Answer to Nick
Sent: Sunday, July 04, 2010 12:58 PM
Subject: Re: Jantien Jacobs Ritsema
Hallo Nick,
   My original intent was to create a Christmas story for Shelley instead of doing a family tree, in the hopes of making it more interesting. Many of the conclusions I came to were through a process of elimination such as the parents of Jacob Jans Ritsema, Heereburen, and the shield. There could be other possibilities and I am really hoping for feedback to find more information and insights. Dennis has allowed me to put it on his website and has given me a venue for this, for which I am grateful.
   I believe the shield was used by Jacobus Jacobs Heerema Ritsema only. He died in 1808 and his children used only the surname Heerema after 1811 when surnames became mandatory and they drop the name Ritsema, which would make the use of the shield redundant. The name Heerema, as a surname, can be traced to only one family in Groningen, to my knowledge, before 1811. This family has it's origins in Holwinda and they had family members living in stadt Groningen before 1811 and can probably be linked to Heereburen. They do not have a split name. There is another family in Adorp who choose the name Heerema in 1811 and I believe they can be linked to Jacobus Jacobs Heerema Ritsema through Anje Jacobs, who outlives him. I believe most of the Heeremas living in Groningen can trace their ancestry to one of these sources. It is also because of this that the use of the shield can be narrowed down to the use by one man. It gives me more insight to know the eagle on the shield is not limited to the use of just one family and how these symbols were used by eigenerfde boeren. Thank you Nick and I hope to gain more from what I can learn from you. I will ask Dennis to also post the correspondence in hopes of broadening our base of feedback knowledge.