Gertje Veldhuis

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. Gertje Veldhuis was born here in 1881.

Gertje (Geerdjen, Gertrude) Veldhuis was born on May 29, 1881 in Halle. Her parents were Gerrit Hendrik Veldhuis and Lütte Alfering of Halle.

At the age of two, Geerdjen emigrated to the U.S. with her parents and three siblings aboard the S.S. Schiedam. After arriving in New York on May 14, 1883, the family traveled to Michigan, where they first lived in the Overisel area before moving to a farm in Allendale.

Her parents Gerrit and Lütte had three other children in Grafschaft Bentheim and at least four more in Michigan:

  1. Jan (John)—born November 15, 1873 in Uelsen;
  2. Hendrik (Henry)—born Jun 8, 1876 in Halle;
  3. Frederik—born December 20, 1879 in Uelsen;
  4. Benjamin—born in March, 1885 in Allendale;
  5. Fannye—born in May, 1887 in Allendale;
  6. Garet—born ca. 1890, died November 17, 1895 in Allendale; and,
  7. Albert—born February 26, 1893, died October, 1950.

Gertje Veldhuis Marries Johannes Piers

Gertje Veldhuis married Johannes Piers on October 20, 1902 in Pearline (Allendale Township). Born on May 16, 1876, Johannes was the son of Geert Piers and Zwaantje Wolts, two emigrants from Grafschaft Bentheim. Johannes and Gertje had the following children: 

  1. Susan—born January 2, 1904;
  2. Lydia—born September 21, 1905;
  3. Georgianna—born April 3, 1910;
  4. Gerrit—born January 4, 1912;
  5. Julius—born March 25, 1918; and,
  6. Irene M.—born 1927.

Gertje died on May 18, 1948, and Johannes on February 2, 1959. They were buried in the Graafschap Cemetery.

Gravestones of Gertje Veldhuis and her husband

Johannes and Gertje Veldhuis Piers’ grave markers in Graafschap, Michigan.

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