Jakob Negen was born on April 12, 1834 in Oostwold, Midwolda District, Groningen Province, Netherlands. He was the son of Hindrik Hindriks Negen and Antje Jans Tekes. Jakob was united in marriage to Jantje Modderman on March 7, 1862 in Midwolda District. Jantje, the daughter of Helmer Modderman and Harmina Niemeijer, was born on September 20, 1839 in Ekamp, Finsterwolde District, a few miles south east of Oostwold. Jakob and Jantje had three children: Helmer (1863), Hindrik (1866) and Jurjen (1869). The family lived in Oostwold were Jakob was a laborer. Jakob died there on January 30, 1875 at age 40 when his sons were only 12, 9 and 6 years of age. He was buried in the Midwolda Parish Cemetery. Jantje did not remarry, she raised the three boys by herself.
Jantje's youngest son Jurjen immigrated to the U.S.A. in March 1891 eventually settling near Morrison, Grundy County Iowa where he was a partner on a farm. He became an American citizen on October 27, 1896. Around the turn of the century he returned to Holland to find a wife and also to help other family members immigrate. On March 8, 1902 at age 62 Jantje left the Netherlands and sailed on the "SS Haverford" from Antwerp, Belgium to New York. She was accompanied by her son Jurjen and his new wife and in-laws, her son Hindrik "Henry" and his wife Reina (nee Ottens) and nine children, and her nephew Helmer Modderman. Her eldest son Helmer Negen remained behind in Holland. When they arrived in New York on March 20, 1902, her youngest son, the American citizen, departed first and surely helped the rest of the family through the immigration process at Ellis Island. Jantje paid her own passage to the U.S.A. and arrived with over $50 as did both of her sons. During the voyage she was unable to come on deck due to illness. The entire immigration party was head for Morrison, Iowa.
By 1905 Jantje was living in the town of Dike, in Grundy County Iowa a few miles north of Morrison. She was the attending midwife during the birth of her grandchild Helmer, son of Jurjen and Aafke, who was born on a farm in neighboring Beaver Township. On February 20, 1904 Jantje's brother Helmer Modderman, his wife Lukje (nee Oudekerk) and five children left the Netherlands and sailed on the "SS Rotterdam" from Rotterdam, Netherlands to New York arriving on March 2, 1904. Something happened during the voyage and upon arrival Helmer was detained for approximately 4 hours before he was allowed through the immigration inspection at Ellis Island. Shortly after his release the family continued their journey to Aplington, Iowa in Butler County, a town a few miles north of Morrison and Dike, where their son Helmer had settled two years earlier. Their son paid for his parents and siblings passage to the U.S.A. as the entire Modderman family only had $12 when they arrived.
By 1910 the Negen brothers were renting farms a few miles north in Jefferson Township, Butler County Iowa near the town of Parkersburg. At the time Henry Negen and his wife Reina (nee Ottens) had thirteen children of which 12 were still living. In 1912, Henry Negen's wife died of pneumonia in Butler Center, Iowa. Jantje probably moved in with her son to help take care of his youngest children who ranged in age from 2-13. Sometime between 1912 and 1915 Henry decided to move to Renville County Minnesota making the journey by train with his wagon and horses in a box car. He purchased 126 acres in section 5 of Crooks Township. It appears as if Jantje moved with him as she was living him and his family in 1920. She spent her remaining years in Renville County. Jantje Negen (September 20, 1839-March 22, 1925) died in Crooks Township and was buried at Emden Cemetery about five miles northwest of the town of Renville.
Shortly after arriving in Iowa Jurjen and Effie Negen moved to a farm in Beaver Township, about 15 miles north of Morrison. By 1910 they were renting a farm a bit further north in Jefferson Township, Butler County near Jurjen's brother Henry and his family and Effie's brother Martin and his family and Jurjen's cousin Helmer Modderman and his family. At that time Effie's parents were living in the neighboring town of Aplington. Jurjen and Effie had eleven children. By 1920 the family had moved north to a farm they bought in Excelsior Township, Dickenson County, Iowa. Less than a year later they moved to Renville County, Minnesota where they purchased a 320 acre farm in section 2 in Crooks Township.
The children of Jakob and Jantje:
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