John & Mary’s Children

Only the deceased grandchildren will be included here to protect the privacy of the living.

Maggie – 20 March 1892 – 20 March 1967.1 For the longest time I thought her first name was “Poor” because I almost always heard her called “Poor Maggie.” She was married three times. Maggie married William Den Adel (about 1896 – 14 March 1917)2 on 17 October 1913 in Lynden.3 Will died suddenly at age 31 from an asthma attack. Her next marriage was to Edward R. Hoekstra (20 April 1886 – 24 May 1934)4 on 28 October 1920 in Lynden.5 Ed was only 49 when he died in a fall from a water tower. Maggie’s last marriage was to Jake Haga (25 October 1901 – 19 February 1980)6 on 20 November 1942.7 She and Jake were married until her death. Maggie and Ed adopted a son they named Harold Clarence Hoekstra. Harold was killed in a hunting accident 14 October 1945.8 All are buried in Monumenta Cemetery in Lynden.

Elizabeth – 20 March 1895 – 5 August 1976.9 Lizzie married Jacob Thomas Dyksterhuis (5 February 1888 – 16 January 1973)10 on 26 April 1916 in Lynden.11 They had four children together. Two daughters (Helen and Marie) died of tuberculosis while Lizzie was still alive. Jacob and Lizzie are buried in Monumenta Cemetery.

John – 26 November 1896 – April 1983.12 John married twice that I know of. His first marriage was to Rose Gardner and I have been told by family member that the marriage ended in divorce. His second marriage was to Mary Jane Byrnes. John was often at odds with his family. He perceived himself to be a high-end home builder, but while he apparently did build nice homes, he was not particularly enthusiastic about any type of work. He also as previously stated did not have the talent his father had for the art of the deal. John often returned home for extended periods of time, but was not known to be quick to lend a hand with the chores. John moved to the upper peninsula of Michigan later in life. John had no known children. He is buried in Fairview Cemetery in Doyle, Schoolcraft County, Michigan. I’ve requested a photo of his stone on Find A Grave but as yet I don’t have one.

Janry – 6 December 1899 – 4 January 1969.13 Known formerly as Jane, she was called Jennie by her family and her death records and obituary are under Jennie. She married Berend “Ben” Nymeyer (27 May 1894 – 15 November 1973)14 on 15 October 1919 in Lynden.15 She and Ben had 6 children and are buried in Lakeside Cemetery in Lynden.

Hugo – 19 October 1901 – 13 April 1969.16 Hookie was the child that took care of everyone else. I will have more on Hookie’s life in a later post. Hookie married Kathleen Elnora Klander (28 October 1918 – 26 January 1982)17 on 2 June 1939 in Port Orchard, Kitsap County, Washington.18 Hookie and Kathleen had no children and are buried in Ten Mile Cemetery outside of Lynden.

Albert – 17 December 1902 – 19 June 1995.19 Albert married Jennie C. Ellofson (11 August 1907 – 17 December 2000)20 on 24 December 1924 in Bellingham.21 Albert operated several dairy farms and worked for the major dairy in Lynden. He was also well known as a local breeder. Their only child, Albert Leroy Burgraff died 15 December 1991.22 Albert, Jennie and Albert L. are buried in Lynden Cemetery.

Arie – 22 October 1908 – 28 April 1939. As previously discussed in a post from 28 Jan 2010 Arie died of pulmonary tuberculosis. He married Dorothy Josephine Johnson (16 January 1908 – 15 September 1992) on 3 August 1927 and they had four children: Jack, Donald, Robert, and Donna, all of whom are deceased. Dorothy will be discussed when I get to the Johnson line. He is buried in Monumenta Cemetery.

