Person:Jan Hiemenga (1)

m. 11 MAY 1872
  1. Wiebe Hiemenga1873 - 1874
  2. Wiebe Hiemenga1875 - 1897
  3. Jan Hiemenga1877 - 1974
  4. Lieuwe Hiemenga1880 - 1880
  • HJan Hiemenga1877 - 1974
  • WDena Fles1878 - 1914
m. 31 Aug 1905
  1. Hermine Hiemenga1906 - 1984
m. 1916
  1. Martha Hiemenga
  2. Ruth Hiemenga1919 - 2009
Facts and Events
Name Jan Hiemenga
Immigrant Name John Hiemenga
Gender Male
Birth[1] 22 Jan 1877 Arum, Wonseradeel, Friesland, Netherlands
Marriage 31 Aug 1905 Muskegon, Muskegon, Michigan, United Statesto Dena Fles
Census[5] 1910 Grand Rapids, Kent, Michigan, United StatesUnited States Census, 1910
Marriage 1916 to Wilhelmina Hoedeman
Census[6] 1920 Grand Rapids, Kent, Michigan, United StatesUnited States Census, 1920
Death[2] 23 Dec 1974 Franklin, Ohio, United States
Occupation[3][4][7] Grand Rapids, Kent, Michigan, United StatesMinister, John J. Hiemenga was a Dutch-American pastor and educator and first President of Calvin College from 1919-1925

John J. Hiemenga (January 22, 1877 - 1974) was a Dutch-American pastor and educator and first President of Calvin College from 1919-1925. Born Jan Hiemenga to Jan Hiemenga Sr. and Romkje Zoodsma in Arum, Friesland, the Netherlands, he emigrated with his family to Borculo, Michigan in 1889. Hiemenga graduated from Calvin Theological Seminary in 1905 and served as the pastor of six Christian Reformed congregations in Michigan, New Jersey, New York, and Indiana during his 42 years in the active ministry. Active in establishing Christian schools in Passaic, NJ and Grand Rapids, MI, he was appointed the first president of Calvin College. In the fall of 1920, Grand Rapids Christian High School, which Hiemenga had helped organize, assumed responsibility for teaching the high school and began a full, four-year program. As a result, enrollment in the college preparatory department dropped from 340 to 11 during Hiemenga's tenure. To offset some of this decline, enrollment in the college curriculum increased from 94 to 273. At the same time, Hiemenga oversaw development of a teacher training (normal) program in compliance with newly enacted state law. In addition, he solicited funds for debt reduction and construction of a dormitory in 1924. Hiemenga returned to the parish ministry in 1925. He retired from active ministry in 1947. In addition to his Calvin diplomas, Hiemenga earned A.B. and A.M. degrees from Columbia University and a B.D. degree from the Baptist Seminary in Rochester, NY. He was appointed an Officer of the House of Orange Nassau for his work on behalf of relief to the Dutch people during World War I. Hiemenga has also been noted as an expert on Dutch-American dialects, especially in Western Michigan and New Jersey. Hiemenga married Dena Fles (d. 1914); they had one daughter, Hermine Venema. In 1916 he married Wilhelmina Hoodeman (1898-1987), they had two daughters, Ruth Himes and Mae Westra.

The Dutch language exists in two forms in the United States, both differentiated from the original Dutch of Holland by the influence of American-English. The first is the so-called Jersey, or Bergen County Dutch, which is spoken by the descendants of seventeenth century Dutch settlers in Bergen and Passaic counties, New Jersey. In New York, as everyone knows, Dutch completely disappeared many years ago, but in these Jersey counties it still survives, though apparently obsolescent, and is spoken by many persons who are not of Dutch blood, including a few negroes. The second variety of Americanized Dutch is spoken by more recent immigrants, chiefly in Michigan. There is little if any communication between the two dialects. 1

 An excellent short study of Jersey Dutch was published by Dr. J. Dyneley Prince in 1910;  it remains the only one in print. The dialect, says Dr. Prince, “was originally the South Holland or Flemish language, which, in the course of centuries (ca. 1630-1880), became mixed with and partially influenced by English, having bor rowed also from the Mindi (Lenâpe-Delaware) Indian language a few animal and plant names. This Dutch has suffered little or nothing from modern Holland or Flemish immigration, although Paterson (the county seat of Passaic County) has at present a large Netherlands population. The old county people hold themselves strictly aloof from these foreigners, and say, when they are questioned as to the difference between the idioms: ‘Onze tal äz lex däuts en hoelliz äs Holläns; kwait dääfrent’ (our language is low Dutch and theirs is Holland Dutch; quite different). An intelligent Fleming or South Hollander with a knowledge of English can make shift at following a conversation in this Americanized Dutch, but the converse is not true.”	   2
 As usual, contact with English has worn off the original inflections, and the definite and indefinite articles, de and en, are uniform for all genders. The case-endings have nearly all disappeared, in the comparison of adjectives the superlative affix has decayed from -st to -s, the person-endings in the conjugation of verbs have fallen off, and the pronouns have been much simplified. The vocabulary shows many signs of English influence. A large number of words in daily use have been borrowed bodily, e. g., bottle, town, railroad, cider, smoke, potato, match, good-bye.Others have been borrowed with changes, e.g., säns (since), määm (ma’m), belange (belong), boddere (bother), bääznäs (business), orek (earache). In still other cases the drag of English is apparent, as in blaubääse, a literal translation of blueberry (the standard Dutch word is heidebes), in mep’lbom (=mapletree; Dutch, ahoornboom), and in njeuspampir (=newspaper; Dutch, nieuwsblad). A few English archaisms are preserved in the dialect; for example, the use of gentry as a plural for gentleman.	   3
 The Dutch spoken by the colonists from Holland in Michigan has been very extensively modified by American influences, both in vocabulary and in grammar. As in Jersey Dutch and in South African Dutch there has been a decay of inflections, and the neuter article het has been absorbed by the masculine-feminine article de. Says Prof. Henry J. G. Van Andel, of the chair of Dutch history, literature and art in Calvin College at Grand Rapids: “Almost all the American names of common objects, e. g., stove, mail, carpet, bookcase, kitchen, store, post-office, hose, dress, pantry, porch, buggy, picture, newspaper, ad, road, headline, particularly when they differ considerably from the Dutch terms, have been taken into the everyday vocabulary. This is also true of a great many verbs and adjectives, e. g., to move (moeven), to dig (diggen), to shop (shoppen), to drive (dryven: a meaning different from the standard Dutch one), slow, fast, easy, pink, etc. The religious language has remained pure, but even here purity has only a relative meaning, for the constructions employed are often English.” This corrupted vulgate is called Yankee-Dutch by the Hollanders of Michigan, and, like Pennsylvania German, it has begun to produce a literature, chiefly humorous in character. A little book of sketches by Dirk Nieland, called “Yankee-Dutch,”  contains some amusing specimens, e. g., piezelmietje (=pleased to meet you), and ‘You want’n ander kop koffie.” From an anonymous piece kindly supplied by Dr. John J. Hiemenga, president of Calvin College, I extract the following:

