Johannes Martens Miedema

Lolkje Jorrits

Johannes Martens Miedema was born on September, 5 1875 in Ferwerd as a son of Marten Jelles Miedema and Sjoukje Willems de Groot. Hence, when he left to America in March 1896 he 20 years young. In his itinerary he states that he crossed the Big Pond with a ship of the Holland America Line without mentioning the name of the ship. However, it appears to have been the ss "Maasdam II" that arrived from Rotterdam in New York on March 23, 1896.

Johannes was found in the Ellis Island records:

First Name: Johannes
Last Name: Miedema
Ethnicity: Holland, Dutch
Last Place of Residence:
Date of Arrival: Mar 23, 1896
Age at Arrival: 20y Gender: M Marital Status:
Ship of Travel: Maasdam
Port of Departure: Rotterdam, Holland
Manifest Line Number: 0019

In november 1898 he came back home along with his pal Jasper Hogendijk and with a whole lot of experiences. To the best of our knowledge their other pal, Siebe Mellema, stayed in America.

On May 19, 1900 Johannes Martens Miedema married in Ferwerderadeel to Lolkje Jorrits Bierma. She was born on April 9, 1878 in Hallum and was a daughter of  Jorrit Hessels Bierma en Sieuwke Siedzes Miedema. This marriage stood for 75 years.
They are mentioned on ("List of long married and oldest married couples in the Netherlands") :

  • 75 years: On May 19, 1975 Johannes Martens Miedema (born on September 5, 1875 in Ferwerd, and at the time 99 1/2) and Lolkje Jorrits Bierma (born on April 9, 1878 in Hallum, and just 97 at the time) from Ferwerd celebrated their 75th wedding anniversary. Johannes Martens passed away on November 7, 1975 being 100 years old and Lolkje Jorrits died in 1976 being 98 years of age.
Johannes wrote his itinerary in the "sprokkelmaand" of 1909 being the month of February and in Frisian. As to the latter he remarked: "The reader is requested not to pay attention to style-, writing- and spelling-mistakes because I am not a Frisian author". This version was converted to Dutch by Tineke Slof of  "11 en 30"  (Dutch Genealogy Society, dept. Friesland) and she sent it to us, including the pictures, for publication. Obviously we are much obliged to her.