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Sipma, Sjoerd Aukes 1812-1896 Pioneer & Family


Posted By: Wilma J. VandeBerg -volunteer (email)
Date: 5/21/2022 at 18:56:31

Sipma, Sjoerd Aukes 1812-1896 Pioneer and His Descendants.

The information for this narrative of one of the first four Sioux County Iowa ‘Land Seekers’ who was Sjoerd Aukes Sipma was taken from several sources.

PART I of this biography is genealogical in nature with family data and obituaries.

PART II is of collection of historical information found in several books relating to the early history of Sioux County Iowa.

PART III is found on this website page:
This combined narrative has been researched and set forth by Wilma J. Vande Berg of the Greater Sioux County Genealogical Society.

Sjoerd Aukes Sipma was born 17 Aug 1812 at Holwerd/Bornwerd, Dongeradeel, Friesland, Netherlands. He died 16 Jan 1896 Orange City, Iowa at 83 years of age. He was the son of Auke Sipkes Sipma 1765-1850 and Ijtje Ritskes Reitsma 1775-1836.

Note: There seems to be a lot of confusion regarding the names and statistics of this family in some of the secondary sources. Cousins carried the same names as their cousin due to the naming system, so several families had Sjoerds, Richards... etc for son’s name. Children of brothers, Sjoerd Auke Sipma 1812 and Ritske Aukes Sipma 1808-1897, got lumped together into one family on the internet when they were actually first cousins. The family of Ritske Aukes Sipma will be addressed in a separate BIOS of his son, Sjoerd Ritskes Sipma 1842-1932. The submitter has searched for the actual records where possible to establish accuracy.

Netherlands records www.wiewaswie.nl Marriage of Sjoerd Aukes Sipma born at Bornwerd, Friesland age 34 years, married Jantje de Vries born at Engwierum, Friesland age 27. His parents Auke Sipkes Sipma and Yttje Ritskes, Her parents lists only mother only as Froukje Ruurds de Vries, Sjoerd A. Sipma and Jantje de Vries were married on 6 Mar 1847 at Westdongeradeel Friesland

The Souvenir History of Pella IA, lists Mr. and Mrs. S. A. Sipma who came to America on the Good Ship Pieter Floris which left Amsterdam early April 1847 for Baltimore. No children were born in the Netherlands. Sjoerd’s first wife Jantje Sjoukes de Vries died between about 1853 – June 1856 at Pella IA. (see narrative in Part III for information on that trip from Friesland to Pella which took about 150 days.)

In the 1850 census of Lake Prairie, Marion County, Iowa Sjoerd Sipma age 38 a farmer, with wife Janje de Vries 31 and children born in Iowa, Jetsje (or Ietje) age 1 and Auke age 3 mo. (Auke died1852)

In the 1856 census of Summit Township Marion County IA, Sjoerd Sipma was 44 born about 1812, he was widowed. Children were – Ietje 7 and John 4. Sjoerd was living next door to his brother’s family, Richard Sipma, wife Antje and their seven children.

Marion County marriage records lists S. A. Sipma married Boukje Boonstra Bruinja on 14 Oct 1857. She died 1884. (She was the widow of Tjeerd Bruinja)

In the 1860 census of Summit, Marion County Iowa Sjoerd Sipma was 47, wife Boukje was 30, children Jetsje 11, John 8, Tryntje (Bruinia) 3, and Auke 1.

In the 1870 census of Summit Marion county IA Sjoerd Sipma born abt 1813 Netherlands 57, Boukje 40, children Jetze 21, Tryntje 13, Derkje 11, Kate 8, Heltje 5, Syske 3, Retchard 8 mo.

In the 1880 census of Holland Tsp Sioux county IA S. A. Sipma 67, Boukje 55, Auke 21, Lillie 15, Sipke 13, Richard 11, Anna 8.

