The Family Stick

Every family has cousins that marry and the Burggraafs are no different. It becomes a royal pain in the keester when you are dealing with the repeating first names found in the line and then add in the same last name. We had a son and daughter of Willem and Sygje marry a daughter and son of Peter and Tryntje.

Jan Burggraaf married Elizabeth Burggraaf on 11 December 1879 in Marion County, Iowa.

John’s sister Annetje (Anna) married Elizabeth’s brother Arie on 4 October 1886 in Sioux County, Iowa. Arie had previously been married to Aaltje DeVries, but whether they divorced or she passed away is not yet known. Arie is listed as single and living with John and Elizabeth in Holland Township in Sioux County at the time of the 1885 census.

John and Elizabeth name their children:
Peter – Elizabeth’s father
William – for John’s father
Albert – for John’s brother
Arrie – for Elizabeth’s brother
Sadie – For John’s mother

Arie and Anna name their children:
Peter – for Arie’s father (I believe that Peter is deceased by now since this child is named for him not Willem)
Sadie – For Anna’s mother
Jennie – For Anna’s older sister Jantje.

It became even more interesting when I found that step-children had married:
Tryntje Brouwer and Peter Burggraaf had a son William Burggraaf born 1873,
Dirk J. Eggink and Wilhelmina Eskes had a daughter Johanna Eggink born 1868,
Tryntje and Dirk married in 1883 after the death of their first spouses and brought their families together in Sioux County.
William Burggraaf then married Johnann Frederika Eggink in about 1893/94.



1. “Iowa Marriages, 1851-1900,” database, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com: accessed 10 Feb 2010), Arie Burggraaf to Aaltje DeVries, 1 Mar 1882.
2. Iowa State, “Sioux County, Iowa State Census, 1885,” database, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com: accessed 5 Jul 2009), Arie Burggraaf, Dwelling 126, Fam 126; Sioux County, Iowa State Census, 1885, FHL Film #1020183.
3. First Reformed Church (Pella, Iowa, USA), “Communicants and Baptisms 1857-1975,” Baptism William Burggraaf, 6 Jun 1873; FHL microfilm 0,985,401.

Peter Burggraaf (1824 – c.1877)

People that are not in your direct line are often called collateral and genealogists research them to see if they might provide documentation leads for other generations. Willem’s younger brother (Peter the Younger), is so much more than collateral in our family. He appears on the passenger manifest for the Maastroom with Pieter (the older) and then I tracked him through the early years in Pella. Peter’s granddaughter Muriel stated in a phone interview that her father William told her that his parents John Burggraaf and Elizabeth Burggraaf were cousins. It is probable that Peter is the first cousin of Willem Burggraaf. This is based solely on the concept that he and his wife Katie followed the naming patters – if so than he could be the son of Arie Burggraaf and Teuntje Van Stenis of Schoonrewoerd. I have not yet located a birth registration for him.

Peter is important to our family because two of his children married two of Willem’s children – which made for some very confusing research when I first began.

Peter’s timeline:

16 Feb 1824 – Peter Burggraaf is born in the Netherlands,
June 1847 – Arrival in Baltimore, Maryland, on the Maastroom,1
Sep 1850 – Laborer, Pella, Marion County, Iowa, census,2
c. 1855 – Married Tryntje (Katie) Brouwer,
1854 – Voter, militia, with a female, Pella, Marion County, Iowa, state census,3
1856 – Farmer, Pella, Marion County, Iowa, the 1856 Iowa State Census lists Tryntje and Father Wybe Brouwer in his household,4
c. 1856 – Daughter Teuntje (Jane) is born in Pella, (named for his mother)
Sep 1857 – Daughter Sientje (Zynthia) is born in Pella, she married John Vanden Oever (named for her mother)
21 Mar 1859 – Daughter Adriana (Matilda) is born in Pella,5 she later married Linzy Enos.
Aug 1860 – Farmer, Pella, Marion County, Iowa, census,6
11 Sep 1860 – Daughter Elizabeth is born in Pella,7 she later married William’s son John.
21 Aug 1862 – Son Arie is born in Pella,8 he later married William’s daughter Annetje (Anna). (name for his father)
1864-65 – Military service, Private with the Pella Guards, Iowa State Militia,9
16 Oct 1868 – Daughter Goverdina is born in Pella,10 she later married Barendt Otten.
Aug 1870 – Farmer, Pella, Marion County, Iowa, census,11
19 Mar 1873 – Son William is born in Pella, he later married Johanna Eggink. (name for her father)

