Although there is little chance for error, some still exists, especially since Plantinga was a fairly common name in Holland. However the patronomic naming combined with birth records indicating the mother and father of the child tie together well. Some information on Plantinga, found on http://www.familysearch.org appears to be incorrect according to my research.
IMPORTANT UPDATE: 12/2001 - I have discovered more info about the Plantinga family in Indiana, including the discovery that Wopke's father, Gerrit, emmigrated with his wife to Chicago. Contact me for the most recent data.
The use of only first and middle names would seem a lost cause for genealogy. However, the practice continued after last names were adopted, which is an aid. Naming patterns for children were quite prevalent. The Dutch and Germanic systems were used, and the patronymic system (name derived from that of the father or paternal ancestor) was used in variation within these patterns. The Dutch pattern of naming children followed this course. The first son was named after the paternal grandfather and the second son the maternal grandfather. The first daughter took the name of the maternal grandmother and the second the paternal grandmother. This was quite simple. The middle name of all the children in a family was the pural father's name.
The Plantenga's followed this method until Wopka came to the US. Using this pattern, my brother-in-law Steve should have been Ralph Dons Plantinga.
At the time of the Napoleon Decree, there lived over 30 Plantinga families that registered by virtue of the decree. Not all families registered. Some probably could care less about a decree from some 5'5" emperor from France who had conquered them.
The proliferation of the name 'Gerrit' in the Plantinga line is extensive. Gerrit was the Patriarch of this Plantinga line. There was also another Gerrit living then. Because of the many male children and male grandchildren, many were given the name Gerrit and many more had the middle name of 'Gerrits'. To tie the Wopke Plantinga line back to Gerrit Tjietzes Plantinga of 1811 required birth confirmations and sometimes reviewing sibling records to determine the exact patronymic (middle) name of the father.
Direct ancestors of Lisa Vanderwielen are in RED. Other supporting info may appear only in black (uncles, aunts, sister, brothers and so on)
found at the Tippecanoe Historical Society, Wopka states he was from
in Friesland near Leeuwarden. Stiens is a fairly large
maybe 3000 at that time. He lists his year of birth as 1870. Many
dutch emigrants came to Lafayette from Stiens or towns around that
The Province of Friesland is small. It's about the size of 20
indiana counties. Many of the towns mentioned in my research are
3-10 miles apart. In some cases, it would be like going
downtown Lafayette to downtown Rossville, Indiana.
The Plantinga ancestry of my daughter, Lisa:
M: Nancy Ann Plantenga (1956-
G: Donald Dean Plantenga (1933-
GG: Ralph Plantenga (1897-1981)
GGG: Wopka Gerrits Plantenga (1870-1940)
GGGG: Gerrit Gerrits Plantinga (1847-1932)
GGGGG: Gerrit Gerrits Plantinga (1813-1879)
GGGGGG: Gerrit Tjietzes Plantinga (1789-1849)
Although I'll list the Plantenga ancestors from Oldest to Youngest, I had to go backwards from Wopke.
Plantinga, Gerrit Tjietzes, Hallum
k. Tjietze 4, Liesbert 2 Mairie Hallum, fol. 31v
Plantinga lists as his children:
Tjietze age 4
Liesbert age 2
They lived in Hallum (about 4 miles north of Stiens)
The registration did not include his wife, who I discovered later to be Grietje Gerrits Deinema. These documents rarely did list the mother or wife.
'Plant' in dutch means the same as the english word so one would reasonably assume that he was a farmer. Which leads one to ask, "If last names didn't exist until 1811, why did over 30 families list their new last name as Plantinga?" The answer is simple. Many dutch chose a last name describing their occupation. If Nancy Ann Plantenga (my wife) had to re-pick a last name today, she'd no doubt be Nancy Ann the Cook. I suspect many other's would pick "the Cook", but of course, they are not related to Nancy. So just because you are a Plantinga or Plantenga today doesn't necessarily mean you're related to those individuals found in my research. And it's probable that not all Plantingas or Plantengas in the US are related.
In addition to the 2 children listed in the decree, Gerrit had at least these additional children (written in dutch, but you can figure out the words):
geboren 9 februari 1812 dochter van Gerrit Tjitzes Plantinga en Grietje
Gerrit Plantinga, geboren 8 september 1813 zoon van Gerrit Plantinga en Grietje Gerrits Deinema
Jantje Plantinga, geboren 28 februari 1816 dochter van Gerrit Tjitzes Plantinga en Grietje Gerrits Deinema
Doeke Plantinga, geboren 29 juni 1819 zoon van Gerrit Tjitses Plantinga en Grietje Gerrits Deinema
Tjitske Plantinga, geboren 11 april 1821 dochter van Gerrit Tjitses Plantinga en Grietje Gerrits Deinema
You can see that Gerrit Gerrit's mother was named Grietje Gerrits Deinema. She married Gerrit Tjietzes before 1807 at the age of 20. She died on 28 april 1824, at the age of 37, when Gerrit Gerrits was only 20 and his youngest sister was only 3. In my research, one of the most common causes of death to women at this age was childbirth, but no record was found to substantiate that. Gerrit Tjietzes may have died in Harlingen on 20 march 1849, aged 60 years, but this data is unconfirmed.
