This archival collection helps document one local family's immigration and assimilation story. The Jansma family is of Dutch descent and their "American Story" began in 1919 when the donor's grandparents and their nine children immigrated to the United States from Fries-land, Netherlands, looking for a fresh start after the devastating World War I conflict ended. Through a small grouping of emigration documents, family photos, and related family ephemeral material, the collection documents the story of the 1st generation grandparent's immigration, the donor's father's 2nd generation's assimilation, and the donor's 3rd generation full integration into the American way of life in the West Michigan community. (see also Archival Collection No. 226 Finding Aid);The Jansma family immigration story is one example of the millions of other family stories that create the "patchwork quilt" or melting pot of our American identity heralding the rich diversity found within every American city, small rural community and suburb - including our own West Michigan community.;Dutch emigration peaked in the nineteenth century due to agricultural crisis and religious persecution. Many who came during this period were from rural areas in the Netherlands, and an unusually high number of entire families relocated, rather than the more typical single male head-of-household emigration. This family's decision to leave the Netherlands happened later in 1919, following the end of the devastating World War I conflict.
Discover: West Michigan's Newcomers (October 14 2019) Grand Rapids encountered a dramatic change in terms of landscape, population, and diversity beginning in the early to mid 1800’s. West Michigan’s Newcomers focuses on the people who made West Michigan their home, highlighting their stories and contributions that shaped our community. Learners will explore GRPM’s Newcomers: The People of this Place exhibit, engaging in artifact discovery and exhibit interpretation. Programming will share the story of where immigrants traveled from and why they moved; from there, students will uncover the major contributions and traditions that newcomers brought with them which allowed Grand Rapids to develop into the city it is today.
Students will be able to explain why families left their homes to move to West Michigan, as well as the obstacles they faced when they arrived.
Students will be able to provide examples of cultural elements newcomers contributed to Grand Rapids, making connections with cultural elements that are still present today.
Students will be able to provide examples of how West Michigan’s newcomers impacted industry and manufacturing in Grand Rapids and West Michigan.
Michigan K-12 Social Studies Standards: Michigan K-12 Social Studies Standards: H1 The World in Temporal Terms: Historical Habits of Mind, H2 Living and Working Together in Families and Communities, Now and Long Ago, H3 The History of Michigan and the Great Lakes Region, H5 The History of Peoples from Many Cultures from Around the World, G1 The World in Spatial Terms: Geographical Habits of Mind, G2 Places and Regions, G4 Human Systems, G5 Environment and Society, P1 Reading and Communication, P2 Inquiry Research and Analysis
ELA Common Core Standards for Reading: Informational Text