Willem died in early 1900, probably in April in Marion County. I find several land transactions in April 1900 between Willem and his son John during that time. I will do further research when I’m in Salt Lake City and see if I can narrow down the date.
Sygje is enumerated with older son Albert in Union Township, Mahaska County on 6 June 1900. She appears as Sallie on this census record and is listed as a widow. On this census Sygje informs us that she is the mother of 7 children – we only know about 5 – and only 3 of them are living at the time of the census. She’s living with Albert, Anna is in Sioux County, and John is in Minnesota, so Jantje and Goverdina are both deceased before this census. This record also confirms that Sygje still does not read, write, or speak English.
Sygje dies in 1901 according to her tombstone, and I have found an obituary for her that is a little confusing. The obit reads:
MRS. WILLIAM BURGRAAF,
Died, Friday of last week at the home of her daughter in Rock Valley in Sioux county this state, Mrs. William Burgraaf, aged over 81 years. The remains were brought to Pella Saturday. Funeral services were hel Sunday forenoon at about 11 o’clock in the First Reformed Church by the pastor, Rev. H. J. Veldman after which the burial took place at the Porterville cemetery about six miles southeast of town, where they were deposited at the side of those of her husband, who preceded her in death only a few months ago.—Pella Blade.
This obituary came out of a loose group of clippings that someone had collected and has a handwritten date of 13 June 1902 on the right side. I believe either the handwritten date is in error or perhaps this is one of those “One Year ago today” or some type of compilation item. Notice it says her husband “preceded her in death only a few months ago.” Also, note that the name of the paper is at the end of the piece, indicating that this clipping is from another location and not from the Pella Blade. I have no idea of the actual date of death, but I’m sticking with the tombstone for now. I hope to clarify Sygje death date this summer.
While Willem and Sygje started out in the Porterville Cemetery they were eventually moved to Graceland Cemetery in Pella when Porterville was closed.
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