05 September 2010

Obituary--Mrs Henry Vennegirts

At first glance, this name seems so obviously to be one of our early Dutch settlers. But looking at her birth place, it seems she is one of those who although thought of locally as of Dutch descent, is actually German. Although with the fluctuating borders in Europe, it is possible that she considered herself Dutch. At least she seemed to live in areas of Michigan which had large percentages of residents with a background from the Netherlands.

From the 8 March 1917 Fremont TimesIndicator, in two separate columns:


Hendrika Masselink was born in Ulsen, Graafschapt Bentein, Germany, October 31, 1860 and died March 2, 1917 in Reeman.
She came to America March 18, 1882, was married to John Mast in 1883, in Drenth, Mich., and came to Reeman in 1884. Eight children were born to this union all of which survive, namely, Mrs. John Witte, Mrs. Walter Luchies, Harry Mast of Fremont, Mrs. John Hoolsema, of Grand Rapids, and Henry, Nick, Janie and Clara at home.
Her husband died in 1902 and she was married again in 1903 to Henry Vennegirts. One daughter, Jennie, was born to this union. Mr. Vennegirts died September 15, 1915. Besides her children Mrs. Vennegirts is survived by three sisters and one brother.
Funeral services were held Wednesday. Interment in Maple Grove cemetery at Fremont.

That obituary appears to have come from a regular obituary posting in the paper. The following is a notice in the Reeman community column.


This community was shocked last Friday when they learned of the very sudden death of Mrs Henry Vennegirts. The deceased had been ill but a few days with an attack of the grippe, though her condition was not considered fatally serious. Death was caused by heart failure which came on so suddenly that death came before aid could be summoned.

So many of the surnames of her children are common surnames in the Fremont/Reeman area today. I am sure her legacy lives on even now.

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