The History of the Name “Halsema”

by Colonel Julle Hendrikus “Juus” Halsemaand Dr. Dick L. Van Halsema

Colonel Julle Hendrikus “Juus” Halsema:

The name Halsema is related to the “Groot Halsum” farm in Kloosterburen, derived from the “hals” or gully in the mud caused by the North Sea tidal flows. The farm was there in 1462. He says that all owners or occupants called themselves “the Halsum,” “Halsum,” “Halsem” or “Halsema.”

Dr. Dick L. Van Halsema:

Two explanations are given for the origin of the name “Halsema.” The first is that the name could be a derivative of the Groninger masculine name “Halbe” or “Halbo.”

The second traces the name from “hals” (“neck”).  In the Wadden area a “neck” is a trench in the land beyond the outer dike works, also called “ridges.”  The “neck opening” of such a trench constructed just outside Kloosterburen in such an event would explain how the farm would come to receive the name “Halsum” or “Halsem.” 

Thus, “Halsema” means “pertaining to the farm called ‘Halsum’.”

From old documents it appears that in 1462 the owner of this property was Tjasse Halbetsuma, judge in Kloosterburen. And in 1521 the owner was Garbrant Halsema, an official or sheriff of the waterworks. In 1561 a Tysse Halsumma lived there, while mention is made in 1589 of a Broerke Doeens at Halsum.

Colonel Julle Hendrikus “Juus” Halsema: Retired Colonel of the Royal Netherlands Marine Corps. Who studied for 9 months at the Amphibious Warfare School in Quantico, Virginia USA in 1973. He is married and has 2 daughters, living in London (UK) and in Amsterdam. Follow this link for more information on Juus Halsema and the Halsema name.

Dr. Dick L.Van Halsema: Original Dutch text by Gerard van Halsema Thzn. Published in the Dutch church journal, Jaarboek voor de Geschiedenis van de Gereformeerde Kerken in Nederland, 1, Kampen, 1987. + This English translation by Dr. Dick L. Van Halsema, Grand Rapids, Michigan – April, 1997. In 1765, the person named in this account, D.F.J. van Halsema, worked out a story about the history of several older Groninger generations, along with which he gave the following motto: Posteris inservire. This Latin phrase means: “In order to serve posterity.”  The compiler of the genealogy which lies before you also hopes that it will function in similar fashion.