The Dirkse family originated in the province of Zeeland, Netherlands. The oldest known Dirkse is Johannis. He was born Dec 13, 1793 in the village of Hoedekenskerke. His parents were Derk Marinusse and Janna van Strien. At that time, surnames were not common, the "se" following the name meant son of, so Johannis Dirkse is Johannis son of Dirk (Derk). Later, under Napoleon's control, citizens of the Netherlands were required to maintain a surname.
Johannis married Janna Nieuwenhuize on May 24, 1820 in Kruiningen, Zeeland, Netherlands. They had two children, Dirk born June 25, 1821 and Jacoba born Dec 14, 1822; both in Kruiningen. Dirk moved to the town of Yerseke about 5 miles north of Kruiningen. There he married Adriana Nieuwenuize on April 11, 1850. Adriana was a first cousin once removed from Janna. Dirk and Adriana moved from Yerseke to Nisse sometime after 1857. Dirk passed away there October 6, 1865. The following are their children:
NAME BIRTH DATE Janna Nov 15, 1850 Pieter Apr 14, 1852 Johannis Jul 10, 1854 Dirk Nov 7, 1857 Francois Dec 22, 1862 Maria Jacoba May 9, 1865
Additional Information About the Children
Pieter & Adriana Dirkse
Pieter married Adriana Kallemijn in 's Heer Arendskerke on August 19, 1875. In the Netherlands, Pieter was an "arbeider" (laborer) and was in the "less well to do" social class (mingegoeden). In 1881 they decided to emmigrate to the U.S. for "economic improvement". Pieter, Adriana, and their two children at the time boarded the ship Switzerland in Antwerp, Belgium, making a stop in Denmark, arriving in New York on April 18, 1881 and settled in Grand Haven, MI. In 1893 the family moved to Holland, MI.
Pieter was a tanner by trade and later a furniture worker. Adriana passed away April 15, 1909. Pieter then remarried to Hendrkje Rozenberg, they had one son, Cornelius born March 31, 1911. Pieter passed away in Holland, MI on October 22, 1922. The following lists the children of Pieter and Adriana:
Johannis Dirkse married Wilhelmina Katte in 's Heer Arendskerke on June 1, 1876. They had one son, Dirk, born November 14, 1876. Wilhelmina passed away about 1878. Johannis, Dirk, and possibly another wife made the journey to America in 1881. About 1883 Johannis passed away. Dirk would then be raised by his Uncle Pieter and family. Dirk married Gertrude Bolhuis April 23, 1902. Dirk passed away in Grand Haven, MI May 5, 1966. His wife Gertrude passed away June 4, 1977. They raised the following children:
NAME BIRTH DATE Dirk Apr 12, 1876 Jan (John) Jul 9, 1878 Derk Feb 16, 1881 Elizabeth Peternella Oct 22, 1883 Adriana Mar 11, 1885 Johanna Marie May 17, 1890 Peter Adrian Apr 26, 1894
Dirk Married Elisabeth Johanna Caie in 's Heer Arendskerke on February 27, 1879. They had the following children:
NAME BIRTH DATE John Gerrit Apr 17, 1903 Evan R. May 1, 1906 Paul Richard Mar 3, 1908 Annette Jun 23, 1909 Dorothy Grace Apr 14, 1917
NAME BIRTH DATE Jennie unknown Dick Mar 30, 1883 John Apr 28, 1885 Katherine Oct 22, 1890 Peter Sep 21, 1893 Isaac Aug 21, 1896 Frank Jul 12, 1897 Anna Apr 1899
Johanna passed away July 2, 1899. Dirk remarried October 6, 1899 to Grace Frieswyck Niebour. Dirk passed away June 27, 1927. Dirk and Grace had the following children:
John, the eldest son of Pieter Dirkse married Gertrude van den Bosch September 4, 1901. They resided in Grand Haven, MI. John was a very good baseball player and could have played professionally, but he wouldn't play on Sundays. He made his living as a carpenter, building houses. He passed away December 7, 1940, suffering a heart attack while he was working. John and Gertrude had the following children:
NAME BIRTH DATE Margaret Jun 24, 1890 Benjamin Dec 24, 1901 Cornelius Jun 5, 1903 Jennie Feb 5, 1906 Dewey Jan 19, 1909
Jan (John) & Gertrude Dirkse and children
NAME BIRTH DATE John Cornelius Feb 18, 1906 Henry Peter Oct 31, 1907 Florence Joan Jul 2, 1910 James Willis Nov 18, 1911 Mary Francis Mar 13, 1912 Wesley Edward Dec 12, 1913 Charles Gilbert May 13, 1916
Florence Joan Dirkse
Florence Joan married Henry Van Hees August 16, 1934 in South Bend IN. She was a registered nurse and a graduate of the Mercy School of Nursing. Florence and Henry raised four children: Henry Arthur, John Edward, Betty Ruth, and Carla Jane. She passed away November 19, 1971.
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