Bastjaan – 21 June 1909 – 1 April 1938.23 Bert was married to Gertrude Edith Telgenhoff (11 May 1906 – 26 January 1992)24 on 24 September 1937 in Vancouver, Clark County, Washington.25 Bert died from spinal tuberculosis just a couple weeks before the birth of his only child. Gertrude never remarried and remained close to the Burgraff family. Both are buried in Monumenta Cemetery, although not together. Bert is in the Burgraff plot with his brother Arie, and Gertrude is with her parents Walter Telgenhoff and Ida Vanderyacht.

I won’t discuss Marion or Sadie at this time.



1. “Maggie Haga Rites At 2 p.m. Friday,” (Bellingham) The Bellingham Herald, 22 Mar 1967, p. 17.
2. “MANY ATTEND FUNERAL OF WILLIAM DEN ADEL,” (Lynden) Lynden Tribune, Thur., 18 Mar 1917, p. 1.
3. Washington State Archives, marriage license 1586 (17 Oct 1913), William Den Adel-Maggie Burgraff; digital image, Washington State Archives, Washington State Digital Archives (http://www.digitalarchives.wa.gov).
4.Whatcom County, Washington, death certificate no. 81 (24 May 1934), Edward R. Hoekstra; Washington State Vital Records, Olympia Washington.
5. Whatcom County, Washington, Marriage Licenses, 5088, Edward Hoekstra-Maggie Den Adel, 8 Oct 1920; Whatcom County Marriage Records, Bellingham.
6. Washington State Deparatment of Health, “Washington Death Index, 1940-1996,” database, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com: accessed 10 Feb 2010), Jake Haga, 19 Feb 1989, Bellingham, Cert #004653.
7. Whatcom County, Washington, Marriage Licenses, 11185, Jake Haga-Maggie Hoekstra, 20 Nov 1942; Whatcom County Marriage Records, Bellingham.
8. Washington State Deparatment of Health, “Washington Death Index, 1940-1996,” database, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com: accessed 10 Feb 2010), Harold C. Hoekstra, 14 Oct 1945, Cert #211.
9. Washington State Deparatment of Health, “Washington Death Index, 1940-1996,” database, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com: accessed 7 Jul 2009), Elizabeth Dyksterhuis, death 5 Aug 1975, Whatcom County, Cert. #020111; Washington State Archives, Olympia, Washington.
10. Washington State Deparatment of Health, “Washington Death Index, 1940-1996,” database, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 7 Jul 2009), Jacob T. Dyksterhuis, death 16 Jan 1973, Whatcom County, Cert. # 002528; Washington State Archives, Olympia, Washington.
11. Washington State Archives, marriage license 2736 (26 April 1916), Jacob T. Dksterhuis-Elizabeth Burgraff; digital image, Washington State Archives, Washington State Digital Archives (http://www.digitalarchives.wa.gov).
12. Social Security Administation, “Social Security Death Index, Master File,” database, Ancesty (http://www.ancestry.com: accessed 7 Jul 2009), John Burgraff, 367-16-8131; Social Security Administration.
13. Washington State Deparatment of Health, “Washington Death Index, 1940-1996,” database, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com: accessed 10 Feb 2010), Jennie Nymeyer, death 4 Jan 1969, Cert #090744; Washington State Archives, Olympia, Washington.
14. Washington State Deparatment of Health, “Washington Death Index, 1940-1996,” database, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com: accessed 7 Jul 2009), Ben Nymeyer, death 15 Nov 1973, Cert. #027758; Washington State Archives, Olympia, Washington.
15. Washington State Archives, marriage license 4431 (15 October 1919), Ben Nymeyer-Jennie Burgraff; digital image, Washington State Archives, Washington State Digital Archives (http://www.digitalarchives.wa.gov).
16. Washington State Deparatment of Health, “Washington Death Index, 1940-1996,” database, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com: accessed 7 Jul 2009), Hugo Burgraff, death 13 Apr 1969, Lynden, Whatcom, Cert.#010495; Washington State Archives, Olympia, Washington.
17. Social Security Administation, “Social Security Death Index, Master File,” database, Ancesty (http://www.ancestry.com: accessed 7 Jul 2009), Kathleen Burgraff, 534-28-2319, born 28 Oct 1918, died Jan 1982; Social Security Administration.
18. Washington State Archives, marriage certificate 11452 (2 Jun 1939), Hugo Burgraff-Kathleen Elnora Klander; digital image, Washington State Archives, Washington State Digital Archives (http://www.digitalarchives.wa.gov).
19. Washington State Deparatment of Health, “Washington Death Index, 1940-1996,” database, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com: accessed 8 Jul 2009), Albert Burgraff, death 19 Jun 1995, 539-12-0556, Cert. #021177; Washington State Archives, Olympia, Washington.
20. Social Security Administation, “Social Security Death Index, Master File,” database, Ancesty (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 8 Jul 2009), Jennie C. Burgraff, death 17 Dec 2000, birth 11 Aug 1907, 532-58-5340; Social Security Administration.
21. Whatcom County, Washington, Marriage Licenses, Albert Burgraff-Jennie Ellofson, 24 Dec 1924; Whatcom County Marriage Records, Bellingham.
22. Washington State Deparatment of Health, “Washington Death Index, 1940-1996,” database, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com: accessed 10 Feb 2010), Albert L. Burgraff, 29 Dec 1991, Cert #035289.
23. Whatcom County, Washington, death certificate no. Record No. 1, Registered No. 107 (1 Apr 1938), Bert Burgraff; Washington State Vital Records, Olympia, Washington.
24. Washington State Deparatment of Health, “Washington Death Index, 1940-1996,” database, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com: accessed 20 Feb 2010), Gertrude E. Burgraff, 26 Jan 1992, Cert #001505.
25. Washington State Archives, marriage certificate 74101 (25 Sep 1937), Bert Burgraff-Gertrude E. Telgenhoff; digital image, Washington State Archives, Washington State Digital Archives (http://www.digitalarchives.wa.gov: accessed 20 Feb 2010).

