My father's father's name was also Harm Boon. Going back another generation, my grandfather's father's name was Derk Boon. He lived from 1814 to 1901 and married Marrigje Lingeman in 1842. Marrigje was born in 1819. Derk and Marrigje had six children of whom grandfather Harm was their fifth. The birth order was: Hendrik born in 1844 and married to Geertje Sterken; Jacob born in 1847 and married to Grietje Mandemaker; Baltus born in 1849 and married to Jantje Slagter; Jacobus born in 1851; my grandfather Harm born in 1854 and married to Grietje Zeilmaker; and finally Willem born in 1861 and married to Niesje Broek. Gretha, my eldest sister grew up knowing Willem and Niesje pretty well. "Their ship was berthed close to to our grandmother, Grietje Boon-Zeilmaker. They were a childless couple. Our brother Willem (Wim) was named after his uncle Willem and his aunt and uncle were quite happy about this. Willem later received is uncle's golden watch."

My grandfather Harm lived from 26 February 1854 to 23 February 1939. He married Grietje Zeilmaker on 13 July 1878. My grandmother Boon lived from 29 October 1858 to 10 March 1954. Harm and Grietje had nine children. My father Harm (born in 1898) was their eighth child.

Grandmother and grandfather Boon

Grietje Boon-Zeilmaker

Grandmother Boon

The Boon family lived in Zwartsluis, which at in the early 1900s was a business-oriented shipping center, it even had a harbor to the sea because the current IJsselmeer, now a freshwater body was at that time still the Zuiderzee (South See) because the Afsluitdijk, the sea wall that now encloses it, was not constructed until the 1930s. My father Harm; "Everything in Zwartsluis was oriented to the shipping trade; my father was in shipping, just like his father and my elder brothers. There were at least four or five wharves for building and repairing the ships used for peat trade.

My mother came from a family of farmers. My parents owned their ship and the house where I grew up. We were a well-to-do protestant middle-class family. I recall that in 1912 my father had a "klipperaak" (inland sailing clipper) made at a wharf by the name of Appelo on the Niewe Sluis (New Lock). The ship was named Grietje, in honor of my mother. It could carry a maximum load of 122 tons."

The klipperaak Grietje

My father's parents lived in Zwartsluis close to a canal called the Meppelerdiep. My father provided me with the postcard above and marked with blue pen the house in which he grew up.

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