Tuesday, 21 August 2007

“Plekker Descendants” goes Facebook

No need to explain “Plekker descendants”, the Blog speaks for itself.
But I would like to explain Facebook.

Facebook is a social utility that connects you with the people around you:
* upload photos or publish notes
* get the latest news from your friends
* post videos on your profile
tag your friends
* use privacy settings to control who sees your info • join a network to see people who live, study, or work around you.

I joined Facebook a while ago after an invitation of an old friends I hadn’t heard of for some while. I am always a bit worried when I receive invitations like that because there is a lot of SPAM going round. But not with Facebook which I knew from chats with my colleagues at Skype. This and happy to be in touch with an old friend again, made me decide to log on to Facebook creating a profile.

Once started, I found many other friends and colleagues and are still reuniting.
During a search I found quite a few Plekker’s, amongst them Brian who’s website is listed here on the Blog.

Maybe not every Plekker in Facebook is aware of the Blog and maybe not every Blog visiting Plekker is aware of Facebook.
Therefore I started a “Plekker Group” in which you can join after you signed up. Of course I can also send you an invitation. In this case, please send me your e-mail address and I will take care of the rest.

It will be great to see you in Facebook!!

Monday, 20 August 2007

Long time no "see".....

It shocked me to see I have been “away” from this blog for so long!
April was my last message and now it is September. Time flies…

So much happened over the past months. Most important for me was my new job.
Besides running my own business Varras Consultancy I also work full time for Skype as Head of Communities and Forum Operations. A wonderful job which involves getting used to a whole new way of thinking and working. Plus travelling to Skype’s offices in London, Tallinn and Prague.

I visited beautiful Tallinn and London several times since May and my next visit (September) will be Prague.
So, lots of flying around, meeting people, learning and talking. I enjoy every minute of my job and life but it left me not much private time to catch up on here.

But other descendants did not sit still.
Greet Plekker updated the Plekker site with loads of new information. Her energy is admirable and fantastic!
I received an e-mil from Clifton Orlebeke (thank you so much Clifton!), son of Mien Plekker and Joe Orlebeke. I will post a follow up in a few weeks time.

Many people have been working hard on the Geni site. Relatives in the USA added an enormous amount of pictures and photo’s (Jane, you are the best!!) and my brother Herman added info + pictures from the family tree from our Dad’s side (not a Plekker but who knows we have ancestors in common!). Also a picture of Mum’s side is added.

The Geni Family Tree Flu is spreading!! If you want to know how to access it, please contact me per e-mail (i.roelfsema@chello.nl) and I will invite you to join the tree. Please explain who you are as you will understand that non family members / relatives don’t get access to protect the details on the site.

I also received new photo’s which I MUST add to the albums as soon as possible. It feels like I have neglected everyone but this is not the case. Just trying to put 48 hours into 24.

Hope to catch up with you very soon again. Don’t forget to subscribe to this blog by clicking the RSS feed button (little orange square with the white stripes) or clicking the e-mail link below the blogpost.

Monday, 2 April 2007

Plekker trip to South Africa and Family Tree updates

Business wise it has been a hectic week and although my good will, I did not manage to ad an awful lot of information to the Geni Family Tree.

But Jane Douros (<- Nieboer <- Plekker) worked hard to add her family members. Her info is very valuable to the Tree. Thank you Jane!! If any of the other Plekker’s would like to add info to the Tree, please contact me to log on to Geni.Also the promised pictures are not yet up, some I couldn’t open so I hope Robert Plekker will send me new ones. I received an email from Greet Plekker who added a lot of information to her Plekker Tree and who finished the beautiful album of their visit to the Plekker’s in South Africa in 2006.

She writes:
In Hermanus we met Aunt Mieke Plekker (89, daughter of Willem) and in Kaapstad and paarl, Hannes Plekker and his family.
In Bloemfontein we stayed with Pierre, Sandra and their 3 children and also met Roedi and Hanneke.
With Pierre we travelled to Eliot and visited various sites such as the family cemetery near The Home and the cemetery in Eliot where Daniel Plekker (born in 1880 in Zaandam) is buried. Like his children en even grand children.

We still talk about this holiday and all meetings daily. We hope that you too enjoy sharing your bit of this trip.Aare there still additions to the Family Tree, please
contact me.

Astrid, daughter of Greet and Luuk Plekker, commented to my previous blog post. I love her idea of all of us meeting in a virtual threedimensional world. And I will be more then happy to help those who don’t use Skype to communicate, to set Skype up.

Sunday, 25 March 2007

Family Tree + request to all relatives

Today I started my family tree and went back to Dirk Thijsz. Plecker who married Marietje Pieters in 1706.
I could never have done this without the help of the already existent family tree by Greet Plekker-van Sante.

