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A book of interest to the
Brune, Zoet, Nieveen, and Slotemaker
Families and their descendents.


This document has been excerpted and condensed and augmented from the1927 Grommers Family tree book and the 1976 update. You can read the entire 1976 Original Version. 

Much of the work of coordinating all this material from the various branches of the tree was done by SYLVIA NIEVEEN SLOTEMAKER. Others who helped considerably are Fred and Mary Brune, Mildred Zoet Likkel, Ada Nieveen, and Melvin and Judy Slotemaker.

A special thanks goes to Tosca Brune, who translated the GROMMERS Family Tree book from Dutch into English, thereby making available to the English-speaking generations the wealth of information contained in that book. We are also considerably indebted to Lodewijk Grommers, author of the above-mentioned book, for the depth of the research he performed in connection with the writing of that book.

It is our hope, in putting this book together, that future generations will find it helpful in tracing their family lineage. We further hope that additional updates will be periodically accomplished.

The NIEVEEN name has now died out, and the descendants of AATJE GROMMERS and MELLE MARTIN NIEVEEN carry a variety of other names, but all those listed in this book have a common ancestoral heritage in the NIEVEEN name, as well as in the GROMMERS name.

Melle Nieveen

We trust that you will find this book interesting and informative. We apologize for any error that you may find; we have done the best we could with the information available to us.

Lynden, Washington


1st Generation: Lodewijk Grommers and Eetien Timons
2nd Generation: Martinus Grommers and Catrijna Entrup
3rd Generation: Lodewijk Grommers and Jantjen Engelberts
4th Generation: Engelbertus Grommers and Wendelina Rhodius
5th Generation: Lodewijk Grommers and Sytske Homan
6th Generation: Engelbertus Grommers and Hiltje Hendriks
7th Generation: Engelbertus Grommers and Cornelia Franssens

Cornelia Franssens Grommers
Engelbertus and Cornelia Grommers
parents of Aatje Grommers
grandparents of Sylvia Nieveen Slotemaker
great-great grandparents of the Slotemaker Cousins

Engelbertus Grommers

As we reach the 8th Generation, the names become more familiar to the grandchildren of Sylvia and Cornelius Slotemaker as we see the names of the Mother and Father of Grandma Slotemaker, the Great Grandma and Great Grandpa of the Grandchildren of Sylvia Slotemaker...Aatje Grommers and Melle Nieveen...

8th Generation:
Grandma Sylvia Nieveen Slotemaker's Mother and Father
 Aatje Grommers and Melle Nieveen

Aatje & Melle Nieveen

9th Generation:
Grandma Sylvia Nieveen Slotemaker's sisters and brother
 (with spouses in parentheses)

Cornelia Nieveen (Fred Brune)
Mattie Nieveen (Arie Zoet)
Martin Nieveen (Anna Haveman)
Sylvia Nieveen (Cornelius Slotemaker)

Mattie & Sylvia

10th Generation: 
The generation of the Parents of the Slotemaker Cousins

The Brune Family
The Zoet Family
The Nieveen Family
The Slotemaker Family

11th Generation:
The generation of the Slotemaker Cousins

Descendents of Bernard Brune
Descendents of Arthur Brune
Descendents of Frederick Brune
Descendents of Audrey Brune Van Weerdhuizen
Descendents of Harvey Zoet
Descendents of Arnold Zoet
Descendents of Mildred Zoet Likkel
Descendents of Viola Zoet Mauler
Descendents of Elizabeth Nieveen Pettit
Descendents of Arlene Slotemaker Barry
Descendents of John Slotemaker
Descendents of Ruth Slotemaker Hershberger
Descendents of Melvin Slotemaker
Descendents of Gerald Slotemaker

The above gives you an outline of the generations following Aatje Grommers and Melle Nieveen. The following provides more detail. However, much of this information has not been updated since 1976. A project is underway to bring this document into this century. It is not known when this project will be completed.


Aatje Grommers

At this point we trace the line of AATJE GROMMERS and MELLE NIEVEEN, the common ancestors of those for whom this particular book is being put together.

