Thursday, December 28, 2017

The Village of Dedgum - Still Small

In the small village of Dedgum, there lived some Broersmas. Dedgum is a small village today, but it has always been small. The first references to Dedgum (aka Deddingaheem) are from around the year 855. Yes, that's right, 855 (I didn't forget to put a 1 in front of the 8). In the 1200s they built a small church. This drawing above is from 1790, and is how the village looked for a long time, probably centuries. Most of the small villages in Friesland all look very similar, they are small, have a few houses and barns, and also have a church in the middle on a hill, or a terp. 

By the late 1800s this church was beginning to fall a part, as you can see in this other picture. They rebuilt it and that church is still standing there today. 

I went to go visit this village because in the mid 1700s, Allert Broers Broersma was a school master there. He was born and married in a nearby village of Wons. In 1732 he moved to Dedgum where he became school master, and later a village judge. He may have lived here the rest of his life, but I have not been able to find a death date for him.

So how big was Dedgum back then? Probably around 40 or 50 people. That's how many were registered in 1744. You can see all the families on one page. Mr. A Broersma is about 2/3rds down the page. 

As you can see he has a wife and 2 children. In the far right column you can see the number of people in each household, and at the bottom is the total of all people: 46. That's how small the village was then, just 10 households. Over half of the population were kids, so most of them were probably attending his school. 

Unfortunately, the school is no longer there. When we visited the village in 2013, we asked. Someone told us that there used to be a school house, but it had been torn down. Now it's someone's backyard. We took a picture anyway though.

We grabbed a couple pictures of the church. I liked the fence. 

And I went ahead and stole this picture so you can get a birds eye view of how small the village is.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

God's Surprises - by Delmar Broersma

Delmar Broersma, son of This Broersma and Gertrude (Wichers), just published a book of his memories and how God has been a part of his life. He also talks about his heritage and how God has been a part of that as well. He includes some nice pictures and stories from the Broersma family.

You can buy it online if you are interested:

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Thys Broersma Family Portrait

Thys Broersma was the first Broersma in the family to leave the Netherlands and come to the USA. He settled down, and married Gertrude Wichers, and lived the rest of his life in the USA. I recently was able to see a copy of this portrait for the first time. This photo was taken around 1950, of his an Gertrude's 6 kids.

Thys Broersma Family
Thys Broersma (1895-1978)
Gertrude (Wichers) Broersma (1901-1955)
Jeanette Broersma (born 1927)
Julian Broersma (1927-2003)
Marion Broersma (1931-1965)
Chester Broersma (1933-2004)
Delmar Broersma (born 1934)
Marcella Broersma (born 1938)

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Tombstone Tuesday - The Broersma Brothers

Recently, I've been trying to find out more about the Broersma brothers that left the Netherlands and ended up in Canada: Jack and Peter. They were brothers of Thys and Lawrence Broersma. Both Jack and Peter ended up in Ontario near Toronto, with their wives. Both couples never had any kids though. After many years of searching we finally know which cemeteries they are buried in, and here are their gravestones, thanks to the community of

Peter Broersma Grave

Jack Broersma Grave

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Such A Nerd...

Well, I think I might officially be a genealogy nerd, if I wasn't already.

I was searching some newspapers for anything I could find on the Broersmas. Yeah, that's kinda nerdy, but I wasn't searching newspapers in the US, I was searching Netherlands newspapers on this site: I don't speak Dutch, or really read it either, so that makes it a little difficult. So that took the nerd factor up a notch.

Then I came across this mention of my great grandparents, Lawrence Broersma and Grace Wichers, and it was their marriage announcement.

This announcement was printed on 8 April 1926. They were married on 4 April, which was Easter Sunday. I was excited because I thought that this was a mention of their marriage in a Dutch newspaper. Turned out that was half right. This is from a newspaper that was printed in Dutch, but is actually published in Iowa. It's called "De Volksvriend". Since parts of Iowa have large Dutch populations, as a result from immigrations during the early 20th century, I guess there was enough people that spoke Dutch and got their news from this source.

So to recap - I was searching newspapers for genealogy info, on a Dutch website in the Netherlands, and looking at newspapers that are actually in the USA that are printed in Dutch. AND I was getting excited about it, cause I was finding some tidbits of info on some other family members from this same newspaper.

I am a nerd.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Fire Destroys Carnes Store, Jan 1916

While doing some searching on I came across a story that I hadn't heard about.

Found on
This store that was in Carnes, Iowa, was owned by my great great grandpa Jacob S Adema (1875-1945).  I found it interesting because I knew that my great grandpa Simon Adema had run some stores, but then to find that his dad also operated a store meant that he grew up with some experience in that area.