Wow, look at that name! I don’t know anything about my great-great-great grandmother, but from this photo she appears to me to be a tough, grim woman. People never smiled in old photos for a variety of reasons, but I wonder sometimes if Johanna didn’t smile much given the tough life she must have endured. I don’t have a date for this photo, but she appears to be in her late 60s or early 70s.
Johanna was born in Woubrugge in the southern part of Holland on July 11, 1845, to Barend Van Mijnen and Aagje Kroon. In the records from Dutch Immigrants to America, it is noted her father, Barend, sailed on the Arnold Boninger of Prussia ship leaving Rotterdam, arriving in New York on June 26, 1856. Barend is listed as husband and I presume that his family was with him. Johanna would have been 11 years old.
In 1863, Johanna married Johannes (John) Ooms, a local Roseland veterinarian, and they had two children: Adam, born 1865 (my father’s line), and Aggie, born 1866. On September 11, 1866, John died at the very young age of 28. There is no information on his death, but given the fact illness was very common back then, it wouldn’t surprise me if that was a reason. Johanna was left a widow with two very young children.
A couple of years later, Johanna married Kasper Rieve, and they had three children: Antje (Annie), born 1869; Barendina (Dina), born 1871; and Casper Willem, born 1873. Unfortunately, Kasper died in January 1873 at the age of 41. Johanna was left a widow once again, now with three more very young children – five children under the age of 10. Very sad indeed.
However, one year later on May 12, 1874, Johanna married again, to Age Vellenga. This marriage produced five children: Andries (Andrew), born 1875; Lysbert (Elizabeth), born 1876; Bernard, born 1878; Kate, born 1879; and Harry, born 1886.
This marriage lasted much longer. In June 1917, when Age was 77 years old, he died of a stroke. Johanna was left a widow once again, but she passed away the next year on August 12, 1918 at the age of 73 in East Grand Rapids, Michigan.