Hendrik Ten Brink

By Bentheimers International Society

Some information for this biography was taken from “Die Familien der Kirchengemeinde Lage (1700–1900),” by Harm Schneider.

Hand drawn map of Lage, Grafschaft Bentheim.

A portion of General Major von Le Coq‘s Grafschaft Bentheim map (1805) depicting the settlement of Lage. Hendrik Ten Brink was born here in 1834.

Hendrik Ten Brink was born on January 13, 1834 in Lage to Albert Ten Brink and Jenneken Hoed. He was the only child born from this marriage, but he had an older half–sister named Hendrika.

Hendrik Ten Brink Leaves Grafschaft Bentheim

When Hendrik was 23 years old, he emigrated to Graafschap, Michigan with his parents and sister aboard the barque Von Stein. This ship entered New York harbor on August 7, 1857. From New York City, the Ten Brink family traveled to Graafschap, where they bought a 40–acre farm in Laketown Township just west of the village.

Just over a year after settling in Laketown, Hendrik’s sister Hendrika married Hendrikus Strabbing and moved to his farm just east of Graafschap. In August of 1859, Hendrik became an uncle when the Strabbing’s first son Jan was born. While August brought a new family member to the Ten Brinks, the month also saw the sudden death of Hendrik’s mother Jenne. Thus, the 1860 Federal Census shows only Hendrik and Albert living on their farm.

The Ten Brink Farm In Laketown Township

Hendrik and father Albert also appear together in the 1870 census. During this decade, the value of their farm increased from $200 to $700.

However, there is no Ten Brink household listed in the 1880 Federal Census. Instead, we find Hendrik living with the Gerrit Lemmen family on their 20–acre fruit farm and keeping bees. In 1877, he and the Lemmen couple signed an agreement allowing Hendrik to live in their household as a family member in exchange for $618. Apparently, at some time between 1873 and 1877, father Albert had passed away. (Read The Lemmen–Ten Brink Agreement in the Pioneer Stories articles section.)

Hendrik Ten Brink’s living situation was to change unexpectedly on October 26, 1880, when Gerrit Lemmen passed away. Gerrit’s widow Katie re–married and moved to Kalamazoo. Perhaps Hendrik then lived with his sister Hendrika Ten Brink Strabbing, who died in 1886.

At the time of Hendrik’s death on March 13, 1895, he was living in Fillmore Township. His gravesite is unknown at the time of this writing. If you have more information about Hendrik Ten Brink, please use the contact form below so we can complete his story.

Handwritten passenger arrival list showing the four members of the Albert Ten Brink family aboard the S.S. Von Stein immigrant ship.

The Ten Brink family on the passenger arrivals list of the Von Stein immigrant ship. Above their names are those of fellow Grafschafters Hermann (Harm) Wolters, his wife Swenne Adriaans Wolters, and daughter Stine from Altendorf.

1873 plat map of Laketown Township showing the farm's location and neighboring properties.

A plat map from 1873 with the A. Ten Brink farm highlighted. This 40–acre farm would be divided into two 20–acre parcels at some time before 1895.

Federal Census for 1860, showing that only Albert Ten Brink and his son Hendrik were living on the farm in Laketown.

Federal Census for 1860, showing that only Albert and his son Hendrik were living on the farm three years after arriving here.

Entry from the 1880 Federal Census showing that Hendrik Ten Brink was a boarder with the Gerrit Lemmen family.

Entry from the 1880 Federal Census. Hendrik Ten Brink (“Henry Brink”) was staying as a boarder with the Gerrit Lemmen family and had “no occupation.”

One handwritten entry in the Return of deaths registry for the State of Michigan listing Hendrik Ten Brink.

State of Michigan death registry entry for Hendrik Ten Brink. He died on March 13, 1895 at the age of 61 years, 17 months (sic), 14 days in Fillmore. Cause of death: Dropsy of the heart (excess fluid retention). His parents were listed as Unknown.

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