Come, come, all miracles, all miracles!
Phrase from Gerben Klazes Brouwer (1777-1818, X)

This Genealogy Brouwer 1 includes descendants of Reimer Gerbens Brouwer I (number XI.1 in this family tree) and Jantje Rinses Haadsma. The lineage, which precedes this family tree, begins around 1450 and the men in it are, without exception, farmers for up to the fifteenth generation, which is more than 500 years. This is consistent and at the same time relative: in an arrangement like this only the line from father to son matters. Since the 15th century a human being has about 15,000 ancestors, many of whom are something other than farmers.
This line has been farming in Bitgum since about 1725. Gerben Reimers Brouwer I (XII.1) stands out because he excavates the terp Bessum, and with his wife Brechtje Folkerts Damsma, donates the Frisian handball prize ‘de Nije Gripe’ to Frisian handball club ‘Oefening Kweekt Kunst’, of which he is patron.
With their son Reimer Gerbens Brouwer II (XIII.1) and his family, the conversion takes place. This runs like a thread through their lives. Among their descendants, in two or three generations there are remarkably many who become involved in the Frisian field. Gerben Reimers Brouwer II (XIV.1) in particular feels called upon to commit himself to the Frisian National cause.

Below are five generations in portrait. Gerben Reimers Brouwer I (1829-1914, XII.1), Reimer Gerbens Brouwer II (1856-1929, XIII.1), Gerben Reimers Brouwer II (1886-1961, XIV.1), Reimer Gerbens Brouwer III (1912-2001) and Gerben Reimers Brouwer III (1942)

In addition to lineage and family tree, various sub-topics are described and inspected in a chronicle. Here and there, the boundaries are further explained as their own base, so that an image emerges of social environments of the Frisian movement and way of life.

At the same time, this setup serves as documentation of photos, letters and other archival material. In order not to get buried with too much well-intended information, you can click through for more previews.
The extensive family archive is – in addition to this digital document – further secured for the future and is stored according to agreements in climate-controlled vaults at the municipality of Waadhoeke. The archives can be consulted for research by appointment with Heritage Foundation.
We are of course looking forward to additions and improvements. See: About us –

This Genealogy of Brouwer St.-Anne-Bitgum is subdivided into three stages, descendants of the brothers:
-Reimer Gerbens: Genealogy Brouwer 1
-Sipke Gerbens: Genealogy Brouwer 2
-Wopke Gerbens: Genealogy Brouwer 3.
The lineage is much more complete and is located on this page.
All three family trees are also shown in the diagram up to the 21st generation per page.
In descendant reports the descendants of Gerben Reimers Brouwer I and Brechtje Folkerts Damsma are described, namely:
Maartje Gerbens Brouwer: Genealogy Dijkstra
Reimer Gerbens Brouwer II: below XIII.1
Jantje Gerbens Brouwer: Genealogy Siderius
Folkje Gerbens Brouwer: Genealogy De Jong – Bitgum
Dirkje Reimers Brouwer: Genealogy Van Tuinen
Bregtje Reimers Brouwer: Herman Andringa, Tsjikke Andringa, Ype Brouwers, Piter Andringa, Andringa 3 – Geschiedenis van de verschillende families Andringa van 1450 tot heden, Andringa Stichting, 2016 ISBN 978 90 803 389-0-6 (YB 121, side 346) and Genealogy Wartena
Gerben Reimers Brouwer II, see below XIV.1
Hendrikje Reimers Brouwer: Genealogy Van der Schaaf.

This is all a work in progress. Genealogy 2 and 3 are still in the making.

* = born
~ = baptized
x = married
w.m. = living together
sk = divorced
† = deceased
[] = buried
§ = anecdote/statement/addition; shown in green
What is a family tree?
What is a genealogy?

Sources among others:
-generations I-VII: Genealogysk jierboekje 1989 – Pieter Nieuwland: Meylema – Genealogy, Fryske Akademy, Leeuwarden, 1989; page 49
Frysk Kertiersteateboek – Gerben Rientses Wartena and Goasse Doekeles Brouwer: Brouwer-Damsma, Fryske Akademy, Leeuwarden 1996
-research Erfgoed Fundaasje
-announcements: Sybe Harmens Andringa (SHA), Durk Gerbens Brouwer XV.2 (DRB), Gerben Reimers Brouwer XV.1.3 (GRBIII), Maeike Reimers Brouwer XVI.1 (MRB), Nynke Reimers Brouwer XVI.4 (NRB), Piter Gerbens Brouwer XV.4 (PGB), Reimer Gerbens Brouwer XV.1 (RGBIII), Tsjisse Doekeles Brouwer XV.3.5 (TDB), Pieter Meines Donker (PMD), Jabik Keimpes Dykstra (JKD), Tine Harkema-Strikwerda (THS), Hylke Jitzes de Jong (HJdJ), Durk Sybrens van der Schaaf (DSvdS), Reimer van Tuinen (RvT).
Translation from Frisian onto English: Peter Venema.

These topics are a work in progess. Click on the topic to get started immediately.

§ NAPOLEON IS NOT INVOLVED – Klaas Gerbens Brouwer is already named Brouwer before 1811
§ FATHER TAXED HIGHEST, SON DIED IN THE POORHOUSE – Gerben Klazes is one of the most highly taxed persons

§ COME, COME, ALL MIRACLES – Gerben Klazes talks about this and that
§ A SOMEWHAT SAD SAYING – Klaas Gerbens’ career
§ FAMILY-SICK – A broad field of view of family
§ A COMING AND GOING ON ONE FARM – Residents of the Sjoelema farm

§ GENERATION XII – Gerben Reimers I and Brechtsje Folkerts Damsma and children

§ TERP BOSS – Gerben Reimers I excavates Bessum and discovers a Roman votive stone
§ PROTECTOR O.K.K. – Gerben Reimers I, backer of the Bitgumer Frisian handball association
§ FRISIAN HANDBALL PRIZE ‘DE NIJE GRIPE’ – Brechtje Folkerts Damsma and her husband donate a silver handball
§ CHURCHGOING AND NOT CHURCHGOING – Gerben Reimers I as bearer of the Word, not a listener
§ GRANDCHILDREN ON GERBEN AND BRECHTJE – From the report of the Brouwers Evening, 1970


§ SJOELEMA UP IN FLAMES – Rinse Reimers Brouwer loses his farm
§ RECOVERING FROM HARD TIMES – Rinse Reimers gets back on his feet
§ STAYING OVER ON THE FARM – A look at cousin Reimer van Tuinen

GENERATION XIII – Reimer Gerbens II and Trijntje Gosliga and children

§ THE BROUWER SUITCASES – Heritage stored safely at Waadhoeke
§ THE BITGUMER NURSERY SCHOOL – Children are not fine or crude
§ CHRISTIAN NATIONAL EDUCATION – Older children ready for Christian education
§ NO STONE THROUGH THE WINDOW – Reimer Gerbens II is being threatened
§ GRUT FELLINGWURD – I do not owe that man
§ NIJ FELLINGWURD – The newly-built farm
§ LIVING OFF REVENUE – Charged with ecclesiastical matters
§ CONVERTS – From liberal to orthodox

In this diagram the names have been indicated according to writing style of the Civil Registry, for instance Anne is written as Antsje and Roymer as Reimer.
Click to enlarge.


I Pier toe Meylahuus * approximately 1465 † before or in 1534; farmer on Meylahûs below Easterein; in 1494 and 1512 named in the Sneker recess books; in 1511 in the estimate of Easterein; in 1534 there is a dispute about his will; possibly son of Sywrd Piersz,;
x N.N.

II Wattye Piersz. * approx. 1490 † 25 Dec. 1542 (‘kerstheijlige daegh’); named in 1494, farmer in Wjelsryp, probably in Lamckama;
x 1 N.N.
Watse x 2 Wick Reinsdr. † Wjelsryp shortly before 17 May 1563; Wick x 2 Jettze Pieckesz., still alive in 1571

Son from second marriage:
III Tyalling (also: Tzalinck) Watsesz. Meylema * approx. 1535; in 1561 farmer in Eckema in Wjelsryp, in 1568 farmer in Sexbierum in 1568, in 1571 in Lamckama Tjeppenboer below Wjelsryp, where he is also partly owner of. Still living there in 1585. In 1598 his wife Rieme Jarichsdr. is widow;
x before 1563 Rieme Jarichsdr., living as widow in Dronryp and still alive in 1615; daughter of Jarich Martens, farmer in and co-owner of Grut Lopens in Kûbaard (1529, 1560) and of Syts Abbedr.

IV Watse Tjallingsz. * approximately 1570 † Stiens early 1615, farmer in Stiens,
x 1 Foeckel Pietersdr.
x 2 Anna Tjallingsdr. † Stiens 8 Feb. 1635, daughter of Tjallingh Sipkesz., farmer in Stiens on a farm of the Genaerd monastery, and of Frouw Gerrytsdr. She x 2 Peter Gerrits. She x 3 Stiens 23 Jan. 1620 (3rd proclamation) Jarich Jansz, of Britsum

Son from second marriage:
V Pieter Watses (also: Pijtter) * Stiens 1610 ~ there 17 April 1620 (by then his father has passed away and his mother remarried; in all likelyhood his father was a Mennonite) † Aldtsjerk 25 Nov. 1702, 92 years; church member Ref. Church Oentsjerk 24-2-1665; church councilmember; church member in Aldtsjerk 26-8-1683; farmer in Oentsjerk (1640 on farm nr. 14), later probably of independent means in Aldtsjerk.
x 1 Stiens 10 April 1631 (3rd proclamation) Trijn Auckes of Oentsjerk (the first and third wife of Pytter Watses have the same name)
x 2 1650 Barber Meyles
x 3 Oentsjerk 26 Sept. 1675 (1st proclamation) Trijntje Auckes of Sint Annaparochie; church member in Oentsjerk 10-12-1675 with attestation of ‘Annakerck’ (‘Anna church’)

x 4 Aldtsjerk 25 Dec. 1683 Maeicke Jans of Aldtsjerk

Son from first marriage:
VI Watse Pieters * Oentsjerk approximately 1645 † Bornwird before 1705; Watse Pieters and his first wife are registered on 9 June 1671 as Ref. church members in Oentsjerk.
First they run a farm in Oentsjerk, according to lease terminations in 1685, 1687 and 1689 in Bornmeer below Wânswert (farm nr. 17) until 1689; on 18 Aug. 1689 Watse and his second wife are, having come over from Wânswert, registered as church members in Aldtsjerk. In 1698 Watse is renter of farm 5 in Aldtsjerk. He is named in 1698 as one of the men who has supervision of the voters in Aldtsjerk; farmer in Bornwirdhuizen in Bornwird;
x 1 Oentsjerk 26 Febr. 1671 (1st proclamation) Grietie Wiegers (also: Wiggers) of Wânswert, † Oentsjerk; inventory of the house of mourning 29 Dec. 1680; daughter of Wigger Sybes, farmer in Wânswert, and of Reinu Jaspers; Grietie is widow of Pier Wopkes
x 2 Oentsjerk 21 May 1682 (1st proclamation) Imck Dircks of Wânswert, † after 1705, widow of Tjaerd Jarichs.

Son from first marriage:
VII Pier Watses ~ Oentsjerk 25 Dec. 1671 † Ferwert approximately 2 Oct. 1709, inventory of his goods 26 March 1711; farmer in Wânswert until 1697, afterwards on the monastic grange ‘De Flappe’ in Ferwert, farm nr. 37;
x Wânswert (?) 1691/92 Antje Jarichs * Wânswert ~ Ferwert † Ferwert approximately 1744; church member in Wânswert 16 April 1690, with her husband church member in Ferwert 8 Aug. 1697; daughter of Jarich Fokes, farmer in Stiens and Jislum, and of Trijntje Meinerts; Antje remarries in approximately 1711 Bote Tjammes, with whom she continues her husband’s business.
Six known children:
1 Gerben Piers ~ Wânswert 5 April 1693
2 Gerben Piers, follow VIII
3 Died young
4 Jarich Piers Ferwerda
* Wânswert 1697 † Leeuwarden 19 April 1775; citizen of Leeuwarden 16 Sept. 1722, civilian troop leader 1735-1738, civilian scoutmaster 1739-1744, councilmember 1744-1775, master builder 1756-1759; master beer brewer there;
x 1 Leeuwarden, Westertkerk 13 June 1723 Hendrikje Cornelis
x 2 Leeuwarden, Grote of Jacobijnerkerk 22 Feb. 1764
Martien Alberts Mijer [] Leeuwarden, Oldehoofsterkerkhof 19 June 1783; Martien x 2 1776 Gijsbertus Krips
5 Grytie Piers ~ Ferwert 25 Sept. 1701 † approximately 1773;
Tjepke Hendriks, farmer on Onghe state in Ferwert (farm nr. 2)
6 Watse Piers ~ Ferwert 2 July 1707, farmer in Lyts Sminia on the Seedyk below Ferwert (farm nr. 21) and user of farmstead nr. 19 en 20 there;
Saapke Pieters ~ Ferwert 11 Dec. 1712; there church member on confirmation 13 May 1747; daughter of Pieter Pieters and of Antje Sipkes.
The family Hoogland, among others, is descended from her, in Ferwerderadiel, Menameradiel, Het Bildt.
See: Genealogysk jierboekje 1962 – J.IJ. Feenstra: Het geslacht Hoogland; Genealogysk jierboekje 1987 – Pieter Nieuwland: Kertiersteat fan Pieter Nieuwland, Fryske Akademy, Leeuwarden 1962 and 1987.