A third marriage of Sjoerd Aukes Sipma was to Kaatje Pieters De Boer Mulder born 1835 and died 3 Apr 1914, Bon Homme Co. SD Marriage record lists Kaatje Mulder – De Boer 60 years her 2nd marriage to Sjoerd A. Sipma age 80 married Jun 7, 1893 at Orange City.

Sjoerd Auke Sipma Family from www.genealogieonline.nl/en/stamboom-kuyper-en-scholten/126666.php
Following notes added form this site confirm birth of four children born to Sjoerd and Jantje.
Notes about Sjoerd Aukes SIPMA
Sjoerd Aukes Sipma was born on August 17, 1812 at Bornwerd in the municipality of Westdongeradeel. He was a son of Auke Sipkes Sipma and Yttje Ritskes Reitsma, his occupation was farmhand and market gardener. On March 1847 he married in Westdongeradeel with Jantje Sjoukjes de Vries. She was born on June 6, 1819 at Engwierum in the municipality of Oostdongeradeel a daughter of Sjoukje Ruurds de Vries. The birth record of Jantje reads: Jantje, daughter of Sjoukje Ruurds de Vries, labourer, Shortly after the wedding they left on April 3, 1847 to go to America in search of a better life. After a successful ocean voyage the arrived in Baltimore on June 11, 1847 and on August 31, 1847 in Pella. Sjoerd Aukes Sipma became a leading citizen in Pella and was a co-founder of the second colony Nieuw-Holland [New Holland] later named Orange City. This place grew in a short time to around 1500 inhabitants and became as prosperous as Pella.

On September 23, 1848 their first child was born and named Yttje (later Edith). In 1850 a son was born and named Auke, and a second son was born on January 1, 1852 who received the name Jan (later John). Again the family was blessed with the birth of a 3rd son who was named Sipke; where and when he was born is not known. The other 3 children were born in Pella. The family descended into mourning when 2 year old Auke suddenly died in 1852. A few years later Sjoerd's wife, Jantje died, which was a great loss to him. She died before October 13, 1857 for on that date Sjoerd was remarried, this time to Boukje Boonstra. (Jantje 1st wife of Sjoerd died before June 1856 census)

CHILDREN of Sjoerd Aukes Sipma - Researched by Wilma J. Vande Berg
(Some of the children’s information was from ancestry.com and was done by other than the submitter,some from www.wiewaswie.nl and some from obits were added from www.iagenweb.org/sioux )

Children of Sjoerd Aukes Sipma and the first wife Jantje De Vries, reportedly four children born to them at Pella, two survived.
1. Yttje/Jetske/Jetje/Itetje aks ‘Eidth’ Sipma born 23 Sep 1848 as she was one year in the 1850 census. Husband was Pieter H. De Jong.
Her death record lists her as Jetje Sipma 81 widowed born 23 Sep 1848 Iowa and died 20 Dec 1929 Carrol, Township Sheldon O’Brien IA , she is buried at Newkirk IA, parents listed as Sjoerd Sipma and Jantje De Vries.
Alton Democrat of Dec 27th 1929 page 8
Mrs. De Jong who had been very sick for some time, died Friday at the home of her daughter. She was 81 years old and is survived by 3 sons and 4 daughters, brothers, sisters and hosts of other relatives and friends. Funeral services were held Tuesday at 12 :30 from the house and 1:30 at the Newkirk Church, Rev. Roetman officiating. Burial was made in the Newkirk cemetery where her husband also rests. Peter H. De Jong was born 9 Apr 1847 Rotterdam Netherlands and died 14 Dec 1922 Hospers, IA
Children born to them were: Conrad Peter De Jong 1872-1964; Sjoerd P. De Jong 1874-1963; William Peter 1878-1957; Jennie De Jong 1881-1948; Wilhelmina DeJong Boomgaars Beltmen 1884-1970; Tryntje Katie De Jong Harmelink 1886-1980; and Dena De Jong 1889-1984.

