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HEMMINGA, WALTA and Related
Families of Friesland
Noble and farm laborer, statesman and carriage driver, teacher and house servant, house wife and publican, bargeman and merchant, but most often farmer and farm wife - our ancestors and their relatives represent a substantial cross section of the society in central Friesland for the last several centuries.
Friesian families with substantial wealth (i.e. land) started using surnames (family names) from at least 1400. They included HEMMINGA, BOELENS, EYSINGA, FOCKENS, HARINXMA, JELKAMA, LYCKLAMA, POLMAN, RUITENBACH, and SICKMA (SIXMA), sometimes with a "van." The plainer folk (who usually owned land also - there was never slavery or a feudal system in Friesland) continued the tradition of given name plus patronymic. In 1811 Napoleon decreed that all must have a surname. Those without then adopted a variety of surnames mostly indicating employment or place of residence: DE BOER, DE JONG, DE VRIES, HUISMAN, KOOPMANS, MULDER, VAARTJES, VAN DER MEER, VAN DER TERP, VAN DER VEEN, VAN DER WERF, VAN DER WIJK and VISSER. A few adopted HEMMINGA.
Our search began with Daniel Feddes Hemminga, the father of our mother Jane Margaret Hemminga. He migrated from Amsterdam to North Dakota in 1912. With the help of many we have been able to trace our roots extensively, with some lines extending over 500 years.
The name Hemminga is not common. We also collected everything we could find - from people, maps, archives, books - on the assumption that most or all Hemmingas would be related. That has turned out to be only partially true.
In addition to ancestors and other Hemmingas, we have some information on in-law lines (particularly Walta). Of the over 5,000 people in our database, well over 3,000 are related in some way. But it is not a normal tree but rather a banyan - a growth with many roots and branches but no real trunk. It is far too complex to present in one view. If you think you might relate, find a name you know and see where it leads in the the Hemminga database. You can then navigate around the tree by clicking on links. (Note that all individuals born after about 1900 have been removed, to comply with various privacy laws.)
The data certainly contain
errors. Corrections and additions will be most welcome.
Copyright 1999 - 2008. Blanket
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