Do you know what happened to the Planje family?

The picture was taken in 1897. On the left side you see Sara, Johan and Maria. On the right side Johannes W.F., Wilhelmina en Adriana. They are all members of the Planje family and they lived in Arnhem, The Netherlands. Johannes was an upholsterer and a merchant. In 1901 the family lived at the address 28, Beekstraat. In 1904 the family migrated to the United States of America.  Maria, my grandmother, stayed in the Netherlands and married in 1905.

J.W.F. Planje and his family traveled from Arnhem to Rotterdam and embarked the steamer "Potsdam". Some other relatives also must have embarked this ship, for Johannes W.F. had more children arriving in New York, July 11, 1904. 

The Immigration Officer noted the husband, his wife and 7 children. When I discovered this, I was very curious, and I started to make inquiries for their past.

In 1912 Johannes W.F. Planje arrived in New York again, after he had visited the Netherlands. This time he was together with another daughter named "Jacoba". So it seems that he had 8 children. After inquiries in archives and the Internet I think that I know about all persons, except for Jacoba Planje. By this website I hope to contact someone who has more information, portraits or letters.

Five more "children" 

One of Johannes W.F. younger brothers, Willem Karel Planje and his wife Maria Geertruida Moesman lived in Amsterdam. They had 3 sons, and 2 daughters. In 1896 Maria Geertruida died in Amsterdam at the age of thirty. Willem Karel Planje had to work for living. At his request, the 3 boys were placed in a children's home in the city of Alphen, because he did not have time enough to take care of his children himself. The eldest daughter moved to The Hague. The youngest daughter named Adriana was moved to Arnhem. To stay with her uncle Johannes W.F. Planje and his wife. In the picture, she is probably on the couch with a doll in her hand.

Willem Karel Planje traveled to South Africa and worked as a carpenter for the Dutch South African Railway. On March 2, 1897, he died in Pretoria. His last known letter was send November 22, 1896.

All of Willem Karel Planje and Maria Geertruida Moesman's children migrated to the US in 1904 together with their uncle John (J.W.F.) and the rest of his family.

John sr. (Johannes W.F.) Planje en Wilhelmina Molenaar

Wilhelmina and John had two children. Soon after arrival, Johannes W.F. Planje signed a declaration of intention to become a citizen of the United States. After a short time in Albany, John and Wilhelmina moved to Philadelphia. They lived at 126 West Queen Lane, Germantown. John was working as an upholsterer.
On April 5, 1911 Wilhelmina died at the age of 64. She was buried in Northwood Cemetery in Philadelphia. John
is probably married for the third time. On February 7, 1918 arrived in New York the widow Jacoba Maria Berning-Klepper and her daughter Gerarda. Their destination was: Future stepfather Mr. J. Planje, 126 Queenstreet, Philadelphia.
John died November 3, 1930 at the age 78 in his home in Philadelphia. 

se are the children of Johannes and Wilhelmina:

Sara Johanna Planje 

Born in Delft on August 10, 1882. After Albany and Philadelphia, in 1920, she worked as a nurse in a private hospital in Delaware, Pennsylvania. At this time, she was 37 years of age and lived together with the family W.W. Hawke. A year later she lived again in Albany, New York. There she died on November 18, 1924. She was 42 years old. 

John (Johan) Planje 

Born in Delft on November 12, 1884. On April 1, 1906 he married his cousin Maria Geertruida Planje in Long Branch, New Jersey. In 1910, he is registered as an upholsterer in a furniture business. He lived with his wife Maria and two children in Philadelphia City. The family moved to California. In 1924 John and Maria lived in Oakland. John worked as an auto trimmer. In the thirties the marriage ended in divorce. John married (2) Gladys Rae Morrow  daughter of Clarence Morrow and Lillian Borne on June 24, 1935 in San Francisco. Gladys was born about 1905 in Omaho, Nebraska.

In 1940, John still lived in San Francisco with his third wife Elinor Planje (maiden name unknown) and their son Billy Lee Planje (13). In 1948 and 1950 they lived at 10550 E. Flora Vista, Bellflower. John worked as an upholsterer. May 1967, John died in Los Angeles, Pico Heights. 82 years of age. Elinor died in June 1975 in Los Angeles, 67 years of age.  