2. Auke age 3 months in the 1850 census died young in 1852 .

3. John Sipma born 1 Jan 1852 died 1934 Crawford CO. (Find a Grave)
Find A Grave.com has John Sipma, born 1851, died 1934, buried in Garden of Memories Cemetery, Crawford, Colorado. There is a photo of the joint headstone for Sipma, John, 1851-1934, and Dena, 1857-1931. Father, Sjoerd Aukes Sipma (1812-1896); no mother listed. Five siblings listed: Tetje, Auke, Lillie, Sip, and Annie. Wife, Dena Harmsen Sipma (1857-1931, married 1875). Children: Jennie Sipma TeGrotenhuis (1877-1936), Antoinette “Nettie” Sipma Den Beste (1879-1951), Tetje Sipma Teeslink (1880-1909), Sjoerd Sipma (1888-1973), Edward Sipma (1891-1964). The 1860 U.S. census shows Sjoerd (47) and Boutje (30) Sipma with children Jetsje (11), John (8), Tryntje (3), and Auke (1) living in Summit Township, Marion County (post office Pella), where Sjoerd is a farmer. The 1880 census for Holland Township, Sioux County shows John S. Sipma (27), a farmer, wife Dina (22), and daughters Jane (2) and Anna (11/12). The 1900 U.S. census show him and his family living in Hospers, Sioux County, where he is a hardware dealer; born January 1852. He and wife Dena are married 25 years and the parents of 8 children, 6 living. In the 1910 census they are living in Crawford, Colorado, where he was a farmer.

4. Sipke Sipma Child born and died 1853-1856 at Pella Iowa

Children of Sjoerd Auke Sipma and Boukje Boonstra Bruinia;

5. *Step daughter of Sjoerd - Trijntje ‘Kate’ Bruinia (Mrs. Dries ‘Andrew’ Vande Berg) born Sep 1857 Pella Iowa died 13 Feb 1931 Orange City IA . In the book ‘Vande Berg family history’ Andrew married Tryntje Bruinia in Dec of 1875. She was the daughter of Tjeerd Bruinija and Boukje Boonstra, she was born Sept 6, 1856 at Pella Iowa, she was born after her father died.

6. Auke ‘Oscar’ Sipma born 8 Oct 1858 in Marion County IA died 15 Oct 1943 Slope County ND buried in Boyden IA; named parents were Sjoerd Aukes Sipma and Boukje Tjeerds Bruinia (Find a Grave)
His spouse was Bregtje ‘Bertha’ Sakes DeVries Children Charles Oscar Sipma 1890-1969, John William Aukes Sipma 1892-1980; Ruby Katherine Aukes Sipma 1894-1918; Bertha Sipma 18097-1987; Edith Sipma 1899 and Nella Sipma 1902.

7. Geertje Sjoerds ‘Kate’ Sipma born 19 May 1862 Pella IA died 21 July 1913 Hull, IA She was married to Charles Nathaniel Sawyer 1858-1926 Children listed in her obit were – seven with five who are living, Bertha Mrs. Charles L. Wynia of Aberdeen SD, Charles O. of Hull, Stuart O. of Lismore MN, Kate Mrs. William Meylink of Carmel and Henry L. of Hull. Mary and Martha died in infancy. See her obituary, Sawyer, Kate Mrs. Charles N. 1862-1913 at www.iagenweb.org/boards/sioux/obituaries/index

8. Hiltje ‘Lilly’ born 27 Nov 1864 Pella IA died 18 Dec 1940 . Find A Grave lists – Lillie Boterman born 28 Nov 1864 Pella IA died 18 Dec 1940 at Sioux Falls, SD buried in Hurley Cemetery Hurley SD. Parents listed were Sjoerd Aukes Sipma and Boukje Tjeerds Sipma. Husband was John Boterman and five children listed as Bertha 1886-1901; Infant 1887; Frederick 1888-1894; , Stuart Boterman 1889-1894; Artie Boterman 1891; Edith May Boterman Hoeven 1894; John Frederick Boterman 1896; and Josephine Boterman 1903.

