John Heringa (My Great Great Grandfather) was born in 1819 in the province of Groningen, Holland. His grandmother and an uncle raised him after both of his parents died by the time he was 9 years old. He was bound to farm work at 12 years and then moved to live with an uncle who ran a dry goods store and manufactured woolen goods.
At 21 years he joined the army and served 9 years after which he joined the police force in the town of Oppenhuezen. He met and married Geertje, a town native, in 1857.
At the age of 49 with 4 children under 9 years old, having saved $1100, John and family started for America. They sailed from Liverpool and landed in Boston thence on to NYC arriving after a voyage of 14 days. Following a three-day lay-over, the family boarded a steamer to Panama, crossed the isthmus on land, then sailed for San Francisco, arriving 7 weeks after departing England. They immediately boarded a paddlewheeler for Sacramento arriving the next day to the welcome of a countryman and friend who sold them a 30-acre ranch for six hundred dollars.
This ranch was located on Merritt Island, just below Clarksburg. They soon invested another three hundred dollars in cows and started a dairy farm. The family lived on Merritt Island for three years and sold the farm due to annual flooding of the Sacramento River. John moved his family to East Sacramento purchasing 160 acres and devoting their efforts to general farming on a ranch located near what is now Mather Air Base.
John Heringa died in 1902 having been predeceased by his wife Geertje 4 years earlier in 1898.