After their marriage MELLE NIEVEEN and AATJE (ENGELBERTUSí) GROMMERS farmed near Platte, South Dakota until 1905, when the family moved to Lynden, Washington. MELLE NIEVEEN was a farmer and carpenter, and in 1917, while building a new home for his family, he died on December 13, 1917, after a short illness. Soon after, AATJE moved to Lynden and her son MARTIN NEIVEEN and his wife ANNA rented the farm for a time. The farm was sold in 1926. AATJE GROMMERS NEIVEEN died at the home of her daughter MATTIE ZOET on June 21, 1941.

Four children were born to MELLE NIEVEEN and AATJE GROMMERS:

CORNELIA NIEVEEN, born December 20, 1892; died February 15, 1971.

MATTIE NIEVEEN, born October 22, 1894.

MARTIN MELLE NIEVEEN, born December 7, 1897; died March 12, 1972.

SYLVIA NIEVEEN, born December 16, 1904.

Martin Nieveen


CORNELIA NIEVEEN married FREDERIK E. BRUNE, (born 4 May 1889 at Arum (Fr.), son of BERNARD BRUNE and TJITSKE DYKSTRA), on September 8, 1914, at Lynden, Washington. She had spent part of her school years in South Dakota, and attended the Riverside Grade School in the Lynden area after the family moved to the Pacific Northwest. After graduating from the Riverside school, she spent her teen years in the Lynden area. Following her marriage, she and her husband FRED BRUNE established their home in the Northwood area, where Fred worked at the mill. In 1916 a forest fire was raging through the vicinity, and they lost their home, although most of the furniture was saved. Lost in the fire, however, was one of CORNELIAís prized possessions, a silver tea service that her Grandmother Grommers had given her, as well as some pictures which she valued. From there, they moved to Skykomish, Washington, where they lived for eight years before moving back to the Lynden area, where Fred worked in the whey plant. CORNELIA was kept busy raising her family. It was hard for her to see three of her sons enter the armed forces, and she prayed much for them. She advised her four sons and her daughter, praying diligently for them, and it is a tribute to her that they are all successful in their chosen work and well respected. On February 15, 1971, her work on earth was done, and the Lord called her home.

Five children were born to CORNELIA NIEVEEN and FREDERIK E. BRUNE:

BERNARD ERNEST BRUNE, born July 28, 1915; married MARY (LOUISí) MINK (born September 14, 1915), on May 1, 1943.

MELVIN MARTIN BRUNE, born February 25, 1917; married WILMA (CHARLESí) SCHEMPER (born January 17, 1917), on August 27, 1935.

ARTHUR DELMAR BRUNE, born November 11, 1919; married TOSCA VANDERBERG (born August 3, 1926) on December 16, 1960.

FREDERICK ALLEN BRUNE, born October 23, 1925; married RUTH (JOHNíS) PITZEN (born February 29, 1928O, on March 31, 1951.

AUDREY RUTH BRUNE, born August 31, 1933; married JOHN (HOVARTíS) VAN WEERDHUIZEN (born September 23, 1929) on September 27, 1952.

As this book is being compiled, FREDERIK E. BRUNE, widower of CORNELIA NIEVEEN, is living in the Lynden Christian Rest Home in Lynden.

MATTIE NIEVEEN, second daughter of AATJE GROMMERS and MELLE MARTIN NIEVEEN, was born in Charles Mix County, South Dakota. She started her elementary education in South Dakota, moving at the age of nine to the Lynden, Washington area, where she completed her elementary education. She met ARIE ZOET in 1913, when he was employed on her fatherís farm. They were married March 26, 1914. They lived together to celebrate their 58th wedding anniversary. They farmed near Lynden for twelve years, then moved to Yarrow, British Columbia, for a few years to farm there. After two or three years, they moved back to the Lynden area, farming there once more. Illness forced them to give up farming and move into town (Lynden).

In the space of these years five children were born to this union. The youngest, VIOLA ZOET, was born deaf. This lead them to pack up once more and move to Vancouver, Washington, where they could be near Viola as she went to a special school. While living in Vancouver, MATTIE worked as a cook at the State School for the Deaf. While living in Vancouver, MATTIE had two sons and two sons-in-law in the service of their country, this being during World War II. After her children had returned safely and the War was over, they once more returned to the Lynden area.

