adelaïde June Middlehoek. June married Willard De Jonge Fig. 41 Benders Brat Haus in Aurora, Denver and was thus the last Middelhoek. The conlusion is that Pieter Middelhoek, who emigrated to the USA in 1849, has no heir in the USA anymore. Fig. 42 William and Jean De Jonge - Schifferns with daughters This contrasts with the Middelhoeks, who remained in the

28 28 Netherlands. These Middelhoeks had and have large families and as stated in the beginning the telephone directory in the Netherlands is filled with Middelhoeks, who somehow are related to each other. Other Middelhoeks do not exist. Fig. 43 January 10, 1978 Diana and John Wolf - De Jonge Pieter Middelhoek settled in Holland Township, like the Federal Census shows. He also died there and is buried in the Pilgrim Home Cemetery in Holland. His son John died in New Groningen, which later was added to the municipality Zeeland. It seems that the last Middelhoeks have lived in Zeeland (New Groningen) and not in Holland. Recent generations have left Zeeland and you can find them now everywhere in the USA, such as in the states of Colorado, Florida and California.

29 29 It is still unclear where the name Middelhoek comes from. Under the reign of Napoleon all Dutch citizens had to adopt a name and so the Wouters family in Delft. At first, the name "van Middlehouck" was used, but later Middelhoek became common. Probably Middelhoek is a piece of land near Delft, which was owned by the family and used for their cattle. In the beginning, in the United States also the name Middelhoek was used, but because the "el" in the name in English is often seen as "le", they soon changed the name in Middlehoek. On the tombstones at Pilgrim Home Cemetery the name Middlehoek is always used. It is rather surprising that the name is not more anglicized in for example Middlehook.

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