According to the Internet Surname Database, the Heerdink surname has not been researched. Based upon my research, its origins are in the Netherlands, along the border with Germany. Variations include Herdink, Heerdinck, Harding, Herding, just to name a few.
Surname in my Tree
My closest Heerdink ancestor is my 2nd great grandmother, Jeannette Carolyn “Jennie” Heerdink. The line goes back to her father, Anton Heerdink (1836-1879), his father John Bernard Heerdink (1803-1860), and his father Gerard Heerdink (? – ?).
Gerard Heerdink was likely born in the Netherlands sometime around 1780, possibly in the province of Gelderland in the municipality of Groenlo, located very near the German border. He married Everdina Vonck, and John Bernard was born in 1803 in Groenlo. John Bernard married Phenenna Bernadina Eva Catherine van Castrop on 26 February 1829 and they had six known children: Johanna Berendina Christina, Everdina Hermina “Dina,” John Hermann, Anton, Bernard Gerard John, and Maria Phenera Christina. (Some of these names may be out of order or spellings may be off – most have been translated from Latin). All the children were born in Groenlo, and the family emigrated to the United States in 1847 through the Port of New Orleans and settled in German Township, Evansville, Vanderburgh, Indiana. Anton met and married Maria Theresa “Mary” Diefenbach in Evansville and they had seven children: Alexander Leo, Mary Frances “Fannie,” John M., Jeannette Carolyn “Jennie,” Louis J., Henry, and Clarence. Mary died from tuberculosis at the age of 34 in July 1878, and in March 1879, after losing his wife, being out of work, and trying to raise 7 children, Anton was adjudged insane and was committed to the Central State Hospital in Indianapolis with a diagnosis of “acute melancholia.” His younger children were placed in orphanages, and the older children were placed in various households as servants. Jennie Heerdink married Eugene Francis Stiker in 1894 and they also had seven children: Justin J., Bryan Frank, Veronica Anita “Vera,” Lucile Francis, Lillian E., Eugene L. “Tex,” and Raymond J. They moved to Mt. Vernon, Indiana, between 1907 and 1910 and remained there until their deaths: Eugene in 1935 and Jennie in 1953. Both are buried in St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery in Evansville.
I have requested the court records for Anton’s committal, and hope to have those shortly, along with some guardianship records for a few of his children. I still have not been able to locate naturalization certificates for any of the Heerdinks, so that is on my to-do list as well. I have quite a list of resources for my trip to Salt Lake City in February, so hopefully I will get closer to some answers. I’m trying (not necessarily succeeding) to remain vigilant about not researching my overseas ancestors until I exhaust my resources on this side of the pond.
Do we share ancestors? Email me: lostancestors AT gmail DOT com
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