~ Bakker ~







Holland ~ Iowa ~ South Dakota






Harm and Aaltje Bakker




Harm Willem Bakker, the son of Willem Harm Bakker and Hillechien Jans Janssen, was born on December 6, 1848 in Oudedijk, Groningen, Holland (The Netherlands).  He was united in marriage to Aaltje Jansen, the daughter of Jan Wubbe Jansen and Geertruida Jans Franssen, on June 17, 1871, in Beerta, Groningen, Holland.  Aaltje was born on August 16, 1850 in Nieuweschans, Groningen, Holland.  Harm and Aaltje’s four oldest children were born while they were living in Beerta.  Sometime around 1880, and before the birth of their fifth child, Heiltje, they moved to the Finsterwolde / Ganzedijk area, which is north of Beerta. (see map)  *From census records it is believed that Harm and Aaltje were the parents of ten children, and that one child died before the family immigrated to America.  This has not yet been documented by any source except census records.


On August 1, 1903, Harm and Aaltje, and 5 of their children, Heiltje, Willem, Heika, twin sons Arend and Harm, and their 2 year old grandson, Jacob, boarded the SS Rijndam, a Holland America Line passenger steamship, at the Port of Rotterdam, and left Holland for America.  Aaltje’s brother, Harm Jansen, who was already in America and living in Ackley, Iowa, had paid for their passage.  They left behind friends and family, including their two oldest children, John and Geertruida, and their families.  They arrived at Ellis Island on August 11, 1903, and once they were through the immigration process they traveled on to Ackley and the farm home of Harm Jansen.  Their son Hendrik immigrated to America about 3 months earlier than the rest of the family.  He traveled alone and arrived at Ellis Island on April 29, 1903.  The ship he sailed on was the SS Rotterdam, also a Holland America Line ship.  Once in America, Henry went to the home of a cousin, Ben Tjabring, in Dumont, Iowa.


By 1905 Harm and Aaltje were farming and living in rural Dumont, Iowa. Their children Heiltje, Willem, Henry, Heika, Arend and Harm, as well as grandson, Jacob Bakker, were living with them.  Arend and Harm were attending school.  


Five years later, at the time of the 1910 Federal Census, Harm and Aaltje were farming in Washington Township of Butler County Iowa.  Living with them at that time was their son Willem and grandson Jacob.  Jacob was Heiltje’s son, but he was raised by his grandparents.


Aaltje died on June 4, 1917 of ovarian cancer.  She was 66 years old.  At the time of her death they were farming in rural Ackley, Grundy County, Iowa. 


In January of 1920, the Federal Census shows Harm was farming in Grundy County, German Township.  Possibly the same farm they were living on at the time of  Aaltje’s death.  Grandson Jacob was living with Harm at the time of the census, but Jacob died on September 10, 1920 at the age of 19. 


Harm died the 3rd of December 1924, just 3 days short of his 76th birthday.  Harm and Aaltje were members of the Ackley Christian Reformed Church and are buried in the church cemetery.


*  1910 Census -  Mother of how many children…10.  How many living....9

*  Hillechien may be the 10th child.  This has not yet been documented.


SS Rijndam

Ship Manifest


More Photos and documents to be added soon.