Comments by Juus Halsema

I was born Julle Hendrikus Halsema on December 24 in 1939 and learned to be proud of my name. My first name has been carried by all my grandfathers in a long line and my last name can be traced back to the old family farm in Kloosterburen in the province of Groningen, named Groot Halsum. That farm was already there in 1525. East of this farm was another farm, called Klein Halsum. This last farm was destroyed in 1717 by the Christmas floods and never rebuild.

My first genealogical interest started in 1989 with making up an inventory of all Halsema’s which I could find in the telephone books of Holland. I was convinced that all Halsema’s belonged to the same “clan”, which came from both farms. My proposition seemed to be wrong. From all the pieces of information, which were sent back to me, I could compose 4 jigsaw-puzzles of Halsema families.

  1. My own family, which comes originally from Groot Halsum. (The Julle Jans line)
  2. The other Halsema family from Kloosterburen, which comes probably from Klein Halsema. There are several links between these two families.
  3. The Halsema’s from Loppersum. Already in the 17th century there were a lot of Halsema’s living in Loppersum about 25 miles from Kloosterburen. From this place descend two Halsema families. A relatively small family which since the 18th century has lived in the western part of Holland and the van Halsema’s. This last family is generally of the Protestant faith and to distinguish themselves from the Roman Catholic Halsema’s they chose the prefix “van” in front of their name. There is not much information about these van Halsema’s in my files.
  4. The last Halsema clan comes from Friesland, a province west of Groningen. They are originally of the Protestant faith and are living mainly in the western part of Holland since the 18th century.

From the two families from Kloosterburen (#1 and #2 above) a lot of members emigrated to the USA during the second part of the 18th century for economical reasons. A lot of information on the American Halsema’s (and Halsmers, as one branch called themself) I received from Donald Halsema from Lafayette, Indiana, who visited me in Holland, Jim Halsema from Glenmoor, Pennsylvania and Martha Halsema-Donnelly from Rensselaer, Indiana.

Every Halsema can contact me to ask questions or information about his family, but I prefer to work on the principle of exchanging information. I have something for you and you have something for me, like exchanging stamps or coins. I consider this one of the methods to improve and complete my files about the Halsema’s.

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