9. Sipke Sjoerds Sipma born 26 Feb 1867 Pella IA died 18 Dec 1933 Hospers IA Find A Grave lists -
Sip Sipma born 26 Feb 1867 Marion county IA died Dec 1933 buried Orange City IA. Parents listed a Sjoerd Aukes Sipma and Boukje Tjeerds Sipma
Obit of Sipke Sipman
From the Alton Democrat, December 22, 1933:
Sip Sipma died at the Gerrit Beyer home near Newkirk on Sunday, December 17. Mr. Sipma was born in Marion county, Iowa, on Feb. 26, 1867. He was 68 years old at the time of his death. He married Annie Jansma in Sioux county on July, 1890, and to this union four sons were born, all of the children residing at Jamestown, N.D. He is also survived by one sister, Mrs. J. Boterman, of Excelsior Springs, Mo., and by two brothers, Auke and Richard, residing in North Dakota; also by one adopted daughter residing in this state. Mr. Sipma was preceded in death by two sisters, Mrs. Chas. Sawyer of Hull and Mrs. W. Vander Schaaf of Orange City, and by one stepbrother, John Sipma of Crawford, Colo., formerly of Hospers, and by two stepsisters, Mrs. P. De Jong of Hospers and Mrs. A. Vanden Berg (She was a step sister) of Orange City. ( Note: They were half siblings not step siblings) Funeral services are being held this Thursday at 1:30 o’clock at the First Reformed church. The children were: Anna Jansma Sipma 1891, Lanrt G. Sipma 1896, Sjoerd A. Sipma 1896 – On Stuart’s death record of 17 Oct 1939 at Grafton ND, Stuart was born Dec 10, 1896 at Maurice IA and was single, listed mother as Anna Tolsma Stuart’s death record indicates died at the ND school for mentally impaired. Another son was George Peter Sipma 1900. 1910 census in ND lists Sip Sipma42 living with brother Richard’s family

10. Richard Sipma born 17 Oct 1869 Marion County IA died Sep 1934 Miles City, Custer, MT.
Iowa marriages for son Sylvan R. Sipma list mother as Anna Baas 1874-1953. Married 25 Aug 1892 Orange City IA. Montana marriages indicate wife was Anna Bass (Baas) per birth of child Clarence R. Sipma, Oscar same, John same, Bertha Sipma 1903-1925.
Children listed in the 1910 census of Glenmore ND lists Richard 40, Annie 35, Stewart 16, Marthe 14, Jake 9, Bertha 7, Johnny 4, Oskar 3 and Lillian 1.

11. Anna Sipma (Mrs. Wiebe L. Vander Schaaf ) born 29 July 1872 Pella IA died 6 March 1918 Newkirk IA . Eight children. Find A Grave lists:
Anna Sipma Vander Schaaf born 29 Jul 1872 at Pella Ia died 8 Mar 1918 buried at Newkirk IA Husband Wiebe L. Vander Schaaf, children Ella De Valois, Lillian Top, Stuart Vander Schaaf and Bertha Duistermars.
In the obit of Weibe Vander Schaaf the children were listed as - Eight children survive who are as follows: Mrs. Maggie Vander Velde, Sanborn; Mrs. Bertha Duistermars, Hospers; Mrs. Ella de Valois, Sheldon; Louis Vander Schaaf, address unknown; Stewart Vander Schaaf, Hospers; Mrs. Lillian Top, Orange City; Mrs. Kathryn Van Surksum, Orange City; and Joe Vander Schaaf of Hospers.


