These wonderful people whom I never met are my great grandparents. Jan Jan (John) Boorsma was born 17 September 1877 in Kollum, Kollumerland,Friesland, Netherlands. Grietje (Margaret or Maggie) was born 30 July 1876, Netherlands. They are my mom's paternal grandparents. These pictures were taken at their 50th Wedding Anniversary in 1954
Jan (John) arrived 16 Aug 1886 on the ship Schiedam from Amsterdam. He was about 7 years old on the ships manifest. It looks like it is just the three of them, John, his father Jan and sister Willemke, aka Minnie. My great grandfather's mother, Tryntje Kracht and some siblings did not come along.
Jan and Margaret were married 24 July 1904 in Grand Rapids, Kent County, Michigan
Front row, left to right Theresa Boorsma Robinson, Jan John III Boorsma, Margaret Bont Boorsma, Angeline Boorsma Wademan
Back row, left to right Dena Boorsma, Louis (my grandfather), John IV (aka Shorty), Earnest, Edward, Henry, Wilhelmina (aka Wilma & Babe) Boorsma Boersen
The picture above includes all the children minus one son, Mike (Menno), whose photo is on the table to the left in the picture. Mike was killed and an industrial accident at the Continental Motors plant in Muskegon, Michigan in 1943.
Continental made huge engines for World War II vehicles. He and my grandpa both worked there. My grandpa was coming onto his shift, when he heard about the engine accident involving his brother. He told my mom that when he got to the hospital, Mike was still alive but the explosion had taken off his arms and legs. He would not live long. Grandpa described it this way. "what was left of him could be put into a basket". It was a terribly site to see. Mike had a wife Marie (VanderLaan) and two small boys, Roger and David, at the time of his death.
Great grandma Margaret died on 1 July 1955 and Jan (John) lived for three more years without her. My mom told me he that my grandpa picked him up a few times so he could take him to church. Great grandpa John died 18 February 1958.
My mom was getting married in July of 1958 so she was sad that her grandpa would not be there for her wedding.
They had 51 years of marriage together...their love and longevity is a blessing to our family.