Aunt Gertie

English: Old women with constumes in Stellendam
Nederlands: Oude vrouwen met klederdracht in Stellendam
Date 16 May 2012
Source Own work
Author Peter van der Sluijs

Aunt Gettie's Home

Old ladies in Stellendam, Goedereede, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands


Aunt Gertie and her father-in-law, John David Earnest on the farm on Newkirk Station Road, Upper Pittsgrove Twp.

Annettaje Marje Klink Brinkman came to Ellis Island in 1898. She had with her two young daughters: Jannetje, 2 years old and Geertje (Aunt Gertie) 3 months old. They came to join their husband/father, Pieter Hendriksz Brinkman. They had come to America from Stellendam, Goedereede, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands.

Peiter had come over some time in 1897. The family settled in Patterson, NJ. The names were anglicized.  Peter worked in a mill. Annettaje became known by her middle name, Marie. Daughter Jannetje became Jan. Geertje became Gertie. Henricka stayed Henricka for the 1900 US Census. She died in 1900 at 4 months. By the 1920 US Census Marie had died.. Additional children were added: Herbert, 18; Henry, 15; Bertha, 12; Peter 9; and Abraham, 6. Aunt Gertie no longer live at home. How did a little Dutch girl in a big city find her way to the South Jersey countryside to meet and marry Uncle Ernie?


Earnest Family Tree

EarnestTreeThe Earnest Family Tree

I have been filling in our family tree on Years ago when I started the research, I couldn’t find anything about Grandmom’s Earnest great-grandparents. Today with new tools available, I still can’t find anything. Ephraim B. Earnest is still a dead end for me. I am posting this as a public tree. I think you will need an invitation from me to look at it. Send me your email address via Facebook. I’ll send you an invitation. With the invitation you don’t have to be a member of It is an expensive membership!! When I get a lot more done, I’ll let you know. You can get a free 2 week trial. Let me know if you have any questions about the tree. I didn’t know Aunt Gertie was from Holland.

Pictures of Granmom

img271Can you guess which one she is?


img265with some unknown guy


img267With one of her Vanmeter uncles


img192High School picture?

img250Must be 1935

1945Maybe 1944 or 45

Earnest002One of my favorites: Great-Grandmother Emma, with Dorothy in the ringlets, her sister Bessie and Bessie’s daughter Emma in the bow. I’d guess this to be about 1915 or 16

002Granmom with her nephew in the baby buggy. Martin is pretty hard to see in this one.

img263John David Earnest, Pansy Pearl Kandle  Earnest, Emma Vanmeter Earnest, Dorothy Merle Earnest, and Martin Earnest

img184Granmom’s family before she was born. This shot was taken on the Vanmeter farm Easter 1900 or so. The farm is on the corner of Harding Highway and Martin Ave. near Pole Tavern. That is where the Vanmeter clan gathered together every spring.

img264The Vanmeters at Easter, might be the same year. Our Great-Great Grandparents are standing third and fourth from the left, that’s Emma and John David next. Great-Great Grandmother Rachel Shoulders and Great-Great Grandfather “Burris” Isaac Burroughs Vanmeter. He fought in the Civil War. Since he was missing part of his trigger finger, he didn’t do much fighting. He did write letters for other soldiers.

John David Earnest & Emma Vanmeter

004  EPSON scanner image

Granmom’s parents – the blacksmith and the bride

John and Emma married sometime before 1888. Emma died in 1918, from the great flu epidemic? John married again in 1930 to Elizabeth. Elizabeth who?

img015  img014

These are both printed on post card paper. John’s says “Matthews – Wildwood, NJ”

John David Earnest was born on 17 Sept. 1866 in Salem. His parents were Ephraim B. Earnest and Rebecca A. Garton. John died in 1946. He’s buried at the Old Pittsgrove Baptist Church graveyard in Daretown.

Rachel Emma Vanmeter was born on 27 Feb. 1868 in Upper Alloway Township. Her parents were Isaac Burroughs Vanmeter (Granmom said his name was Burris, I guess that is the South Jersey pronunciation of Burroughs) and Rachel A. Shoulders. Emma died in August 1918, buried also at the Old Pittsgrove Baptist Church graveyard.

John and Emma had 5 children. The first was Izetta Viola Earnest.  She died in infancy,  at the home of George Martin. Born and died in 1888. The baby was buried in the same graveyard. I have no idea who the Martins were or how we were related or acquainted with the family.

The second child, George Martin Earnest was born 26 Nov. 1889. He went by his middle name, Martin. He married Pansy Pearl Kandle. They had two sons, Martin and George. This nephew Martin is the one Granmom talked about. Martin, Granmom’s brother, died 24 Oct. 1952. He’s buried in the Bridgeton Presbyterian graveyard.

img258Pansy Pearl Kandle

The third child was Bessie Viola Earnest. She was born in Jan. 1892. Bessie married and had one daughter Emma Ellis. Bessie died in 1934.

The 4th child was Ervin Austin Earnest. Born in Sept. 1895. Uncle Ernie married Gertrude Brinkman. He died 1960.

img262Uncle Ernie and Aunt Gert

Then the 5th child, Granmom came along much later. Dorothy Merle Earnest was born 13 Oct. 1909.


The house in Bridgeton where Granmom was born. 33 Franklin Street. That is Great-Gramma Emma on the step.

Dortothy Merle Earnest married John Milton Earnest 29 Mar. 1930 (the same year her father remarried). They were married in the Methodist parsonage in Elmer. They couldn’t be married in Grandpop’s family Quaker Meeting (the actual meethinghouse is located on the property of the Atlantic City Area Friends, Absecon) Granmom wasn’t a Quaker.

EPSON scanner image