Generation X - American Rutger Branch

This page and following American pages cover two American branches, one founded by Isaak van Gorkom and his whole family, and one founded a little later by Abraham van Gorkom and his children. Click here for a chart of the genealogical connections between the American and Dutch branches. It also shows a third branch, which is a "not official" maternal branch, founded by the children of Aletta van Gorkom (gen-Xa51).

It is not unlikely that Abraham knew Isaac. Abraham's father was not only a namesake of Isaac, but also a full cousin. The difference of one generation between Abraham and Isaak explains the twenty year gap between the departures of the two families. Motives will neither have been the same. When Abraham left, there was no religious repression in the Netherlands anymore, which had been Isaak's reason to leave.

The branch founded by Isaak van Gorkom and Antonia van Hensbergen is certainly the biggest one. As told on the page about generation IX, they emigrated with their children from Utrecht in the Netherlands to Pella, Iowa, between 1847 and 1856. Most of them did not stay in Pella forever, but moved to the west. The site (not on air anymore, as it seems) tells about another important Dutch settlement called Orange City:

    When four men came in the 1860's to survey the land on which Orange City stands, it was clear to them that they had found a place to carry on their Dutch traditions. This unsettled land was a place they call home. 'Here is the place!' they proclaimed as they scanned the rich soil they called 'Holland.'
    Returning to Pella, the four men excitedly shared word of their findings with friends and family. The news spread quickly and 70 families set out in 1870 for the northwest corner of the state, where they would settle down, make their homes, and share their Dutch hospitality with visitors. They attracted nearly 1,000 people to the new settlement over the next two years.
    Those early settlers were happy about their 'Holland,' a place where they were free of the persecution of their prince. Despite the persecution, Orange City's ancestors prided themselves on their Dutch heritage as 'Orangemen' or ancestors of the House of Orange. Out of that pride evolved the name Orange City.

It should be noted that Orangemen were not ancestors of the House of Orange, but loyal supporters of Prince William of Orange--a name that referred to King William III, who ruled the Netherlands from 1849 till 1890.

A number of the Van Gorkom families moved further to the west to South Dakota. A little passage from the book "History of South Dakota" (1904) by Doane Robinson (Chapter LXXXVIII, Vol. I, published on Rootsweb) illustrates the history of the Dutch in South Dakota and gives a good historical insight in how life was experienced those days:

History of the Holland Colony in Douglas and Charles Mix Counties
by Rev. Henry Straks, Harrison, S. D.

    It is known that during the early history of our land the Dutch came in great numbers to our eastern shores, and settled in the middle Atlantic states and prospered there. When the English language became the language of the court and had to be taught in our schools the Dutch language gradually became obsolete. In the years 1840 to 1860 another stream of emigrants from the same source sought to benefit themselves by the opportunities this country so richly offered, and they settled in many states west of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, and Buffalo, New York. Whole churches, pastor, elders and people, settled in the chosen locations; among others, western Michigan, northeastern Illinois and southern Iowa. In 1870 these settlements, becoming crowded, poured out their surplus settlers into northwestern Iowa, Minnesota and Nebraska. At first they suffered discouragements, not only such as are usual in new settlements, but the grasshoppers robbed the fields, luxuriant with acres of the finest crops, for two or three years in succession; but soon the country was rid of these pests and the land became valuable for agricultural purposes. In a short time the land was all taken up and raised rapidly in price, so that, as early as 1881, many settlers having large families and lacking means to purchase the high-priced farms, began to look for cheaper land farther west. In said year a mass meeting was held at Orange City, Iowa, of all the people interested in migrating to regions more congenial for our meager purses. A committee was appointed to reconnoiter and look up a suitable location in the great territory of Dakota, consisting of Hon. Frank Le Cocq, Jr., Mr. Leendert Van der Meer and Mr. Dirk Van der Bos. This committee started out overland, with teams, and finally halting in Douglas and Charles Mix counties, South Dakota, decided to locate in western Douglas county at a place now called Harrison.

Very likely, this Frank Le Cocq, Jr., was the son-in-law of Isaak van Gorkom and Antonia van Hensbergen, also known as François Le Cocq, married to Maria van Gorkom (generation IX-m29).


On this page

Grandchildren of Isaak van Gorkom and Johanna Gerarda van Zantwijk Grandchildren of Isaak van Gorkom and Antonia van Hensbergen Click here for a chart of the genealogical connections between the American and Dutch branches. It also shows a third branch, which is a "not official" maternal branch, founded by the children of Aletta van Gorkom (gen-Xa51).


Generation X. Children of Abraham van Gorkom and Willemina van Sandwijk (generation IX-a20)
Abraham was son of Isaak van Gorkom and Johanna Gerarda van Zantwijk(generation VIII-i91) and grandson of David van Gorkom and Maria Eleonora Schweijgert (VII-d58).

