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Submitted by Milton L. Keizer

The American branch of the Gerben Keizer Sr. family originated in Friesland Province, District of Leeuwarden, St. Anna Paroche, Holland*. Married in the Church of Het Bildt Thursday, September 13, 1877, Gerben Keizer of that province and Lidia Calsbeek of Aalzum, migrated to Alton, Iowa in the United States of America at the end of 1886. A naturalization record at Orange City, Sioux County, IA noted that the youngest of their six children from Holland, Pieter (Peter), born Nov, 10, 1886, “was six weeks old when the family crossed the Atlantic to New York.” (*now Netherlands).

Ancestors of Gerben Keizer Sr. were:
Jaspar Jasparsz – no data available
Jasper Jaspers -1700 + Ank Aarjens
Gerrit Jaspers - d. March 6, 1810 + Pleuntje Willems – b. August 16, 1752
Gerben G. Keizer – b. March 20, 1787, d. Jan. 29, 1861
Cornelius Gerben Keizer – b. 1826 + Maartje Baukes Van Dijk
(Children: Dieuwke-June 4, 1847, Mintje-May 6, 1850, *Gerben-Dec. 16, 1852, Bauke-Oct. 28, 1855 and Klaas Sept. 8, 1858)
*Gerben Keizer - 1852 d. May 12, 1913, in Alton, Iowa + Lidia Calsbeek – b. March 23, 1858 in Holland, d. May 30, 1943 in Alton, Iowa

Photograph—1896 by J.H. Oggel, Orange City, IA: Top: Cornelius (Casey), Martha, Sara, John. Front: Peter. Gerben Keizer Sr. Josie, Lidia Keizer holding Bert, Gerben Jr. (Alyda, William, and Wesley were born later.)

New Year’s Day, 1914—Top: Peter Keizer, Jeanette Giebink, Mrs. Peter (Tracy) Keizer, Mrs. Gerrit (Josie) Rensink, Wesley J. Keizer, Gerrit Rensink, Alyda M. Keizer, John Keizer, Bert Keizer, and Gerben Keizer Jr. Seated: Mrs. Gerben Keizer Sr. holding Dorothy Keizer (first child of Peter and Tracy), Mildred Giebink, Mrs. Wesley (Martha) Giebink, Clarence Giebink and Wesley Giebink. 

ALYDA KEIZER (b.10March1897, d.30May1933) & WILLIAM KEIZER (b.26December1898, d. 12 January1904) died without descendants. When she was 16, Alyda Marie was struck in her temple with a slush-ice snowball, and she later developed seizures, never married, and passed away at age 36. William Marinus Keizer died of Scarlet Fever at the age of 6, after the Gerben Kornelis Keizer family briefly moved to Luctor, MN. The rest of the family was quarantined and could not go to the funeral and had no money to raise a marker stone before moving back to Iowa. Years later, however, Gerben Keizer Jr. and Bert Keizer were taken to the tiny Luctor, MN rural churchyard by a friend of Cornelius Keizer. The friend, at age 16, had been in the funeral burial group and he stepped off the paces from other identifying stones there, and Gerben Keizer Jr. placed a rod and steel plaque with William's name, birth and death dates on it where the friend thought "Little Willie" was buried. (Milton Keizer found and photographed the metal marker in 2004.)



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