Finding relatives is not an addiction though very close. So I created an account with Geni and went along.
There is still so many info to add to this tree which I will copy form Greet.
I also need your help with facts and dates. Please contact me by e-mail (see link at the bottom of this post).

In the coming weeks I will update the tree at least 2 -3 times per week and will post the update on this blog.
Please subscribe to keep informed.

I am very much looking forward to your help!

What a wonderful Sunday

This morning I found e-mails from Robert Plekker in my mail box, attached foto’s of John, William and Johannes Plekker including their children. I will put the pictures up as soon as possible.
Here is a copy of part of the e-mail of Robert:

William was the father of Elaine and Lorraine Plekker and married to Matilda Also was the oldest

John (born in 1902) was the father of Robert, Barbara (Nieboer) and Ronald and married to Selma M Groeneveld daughter of Louis Groeneveld

Johannes was the father of Lee and Judy and married to Charlotte

The father of the three Plekker bothers shown here was John Plekker Sr. whose picture is already on the site.

I would like to know a little more about where we came from and where we are today regarding our faith in Jesus Christ, if that is possible. I guess I could wait also since we’ll find out later for sure. J

Robert John Plekker

And half an hour ago Jane Douros, grand daughter of John Plekker, commented to the first blog post. She loves to get in touch with the relatives of her grandfather.

I am delighted and hope to hear from many more relatives, no matter in which degree. After all we all share the same anchestors!

Monday, 12 March 2007

Reply to my e-mail

Over the past few weeks I have been browsing the Internet for names and e-mail addresses connected to Plekkers in every way. I think I found appr. 90 names and addresses and sent as many mails. Nothing indicates that these addresses are still valid but like we say in Holland “Nooit geschoten is altijd mis” or “If you don’t shoot, you will always miss”.

From Greet I received the message that a Jackie Plekker visited my blog due to my e-mail message and she contacted Astrid Plekker.
The e-mail served it's purpose because my goal with this blog is to organize a (virtual) reunion, sharing pictures and memories.

To my delight the Orlebeke family has been replying. As well as the Dutch as the USA tribe.
Ko Orlebeke in the Netherlands, nephew to Joe, phoned me via Skype and we had a nice chat. He sent me pictures and promised more send by other addresses.

This morning I received a very nice and warm reply from Timothy Orlebeke from the US.
He confirmed being the son of Clifton Orlebeke and mentioned he forwarded my e-mail to his father who will get in touch with me. It is with Clifton’s permission that Timothy replied to me.

I visited my mother this morning and told her that her Orlebeke cousins are still alive and that I have Clifton’s e-mail address. My mother is suffering from severe heart failure and feels fortunate that she is still here to hear about her cousins. Her smile was worth a million e-mails.

She still remembers her uncle Joe and Aunt Mien from their visit to Holland in 1964, not long before my grand mother Klasina passed away due to Cancer. I met them too but can’t remember them anymore unfortunately.
Mum says there has to be a picture of me sitting in between Joe and Mien.

Yet another good reason to browse every available picture book in the family. You will understand that the Albums are far from complete….

Saturday, 10 March 2007

Album announcement 2!

Photo’s are uploaded to the Album:
Joe Orlebeke, Mien Orlebeke-Plekker and children.

And Album:
Rev. Henry Radius, Corrie Radius-Plekker and children.

Album announcement 1!

Instead of one Plekker Album, I gave the Plekkers who married into other families, their own album.
No doubt it is easier this way for their descendants to find the photo’s

Everyone with the surname Plekker is sharing one album but maybe (hopefully) I have to divide those in South Africa, Holland, USA and Australia.

A big thank you to Brian Plekker who sent me family photo’s form South Africa. May others follow!

Thursday, 8 March 2007

Plekker research is in the air

Yesterday I browsed White pages for Plekkers and phoned Mrs. Randall Plekker, Grand Rapids US.
She was pleasantly surprised and knew so many names of Plekkers, also of those who married into other families.
We talked for a while which was great and because her husband wasn’t at home, she gave me the phone number of her brother in law Robert Plekker.

I phoned Robert who told me he received my e-mail of a few days before (I wasn’t sure if it was the same Robert) and said he visited the blog where he read about my brown eyes.
“We all have bleu eyes”, he said “But I made it up by marrying brown eyes!”
He told me that he will forward my e-mail to his aunt Elaine Plekker who is in her 80’s and busy working out her family tree. So searching is definitely in the air!
Elaine has many pictures which would be great for the album. I am very much looking forward getting in touch with Elaine.

Her father William visited Holland in 1939 (see album). A very nice man with a good sense of humour, says Mum. “We were all very fond of him!”

My mother remembers well that when the war ended in 1945 with the whole family short of descent clothing, Elaine and Lawrene’s parents – William and Mathilde Plekker – sent dresses, coats, shoes etc. to my grandparents for Nel, Mies and Wil.
Very thankful and proud they were wearing the most beautiful clothes of excellent fabrics and fashion like never seen in Zaandam before.