VIII Gerben Piers ~ Wânswert 17 June 1694 † Bitgum, by the Mill, 24 March 1783, 89 years [] Bitgum row 16; approximately 1725 farmer on ‘Zwettehorne’ (B nr. 20) in the Bitgumer Nijlân; approx. 1730 farmer at the Mill in Bitgum, Schwartzenberg farm, farm nr. 4 (44 pmt); in 1738, 1748 farmer in Dyksterhuzen, urban farm, farm nr. 17, later nr. 14, (66 pmt), in the 19th century named ‘Zomerzorg’, now Dyksterhuzen nr. 34; in 1758 farmer in Grut Alsert, farm nr. B19, new nr. B16, (128 pmt), now Ingelumerdyk nr. 6; is named ‘well-to-do’ in Quotation sheet;
x Bitgum 8-5-1729 Wijke Scheltes Heslinga * probably Bitgum ~ probably Bitgum Nov. 1708, is then baptized ‘son of Schelte Jacobs named Wiltje’, this is in all likelyhood an error and Wijke was then baptized, † Bitgum 1805 (before 21 May) [] Bitgum row 16; church member on confirmation Ref. Church Bitgum 9 May 1735; church member there 1739, in Dyksterhuzen; church member idem 1765, at the Mill; after the death of her husband farmer in Grut Alsert, later of independent means in Bitgum(mole); daughter of Schelte Jacobus Heslinga and of Eelck Clases, at Buma state in Dyksterhuzen (now nr. 1).
Of Wijke Skeltes the inventory and separation of the estate is prepared at the request of his children and grandchildren (Orphanage book Menameradiel nr. 51, 21 May 1805).
See: Supplement I Inventory descriptions 1

Of Gerben and Wijke eleven children are known:
1 Pier Gerbens ~ Bitgum 12 Feb. 1730;
x Bitgum 12 May 1754, then both of Dronryp, Aafke Theunis
2 Pieter Gerbens
 ~ Bitgum 1 June 1733;

x Bitgum 18 April 1762 Baukje Baukes
3 Schelte Gerbens
 Heslinga * approximately 1735 † before 8 Nov. 1810, smallholder on the Stienzer Hegedyk below Bitgum, in 1758 farmer on a ‘Heslinga farm’ on the middle dyke in the Nijlân, B 8; deacon at Bitgum;

x Bitgum 1 June 1755 Geertje Gerbens (Heslinga), from Jelsum, accepted as church member on confirmation in Bitgum 12 Nov. 1769
4 Haantje Gerbens ~ Bitgum 13 July 1738
5 Antie Gerbens ~ Bitgum 29 Nov. 1739 [] Sneek 22 Jan. 1777
6 Klaas Gerbens Brouwer, follow IX
7 Jacob Gerbens
 Heslinga ~ Bitgum 12 May 1743 † there 25 Aug. 1814, farmer in Bitgum;

x Bitgum 23 May 1768 Aafke Baukes Heslinga * Bitgum † there 6 Jan. 1819, daughter of Bauke Jacobs and Giltje Baukes
8 Eeke Gerbens ~ Bitgum 3 July 1746;
Dirk Hendriks Bosje † before 21 June 1804
9 Akke Gerbens Bitgum ~ 12 Nov. 1747;
x Bitgum 28 Sept. 1777, then both of Bitgum, Jan Fokes
10 Jarich Gerbens
 ~ Bitgum 25 Jan. 1750, smallholder in Hallum;

x Bitgum 29 Aug. 1779, Yebeltje Rienx, of Bitgum (three children known from this marriage: Yetske, Weike and Antje)
11 Grietje Gerbens ~ Bitgum 16 July 1752;
x (her cousin) Dronryp 19 June 1774 Klaas Mattheus Heslinga * Boksum, farmer below Dronryp, son of Mattheus Scheltes Heslinga, farmer in Boksum, and of his third wife Trijntje Gerrits.

IX Klaas Gerbens Brouwer (in documents first name also spelled as Claes/Claas, he writes his own name as Klaas) * approximately 1741 † Súdhoek of Sint Annaparochie below Bitgum 18 Nov. 1800 [] Bitgum row 16; Master beer brewer in Sint Annaparochie (corner of Warmoesstraat/Van Harenstraat), 1788 farmer on Sate nr. 3 in the Súdhoek of Sint Annaparochie below Bitgum (land register nr. 71, later 49, now Langhústerwei nr. 4); user of about 190 pmt; church member Ref. Church Sint Annaparochie 24 April 1769; deacon there 22 Aug. 1784-5 Aug. 1787; churchwarden and guardian of the poor (for the south quarter) 23 July 1794-27 May 1796

Klaas Gerbens is already referred to as a beer brewer with the surname Brouwer, which is the surname he and his two children Aaltsje and Gerben already had before the official adoption / registration of family names in 1811. Klaas’ brothers Skelte and Jabik name themselves Heslinga, after their mother. If Klaas had not already been mentioned as Brouwer before 1811, he might have also registered as Heslinga.
See: Heritage Foundation Heslinga – Genealogy

Klaas Gerbens x 1
Hendrikje Alberts † Sint Annaparochie 31 Oct. 1769
x 2 (his second cousin) Sint Annaparochie 29 July 1770
Tætske Sipkes Heslinga * Hitzum 2 Aug. 1743 † Sate 3 Súdhoek Sint Annaparochie 12 Aug. 1825 (according to death certificate 81 years old, this does not correspond with statement of birth date) [] Bitgum row 16, daughter of Sipke Jans, farmer in Hitzum (probably at nr. 8), and of Pietje Petrus Heslinga.
After the death of her husband, Tætske is  owner (for three-quarters) and user of Sate nr. 3 in the Súdhoek of Sint Annaparochie. She farms there with her grandson Klaas and probably Reimer, this is also where she died; her daughter-in-law Aukje Reimers Koopal moves in 1821 to Sint Annaparochie, it is in all likelihood that her younger sons Sipke, Wop and Jelle are living with her.
Apart from a share in the farm Sate 3 Tætske owns: one Garden, large one and ninety rods, five and eighty ells, and one and ninety palms square, located East at and below St Anna Parochie.
On 8 August 1825 – four days before her death – she sold the apples, pears and walnuts on auction, the proceedings being f 271,50.

At the start of his second marriage, Klaas Gerbens had de household effects described for his daughter Aaltsje (Het Bildt Orphanage books R.A.-H 33).
See: Supplement I Inventory descriptions 2

Klaas Gerbens Brouwer and Tætske Sipkes Heslinga have their will drawn up on 17 Nov. 1800 (Het Bildt – Notarial Archives 559).
See: Supplement I Inventory descriptions 3

Tætske Sipkes Heslinga has her will drawn up again as widow on 31 July 1824. After her passing her household effects are inventoried and assessed in the house of mourning on 25 August and on 24 September 1825 (Het Bildt – Notarial Archives 885).
See: Supplement I Inventory descriptions 4

On 4 December 1825 the heirs request a public sale of the house, the land and the contents (according to a note in the document below).
See: Supplement I Inventory descriptions 5

Sate 3 in the Súdhoek of Sint Annaparochie below Bitgum, three generations of Brouwer farm here. Photo: Bauke Postma. Collection Heritage Foundation

From the marriage of Klaas Gerbens Brouwer and Hendrikje Alberts two children are known:
1 Gerben Klazes ~ Sint Annaparochie 28-7-1765 † before 29-7-1770
2 Aaltje Klazes Brouwer ~ Sint Annaparochie 7-9-1766 † Kollum 25-11-1849, 83 years, 12:30 a.m., house nr. 114, district A; Came over with attestation from Leeuwarden to Ref. Church Kollum 5-6-1796; saleswoman in Kollum in 1834; in 1849 no profession there;
x Anne Lubberts Kloosterman * approx. 1756 † Kollum 4-4-1814, 58 years, 1:00 p.m., house nr. 110, district A; merchant in Kollum, son of Lubbert Annes and Trijntje Theunis.
According to the deed of name registration in 1811 Anne Lubberts adopts the name Kloosterman for himself and en his six children, from the registers of baptisms five children are known:
1 Lubbartus Annes Kloosterman * Kollum 23-8-1798 ~ there 9-9-1798 † there 18-6-1821
2 Trijntje Annes Kloosterman * Kollum 27-11-1800 ~ there 7 Dec. 1800;
x Kollum 27 Sept. 1834 Haye Tjerks Hacquebord * Leeuwarden, rope-maker in Kollum, son of Tjerk Hayes Hacquebord, rope-maker in Leeuwarden, since 1802 in Kollum on the Westerdjipswâl with a second ropewalk in Dokkum, and of Tietje Feddes de Mol, saleswoman there
3 Hendrik * Kollum 25 May 1803 ~ there 5 June 1803
4 Theunis * Kollum 23 April 1806 ~ there 15 May 1806
5 Gerben * Kollum 11 Feb. 1810 ~ there 4 March 1810.

From the marriage of Klaas Gerbens Brouwer and Tætske Sipkes Heslinga two children are known:
3 Gerben Klazes Brouwer ~ Sint Annaparochie 21-7-1771
4 Gerben Klazes Brouwer, follow X

X Gerben Klazes Brouwer * Sint Annaparochie 2 June 1777 ~ Sint Annaparochie 15 June 1777 † Sate 3 Súdhoek below Sint Annaparochie 24 June 1818, 8 p.m. [] Bitgum row 16, lying tombstone, original epitaph:

Gerben Klazes is farmer with his own property at Sate nr. 3 in the Súdhoek of Sint Annaparochie below Bitgum. He is on the list of most highly regarded persons in the region of Het Bildt. (11 April 1812).
He is churchwarden and guardian of the poor of the Ref. Church of Sint Annaparochie 7 June 1808-5 June 1818; power of attorney of water authority ‘Het Oud Bildt’ for Sint Annaparochie 5 June 1810-17 June 1813; member municipal council for Sint Annaparochie 1 Jan. 1812-1 Oct. 1816; substitute bailiff (before 1814 the name was adjunct maire/deputy mayor) there 21 Jan. 1814 until his death.

Sate nr. 3 is located in the municipality Het Bildt and belongs to the bell of Sint Annaparochie. Gerben Klazes is as a resident of Het Bildt in part deputy mayor and as Sint Annebuorster churchwarden and guardian of the poor of Sint Annaparochie. But the daily life is focused on Bitgum. As such they are registered there with the church, the children are baptized and buried there and they also go to school there.

Gerben Klazes x Sint Annaparochie 5 Nov. 1797
Aukje Reimers Koopal, in documents signs her name as: Koop=al, * Vrouwenparochie 16 Nov. 1775 ~ there 25 Dec. 1775 † Bitgum 13 Dec. 1856 [] Bitgum row 31, grave 1; daughter of Reimer Sjoerds Koopal, farmer in the Súdhoek of Vrouwenparochie, churchwarden and guardian of the poor there, and of Jeltje Wopkes Tolsma, as widow owner and user of land below Vrouwenparochie.
Gerben and Aukje confirm at age 38 and 36 according to the Church member list Ref. Church Bitgum: 1816 On 11 February are as church members of our Religious community, after having their confession of faith taken, before the Church council accepted: Gerben Klazes Brouwer & Aukje Reimers Koopal Spouses/…/
According to the church member register of Bitgum Aukje Reimers moves – with attestment of the Ref. Church Bitgum – to Sint Annaparochie 7 Nov. 1821, she lives there with no profession, later in Bitgum.
See: Genealogy Koopal – IV4.3

Under Napoleon’s rule, a list of the sixhundred taxpayers who own the most is drawn up in each Department. The list for Friesland, compiled by the Department of Finance in Paris according to the holdings of the municipal councils, dates from 11 April 1812. Among the thirty people with the most wealth in Het Bildt is noted under Sint Annaparochie Gerben Klazes Brouwer.

Of the six hundred richest Frisians, 47 lived in Het Bildt at the time, which is 8%, while the Bildt population (4,883), made up 2.6% of the Frisian population at that time (175,375).
Of the Biltse population, 1% belonged to these wealthy people, in contrast, 13 to 16% were poor.

A big difference between rich and poor (Source, among others: W.Tsj. Vleer.)

Gerben and Aukje’s eleventh child, Jelle, is smallholder in Het Bildt. He hasn’t farmed so well that he could live off it on his old day and dies in the poorhouse in Berltsum.
However, the elderly of his time could end up in the poorhouse for a fee – which would then serve as a retirement home. How Jelle arranged this is not known; he is not married and has no children either.
There is an obituary of him in the Leeuwarder Courant of 12-1-1897, and that is not reserved for the poor. But it could also be that his well-to-do nephew Gerben Reimers (XII.1) financed this.

Jelle gerbens Brouwer rouadvertinsje

Today our dear Uncle/JELLE GERBENS BROUWER, passed away at the/age of over 81 years./Berlikum, 9 January 1897./G.R. Brouwer./Notification to Family, Friends and/Acquaintances./

According to tradition from various lines of his descendants Gerben Klazes once stood up in the middle of a a sermon in a church in Bitgum and shouted: Come, come, all miracles, all miracles!
It is noteworthy that this saying – which became a proverb with his descendants – was even handed down through the ‘Indian Brouwers’ (the descendants of Meindert Wopkes XII 33.). Maria Martha Warners-Brouwer – a great-great-granddaughter – could repeat this saying in Frisian (summer 1973). And also this: Gerben Klazes later did not come to church anymore. When asked about the reason, he said: What is gained by the soul is lost by the body. It was always so cold in church. His descendants later took on the meaning both literally and figuratively. From the same source, the following was reported from the Dutch East Indies: Gerben Klazes liked to drink and so he occasionally came home inebriated. One of those times he called his wife. But she did not want to come out of anger. He would have thought: If you do not come to me, I will come to you. And so he stepped into the room on horseback. The story also goes that when Gerben and Aukje got married, Gerben told Aukje: Give me your paw Auk. Here you have it Gerrem. The same also happened about seventy years earlier with Tsjalling Camstra en Auck Haersma: Give me your paw Auck. Here you have it Tsjalling.
Could that be where the story came from?

(Below is the spelling of the first names as they appear in the baptismal books.) From the marriage of Gerben and Aukje thirteen children are known, five of whom lived to become adults. The first Jeltje became fourteen years old, the first Klaas about one year, the first Tætske almost five months, the second Tætske a year and a half, the third Tætske seven years and eight months, the first Jelle seven months, the second Jeltje a year and a half, and the third Jeltje five months.
In 1818 Gerben Klazes and two of the children died. Shortly before Gerben’s death his daughter Tætske of seven years, and a month and a half after his death Jeltje of five months.

1 Jeltje Gerbens Brouwer * Sate nr. 3 Súdhoek Sint Annaparochie 1 May 1798 ~ Sint Annaparochie 27 May 1798 † Súdhoek Sint Annaparochie 5 May 1812, nr.
2 Klaas Gerbens * Sate nr. 3 Súdhoek Sint Annaparochie 28 April 1800 ~ Bitgum 8 June 1800 † before 21 Dec. 1801
3 Klaas Gerbens Brouwer * Sate nr. 3 Súdhoek Sint Annaparochie 21 Dec. 1801~ Bitgum 31 Jan. 1802 † Menaam (Bitgum) 23 Sept. 1878 [] Bitgum row 14
Obituary Leeuwarder Courant 27 Sept. 1878:
Died in Menaldum, Klaas G./Brouwer, about 77 years old./23 September ’78./Solely for notification./
Klaas has been a tenant of his family on his parents’ farm in the Súdhoek below Sint Anne since 7 Jan. 1823 (36 bunder en 74 square rods; 13 bunder pasture and 23 bunder field); later driver in Bitgum (house B22);

x Sint Annaparochie 1 June 1823 Maaike Oenes Wouda * Bitgum 22 Dec. 1801~ there 3 Jan. 1802 † there 4 June 1870 [] there row14, grave 11; in 1823 bachelor girl in Sint Annaparochie, daughter of Oene Wytses Wouda, skipper in Bitgum, and of Janke Foppes Fopma

This was a saying in Bitgum: First farmer, then innkeeper, then with the bottom on the wagon and then as worker until the end. Klaas and Maaike did not go through all these stages.
A variant in Vrouwenparochie-Stiens, communicated by Pieter Sipke Bouma in Stiens: First farmer, then innkeeper, then with the bottom on the wagon, horse dead and the wagon worn-out.
Yet another – not much more light-hearted variant: First farmer, then innkeeper, the coach-box broken and the wagon worn-out, as is the worker in the end.

