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Jan Hanssen Jacobs (1801-1873), a son of Jacob Aissen (1764-1841) and Elske Daniels Aissen worked as a dike worker along the North Sea in the small town of Pilsum, just north of Emden, Germany. When Jacob's children were born, his children were given the Jacobs surname since they were Jacob's children but this custom was stopped when Napoleon ruled that that practice should come to a halt. So Jan Hanssen Jacobs ("Yonhonzun") was the first Jacobs in our family tree.

In 1826, Yohonzun married Hilke Heeren (1804-1845 in Pilsum. The couple had children; Elske, Grietje, Heredina, Jacob, Weta, and John. All of the couple's children were born in Germany in the area known as Ostfriesland (East Friesland). After Jan's wife died, in 1845, he married Lubina Westen (1813-1885). They were my great-grandparents on my father's side. Yonhonzun and Lubina had a son, Evert Janssen Jacobs, (1851-1925) and he was my grandfather.

Due to the poor economics of the time and the threat of enforced military service convinced Grandfather Evert that he should emigrate to America. The records show that Evert arrived in the U.S. in 1872 on board the S.S. Bremen. Grandfather evidently convinced his parents, Jan and Lubina, to come to America to live with him in Ogle County, Illinois. They arrived in 1873 aboard the S.S. India on April 27.

Almost immediately on arrival, in October of 1873, Yonhonzun passed away and is buried in the English Lutheran Church Cemetery at Paynes Point in Pine Rock Township of Ogle County.

In 1882, young Evert married Margaretha Muenk at the parsonage of the Ebenezer Church in Rockvale Township. The couple heard of an offer to go to the Dakota Territory wherein land was readily available plus free transportation, taking along a daughter Lavina and Evert's mother Lubina. But this venture turned into a financial disaster. Plus, Lubina passed away. It was a lifelong feeling of regret that Evert was so strapped for cash, he was unable to put up a marker for his mother.

Evert and Margaretha and daughters Lavina and Grace returned to Ogle County in 1886, sadder but wiser, but the couple eventually owned two farms in Marion Township in Ogle County. The old couple retured to their "house in town" (Oregon) in 1918.

The couple had children Lavina, Grace, John, Anton, Johanna, Evert, Jacob, and Simon. Grace and John passed way at an early age. All of the other children were married but only Lavina, Evert, and Jacob had children. Lavina married William Brass and had children Marion, Margaret, Everett, John, and Grace. Jacob married Wilhelmina Bulthaus and had children John, Ben, Alice, Ruth, and Carolyn.

Evert married, in 1921, Marguerite Van Hettinga (my parents) and they had children Everett, Lawrence, Marvin, Leonard, William, Gerald, and JoAnne.

Dad and Mother were lifelong farmers in Marion and Pine Rock Townships in Ogle County. The former passed away in 1968 and the latter in 1961. Both are buried in the Ebenezer Church Cemetery in Rockvale Township in Ogle County.

Contributed by Leonard J. Jacobs

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