This morning I told my mother about Elaine and Mum’s eyes were sparkling. Wouldn’t it be great if they could speak on the phone?
It will certainly bring up stories which I will post here. Stay tuned!

Album Announcement!

There are new photo’s added to the Album:
Wim de Jong and Aukje de Jong-Plekker, children and grandchild (USA)

Wednesday, 7 March 2007

It is in the Genes

"The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other's life. Rarely do members of one family grow up under the same roof." A quote of Richard Bach in his novel "Illusions-the adventures of a reluctant Messiah"(he is also the author of Jonathan Livingstone seagull).

How true this is. There are relatives who feel like strangers and friends who feel like family members.

Though it is intriguing to meet “strangers” who are relatives in the 5th – 6th degree but who share the same “habit” genes. This is what we noticed during the visit of Greet and Luuk.
My mother and I can be very down to earth, we don’t get upset easily, often see the funny side of things. Don’t misunderstand me, we can be profound but we very seldom spend energy on unnecessary things. This is also the fact with some of my cousins, children of Nel Best-Hartog (<- Spits <- Plekker). The way we reply to questions is also one of those habits. And it was interesting to see this confirmed by Luuk. This intrigues me. You can see where some habits come from when you live close to your relatives but meeting one you never saw before but recognizing certain behaviours is just great. It also made me realize it is a pity I never knew my great grandparents. I still remember my grandmother Klazina Hartog-Spits (<- Plekker) well and know I look and act like her. My grandmother who I loved to bits, looked like her mother Wilhelmina Spits-Plekker so obviously great grandmother and I would have got along well.

I love to listen to stories about her told by my mother who was 21 when her grandmother passed away. Grandmother Wilhelmina loved having her grand children around her and taught them knitting. They all had their own knitting projects in a big rattan basket which is still in use by me. The grand children loved their grandma and gathered in her house as soon as they were off school on the Wednesday afternoon.

We are lucky to have a few family films from 1941 with my great grandparents walking or busy in their house. Great grandmother Wilhelmina was not an average person. Where others were quite static on the film, she walked with firm steps, her coat waving, hat slightly oblique on her head, one arm hooked in great grandfather’s arm, waving an smiling at the filmmaker.

I know she can’t see me but I smiled and waved back: “Hello grandmother, it is you I inherited the big steps from…”

Monday, 5 March 2007

Welcome to the blog about the Plekker family

Being a great grand daughter of Wilhelmina Sibbelina Plekker (1875 – 1949) and Teunis Spits (1868 – 1943) Zaandam and occasionally recognized by my brown “Plekker eyes” I felt a strong need to browse first Skype and secondly the Internet for Plekkers.

I found a website with a very informative family tree of Greet Plekker-van Sante.
I sent her an e-mail and received one in return that very same day, full of enthusiasm about meeting a descendant of a Plekker. More e-mails followed and only 4 days later, March 3 2007, my mother Wilhelmina Hartog, daughter of Klazina Spits (daughter of Wilhelmina Sibbelina Plekker) and Dirk Hartog, and I met Greet and Luuk. They travelled to Friesland with a bag full of documents.

We had a great day with lots and lots of stories, pictures and data. Greet gave me the copy of the family tree dating back to 1550. We just couldn’t stop talking and Greet was noting all the missing details we could provide via our own small archive.
No doubt Greet knows what to do during her leisure time in the near future!

Greet and Luuk showed us a beautiful picture album of their trip to South Africa where they met many (though not all) other Plekkers. To one, Janos, I talked on Skype and it would be wonderful to talk to others at well.
The Plekkers married into other families like Spits, Offenberg, Beudeker, Hermanides, De Jong, Orlebeke, Radius, De Jong and Rosier. And probably a few more. Many moved to South Africa and the United States. But there are also Plekkers living in Australia. To those we have and haven’t located, feel free to contact Greet or me and please tell your story in this blog.

The Plekkers were millers for many generations. Their “Paltrok” Mill was called “De Pet” , built in 1725 and which stood at the “Westzijderveld” Zaandam behind the NS railway station. It is taken down in the 20th Century (please fill in the date) after it wasn’t in use anymore for 7 years.
The Plekkers bought the mill in 1868 and the last owner was Willem Plekker.
A picture of the magnificent “De Pet” is the first one on this blog. For other pictures of our ancestors, uncles, aunts, cousins, please visit the Album.

The album is going to be extended with many more pictures in the very near future. Feel free to download them and please donate your own Plekker pictures.
Bare in mind that the people in this album either passed away a long time ago gave their permission to publish the pictures. Respect them and don’t use the pictures for commercial purposes.