Ancestor Jelle Kingum

The first Kingma we have been able to trace in the archives is Jelle Kingum, who was born around 1450 and lived on the Kingum sate (farm) until his death around 1538. His family name was based on the location of the sate: Kingum.

In 1511, the sate was worked by Pieter Jelles Kingum, the eldest son of Jelle, the family’s ancestor. He rented the sate from his father and (probably) his uncle, as well as paying the Syaerda family a sum for the land.

He was also a proxy of Franekeradeel. His eldest son, Jelle Pieters followed in his father’s footsteps and became a farmer on the sate. He fathered four sons: Pieter Jelles, Dirk Jelles, Hendrik Jelles and Inte Jelles. Pieter Jelles lived at Kingma and died in 1610; Dirk Jelles lived on the Syaerda state in Dronrijp, where he worked as a farmer; and Hendrik Jelles lived in Peyns’.

The Syaerda family had strong ties with Kingum; in 1413, Franeker native Sicke Syaerda was the owner and 'Ruychter of Kinghum' (Judge of Kinghum). The sate of Kingum had voting rights and Syaerda, one of Friesland’s most prominent noblemen, was its chieftain.

What was the relationship between these Kingmas and the wealthy Syaerda nobles from Franeker? In Zorgen voor zekerheid, Dr Hans Mol et al. explain that Frisian chieftains often gave generously to their (plentiful) bastard offspring in their wills. As a result, these bastard heirs often became eigenerfden, or farmers who owned their own land, which placed them in the highest echelons of chieftains. All sources refer to the first Kingmas as eigenerfden living on the sate of Kingum. Could it be that illegitimate blue blood ran in their veins?