4 Reimer Gerbens Brouwer, follow XI.1
5 Theedske Gerbens Brouwer * Sate nr. 3 Súdhoek Sint Annaparochie 30 Dec. 1806 ~ Bitgum 1 Feb. 1807 † Sate nr. 3 Súdhoek Sint Annaparochie 26 May 1807 [] Bitgum row 16
6 Sipke Gerbens Brouwer, see: Genealogy Brouwer 2
7 Teertske Gerbens Brouwer * Sate nr. 3 Súdhoek Sint Annaparochie 1 Feb. 1809 ~ Bitgum 12 March 1809 † before 18 Sept. 1810 [] Bitgum row 16
8 Theetske Gerbens Brouwer * Sate nr. 3 Súdhoek Sint Annaparochie 18 Sept. 1810 ~ Bitgum 7 Oct. 1810 † Sate nr. 3 Súdhoek Sint Annaparochie 30 May 1818, 8 p.m. (on the death certificate the first name is spelled as: Tææske) [] Bitgum row 16
9 Wopke Gerbens Brouwer, see: Genealogy Brouwer 3
10 Jelle Gerbens Brouwer * Sate nr. 3 Súdhoek Sint Annaparochie 26 Aug. 1813 ~ Bitgum 26 Sept. 1813 † Sate nr. 3 Súdhoek Sint Annaparochie 15 March 1814, 8 a.m. [] Bitgum row 16
11 Jelle Gerbens Brouwer * Sate nr. 3 Súdhoek Sint Annaparochie 17 Feb. 1815 ~ Bitgum 19 March 1815 † Berltsum 8 Jan. 1897, 9 a.m.; smallholder in the Súdhoek of Sint Annaparochie, with his brother Wopke owner of a bunder of land below Sint Annaparochie; in 1890 no profession, living with a shoemaker in Dronryp; lives after 1891 in the poorhouse in Bitgum, since 1 April 1894 in the poorhouse in Berltsum
12 Jeltje Gerbens Brouwer * Sate nr. 3 Súdhoek Sint Annaparochie 28 May 1816 ~ Bitgum 23 June 1816 † Sate nr. 3 Súdhoek Sint Annaparochie 30 Dec. 1817 [] Bitgum row 16
13 Jeltje Gerbens Brouwer * Sate nr. 3 Súdhoek Sint Annaparochie 3-2-1818, 8 a.m. † there 29-6-1818, 9 p.m. [] Bitgum row 16

XI.1 Reimer Gerbens Brouwer * Sate nr. 3 Súdhoek Sint Annaparochie 28-12-1802 ~ Bitgum 30-1-1803 † Sjoelema farm Menaam below Bitgum 16-9-1871, 68 years, [] Bitgum row 16, grave 4; worked at and was smallholder on his parents’ farm before his marriage; at time of marriage smallholder in Menaam; since (probably) 1828 cattle and potato farmer on Sjoelema farm in the township of Koutum in Menaam below Bitgum (M51, about 70 pm); at time of the death of his son Klaas in 1869 he was known as smallholder, at time of his death no profession.
x Menameradiel 12-11-1828, 25 and 22 years, Jantje Rinses Haadsma * Oosterbierum 7-1-1806 ~ there 2-2-1806 † Schrans below Huizum 2-12-1878 [] Bitgum row 16, grave 3; at time of marriage no profession in Menaam; Reimer and Jantje moved 19-10-1838 with attestation from Bitgum to Menaam.
After Reimer’s death Jantje lived of independent means in the Schrans below Huizum; daughter of Rinse Ages Haadsma, farmer in Oosterbierum, later Minnertsga, since 1818 at Donia farm (also named Hemmema) in Menaam below Bitgum, church councilmember in Bitgum, and of Botje Tanes Faber.
See: Heritage Foundation Genealogy Haadsma

Of Reimer Gerbens I a silver ‘hare’s leap’ – this is a pipe cleaner – has been preserved and his silver birth spoon

Reimer Gerbens Brouwer - hazzesprong
Hare’s leap of Reimer Gerbens with a dog at the head: symbol of loyalty. Photos: Freek Zwart. Heritage Foundation – Collection Brouwer-Sint Annaparochie-Bitgum, donated by Roymer Doekeles Brouwer (XV.3.6)
Reimer Gerbens Brouwer - geboarteleppel
Birth spoon with on the outside of the bowl three generations of Reimer Gerbens Brouwer: 1802, 1856 and 1915. On the inside: Rense Ulbe 1 Dec. 1980 (son of Jehannes Ulbe Reimers Brouwer)
Property of: Rense Ulbe Brouwer (XVI.2.1.). See for description: Heritage Foundation – Silver – Brouwer, Reimer Gerbens
The earlier farmstead of Sjoelema farm at the Sânwei below Menaam, with a part of the ditch. The farm stood on the terp of Koutum. It is a bit of a convex angle: with the land consolidation this historical farmstead has not been made level. In the background is the township Paulus Tille. When Reimer Gerbens becomes farmer there Sjoelema farm is named ‘the Brouwers farm’, with the Brouwers ditch, -drive and –driveway; and the Brouwersland, which is still being called that for a long time, probably because their descendants still use it until the fifth generation after him. Photo: Bauke Postma. Collection Heritage Foundation
Jantje Rinses Haadsma obituary
Leeuwarder Courant, 6-12-1878

1 Gerben Reimers Brouwer, follow XII.1
2 Botje Reimers Brouwer * Sjoelema farm Menaam below Bitgum 24-8-1831 † there 8-11-1851 [] Bitgum row 16
3 Aukje Reimers Brouwer * Sjoelema farm in Menaam below Bitgum 29-3-1835 † there 23-5-1884, 49 years, [] Bitgum row 16, grave 6;
x Menameradiel 29-3-1862, 27 and 23 years, Jentje Dirks Siderius * Sint Jacobiparochie 4-8-1838; at time of marriage merchant in Ried, in 1864 there grower of vegetables; in 1868 smallholder in Dongjum; in 1870, 1892 smallholder and merchant in Bitgum (house nr. B38, after 1875 renumbered to nr. 52); emigrates in 1892 with his son Reimer to the United States; in 1898 farmer in Ashton, South Dakota, in 1915 cattle breeder in Chicago (H 10209, Lasellestr.); son of Dirk Dirks Siderius, in 1810, ’53 merchant in Sint Annaparochie, 1833-1838 farmer at Toerenburg (nr. 30) in Sint Annaparochie below Bitgum, after that farmer at Nij Bildt below Sint Jacobiparochie (nr. 34), and of Reinou Klazes de Groot, lives as widow with no profession in Ried;
Jentje x 2 Leeuwarderadeel 26-2-1898 Rinske Gerrits Plantinga; saleswoman in Stiens; daughter of Gerrit Gerrits Plantenga and Bootje Jacobs Damstra, widow of Wijtze Hiemstra
See: Johannes Woudstra, Siderius, de Familie en het Handschrift, own management, Ingelum, 2002 – XII.207, page 153 + idem, Schema Siderius-Brouwer-Koopmans/Koopal-Heslinga, pages 176 and 177
4 Rinse Reimers Brouwer, follow XII.2
5 Jeltje Reimers Brouwer * Sjoelema farm in Menaam below Bitgum 30-12-1840 † Everett, Washington, USA, possibly in 1910, 69 years, [] Event Place Everett Ward 2, Snonomish, Washington; in 1874 merchant in the Schrans below Huizum, in 1893 there with no profession; moves in 1902 to Everett, Washington, USA, is there named Geltzie Fisher (according to the phonetics of Jeltsy (Jeltje) and Vries, separate from the etymological base); Jeltje lives in with her son Reimer Gerrits de Vries, who has property under the name Ralph Fisher (* Bitgummole 12-2-1871 † Yakima, Washington 26-9-1956; x 25-11-1897 Mary Ann Gedes * Banff, Scotland 10-3-1871 † Levenworth, Washington 4-5-1951; children: Annie, Janet and Georg Fisher;
x Menaam 9-5-1866, 25 and 27 years, Gerryt Foppes de Vries (at birth registered as Gerryt, later it is usually Gerrit) * Bitgum 12-5-1838 † below Huizum 3-9-1877, house nr. 143, 39 year, [] Bitgum, row 6, grave 13 (his death is announced by his father and Keimpe Tjeerds de Vries, blacksmith below Huizum); until 1867 smith’s helper with his father in Bitgum; from 11-6-1867 until 10-3-1868 smith’s helper in Leeuwarden; after that smith’s helper with his brother in Bitgum (house nr. 11a); in 1871 skipper in Bitgum; the household moves on 21-10-1874 to Huizum (Schrans 283K), Gerryt is there worker; son of Foppe Pieters de Vries, blacksmith in Menaam and Bitgummole, and Rinske Jacobs Hiemstra
6 Froukje Reimers Brouwer * Sjoelema farm in Menaam below Bitgum 20-3-1844, 11 p.m., † Sint Jacobiparochie 14-9-1928 [] Sint Jacobiparochie row 4 grave 50; innkeeper in De Brouwerij in Sint Jacobiparochie, there also saleswoman;
x Hennaarderadeel 17 Feb. 1864, 21 and 19 years, Æsge Ypes de Vries * Wommels 7-2-1843 † Sint Jacobiparochie 14-2-1929 [] Sint Jacobiparochie row 4, grave 50; from 1-12-1861 until 13-5-1865 baker’s helper with Fokke Abdias Buwalda in Bitgum (nr. 76); after that in Franeker, living in Wommels; at time of marriage baker’s helper in Wommels; came on Alde Maaie (12 May) 1866 from Easterwierrum to Bitgum; the household lives a while with Froukje’s father and mother at Sjoelema farm; in 1866 skipper in Menaam below Bitgum, after that beerhouse holders in Sint Jacobiparochie at the Súdeand (now nr. 4) in De Brouwerij (according to tradition the inn is named after Froukje’s family name.); son of Ype Ypes de Vries, before his marriage baker’s helper in Reduzum, after that baker in Wommels, and of Ymkje Annes Roorda

Portret Froukje Reimers Brouwer
Æsge Ypes de Vries and Froukje Reimers Brouwer. Photographer: De Jong, Leeuwarden, Heereveen, Sneek. Collection Brouwer-Bitgum – Heritage Foundation
De Brouwerij te St.-Jabik
De Brouwerij at the Súdeand in Sint Jacobiparochie. Froukje Reimers Brouwer and Æsge Ypes de Vries are innkeeper here. Supposdely the inn is named after Froukje’s surname. Photo Bildts Aigene
Froukje Reimers Brouwer grêfstien
Froukje Reimers Brouwer and Æsge Ypes de Vries have identical tombstones in the cemetery in Sint Jacobiparochie. Son en daughter-in-law Ype Æsges de Vries and Aaltje Rientses Tuinhof are also buried there

Epitaphs were:
RESTING PLACE/of/Froukje Reimers/Brouwer/Born 20 March 1844/in Menaldum/Died 14 Sept 1928/in St. Jac. Parochie/Wife of/Æsge Ypes de Vries/
and of/Aaltje R. Tuinhof/Born 5 Sept. 1865/Died 7 Dec. 1937

RESTING PLACE/of/Æsge Ypes de Vries/Born 7 Feb. 1843/in Wommels/Died 14 Feb. 1929/in St. Jac. Parochie/Widower of/Froukje R. Brouwer/
and of/Ype Æsges de Vries/Born 7 Dec. 1864/Died 31 Oct. 1939

Rouadvertinsje AEsge Ypes de Vries 1929
Leeuwarder Courant, 15 and 19-2-1929

Brechtje Reimers Brouwer (XIII.1.3) is family-sick: she has interest not only in her closest relatives, but also in a wide range of great-great-grandnieces and nephews. She has a broad field of view of her family. She maintains contact with her nephew Jan Jabiks Kortje, who represents the Communist Party of the Netherlands in the States Provincial and likes stay with her as a guest, as well as with Mr. Goud, husband of niece De Haan, who is a member of queen Wilhelmina’s Court. She sends her children in that respectable family-sick setting for clogs to an great-aunt, 20 kilometres away.
Great nephew Sybe Harmens Andringa writes about his aunt Froukje and uncle Æsge: In Sint Jacobiparochie these elderly people had a shop with clogs and more stuff. Sometimes our mother sent us there as children to wear clogs. From Dyksterhuzen-Bitgummole to Sint Jacobiparochie was a long way. But at the time we went by tram, which was convenient.