Gerrit Tjietzes had probably moved his family again from Rinsmageest to near Leeuwarderadeel for some reason. Since I have found other children of Gerrit Tjietzes marrying and giving birth in the same area, I suspect it was a family move sometime after the death of Gerrit Tjietzes' wife Grietje in 1824. They had 8 children, all near Leeuwarderadeel (Stiens area):
Gerrit Gerrits Plantinga died on April 20, 1899 at the age of 85, but Bootje lived until the old age of 91, dying on September 26, 1904. This was extremely old for both of them during these times.
Wopke was 5'7" tall and weighed 170 pounds. He had blue eyes. He emigrated to the United States in October 1889 aboard the ship Amsterdam from the port of Amsterdam in Holland arriving in New York. He either came with or met Katherine Hanstra and they were married in Chicago on May 3, 1893. Both were born in Stiens and they undoubtedly knew of each other there. Their first child George, was born later in October of that same year. In August of 1894, He, Katherine and son George moved to Lafayette, Indiana. They had 10 more children for a total of 11.
He lists his children as:
15, 1893 in Chicago
Gertrude b:October 29, 1895
Clarence b:November 23, 1897
Ralph b:November 23, 1897
Charles b:February 12, 1900
Tillie b:March 17, 1901
Margaret b:July 25, 1903
Anna b:October 16, 1905
Jessie b:December 20, 1910
Alberta b:August 14, 1914
Richard b:September 6, 1917
So he fathered children until he was 47 and Katherine was 45.
He became a laborer at the Monon Shops in Lafayette, Indiana. His residence was 1147 N. 19th Street in 1936. He declared his intention to become a US citizen in 1936. Read the declaration here. Then in March of 1938, he petitioned for naturalization. His witnesses were the minister of the Christian Reformed Church, James M. Ghysels and a friend, Fred Dykstra. His petition was continued until April of 1939, then he swore an oath of allegiance on May 18, 1939 and his petition was granted. It is unknown if he ever became a US citizen, dying on March 29, 1940. He was buried in Springvale Cemetery in Lafayette. Read the petition for naturalization here.
From Dick, his son (2/1/2001):
He remembered his dad working at the Monon Shops. In addition, Wopke and Charlie Hanstra truck farmed on the other side of the wildcat out on 25 east of Lafayette. I asked if Charlie Hanstra was related to his mother, who was a Hanstra and he didn't know. He said Wopke was about 6' tall. He weighed about 175 lbs. Church services were all day. The farm they grew up on was owned by Patsy Mack, who lived in Lafayette. When the highway came thru the farm was sold. A Heart attack killed Wopke. He didn't feel good. He always walked to work. He started out for work and came back stating that he didn't feel good. He went in on the davenport and died. Wopke lived at 1147 N. 17th Street.
Katherine Hanstra wasn't very tall. 5'6". She had convulsions and the cause of her death wasn't known.
came to Chicago. They met in Chicago. John vanderwielen
3 doors down the street. Dick went over their when he was a
Dick remembers a time when Art Vanderwielen was washing a car.
turned the hose on him when he wasn't looking.
Ralph's wife was Ella Hockema. He indicates he was born on the 'Wea Plains' on November 23, 1894. At the time of his marriage in 1919, he listed his occupation as Farmer. His application for marriage is attested to by Henry Hockema, Ella's father.
Research notes for Plantinga:
sibling records indicate that the above Gerrit was actual Gerrit Tjietzes
8: midden Friesland
Aangiftedatum 18 april 1843, blad nr. 27
Gerrit Plantinga, geboren 16 april 1843 zoon van Gerrit Gerrits Plantinga en Bootje Jacobs Damsma
THIS ONE DIED IN 1847!
8: midden Friesland
Aangiftedatum 25 april 1870, blad nr. 28
Wopke Plantinga, geboren 23 april 1870 zoon van Gerrit Gerrits Plantinga en Mathilda Wobbes van Vliet
3: noordoost Friesland
Geboorteakte Dantumadeel (mairie Rinsmageest)
Aangiftedatum 11 oktober 1812, nr. 16
Bootje Damsma, geboren 8 oktober 1812 dochter van Jacob Botes Damsma en Rinske Douwes
8: midden Friesland
Overlijdensakte Leeuwarderadeel, 1899
Aangiftedatum 21 april 1899, akte nr. 63
Gerrit Gerrits Plantinga, overleden 20 april 1899, oud 85 jaar, gehuwd
8: midden Friesland
Overlijdensakte Leeuwarderadeel, 1904
Aangiftedatum 27 september 1904, akte nr. 131
Bootje Jacobs Damsma, overleden 26 september 1904, oud 91 jaar, weduwe
10: noordwest Friesland
Overlijdensakte Harlingen, 1849
Aangiftedatum 21 maart 1849, blad nr. 23
Gerrit Plantinga, overleden 20 maart 1849, oud 60 jaar, ongehuwd
8: midden Friesland
Huwelijksakte Leeuwarderadeel, 1836
Man: Gerrit Gerrits Plantinga
Vrouw: Bootje Jacobs Damsma
Datum: 3 september 1836 Akte nr. 45