cover image of Jannetje


A Love Story

by Ethel Mary Beeke Mack


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   Not today
The words to follow are mine. Some of the words are fiction, some are based on facts that I gleaned from my maternal aunts, my grandmother and Google. My mother was Johanna Mepjans Gruizinga Beeke. Jannetje Mepjans was my mothers grandmother, my Great-Grandmother. I will admit that most of the words are the stirrings in my active imagination. I love to write so bear with me on my new adventure of writing a story. This effort is dedicated to the love I have for my mother and grandmothers. After having done much research on my family, I will begin my story with the following descriptions. My story is about a tiny Dutch woman named Jannetje VanDenBrink Mepjans. She was born in a small Dutch village, Echleter, Drenthe Province, in the Netherlands. Her parents were a couple named Thys and Gespke VanDenBrink. Jannetje became known as Tiny Jenny. She was a very delicate and frail child, prone to childhood diseases and suffered with the dreaded scarlet fever. In her adult years, she had thyroid problems, which she passed on to future generations and it left her bald in her later years. (She wore a wig.) Because of this, Gespke became an over protective mother hen. She was constantly shielding her beloved daughter under her mother wings, oblivious to what an effect she was having with her control issues toward others around her. Papa Thys was a dairy farmer trying to scratch out a living for his family. Most villagers were dirt poor trying to make a profit from their land and animals. The village, Eechleter, would soon fall under German (Duislandt) rule. The Kingdom of Prussia became the new order. With this drastic take over, most civil records were lost. This made it difficult to secure records of births, deaths, marriages, etc. But, thanks to the Church Of The Latter Day Saints (Mormon) on Drake Road in Kalamazoo, Michigan, it was possible for me to get some birth certificates on microfiche files that eventually led me to my Great-Grandfather, Jan Mepjans. Jan was a tall, dark-haired, slender, blue-eyed Dutchman born in the Kingdom of Prussia. His parents owned and operated the only farm equipment store in the area. He was a self-absorbed young man and was aware of his good looks. He was also aware that the usual Dutch appearance was blond hair with blue eyes. As I stated before, they owned a very busy store and that made it, generally, easier for Jan to meet and see the attractive, available young maidens of Echleter. One of these maidens was my Great Grandmother, Jenny.

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Xlibris US
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