7 Klaas Reimers Brouwer * Sjoelema farm in Menaam below Bitgum 15 Jan. 1846 † there 13 March 1869, 23 years, house nr. 167 [] Bitgum row 16, grave 5; at time of death no profession

Klaas Reimers Brouwer - tabaksdoaze
Of Klaas Reimers a silver tobacco box has been kept, inscription: K.R.B./1861. Photo: Freek Zwart


Below is an overview of the family of Reimer Gerbens Brouwer and Jantje Rinses Haadsma on Sjoelema farm from 1-12-1861 to 1869, with resident nephews and nieces, farmhands and maids. A coming and going on the farm in the township Koutum at the Sânwei between Bitgum and Menaam, north of the Hege Wier, past the hamlet Paulus Tille.
In addition to their own children, the following live in with Reimer and Jantje:
8 Botje Franzes Haadsma, niece; moves on Alde Maaie (12 May) 1862 to Menaam
9 Jorke Sybes Buwalda, farmhand; moves on Alde Maaie 1862 to Menaam
10 Marten Dirks de Boer, farmhand; moves on Alde Maaie 1862 to Menaam
11 Bauke Gerbens Heslinga, farmhand; moves on 5-5-1863 to Menaam
12 Jan Sybes Buwalda, farmhand; moves on 14-5-1865 to Sint Annaparochie
13 Willemke Pieters Swart, maid; moves on 12-11-1863 to Arum
14 Pieter Bloembergen, farmhand; moves on Alde Maaie 1866 to Menaam
15 Andries Pieters de Jager, farmhand; moves on Alde Maaie 1864 to Menaam
16 Jan Westra, farmhand; moves on Alde Maaie 1865 to Menaam
17 Meindert Andries Groeneveld, farmhand; moves on Alde Maaie 1865 to Bitgum
18 Trijntje Jans van der Meel, maid; moves on Alde Maaie 1866 to Bitgum
19 Æsges Ypes de Vries, son-in-law
20 Froukje Reimers Brouwer, daughter
21 Ype Æsges de Vries, grandson
22 Reimer Æsges de Vries, grandson
23 Lourens Tækes Postma, farmhand; moves on Alde Maaie 1867 to Bitgum
24 Kornelis Martens Kuperus, farmhand; moves on Alde Maaie 1867 to Bitgum
Click the image to enlarge:

XII.1 Gerben Reimers Brouwer * Sjoelema farm in Menaam below Bitgum 10 Nov. 1829, 11 a.m. † Bessebuorren in Menaam below Bitgum 1 July 1914 [] Bitgum row 16, grave 5.; smallholder/farmer at Bessebuorren in Menaam below Bitgum; since 1881 member College of Notables Ref Church in Bitgum (supervisory board of the churchwardens); writer/treasurer ‘Health insurance fund for the indigent’; commissioner Savings Bank Bitgum;
x Menameradiel 11 May 1853 (under prenuptial agreement) Brechtje Folkerts Damsma * Zomerzorg in Dyksterhuzen below Bitgum 7-1-1831 † Bessebuorren in Menaam below Bitgum 14-3-1921 [] Bitgum row 16, grave 6, earlier epitaph:
Brechtje makes her confession of faith in Bitgum on 27 March 1850; board member ‘Ladies’ Committee Useful Needlework’; daughter of Folkert Hendriks Damsma, farmer and merchant at Dyksterhuzen at Zomerzorg (B17), municipal councilmember of Menameradiel (1856-1877), accountant and examiner of water authority ‘Het Beetgumer en Engelumer Nieuwland’, churchwarden Ref. Church Bitgum, and of Maartje Dirks Koopmans, farmer with own property at Zomerzorg at Dyksterhuzen.
Damsma Family Tree – Generation IV.1
Frisian Pedigree book – Brouwer-Damsma

Gerben Reimers Brouwer
Portret Brechtje Folkerts Damsma
Brechtje Folkerts Damsma

1 Maartje Gerbens Brouwer * Bessebuorren in Menaam below Bitgum 6-9-1854 † Grut Alsert 28-1-1898, 43 years, [] Bitgum, row 12, grave 17;
x 1 Menameradiel 9-6-1874, 20 and 25 years, Foppe Thomas Dijkstra * Bitgummole 30-6-1849 † there in Grut Alsert, de Pôle, 12-6-1918, 67 years, [] Bitgum row 12, grave 17, farmer at Grut Alsert; churchwarden and guardian of the poor in Bitgum; steward fam. Thoe Schwartzenberg en Hohenlansberg; board member O.K.K. 1917-’18; son of Thomas Foppes Dijkstra, smallholder/farmer at Grut Alsert, member Zetterscollege (=tax advice committee); examiner and board member water authorities ‘De Beetgumer Nieuwlands Polder’ and ‘De Engelumer Polder’, and Jantje Ritskes Fierstra
Foppe x 2 Menameradiel 10-1-1901 Antje Pieters Visser * Pingjum 21-2-1846 † Bitgummole 10-11-1934 [] Bitgum; daughter of Pieter Ales Visser, student teacher in Tzum, teacher and assistant teacher in Pingjum, and Elisabeth Tozijns Bokma;
Antsje x 1 Rinse Andries Miedema * Minnertsga 10-9-1838 † Bitgummole 30-11-1888 [] Bitgum, baker there; son of Andries Anes Miedema, baker in Minnertsga, and Lutgertje Arends Witholt
See: Jan Dijkstra, Familiepraat, Genealogy Dykstra – Heritage Foundation, Pedigree Anneke Bouma, nr. 27 – Genealogy Fierstra, IV.1.1
See: Genealogy Dijkstra (Bitgum)

Portret Maartje Gerbens Brouwer
Maartje Gerbens Brouwer
Maartje Gerbens Brouwer ruadv
Leeuwarder Courant, 31-1 and 2 en 4-2-1898

2 Reimer Gerbens Brouwer, follow XIII.1
3 Jantje Gerbens Brouwer * Bessebuorren in Menaam below Bitgum 1-5-1860 † Leeuwarden 16-10-1930, 69 years; hotel-café-restaurant owner at the Langemerstraat in Leeuwarden
x Menameradiel 18-5-1882, 22 and 23 years, Abe Martens Siderius * Vrouwenparochie 19-12-1858 † Sneek 9-2-1913, 74 years, [] Leeuwarden; in 1882, ’83 no profession in Vrouwenparochie; in 1885, ’86 there jockey; in 1888 idem in Sint Annaparochie; since then in Leeuwarden; publican, coffee house and lodging host, hotel-café-restaurant owner at the Langemerstraat in Leeuwarden (other addresses: Spoorstraat 24, Leeuwarden; Korte Veemarktstraat 10, Sneek); son of Marten Everts Siderius, cattle and potato farmer in Vrouwenparochie, and Grietje Abes van der Vlag
See: Genealogy Abe Martens Siderius
See: Johannes Woudstra, Siderius, de Familie en het Handschrift, own management, Ingelum, 2002) – XIII.268, page 175 + idem, Schema Siderius-Brouwer-Koopmans/Koopal-Heslinga, pages 176 and 177

Portert Jantje Gerbens Brouwer
Jantje Gerbens Brouwer

Jantje can get suitors. When Jantje comes home late at night from dancing, and appears before her father and mother’s bed, she says: “This evening I danced with my husband.” That is Abe Siderius. (HJdJ)

4 Folkje Gerbens Brouwer * Bessebuorren in Menaam below Bitgum 22-7-1864 † Bitgum 27-1-1939, 74 years, [] Bitgum row 20, grave 10; cattle and potato farmer in Bitgum; member ‘Ladies’ Committee Useful Needlework’;
x Menameradiel 25-10-1888, 24 and 27 years, Jitze Harkes de Jong * Berltsum 26-10-1860 † Bitgum 17-1-1951, 90 years, [] Bitgum, row 20, grave 10; cattle and potato farmer and driver with ‘It Tiltsje’ in Bitgum; 1907 member preparatory committee water authority ‘De Trije Doarpen’, since its foundation in 1911 board member; son of Harke Jitzes de Jong, innkeeper in Berltsum, innkeeper at ‘By de Greate Pomp’ in Bitgum, carriage owner, has since 1881 ferry service in Leeuwarden, and Hylkje Sybolts Feenstra
See: Genealogy De Jong (Bitgum)

Folkje Gerbens Brouwer
Rouadvertinsje Gerben Reimers Brouwer LC 1914
Leeuwarder Courant 6 july 1914

Gerben Reimers Brouwer buys half of the terp Bessum (48,030 ha.) in 1886, and, as terp owner, has it excavated from 1 March 1887 to 1890. The excavated corner – the Sâne – is now protected as a geological monument.
From Gerben’s half, 65,000 tonnes of mound mud are transported by 140 ships in 2,120 hauls. The digging is done by hand: the mud is driven into the ships by wheelbarrows. The 37 workers who work there earn an average of 7 to 8 cents an hour.
The other half is bought and excavated by Johannes Andries Tiemersma, butter and cheese merchant in Deinum and when he buys the property with no profession in Ee, see for personal details § Christian national education

Many mound finds have been preserved and transferred to the Fries Museum in Leeuwarden: bones, pots, potsherds, Roman coins, beads, fibulae (cloth and cloak pins).
The Brouwers have an eye for those findings. Although it is rushed work, – the skippers have to hurry as do the workers – time is taken to salvage the antiquities. As such a string of beads is revealed from which the binding tulle has decayed. Soon the maid is called for thread and needle, the beads are hastily threaded and, along with the other excavated goods, brought home.

Among the literally and figuratively large finds, the Roman votive stone is dedicated to the goddess of fishing, Hludana, found on 15 August 1888. The Fries Museum registered at that time 1,076 finds from the terp Bessum.


The votive stone of Hludana is made of limestone, 56 cm high, 59.5 cm wide and 21 cm thick. The top half is missing. There probably would have been an image of the goddess on it.
The complete text in Latin reads: Deae Hludanae conductors piscatus mancipe Quinto Valerio Secundo Votum Solverunt Libentes Merito
Translation: To the goddess Hludana, the tenants of the fishery under manseps (overseer, inspector) Quintus Valerius Secundus (the second) paid their vows willingly and according to merit.

Hludana, also called Luciana, is a Germanic goddess who was revered especially on the Rhine. This altar stone is the only stone with a Roman inscription north of the main arm of the Rhine, it probably dates from around the year 275 AD. Bitgum was at that time a fishing town and port on the Middelzee and possibly the fish is sold to Roman garrisons. Overseers like Quintus Valerius may have overseen that fishery. This is how the votive stone could have ended up on Bessum. Another theory is that the stone was taken as a souvenir by Frisian soldiers who served in the Roman army, or by merchants. Or, perhaps the people here already worshiped Hludana, or wanted to worship her and could not make such beautiful altar stones. Missionaries might later have cut the stone’s head off.
-T. Kingma, De skienis fan Bitgum en Bitgummole

From 1887 to 1891 Gerben Reimers kept a ledger of the excavation of the terp – the so-called ‘Terpboek’. There he recorded the names of the skippers, the dates and the amount of tonnes they transported. This book has been donated to Heritage Foundation – Collection Brouwer-Bitgum.

Brouwer terpboek skippers
Part of a page from the ‘Terpboek’ with names of skippers and the amounts of tonnes of mound soil that they transport
Brouwer terpboek útjeften
A page from the ‘Terpboek’ with an overview of expenses in 1887
Brouwer Terpbriefke
Terp letter where the name of the skipper, the amount of tonnes of mound mud, the amount of cents and the date are filled in

Gerben Reimers Brouwer is the first patron of the Bitgumer Frisian handball club O.K.K. (Oefening Kweekt Kunst – loosely translated: Practice Makes Perfect), from 1895 until his death. Tusken Gripe and Telegraaf (issued at one hundred years of O.K.K.) reports (p. 23) that according to the annual reports of O.K.K. they regularly appear when medals are made available for Frisian handball: ‘so in 1905 he gave one for the farthest boppeslach (an exceptional sports performance in Frisian handball); in 1906 one for most boppeslaggen; in 1907 one for most of the boppeslaggen in one party; in 1908 a silver medal for the farthest bopeslach; in 1909 for the last winning slach of the party. The caliber of his precious metal is usually not mentioned’. This means it’s gold.

Below is the charter of O.K.K. from probably 1940. Two grandchildren and namesakes of Gerben Reimers I are committee members:
Gerben Jitzes de Jong is chairman from 1918-1944 and Gerben Foppes Dijkstra is treasurer 1936-’52.
The other committee members are:
-Jan Lieuwes Sijtsma * Bitgum 26-12-1885 † Leeuwarden 12-8-1968 [] Bitgum; worker in Bitgum (village area of Menaam and Sint Annaparochie); committee member 1924-1941 (1927- ’41 writer), 1945-1956 again committee member (from May 1953 to April 1954 acting chairman); creates Frisian handball slogans and plays, among others ‘op ’e Nije Gripe’; son of Lieuwe Jobs Sijtsma, worker in Bitgum, and Uilkje Pieters Brouwers;
x 1 Menameradiel 28-5-1908, Aukje Jacobs Klaver * Berltsum 22-2-1885 † Sint Annaparochie 6-12-1909, 24 years, [] Bitgum;
x 2 Menameradiel 23-5-1912 Aaltje Jelles de Vries * Bitgum 6-2-1890 † there 5-3-1955 [] Bitgum
-Tjiepke Jans Bouma (Tsjip) * Franeker 19-9-1863 † Dyksterhuzen below Bitgummole 23-8-1947 [] Ingelum; worker and smallholder at Dyksterhuzen; committee member O.K.K. 1922-’35 (treasurer 1932-’35) and again committee member 1937-’42; son of Jan Tjiepkes Bouma (signs his marriage certificate with Bouwma), worker in Ingelum, Franeker and Bitgum, and Aafke Romkes Bontekoe, maid in Ingelum, worker in Bitgum;
x Menameradiel 25-5-1896 Tietje Martens Bokma * Vrouwenparochie 8-4-1870 † 1-8-1953 [] Ingelum
-Jan Groen * Sint Jacobiparochie 20-11-1895; at time of marriage farmer in Boer, afterwards with the De Jongs in Bitgum; secretary O.K.K. 1942-’44; son of Pieter Jans Groen, worker in Sint Jacobiparochie and in Boer, and Jeltje Jans Vrieswijk;
x Menameradiel 7-10-1920 Rinske Durks Limburg * Berltsum 4-11-1896
See: Tusken Gripe en Telegraaf – Chapters 1, 5 and 16
Click the arrows on the sides

Brechtje, who is a granddaughter of the donor of the ‘Ouwe Gryp’, and Gerben donated the ‘Nije Gripe’ to OKK on the occasion of their 60th wedding anniversary in 1913, on the condition that this prize did not leave Bitgum.

Gerben Reimers Brouwer en Brechtje Folkerts Damsma, 60 jier troud
Gerben Reimers Brouwer and Brechtje Folkerts Damsma, portrayed on their diamond jubilee. Brechtje lays her hand on her husband’s sweet old fist, other Brouwers certainly did not let this happen on their portraits
Nije Gripe-liet
Song made in honor of the donation of the ‘Nije Gripe’. D.H.Z. stands for Doeke Hendriks Zijlstra, editor of ‘Sljucht en Rjucht’, the predecessor of ‘Frysk en Frij’, to which Gerben Reimers Brouwer has a subscription. Gerben is quite deaf in his old age – a Brouwer defect – but with his ear trumpet he can just about hear the singers
Nije Gripe
The ‘Nije Gripe’ in its bell jar. Photo: Het Hoge Noorden / Jaap Schaaf. Collection Heritage Foundation


Tusken Gripe & Telegraaf – histoaryske kronyk oer it keatsen yn Bitgum en Bitgummole fan 1895-1995 – Goasse Brouwer: Yn ’e greep fan ’e Gripe, OKK Bitgum, Koperative Utjowerij, 1995
O.K.K. Gripe historie

After Gerben’s death, Brechtje is of course not alone in Bitgum, she does not cut herself off from the community. But her daughter Jantje, a catering entrepreneur in Leeuwarden, wants her to get a companion lady. She herself is now from a different environment and so is her mother now. She affectionately places her delicate status on her mother. The companion lady is Dina, from Leeuwarden. It is a satisfactory arrangement, from both sides. When grandson Hylke, still a young boy, approaches his grandmother late one morning, he calls out “Grandma, where is Dina?” “Hylke, she’s lying in the upstairs room boy, I brought her two eggs on bread and a cup of hot cocoa.” “But Dina should bring this to Grandma, now Grandma always does it, even we do not get that.”
“Oh dear boy, here it is.”
The other day, Grandma says to Hylke: “Look what Aunt Jantje brought us, two delicious roasted wood pigeons, look, she has hidden them in this preserving bottle of apple sauce. I did not see them at first, and she said nothing about them. That rascal. I have them heated for an in-between meal for us. The meat’s just falling off the bone, and she has made it so spicy, they say it’s a delicacy in Leeuwarden, that’s our Jantje. Tasty, isn’t it, Hylke my boy.”

