Tag: <span>Dijkema</span>

Sepia Saturday 344-a


I know, I keep getting later and later on these, but I’m still here!  It’s been a difficult week, so I think my lateness is acceptable under the circumstances.  We have a new theme for Sepia Saturday for the month of October, “From Here to There.”  Our prompt image features a bunch of ladies on bicycles, and with my husband’s Dutch ancestry, we have LOTS of photos of people on bicycles, so here’s my first submission!  On the left is Ellechien Dijkema and on the right, her sister and my husband’s grandmother, Hilje Dijkema.  This was probably taken in Holland, somewhere around Uithuizen in the late 1920s or early 1930s.  The girls were born only 2 years apart in 1912 and 1914 respectively, so there are a lot of photos of these two girls together.  Here, they’re posed on their bicycles, balanced together while being supported by a fence, wearing matching dresses.

This is a bit of an odd photo and I have the hardest time visually making sense of it – it almost looks like part of the photo is a negative, but the girls’ clothes and faces are positive.  It doesn’t look like the photo has degraded, but it’s possible there might be a bit of a double exposure going on, juding by the line towards the right side of the image.  Regardless, it’s a sweet photo of the two of them out on their bikes and I’m glad someone paused them to take this!

Sepia Saturday 337

Another Sepia Saturday rolls on by!  When I saw the prompt image this week, I was completely at a loss.  I had no groups of “Merrymakers” as the photo featured, so as I sat down to go through my collection of photos, this one finally sprang to mind.  This photo was in a set of photos taken while my husband’s grandmother, Hilje Dijkema, was at the Sanatorium Sonnevanck for Tuberculosis treatment in the late 1930s.  I have to imagine this was taken at the Sanatorium  since it shows many of the same unidentified faces that show up in other photos.    Men and women, even when married, were housed separately,  so that would explain why the individuals in the photo are all women.  I’m not entirely sure what’s going on here.  They’re holding up a sign in the back row, but it’s partially obscured and I can’t quite read what it says.  The last line looks like “Os Paar” which would translate to “Ox Pair” but that makes me even more confused!  I have to imagine this was some kind of play or show as entertainment during the long days in the Sanatorium since there appears to be a bride and groom at center with mothers opposite and attendants at the very back and front.  I don’t think Hilje is in this photo – none of the women  look like her, so they were probably friends she made during her stay.  It’s an incredibly amusing photo, and one that I’m glad survived the passage of time, even if I don’t exactly know who the women are, it’s a wonderful little glimpse into her time spent at Sonnevanck.


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Another Sepia Saturday and another chance to use one of the MANY baby photos from the family photo collection.  That giggly little baby is Elizabeth “Betsy” Dijkema, daughter of Albert Dijkema, brother to my husband’s grandmother, and Jantje Oosting.  She’s sitting in a buggy, holding on to what looks like a teddy bear hanging over the side while laundry dries on a line behind her.  This was likely taken in Holland in about the 1930s.  Pretty short and sweet this week!  I’ve actually been in contact with a daughter of Betsy’s, so it’s pretty neat to be able to connect this to a living relative in Holland.

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Our Sepia Saturday prompt this week featured a photo of three babies with their mothers.  I don’t quite have three, but two will do!  In the above photo are siblings Hendrik and Nanne Huisman, children of Hilje (Dijkema) Jaarsma’s sister Ellechien and her husband Luitje Huisman.  They’re on a barge or boat of some sort, and it’s a bit of a shame the background is more in focus than the children!  I’ve suspected that this may be the barge of the children’s grandparents, but I can’t be sure based on a narrow view like this.  Unlike the prompt image, both of these two babies appear to be pretty content.


Another one, this one with mom Ellechien on the left and a woman who the album identifies as Froukje, but I’m really not sure who that is.  Same two babies as above, probably taken at basically the same time.  I’ve been researching the barge that Hendrik Dijkema (the aformentioned grandfather) owned, and there was a Frouwke Huizinga mentioned as having given them a loan for the barge purchase.  I’m not sure if this is her or not!  There is a Frouke Rop who was a sister-in-law to Ellechien, and the age seems to fit, but all I have is a first name in the album.

Pretty short and sweet this week since the photos speak for themselves pretty much!  Both were taken in Holland, probably in the mid to late 1930s given the ages of the babies.  Already looking forward to next week!

Update 18 Jun 2023:
The woman on the right has been identified as Froukje Weert, wife of Kornelis Dijkema, also the sister-in-law to Ellechien.  The child is likely Hendrik, her only son.