Sjoerd Aukes Sipma Obituary 1812- 1896
Deceased was well known by many people of this county and highly esteemed by all.
He was born in the Province of Friesland, the Netherlands, on August 17, 1812, and came to Pella, Iowa in 1847, being one of the first settlers there.
When the people talked of founding a new Dutch settlement in northwestern Iowa, he was one of the first to take an active part in the scheme and was one of the first four sent out to select a suitable place for settlement. When Sioux County was agreed upon he came with his family and became one of our pioneer settlers. During the greater part of the time that he was living here he has been a farmer and he has retired from the farm only about five years ago. He has been with us through the grasshopper time and firmly believing in the great future of Sioux County he stayed out the bad times. His fellow citizens have honored him with many positions of responsibility and trust, which he has always filled in a just and conscientious way. He also was one of the first elders of the Reformed church here.
He was married three times. From his first marriage there were four children, Two of which survive him.
From the second marriage six children, all of which survive.
The funeral services were held in the First Reformed church in this city and were conducted by Rev. Kolyn. A large number of friends and relatives conducted the body to its last resting place. The many children and relatives have the heartfelt sympathy of all.
-Obituary from The Sioux County Herald (1/22/1896)

OBITUARY OF BOUKJE MRS SJOERD SIPMA 1830-1884 Source: Sioux County Herald (7-17-1884) Born: June 17, 1830 Died: July 12, 1884
On Saturday, July 13, 1884, at four o’clock P.M. of Dropsy, Mrs. Boukje "Bertha" (Boonstra) Sipma, aged 54 years. The deceased was a consistent Christian lady and died with the full assurance of a blessed immortality. She suffered a great deal for the last two weeks before her death, but retained consciousness up to within a few fours of her death. Mr. and Mrs. Sipma were among the first settlers of the county, removing here from Pella with the first of the colonists. The deceased leaves a husband and nine children to mourn her loss. Mrs. Sipma was well known and universally respected by the people in this vicinity, a large number of whom attended the funeral at Orange City on Monday. The funeral services were conducted by Reverend L. Dykstra, assisted by Reverends A. Buursma and S. Bolks.

The historical events that led to the migration of Pella families to Sioux County Iowa started about 1869. When some residents were unhappy with the prices of rent and land so they sought new government lands to the north west Iowa. Also read the stories of Hendrik Vander Waa, Jelle Pelmulder and Henry Hospers to get more insight into the beginnings of forming a colony at Orange City. The book ‘The Story of Sioux County’ by Charles Dyke has many pages dedicated to the early days of the new colony.

Page 10 The committee chosen was Hendrik Jan Van Der Waa, Jelle Pelmulder, Huibert Muilenburg and Sjoerd Aukes Sipma. Huibert was also a farmer and much interested in church work and in vocal and instrumental music. Sjoerd Aukes sipma was of a genteel Friesian family, who had emigrated to America in the days of the canal boats, about which he told us a very interesting story. He was likewise a farmer. A subscription was passed around to defray the expenses for the trip and more than enough was subscribed, so that there was a nice balance in the treasury for the future needs of the organization. Van Der Waa offered his team and wagon without charge. The four men chosen at once went to work to get ready for the trip. The wagon was transformed into a prairie schooner, ehcih meant that bows were fastened to the sides of the box, over which a canvas was stretched.
As Vander Waa had been in the United State Army, he understood provisioning and a mess chest was secured and stocked and a tent purchased. The morning before staring, Van De Waa traded his team of horses for a team of young mules, as he thought that mules would stand the hardships of the trip better than horses. The mules had never had a harness on and kicked it off several times as soon as it was put on. But finally it was on and the expedition left, people watching, expecting th outfit to be wrecked, as they left in a regular runaway. But Van Der Waa kept the unruly mules in the road and finally they became tired and quieted down after the they became gentle as any other team of mules. The narrative goes on to relate all the experiences of the trip.

