Is this Jennie Wesseling Sterk?


Notice the Perry Studio, Armour,SD trademark.


Focusing on  her husband’s complete name and using an advanced Google search, we were able to find several genealogies posted in The Netherlands that recognize Jennie as one of their ancestors even though she had emigrated away from them to America.  That made it look like the Dutch people were better at locating U.S. people better than we could.


This turned out to be a good demonstration on “genealogical techniques” when doing research.  Often the use of one name “gets you no where.”  Work hard, get one additional complete name and the flood gates open up.


We deliberately left some of the information in Dutch so you could practice the language used by early Douglas settlers.



Thijs Jans Sterk is geboren op 26-02-1857, zoon van Jan Pieters Sterk en Grietje Heins Hijma. Thijs is overleden op 19-12-1925 in Corsica, SD, USA, 68 jaar oud. Thijs trouwde, ongeveer 36 jaar oud, omstreeks 1893 met Jennie Wesseling, ongeveer 18 jaar oud. Jennie is geboren in 1875. Jennie is overleden op 17-04-1961 in Artesia, CA, USA, 86 jaar oud.


Kinderen van Thijs en Jennie:


1 John Sterk, geboren op 08-08-1894 in Douglas County, SD, USA. John is overleden.
2 Dora Sterk, geboren op 17-04-1897 in Douglas County, SD, USA. Dora is overleden.
3 Peter Sterk, geboren op 28-11-1899 in Douglas County, SD, USA. Peter is overleden.
4 Gertie Sterk, geboren op 31-01-1902 in Douglas County, SD, USA. Gertie is overleden.
5 Harry Sterk, geboren op 17-08-1904 in Douglas County, SD, USA. Harry is overleden.


While these records suggest that many of these people were buried in Douglas county, so far none of the graves have been located.  If you know of any graves for these folks in other South Dakota counties, such information would be appreciated.


It appears that Jennie still shows up in the 1930 census, five years after her husband’s death.


1930 United States Federal Census


Name:  Jennie Steck    (a footnote here suggests the spelling could by "Sterk')

Birth:  abt 1875 - location

Residence:  1930 - city, Douglas, South Dakota


While the above records suggest that Jennie “moved on” to California and is buried in Artesia, California, a search in those cemeteries turned up a few Sterks buried there, but the grave of Jennie is still not located.