The oldest ancestor is Cleijn Jan Ariaensz who lived around 1600. His son, Arijen Jansz Cleijnjan, has descendants in Mijnsheerenland, Heinenoord, Barendrecht, Rhoon and even in Volga, Brookings, South Dakota. In 1664 one of Arie's sons, Jan Arijens Kleijnjan, married Haesje Cornelisse who originated from Charlois, now part of Rotterdam. Jan's burial was registered on 26-1-1712 in 's-Gravendeel.
Since the baptism records of the village of 's-Gravendeel are missing, children within the Kleinjan family that died young are unknown to us, and the links between subsequent generations can not always be proven. A possible son of Jan and Haesje was Arie Janse Kleinjan (†1713) who married Bastiaantje Floren van der Giessen (†1755), who introduced the given name Floris into the Kleinjan family. This couple had at least 2 sons, Floris and Jan, and 2 daughters, Johanna and Adriana. Adriana (±1705-1763) married Jan Anthonisse Duijser (1705-1764) and became one of my ancestors.
Floris Ariensz Kleinjan (±1700-1778) married twice, as did his son Jan Florisse Kleinjan (±1740-1802), who settled in Barendrecht. Then something strange happened. Jan's 2nd wife was Lena Pieters Louter (±1754-1829), who, as a widow, married Krijn Hendriks Vermaas (1754-1825). Both had children from their first marriage. In 1807 Krijn's unmarried, 18-year-old daughter Maria Krijne Vermaas became pregnant. She said that her stepbrother Kleijs Jansz Kleinjan (1790-1869) was the father, and named the child Kleijs after him. Strangely, Kleijs never bothered to marry his stepsister. In 1803 he married another girl, and had additional issue. Being an unmarried mother, Maria was "damaged goods", but in 1814 she was finally able to marry a widower from Sliedrecht, and had additional issue, too.
An elder brother of naughty Kleijs was Floris Janse Kleinjan (1769-1795) who married the widowed Jannetje Louter, who was 10 years his senior and a sister of his stepmother. Their eldest son was Pieter Florisse Kleinjan (1796-1872) who lived in Rhoon and married twice.
|Jan "John" Kleinjan married Maria Adriaantje Huijgen |
on 31-10-1878 in Rhoon.
Het nieuws van den Dag, Kleine Courant, 4-11-1878
|Jan "John" Kleinjan|
Initially, Jan seemed to have settled in Iowa, and later he lived in Volga, Brookings, South Dakota. There Jan was known as "John". His second wife was Maria Heiltje Vis, known as "Mary". They had 6 additional children: Leendert (who died from the flu epidemic in WW1), Gerrit, William, Helena, Floyd, and Marion.
J. Kleinjan and his children travelled with the S.S. Rotterdam to New York, |
Het Nieuws van de Dag, Kleine Courant, 21-4-1893
|The S.S. Rotterdam II, 3,329 tons; 119,56 x 11,89 meters, speed 12 knots.|
Recently, my father told me a story about an American Kleinjan who wanted to visit The Netherlands shortly after World War II. Apparently, to be able to do so, he needed to own something in The Netherlands. The Kleinjan family is a family of farmers, so he decided to export 3 tractors to relatives in the Hoeksche Waard, the first tractors to arrive in that area. The money he earned with the deal was deposited on a Dutch bank, thus allowing him to visit The Netherlands.
- "1593 's-Gravendeel 1993 (Uit de geschiedenis van een dorp aan de Kil", Stichting Jubileumboek 's-Gravendeel, 1993
- "Rhoonse Bronnen Deel II, Dopen 1718-1812, Trouwen 1718-1811", J.H. van der Boom, K.J. Slijkerman, Werkgroep Overmaas, 2001
- www.geni.com, Douglas Rozendal, 2011
- kranten.kb.nl; Het Nieuws van De Dag, Kleine Courant