Gort Families in
Aaldert Stoffers Gort
Roelof Bartelds Gort
Gort families in the USA
1. Aaldert Stoffers Gort (1790 – 1850)
Aaldert was a 5th generation
descendant of Derk Klaas Gort (Drenthe). He was born in Hoogeveen, Drenthe
and lived there until his emigration to the USA in 1848. His second wife
was Fennigje Berends Oostinje (1816 - 1901) and they had 4 children, namely
Femmigje (1840), Berend (1842), Pietertje (1844) and Aaldert (1848). Aaldert
was a “schipper” (bargeman) during his first marriage, but had become a
farmer by the time he married again in 1840.
In The Netherlands the decades
of the 1830’s and 1840’s were marked by significant religious strife. In
1834 a group in Ulrum, Groningen, led by the Reverend Hendrik de Cock,
broke away from the protestant state church. He was soon followed by others,
including a significant group in Hoogeveen. Leadership of the secessionists
was provided by the Reverends De Cock, van Raalte and Scholte. The latter
two decided to leave The Netherlands and in 1846 van Raalte and a large
group left The Netherlands and settled in the area of Black Lake, Michigan.
In subsequent years additional immigrants joined them and started towns
with names of Holland, Drenthe, Zeeland, Vriesland and Groningen.
The Reverend Scholte left later and settled in the Pella,
Iowa area rather then join his colleague in Michigan. Later immigrants
from The Netherlands also settled in the north west corner of Iowa and
in the adjacent areas of South Dakota and Minnesota.
In 1848 the by then 57 year
old Aaldert, his spouse Fennigje and their 4 children left for Michigan
to join the earlier migrants. They traveled on the Scandia, a 430 ton bark.
Captain was J.E. Westma and the ship arrived in New York on May 29, 1848.
The next reference to the family is the 1850 Michigan, Allegan County,
Fillmore Township Census, page 30, enumerated on August 5, 1850. We find
Fanny – age 33 – married within the past year to Gerrett W. Kooyers. Children
listed are Femigen, age 9, Petra, age 5, Barend, age 7, and Airldert, age
2. In the Mortality Schedule we also find that Aaldert S. Gort died in
April, 1850. Cause of death is listed as Consumption.
Children of Aaldert Stoffers Gort.
The oldest daughter Femmigje married Jacob Vork in Ottawa
County in 1858. They had 11 children. Femmigje died at age 84 in Ten Mile,
The oldest son Berend married Janetje Leichtenberg on
2 Dec 1867 in Allegan County, Michigan. Janetje was 42 at the time of marriage
and it does not appear that they had any children.
Pietertje married Jan Hendrick Kooijers. They had three
children, Berend, Albert, and Johanna, as per information received from
Ken Ten Hoopen, but I have no further information about this family.
The youngest son Aaldert is listed in the 1850 census,
but is missing in 1860, so we must assume he died as a young child.
(Information about the Vork family from Sandy Cambronne
– Minnesota, and about the census from Margie Butler – Texas)
2. Hendrik Gort (1837 - 1915) - to come
3. Hilbert Gort (1849 - 1915)
Hilbert was an 8th generation
descendant of Claes Herms Gort (Drenthe). He was born on June 26, 1849
in Ruinen, Drenthe. When he married on May 5, 1878 he had moved and was
living in Hollandscheveld (municipality Hoogeveen). His occupation on his
marriage certificate was listed as “molenaar” (miller). His spouse was
Alberdina Kaptein, born on December 1, 1858 in Hoogeveen. Hilbert and Alberdina
had 7 children prior to their emigration in 1993. They were Albert (1879),
Hendrik (1881), Aaldert Jan (1883), Jentje (1886), Hilberdina (1888), a
stillborn child (1891) and Henderikus (1891).
Hilbert was listed as “beurtschipper”
and “veerschipper” (bargeman) on the birth certificates of his children.
Addresses on those certificates listed Hilbert and Alberdina as living
in Hollandscheveld (Hoogeveen).
On April 10, 1893, at ages 43
and 34, Hilbert, Alberdina and their 6 surviving children left for Pella,
Iowa. Later they moved to Hull, Iowa. We do not know why, but Hilbert’s
older brother Hendrik had preceded him to the USA in 1882. Also several
family members of the Kaptein and Scholten families immigrated to the Midwest
and may well have influenced Hilbert and Alberdina to look for a new life
in another country. Once in the USA, 5 more children were born – Hendrika
(1894), Aaltje (1896), Roelof (1898), Jasper (1900) and Geertje (1902)
– 4 in Iowa and Jasper in Corsica, SD.
Over the past number of years
I have had contact with descendants of the oldest son Albert (daughter
Gervenere and grandson Jerry, both living in California) and the youngest
son Jasper (daughter Joyce living in Iowa). They have filled me in on many
of the descendants of Hilbert and Alberdina. Most of the family farmed
in Iowa and South Dakota, but left for Michigan or California during the
depression years. From Hennie Boertien in Holland, who studies the Kaptein
and Schelhaas families, I am indebted for info about the 3rd son, Aaldert
Jan Gort. He married Hendrika (Hattie) Schelhaas, farmed in South Dakota
and then moved to Wyoming, MI. The 1930 census lists him as a labourer
in a box board shop.
For census data on the Gort’s
I am indebted to Margie Butler from Texas.
4. Roelof Bartelds Gort (1821-1878) - father of Hendrik
and Geert Gort, who both emigrated to Drenthe, Michigan.
Roelof Bartelds Gort was a 7th
generation descendant of Claes Herms Gort (Drenthe). He was born December
27, 1821 in De Wijk, Drenthe. He married Marchien Alberts Kissien April
30, 1853 in Ruinen, Drenthe. Marchien died in 1856, after giving birth
in the preceding three years to three children; a girl and two boys. The
two boys died before reaching their first birthday.
On May 12, 1860 Roelof remarried
Grietien Harms Waninge. She was born June 23, 1831 in Ruinen, Drenthe,
and was the widow of Johannes Stefanus Molewijk. From her first marriage
she had 2 children, Harm and Wilhelmina. Roelof and Grietien had four children,
Hendrik (1861), Trientje (1864), Geert (1867), and Jan (1870 – died 1871).
In 1874 the mother Grietien died, followed by the father Roelof in 1878.
The children from their marriage were placed with relatives.
In 1881 Harm Molenwijk married
Klaasje Balder in De Wijk, Drenthe and in 1885 Hendrik Gort married Geertje
Ham in Staphorst, Overijssel. The latter couple had a son Roelof, born
May 16, 1886 in De Wijk, Drenthe.
According to my sources, Harm,
Hendrik and their families, as well as their younger brother Geert, emigrated
to Drenthe, Michigan in 1888. Young Roelof was renamed Ralph and in 1890
and 1892 brothers George and Henry were born. Henry is listed in the 1930
census as a farmer living in Byron Centre, MI.
Geert married Lena van der Stad
in Drenthe, MI in 1892 and is listed in the 1920 and 1930 census as a farmer
living in Zeeland, MI.
Sources: Ruth Gort (grand daughter
of Hendrik Gort) and Cindy Leutz, both living in Michigan.