Gerben Reimers Brouwer II is not churchgoing. He does not want to become a churchwarden either; he is notable though, as a financial backer. He only comes in on New Year’s Eve. On New Year’s morning, it is invariably announced that a princely find’ has been found in the offertory bag.
Brechtje does go to church every Sunday. Gerben is obliged to carry her Bible book to the church entrance. Then he goes back. One asks him: “Why will you not enter the church, Brouwer?” To which he replies: “I am a bearer, not a hearer of the Word.” (Compare James 1:22 – But be doers of the word, and not merely hearers who deceive themselves; and the “liberal” hymn 225: O Savior, faithful Lord, may our tongue praise You, yet also through deed praise be to You! If from the withered heart no acts of love arise, then the songs are dead, the hymns will be without power.)
Gerben Reimers is a doer and moreover, quite deaf in his old age, so listening is all the more a difficult side issue. Deafness is a Brouwer problem, which remarkably manifests itself in almost all lines, especially in the males. For his comfort, Gerben brings a considerable horn with a nozzle for his left ear.
Near the end of Brechtje Damsma’s life a census is being taken. In it is also recorded which church people belong to. Brechtje must have said then: Just write that I belong Reimer’s church of our Reimer. Reimer, meanwhile, had already converted to the Reformed church with his family. (DGB)

On Saturday, February 7, 1970 a Brouwers evening is held. After the death of Brechtje Reimers Brouwer, at her funeral ‘the idea is raised by the family to come together one year from this funeral, that is to say, direct descendants of Old Gerben Brouwer and Brechtje Damsma and naturally their spouses and children’ writes Brechtje’s son Sybe Andringa. From that evening he makes a comprehensive description, which will be made available later on this website. Reimer van Tuinen edits Andringa’s impression into a publication. Below is a snippet from the recollections of four grandchildren. For the full text, see: Report of the Brouwers evening held on Saturday 7 February 1970 in Bitgum in ‘By de Greate Pomp’.
The family trees at the back of this booklet are not included here because they are limited to names and dates, and moreover – however useful it might be for a global overview – is full of errors. This bare genealogical framework will be placed on this website by Heritage Foundation in a more decorated way, but that is still work in progress and for the last generations depends on the cooperation of the parties involved.
Click the arrows on the sides

Report of the Brouwers evening held on Saturday 7 February 1970 in Bitgum in ‘By de Greate Pomp’.

Sybe Harmens Andringa
Son of Brechtje Reimers Brouwer (VIII.1.3)

Portret Sybe Harmens Andringa en Richtje Synes Nauta
Sybe Harmens Andringa and Richtje Synes Nauta

My oldest memories go back to when I was about three years old, and my father once took me to the old farm of Grandpa Reimer and Grandma Nynke. Great-grandpa Gerben was also there, in the cowshed. Dad wanted me to say hello to Grandpa, but when he, because he was deaf, held a copper ear trumpet to his ear, I did not want to yell in that horn. Dad then picked me up and held me above it, but I did nothing but cry: “Scared, scared.”

To my knowledge, I was in a similar position again a couple of years later, when a young horse helper lifted me up and pushed me under the horse’s tail. Then I cried again: “Scared, scared.”

To give an impression of what Grandpa Gerben was like, the following: on 22 February 1907, the Friesch Dagblad wrote that ‘during a violent thunderstorm accompanied by storm and hail, the farm of S.H. Andringa in Koehool below Oosterbierum was struck by lightning and burned down’. That same spring, Harmen and Brechtje would get married and move to the farm in Dyksterhuzen. There was a postcard from Reimer Brouwer with the report of the fire, ending with: ‘And now all my potatoes are burnt as well’. When Grandpa Gerben heard that, he said: The boy – Harmen, that is – doesn’t need to worry about those potatoes, he will get them from me. Now you can forget about the fire and much more. This reaction was Grandpa Gerben to a tee. That’s when Harmen knew he was accepted into the family.

Of Grandma Brechtje I still remember that she often told the story of the Judgement of Solomon and the clock. How the executioner, with his sword on the baby’s behind, waited for the fatal bell toll, while one mother didn’t know what to do from grief and the other was pleased. Even a school teacher could not tell it more beautifully than Grandma did back then. You could set Grandma’s clock to it.

My grandmother made a deep impression on me when I was young. Her statement: “I have found my Saviour” took on a new meaning for me at her funeral, when Rev. Van der Ven [Antoine Louis Theodore, Dutch Reformed minister in Bitgum from 1919 to 1927] – of the ‘big church’ – addressed the people, standing in the open door, with the text Matthew 25: 34-40:
Then the king will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world;
for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me,
I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’
Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink?
And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing?
And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’
And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’
This occupied me completely as a boy, and I never saw Bitgum again the way I saw it back then.

Gerben Jitzes de Jong
Son of Folkje Gerbens Brouwer (XII.1.4)

Portret Gerben Jitzes de Jong en Hermina Dijkstra
Gerben Jitzes de Jong and Hermina Dijkstra

Once a month my brothers Harke, Hielke, Bettus and I regularly brought some money to the Savings Bank. But first we went to visit our grandparents. Grandma immediately figured out our reason for stopping by, but Grandpa was so quick on the uptake, at least… Frequently the following act took place:
Grandma: “Gerben, the kids need to go to the Savings Bank.”
Grandpa, with his ear trumpet turned to Grandma: “What do the boys want Brechtje?”
Grandma then shouted as loud as she could: “The boys need to go to the Savings Bank.”
When it finally got through to Grandpa, he got up, took the purse out of the cabinet and gave us a trifle.

Grandpa was used to giving his grandchildren a watch when they turned twelve. But when I was almost ten, Grandpa was already getting on in years and in declining health. How did this come about? Luckily, Grandpa played it safe, and gave me, when I turned ten, the coveted watch.

When Grandpa went out for a walk, he usually walked on the tram tracks, stepping from one railway sleeper to the other. Since he was unable to hear a tram approaching, he had memorized the tram times very well. However, once, when he was on his way from Berltsum to Bitgum, in all peace of mind, that a machinist, black as soot, patted him on the shoulder and shouted: Listen, old man, this isn’t working out, is it? Grandpa looked behind him and there stood the freight tram. It had escaped him because it drove at irregular times. Yes, these things happened in an easy-going way back then, especially with the tram. For a cigar, they stopped everywhere.

Another short story. When the ladies, namely Ma and Hinke (Maartje Foppes Dijkstra and Hinke Reimers Brouwer) visited their grandparents, they liked to go boating. I then had to secretly untie the boat, then the ladies stepped in and there we went, sailing into the Bessebuorster canal and on. You can picture it! But if Grandpa was on to it, I was in trouble.

Janke Foppes Dijkstra
Daughter of Maartje Gerbens Brouwer (XII.1.1)

Portret Janke Foppes Dijkstra
Janke Foppes Dijkstra, married to Pieter Pylgers Miedema 

It was a wonderful time for me around Christmas, when we moved all the way from Bitgummole to Bitgum to stay with Grandma. Celebrating Christmas and New Year’s Eve with Grandma. We also played a lot of games, keno, for example. On New Year’s, Grandma stayed home from church to give the new year’s wishers a cent. The cup with cents stood ready early in the morning. In the afternoon, the people from poorhouse came to wish a happy new year and they each got a guilder!

I also remember the tram trip to Sint Jacobiparochie I took with my grandmother. Uncle Jitze’s son Harke was also allowed to join, he got off in Berltsum because there was market there. On the way back he came back to us in the tram, with powdered oliebollen and in a festive mood.

When Grandma told about her childhood, it was often about the Schwartzenbergs, among others about the young man with his white socks, and about the following interesting event. Aunt Jantje and freule (a noble lady) Jeanette were playing marbles, each on one side of the castle hedge. Jantje won and got a gold lock that she delightedly took home with her. But Grandpa said angrily: “Will you return that lock as soon as possible?”

Ma Foppes Dykstra
Youngest daughter of Maartje Gerbens Brouwer (XII.1.1)

Maartje Foppes Dijkstra

Grandpa and grandma were so open-hearted too – eating at Bitgumer grandma’s was a feast, you could pick whatever you wanted. Grandma liked to talk about the lock and also about the terp that was excavated, and that Grandpa was supervising. Once, he sent a worker to Grandma with the message to come quickly with thread and needle. What was the case? While digging, a string of beads was unearthed; the thread made of plant fiber had decayed, causing the string to fall apart. And then Grandma had to thread the beads again. They ended up in the Fries Museum, and when I went there later with my grandmother, those beads always were a highlight, no matter how much of an impression the other excavated objects made on me.

I still have a strong impression of the end of Grandpa’s life. I came there by chance, to check up on my grandfather. Uncle Reimer was standing by the bed. Grandpa, wearing his sleeping cap, asked him to pull him up. “Reimer, Reimer,” he cried. “Yes Dad, here I am.” Uncle Reimer held Grandpa’s hand, Grandma stood next to him. And then the old man uttered a prayer that sounded like a confession, about the beautiful life he had enjoyed and about the many things in which he had failed. I was so moved by this. These moments in that house made a deep impact on my further life.

XII.2 Rinse Reimers Brouwer * Sjoelema farm, Menaam below Bitgum 21 June 1838, 3 p.m. (at birth registered as as Rinze) † Menaam (Berltsumerdyk) 8 July 1924, 11:30 a.m. [] Menaam; farmer from approximately 1866 until 1870 in Vrouwenparochie, since then farmer at Sjoelema farm in Koutum in Menaam below Bitgum until 1877; afterwards worker at Gralda farm in Menaam, later smallholder at the Berltsumerdyk in Menaam;
x 1 Het Bildt 10-5-1866 Jantje Feikes van Schepen * Vrouwenparochie 28-9-1839 † Sjoelema farm in Menaam below Bitgum 13 June 1871; farmer’s wife in Vrouwenparochie en at Sjoelema; daughter of Feike Joukes van Schepen, farmer in Vrouwenparochie, there churchwarden and guardian of the poor, power of attorney (of dikes) of water authority ‘Het Oud Bildt’ for Vrouwenparochie, and of his second wife Rinske Pieters Tuininga, alias Tuinenga, Van Tuinen, Van der Tuin;
See: Genealogy Van Tuinen
x 2 Menameradiel 7-9-1882 Janke Michiels Grypma * Menaam 20-6-1850 † there 6-9-1930 [] Menaam; in 1882 worker in Menaam, later smallholder, at time of death no profession; daughter of Michiel Jacobs Grypma, smallholder in Menaam, and of Henderina Pieters van der Wal;
Janke x 1 Menameradiel 9-7-1874 Paulus Johannes Hoekstra * Vrouwenparochie 10-4-1851 † Menaam 18-6-1877; worker in Menaam; son of Johannes Herkes Hoekstra, worker in Vrouwenparochie, Sint Annaparochie and Menaam, and of Houkje Paulus Beimers.
1 Reimer Rinses Brouwer, follow XIII.2
2 Feike Rinses Brouwer * Sjoelema farm in Menaam below Bitgum 14-5-1868 † there 15-5-1868, 1 day, [] Menaam
3 Feike Rinses Brouwer * Sjoelema farm in Menaam below Bitgum 16-8-1869 † there 28-9-1869, 5 weeks, [] Menaam
4 Feike Rinses Brouwer, follow XIII.3

After the death of his first wife in 1871, Rinse Roimers remarried to a wealthy farmer’s wife, the widow of a Haadsma cousin of his in Menaam; It is likely that this cousin by marriage is Baukje Jacobs Tiedema, farmer’s wife in Menaldumadeel, widow of Sybe Ages Haadsma since 1873.
See Genealogy Haadsma – V4
Rinse publicize the banns with her. At the wedding, he leaves her with her entourage on the steps of the town hall in Menaam. (HJdJ)
According to tradition, Rinse – after the deaths in short succession of two of his boys and of his first wife – started drinking. There is a pub in Paulus Tille with a view of his farm and there he remains.
When on a summer morning at half past nine on June 27, 1877, his farm caught fire, he was sitting there too. He cries out: “Look! My farm is on fire!” (PMD)
Sjoelema state burns to the ground. The Police Report of that date reports (Municipal Archive Menameradiel, no. 215):
This morning at the time of half past nine lightning struck the house and barn belonging to Menaldum, inhabited by Rinze Reimers Brouwer, owned by the van Limburg Stijrum family.
The property has been completely burned out, farm tools and household effects have been saved, while no livestock has died. Worthy of note is that of the same barn during the storm of 30/31 January II. Part of it was blown down, and had not been restored up to now.
It is not known to me whether the building was insured against fire damage.
In compliance with existing regulations, I have the honour to notify UHEG of this accident.
Mr. Comm. of the King.

Rinse’s second wife, Janke Michiels Grypma, helps him get back on his feet. His brother Gerben has a double smallholder house built for him and his wife on Gralda below Menaam, Janke’s daughter from a previous marriage, Maaike, married to Meine Douwes Donker, lives in the other half. Rinse also uses land from Gerben from Sjoelema farm, the Brouwers farm, on the Sânwei near the Hege Wier. According to the will of his brother Gerben with Rinse’s stepson Meine Donker this land is to be used until his death. (PMD)

The land of the houses that Gerben Reimers Brouwer had built on Gralda below Menaam for his brother Rinse and his family, is being sold, see issue 3. Leeuwarder Courant, 6-12-1878

Rinse and a friend of his enter a competition who can eat the most apples. This friend eats such an excessive amount that he dies from it.
In his old age, Rinse is a big friend of children. He likes to tell hunting stories to them, he did a lot of hunting in his younger years.
As a boy, it was a highlight for Rinse when the squire visited, the awe-inspiring Count Van Limburg Stirum himself with his retinue. When Rinse sees this company approaching in the distance, he got the hang of removing the beam in front of the barn doors in one fell swoop and open it wide so that the count, with his carriage, has clearance on the wide carriageway. – his boyhood confidence, which carries over everything. (PMD)
This count is Louis Gaspard Adrien van Limburg Stirum, in the years that the Brouwers dealt with him he was commander in Arnhem; the count owns a lot of land in Kollumerland and its surroundings. Reimer Gerbens I is indebted to him on 19-12-1867 and Rinse Reimers has a mortgage with him on 24-4-1868. Gerben Reimers I rented on 9-2-1878 land from him for five years for ƒ785 a year.

