On May 26, 1868 in Den Ham, Overijssel, Netherlands, Reka married Berend Kolkman. Also called Benjamin, Berend was the son of Gerrit Jan Kolkman and Janna Elkenaar. At the time of their marriage, Berend was 29 years old and Reka was 24. The newlyweds settled down in Den Ham, where Berend worked as a hired man.
Their first two children were born here in Den Ham:
Gerrit Jan—born September 25, 1869; and
Johanna (Annie)—born June 27, 1879.
Johanna was blind her whole life. When the Kolkman children were born, Berend was described as a landbouwer or farmer.
Emigrating from Den Ham to America
Hendrika Dyke Kolkman’s father and siblings had already emigrated by the time that she, Berend, and their two children decided to join them. They left Den Ham and came to Allendale, Michigan in late 1879 or early 1880. Here they had three more children:
Joseph—born in 1880;
John—born in 1884. He later became a minister; and
Gracia (Dee Dee)—born in 1886.
Berend and Reka were members of the Christian Reformed Church in Allendale. They later moved to Grand Rapids, where they became members of Grandville Avenue CRC. Reka died in Grand Rapids, Kent County, Michigan on March 13, 1919.
Hendrika Dyke Kolkman.
Hendrika Dyke and Berend Kolkman’s oldest daughter Johanna.
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