 

The Wills

John’s will, dated 6 October 1916, was very simple.1 He left $1 to each of his children: Peter Burgraff, William Burgraff, Maggie Den Adel, Elizabeth Dyksterhuis, John Burgraff, Jane Burgraff, Hugo Burgraff, Albert Burgraff, Arie Burgraff, Bastjaan Burgraff, Marion Burgraff, and Sadie Burgraff.

The rest of the estate went to Mary and clearly stipulated that she could do what she wanted with it. He also named her as executrix of his will. I did not search out the probate files to look for an appraisal of the estate.

Mary’s will is dated 13 March 1926 and has a little more detail and two very interesting tidbits.2

Peter and William (sons of John and Elizabeth) each received $500.
John Jr. Hugo and Albert each received $500,
“…for the reason that they have given more of their services than the other children in accumulating my estate.”
This would be payable after the sale of real estate, but before the division of proceeds.

Everything left would be divided equally between: John Burgraff, Hugo Burgraff, Albert Burgraff, Arie Burgraff, Bastjaan Burgraff, Marion Burgraff, Maggie Hoekstra, Elizabeth Dyksterhuis, Jane Nymeyer and Sadie Burgraff – to share and share alike. There is one exception made to the property.
“I hereby declare that the piano in the home is the property of my daughter, Sadie Burgraff, and the same shall not be included as a part of my estate.”

Mary requests the courts appoint her brother Hugo Kortlever as guardian of the minor children: Arie, Bastjaan, Marion, and Sadie.

Interesting tidbit 1: Hugo and Albert are nominated as the executors. John Jr. is not named. She also provides a separate sum of $200 each for their services.

Interesting tidbit 2: In the final paragraph of her will Mary states,
“It is my further desire that my son John Burgraff do not remain on said farm with the other children but that he secure another place to board and room, and not take part in working or leasing of said farm, and I authorize my executors to take such measures as may be necessary to carry out this provision of my will.”

