Born: 31 MAR 1817 in Hocklenkamp, Uelsen parish, Bentheim, Hanover province, Germany
Died: 30 JUL 1890 in Allendale, Michigan
Jennechien (Jennigje, Jenne) Dyke (Dyk, Diek)
6 JUN 1858
|Jan Hendrik Broene|
|Kasper Hendrik Broene|
|Gezina (Gezena, Geziena, Genziena) Broene|
|Geesjen (Grace) Broene|
Harm Hendrik was a farmer who married Kunnegien Nyboer (born 1815) in 1839 and had six children (the first six listed above). In the spring of 1855 he and four others in the family caught tuberculosis, and all later recovered. Kunnegien, however, died on 16 Jan 1856.
In October 1856, Harm Hendrik married Gese Detert (born 10 Aug 1811), previously the family's housekeeper. Unfortunately, she too soon died of tuberculosis, on 15 May 1857. (About a year later, his daughter Geesjen also fell victim to the epidemic.)
He then married Jennechien Dyke, and in 1864 was working with his father Geert Broene on the farm (map of farm). As the oldest son, Harm Hendrik was to inherit the family farm. He received a letter from his friend Mr. Kronemeyer that next winter; the letter told of the good land found in Michigan, and assured nervous readers that the American Civil War did not endanger that area. Talk of emigration increased, and after father Geert died that spring, the family sold the beautiful and prosperous farm and made plans to travel. Along with Jennechien's brother Hendrik Jan Dyke, they journeyed over Neuenhaus and Nordhorn to Lingen, and by train to Bremen. There they boarded the ship New York, and after two weeks and half a day arrived in New York on 29 June 1865.
From New York the family took a big Hudson Steamer to Albany, NY. A train then took them through Niagara and Detroit to Grand Haven, MI, where a small boat brought them to Holland. The bought a farm near Graafschap Christian Reformed Church (where Harm Hendrik's catechism book is still on display), just south of the town, and in 1873 owned 140 acres (map of farm). The early years in Michigan were difficult, with four of their children dying from scarlet fever or pneumonia. Regardless, within 15 years, Jennechien's parents and four more siblings also immigrated to America, eventually settling in the Allendale area.
On 1 May 1885 they moved to a 28-acre farm just west of the original First Christian Reformed church in Allendale, MI, selling the old farm to "the boys," as stated in Harm Hendrik's will (which he also speaks of an 80 acres whose location is unclear). (Read the will.) The new First Allendale Christian Reformed church stands on property that was once this Broene farm.
Harm Hendrik was a religious man and elder in the church. In 1924, his grandson Johannes Broene described him thus: "He was a 'character.' Remained a thorough Graafschapper all his life. Notorious for his absent-mindedness. When driving a team, if got thoroughly absorbed in conversation, he would drop the lines and forget all about the horses. As a consequence, he had at least five runaways. But he was no fool. I remember my father speaking of his father's mathematical abilities."
Harm Hendrik is buried in Allendale Cemetery (Sect 14).