Hendrik Walvoord (originally spelled “Walvoort”) was born in the Gelderland Province of the Netherlands on March 21, 1802.
Hendrik’s father, Salomon Walvoort, was born April 21, 1778 in Winterswijk, in the Gelderland Province, Netherlands. His mother, Maria Elisabeth Klumpenhouwer, was born June 21, 1781 in Dinxperlo, Gelderland, Netherlands. Salomon and Maria were married May 31, 1801 in Aalten, Gelderland. Salomon and Maria had 10 children of which Hendrik was the oldest.
Hendrik’s brothers and sisters were:
Jan Walvoort, born 25 Oct 1804;
Derk Willem Walvoort, born 28 Dec 1806;
Derk Antoni Walvoort, born 24 Jan 1810;
Jan Hendrik Walvoort, born 04 May 1811;
Jenneken Walvoort, born 16 Dec 1813;
Dora Johanna Walvoort, born 10 Dec 1816;
Gerrit Jan Walvoort, born 31 Mar 1819;
Aleida Dina Walvoord, born on or about 01 Nov 1823; and
Janna Dina Walvoord, the youngest who was born 27 Jun 1825 and emigrated to America with Hendrik in 1849.
As was the custom, Hendrik, the oldest son, received all the inheritance from his parents and was beholden to support them, which he did. His youngest sister Janna Dina and son Gerrit Jan were born while Hendrik lived with his parents in Holland.
Hendrik lived in Aalten, Holland a poor country which was a peat land (people burned peat instead of more expensive coal). Peat was usually cut out of a bog by hand into blocks, which were spread out to dry. Drying could take as long as six weeks. Dried peat burned easily, and would give off a dense black smoke, and left much ash. It had about two-thirds the heating value of coal.
As a young man, Hendrik was tall, dark and slender. During his time in Holland, he had married three times. Twice to sisters of the name Doornink.
Hendrik’s First Marriage
Hendrik’s first marriage was to one of these sisters named Teunisken Doornink. Teunisken was born in Lichtenvoorde, Gelderland on February 15, 1800. Hendrik Walvoord and Teunisken Doornink were married December 11, 1824. Hendrik and Teunisken had two children together.
Gerrit Jan Walvoort who was born January 22, 1826 in Aalten.
Hendrik’s youngest sister Janna Dina Walvoord was born January 27, 1825. Both Janna (known as “Jane”) and Hendrik’s son (her nephew) Gerrit were rocked in the same cradle.
Hendrik and Teunisken’s second child was Derk Antoni Walvoort who was born in Vragender, Lichtenvoorde, Gelderland on July 24, 1827. Derk Antoni died at six months of age on January 24, 1828.
Five months later, Teunisken died on June 22, 1828 in Vragender, Lichtenvoorde.
Hendrik’s Second Marriage
After his wife’s death, Hendrik married Teunisken’s sister, Johanna Berendina Doornink. Johanna was born about 1807. Hendrik and Johanna were married July 24, 1829 in Lichtenvoorde, Gelderland, Netherlands.
Together they had a little boy by the name of Tonie Walvoort. Tonie was born in 1831 but died on January 23, 1833 at the age of two. His mother died ten days earlier on 13 Jan 1833 in Vragender, Lichtenvoorde.
Teunisken and Johanna were the daughters of Garrit Doornink and Derksken Wesselink. Garrit and Derksken were married sometime before 1800. Nothing else is currently known about them.
Hendrik’s Third Marriage
Hendrik married a third time to Johanna Berendina Walvoord in Lichtenvoorde, Gelderland, Netherlands on May 4, 1833. Johanna was born November 8, 1816 and was the daughter of Antoni Walvoord and Willemine Geertruide Kampe.
Hendrik and Johanna had a daughter named Theodora Maria Walvoord born about 1835. Theodora died at the age of 5, on November 29, 1840 in Vragender, Lichtenvoorde, Gelderland.
