The Engbringhofs from Het Bildt, Friesland

My grandmother’s parents were Martin and Trena Brink. Those were their American names. They were born in an area of Holland in the north, on the coast, called Het Bildt, within a larger area called “Friesland”. Within Het Bildt, there are 2 parrishes, St. Anna and St. Jacob. Martin was born in St. Jacob parrish, Trena in St. Anna.


Now, the interesting thing is language. There is Dutch, the national language. Then there is West Frisian, which has some Latin roots, Latin letters, and is spoken in Friesland. But “Het Bildt” has its OWN dialect called “Bildts” which mixes both Dutch and West Frisian. My ancestors probably spoke Bildts and Dutch, or all 3, who knows.


In Holland, they were Marten Engbrinhof and Trijntje van Shepen. Trijntje’s parents were Hendrik van Schepen, and Froukje Koov. Just learned that tonight. Marten and Trijntje immigrated to America. They ended up having 5 daughters. My grandma Cena was the youngest of the 5. They went to Chicago, as many of the Dutch did, then came down to the Lafayette, Indiana area, which is where Cena was born. She and my Grandpa George Plantenga lived there their whole lives, raised their kids, one being my mom, and I was born and lived most of my life there also.

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