Tamme Jans Koster, Dutch Immigrant
Happy 180th Birthday to my Great-Great-Grandfather, Tamme Jans Koster.
He was born in Hornhuizen, De Marne, Groningen, Netherlands on 29 Dec 1841 to Jan Pieters Tammes Koster and Aaltje Dijkhuis, very near the coast of the North Sea. Father JPT and mother Aaltje had 5 children, but the first died as an infant, leaving Tamme the oldest of four.
Tamme's mother Aaltje died when he was 15, and his father JPT remarried a year later, to Johanna Pilon.
At age 25, Tamme married 20-year-old Grietje Blaauw in April of 1867, and a month later they were on a boat, bound for America, along with several other families from their area. They settled in Spring Lake Michigan, which was at the mouth of the Grand River; there lumbering and mill work was plentiful as the logs came down the river. They had 8 children, but lost 2 of them. After about a decade, they bought a farm east of Spring Lake in Crockery township, just off the Grand River, along with Tamme's father and step-mother.
But, after about 5 years, Tamme died on 1 May 1882, leaving Grace as a 35-year-old widow with 6 children. Furthermore, this is about the time the lumber work dried up on the Grand River and the area became economically depressed. Tamme probably bought the land because he could see the end coming. Widow Grace shortly eventually remarried to Jakob VanderLaan, and they moved north to Missaukee county, along with some of the same families that came as a group from the Netherlands twenty years earlier. Kosters, Blaauws, and Vanderlaans have been a part of Missaukee ever since.
Tamme is likely buried in the Koster family plot in Spring Lake cemetery. His father JPT and step-mother Johanna have markers, as do later relatives, but Tamme and his two deceased children do not, at least not anymore. However, JPT had bought the plot at the same time Tamme's first child died, which was probably the first death in the extended family in America, so it stands to reason that JPT bought the plot for that first infant and all the Kosters that followed.
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