The patriarch of the Feenstra family was Cornelis Wybes, who was born app. 1651. Up to now, rather little is known about him. His descendants settled in Eernewoude, in those days a rather small village of about 180 inhabitants in Friesland.
They adopted the surname Feenstra in 1811 when during the French occupation of Holland everyone was obliged to adopt a surname. However, Wybe Baukes Feenstra (1784-1831) married in 1810, used the surname Feenstra already.
In the beginning of the 19th century they started to spread out over Friesland. First they settled mainly in Wartena and Warga, two villages in the neighborhood of Eernewoude. Some time later they settled in Workum and in the rest of Friesland.
Up to the beginning of the 19th century they were peatery supervisors and peat barge skippers. Later they were active in the most various occupations, from farmhand or carpenter to battery sergeant major or officer in the Salvation Army, from stationmaster to teacher.
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