Debbink, Hendrik Jan and Berendina Dunnewold

Hendrik Jan Debbink and Berendina Dunnewold were a part of the second emigration wave to hit Winterswijk in the 1860s. They emigrated when he was already 69 years old, together with their family of four children. They joined Berendina Dunnewold’s brother, Jan Willem Dunnewold, who was a minister in Sheboygan County, WI.

Lives in the Netherlands

Hendrik Jan Debbink was born in Winterswijk, Gelderland on 7 August 1808 as the son of Garrit Hendrik Debbink and his second wife Janna Geertruid Debbink. As a younger son, there apparently was no need for him to get married soon. At the age of 49, he got married to 22-year-old Berendina Dunnewold. The couple was married in Winterswijk on 26 August 1857.

Berendina Dunnewold was born in Winterswijk on 9 October 1834 as a daughter of Gerrit Jan Dunnewold and Diela Rueselink. Hendrik Jan and Berendina had the following children:

  1. Garret Henry Debbink, born 10 July 1858, died 5 January 1938, married on 9 November 1886 to Johanna Geertruid Neerhof, born in Aalten on 28 October 1861, died 13 October 1955, daughter of Garrit Jan Neerhof and Berendina Jentink (sister of Catharina Jentink).

    Family photograph

    Garret Henry Debbink children

  2. Dirk John Debbink, born 9 February 1861, died 8 February 1936, Milwaukee, WI, married 25 March 1891 to Mary Christina Wilterdink.
  3. Janna Geertruida, who died of a sunstroke when she was 4 years old, before the family emigrated.
  4. Johanna Aleida (Hannah) Debbink, born 2 January 1867, married in Gibbsville on 26 January 1897 to G. William Reimes.
  5. Jan Willem Debbink, born in Winterswijk on 22 April 1869, died 17 July 1950, married to Elisabeth Ebbers, born 9 April 1874 in Wisconsin, died 18 November 1955.


The Debbink family knew several people who had emigrated in the 1840s. Berendina’s older brother Jan Willem Dunnewold had emigrated in 1846, when she was just 12 years old. While living in the United States he became a minister and settled in Sheboygan County, WI. Hendrik Jan had some Mentink cousins who had settled in the same area.

These family members must have sent favorable reports because on 10 July 1877, the family left the Netherlands from the port of Rotterdam. They sailed on the vessel ‘Scholten’ and arrived in New York City on 24 July 1877. From there, they went on to Wisconsin where they arrived three days later.

Lives in Sheboygan County

The family first rented a farm near Gibbsville. Soon afterwards, they purchased 20 acres of land near Sheboygan Falls and established a new farm. This farm was located just south of the hamlet known as ‘Ourtown’.

Portrait of an old man sitting down and a younger woman standing next to him

The family attended the Gibbsville Reformed church, where Berendina’s brother was the minister. Hendrik Jan and Berendina were active in the church as well.

Hendrik Jan Debbink died on 15 November 1896 at the age of 88. His wife survived him for almost 20 years and died on 22 December 1914. They are burried at Gibbsville Cemetery, Town of Lima, Sheboygan County, WI.


  • Paul & Carol Debbink: Debbink Family
  • Roland Debbink: Henry John Family
  • Petition for naturalization by Jan Willem Debbink on 2 June 1914
  • Correspondence with Janice Hesselink
  • WieWasWie
  • Winterswijk church records
About Yvette Hoitink

Yvette Hoitink, CG®, QG™ is a professional genealogist in the Netherlands. She holds the Certified Genealogist credential from the Board for Certification of Genealogists and has a post-graduate diploma in Family and Local History from the University of Dundee. She has been doing genealogy for over 30 years and helps people from across the world find their ancestors in the Netherlands. Read about Yvette's professional genealogy services.


  1. Lisa DeBlaey says

    The photo shown are the children of Garrit Henry Debbink

  2. Mary Wykhuis says

    Garret Henry Debbink Family

    Front row: Dora Ellen Debbink, Johanna Geertruid ‘Neerhof” Debbink, Garret Henry Debbink, and Andrew Louis Debbink.
    Back row: Garret “John” Debbink, Bernadean “Debbink” Ramaker, Ellis Garret Debbink, Jennie Gertrude Debbink, Ernest Albert Debbink, Henrietta “Hatti” “Hilbelink” Debbink and Herbert Debbink

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