’t Had tamelijk ferm gesneeuwd de laatste twee dagen, zoodat de farmers toch nog een sleeride konden krijgen in het bijna vervlogen jaar. Vooral de young folks hunkerden naar een cutter-ride. Bijna allerwege in den omtrek van de Star Corners waren de cutters dan ook voor den dag gehaald en nagezien, want alles moest natuurlijk in running-order zijn. De dust moest er afgeveegd, hier en daar een bur wataangetight, de kussens een weinig opgefixt, en de bells vooral nauwkeurig onderzocht. Dit was hedenmiddag ook Frits zijn job geweest, met het doel hedenavond zijn eersteride in de mooie cutter can Klaas Ekkel, biji wien hij als winterknecht diende, te nemen. Hij begon dan ook al vroeg met de chores, molk in a hurry en was daarmee dus tijdig klaar. ’t Supper werd even vlug verorberd, zoodat Frits om half-zeven al in de barn was, om Florie op te hichen. Trotsch op haar nieuw harness en schallende bellen, draaft Florie gezwind enfier daarheen. Hier en daar waar een oude railfence de sneeuw opving, zoodat de roadbijna geheel opgeblokt is, gaat of rakelings langs de andere fence of over de fields.Wel zijn er van daag een paar teams langs gegaan, doch de sneeuw en de wind hebben hun tracks geheel opgecoverd, zoodat Frits zijn eigen pad maar moet maken. Dat’t vinnig koud is voelt hij niet, dank zij zijn dikke furcoat. Voelt hij de koude echter niet, hooren deed hij haar wel. War knarst en giert die sneeuw onder derunners! Ook de milliarden fonkelende sneeuwkelkjes, die met evenveel kleuren het licht der halve maan weerkaatsen, getuigen van de koude. Frits geniet dit schoone kleurenspel en verzinkt weldra in diep gepeins. Plotseling schrikt hij op. “Hello, Frits, going to the store?” “Ja, Henry, als je er in jumpen wilt, kan je zoover meerijden, maar ’t is haast te veeltroebel voor ’t geld.” Henry wil ook kunnen zeggen, dat hij van een cutter-ride gehad heeft en stapt dus in. Nog enkele rods en ze zijn bij de stables achter de kerk, waar ze ’t paard stallen en nu naar de store. Zoo ’n country-store is de lievelingsplek van de meeste jongens uit den omtrek, als ’s avonds het werk aan kant is. Enkele loafers maken zoo’n store hunhome. Heel gezelling is men’s avonds soms bij elkaar. Is her een onnoozele bloed aanwezig, dan heeft men wat fun met hem. Stories hoort men er bij de wholesale.Twijfelt Jan er aan of Piet wel een barrel met salt kan tillen, dan noopt een “I’ll bet you the cigars” hem om te zwijgen of te wedden. Voor cigars, peanuts en candywordt er dan ook heel wat geld gespend…

This curious dialect promises to be short of life. On the one hand the leaders among the colonists strive to make them use a pure Dutch and on the other hand the younger members, particularly those born in America, abandon both good and bad Dutch for English. I am informed by various observers in Grand Rapids and its vicinity that there seems to be but small prospect that Yankee-Dutch will survive as long as Pennsylvania German. Note 30. The Jersey Dutch Dialect, Dialect Notes, vol. iii, pp. 459 ff. Note 31. Yankee-Dutch, humoristische schetsen uit het Hollandsch-Amerikaansche volksleven; Grand Rapids, Mich., 1919.

References
  1. Geboorte, in Wonseradeel, Friesland, Netherlands. Burgerlijke Stand, Aktenummer: A 24, 22 Jan 1877, Primary quality.
  2. Overlijden, in Social Security Administration. Social Security Death Index, 23 Dec 1974, Primary quality.
  3. Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. (Online: Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.), Secondary quality.
  4. Dbpedia.org, Secondary quality.
  5. Census, in United States. 1910 U.S. Census Population Schedule. (National Archives Microfilm Publication T623), 1910, Secondary quality.
  6. Census, in United States. 1920 U.S. Census Population Schedule. (National Archives Microfilm Publication T625), 1920, Secondary quality.
  7. Bartleby.com.