People moved around so much, from village to village, evidently because they were tenant farmers who didn’t own their land, but worked for others. Or they moved because they changed jobs–or something. Whatever the reason, it’s hard to hit a moving target. I find the easiest way to research these people is to put what I know about them into a timeline. I am using the Hessel Roorda genealogy as a scaffolding. I’m starting with Hessel’s unsourced information, and I will source it where I’m able to do that.
For the family of Jan Tjerks ROORDA, there is a lot of activity around the town or village of Finkum. On 15 Feb 2015 I ordered a microfilm from FamilySearch: Dopen (Baptize) bk. 8, 1673-1772; Trouwen (Marry) 1655-1772; Dopen bk. 9, 1772-1812; Trouwen 1772-1927. There are two other microfilms for the Finkum area; however, I want to see what kind of information I can get from this one before I order the other ones.
1771 | 19 Apr. Married, Tjerk Pieters ROORDA and Martentje GAELES. They were married at Finkum. This was Tjerk Pieters’ second marriage. His first wife was Dieuwke JACOBS, but she died before 1771. When they were married or if they had children is unknown. The genealogy states that Tjerk Pieters and Martentje Gaeles were both buried at Sint Annaparochie.
We know about four children that were born to this couple. If there were more children, or more pregnancies, that is unknown. However, it seems likely that there were more, since these four children’s births are spaced from 1775 to 1793.
1775 | 24 Jun. Born, Pieter Tjerks ROORDA. He was born in Poelhuizen, near Finkum, Leeuwarderadeel. He was a farmer, and he was a member of the Mennonite congregation in the village of Oudebildtzijl, Het Bildt municipality. (Hessel Roorda’s genealogy indicates that his mother was a Baptist in the same place–she was probably a member of the same church. The Dutch name doopsgezinden means baptism-minded.) He also seems to have been a member of the Mennonite church in Harlingen. He died in Kimswerd, Wonseradeeel in 1827 and was buried in Finkum. He was married twice. His second wife was his first wife’s sister. His first wife was Akke Hessels HOMMEMA, born and died in Finkum in 1810. His second wife was Roelofke Hessels HOMMEMA, born in Finkum and died in Harlingen (Finkum and Harlingen are about 20 miles apart, or 32 km). These two sisters were also sisters of the wife of Jan Tjerks ROORDA, Pieter Tjerks younger brother.
Pieter Tjerks, the oldest son, bought a big farm on the Kluurd, a bit out of town to the north of Kimswerd. This is from the Hessel Roorda genealogy.
1780 | 4 May. Born, Jan Tjerks ROORDA, my 3x great grandfather, was the second son of Tjerk Pieters ROORDA and Martentje GAELES. Place of birth, Finkum. Like his brother Pieter Tjerks, he was also a member of the Mennonite congregation at Oudeboldtzijl. The village of O is just about the most picturesque Dutch village I’ve seen. He was a farmer in Stiens and later in Sexbierum. Later he was an innkeeper and then a laborer in Harlingen. He died in Harlingen. He married Knierke (Cunira) Hessels HOMMEMA, born in Finkum, died in Sexbierum. She was a sister of the two wives of Jan’s older brother, Pieter Tjerks.
1791 | 8 Nov. Born, Sytske Tjerks ROORDA, sister of Jan Tjerks. Note the wide range in years between the oldest son Pieter and Sytske, 1775-1791. The mother would have been 36 years old, so that works out OK. Place of birth, Vrouwenparochie. She married in Het Bilt to Jan Klasen DE JONG. He was also born at Vrouwenparochie. [There is a record for this marriage at AlleFriezen.] She married a second time to Kornelis Franzes KRAMER. I don’t know where she died or when.
1792 | 14 May. Died, Hessel Lolkes HOMMEMA, father of Jan Tjerks’s wife [he’s not married to her yet]. Place of death, Finkum.
1793 | 13 Jul. Born, Geertje Tjerks ROORDA, sister of Jan Tjerks. Place of birth, Finkum. She married Jan Theunis NOORDRAVEN in Vrouwenparochie. She died at Beetgum, Menaldumadeel in 1854. [There are records for her at AlleFriezen.]