Peter disappears from the available records between the birth of his son in 1873 and prior to the 1880 census. Katie Brouwer Burggraaf marries Dirk J. Eggink on 21 May 1883 in Marion County,13 so Peter deceased by that date. I have not been able to locate Katie or the children on the 1880 census. I’ll be doing some in-depth searching later this year looking for, land, tax, and court records, and I’m hopeful that by going through all of these records I may be able to learn more about the situation. I would like to be able to go through newspapers, but the Pella Blade (which is in Dutch) is not yet available on line.

[note -There is also a marriage record for a Peter Burggraaf to Cornelia Vanham on 23 June 1853 in Marion County, Iowa.14 There are only two Peters in Marion County and Pieter’s wife Cornelia Verschoor appears to still be alive and married to him on later census records. I believe this Peter married Cornelia in 1853, but whether she died or they divorced is unknown at this time. It’s always another question!!]

[This post updated Jan 2015]



1. National Archives, Washington, D.C., “Baltimore Passenger Lists, 1820-1848,” database, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com: accessed 9 Feb 2010), Peter Burgraff, age 23.
2. 1850 U.S. census, Marion County, Iowa, population schedule, Pella, p. 292A, dwelling 107, family 173, Pieter Burggraaf, age 24; digital images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com: accessed 8 Feb 2010); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm M432, roll 187.
3. 1854 Iowa State Census, Marion County, Iowa, population schedule, Pella, p. Roll 122, line 24, P. Burggraaf, voter, militia; digital images, The Generations Network, Inc., Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com: accessed 8 Feb 2010); citing State Historical Society of Iowa.
4. 1865 Iowa State Census, Marion County, Iowa, population schedule, Pella, p. 16, dwelling 94, family 96, Peter Burgraff, age 31; digital images, The Generations Network, Inc., Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com: accessed 8 Feb 2010); citing State Historical Society of Iowa
5. First Reformed Church (Pella, Iowa, USA), “Communicants and Baptisms 1857-1975,” Baptism & birth, Adriana Burggraaf, FHL microfilm 0,985,401.
6. 1860 U.S. census, Marion County, Iowa, population schedule, Pella, p. 216, dwelling 1559, family 1464, Peter Burggraaf, age 34; digital images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com: accessed 8 Feb 2010); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm M653, roll 335.
7. First Reformed Church (Pella, Iowa, USA), “Communicants and Baptisms 1857-1975,” Baptism & birth Elizabeth Burggraaf; FHL microfilm 0,985,401.
8. First Reformed Church (Pella, Iowa, USA), “Communicants and Baptisms 1857-1975,” Baptism & birth, Annetye Burggraaf, FHL microfilm 0,985,401.
9. Marion County, Iowa, Militia Rolls, 1861-1865, Peter Burggraaf, Private, Age 39; Iowa Gold Star Military Museum, Des Moines, Iowa.
10. First Reformed Church (Pella, Iowa, USA), “Communicants and Baptisms 1857-1975,” Baptism & birth Goverdina Burggraaf; FHL microfilm 0,985,401.
11. 1870 U.S. census, Marion County, Iowa population schedule, Pella, Lake Prairie Twp, p. 51, dwelling 413, family 411, Peter, age 44; digital images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com: accessed 5 Jul 2009); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm M593, roll 409.
12. First Reformed Church (Pella, Iowa, USA), “Communicants and Baptisms 1857-1975,” Baptism & birth, William Burggraaf, FHL microfilm 0,985,401.
13. “Iowa Marriages, 1851-1900,” database, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com: accessed 10 Feb 2010), Tryntje Burggraaf to Dirk J. Eggink, 21 May 1883.
14. “Iowa Marriages, 1851-1900,” database, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com: accessed 10 Feb 2010), Peter Burggraaf to Cornelia Vanham, 23 Jun 1853.