In 1969, MATTIE lost her youngest daughter (VIOLA) to cancer. At the same time, her health began to decline and she moved into the Christian Rest Home in Lynden. Her husband joined her there, and at this writing she resides there. She has been blessed with thirteen grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. MATTIE says, "The good years have been more than the bad. The Lord has surely blessed me."

MATTIE worked with two doctors in Lynden, and was midwife at the birth of about fifty babies.

The five children of MATTIE NIEVEEN and ARIE ZOET are:

ADRIANNA ALBERTA ZOET, born August 17, 1915; married FREDERICK RICHARD MATHER (born November 24, 1906, died May 6, 1958.)

HARVEY MELVIN ZOET, born February 19, 1918, married LUCILLE MERKLE; they were divorced. HARVEY remarried, BERNICE LEWIS, (born September 26, 1924.)

MILDRED JANE ZOET, born March 10, 1025, married GERRIT DONALD LIKKEL, born December 5, 1920.)

VIOLA MAE ZOET, born June 17, 1930, married RUEMONT MAULER, (born May 23, 1918); died July 26, 1969.


MARTIN MELLE NIEVEEN, third child and only son of AATJE GROMMERS and MELLE MARTIN NIEVEEN, had most of his schooling at the Timon School in the Lynden area. He helped his father on the family farm, and he and his wife, ANNA HAVEMAN, took over the farm when his parents moved into town. After farming for a few years, MARTIN worked at logging for awhile, and then worked at Western Washington Farmers Co-Op for thirty-five years.

MARTIN organized and coached girlsí softball games in Lynden, being active with this for several years. His daughter ADA was a player on his team. He also umpired baseball games in the community.

MARTIN loved hunting and fishing, and played a lot of pool at friendsí homes, after he retired. He died suddenly on March 12, 1972, on the day his daughter ELIZABETH and her husband GLEN PETTIT were being honored with an open house at MARTIN and ANNAís home in honor of their twenty-fifth anniversary. MARTINís widow, ANNA HAVEMAN says "I am just a housekeeper; go to Ladiesí Aide, Homemakerís Club, Jolly Minglers, and a Birthday Club." She still resides in their family home in Lynden.

MARTIN NIEVEEN and ANNA HAVEMAN had three girls; the first one living for only a few hours, on September 1, 1919.

ELIZABETH NIEVEEN was born December 7, 1920 and is married to GLEN REINEIR PETTIT, (born August 13, 1920.)

ADA NIEVEEN was born October 27, 1925.


Cornelius Slotemaker

SYLVIA NIEVEEN, the youngest of the children of AATJE GROMMERS and MELLE MARTIN NIEVEEN, was a baby when the family moved from South Dakota to Washington State. She grew up in the Lynden area, and had her schooling at the Timon and Lynden Christian Schools. She worked as an egg candler at the Co-Op prior to her marriage to CORNELIUS SLOTEMAKER. They made their first home in Ferndale, Washington. After a few years they moved to Lynden, and later moved to a home on the Van Buren Road, between Lynden and Sumas. On December 8, 1941, NEIL was seriously injured in a logging accident, from which he never fully recovered. He died September 19, 1952. After a few years, SYLVIA moved back to Lynden and worked as a cook at the Christian Rest Home for eight years. Taking courage and strength from her strong personal faith and trust in the Lord, SYLVIA raised her family of six children, guiding and instructing them with love and prayers. She now resides in Lynden in a lovely mobile home; although her children did not grow up in this mobile home, they still consider it "home," when they visit their mother: "home" is mother. SYLVIA enjoys a fairly active retirement, keeping busy with activities at church, they Lynden Senior Center, visiting children and grandchildren, and crocheting.

Sylvia Nieveen Slotemaker

The six children born to SYLVIA NIEVEEN and CORNELIUS SLOTEMAKER are:

ARLENE CLARA SLOTEMAKER, born April 20, 1929; married LESLIE HOWARD BARRY, (born March 26, 1929, died November 28, 1962.)

JOHN SLOTEMAKER, born December 12, 1930; married SHIRLEY L. WILDER, (born January 30, 1933.)

MATHILDA RUTH SLOTEMAKER, born December 12, 1934; married HENRY HERSHBERGER (born July 24, 1923.)

