Aleida Wiefering

By Bentheimers International Society

Hand drawn map of Halle where Gertje Veldhuis was born

A portion of General Major von Le Coq‘s Grafschaft Bentheim map (1805) depicting the settlement of Halle. Aleida Wiefering was born here in 1851.

Aleida Wiefering was born on April 12, 1851 in Halle to Jan Wiefering and Swenne LaHuis, the youngest of three children. She married Lambert Kraker in Uelsen on November 14, 1873. Aleida and Lambert emigrated to America with his brother Albert Kraker. They arrived in New York City on December 24, 1873. From there, they made their way to Fillmore Township in Allegan County, Michigan.

Aleida Wiefering’s Family In Graafschap, Michigan

Their first child, Hendrik, was born on February 20, 1874, soon after Aleida and Lambert arrived in the United States. In Graafschap, Lambert became a farmer. Their son Hendrik was baptized when the family joined the Graafschap church on June 11, but he passed away in September. By 1880, Lambert and Aleida had two living children. The Lambert Kraker family lived a few houses away from his brother Albert. Their children were:

  • Hendrik—born February 20, 1874, died in September, 1874;
  • Hendrik (Henry)—born May 8, 1876, died August 9, 1944; and,
  • Zwaantje—born February 8, 1879, date of death unknown.

Their second son Henry became a plumber in the Holland, Michigan area, at a time when indoor plumbing became affordable for the average home owner. Henry also owned the Hotel Kraker in downtown Holland (1926–36). Today, the building serves as Hope College’s Kraker Apartments student housing. Zwaantje is named in the 1880 Federal Census, but no more information about her is known at this time. Lambert Kraker died of consumption (tuberculosis) on April 10, 1889 in Fillmore Township, Michigan. His burial place is unknown at this time.

Handwritten church membership record

This portion from the Graafschap church’s membership book shows son Hendrik’s name as crossed out, indicating that he had died. The faint note to the right of his name gives his date of death.

Aleida Wiefering Kraker Marries John Oosting

On April 18, 1891, Aleida married John (Jan) Oosting in Allendale, Michigan. John had been born in Kantens, Province of Groningen on February 3, 1837 to Harm Oosting and Geertje Marrs. He was a day laborer and cited “to improve the means of support” for his reason for leaving. He emigrated from the Netherlands in 1866 with his wife, Aaltje Dijkhuizen, and their two children, Jantje and Hilje.  John’s first family had joined the Ebenezer Reformed Church in Holland, Michigan on September 1, 1868. By 1891, however, Jan was a widower living in Allendale.

Handwritten birth certificate

Jan Oosting’s birth certificate.

John and Aleida’s son John Henry was born on January 11, 1892 in Allendale. By 1900, John, Aleida, and their son were living in Yakima County, Washington. John Oosting died on March 27, 1926, at the age of 89 and was buried in the Holland Cemetery in Yakima County. Aleida passed away at the age of 77 on August 26, 1928.

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