XIII.1 Reimer Gerbens Brouwer * Bessebuorren in Menaam below Bitgum 31-12-1856 † Bitgummole, J.H. van Aismawei 73, 28-11-1929, 72 years, [] Bitgum row 16, grave 3; at time of marriage no profession in Bessebuorren in Bitgum, afterwards smallholder there and potato merchant (village center Bitgum, now Buorren 10), since 1894 farmer at Grut Fellingwurd in Fjouwerhûs in Menaam below Bitgum, since 1913 at Nij Fellingwurd, his newly-built farm next to it (now Bitgumerdyk 23); member Civil administration for the Poor of Menameradiel for Bitgum; writer ‘Nursery school association Beetgum and surroundings’; church councilmember Reformed church Bitgum;
x Menameradiel 15-5-1880, 23 and 24 years, Trijntje Jacobs Gosliga (Nynke) * Bitgummole 18-3-1856 † there, J.H. van Aismawei 73, 16-8-1936, 79 years, [] Bitgum row 16, grave 4; at time of marriage no profession in Bitgummole; daughter of Jacob Klazes Gosliga, merchant, smallholder, driver and carriage renter at the Boarne in Bitgummole, member Civil administration for the Poor of Menameradiel, churchwarden in Bitgum, and of Dirkje Gerardus van der Velde, saleswoman and bartender at the Boarne in Bitgummole
Frysk Kertiersteateboek – Brouwer-Damsma – Fryske Akademy, Leeuwarden 1996 ISBN 90-6171-813-9
Genealogy Gosliga – IV.1.2

Portret Reimer Gerbens Brouwer
Reimer Gerbens Brouwer. Photographer: F.O. Strüppert. Leeuwarden
Portret Trijntje Jacobs Gosliga
Trijntje Jacobs Gosliga. Photographer: F.O. Strüppert. Leeuwarden
Famyljefoto Reimer Gerbens Brouwer, Trijntje Gosliga en bern
Gerben Reimers Brouwer II, Reimer Gerbens II, Dirkje, Trijntje Gosliga and Brechtje. Hinke hasn’t been born yet. Photographer: C.B. Broersma, Willemskade 12, Leeuwarden. Heritage Foundation -Collection Brouwer, Bitgum
Dirkje, Gerben, Trijntje Jacobs Gosliag, Hendrikje, Reimer Gerbens Brouwer en Brectje. Fotograaf: J.H.Slaterus, LjouwertK
Dirkje, Gerben, Trijntje Jacobs Gosliga, Hendrikje, Reimer Gerbens Brouwer II and Brechtje. Photographer: I.H. Slaterus, Leeuwarden
Brouwer fjouwergeslacht
The four generations of Gerben Reimers I and II and Reimer Gerbens Brouwer II and III is framed by C.J. de Kruijs, v/h Ph. de Vogel, Mirror manufacturer and Art dealer, Wurdumerdyk, Leeuwarden

1 Gerben Reimers Brouwer * Menaam (on the Bitgumer terp, Buorren 10) 16-4-1881 † there 18-6-1881, 4:30 a.m.
2 Dirkje Reimers Brouwer * Menaam (on the Bitgumer terp, Buorren 10) 12-8-1882 † Leeuwarden 4-5-1962 [] Bitgum row 16, grave 5;
x Menameradiel 30-5-1912, 29 and 28 years, Pieter van Tuinen * At de Harne in Ingelum 2-8-1883 † Dokkum 22-3-1961 [] Bitgum, row 16, grave 15; teacher in Sexbierum, afterwards in Bolsward; teacher and headmaster Christian Teacher training college in Dokkum; inspector of primary education in Friesland; church councilmember Reformed Church. The P. van Tuinenschool, for Lower Economic and Administrative Education, at the Humaldawei in Dokkum is named after him; son of Sybren Jacobs van Tuinen, smallholder at the Harne in Ingelum, church councilmember, and Jitske Johannes Ket
Epitaph lying tombstone:
Genealogy van Tuinen – V.2
Pedigree Piter van Tuinen – nrs. 5 and 4
Family tree Van Tuinen

Portert Dirkje en Hedrikje Reimers Brouwer
Dirkje and Hendrikje Reimers Brouwer

3 Bregtje Reimers Brouwer (registered at birth as Bregtje in the Civil Registry, usually it is written as Brechtsje) * Menaam (on the Bitgumer terp, Buorren 10) 19-5-1884 † Bitgum 6-2-1969; cattle and potato farmer at Lyts Aysma in Dyksterhûzen below Bitgummole;
x 1 Menameradiel 11-4-1907, 22 and 28 years, Harmen Sybes Andringa * Sate Koehool farm below Easterbierrum 11-9-1878 † Lyts Aysma, Dyksterhuzen 4-7-1915 [] Bitgum row 17, grave 17; cattle and potato farmer at Lyts Aysma in Dyksterhuzen below Bitgummole, son of Sybe Harmens Andringa, cattle and potato farmer in Koehool, and Jantje Minzes van Marsum;
See for descendants: Herman Andringa, Tsjikke Andringa, Ype Brouwers, Piter Andringa, Andringa 3 – Geschiedenis van de verschillende families Andringa van 1450 tot heden, Andringa Stichting, 2016 ISBN 978 90 803 389-0-6 (YB 121, page 346)
x 2 Menameradiel 15-2-1919, 34 and 35 years, Rients Joukes Wartena * Sate Ieburch farm below Lekkum 31-5-1883 † Lyts Aysma in Dyksterhuzen 10-10-1961 [] Jelsum; cattle breeder at Andringa farm in Marsum, since his second marriage cattle and potato farmer at Lyts Aysma; son of Jouke Ruurds Wartena, cattle breeder at Ieburch farm below Lekkum, and Anskje Rientses Sybrandy, with her second husband Gerben Jacobs Brugsma she farms at Baansein in Leeuwarden bestiet hja buorkjend op Baansein te Ljouwert
Rients x 1 Sytske Ypes Kingma; daughter of Ype Jelles Kingma, cattle breeder in Huizum, and Aaltje Wepkes Botma
See for more descendants: Genealogy Wartena – VII.2

Bregtje Brouwer berteadvertinsje
Birth announcement of Brechtje Brouwer. There is no mention of the Lord yet: Reimer and Nynke have not yet been converted. Leeuwarden Courant, 23-5-1884

Original epitaph lying tombstone:
Standing tombstone at the cemetery in Jelsum:
Lying tombstone:

Portret Brechtje Reimers Brouwer
Brechtje Reimers Brouwer. Heritage Foundation-Brouwer Collection, Bitgum
Brechtje en Dirkje Reimers Brouwer
Brechtje and Dirkje Reimers Brouwer. Photographer: De Jong, Leeuwarden. Heritage Foundation-Brouwer Collection, Bitgum

In his review Fakânsjepraet (vacation talk), nephew Reimer van Tuinen describes his summer holiday with Brechtsje Brouwer and Rients Wartena on their farm. The article appeared in the monthly magazine ‘De Strikel’ (October 1971) and is included in the bundle ‘It lân is uzes meielkoar – A collection of observations’ (BV Friese Pers, Leeuwarden, 1979 ISBN 90 330 0102 0).
See: Genealogy Van Tuinen – VI.3)

For explanations about A and B, which Reimer van Tuinen talks about, see § Converts
Click the arrows on the sides

It lân is uzes meielkoar

Lyts Aysma in Dyksterhuzen, the farm where Brechtje Reimers Brouwer farms with her two husbands and three children: yours, mine and ours. My kids and your kids have been arguing with us, it was said sometimes. Generally speaking, it was a sociable affair between the three brothers and sister, the brother and three sisters, the three brothers and sister, the half-sisters and -brothers and the children from a previous marriage.

4 Gerben Reimers Brouwer, follow XIV.1
5 Hendrikje Reimers Brouwer (the first Hinke) * Menaam (on the Bitgumer terp, Buorren 10) 5-5-1890, 5 a.m. † there 1-9-1891
6 Hendrikje Reimers Brouwer (Hinke) * Grut Fellingwurd in Menaam below Bitgum 25-3-1894 † Bitgummole 3-9-1966 [] Bitgum, row 16, grave 8;
x Menameradiel 6-6-1928, 34 and 24 years, Sybren van der Schaaf * Bitgummole 26-6-1903 † there 1981 [] Bitgum, row 16, grave 8; potato merchant and grower in Bitgummole; founder and managing director potato growing and trading company N.V. FOBEK: Foar Boer En Keapman (For Farmer and Merchant); municipal councilmember of Menameradiel for the Anti-Revolutionary Party; 1945 chairman Political Investigation Department Menameradiel; member Committee of Supervision of Agricultural Education Menameradiel; son of Arjen Dirks van der Schaaf, potato merchant and cattle and potato farmer in Bitgummole, municipal councilmember for the A.R.P., and Trijntje Sybrens van Tuinen
See for more descendants: Genealogy Van der Schaaf 1978 – X.22
See more: De neiteam fan Durk en Baukje (út weinmakkers ta keaplju en oare fûels) Utflein fan Bitgummole oant Bagdad en fan Dyksterhuzen oant Lillydale; own management De Kommisje, Bitgummole, 1986
Epitaph lying tombstone:

Epitaphs original lying tombstones:

The Brouwer collection includes documents regarding the descendants of Klaas Gerbens Brouwer (IX) and Tætske Sipkes Heslinga. These include photo albums, loose photos, letters, poetry albums, deeds, and small realia such as birth spoons, tobacco boxes with initials, textiles, portraits, drawings and paintings.
Through Heritage Foundation, everything is documented, archived and in part digitized, so that it is preserved for the future. The physical material is secured according to contract in climate-controlled lockers at the Municipality of Waadhoeke and is accessible for research.

These are the so-called Brouwer Suitcases; one is a doctor’s medical kit. The contents include textbooks of Gerben Reimers Brouwer I, notebooks and almanacs of Reimer Gerbens I and also Gerben Reimers II and letters, historical plays, treatises on religion and politics. This archive was donated in 1971 by the five Brouwer brothers (XV.1, XIV.2, XV.2, 3, 4) by a signed donation letter (also on behalf of the two sisters) to Goasse Doekeles (XV.3.7) as he is considered the family archivist since he was seventeen years old. Goasse has transferred this heritage to Heritage Foundation

Various small items:
-‘Terpbook’ of Gerben Reimers Brouwer I
See: § Terp boss
-Pipe cleaner of Reimer Gerbens Brouwer I

Reimer Gerbens Brouwer - piipúthimmelder
Pipe cleaner of Reimer Gerbens Brouwer I. Silver, crowned with a dog. Inherited to Gerben Reimers I, Reimer Gerbens II, Gerben Reimers II, Durk Gerbens, Roymer Doekeles, who donated this heirloom to the Brouwer Collection. A pipe cleaner of Gerben Reimers I, inherited to Reimer Gerbens II, Gerben Reimers II, Durk Gerbens, Goasse Doekeles, who also donated this heirloom to the Brouwer Collection
Piipúthimmelder fan Gerben Reimers Brouwer I
Pipe cleaner of Gerben Reimers Brouwer I with his initials G.R.B.

In the family, Gerben Reimers II’s pipe cleaner was called a hare’s leap, which was a name used for such instruments that were made from the hind leg bone of a hare. This bone is so strong that it enhances the hare’s leap, making it suitable for daily poking in the pipe. But this bone is used by Gerben Reimers I is not that of a hare, but a large bird’s leg, in this case that of a curlew.

Notysjeboekje fan Reimer Gerbens Brouwer II
Notebook of Reimer Gerbens Brouwer II. Here he keeps track of the repayment of the rent debts in 1929 of his son Gerbens Reimers II
Sailor suit of Gerben Reimers Brouwer II. The boy crawled around while wearing it so much that it became quite threadbare. It is made of velour chiffon and has retained the eight brass buttons adorned with anchors
Wedding bow tie of Gerben Reimers Brouwer II. What makes it that this clean white linnen utility item turned into a well-preserved heirloom?
Notysjeboekje fan Gerben Reimers Brouwer II, omstrings 1922
Notebook of Gerben Reimers Brouwer II, circa 1922. The notes are still in Dutch. Gerben gives the names of his sisters to his cows. He also names one after Queen Juliana, later his love for Oranje fades. Although Gerben himself does not usually sit beneath the cow, he describes them in great detail and with loving care
Notysjeboekje fan Reimer Gerbens Brouwer II
Notebook of Gerben Reimers Brouwer II. Notes from 1949. The bull of farmer and cattle breeder Lammert Jabiks Dykstra from Menaam covers his cow. They are, in addition to his daughters Nynke and Bouk, are named after fictional women in Frisian history: Rixt, Tieth
Geboarteleppel fan Doekele Gerbens Brouwer. Skonken troch de Erven Brouwer-Hettema oan de Kolleksje Brouwer.
Birth spoon of Doekele Gerbens Brouwer. Donated by the heirs Brouwer-Hettema to Heritage Foundation – Brouwer Collection

See: Heritage Foundation: Silver Collection – see for more: Archive material

In 1887 the first Bitgumer Nursery school came into being. This undertaking comes from the Dutch Reformed Church. Rev. Dirk Cornelis de Haas becomes chairman, Rinse Andries Miedema baker in Bitgummole, 2nd chairman; Reimer Gerbens II, writer; Rein Jans Reitsma, painter in Bitgum, 2nd secretary and Cornelis Sikkes Reisma, carpenter in Bitgummole, treasurer.

Bewaarskoalle Bitgum
The Nursery school circa 1888. Bottom row, second from right, in sailor suit: Gerben Reimers II; third row third from left: Brechtje Reimers Brouwer (XIII.1.3); third row, fifth from left: Antje Foppes Dijkstra (daughter of Maartje Gerbens Brouwer); second row, third from left: Hylkje Gerardus Gosliga (cousin of Brechtsje and Gerben)

Reimer Gerbens says in his farewell as a writer in 1889, according to the memorial book ‘Jong Martena 25 jier’: /… / that in spite of all the differences that already exist in our villages, he would like to see that in this school every religious direction of education could participate.
Taco Kingma writes in his History of Bitgum: This wish came true after a very long time, when in 1956 a Christian nursery school was founded.

