The Dutch didn't introduce surnames until the early 1800's. Our surname originated from the family's place of residence. They were living in a place called Hallumerhoek. Hoek is the Dutch word for corner. Meaning that the family was living near "Hallum Corner". This area of Holland (Friesland) was known for ending the surnames with "stra" or "ema". Combing these resulted in "Hoekema" for the original surname of our family. Later changes, perhaps the American-ized version, gave us the current surname, "Hockema".
There, she reunited with a boy that she grew up with in Hollum. They were married and started increasing their family. They soon moved with their nine children to Minnesota.
Their home would be a 40 acre Dairy Farm. Gretchen raised chickens, and all varieties of fruit and vegetables on the farm.
Gretchen raised 14 children on the dairy farm. They helped with the farm chores, but had plenty of time for exploring the creeks and trees. Forts were built, fish were caught, arrowheads were found. Life was good.
The income from the dairy paid for most of the family's expenses. Gretchen would also trade her eggs and berries at the store for needed goods.
There was a wonderful storage house on the farm, so full, it was likened to a supermarket! Gretchen stored her canned vegetables of every kind, fruits and meats. There were bins overflowing with apples, potatoes, carrots, onions. Crocks of sauerkraut and pickles. Smokehouse hams and bacon. The family was well stocked!