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Rens, Jan 'John' 1862-1934 and Hattie Zoet Family


Posted By: Wilma J. Vande Berg - volunteer (email)
Date: 7/16/2021 at 06:41:16

Rens, Jan 1862-1934 and Hattie Zoet Family

This story comes from the Sioux Center Centennial book of 1991 pages 483 and 484; it was submitted to the book by Hermina Bleyenberg. It was transcribed for this BIOS by Beth De Leeuw of the Greater Sioux County Genealogical Society. Some research notes added at the end by Wilma J. Vande Berg.

Jan Rens was born in Barneveld, the Netherlands on March 14, 1862, to Tijmen and Jannetje (de Zwaan) Rens. They farmed for a living. When Jan was 20 years old he got the urge and determination to go to America. On September 20, 1882, he left his native country and sailed for America. He first lived in Michigan and then moved to Sioux Center. Here Jan worked for a Weyenberg. He got home sick for Holland and wanted his family to come over. On June 27, 1883, his mother and the rest of the family came to America.

At that point in time, there were no railroads in Sioux Center. However, there was a train that ran from Sheldon to Hull and from Orange City to Maurice.

Sioux County land was advertised in the Netherlands newspapers at $5.00––$25.00 per acre. This depended upon how close you were to town or to the railroad. On September 4, 1883, Jan’s mother bought a farm located one mile south and 2½ miles east of Sioux Center. She purchased it for $22.50 per acre. They picked up buffalo chips on the prairie which were used for fuel.

Sioux County was growing fast during these years. The population in 1860 was 10. In 1875 it was 2500. In 1885, the population grew to 11,584––mostly Hollanders.

On March 11, 1890, Jan Rens married Harmpje “Hattie” Zoet born Oct. 8, 1869 and they had eight children. Tim Rens, Ella Rens, Jennie Rens, Gerrit Rens, Bert Rens, Richard Rens, Hermina Rens, and Jeanette Rens.

Tim Rens was born March 20, 1891, and he married Elizabeth Huisman on February 28, 1917. They were the parents of six children: Hermina (Mrs. Russell Vande Brake); William Rens married Coba Willemstyn; John Rens married Gertrude Jeltema; Helen (Mrs. Vernon Jasper); Gerald Rens married Audrey Vande Berg; and Lois (Mrs. Virgil De Vries).

Ella Rens was born September 21, 1892 and she married Jacob Vande Griend on January 6, 1916. They were the parents of one son, Jacob Vande Griend who married Jeanette Dokter.

Jennie Rens was born December 28, 1894 and she married Marinus Vande Griend on March 2, 1917. They were the parents of two children; Nellie (Mrs. Henry Vande Zandschulp) and Jeanette (Mrs. Roy Vanden Hul).

Gerrit Rens was born November 28, 1897 and he married Winnie Kleinwolterink on November 28, 1918. They were the parents of two children; Hermina (Mrs. Tony Heynen) and Johanna (Mrs. Fred Herweyer).

Bert Rens was born June 21, 1903 and he married Alice Peters on February 15, 1928. They were the parents of six children; Hermina (Mrs. Harry Bosma), Kathryn (Mrs. Bernard Santema), Jean (Mrs. Kenneth Vermeer), John married Janet Veenstra, and Aliven married Shirley Krikke.

Richard Rens was born October 9, 1906 and he married Helen Wassink on February 14, 1933. They were from Sioux Center and the parents of three children. Hattie (Mrs. Gerrit Vander Plaats), Richard married Delores Broek and William “Bill” married Joan Vreeman.

Hermina Rens was born October 28, 1910 and she married Dick Bleyenberg on February 1, 1934. They were from Sioux Center and the parents of one son, Dick Bleyenberg who married Nella Groeneweg. The story of Hermina and Dick Bleyenberg is given separately in this book.

Jeanette Rens was born January 28, 1917 and married John “Jack” Van Middendorp. They are the parents of one daughter, Betty (Mrs. Robert Leroy Kempe).

After their marriage, the parents Jan and Hattie Rens farmed three miles east and 1½ miles south of Sioux Center. They briefly farmed at Edgerton, Minnesota, but soon moved back to Iowa. They moved on the farm of his mother. Jan “John” Rens died in 1934 at 72 years of age, and Hattie died in 1928. They were members of the Second Christian Reformed Church which is now Bethel Christian Reformed Church.

Written and submitted to the book by Hermina Bleyenberg

RESEARCH NOTES added by Wilma J. Vande Berg

BIRTH RECORD of Jan Rens born 15 March 1862 at Ermelo Gelderland to Tijmen Rens 36 years and Jannetje De Zwaan 35 years.

BIRTH RECORD of Harmtje Zoet born 8 Oct 1869 Hulshorst recorded 11 Oct 1869 at Ermelo Gelderland born to Aaltje Van den Hoorn 41 years and Gerrit Zoet 24 years.

OBITUARY of John Rens in the Sioux Center News of May 3, 1934
John Rens, a Sioux County resident for the last 54 years, passed away Wednesday night. He was a native of Nuspeet (Nunspeet) Netherlands, but came to America when 18 years old in 1879. After living a few years in Michigan he moved to Sioux County where he began farming. When 26 years old he was married and was preceded in death by his wife five years ago.
Mr. Rens farmed near Sioux Center continuously for 40 years. In 1920 he retired from the farm, moving to Sioux Center. He is survived by eight children, four sons and four daughters. They are: Tim Rens, Sioux Center; Mrs. Jake Vander Griend of Orange City; Mrs. Marinus Vander Griend of Orange City; Gerrit Rens of Sioux Center; Bert Rens of Sheldon; Richard Rens of Sioux Center; Mrs. Dick Bleyenberg of Sioux Center; and Jeanette Rens of Sioux Center.
Funeral Services were held Monday afternoon at the home and at the Second Christian Reformed Church, the Rev. L Ypma officiating. Interment was in the local cemetery.

OBITUARY of Hattie Mrs. Jan Rens.
Sioux Center Nieuwsblad of Oct 10, 1928 In Dutch
Verleden Donderdagnacht overleed Mrs. John Rens in den leeftijd van 58 jaar. Zenuwen haddeninvloed op haarmaag, en de maag drukte tegen het hart, waardoor de dood verhaast werd. Maandag had de begrafenis plaats van uit de Tweede Chr. Ger.
Last Thursday night, Mrs. John Rens died at the age of 58. Nerves affected her stomach, and the stomach pressed against the heart, hastening death. On Monday, the funeral took place from the Second Chr. Ref church.


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