MELVIN NEIL SLOTEMAKER, born March 18, 1939; married JUDY ANN FLETCHER (born December 18, 1941.)

IVAN LEE SLOTEMAKER, born November 14, 1940.

GERALD ROY SLOTEMAKER, born October 26, 1943; married JANE ALICE WHITCHER, (born May 9, 1946.)




BERNARD E. BRUNE was born July 28, 1915 at Everson, Washington. From 1917 to 1927, he lived with his parents at Skykomish, Washington, moving from there to Lynden, graduating from Lynden High School in 1933. Following employment in the CCC at Bacon Creek and Index, Washington, he attended college in Bellingham for one year. He served with the United States Coast Guard from 1937 to 1957, retiring to Lynden. While in the Service, he married MARY (LOUISí) MINK in San Francisco on May 1, 1943. FREDERICK was born to them in San Francisco in 1944, CONSTANCE in Oakland in 1946, JUDITH in Seattle in 1948, KATHLEEN in Seattle in 1950, and MARY ALYCE in Seattle in 1952. Following retirement, BERNARD and MARY taught for two years in British Columbia, Canada. He returned to college and upon graduation, returned to the teaching profession. They have settled in Lynden.

MEVLIN M. BRUNE was born February 25, 1917 at Lynden, Washington. Following his birth, he lived with his parents at Skykomish until 1927, when they returned to Lynden. He graduated from Lynden High School in 1935. He worked for some time at the Biesheuval Abattior in Lynden, and in 1936 he married WILMA (CHARLESí) SCHEMPER, to whom were born SHARON in 1943 and DENNIS in 1946, both in Mt. Vernon. During the War years, he was employed in the Kaiser Shipyards of Vancouver, moving from there to Mt. Vernon, where he was employed locally. He obtained a position with the Shell Oil Company upon the opening of the refinery at Anacortes. MELVIN and WILMA live in Mt. Vernon.

ARTHUR D. BRUNE was born November 11, 1919 at Lynden, Washington, living until 1927 at Skykomish, moving then to Lynden where he graduated from high school in 1937. He served during World War II in the Army Air Force in the States and in the Philippines. Following the war he attended and graduated from the University of Washington as an economist. He served for some time, the State of Washington Tax Revenue Unit, later setting up a private business as tax consultant. He then became employed by the United States Internal Revenue Service. In 1960 he was married to TOSCA VANDEN BERG, to whom were born DOUGLAS in 1961 at Lynden, and MONICA in 1963 at Riverside, California. They now reside in Portland, Oregon.

FREDERICK A. BRUNE was born October 23, 1925 in Skykomish, Washington. He moved to Lynden in 1927 and graduated from high school there in 1944. He served with the United States Navy until the end of World War II, and then attended and graduated from the University of Washington Applied Physics Research Laboratory. In 1951 he was married to RUTH (JOHNíS) PITZEN, to whom were born ANNETE in 1952 at Spokane, ALANE in 1954 at Great Falls, Montana, JOHN in 1956 AT Seattle, JAMES in 1958 at Seattle, VICTOR in 1961 at Seattle, and CELESE in 1963 at Seattle.

AUDREY R. BRUNE was born August 28, 1933 in Lynden. Following graduation from Lynden Christian High School in 1949, she studied for and became a legal secretary. In 1952 she was married to JOHN (HOVARTíS) VAN WEERDHUIZEN, to whom were born JEFFREY in 1953 at Lynden, VICKI in 1956 at Lynden, PATRICIA in 1958 at Lynden, and MICHAEL in 1966 at Bellingham. JOHN and AUDREY live near Lynden.



ADRIANNA ALBERTA ZOET was the firstborn of MATTIE and ARIE. She was born on a farm near Lynden. She began her elementary education near Lynden, with a few years in Yarrow, British Columbia, and then back to Lynden, finishing elementary at Lynden Christian and high school at Lynden High. She then attended Normal School (now Western Washington State College). At this time she went to work as office manager for Elenbaas Dairy, a position she held for 10 years. While on vacation one year, she met FRED MATHER. They were married in March of 1943. FRED being from the Chicago area, they moved there to make their home. She continued working in her chosen field and filling in by attending classes at the University. Her husband died suddenly in 1958. At this writing, she is working as an office manager for Florsheim Shoes in Chicago, a position she has held for more than 20 years. She now lives in Naperville, Illinois.

