The earliest family documented was that of an Englishman, Thomas Greenwich, who moved to the Netherlands in the seventheenth century. He settled at Ouddorp in Goeree, western district of Goedereede Island, which lies in an estuary of the Meuse River in South Holland province. Five generations were born in that area before the western migration began in 1847. Early registrars also interpreted Greenwich as Greenwiss or Grijnwiss and the existing surname, first used by a daughter in 1690, was adopted by all the Greenwich grandchildren.
I. THOMAS GREENWICH married JACOMIJNTJE JACOBS WOUTERMANS at Ouddorp on 2 April 1656. When their first child was baptized in 1659, Jan Greenwich served as a witness but he appears in no other record and remains unidentified. It was customary to name the first sons and daughters for their grandparents, the others for aunts, uncles or great-grandparents. Thomas and Jacomijntje Greenwich christened their children JAN (1659), MAATJE (1663), JACOB (1669), CATHELIJNTJE (1675), and a second JAN (1682), born after the first child died.
II. JACOB THOMASS GREENWICH, baptized 13 January 1669, married GOOLTJE PIETERS KIEVIT 16 November 1698, had four children: JACOMIJNTJE (1700), PIETER (1702), a second JACOMIJNTJE (1707) and THOMAS (1709). Gooltje's parents were PIETER JACOBS KIEVIT and TEUNTJE HENDRIKS.
III. THOMAS JACOBS GRINWIS, baptized 7 March 1709, served as a public notary in Ouddorp 1730-48, a civil office held by a succession of Grinwis men into the nineteenth century. On 2 October 1735, he married KRIJNTJE KLAASS WESTHOEVE, had six children: JACOB (1737), KLAAS (1738), PIETER (1740), LEVENDERT (1741), KLAARTJE (1743), and JAN (1747).
IV. KLAAS THOMASS GRINWIS, baptized 1 January 1739, married AAGJE KOMMERS TANIS 14 May 1775; had four children: KRIJNTJE (1776), THOMAS (1778), KOMMER (1780), and JAN (1787).
V. THOMAS KLAASS GRINWIS, baptized 17 May 1778, became an Ouddorp farmer after the Dutch Revolution, in which he undoubtedly served. On 3 May 1816, he married GRIETJE MAARTENS TANIS and their nine children included two sets of twins: KLAAS and MAARTJE (1817), MAARTEN (1818), KRIJN (1820), AAGJE (1821), ELISABETH (1823), JACOMIJNTJE (1826), KOMMER and JAN (1830). Grietje died when the ninth child was born.
VI. MAARTEN THOMASS GRINWISS, born 20 August 1818, was eleven when his mother died, fifteen when he lost his father. On 18 March 1847, he married LENA DERKS BROEKMAN (born 18 September 1823) and eleven children were born at Drenthe, Michigan before Lena died of tuberculosis 18 January 1874: AAGJE (1848), GRIETJE (1849), KLAARTJE (1851), DERK (1854), JACOMIENTJE (1856), THOMAS (1858), KLAAS (1860), GRIETJE (1862), ANNIE (1863), MARTIN (1865), and JAN (1868). On 9 February 1882, Maarten married a neighborhood widow, Geisjen Hunderman Stokking (1814-1894). He died of cardiac failure 7 May 1902, was buried in the Presbyterian Cemetery at Drenthe with Lena.
VII. GRIETJE of "MAGGIE" GRINWIS, born 21 October 1862,
married LUCAS KREMERS (1856-1927) 23 March 1881 and in 1885, moved west
to become pioneers in Bon Homme County near Springfield, South Dakota.
They returned to Jamestown, Michigan in 1905. Eight children:
ANNA (1882-1960), MARTIN (1884-1941), WILLIAM HENRY (1885-1909), LENA AGNES
(1887), HARRY CLEVELAND (1889), JENNIE LUCY (1894), REUBEN BENJAMIN (1899),
and LESTER LUKE (1906).
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