When the public nursery school for Bitgum-Bitgummole is going to have a new building on the site of Groot Terhorne or Martena State, Gerben Reimers proposes the municipality of Menameradiel to call it ‘Jong Martena’; this suggestion is accepted, written confirmation 24 May 1960.

Reimer Gerbens II’s son Gerben Reimers II and his children do not agree that the small children should be separated, but they are in the minority. Doekele Gerbens writes a letter in Bokwerters about the issue. The epistle – he thought – was written by Ymkje Hendriks Dijkstra, wife of his cousin Doekele Arjens van der Schaaf, who farms at ‘De Stjelp’ in Dyksterhuzen. Ymkje comes from a layer of Bitgumer orthodox who knows other things for sure, but cousin Doekele Brouwer claims the opposite. Doekele gets his uncle Sybren van der Schaaf, married to Hinke Reimers Brouwer and brother-in-law of Ymkje, also involved.

Brouwer Doekele brief Bokwerters 1

Brouwer Doekele brief Bokwerters 2
About school principal Sybren van der Schaaf: Although he does accomplish it with our little ones, he must do it alone, we cannot miss him

When the children are no longer kindergartners, Gerben Reimers Brouwer II is a supporter of Christian education. This education must guarantee not only the upholding of Christian values, but also that of the doctrine.

Bestjoer Kristlik Nasjonale Skoalle Bitgum. Tsjisse Hettes Hettema (ierdappeleksporteur, sjoch XIX.1.6 en XX.6), Sybren van der Schaaf (ierdappelkweker, sjoch XIII.1.6), Lolke Jabiks Dykstra (gernier), Gerben Reimers Brouwer, Petrus Johannes Wijbrandus Koopmans (timmerman) en haadmaster Jan Veninga. Fotograaf: Rollema, Ljouwert
Board of Christian National School Bitgum. Tsjisse Hettes Hettema (potato exporter, see XIV.1.6 and XV.6), Sybren van der Schaaf (potato grower, see XIII.1.6), Lolke Jabiks Dykstra (smallholder), Gerben Reimers Brouwer, Petrus Johannes Wijbrandus Koopmans (carpenter and contractor) and headmaster Jan Veninga. Photographer: Rollema, Leeuwarden

The Christian primary school of Bitgum did not have its origin in Bitgum, but in Marsum when a founding committee begins with the preparation of the Christian National School. This is around the end of 1868. Of the five men, one is Reformed, the others are orthodox Reformed. Gerben Reimers Brouwer II writes a play about it.
His great-grandfather Reimer Gerbens I, great-grandmother Jantje Rinses Haadsma and grandfather Gerben Reimers I appear in it when they farm at Sjoelema farm at the Hege Wier under Menaam.
Board member Sybren van Tuinen is the father-in-law of Gerben Reimers I’s sister Dirkje.
This scene gives a clear account of the bold establishment of a Christian school, with an atmospheric portrait of the time in a not-too-adventurous setting. Good for learning, less so for entertainment, you would say now, wouldn’t you?
But then there is an entertaining sketch of a free trip with butter and eggs to Leeuwarden.
This play has no title.

Click here for the complete play with an explanation in Frisian

Fragment from the play:

Where we’re from the dog poops guilders. Good day, madam!
Rypstra >making a commotion<: Hey man yes. I have heard of Reimer Gerben’s people, you know Sybren, on the Sânwei behind Bitgum.
Van Tuinen: Oh, you mean you there at the Hege Wier?
Rypstra: That’s right. Now, he once told me that in those days he went to Leeuwarden with his mother, with butter and eggs. And if the eggs did not yield twenty cents per twenty, they went home, and fed them to the pigs. And this is also the case for butter, as far as the price is concerned.
Tiemersma: But that’s no way to do business! Did they have to work with cattle? A poor man could now pay them as well.
Van Tuinen: You shouldn’t say that too quickly. The daily wage was even less than it is now, they didn’t think it was worth it. And then Gerben walked with his mother, a basket with butter and eggs in his arm, back and forth to Leeuwarden. Keep in mind! There had to be something more to keep their heads above water.
Rypstra >to Doctor<: And yet in their poverty they wanted to keep their chin up. He also told me this: when they were sold out, his mother said she had to go to some lady, who still owed her a guilder. And there at the top of the stairs the lady stood, arguing that she had ‘paid the guilder’, but Gerben’s mother was fed up with her and shouted: ‘Madam, where we’re from the dog poops guilders. Good day, madam!’

Doctor: Yes, yes, one has to imagine something.

Reimer Gerbens Brouwer II is a renter with the Thoe Schwartzenberg and Hohenlansberg family. At the same time, he works as a steward, as does his brother-in-law Foppe Thomas Dijkstra (XII.1.1).
Reimer Gerbens rents among others from Henriëtte Wilhelmina thoe Schwartzenberg and Hohenlansberg * Bitgum in De Tiid scil ‘t Leare at the Jonkersleane 1858 † Nijmegen 1913; daughter of Willem Frederik Lodewijk (Leeuwarden 1818-Menaam 1873), in 1857 official at the municipal court in Berltsum, at time of death no profession in Menaam (Bitgumer village area), and Femke Feenstra; x 1889 Hendrik Jan Rijfkogel * Haarlem 1850 † Nijmegen 1925; 1st Lieutenant Artillery in Arnhem; widower of Antje Dirks Hartmans, widow of Dieuwko Hajonides Andries Bolman.
Below is a letter from Rijfkogel to Reimer Gerbens about land rent.

Click the arrows on the sides

Translated transcript:

   Arnhem, 25 November 1890

Dear Sir,

   I want to lease to you both pieces until 22 Nov. ’93
on such conditions that it becomes
„one extension of rent for the period of two years” and
that the rent increases nor decrease, inso-
far burdens, fees, etc. are considered as rental costs
and to be considered in these.
   However, I do not maintain a deposit office;
due to prepaid rent I do not reimburse interest: in doing so
I would fall into the character of debtor and
I do not want that.
   When you want to pay one year rent in advance,
I will then extend the existing lease term, as
stated above and also on the same terms as those
which are currently valid for premises:
No 443 for an annual rent of ƒ108.75
No 464   ”    ”       ”       ”     ”  ƒ168.65 at no additional cost
   Notary Alma’s receipt hereby returns.
   Please let me know your answer
and believe me
                                      Your willing servant

Reimer Gerbens and Nynke Gosliga lived as smallholders in Bitgum until the end of 1897, in the house at Buorren 10. The land is around Bitgum, in the Hoarslân below Menaam, in the Súdhoek of Sint Annaparochie and below Vrouwenparochie.

In September 1891 – it is the turbulent time of the workers’ uprisings – people also come to his house on the Bitgumer terp to give him a piece of their mind. Despite their calling, Reimers Gerbens does not answer the door. Out of rage, someone is about to throw a stone through the window. A woman steps out of the crowd and shouts: “Not here, there is a child lying in state here.”
This is the first Hinke to be buried soon.

No, Reimer Gerbens II is not a noble gentleman to some: one time, returning home from the barber, his clogs are tied together. Brouwer doesn’t see this, takes a step and falls forward. ‘On his face’ – is the intention. The sneaky bigmouths that did this have never made themselves known – there were suspects which did not make things any better: they got away with it.

Buorren 10 op ’e Bitgumer terp
Buorren 10 at the Bitgumer terp

Reimer Gerbens is a member of the Civil administration for the Poor of Menameradiel for Bitgum. As guardian of the poor, he must decide who gets what and how much in beans, peas and potatoes. That is not a thankful task. He does not make himself popular.

Reimer Gerbens and Nynke rented Grut Fellingwurd (Great Fellingwurd) – house, farmstead and land (Menaam no. 352) – from the Osingas in Menaam, who owned the farm for many centuries (Menaam farm 59). Reimer Gerbens and Nynke gradually own the entire part of the land that they farm at Fjouwerhûs, except for the house.

In 1913 a son-in lawof the Osingas will occupy it: Minne Cornelis Blanksma * Pingjum 4-2-1870 † Leeuwarden, living in Franeker, 28-8-1951, 81 years, [] Menaam; at time of marriage no profession in Schalsum; since 21-5-1902 farmer in Hijum; since 24-5-1913 cattle and potato farmer at Grut Fellingwurd; since 13-5-1927 farmer in Schalsum; son of Cornelis Lieuwes Blanksma, in 1865, ’70 salesman in Pingjum, in 1902 cattle and potatoe farmer in Schalsum, and Eelkje Minnes Anema; x Menameradiel 8-5-1902, 32 and 26 years, Jaike Klazes Osinga * Menaam 8-1-1876 † Leeuwarden, living there, 5-8-1967, 91 years, [] Menaam; daughter of Klaas Doekles Osinga, cattle and potato farmer in Menaam, municipal councilmember and official of the Civil Registry, and Janke Pieters Hiddinga.

Grut Fellingwurd yn 1913
Grut Fellingwurd in 1913. To the right under the cow is livestock caretaker Hindrik Theunis Papa, for this occasion under the cow next to him is Gerben Reimers Brouwer, in white dress is Dirkje, in front at the ditch is Brechtje, to the left are Nynke Gosliga and Reimer Gerbens, and with her baby carriage is Hinke

When Reimer and Nynke farm at Fjouwerhûs, Symen Oast, a former worker of theirs, asks for any odd job. Symen has wandered around – he has been to India, hence his nickname ‘Oast’, meaning ‘East’. Reimer does not want to hire him at his place on Fellingwurd. Symen hangs himself the other day, in the yard behind the farm, just in front of the side window view of Reimer, Nynke and the children.
Nynke asks: “Reimer, do you know what they say about you?” Reimer’s answer is: “Woman, I do not owe that man.”
– O Lord, we thank You from the bottom of our hearts, For necessity and for abundance. Where many people eat the bread of sorrow, You have fed us mildly and well. –

Grut Fellingwurd - oaljeferve op paniel fan Bouke van der Sloot
Grut Fellingwurd around 1970. Oil paint on panel by Bouke van der Sloot. Made on behalf of the Friesche Mij van Landbouw for an annual calendar with different farm types. Purchased by Goasse Doekeles Brouwer, who donated the painting to Erfgoed Fundaasje

When Reimer and Nynke must leave Grut Fellingwurd, they decide to set up a new farm on their own land next to it (Bitgumerdyk 23). That is a few pieces of land further towards Bitgum. The name Nij Fellingwurd (New Fellingwurd) was supposed to appear on the post of the entrance gate, but that probably did not happen.
Gerben Reimers I lays the first stone, a plaque is placed in the south wall:
The daughter is Hinke.
Below is great-great-great-grandson Jouke Wartena at the plaque at his parents’ farm, 2004.
See: Wysels – page 43; Genealogy Wartena – XV.7

Nij Fellingwurd; for the family: the farm on the Menamerdyk

When Reimer Gerbens II and Nynke Gosliga leave the farm, they settle in 1925 in the former clergy house of the Reformed Church of Bitgum (J.H. van Aismawei 73) in Bitgummole. Back then it was called the Rentier’s house.
Nynke Gosliga governs the place. She furnishes everything quite luxuriously. For instance, she has fitted carpet laid throughout most of the house, which was unusual at the time. It’s reddish brown and purple with antique pink and it doesn’t wear, such high quality. Some pieces still exist in 2016. Grandson Reimer van der Schaaf has saved those out of curiosity.
Reimer Gerbens II deals only with the outside. First, he has everything painted by the painter Fokkema. He almost doesn’t dare to deliver the rather large bill, after he’s exhausted. After some time has passed, Reimer Gerbens flags him down on the dike: “Fokkema, the bill!” When boss Fokkema gets his money, he’s amazed: nothing but big banknotes.
Fokkema also has a job with Jakkele Reitsma, the man who bought the old Reformed church and had it painted by him. But this fellow villager doesn’t pay up. Fokkema in turn confronts him about this. Finally, the debtor approaches him, and he counts out penny by penny. Fokkema says astonished: “Do you want to pay the whole amount in pennies, Jakkele?” “Yes!” he replies, “Or do you not want them, Fokkema?”

On 29-11-1928 granddaughter Tryntsje Harmens Andringa comes to live with Reimer and Nynke and on 16-8-1936 she moves in with her aunt Hinke and uncle Sybren in the same house.
When daughter Hinke Brouwer – named after Nynke’s deceased sister Hindrikje Goasliga – marries Sybren van der Schaaf, they move in with Reimer and Nynke, the house is large enough. And they stay there. Later the grandchildren Reimer and Durk van der Schaaf, the third generation, live there.

Pictured on the right is the former Reformed Church, where Reimer and Nynke, after their conversion, had their children baptized and had put a lot of spiritual and material good into it. The photo was probably taken at a baptismal service, the minister has the baby on his arm. Collection Gosliga

To Reimer, living off revenue means that he is charged with ecclesiastical matters. He is also a financial backer for the reformed enterprise, and he keeps an eye on it, literally and figuratively.

