Australian connection

Dear Cousins,

the number of cousins seems to add and the happier I am. herewith the letter to Rita in Australia and I added the initial story of Peter to give her an idea of the life of her father in law.
I asked Martin to add a page to the website if she wanted to get more information.

Please Peter excuse me for taking the liberty to send your piece to Rita. I now realise I should have asked you first. But enthousiasm took the better of me and I liked to hurry to take the opportunity Rita offered not to hesitate to ask for more. Let us wait and see what happens next. Still thrilled a bit by this unexpected reply from DOWN UNDER.
yours, old uncle Co

Jubbega, 22nd February 2008

Dear cousin Rita,

Yes, I was thrilled to receive your letter, confirming that indeed you are part of the Alta family, especially since the family seems to be still thriving in Australia.

To complete our pedigree I added to the children of FRED ANNE, who appeared so far as ANNE under no. 8 2 0044.

This needs an explanation, for the first number 8, refers to the generation 8.

The second number 2 refers to the branch of the family. Viz. in the 4th generation the family split in 3 branches.

Branch 1, connected with the shipyard “Welgelegen” in Harlingen, this branch is practically extinct.

Branch 2 is still thriving and originally consisted mostly of seafaring people, but nowadays they have very different occupations and it has spread all over the Netherlands, but also has branches in the USA and as is of most interest to you also in Hull in the UK. I will separately add the explorations of our far removed cousin Peter Harrison, who played an important part in finding the roots of the Hull branch of the family.

A branch 3 is also still thriving and they started in the timber-trade, but also nowadays they are spread all over the Netherlands and abroad.

Following the system of the family pedigree I could now add as:

Children of Fred Anne:

9 2 0055 ALBERT FREDRICK born I gather in 1924 and married RITA (for the record could I have the birthday and place of Albert Fredrick as well as the date and place of marriage and your maiden name and your date and place of birth??)

I also added NELL of whom I presume she died in 2008, but could I also have her place and date of birth and death; and if she was married the name of her spouse??)

Next I added your son:

10 2 0018 STEPHEN PHILIP born I gathered in 1957 (for the record I would like to have his place and date of birth and further details of his family??)

It would be so good to know that the family lives on in Australia.

In the early 1990’s the family decided to start the ALTA ASSOCIATION, trying to get a full picture of the family history and also bringing together members of the family on a bi-annual event, where we usually meet a number of family members belonging either to branch 2 and 3. The next meeting will take place in the autumn of this year and I will inform you of the date when and where it is going to take place.

The difference between branches 1, 2 and 3 started in generation 4, when JOHANNES DIRKS ALTA married twice, branch 1 and 2 were the descendants of his first wife CLARA JACOBUS EPPINGA and branch 3 the descendants of the second wife SJOUKJE PIERS HAITSMA. This all took place in the late 18th and early 19th.century.

To make things a bit easier, we belong to branch 2.

When I informed Peter Harrison of the reception of your letter, he found documents concerning FRED ANNE and his military career in the First World War on the internet.

I wonder if I could send them to you. However I wonder if you have an e mail address, which makes sending documents so much easier.

If you have, I let you have my e mail address

Just to let you know about the offspring of your father in law FRED ANNE, I will add his parents:

7 2 0030 JACOBUS DIRKS and GEESKE BOSMA (the family which originally went to Hull with their 7 children, the eldest son went a bit earlier)

Their parents:

6 2 0020 DIRK JACOBUS (born Harlingen 1819) and PETRONELLA KOOPMANS

Their parents:


Here our ancestry goes different ways for I am a descendant of Dirk’s second wife ANGENIETJE LOLKES DIJKSTRA.

You may gather that there are four more generations going back to about 1630, when our oldest ancestor MARTEN OTTES lived in the little Frisian town of Makkum as a shipbuilder.

I hope I have given you a clear, if complicated, picture of our pedigree, now completed with the interesting facts you provided concerning the Australian branch.

I also send you the story we owed to Peter Harrison from Hull, which will give you an idea about FRED ANNE and his life in England and later in Australia.

It would be nice to get some more information about his marriage and death.

I am sure that this letter will occupy you for a while and am sure that you are not so young anymore, but let me comfort you, I recently celebrated my 75th birthday and I will yet have to write a story about our contact in our bi-annual publication for the family, called ALTA BULLETIN.

Most of the things I wrote so far will appear in the story, which will appear in the Dutch language.

For me to remain, your far distant cousin, both in a familial way and geographically,

Jacobus Johannes Alta ( abbreviated to the simple name Co)

Co Alta