Dykstra: Frisian: topographic name for someone who lived in the vicinity of a dike, from a locative agent noun based on Old Frisian dik “dike”.
Ytje (Ida) Dijkstra was my great grandmother. In 1890, while living in Grand Rapids, Minne de Jong married Ytje Dijkstra. Minne had probably met her brother Pieter (Pete) who had immigrated from Friesland sometime before 1885. Pete had a sister Luurtske (Lucille) Dijkstra Emelander living in Grand Rapids who immigrated there around 1880. So upon arriving in the US he headed for Grand Rapids. (For more information on the Emelander family please see their family page.)
Pete paid for his sister Ytje’s passage to the United States. She arrived in early 1890 and was married in April 1890. I suspect it was an arranged marriage because she was married by April of 1890 – just two to four months after coming to America. After being in Friesland and seeing where both Minne and Ytje grew up, it is doubtful they knew each other in Friesland, plus Minne has been in the United States eight years by the time Ytje arrived.
By 1898 Pete Dijkstra had settled in Washington and sent for his sister and her family to join him. Minne, Ytje and their three sons: Hans John (John), Hendrick (Henry), and Berend (Ben). They all left for Washington by train in 1898 with all their belongings in a rail car. After living on Whidbey Island for awhile, they eventually settled in Kent, a suburb to the south of Seattle which was fertile farm land and is very reminiscent of Friesland. It was here the boys asked their parents if they could Americanize their name to DeYoung because they were tired of being teased at school (In dutch “Js sound like english “Ys so de Jong sounds like DeYoung.) Somewhere along the way Ytje became Ida and Minne became “Harry” (although he was called “Menno” by his family (that must have been what Minne sounded like here), and that is what is on his death certificate and gravestone).
Nov. 25, 1762 – Before 1811/1768- Nov. 28, 1844
July 10, 1797 – March 18, 1866/Feb. 2, 1798 – Bef. 1839
Nov 1,1825 – June 22, 1907/July 17, 1824 – Oct. 12, 1886
June 30, 1866 – March 25, 1956/Sept 27, 1860 – April 11, 1936
Dec. 12, 1867 – 1943/Dec. 31, 1882 – 1953