Sepia Saturday 325


Another theme for Sepia Saturday that feels like it was made for me!  While my boats carry the flag of Holland and aren’t being rowed  under a bridge, this was just TOO good of an opportunity to pass up.  In the photo above, we see an “aakschip” or quite literally, a “barge boat” in a canal in Holland, with the photo likely taken in the mid 1930s.  Hilje Dijkema, my husband’s grandmother, is the person in the checkered print dress on the left, the person at center is likely her sister Ellechien and the man in the dark clothes to the right is probably Hendrik.  The barge’s name is the “Vertrouwen” or “Trust” and was built in 1926 for Hendrik Dijkema, my husband’s great-grandfather.  Hendrik is one in a long line of “turfschippers” or “peat boatman” but the translation doesn’t accurately explain what that is – the Dutch is just SO much more efficient here!  Basically, Hendrik ran boats up and down the canal that carried peat logs used for heating fuel.  The boat was primarily based out of Uithuizen, but likely went all over Groningen on deliveries.  The family was based out of Uithuizen and I know from paper  records that they had various homes there over time.  Before the Vertrouwen, Hendrik had another ship, the tjalkschip  Ebenhaezer.  There is a short series of photos taken around the same time, so I’m going to go ahead and post them all!


Likely taken on the same day as the photo at top, here we can see the barge’s name, “Vertrouwen,” painted on the back.  On the boat we have, left to right, Hendrik Dijkema, Elizabeth van Eerden, Hilje Dijkema, and Ellechien Dijkema.  Again, probably about mid 1930, maybe a little before 1935 – Hilje was born in 1914, so if I guess she’s in her late teens, it puts the window between 1931-1934 if we guess she’s between 17 and 20.  They’re all standing or sitting on the area of the boat that would’ve been the living quarters.  Further to the left of the photo is the cargo area where the peat logs would’ve been stored with covers to keep them out of the elements.  Based on the leaves on the trees, this looks like it was probably taken in the summer.


One last one!  again, same time period, and from left to right we have Hendrik Dijkema, Elizabeth van Eerden, Jantje Oosting, and Hilje Dijkema.  Jantje Oosting married Hilje’s brother Albert Dijkema in 1934, which further helps solidify the timeline.  Together, the three photos give us a little glimpse into their life aboard these barges.  During the winter, the canals mostly close down due to ice, so while they spent their winters in Uithuizen, the rest of the time was spent on these barges going all over the northeast of Holland.  They’re really precious photos and I’m so glad they survived and are here to tell their story.

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Our Sepia Saturday theme this week featured men hauling jugs in front of a fountain in Mexico.  Really none of those things fit the folks in my family tree and certainly not my husband’s tree, or at least not in those broad strokes.  However, going with the fountain at the center of the photo, I found a pond!

In the left photo we have Albert Dijkema and his wife, Jantje Oosting along with their grandson, Johan.  This was likely taken in the early 1960s in Holland, and I think it was taken at a small pond in the Noorderplantsoen (Northern Public Garden) – link to a current photo here.  It even looks like at one time it did have a fountain which ties us in neatly to the prompt!  I know that in 1949 via a record for a stillborn child, Albert was the Head Constable in Groningen (hoofdagent van politie).  Albert and Jantje were married in Groningen on 10 October 1934.

In the right photo, it looks like at the same time/place is another photo with Johan’s mother Betsy, the daughter of Albert and Jantje.  You can even see the same child in the background on the left side of the frame splashing in the water.  I really love finding sets of photos like this since they tell a larger story together than they would apart.  Albert and Jantje, proud of their grandson, took photos with him at a park in their town along with their daughter and then sent them to Albert’s sister an ocean away in the USA.  While Albert passed away in 1993 and Jantje in 1974, Betsy and Johan may still be alive, with Johan being my husband’s second cousin.

It’s pretty exciting to be able to be able to piece this together and finally find the location.  There are SO many photos in the collection from his side that sometimes it feels overwhelming.  Fortunately, with Sepia Saturday, I get to take it one photo a week and in a way, it really does give me the opportunity to scrutinize photos I may not have otherwise given a second look!

UPDATE – 7 March 2016 – Exciting news!  We have the place and an approximate date of 1961 (or 1962) confirmed by a living family member and sister of Johan.  Finding this photo led me to look around Facebook for Johan and his siblings and sure enough, I found one!  She got in contact right away and I’ve sent off a file full of photos for them.  Really the best part of this is being able to reconnect all those photos with living descendants and connect to long lost family.  So, Sepia Saturday leads me to a breakthrough yet again!