The Rentier’s house

Gerben Reimers Brouwer II and his family are liberal reformed according to the church registration. See chapter § Churchgoing and not churchgoing
This means to Reimer Gerbens Brouwer II and his family that they ‘take no part in it’. They don’t go to church on Sundays; the old guard does so on Good Friday, when they take the Last Supper, and on New Year’s Day, when the names of the deceased are read from the pulpit. They do not let their children be baptized; they are so-called baptismal members through the baptism of their parents.
At funerals, however, a minister is requested to take the pulpit. When the first Gerben of Reimer and Nynke dies in 1881, the Reformed Church of Bitgum is vacant. The family advises Reimer and Nynke to ask for the reformed minister of Menaam. But Reimer does not want to put that much effort into it. He says, ‘Oh, the orthodox here have a minister too.’ And one is requested. This is Rev. G.A. Kempff1. The minister assists Reimer Gerbens from his sickbed, he is too ill to go to the farm but does get up to lead the funeral of the child.
The first Hinke dies in 1890. Reimer says: “I will not go to the liberals; I will go to the orthodox again.” The Bitgumer reformed minister is then ‘menhear’ Te Winkel2. He leads the funeral of the girl and later visits the mourners – aftercare. Reimer begins to think more and more about the faith and bit by bit comes to peculiar pious insights, and he gradually wants to ‘convert’ to the orthodox doctrine and way of life. Nynke is embarrassed by this. Reimer would like to share his findings with her, but Nynke is not ready for it, she cannot get over it.
His oldest children, Dirkje and Brechtje, serve as a sounding board. Reimer, for example, takes long walks with Brechtje and then it’s all about faith. Nynke often says: “You shouldn’t let such a young child become pious Reimer.”
When Brechtje is ten years old, she once came into the showroom with an aunt and overheard her mother say in tears: “Oh boys, this is something, your father is becoming orthodox and that’s also the church of the little people.”
See: Wikipedia – De Kleyne Luyden (Dutch)
For a while, Nynke walks alone, religious according to her own findings, down the incredibly slippery church road from Fellingwurd to Menaam, where the Reformed are squarely on the orthodox side, and currently goes to church there – so be it, what else can you do? She endures it for a while. How many human beings have come before and after this woman, searching? She frees her hands to think, who is excellent. Some of her relatives then filled her head with  something else: – Yes, O Lord, to think of You and to give my heart to You, there is no higher calling. – Whatever. Has it ever been so limited? She must distance herself from that Christian dogmatism and that exaggerated unworldly dear Jesus. Nynke is One in the wide meadows of Menaam under the clear sky. Balanced Nynke, be careful, be careful, do not trip over dogmas. You think all sorts of things. What do you know? And then something unbelievable happens like in the old days. The yellow buttercups in roadside verge sing the praises of the Lord. Established in those golden-like colours. The delightful smell of that invisible hope. These flowers are gone after spring. I shall command it as a farmer woman: my ditches will be dredged. This is common practice, and that’s how it is. Further barren coasts, other shores in fleeting sight. This is how I’ll do it. She doesn’t walk away from it, which is important.
But at the same time her thoughts of her dear deceased Gerben and Hinke who were delivered in her lap and then taken away again haven’t gone away. How happy you are, of course, essentially with my newborn child.
And then suddenly eternal consolation? She is a very respectable distinguished human being and in orthodox eyes a heathen. Does she deviate from the pious life? A complete turnabout. An incomprehensible salvation of the soul, for her in any case. She cries out over open fields. We are One.
Eventually Reimer and Nynke take confirmation with the orthodox, later their children Dirkje, Brechtje, Gerben and Hinke as well, that was bound to happen. The conversion processes of heretics and anointing take about five years. The children are baptized four times in the reformed church in Bitgummole on Sunday 7 June 1896 by minister Jakob Op ‘t Holt3.
Dirkje – at the time of her baptism thirteen years old – calls herself a ‘convert’ for the rest of her life. (RvT)

1 Gerardus Adrianus Kempff * Amsterdam 26-9-1844 † Bitgum 8-2-1882, he dies after a sickbed of two years; is registered in Bitgum on 19-5-1876, comes on Alde Maaie (12 May) 1877 from Zutphen to Bitgum; minister there with the Christian Reformed Church; x Johanna Dionicia Alberdina Haust; the widow moves on 11-5-1882 with her small children from Bitgum to Nieuwer-Amstel, where she was born.
2 Jan Derk te Winkel * Winterswijk 12-7-1830 † Elburg 29-12-1896; comes to Bitgum on 28-9-1886 from Under-Knipe; first evangelist, since 22-7-1888 minister with the Christian Reformed Church in Bitgum; moves on 22-9-1892 to Elburg; x Sæske Meines van den Berg.
As an evangelist, Te Winkel is not called minister, but ‘menhear’; he rents smallholders land in the Bitgumer Hoarslân, a couple of pûnsmiet is still called ’It menhearslân’ after he’s gone.
3 Jakob op ’t Holt * Leeuwarden 11-11-1864 † Meppel 24-8-1945; comes on 19-11-1890 from Onstwedde to Bitgum; minister with the Christian Reformed Church in Bitgum, after the fusion with the Nederduits Gereformeerde Kerk in 17-6-1892 minister there with the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands; moves on 12-6-1896 from Bitgum to Bolsward; x Jantina Rensina Niks.

These Brouwers undergo a spiritual reversal and with that an entire cultural revolution.
Like their devout ancestors of centuries ago, at morning and evening prayers they bring their affections – sinful or not in their own eyes or those of others – before the altar of the Lord, in the interior room, lying on their knees in front of the bed . They pray and read the Bible before their meal, three times a day, the Message is drilled into their heads.
– So that we, compelled to be grateful, want to dedicate more and more of our lives to You. Hear our prayer. –
The worldly songs are supplemented or replaced entirely by psalms and edifying hymns at the pump organ. The children get organ lessons. Gerben on the organ of the Grote Kerk in Leeuwarden. The organist tries it from all angles, but not even his commitment and generous salary for this young man can prevent that this player’s sounds remain unworthy of heaven – he can sing, however. That remains the way it is.
The children are removed from the public school and placed in the Christian school. They still have their peers of course at the school of the liberals. Brechtje secretly goes to the public school during breaktime. On a signal from the boys, she rushes on her socks – she’s not fast enough on clogs – to the Christian school. Eventually, the Christian school principal, Master Alberts, finds out and then it’s over. Brechtje is required to be a well-governed companion with his daughter, Martha, the cheerful, sovereign righteous servant.
Reimer is a man of the theatre; he can put on a terrific performance. Among his descendants, the story goes that he had founded a theatre association for Nynke. Anyway, theatre is worldly, and they are now in the world, but not of the world. Theatre is from now on taboo. Dancing is also out of the question. The same goes for the market; the children aren’t allowed to watch the market from a distance. Cards are the devil’s picture book. The kids can’t resist and play pernicious cardgames when Reimer and Nynke are gone, but when they hear them arriving again, they quickly put the Halma game on the table.
A shift, both spiritually and materially. As for the carnal conversation, it remains old-fashioned. If the spiritual body is shared in communion with the saints, the body of flesh – now named the temple of the Lord – is consumed solely in the divine bed of the marital status – is the intention, no, the commandment in this arrangement. But in practice this was the same as before.
(Announcements: different family members, including AB-W, SHA, RvT; and JKD)

Ministers often stay with Reimer Gerbens II and his family and with Gerben Reimers II, if they come to preach as guest. On Sundays they may not travel, therefore they arrive on Saturday and leave on Monday.
Nynke has the habit of serving her guests luxury pastries and bread. She gets these from the liberal baker. The orthodox baker does not have such delicacies for sale. But according to the new doctrine, Nynke is not allowed to buy from a liberal, only from an orthodox. She arranges that the orthodox baker goes to train in Leeuwarden in order to learn the intricacies of the pastries. This succeeds. But in the Christian bakery, the boys and girls who deliver the sweet treat to Nynke get into arguments. Whoever gets to deliver gets a five stuiver tip from Mrs. Brouwer, which at the time is equal to a daily wage.
(Announcements from various family members, among others AB-W, SHA; and JKD)

According to tradition, the family also converted the permanent worker Hein and his wife Janke, Hein Ales Wierstra * Wergea 1845 † Bitgum 1915, 69 years, [] Bitgum row 32, grave 11, and Janke Jans de Vries * Stiens 1849 † Bitgum 1929 , 79 years, [] Bitgum line 32, grave 11.
However, Hein and Janke already are Christian Reformed, so the story of their conversion at the same time as their patron certainly does not add up.
Hein and Janke have been living in Grut Fellingwurd for a while, in a back room. After dinner, Hein also reads the Bible to Janke. At one point Dirkje and Gerben hear behind the door – they aren’t eavesdropping, they don’t like that, they just hear it – that Hein reads to Janke in a loud voice: Forward, forward I tell you!, which isn’t entirely according to the Bible text: Very truly, I tell you. (DGB)
Janke and Hein have nine children; seven of them are stillborn. A boy – Ale – lived to be four days old and a girl – Grytsje – one year old. Janke, Hein, Nynke and Reimer undergo this infant mortality together.
See: Simon Wierstra – Genealogie Wierstra – VIII-i

The family of Reimer and Nynke has now separated him from the Dutch Reformed Church, which in Bitgum has a modern signature, c.q. liberal, and is now converted to orthodox and belongs to the Reformed Church of Bitgum; Reimer Gerbens is now one of the orthodox brothers. The Separation of 1834, which took place in 1843 in Bitgum, and the Doleantie– the Split of 1892 is something they had no part in. There is still a struggle between these two directions – A and B. Roughly speaking, A stands for more orthodox and at the same time pietistic, and B for dogmatic.
The people of the Doleantie are from the Nederduitse Gereformeerde Kerk, formed in 1886. This denomination merges in 1892 with most of the Secessionists of the Christian Reformed Churches into the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands, which since 2004 has merged into PKN, the Protestant Church in the Netherlands.

The liberals stand opposite the orthodox. And that unfortunately tears through families: Reimer’s three sisters and their families are liberal. However, family relationships remain relatively good. Although Reimer has an urge, if not a compulsive drive to convert, which in particular his sister Jantje can’t stand. She and her husband, Abe Siderius, run a renowned hotel-cafe-restaurant on the Lange Marktstraat in Leeuwarden, Jantje has a very good kitchen, with her experienced chefs, she can serve great tasty food and Abe is also a jockey, that they are surrounded by – according to Brother Reimer – worldly entertainment. Jantje does names Reimer though, in her son Reimer, Reimpy. And the older the milder.
Reimer’s mother, Brechtje Folkerts Damsma, must have said in her old age at a census: “Just write that I belong to the church of our Reimer.” And on her deathbed she would have uttered – in Christianese: “I have found my Savior.”

A drive to convert or a compulsion to convert
The evangelization of Reimer Gerbens Brouwer II is a subject he also raises in the common rooms of inns. In the Doelesteeg, a side street on the busy side of the Nieuwstad in Leeuwarden, there is a Bitgumer Quarter: a café for Bitgumers (later Bar Pariba). Reimer Gerbens also wants to bring the Message to the people there.

When returning by tram, he sometimes cannot resist and is still evangelizing when the tram has already passed Bitgum.
When cousin Jan Jochems Kortje and his wife lose a daughter, Reimer Gerbens II and his family write a letter of condolence.
Personal details:
I Jogchem Jans Kortje * Sint Annaparochie 10-9-1841 † Drachten 19-12-1922, 81 years; Jogchem is a substitute in the military service for Arnoldus Abrahams Wassenbergh in Sint Annaparochie; in 1877, ’78, ’82, ’84 smallholder in Sint Annaparochie (house nrs. 67, 121a); in 1878, ’79 there driver; moves on Alde Maaie (12 May) 1907 to Noorder Drachten (A92, P35, Aldewei 35), there he is a merchant in crafts; moves on 3-8-1908 to Zuider Drachten (Wyk E 56, 57); lives in his old age with his son Jan;
Jogchem and Dine are Dutch Reformed
On 18-12-1878 Jogchem is acquitted of theft (District Court Leeuwarden, inventory no. 93, deed 776); on 29-11-1899 he is sentenced to seven days imprisonment for assault (District Court Leeuwarden, inventory no. 99, deed 499)
x Het Bildt 12-10-1876, 35 and 34 years, Gerardina Hendrika van der Velde * Sint Annaparochie 7-11-1841 † Sint Annaparochie 22-3-1900, 58 years; sister of Dirkje Gerardus van der Velde x Jacob Klazes Gosliga, the parents of Nynke Gosliga
See: Genealogy Gosliga – IV.1
See ancestestors of Kortje: Parenteel Johannes Jans – IV-A and Parenteel Lenert Jacobs – III-D
1 Jan Jogchems Kortje * Sint Annaparochie 24-3-1877 † there 3-9-1877, 5 months
2 Hiltje Jogchems Kortje * Sint Annaparochie 9-9-1878 † Haarlem 27-7-1955, 76 years; housekeeper with her father, moves with him at the same time to Drachten; moves on 11-9-1908 to Velsen, North Holland; lives 9-2-1914 as a maid with Göllmer, Groot Hertoginnelaan in Velsen; idem 21-9-1914 with G. Bremerkamp, Rijksstraatweg, Velzen, Huize Rozenstein;
x Velsen 25-5-1916, both 37 years, Christiaan Bremerkamp * Velsen 23-10-1878 † Haarlem 20-10-1960, 81 years; in 1916 gardener in Velsen; son of Gerrit Johannes Bremerkamp, in 1878 worker in Velsen, in 1916 gardener there, and Neeltje Buisman
3 Jan Jogchems Kortje, follow II
4 Hendrikje Jogchems Kortje * Sint Annaparochie 27-2-1882 † there 11-6-1882, 3 months
5 Gerardus Jogchems Kortje * Sint Annaparochie 26-12-1883 † there 21-8-1884, 7 months
II Jan Jogchems Kortje * Sint Annaparochie 11-8-1879 † Drachten 17-6-1957, 76 years, [] Zuider Drachten; merchant and craftsman in Drachten (District A 58, 92);
x Smallingerland 7-8-1909, 29 and 28 years, Trijntje Hendriks * Drachten 27-6-1881 † Drachten 4-5-1944, 62 years, [] Zuider Drachten; at time of marriage no profession in Beetsterzwaag; daughter of Hendrik Klazes Hendriks, in 1873 carpenter’s help in Drachten, in 1909 carpenter there, and Tjitske Eetses de Vries
Jan is at first nondenominational and later Baptist, Trijntje is Baptist and the children are not members of a church.
1 Jogchem Jans Kortje * Drachten 27-6-1910 † 25-6-1993 [] Drachten, Slingehof; carpenter’s help, carpenter and excavation worker in Drachten, lives in Den Helder in 1934, in 1939 in Amsterdam; at time of his marriage carpenter in Drachten;
x Smallingerland 12-10-1939, both 29 years, Froukje van der Wal * Drachten 28-10-1909 [] Drachten, Slingehof; at time of marriage no profession in Drachten; daughter of Jelle Paulus van der Wal, merchant in Drachten, and Grietje Aukes Hoekstra
2 Hendrik Jans Kortje * Drachten 23-6-1912 † 29-7-1965, 53 years, [] Groningen; grocer’s help in Drachten;
x Groningen 23-4-1943 Trijntje Nobach * Opende 26-5-1912 † 19-12-2002, 90 years, [] Groningen; daughter of Ipe Hermanus Nobach and Antje Hylkes Merkus
3 Gerardina Hendrika Kortje (Diene) * Drachten 7-4-1916 † there 15-2-1917, 10 months
4 Gerardina Hendrika Kortje * Drachten 10-6-1919 † there 27-6-2000, 81 years, [] Bakkeveen; the letter from Reimer Gerbens II to her parents is from her;
x 1946 Folkert Johannes Gorter * 26-7-1915 † there 3-10-1978 [] Bakkeveen; lives in Waskemeer and Bakkeveen