Aaltje (VANDERPLOEG) HOEKSTRA
Born: 21 Mar 1881 at Engwierum, Friesland, The Netherlands
Father: Wietse Martens van der Ploeg
Spouse: Nuttert Hoekstra
Aaltje's mother died when Aaltje was just 11 years old. She had to take care of the household at that age. Aaltje had a sister named Jeltje who also lived in Engwierum. She was not married. Her other sister Klaske was married to Pieter Wouda. That sister died very young (maybe during childbirth). There was a baby boy who died shortly after at Aaltje's house (Aaltje took the baby in after Klaske died). The unmarried sister Jeltje then dedicated the rest of her life to looking after the other children of her dead sister and Woude. It seems strange, but she never married Wouda. She loved the children as if they were her own. She was Wouda's housekeeper. Pieter died at age 65 and still Jeltje remained to take look after the kids. In Frisian, the children called her Jeltje-moik (old-fashioned way of referring to an Aunt). It always seemed strange to Jane that they didn't call her mother.
Source: Family papers and memories