John and his first wife Marie had two daughters and three sons:  

(To the children of John and Maria)

The five children of Willem Karel Planje and Maria Geertruida Moesman

Christan (Christiaan Willem) Planje

Born in The Hague on November 30, 1884. He married Ethel Wright (born Soncing, Michigan 1888) in 1909. In 1911 he was registered as a manager of a lunchroom in Sommerfed, Massachusetts. In 1917 and 1920 they lived in Albany, 19 Benson Street. Christian was employed as a manager of a shirt factory. Later on they moved to California (about 1925). They lived in Oakland and Christian and his wife were in the restaurant business. They had a restaurant at 2029, San Pablo Avenue. Christian died April 1, 1964 at the age of 79 in Alameda, residence Hayward, California. Ethel died in Berkeley July 14, 1968. Christian and Ethel had two children.

(To the children of Christian and Ethel)

Marie (Maria Geertruida) Planje

Born in The Hague on December 18, 1887. In 1906 she married her cousin John Planje in the US (see above). The marriage ended in divorce. On April 5, 1939 Maria signed a declaration of intention. Maria lived in Los Angeles, 3336 Brandon Street. In the fifties she lived with John Laraby. John was born in  Michigan on August 23, 1890 as a son of Moses M. Laraby and Mary Louise. John died in Los Angels on February 12, 1974 at the age of 83. Marie Laraby died in Los Angeles on April 19, 1971 at the age of 83.

(To the children of John and Maria)  

Jenny (Adriana) Planje

Born in The Hague on February 20, 1889. Her given name was Jenny. After living in Albany, in 1910, she lived with family of S.B. Scott in Philadelphia. She worked as a nurse. In 1911, she visited Holland and after that her friend in Albany. In 1912 she married Charles Philip Beiderman in Philadelphia. In 1920, the family lived at Cumberland Street, Philadelphia. Charles worked as machinist in a hardware factory.  

Jenny died, to young, in March 1922. She was buried in Hillside Cemetery in Philadelphia. Her granddaughter Martha wrote: "Jenny was the proverbial iron fist in the velvet glove. She was strict, very religious, moral, while still being loving, giving, kind, creative with her children. She died in the influenza outbreak because she wouldn't slow down or be careful despite the fact that she had just given birth months before. Since my mother was the oldest, 8 when her mother died, she knew her best of the 4 children. She tells of picnics, outings, making paper dolls out of newspaper, treats from the kitchen, stories read, songs... they had a very happy life".

Charles was born in Philadelphia on December 14, 1883. He was a son of Jacob Beiderman and Madora Taylor. He remarried Clara Reinhart in 1922. They lived at 1465 E. Worrel Street. Charles died in 1949 in Middletown and was buried in Hillside Cemetery in Philadelphia. Clara died in 1951.

Jenny and Charles had the following children:

(To the children of Jenny and Charles)

William (Willem Karel) Planje

Born in The Hague on March 21, 1890. William married Effie Backus in Chicago, on August 20, 1921. Effie was born Plano, Illinois on July 15,1888. William signed a declaration of intention January 1934, in Los Angeles. His occupation was brush maker. Effie died January 8, 1969 and Willam died May 26, 1969 in Venice, Los Angeles. At the age of 79 and 80.

John Joseph (Johannes) Planje  

Born in Amsterdam on May 28, 1893. In 1910, he lived with his uncle John W.F. and aunt Wilhelmina in Philadelphia. In December 1914 John married Anne E. Simons in Warrensburg, New York. Anne was a daughter of Thomas Simmons and Jeanette Robinson. John and Anne had a son, and the family lived in Warrensburg. 1918 was a tragic year for them. Anne Planje died on December 29, in Warrensburg, 32 years of age. And their son Robert Joseph Planje died two days after that.

In the forties John lived West Hollywood, Los Angeles and worked as a auto trimmer. He signed with the name John Joseph Planje and had probably a relationship with Lela Cecilia Planje (maiden name unknown). Lela died in Gardena, Los Angeles on February 4, 1976 at the age of 74. John died in Torrance, Los Angeles on October 4, 1985, at the age of 92. John and Lela were buried on Green Hills Memorial Park, Los Angeles.

If you have any questions, or if you have any information, pictures or stories, please let me know by e-mail

Thanks to Ruth Conly, Mr. H.D. Planje, Martha Hunter, Jan Manz, Jop Planje and Linda Wolf.

For the ancestors and Planje family tree see Familiestamboom Planje(r) by Jop Planje

Herbert, 2013