Henry & Klazina Groen Collection
Scope and Contents
The Dutch-language family booklet, titled “Familie-Boekje,” measures 4.2 x 6.5 inches and is in good condition. The date of the booklet is unknown but was most likely purchased at the time of Henry and Klazina’s marriage in 1916 or after the birth of their second child in 1924. The booklet is enclosed in exposed board and features a red cloth spine. The booklet’s content includes the 1916 marriage record for “Hendrik and Klazina Groen,” as well as the birth record for their daughters Grietje and Kornelia. The marriage section of the booklet features the Ulrum government seal, possibly signifying that the booklet was stamped to certify the document as an official marriage record. The booklet features a mix of typeface and ink script, both still fully legible with minor fading in some sections.
The 1930 Dutch passport issued in Rotterdam, Netherlands measures 5.68 x 4 inches. The passport is enclosed in blue vinyl with the initials “NL” stamped out in small circles on both the front and back covers. The passport is stapled at the spine and contains fourteen individual pages, all in good condition with little to no wear. Pages contain both stamping, typeface, and ink script. The passport includes birth information and physical descriptions of Hendrik, Klazina, Grietje, and Kornelia. On page five of the passport are two small photographs of the passport holders, Hendrik and Klazina Groen. Each photo measures 2.3 x 1.5 inches and is glued to the page. A separate immigrant identification card for Klazina Groen is also present in the passport, measuring 3 x 5 inches. The immigrant identification card includes a duplicate of Klazina’s passport photo but is stapled to the card; the staples are slightly rusted. The card contains ink stamping and typeface, as well as ink signatures. The card is in good condition with no wear.
Henry Groen’s 1942 certificate of naturalization, issued by the Department of Justice, measures 10.2 x 8 inches. The certificate’s content includes Henry’s physical description, place of birth, his Michigan residence, marital status, and personal signature. The certificate also includes a 2 x 2.3 photograph of Henry stapled to the certificate and marked with the city of Kalamazoo’s circuit court seal. The certificate features typeface and ink script. The document is in good condition, showing no real wear other than two light fold creases.
The wedding booklet for Cornelia Groen and George A. Mathews measurers 5.5 x 7 inches. Published in 1944, the booklet features a translucent striped onionskin dust jacket in fairly good condition with slight oxidation. The booklet is enclosed in white cardstock with a ribbon binding and features twelve front-and-back pages with decorative colored typeface and handwritten ink script. Included in the booklet is information on the bride and groom, their wedding party, and the officiant. The booklet contains two loose duplicate newspaper clippings of the wedding announcement, both in good condition. The booklet’s original envelope is also included.
Klazina Groen’s 1961 certificate of naturalization measures 10.2 x 8 inches. Like Henry’s certificate, this document also includes Klazina’s physical description, place of birth, Michigan residence, marital status, and personal signature. The certificate also includes a 2.2 x 2.6 photograph of Klazina glued to the certificate, resting above a golden Kalamazoo circuit court seal. The certificate features typeface and ink script. Other than two light fold creases and a small puncture on the upper left side of the document, the certificate is in good condition. The original document jacket is included.
Klazina Groen’s 1961 international vaccination record measures 6 x 14 inches. The document is printed on yellow cardstock paper, containing a Kalamazoo County Department of Health raised seal as well as typeface and ink script on both sides of the document. The document features Klazina’s address, sex, date of birth, and date of her vaccination. The document is in good condition, with three fold creases and ridges on one edge.
Henry Groen’s 1961 American passport measures 6.1 x 3.75 inches. The passport is enclosed in blue vinyl with an alphanumeric code stamped out in small circles on the front cover and interior pages. The passport is stapled at the spine and contains ten front-and-back pages, all in good condition with little to no wear. Pages contain both stamping, typeface, and ink script. The passport includes Henry’s birth information, physical description, and home address. The passport features a photo of Henry and Klazina, measuring 2.5 x 3.1 inches and is glued to the page.
- Majority of material found within 1920-1961
- Grone family (Donor, Family)
Biographical / Historical
Hendrik and Klazina Groen of Ulrum, Netherlands married October 18, 1916. The family left the port of Rotterdam on April 10, 1930 on the S.S. Statendam, arriving in New York on April 19th with their children Grietje (Grace), born 1918, and Kornelia (Cornelia), born 1925. The family is first recorded as living in Kalamazoo in 1935’s city directory under the names “Henry Groen” and “Clare.” The directory lists Henry’s first profession upon arriving in Kalamazoo as a celery grower living in today’s South Westnedge neighborhood with his wife and daughters.
By the early 1940s, Both Henry and his daughters secured factory jobs in Kalamazoo, with Henry and Grace employed at Bryant Paper Co. and Cornelia employed as a shipping clerk for Kalamazoo Staty Co. In January of 1948, Grace married Mr. Daniel Lemmers of Kalamazoo, and in May of the same year, Cornelia married Mr. George A. Mathews of Bangor, Michigan. The families continued to live and work in Kalamazoo.
In 1942, Henry became a naturalized citizen, with Klazina following suit in 1961. As evidenced through the couple’s multi-passenger passport and Klazina’s updated international vaccination certificate, Henry and Klazina traveled back to Sweden in 1961, arriving in Schiphol July 7th and returning to the United States August 19th.
Henry worked for both Bryant and St. Regis Paper Companies in Kalamazoo, retiring from Allied Paper Corporation sometime in the sixties. Henry and Klazina were longtime members of the Kalamazoo First Christian Reformed Church, where Henry served as an elder. Henry passed away in Kalamazoo on January 8, 1983, and Klazina died on January 28, 1987 at Bronson Methodist Hospital after a short illness.
.05 Cubic Feet (1 Box)
Language of Materials
The collection measures .05 cubic feet, consisting of a single legal-size folder. The collection is comprised of seven individual documents ranging in size and content and is arranged from oldest to newest.
- Grone family (Donor, Family)
- Groen, Hendrick (Henry), 1894-1983 (Person)
- Groen, Klazina Benes, 1892-1987 (Person)
- Henry & Klazina Groen Collection Finding Aid
- Suzanne Grimmer
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Code for undetermined script
- Language of description note
Part of the Western Michigan University Archives & Regional History Collections Repository
Charles C. and Lynn L. Zhang Legacy Collections Center
1650 Oakland Drive
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5307 US