Sometimes small things have a big impact on one's life, like the woman who I meet mostly every morning when I have breakfast in the Home bistro where I reside. Everyone in this home is friendly, so is she, but besides that she wishes me, with a friendly smile, a good morning, then lightly touches my shoulder. I am for more than eight years a widower and don't get touched by a woman-hand much. A lot of men, myself included, who find themselves in the situation of having lost a wife, miss that physical female contact. Some men feel a female touch as curative care, others feel it as a medicating sensation, even a cure-all, still others feel the touch of a woman as something pure and simply as wonderfully pleasant. I have felt it all.
During a sleepless night, which thank God very seldom happens, I was was busy with those thoughts, and on a rare occasion when I received a visit of my minister, or pastor as he likes to be called, the good man was unfortunate to ask me what had been the hardest thing that I had to give up in my life. I want it be known that I really like this pastor, and haven't got the slightest notion that his reason for this question was a malicious one. I answered him that there were three things that, for different reasons were hard for me give up – two of them were of my own choice, drinking and smoking, and the third was because of a circumstance and definitely not by choice, sex. That was when my dear wife Anne had passed away. The pastor was taken by surprise of me mentioning the intimate relationship between male and female by an old man like me, I think, and quickly turned to reading a part of the bible, a part that had very little to do with sex or the lack of it.
Why bring that subject up anyways? I will tell you. Five weeks ago I received word that the husband of one of the sisters of my wife had passed away in the Netherlands. He and my wife's sister were a loving couple and I wondered how she was coping with that loss. Then my thoughts wandered to my father when he became a widower and the number one concern seemed to be his lack of being able to brew a cup of coffee for himself, while I suspect that that was not the only reason. I was trying to formulate a comforting letter for my sister in law, but did not have her address. I called several times but got no answer, and yesterday via a a widow of Anne's cousin in the US, got a call that Anne's sister Ida had passed away as well.
Then I thought how important family is and how little we know of one's pains and problems, and how short the time is that we can be a comfort to each other. And now I go on with the little I know about the the first of the SMID generations because it is good for the future generations to know where they are from, knowing that their lives are also like 'a blink of an eye,' a very short time, in which to put a hand on someone's shoulder.
THE FIRST EIGHT GENERATIONS
1 Gerben, *1578 - ? is the first of the Smid generation. His wife is not known. We only know that he had at least one son whom he named Wytse Gerbens. The second name is after himself while the s behind Gerben denotes son, thus the name Wytse Gerbens stands for Wytse the son of Gerben. The year of Gerben's birth I have not entirely guessed, but calculated the average ages over ten generations which amounted to 32 years which I added to the birth year of his son Wytse Gerbens, of whom we know a little bit more.
2 Wytse Gerbens, *1690 - ? He was born in the small village of Terwispel in Fryslân. Who his wife is, we don't known, and neither when he died.
He rented his farmstead and land 1728, faring well, so that in 1732 he was already owner of two equal parcels of land, situated between two roads. He was considered a well to do farmer with 6 people over 12 years old, likely he and his wife and four sons. His taxes were assessed at 52 guldens and 19 cents.
He had at least three sons, of whom we know only Pieter, Hendrik, and Gerben, there must have been one more son , but the fourth child over twelve years could also have been a daughter. The only one of the three sons we know something more about is Hendrik.
3 Hendrik Wytses *1716- ? X Trijntje Johanna Postuma ? ? from Gorredijk. After the wedding the young couple are going to live at Lippenhuizen on the canal. Hendrik is a farmer but also a baker. They receive four children who all are baptized in the Dutch Reformed church.
'They are pleasant people who like a glass of wine,' is written of them.
They have one son, Johannes Hendriks.
Johannes is from Terwispel. When the mother of the bride is asked to sign as witness it appears that she cannot write, so she signs with a cross, which is then witnessed by an official, in order that the wedding can go on.
Johannes starts as a skipper when he is still a bachelor but does not very well, in the tax register he is mentioned as 'a skipper without any material possessions.' After his marriage he follows in the footsteps of his father as he dumps the boat and becomes a baker, and like his father he is not shy of a stiff drink. They are a happy and cheerful family. However, good times do not last very long in the heather community. Dark clouds loom again as the economy slows down, hitting the already financially unstable heather dwellers; still people must eat and Johannes Smit does not send them home without it. Though his clients severely promise to pay, they do not come forward with the cash since they haven't got it to give, which makes that Johannes loses his bakery, his second venture. He then the whole kitten-qua-boedel, including his family, to Wijnjeterp where he tries his luck as a small farmer.
Johannes Hendriks Smit joins the army around 1817.
Johannes and Wietske get four children, one of them dies very young and one out the survivors is Hendrik.
5 Hendrik Johannes Smid 1797 - ? X Grietje Sipkes de Boer 1802 - ?in 1795
6 Sipke Hendriks Smid 1831 - 1882 X Antje Roelofs van Houten 1833 - 1871in 1857
7 Fokke Smid *1869 – 1949 X Aukje Slofstra 1873 - 1956 in 1897
8 Hendrik Smid *1904- 1989 X Jacobje Roelevink 1908 – 1975in 1930
9 LEFFERT Smid *1931 - ? X Anne Smit *1935 – 2008in 1955
10 Janice 1957, Deborah 1959, Leonard 1961, Jacqueline 1965
11 Mark Dustin Alexis Dylan
11 Jesse Tyler