XUS-j51. Johanna Gerarda
Johanna Gerarda was born in Utrecht on 28 January 1851. She was clearly named after her father's mother. She was nearly just as old as her cousin Aletta (
generation X-a51), the eldest daughter of Abraham's brother Izak. As Izak and his family lived at the same address as Abraham for quite some time, as it seems, the girls will have known eachother well. Eventually, the children of Aletta would all move to the US, just like Johanna Gerarda did herself. As mentioned on the page about generation IX, Johanna emigrated to the US with her father and siblings in 1870. According to, Johanna Gerarda ("Anna") married John A. MacLean in the Third Presbyterian Church of Albany, New York, on 1 April 1872. Despite his very Anglo-saxon name, John MacLean(e) was born in Rossum, Netherlands, in 1849. The Scottish family name was inherited from a mercenary who had married in the Netherlands a Dutch woman at the end of the seventeenth century.

Anna an d John MacLean
Johanna Gerarda van Gorkom and her husband John A. MacLean.

Johanna's great-great-granddaughter Lissa possesses an old letter, written by (Joh)anna's daughter Anna Backus, née MacLean, to her son William (Wim Backus) on 30 April 1966. In this letter Anna tells about a visit in 1888 of her mother Johanna Gerarda to the Netherlands. Johanna was going to stay with a sister of her father, an "aunt who had married into a well to do family". In 1888 father Abraham had three married sisters who were still alive. Most likely candidate is sister Wilhelmina (gen IX-w23) who had married the much respected Evert Dirk van Bruggen after whom so many children have been named by the Van Gorkom family.

Anna MacLean Backus Johanna Gerarda and John MacLean moved to the Town of Lake (Chicago) and had eight children: Gilbert MacLean, born 13 October 1873, deceased 2 November 1952 in San Diego, William G. MacLean ("Wim"), born in 1874, married to Bertha Breibing from Germany, two known children, three stepchildren, Henry W. MacLean ("Hein"), born in 1876, deceased in Madison, Wisconsin, in 1953, married to Minnie Scherer, Frank MacLean, born 16 August 1879, deceased in 1950, a son called Gilbert, George MacLean, born in 1884, two known children, John MacLean, born 1 June 1885, deceased in 1947, two known children, Anna Elizabeth MacLean, born on 2 December 1886, deceased in Madison, Wisconsin, 21 November 1975, two children, and Minnie MacLean, born 1 April 1889, deceased on 25 August 1956, two children. Together the eight children formed a band, as shown on the photo below.

The photo shows daughter Anna Elizabeth MacLean Backus.

The two daughters Anna and Minnie repeated the trick of their mother Johanna and aunt Wilhelmina, who had married two brothers (see below). On 12 September 1906 Anna Elizabeth MacLean married Irving Earl Backus, born in Madison, Wisconsin, in 1884. Sister Minnie MacLean married Irving's brother Benjamin Backus, who was born in Madison, Wisconsin, on 19 February 1887. In about 1905 the whole MacLean family had started to move to Madison. This probably explains how the two girls met the two boys. Brother Frank MacLean became an accomplished trumpeter in Vaudeville and played in an orchestra. Furthermore it is known that the brothers Henry, George and John worked at the greenhouse in Madison on Mineral Point Road in 1910.

Most information about the MacLeans was kindly provided by Anna's greatgranddaughter Lissa Janoski.

Mac Lean Band
Eight children of Johanna Gerarda and John MacLean, in 1894. Click here for an enlargement.

XUS-w52. Wilhelmina Frederika
Wilhelmina Frederika was born in Utrecht on 6 October 1852. It looks like she was named after her mother Willemina and her mother's father Willem Frederik. According to the 1880 Chicago census, Wilhelmina ("Minnie") married Frank MacLean, the brother of her elder sister's husband. In other words, two sisters married two brothers. In 1880 there were two children of Minnie and Frank: Jessie MacLean (aged 3) and John MacLean (aged 1). In 1910, John worked at the greenhouse in Madison on Mineral Point Road with his cousins Henry, George and John, sons of Anna and John MacLean.

XUS-n54. N.N.
A dead child with no name was born in Utrecht on 20 March 1854. It was a boy.

XUS-h55. Hendrik
Hendrik was born in Utrecht on 23 September 1855. He died on 4 October, just eleven days old.

XUS-h56. Hendrik Leonard
Hendrik Leonard was born in Utrecht on 1 October 1856. He will have been 13 or 14 when he emigrated to the US with his father and sisters. According to oral history, Hendrik and his father moved from Chicago to Peoria, Illinois. One may assume that this happened after Hendrik's two sisters had married. In Peoria he married Martha Reiners ("Mattie"), on 26 December 1886. They had six children, who are listed on the page about
American generation XI.