Page 17 - The wagon jogged slowly on, and like Moses of old viewing the promised land from the heights of Pisgah, they gazed and gazed and said nothing, for they were under a spell of strange emotions. The one of them broke this spell by reverently intoning the paraphrased lines of a old hymn: “it is the promised land, Fresh from the Makers’ hand; It is indeed an earthly paradise.” And the others responded with ‘Amen’ Amen! Amen!.” (It was noted in the biography of Huibert Muilenburg more details were given of the difficulty in establishing just what land the settlers ended up with)

Pages 10-34 relates a lot of experiences of the early settlers. It would do well for the reader to read the entire book as it gives a very humanistic approach as well as historical facts to the experiences of the settlers, which the family of Sjoerd Sipma was an important part of the community and civic life of the colony.

Page 454 The author of the book, Charles Dyke was evidently the teacher of some of the Sipma Children. ‘The three Sipma children were my pupils also. They came of a fine hospitable family and I enjoyed many a pleasant evening at their home. Sip was the oldest and often went to school early to start the fire for me. They had a big black dog that followed them everywhere and many a morning I would hear the children calling, “Come Sip, come Richard, come Anna, come Rover.’ as they started to school, their dinner pails swinging. (The submitter is not positive if this was the Sjoerd Aukes family or the Sjoerd R. Sipma family. )

Pages 5,6,7 8 and 9 of the Orange City Centennial book, 1870-1970 offers an excellent account of the beginnings of the new Pella colony at Orange City which was very much similar to the account in the ‘Story of Sioux County’ Book. Page 9 gives a list of some 60 families of pioneers who left Pella for their new home in Sioux county in April and May of 1870. List was taken from the Pella Book.

Page 64 of the Orange City Centennial book 1870-1970, states within the article on the First Reformed Church of Orange city that was organized in 1871, Deacons included Sjoerd Sipma,...was installed at the first communion service.
After the submitter found all of the above information, she stumbled on to this biography of Sjoerd Aukes Sipma, how be it a lot of it is repetitious of the before mentioned dates. But thought it well worth submitting. See Part III:
No family picture was readily found for the family. See the mentioned site above for a picture of Sjoerd Aukes Sipma, Also see the Story of Jelle Pelmulder at www.iagenweb.org/Sioux click on BIOS for a picture taken in 1895 of the re-enactment of the first prairie schooner wagon with the two mule hitch and the Four Old Timer Land Seekers.

Alton Democrat, Oct. 20, 1894
ORANGE CITY: John Oggel succeeded last Monday in getting three fine pictures of the committee who located the Holland settlement here in 1869 and also the mule team that hauled them here. The pictures will soon be offered for sale. L. VanOlst proposed that such pictures be taken and assisted in getting the matters arranged. The members of the committee are Jelle Pelmulder, H. Muilenburg, S. A. Sipma, and H. J. VanderWaa, all old men now, and it is certainly surprising that they are still all alive, and more surprising that the mule team, which must now be over thirty years old, is still alive. The pictures will doubtlessly become historic.

Le Mars Sentinel of Feb. 13, 1903 page 3 col 2
Sioux County Herald -  Obituary of "Jennie"
'Jennie' perhaps the oldest mule in northwestern Iowa, died at the home of her owner,  Bert Van Pelt, west of Orange City on Friday of last week at the age of forty one years.  Jennie first saw the light of day in Marion County, Iowa, and with her mate drew a load of household furniture from Pella to Sioux County in 1869; this train of wagon teams being the very first settlers of the Colony.  Jennie also bore the distinction of being one of the four mule teams which drew the county safe and records from Calliope in 1872 when the boys relocated the county seat without ceremony or ballot.  Jennie's mate, on this famous trip, preceded her in ‘muledom’ by several years.  In her late illness she was nursed like a child and her death was equally mourned.
(note – it was the first four “Land Seekers” that was first wagon that Jennie drew to the location of the Orange City Colony. The loads of settler’s furniture followed later )

Due to the length of the total BIOS information for Sjoerd A. Sipma the Part III was placed on another page. See the Part III for more information.

Photograph of Sjoerd Aukes Sipma 1812-1896


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