1797 | 14 May. Married, Jan Tjerks’s brother, Pieter Tjerks ROORDA, age 22. He married Akke Hessels HOMMEMA. They were married at Finkum. She was the daughter of Hessel Lolkes HOMMEMA and Lijsbeth Roelofs ROELOF. From this marriage came two children: Hessel Pieters ROORDA and Tjerk Pieters ROORDA.
1802 | 16 Apr. Born, Jan Tjerks’s nephew, to Pieter Tjerks ROORDA and Akke Hessels HOMMEMA, Hessel Pieters ROORDA. Place of birth, Finkum. This nephew was married 3 times. He was a farmer in Kimswerd and died there.
1803 | 20 Nov. Married Jan Tjerks ROORDA and Knierke “Cunira” Hessels HOMMEMA. Place of marriage, Hijum. [Hijum is very near Finkum.] Knierke Hessels was born in Finkum, so she and Jan Tjerks were from the same town.
c.1804 | Born, Jan Tjerk’s nephew, to Pieter Tjerks ROORDA and Akke Hessels HOMMEMA, Tjerk Pieters ROORDA. Place of birth, Finkum. He would die in Kimswerd at the age of 22, unmarried.
1805 | 15 Sep. Born to Jan Tjerks ROORDA and Knierke Hessels HOMMEMA, Martentje Jans ROORDA. Place of birth, Finkum. Their oldest child, named for the paternal grandmother.
c.1807 | Born to Jan Tjerks ROORDA and Knierke Hessels HOMMEMA, Hessel Jans ROORDA. The year for his birth comes from his death record. Place of birth, Finkum. This was the couple’s oldest son. He died in 1825 at the age of 18 in Sexbierum. He was a farm laborer. [A record of his death at AlleFriezen.]
1810 | 13 Jan. Died, first wife of Pieter Tjerks ROORDA, Akke Hessels HOMMEMA. Place of death, Finkum. Hessel Roorda’s genealogy says she was buried in Finkum. She was the sister of Pieter Tjerks’s second wife and also of Jan Tjerks’s wife.
1810 | 23 Dec. Married, Pieter Tjerks ROORDA, brother of Jan Tjerks, to Roelofke Hessels HOMMEMA. She was his second wife and sister of Jan Tjerks’s wife, Knierke Hessels. Place of marriage, Finkum.
1812 | 13 May. Born to Jans Tjerks ROORDA and Knierke Hessels HOMMEMA, Lijsbeth Jans ROORDA. Place of birth, Stiens. So sometime between 1807 and 1812 the family moved from Finkum to Steins. Steins is about 2.2 km from Finkum, so it’s possible that the family didn’t really move, but instead her birth record (death record?) shows her born at Steins. She would marry Wijbe Baukes WIESMA and die in Almenum, a village near Harlingen. [A birth record can be found for her at AlleFriezen by looking up Jan Tjerks ROORDA. You really need to translate this document.]
c.1812 | According to the Hessel Roorda genealogy, Jans Tjerks ROORDA was a farmer in Stiens.
1813 | 15 Aug. Died, Jan Tjerks’s father, Tjerk Pieters ROORDA, age 72. Place of death, Vrouwenparochie. He died as a laborer in the house with the number 222. He was buried at Sint Annaparochie. Sint Annaparochie is only 10 km. from Stiens, the town where his son Jans Tjerks was living. There is a Hiske ROORDA buried at Sint Annaparochie. However, she isn’t directly related to this family.
1813 | 29 Nov. Born to Jan Tjerks ROORDA and Knierke Hessels HOMMEMA, Tjerk Jans ROORDA. Place of birth, Stiens, Barradeel. [Marriage records, etc. at AlleFriezen.] This Tjerk Jans is the only child of Jan Tjerks to survive past his 40’s. He lived to be 71 years old. He was my 2x great grandfather. He was my grandfather’s grandfather. Another grandson, Jan ROORDA, my great uncle, said that he had a nickname: “Little Tjerk Roorda from Sexbierum.” Jan says that he was a carpenter and then later a skipper on a sailing ship that sailed every day from Harlingen to Leeuwarden (20 miles, says Jan).
1816 | 6 Apr. Born to Jan Tjerks ROORDA and Knierke Hessels HOMMEMA, a daughter, Geertje Jans ROORDA. Place of birth, Stiens. She died in childhood.