XUS-e58. Evert Dirk
Evert Dirk was born in Utrecht on 12 June 1858. He died on 20 March 1860, a year and nine months old.

XUS-d60. Daviea
Daviea was born in Utrecht on 27 February 1860 and died on 9 September 1862, two and half years old. She was named after the eldest sister of her father.

XUS-i62. Izak
Izak was born in Utrecht on 18 June 1862 and died after seven months on 18 January 1863.

Children of Isaak van Gorkom and Maria Oxenaar (generation IX-i21)
Isaak was son of Isaak van Gorkom and Antonia van Hensbergen (VIII-i96) and grandson of Jan van Gorkom and Anna Christina de Visser (VII-j73).

XUS-m45. Anthonia Maria
Anthonia Maria, the first child of Isaak and Antonia, was born in Utrecht on 16 August 1845. She died in Pella on 24 July 1849, not long after the family had arrived after their long journey from Utrecht, the Netherlands, to Iowa. She suffered from diarrhoea and was ill for 5 days.

XUS-a47. Antoinetta Christina
Antoinetta Christina was born in Utrecht as well, on 12 April 1847. She married on 12 (or 21) January 1865 Cornelis van der Sluis. He was born in Poortugaal, the Netherlands, on 14 November 1842. Three children are known, all born in Pella, IA. Pieter Van der Sluis was born on 17 December 1865, Isaac Van der Sluis on 27 September 1867, and Maria Van der Sluis on 12 June 1871. Cornelis died in Pella on 28 December 1902.

XUS-i51. Isaac
Isaac -- son of Isaak and grandson of an Isaak -- was the first child of Isaak and Maria that was born in Pella, Marion County, Iowa. He was born on 25 July 1851. He married in Pella Christina Cornelia Sara Le Cocq on 19 March 1875. She was born on 6 October 1841 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, so she was ten years older then Isaac. Christina was the daughter of Jean François Le Cocq and Neeltje Heere, making her the sister (indeed) of the two brothers who married two aunts of Isaac in Pella in 1856. So this was a third marriage between a Van Gorkom and a Le Cocq. See the page on generation IX for the marriage of Maria Van Gorkom and François Le Cocq (
generation IX-m29), and Theodora Josephina Van Gorkom and Theodorus Christiaan Le Cocq (generation IX-t35).

The family moved from Pella to South Dakota in about the year 1881, probably because of high prices of farmland, as described by Reverend Henry Straks in the article quoted above. Indeed, Isaac was a farmer for his profession. One of the initiators of this resettlement was Frank Le Cocq jr., without doubt related to the family described here and very likely Isaac's brother-in-law/uncle. Isaac and Christina Cornelia had seven children. They are mentioned on the page about Pella generation XI. Two daughters, Mary and Ethel, remained unmarried and were still living with their old parents in Harrison, Douglas County, South Dakota in 1930, as a census record shows. Isaac died in Harrison on 17 January 1938. Daughter Ethel died in Davidson, SD, on 9 August 1945.

XUS-j54. Jan Adam
Jan, often called John, was born in Pella, IA, on 25 March 1854 and was one of a twin. He married, but his wife's name is not clear yet. The couple had some eight children. Until now little is known about this family including the children. Therefore they are listed here: Jennis Belle, born on 14 March 1879 and deceased on 30 June 1879, Calvin, born on 15 December 1879, Katie Ethel, born on 23 October 1881, John, born on 15 November 1884, Charley Leroy (Ray), born on 7 January 1886, Hazel Caroline, born on 4 September 1888, George (Gregory), born on 27 September 1890, Emma Belle, born on 27 February 1894 and Reed Stough, born in Albany, Missouri, on 27 April 1896. In the census record of Newton, Missouri, John is mentioned, but not his wife, so she had probably passed away. Remarkable is that the years of birth of the children vary from one information source to the other, so nothing is very certain until now.

XUS-a54. Antonia
Antonia was the twin sister of Jan Adam. She married in Orange City, Sioux County, IA, Johannes Reinders van der Schaaf on 4 June 1874. (Here a patronymic name is used in combination with a family name, saying "Johannes, Reinder's son, van der Schaaf.") He was born in the Netherlands in the province of Friesland on 19 October 1842. Their two known children were both born in Orange City. On 19 March 1875 was born Isaac VanderSchaaf, so named after Antonia's father, and on 19 November 1876 was born Reinder VanderSchaaf, obviously named after his paternal grandfather. Both children were baptized in the First Reformed Church of Orange City, IA. So, Antonia and Johannes Reinders had followed the example of her aunt Maria and moved from Pella to Orange City in about 1874.