HARVEY MELVIN ZOET was also born on a farm near Lynden. He began his education in Lynden, then to Yarrow, B.C., and back to Lynden to graduate from high school there. After high school he became interested in sheet metal work, moving to Seattle to work at this trade. This was interrupted by World War II, and time in the Army. He was sent to the Pacific theater of operations. After coming home from the service, he resumed his work as a sheet metal worker. He married before he went in the service, of that marriage he had a son and a daughter, HARVEY DENNIS ZOET (born in 1944) and CHERYL LINDA ZOET (born in 1947.) HARVEY is now Secretary-Treasurer of his Sheet Metal Union, and is living in Vancouver, Washington, with his second wife, BERNICE LEWIS.

ARNOLD JOHN ZOET is the third child of MATTIE and ARIE. He began his education in Yarrow, B.C., completing it in Lynden Christian and Lynden High Schools. After high school he was married to AUGUSTA STARKENBURG and went to Seattle to work. World War II came, and he also went into the service. He served a time in the U.S. and also in Japan. Coming home, he and his wife made their home in Sumas, Washington, where he had a milk delivery route and served as a deputy sheriff. Their five children were born while they lived at Sumas. CAROL JANE ZOET was born in 1946, JUDITY ARLENE ZOET was born in 1947, JEAN ADELE ZOET was born in 1948, ELLYN FRANCES ZOET was born in 1952, and HOWARD EDWARD ZOET as born in 1958. ARNOLD is now employed with a travel trailer company doing sales and service work. They are now living in Anacortes, Washington.

MILDRED JANE ZOET was also born on a farm near Lynden. She attended Lynden Christian School and Lynden High. She moved with her parents to Vancouver, Washington. While living there, she was married to GERRIT LIKKEL. He too was in the Army, so she followed him to New York state and Mississippi. After he was out of the service, they moved back to Lynden to make their home. Three of their children were born there. They then moved to Yakima County, Washington, living there for 10 years. Two more children were born at this time. Once more moving back to Lynden to make their home. MILDRED has worked at various jobs of sales and service type, but is now at home enjoying her husband, children, grandchildren. "The Lord has been good to our family." The children born to MILDRED and GERRIT in Lynden are VEDA ANN LIKKEL in 1948, IRIS JUNE LIKKEL in 1949, and MARC WILLIAM in 1951; born in Yakima County were MARY ELLEN LIKKEL in 1955 and JILL ADELE LIKKEL in 1957.

VIOLA MAE ZOET was born in 1930 after MATTIE and ARIE moved back into Lynden. She was born deaf, or became so in her first year. VIOLA started school in Lynden Christian, then went to the School for the Deaf in Vancouver, Washington. After finishing high school there, she came back to Lynden. She was married to RUEMONT MAULER, then moving to Bellingham. VIOLA and RUEMONT lived in Bellingham about 12 or 13 years. A daughter, DELLA MAULER was born at this time. While living there, VIOLA attended school learning business machines. They moved to Vancouver, RUEMONT being employed at the School for the Deaf. VIOLA found employment at a Data Processing Company in Portland, Oregon. In 1969, VIOLA had an operation for cancer. She died of the cancer in July of the same year. Her husband and DELLA are still living near Vancouver, Washington.


Anna & Martin Nieveen


ELIZABETH NIEVEEN is married to GLEN RENIER PETTIT, who is a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. She works for her husband, keeping the business books in his office. They started the business alone, and now have a new clinic in Ferndale with five doctors, 4 girls, one technician and ELIZABETH as bookkeeper. Their children are DELORES ANN, NICKOLAS BISHOP, and BLENDA RAE.

ADA NIEVEEN worked in the grade school cafeteria in Lynden and also drove school bus morning and evening, after she was out of high school then she started working for Dr. Cook as a dental assistant, for 21 years. She is now a Dental instructor at Bellingham Vocational School she has been there for 6 years. ADA resides in Lynden.



