Birth: ABT 1779 in Drogeham, Achtkarspelen, Friesland, Nederland

Marriage: 6 SEP 1801 in Drogeham, Friesland, Nederland
Note: hij van de Kooten, zij van Harkema Opeinde/Drogeham; Op attestatie van Op Twijzel getrouwd

Explanation: “he from De Kooten, she from Opeinde/Drogeham; (these are the villages they went to church in before their marriage)
‘attestatie’ = a written permission needed to attend church in a different church community than the one you are presently attending services at, also when you are going to marry in a different church than the one you are presently attending church
‘getrouwd’ = married
‘Op attestatie van Op Twijzel getrouwd’ = married (in Drogeham) after getting written permission (attestatie) from the church authorities in Op Twijzel.

Birth of Son: 18 NOV 1801 in Harkema Opeinde, Achtkarspelen, Friesland, Nederland Christened: 24 JAN 1802 in Drogeham, Achtkarspelen, Friesland, Nederland
Name: Haije Kornelis Postma

Birth of Son: 14 JUN 1805 in Harkema Opeinde, Achtkarspelen, Friesland, Nederland Christened: 21 JUL 1805 in Drogeham, Achtkarspelen, Friesland, Nederland
Name: Tjitske Kornelis (Cornelis) Postma

Birth of Son: 8 FEB 1807 in Drogeham, Achtkarspelen, Friesland, Nederland Christened: 22 MAR 1807 in Drogeham, Harkema Opeinde, Achtkarspelen, Friesland, Nederland
Name: Jan Kornelis Postma

Birth of Son: 21 MAR 1809 in Drogeham, Achtkarspelen, Friesland, Nederland Christened: 30 APR 1809 in Drogeham, Harkema Opeinde, Achtkarspelen, Friesland, Nederland
Name: Tjeerd Kornelis Postma

Birth of Son: 9 JAN 1812 in Drogeham, Achtkarspelen, Friesland, Nederland Christened: 16 FEB 1812 in Drogeham, Harkema, Achtkarspelen, Friesland, Nederland
Name: Kornelis Kornelis Postma

Death: 17 DEC 1811 in Drogeham, Friesland, Nederland

Click here to see parents: Haije Cornelis and Dieuwke (Doeskin) Klases

As you can see, when Cornelis Hayes died on 17 dec 1811, there were only 4 children, but his wife Antje was already heavily pregnant with their fifth child.

As is the custom in Friesland, a son born after the death of his father would be given his father’s christian name.
At the end of the year 1811 and still at the beginning of 1812 everyone in the Netherlands was being forced by law to choose a surname (the wish of the French dictator Napoleon who had invaded the Netherlands).

In Friesland most people lived in villages and small towns and were still not using surnames before 1811 because your christian name and your father’s christian name were still enough to keep people apart.

If your father’s name would be Cornelis and you had been christened as Tjeerd, you would be called Tjeerd Cornelisson
or in short Tjeerd Cornelis.

In Iceland this old naming system is still being used to this day.

So the fifth child was called Kornelis Kornelis because he was named after his deceased father.
It was also the custom in Friesland that such a son who was born after the death of his father would be called ‘Posthumus’ after his name, which signified that he was born and named after the burial of his father (posthumous = litterally: “after the burial”).

So this fifth child was automatically called Kornelis Kornelis Posthumus (or Postma) by people in the village. Posthumus was often shortened to Postuma, Postmus or just plain Postma.

By chance Cornelis Hayes had died just before he had gotten the chance to think up a surname and so the mother decided to use the Postma of the fifth child as the new surname for the whole family and that is how they started to use this surname Postma in this family.

I have quite a number of Friesian sons born after the death of their fathers in my family tree, so the surname Postma and Postmus is very abundant.

Antje Jans van der Hoog (van der Heeg)

Birth: 23 JAN 1782 in Hardegarijp, Tietjerksteradeel, Friesland, Nederland

Occupation: Arbeidster (Drogeham 1823)

Death: 24 MAY 1856 in Harkema Opeinde, Achtkarspelen, Friesland, Nederland

Click here to see parents: Jan Karels and Tjitske Pieters van der Hoog (van der Heeg)

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