XUS-j57. Jacob
Jacob's date of birth was probably 31 July 1857, but at several places different years of birth are mentioned, which vary between 1857 and 1863. He was born in Pella, IA. In the census record of 1880 he and his parents were still living in Lake Prairie Township (Pella). Soon after this date they must have moved to Sioux County. On 23 October 1888 he married in Sherman Township near Maurice Town, Sioux County, IA, Ida Dijkema. She was born in the Netherlands on 5 August 1868, in a place called 't Zandt in the province of Groningen, and was the daughter of Albert Dijkema and Ida Tiddes Olthof (Ida, daughter of Tidde, Olthof). Jacob was a farmer for his profession.

In the 1930 census record of Lake Township, Cook County, Illinois, Jacob was living with his daughter Jeanette Antoinette and son-in-law John William Glaum and grandson William John Glaum. Jacob died in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois on 28 August 1938. His wife Ida had died thirteen years before, on 6 January 1925, in Chicago as well, 56 years old. Eight children were born. They are listed on the page about
Pella generation XI.

XUS-h59. Hendrik
Hendrik (Henry) was born in Pella, IA, on 1 January 1859. Again the year of birth varies, this time between 1859 and 1866. He married Hattie Walsh, in about 1898. Hattie already had a son William, born in 1892. This family too moved to Newton County, like Henry's brother John Adam did, and settled in Neosho City, Missouri. In 1898 a son Clarence was born and in 1905 a daughter Nettie. Hattie passed away in Neosho City on 21 June 1934. Henry was still alive then.

XUS-m62. Maria
Daughter Maria was born in Pella, IA, on 5 March 1862.

XUS-c65. Cornelius
Cornelius, the benjamin, was born in Pella, IA, on 19 March 1865. He married Geseina Warntjes in 1894. She was born in The Netherlands in 1873, and emigrated to the US with her sister and two brothers after the death of their mother. In 1885 Cornelius, his brothers Jacob and Hendrik, and their parents were mentioned in the census record of Sherman Township. Cornelius and Geseina lived their whole life in Maurice Town, Sioux County, IA, were they raised eight children. Read more about them on the page about
Pella generation XI. Most of his life, Cornelius was a carpenter for his profession, but also a portrait photographer and wallpaper hanger.

Portrait from the book "Maurice, Iowa, Centennial 1891-1991", article written by Blanche Wiederholt, with thanks to Wilma Vande Berg.

Children of Henry Van Gorkom and Eleanor Kennedy (generation IX-h25)
Henry was son of Isaak van Gorkom and Antonia van Hensbergen (VIII-i96) and grandson of Jan van Gorkom and Anna Christina de Visser (VII-j73).

XUS-m50. Moses P.
Moses was born in Pella, Iowa, on 27 December 1850. He married Mary Francis Sparks in Jasper County on 16 August 1874. She was born in Pella on 1 March 1851. In 1880 their two daughters were living with their grandmother Ellanor. Only temporarily, it seems, because in 1900 the family was united again and living in Lake Prairie Township (Pella). The oldest daughter H.E. probably did not live at home any more then. This child was born about 1876. The second child was Laura B. and was born in about 1878.

A son William Albert was born on 28 January 1882. From his so-called Draft Card from 1918 we may conclude that he was married to an Elizabeth. He was tall, medium build, he had blue eyes, and the colour of his hair was dark. His address was 316 Oscaloosa, Pella, Marion. The fourth child of Moses was Leroy P. (Leo), born in Pella on 13 December 1886. On his Draft Card, dated 12 June 1917, we can read that he was living at the address 371 Oscaloosa, Pella. He had a slight physical disability, was stout, had blue eyes and light brown hair. George D. was born in February 1894. The census of 1930 shows a George, aged 35 years, of whom both parents were born in Iowa. He was living in Oscaloosa Township, Mahaska County, IA. He was married to Ruby and had three daughters; Francis, born about 1924, Martha, born about 1926, and Georgia, born about 1927. George was a salesman in furniture.

Moses P. died in Pella, IA, in 1930 and was buried in Oakwood Cemetery.

XUS-ja51. Josephina Anthonia
Josephina Anthonia was born in Pella on 31 October 1852. She married Johannes Vischer in Pella on 30 January 1869. He was born in Poortugaal, the Netherlands, on 4 June 1838. Five known children were born and are listed here: Johanna Maria Vischer was born on 10 November 1869. Ellen Vischer was born on 26 March 1871, Willem Vischer was born on 4 May 1872. Hendrica Vischer was born on 6 September 1873 and Henriette Elizabeth Vischer was born on 6 September 1873. The last married Norman Patrick. John Johansen, who send us the picture of Hendrik and Josephine (
see generation IX-h25), is a descendant of Josephina and Johannes.

XUS-hh55. Henry
Henry was born in Pella, IA, on 11 March 1855.

XUS-m61. Maria Sophia Wilhelmina
Maria Sophia Wilhelmina was born in Pella as well on 19 June 1861.

Gen  IX  |  X  |  XI  |           American Gen  X  |  XI  |  XII           |  Home  |  Search