It sounds like John was persona non-gratis at this time. Several phone calls later I was able to determine that Mary wanted the boys (Hugo and Albert) to be able to ask John to leave. John was not a farmer and contributed little to the working of the farm, although he lived there and apparently did not hesitate to partake in all the benefits. He did not work much outside the home, but he perceived himself to be the wheeler-dealer that his father was. Sadly, according to my sources, John lacked the temperament and talent for this. Mary made it clear that she was aware of the problem and would not saddle the other children with a sibling that wouldn’t pull his weight.

On the 1930 census Hugo age 28, is listed as the head of the family and at home are: Sadie age 17, Bert age 20, Marion age 19, and at the end of the list is John age 31.3 Apparently Hugo did not ask John to leave.

Mary’s probate would not be closed until 27 April 1936. The drop in farm prices and products beginning in 1926 and continuing through the Great Depression made it almost impossible to sell the property. Hugo eventually bought the shares of the farm from his siblings. The following items are of interest in the probate file:4

In 1929 William entered an agreement with his grandmother Maaike Flora Bel Kortlever. She provided him the cash he needed and he signed away his $500 that would be coming with sale of the land. Her son Hugo Kortlever acting as executor, claimed her share after her death in 1931.

In 1934 Bert sold his share of the farm to his sister Sadie.

John’s shares (according to the 31 Jan 1936 document) were sold under Sheriff’s sale to satisfy a judgment at some time prior to that date.



1. Whatcom, Washington, Record of Wills and Probate, Vol 8 of the Whatcom Probate Index: p. 79, Will of John Burgraff; File No. 4445.
2. Whatcom, Washington, Record of Wills and Probate, Record of Wills, Vol 8: p. 237, Will of Mary Burgraff; File No. 5979.
3. 1930 U.S. census, Whatcom County, Washington, population schedule, Ten Mile Township, enumeration district (ED) 53, p. 7A, dwelling 165, family 165, Hugo Burgraff; digital images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com: accessed 7 Jul 2009); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T626, roll 2522.
4. Whatcom, Washington, Probate Files, 5979 – Mary Burgraff; Superior Court of the Sate of Washington, County of Whatcom, Bellingham, Washington.

Mary Kortlever Burgraff Dies

Mary stayed busy after John’s death raising her family. The boys were taking care of the farm and the three older girls were married and busy with their families. In August of 1921 Mary was appointed to the board of the drainage improvement district. Her son John Jr. had applied for the position, but he was not a land owner at the time which made him ineligible for the position. The judge appointed Mary.1 She remained on the board for several years.

Mary, like many of her family members, suffered from pulmonary tuberculosis, and her health was slowly declining in the mid-1920s as the disease ravaged her body. Mary died 16 April 1926.2

HOLD SERVICES FOR LATE MRS. MARY BURGRAFF
Funeral services were held on Monday at 1:00 p.m. at the Burgraff home and at 2:00 p.m. at the First Reformed Church for the late Mrs. Mary Burgraff who passed away Friday.

Rev. P. Jonker and Rev G. DeMotts were in charge of the services.

Mary Kortlever was born October 17, 1874, in Holland, and died at the age of 51 years, 5 months and 29 days.

She is survived by eleven sons and daughters, Peter Burggraff, Mrs. Ed Hoekstra, Mrs. J. Dyksterhuis, Mrs. Ben Nymeyer, John, Albert, Hugo, Arie, Bert, Marion and Sadie Burgraff; her mother Mrs. Kortlever of Lynden. – Lynden Tribune 22 April 1926

[This should have been twelve children as William was alive and living in Minnesota.]
Mary is buried beside John in Monumenta Cemetery.



1. “Local News,” The Bellingham Herald, 16 Aug 1921, p. 5; digital images.
2. Whatcom County, Washington, death certificate no. 56 (1926), Mary Kortlever Burgraff; Washington State Vital Records, Olympia, Washington.
3. “Hold Services for Late Mrs. Mary Burgraff,” (Lynden) Lynden Tribune, 22 Apr 1926.