Missing Children Found!
In May of 1884, Jan Pieters Sjoeks and Wytske Roelofs Hoogland Sjoeks of Driesum, Friesland, sailed from the Netherlands to the United States with their six living children: Pieter Jans, born 27 February 1870; Roelof Jans, born 16 July 1871; Doetje Jans, born 6 January 1873; Anthonie Jans, born 20 November 1879; Jan Jans, born 15 November 1881; and, Watse Jans, born 21 November 1883. The birth certificates of these children are recorded in Dantumadeel which is now known as Damwoude. Damwoude is located in the Northeast part of Friesland just down the way from Driesum. Their final child, Sylvester, was born in North Blendon, Michigan on 17 October 1885.
Little did we know that Jan and Wytske were leaving behind in the Netherlands three children who died prior to their departure. On 19 April 1874, Trijntje Jans Sjoeks was born to Jan Pieters and Wytske Roelofs Hoogland Sjoeks. Trijntje died on 8 October 1878 at the age of four. Her official notification of death date was 9 October 1878. The death certificate, document number 162, is recorded in Dantumadeel. No cause of death is listed.
On 7 June 1876 a son, Anthoni Jans Sjoeks, was born to Jan Pieters and Wytske Roelofs Hoogland Sjoeks. Anthoni died on 24 July 1876 at the age of one month. His official notification of death date was 25 July 1876. The death certificate document number is 121 and is recorded in Dantumadeel as well. Again, no cause of death is given.
On 1 September 1877, Jan Pieters and Wytske Roelofs Hoogland Sjoeks had a stillborn daughter who was not named. Official notification of her death was 4 September 1877. The death certificate document, number 143, is also recorded in Dantumadeel.
As we know, in 1879 another son was born. He was named Anthonie Jans Shooks in memory of Anthoni Jans, who died in 1876.
It has always been a point of curiosity as to why there was such a gap in years between Doetje Jans (1873) and Anthonie Jans (1879). Now we know the rest of the story.
This story was submitted by Janet Shooks Dean, with thanks to her daughter, Tamara, for her research that led to this discovery.