What really started this whole thing for us was a photo. This photo.
Doug’s parents were moving from the family home to a smaller home in a 50+ community and were starting to clean out some 40 odd years worth of accumulated stuff. Being a huge genealogy nerd, I, Melissa, offered to scan the family albums and photos so that there would be digital copies for reprints and sharing online. It was quite the cache of letters, documents, and photos, and each new scan brought another glimpse of the family history. Doug’s grandparents had both passed away years ago, but both he and his siblings could vividly recall stories they were told about life in Holland which helped fill in bits and pieces that the photos couldn’t tell themselves.
As I scanned more and more photos, I started to be able to pick out faces of people I’ve never even met based on the people living family could identify in photos as well as photos that had handwritten identifications on the back. There are a few photos of this barge in the set, and based on other photos, I know that’s Hilje in the front left in the checked dress, her sister Ellechien in the middle, and likely her father on the right. Hilje Dijkema, Doug’s grandmother, was born in 1914, so since we now know that the barge was built in 1926, and she looks to be in her early to mid teens, I can assume this was taken around the same time that the barge was built giving us a window of between 1926 and 1934 or so. We had absolutely no idea if the barge still existed or not, but publishing the photos and information I’d found on my personal blog led the former owners to find us as I detailed in the previous entry. Realizing the barge was still around, I did a little more hunting to find information.
The lvbhb.org website maintains a database of historical ship measurements which includes two for Janine. Originally named the Vertrouwen, her first measurement was taken on 16 September 1926 in Veendam where she was built, registered to Hendrik Dijkema, Doug’s great-grandfather. She measured 22 m long, 4.25 m wide and weighed approx 64 tons. There’s a later measurement in 1956 in Sappemeer that I assume was taken just after she was sold to her new owner, P. van der Werk. At that point, she measured 24.48 m and about 80 tons. Currently, she’s at 19.95 meters, so it looks like she was possibly extended once and then later shortened to be easier to register as a pleasure boat, so she’s gone through quite a bit over the years. Her original Kadaster registration number was 1911 B Gron 1939, but I haven’t yet found out if I can request a copy of the data on the original registration mark. What’s interesting too is that there’s a different Kadaster number in the mortgage document for Hendrik’s purchase of the Vertrouwen that doesn’t show up on the lvbhb.org database, so I have to imagine that something happened in the paperwork and he was assigned a new registration number. Writing this all down here made me realize I have something new to research while we wait for our trip in June, so that’ll keep me busy in the meantime! There’s more history to come on the blog – I’m trying not to get too excited and put everything online all at once, but it’s awfully difficult!