ARLENE CLARA SLOTEMAKER attended Lynden Christian Grade School and graduated from Lynden High School in 1947, entering Western Washington College of Education the following fall. While attending college, she married LESLIE BARRY and had two children, after which she finished her college education. She taught in Monroe prior to her present position at Snohomish High School, where she teaches English and Journalism. Her husband passed away in 1962. ARLENEís children are SCOTT HOWARD BARRY, born in 1949, and LINDA JO BARRY, born in 1952.

JOHN SLOTEMAKER, who is called JACK, graduated from Nooksack Valley High School in 1948, and joined the Army in 1951. On August 6, 1951, he married SHIRLEY (LAVERNíS) WILDER. He was sent to Germany, and in September, 1952 was called home by the serious illness of his father. When he was mustered out of the Army, they settled in Eugene, Oregon, where he worked for Darigold. After three years, the family moved to Burlington, Washington, and he is presently working for Dairy Valley. Jack has been active in forming and coaching Little League teams in the Burlington area. He and SHIRLEY have five children: DEAN ALAN SLOTEMAKER, born in Eugene in 1953, JOHN SLOTEMAKER, born in Eugene in 1954, NANCY JEAN SLOTEMAKER, born in Mt. Vernon, Washington in 1956, JACKIE MARIE SLOTEMAKER, born in Burlington in 1961, and MICHELE LYN SLOTEMAKER, born in Burlington in 1970.

RUTH SLOTEMAKER graduated from Nooksack Valley High School in 1952, and entered St. Josephís School of Nursing. After her graduation she worked one year and then went to Multnomah School for a year. While attending school, she also nursed in a Portland Hospital. After that she spent a short time in Cuba and Haiti, and then in Chiapas, Mexico, where she had her Jungle Camp training. It was there that she met HENRY (DANíS) HERSHBERGER, who became her husband in October 1959. A year later they went to Australia, where they are working under Wycliffe Bible Translators. RUTH and HANK have three children: DANIEL RAY, who was born in North Dakota in 1960, CAROL SUE, born in Australia in 1962, and STEVEN DAN, born in Australia in 1965.

MELVIN NEIL SLOTEMAKER graduated from Nooksack Valley High School in 1957. He worked at Boeing in Seattle for awhile, and attended Skagit Valley Junior College. He joined the United States Air Force in 1961, the same year in which he was married to JUDY ANN (CHARLESí) FLETCHER. They spent a year stationed in San Angelo, Texas, where a son, JEFFREY SCOTT SLOTEMAKER, was born in 1962. MEL spent 18 months in Turkey as part of his military service. Upon his return, the family spent another year in Texas, this time in Waco, where SHERYL ANN SLOTEMAKER was born in 1964, in Waco, Texas. MEL and JUDY returned to the Lynden area to settle after his discharge from the Air Force. Their third child, MICHAEL WADE SLOTEMAKER, was born in Bellingham in 1967. MEL works at Darigold in Lynden.

IVAN LEE SLOTEMAKER graduated from Nooksack Valley High School in 1958, then worked at Boeing in Seattle for one year. After that he attended Western Washington College of Education for a year and a half, then transferring to the University of Washington, where he was graduated in 1964. He joined the Army Reserves, serving active time until November 1964 at Fort Knox, Kentucky. In January 1965, he moved to the San Francisco area, to take a position with the U.S. Government as a National Bank Examiner. IVAN is presently residing in Kentfield, California.

GERALD ROY SLOTEMAKER graduated from Lynden High School in 1961. Following high school, he entered Western Washington State College, interrupting his college education to serve four years in the U.S. Air Force. He was based in Omaha, Nebraska where he met JANE (PAGEíS) WITCHER, who became his wife in July, 1971. Following his discharge from the Air Force, GERRY returned to W.W.S.C, graduating in December, 1970. He returned to Omaha in January, 1971, and has married and settled in Omaha. GERRY was an accounting clerk for ConAgra Feeds and Armour Packing Company. He presently keeps things moving at the U.S. Post Office. GERRY and JANE have three children, AMY RUTH SLOTEMAKER, born June 26, 1974, JAMES CORNELIUS SLOTEMAKER, born April 23, 1976, and DANIEL PAGE SLOTEMAKER, born September 23, 1982.


We stop at this point, before the 11th Generation. The information regarding the 11th Generation is very out of date. As is the information regarding the 12th Generation. And the 13th far as is known, there is not yet a 14th Generation.

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