Saturday, March 24, 2007

Abeltje Nauta Kolk Akker


In the town of Hornhuizen, the municipality of Kloosterburen on December 2, 1832, at 1 a.m. a daughter was born to Jakob Pieters Nauwta, age 27 and Margarita (Grietje) Tjaarts Bottema. Her name was Abelje. Her parents were dayworkers.

Abbie had two sisters. Remke “Annie” was born on April 6, 1837, in the Netherlands. She immigrated in 1864 and in 1865 married Peter Van Dyke(died 1906) who had been born in the Netherlands in 1828. Annie died in 1916 and is buried in the Fulton cemetery. The other sister, Jantje Jakobs (Jennie), was born Nov. 13, 1844. She married Dennis Feldt (Tonnis Veld) January 14, 1865, and is buried in the Fulton cemetery.

Abbie had a brother, George, born December 1, 1839, in the Netherlands. He moved to the US when he was 16 years old and was a captain of sailing vessels and steamboats on the Great Lakes. His obituary in 1923 said he had four brothers and one sister.

Abbie left the Netherlands in 1856 at the age of 24. She was identified as a servant girl. There are no other Nautas listed as traveling in that year. Who were the traveling companions for this single woman?

Abbie settled first in LaFayette, Indiana, and she was married there on July 8, 1857, at the age of 25 to John Kolk. Her name on the license is spelled Abetze Nota.

The minister officiating was Fredrick Koening, a Lutheran Minister. Abbie’s obituary says that she was married to Jacob Kolk who died in 1861 in Chicago. The first census done for Fulton was in June of 1860 and on that are listed:
John Kolk, age 40, daylaborer
Awell age 28
Margaret 9 months, born in Illinois
Child # 2: The obituary for John Kolk, son of Abbie and John, said that he was born November 22, 1860 in Fulton.

We think we know the following about Abbie’s first husband, John Kolk. Jan Jochums was born on December 5, 1817, to Jan Jochums Kolk, age 34, and Anje Berends. He had a brother born on September 25, 1822, Jacob Colk, who was born to Jan Jochums Colk, age 39 and Anje Berends. These births took place in Usquert, Groningen. They had two sisters, Jantje and Grietje. Jantje was born January 17, 1812, who married Harm Gerrits Heethuis in 1836. Grietje Colk was born February 14, 1821 and she married Lubbert Klaassens Werk in 1840.
Jantje 1812
Jan 1817
Grietje 1821
Jacob 1822
The last two dates cannot be correct because there is less than 9 months between the two births.

John Kolk’s immigration is thought to have occurred on April 30, 1852, when he and his brother traveled on the Victoria from Rotterdam to New York.

Husband # 1, John Kolk died in 1861 in Chicago. Rumors: He was found floating in the Chicago River. He was very good looking. He was a heavy drinker.

At age 30, Abbie was a widow, living in Chicago, with a one year old son and pregnant. Abbie gave birth to a second son, George Kolk, in Chicago on June 22, 1862. She was 30 years old. There is no record of Margaret, so the assumption is that she died.

In 1863, Abbie married John Akker (age 28) in Chicago. John Akker was born in Den Andel, Groningen on November 20, 1835. They moved to Fulton and lived their lives there. Children born to them were Ellen (Alice) in 1864, Margaret in 1866, Kate in 1868, Josie in 1871, and Seba J. in 1873. Abbie was 41 when Seba was born. John Akker died October 31,1892, at the age of 57.

In 1898, Abbie bought thirteen acres of timber in the northeast part of Fulton for $1400. “ December 6, 1898, George DeBey sold his residence in Fulton to Mrs. John Akker . The consideration was $2,000 cash.”

A directory of Fulton inhabitants in 1905 lists Abbie Akker living on Genesee and Bluff Streets. Also living at the same address were George Kolk (born in Chicago in 1862) and Alice Kolk (nee Boot).

On Saturday morning, Christmas Day 1915 at the age of 83, Abbie died in her home (Genesee and Bluff or 417 15th Avenue). Abbie was at the Christmas dinner table sitting next to 13 year old granddaughter, Sylvia, when she collapsed and died.

Living in that home in Fulton have been five generations of Kolks:
Kevin, Dan, Mike

Fulton Journal: December 11, 1914: Joseph Nauta of Holland, Mich. who represents a large Chicago publishing house was in Fulton a couple of days this week and visited at the homes of his cousins George and John Kolk.

Fulton Journal: December 11, 1914: Mrs. Abeltje Akker, who makes her home with George Kolk, was eighty-two years old last Sunday, and she is in good health and fairly active. Mrs. Akker is one of the oldest residents of our city, having located here over fifty-five years ago. A nice family dinner was given in honor of her birthday.

Fulton Journal: September 14, 1915: Mrs. A. Akker, an old and respected resident of Fulton, is confined to her home by a serious illness.