1816 | 29 Oct. Died, Jan Tjerks’s mother, Martentje GAELES, age 61. She died at Nieuwebildtzijl. She was buried at Sint Annaparochie. She was a widow when she died. Was she living with one of her children?
1818 | 18 May. Born to Jan Tjerks ROORDA and Knierke Hessels HOMMEMA, a son, Pieter Jans ROORDA. Place of birth, Stiens. His death record [at AlleFriezen] confirms that he was born in Stiens.
1820 | 10 Mar. Born to Jan Tjerks ROORDA and Knierke Hessels HOMMEMA, a son, Roelof Jans ROORDA. Place of birth, Stiens. He died in childhood, 1833.
1821 | 21 Jun. Died, daughter of Jan Tjerks ROORDA and Knierke Hessels HOMMEMA, Geertje Jans ROORDA. Place of death, Kimswerd. She was 5 years old. [There’s a death record for her at AlleFriezen, but I didn’t find it–I only found the index for the record.] The death record seems to indicate she died in Wonseradeel, which is the municipality for Kimswerd. Kimswerd is about 7 km. southeast of Harlingen. Her uncle, Pieter Tjerks ROORDA, also died in Kimswerd, in 1827. The notes say he was buried in Harlingen.
1822 | 3 Sep. Born to Jan Tjerks ROORDA and Knierke Hessels HOMMEMA, a daughter, [the second daughter named] Geertje Jans ROORDA. Place of birth, Sexbierum. This second daughter named Geertje was the last of the couple’s 8 children. Their son, Tjerk Jans ROORDA, was the only child to live past their 40’s. Three of their children died before age 20–age a daughter age 5 and two sons, age 13 and 18. Geertje Jans married Herke ROEDEMA. She died at Harlingen in 1859. I found her at Graftombe and I have her husband’s gravestone photo.
1826 | 24 Aug. Died, Tjerk Pieters ROORDA, nephew of Jan Tjerks. He was 22 years old. He died in Kimswerd, unmarried.
1827 | 24 Jul. Died, Pieter Tjerks ROORDA, brother of Jan Tjerks. He was 52 years old. His death record says that he died in Wonseradeel, so it’s likely he died in the village of Kimswerd. I can find the index to his death record at AlleFriezen, but I can’t find the record. Kimswerd is about 5 km. from Harlingen. According to the Hessel Roorda genealogy, Pieter Tjerks was buried in Finkum. Finkum is about 37 km. from Harlingen.
1828 | 23 May. Died, Lijsbeth Roelofs ROELOF HOMMEMA, age 80. She was the mother of Jan Tjerks’s wife, Knierke Hessels HOMMEMA ROORDA. Place of death, Hijum. Hijum is not far from Finkum.
1829 | 9 Jul. Died, wife of Jan Tjerks ROORDA, Knierke Hessels HOMMEMA. She was 46 years old. Place of death, Sexbierum. Hessel Roorda’s genealogy says that Jan Tjerks was a farmer in Sexbierum after he lived in Stiens. [I didn’t find a death record for her at AlleFriezen. I also looked under “Cunira.”] Her oldest daughter was 19; she had a son who died in 1825 at the age of 18; she had a daughter who was 17; she had a son who was 16; she had a daughter who died in 1821 at the age of 5; she had a son who was 11; she had a son who was 9; she had a daughter who was 7. So Jan Tjerks ROORDA was left a widower with children ages: 19, 17, 16, 11, 9, and 7. It looks like he might have moved to Harlingen after she died. Can you find them in the population register for 1830 for Harlingen? I don’t see a census for that year at FamilySearch. There’s one for 1840 for Harlingen, but Jan Tjerks died in 1836. What about his children?
1830 | Residing in Pietersbierum, Barradeel, daughter of Jan Tjerks ROORDA and Knierke Hessels HOMMEMA, Martentje Jans ROORDA RODENHUIS. Her husband is Lijckle RODENHUIS. Living with them is a son of Jan Tjerks, Tjerk Jans ROORDA. His occupation is laborer.
