Kastein, Jannes

Jannes Kastein was one of the many children who left the Netherlands when their parents emigrated. He settled in Alto, Wisconsin. He was married to Engelina Gravestein who had also emigrated as a child.

Life in the Netherlands

Jannes Kastein was born in Dinxperlo on 10 March 1835 as the son of Jan Willem Kastein and Theodora ter Horst. His father worked as a chairmaker in Dinxperlo.


This Dutch reformed family emigrated from Dinxperlo to the United States on 23 June 1847. Together with the family, Gerrit Jan Kempers, age 18 and Jan Hendrik Beernink, age 32, emigrated from the same address on the same day. Perhaps these were hired hands.

Life in the United States

The family first settled in the town of Metomen, Fon du Lac County, Wisconsin where they lived for six or seven years. They then came to Alto and settled on Section 23. On 30 November 1858, John was married to Engelina Gravestein by minister Seine Bolks in Milwaukee, WI.

Marriage certificate

Engelina was born in the Netherlands on 12 August 1836 as the daughter of Hendrik Gravestein and Janna Frederika Sleijster. She came from a military background: her father was in the military, her paternal grandfather was a sea captain and the maternal grandfather was a gun maker.

The couple had the following children:  Johanna (married William Lovmans, of Alto), Theodore, John, William, Elizabeth, Rudolph, Antoinette, Maria, John, Angeline and Robertus. They lost one child named John William, died in July, 1864, aged 4 years and 9 months.

Jannes Kastein held many public functions. He was an assessor, supervisor, Clerk of the School District, and was one of the Directors of the Waupun Farmer’s Insurance Co. In politics, he always voted for the democratic party. He owned 160 acres land, worth $40 per acre. Both he and his wife were members of the Reformed Church.


About Yvette Hoitink

Yvette Hoitink, CG® 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 certificate 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.

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