Johanna died July 27, 1839 in Vragender.
Hendrik Walvoord was a farmer in the Achterhoekse (back corner) region of Gelderland. He worked a farm in the small village of Vragender, which is north of Aalten between Lichtenvoorde and Winterswijk.
Hendrik’s mother, Maria, died January 6, 1840 at the age of 58. Hendrik was 37 years old at the time. At the age of 70, his father Salomon died on Thursday, June 8, 1848.
Hendrik Emigrates to America
After the death of his mother and father, Hendrik, three times a widower, left Holland in 1849 en route to America. He had made some investments with his inheritance before traveling across the Atlantic and had six-thousand dollars with him.
He departed with his 24 year-old youngest sister on the sailing vessel Hektor from Rotterdam to New York arriving on September 16th. Hendrik came to America and joined his son Gerrit in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania who had preceded his father a couple of years before. Immediately, the entire family emigrated to the township of Holland, Wisconsin where Hendrik Walvoord purchased 160 acres of timbered land, and began the development of a farm, to which he added from time to time. Soon after coming to this country he acquired forty-nine shares in the Holland Trading Company, which was engaged in merchandising and in the transportation of cord-wood from the Amsterdam Pier that they had constructed. He arrived in Wisconsin and sold parcels of land to new immigrants in a region he called Amsterdam. It would take a while before the authorities officially recognized this name. Each parcel he sold had a view on Lake Michigan. Hendrik also became known as a trader in cordwood. He needed a landing stage for boats, which came to retrieve the wood. He hired a dredger from the government and scooped out a little harbor of eight feet deep. Piles of cordwood were waiting there for boats.
Two or three vessels loaded with cord-wood left the pier each day. Four or five vessels would lie in the bay at a time. Seven or eight teams of men would haul the wood to the pier. (Tony Walvoord, at age eighty or more, told Louise Walvoord all this. He knew the family).
One century later, visitors of “Amsterdam” still saw the deep bottom driven wooden poles of Walvoord’s landing stage.
Hendrik not only owned shares in the cord wood company and pier, he owned a store and had bought large tracts of land near Amsterdam.
Back home in the old country, Hendrik’s cousin, Gerrit Jan Walvoord (not to be confused with Hendrik’s son of the same name), took over the family farm in Vragender when Hendrik left for America. Later on in 1870, Gerrit Jan Walvoord also emigrated with his family to America where he joined his own son William in Nebraska who had preceded his father and sent back glowing reports of abundant prairie land.
The Presbyterian church in Cedar Grove was organized in 1853 and was the first Presbyterian church in the Township of Holland. Hendrik Walvoord was a charter member and an elder in that church for many years.
On March 17, 1855, Hendrik became an American citizen. Two days later his son Gerrit did the same.
On July 11, 1856, Hendrik lost his only son Gerrit who at age thirty, drowned in Lake Michigan. Hendrik bought one acre of land for a cemetery which is now located in the village of Cedar Grove, Wisconsin (the Walvoord Cemetery) and buried his son there.
In the aftermath of the War Between the States and the assassination of President Lincoln, President Andrew Johnson began the process of national healing as Reconstruction commenced. In December of 1865, the thirty-ninth Congress convened. It was the first since Lincoln’s death. All Confederate states with the exception of Mississippi, accepted terms for readmission to the Union that month. Hendrik Walvoord died that same month on December 21, 1865.
After his death, his land was inherited by Gerrit Jan’s children (Henry, Jane, Mary, Tonia and Delia). Henry, his grandson, inherited eighty acres and the granddaughters each inherited forty. In addition, Henry received all of his grandfather’s movable property namely: horses, cattle, wagons, and furniture. The four granddaughters each received $15 for a cow and an additional $300 when they turned twenty-one. When he turned twenty-one, Henry received the rest of his grandfather’s property (mortgages, notes, effects, credits and moneys). When Tonia died, her brother Henry bought her land.