1833 | 10 Dec. Died, son of Jan Tjerks ROORDA and Knierke Hessels HOMMEMA, Roelof Jans ROORDA. He was 13 years old. Place of death, Harlingen. [A death record is at AlleFriezen.] The Hessel Roorda genealogy says that after Jans Tjerks worked as a farmer in Stiens, then he was an innkeeper in Harlingen and then later a laborer in the same town. He was also probably a member of the Mennonite church in Harlingen.
1835 | 18 Jun. Married, Jan Tjerk’s daughter, Martentje Jans ROORDA to Lykele Sjoukes RODENHUIS. Place of marriage, Harlingen. Couples normally married in the village where the bride lived, so this marriage record tells me that Jan Tjerks’s family was in Harlingen in 1835. That date seems off, since the couple is found, with their 4-year-old child, in the 1830 population register for Pietersbierum. The document at AlleFriezen is difficult to decipher, especially for someone who doesn’t read Dutch. It’s a long document and comes from the 1835 Huwelijksregister (Wedding Registry).
1836 | 28 Aug. Died, Jan Tjerks ROORDA, age 58. Place of death, Harlingen.
1840 | Was Tjerk Jans ROORDA in the 1840 population registration schedule for Pietersbierum? He was living with his sister in 1830 in Pietersbierum. Then he was married in 1847 in Pietersbierum. There is no 1840-1850 population register for Pietersbierum, Barradeel at FamilySearch.
1842 | 26 Nov. Married, daughter of Jan Tjerks ROORDA and Knierke Hessels HOMMEMA, Geertje Jans ROORDA to Herke Douwes ROEDEMA. Married in Barradeel. Her brother was married in Pietersbierum, Barradeel 5 years later. Were they in Pietersbierum too?
1847 | 22 May. Marriage, son of Jan Tjerks ROORDA and Knierke Hessels HOMMEMA, Tjerk Jans ROORDA married to Reintje Pieters BOSMA. Place of marriage, Pietersbierum. Tjerk Jans was 33 years old. Was this his first marriage? If so, why did he wait so long to get married? The groom was born in Stiens; the bride was born in Peins. After doing this Dutch genealogy for awhile, Dutch Language Fatigue (DFL) sets in with a vengeance.
1850 | Are Tjerk Jans ROORDA and his wife Reintje Pieters BOSMA in the 1850 population register for Pietersbierum? The census is broken up into towns and villages. The entries with towns and villages are alphabetical by surnames. The name of the town appears at the top of the page.
Netherlands, Census and Population Registers, 1574-1940, Friesland, Barradeel, Bevolkingsregister 1850-1860, 1895 images. At FamilySearch.
The census record is a double column on each page for Pietersbierum. All of the names are alphabetized. There is a number that seems to be a household number, so it’s possible to tell who is part of one household.
Image 999/1895. All of the names are
crossed out, which I indicates that they either died or left Pietersbierum before 1860.
ROORDA Pieter Tjerks #206 [a son, born and died in 1853]
ROORDA Pieter Tjerks #206 [a son, born 1854]
ROORDA Jan Tjerks #206 [a son, born 1850]
ROORDA Tjerk Jans #206 [the father]
ROORDA Yzaakje #206 [a daughter, born 1849]
BOSMA, Reintje Pieters #94
BOSMA, Reintje Pieters #36
I don’t know what this means. I think all I can say is that I don’t understand the organization of this population register, so the information (what there is of it) isn’t very helpful.
1859 | 9 Sep. Died, daughter of Jan Tjerks ROORDA and Knierke Hessels HOMMEMA, Geertje Jans ROORDA ROEDEMA. Place of death, Harlingen. Her husband, Herke Douwes RODEMA, is buried in the General Cemetery at Harlingen. His gravestone says that he was the widow of Geertje ROORDA. He died in 1893. I imagine that Geertje was also buried at Harlingen General Cemetery, but since she died so much earlier than her husband, her grave has probably been removed. There are 6 women with the name ROORDA buried at this cemetery. They were all born in the 1880s-1890s, with the exception of one who was born in 1941. I think it’s reasonable to think that this is the family cemetery for anyone who died in or near Harlingen who was related to Jan Tjerks ROORDA. I think he was probably buried here as well. I think the Dutch practice of destroying the gravestones is bizarre. Do they at least photograph the gravestones before destroying them? I need to find the graveyard books for the Harlingen General Cemetery to see what information I can find about the Jan Tjerks family.
to be continued. . .