Category Archives: Kreykes

Her name means ‘narrow bridge’: Happy Birthday, Hendrika Smalbrugge Kreykes

My 2nd great-grandmother Hendrika, a Dutch immigrant to America, was born 181 years ago this weekend. She was born on August 17, 1838, to Jan Smalbrugge and Aleida Horsman Smalbrugge in Rijssen, Overijssel, in the eastern Netherlands. Before I started … Continue reading

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Happy Birthday, Grandma: Hattie Kreykes, 1910 – 1995

My maternal grandmother was born 109 years ago today. Hard to believe. I loved my Grandma Kreykes and was blessed to know her into my own adulthood. Hendrikje (Henrietta) or “Hattie” Van den Bosch Kreykes, the daughter of Dutch immigrants, … Continue reading

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Getting to know Gerrit almost 300 years later

Today is the 299th anniversary of the birth of my ancestor Gerrit Kreijkes, who was my 5th great grandfather. Although I know almost nothing of his life beyond a few dates and names, I’m mentioning him briefly as part of … Continue reading

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Dutch after all: testing Mom …

It was a quite straightforward message from Ancestry: “S. Hendrickson is your Mother.” It was not unexpected — because she is my mother — but it’s still beyond me how they knew. Confidence level? Extremely High. It’s been only a … Continue reading

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Letters to the Netherlands: May we be childlike and humble …

Not long ago, I learned a saying: “One Dutchman, a theologian. Two Dutchmen, a church. Three Dutchmen, a schism.” There is truth in this. Our great-great grandfather, Jan Willem, migrated to America from the Netherlands with his wife and children in 1889. … Continue reading

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Missing Grandma …

March 20 was the birthday of my late Grandma Kreykes, who was born back in 1910. I miss her very much. I have strong memories of  my grandmother and think of her often. That’s Grandma in  the middle of the … Continue reading

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Letters to the Netherlands: Before the throne of grace …

In a previous excerpt from our 2nd great-grandfather’s letters from his new home in Iowa, he spoke of his distress over the illness of his adult daughter, who had remained in the Netherlands. He would later learn that she did … Continue reading

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Letters to the Netherlands: It broke our hearts to hear …

When our 2nd great-grandparents came to America from the Netherlands, they were following their eldest son to northwest Iowa and brought with them their three youngest children, two girls and a boy, including our great-grandfather.  An adult daughter and her … Continue reading

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In the news … Iowa summers

When I was a kid visiting my grandparents during the summer in Orange City, Iowa, items in the local newspaper told of who in the community was traveling, entertaining, visiting, and celebrating special occasions. Now I find in old newspaper … Continue reading

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What’s in a name … Kreykes, for example

The family name of Kreykes, from which I am one generation removed, is in some ways a mystery. We know that it was brought to Iowa in the 19th century by a family from Rijssen, the Netherlands. Apparently all recorded … Continue reading

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