A new study out of University of Eastern Nebraska has traced all current Friesens to one Nebraska farmer sometime in the 1870s.
“Jakob F. Friesen was his name – the first Friesen ever,” said Dr. Friesen. “He and his wife Anne Kehler had seventeen children and from those seventeen children came all the millions of Friesens we know today.”
Some find it hard to believe that the global Friesen population could have originated in one couple less than 150 years, but it’s true.
“When you’re having between 15 and 20 children per generation, it doesn’t take long and you’ve got a population crisis like we’re seeing now with the Friesens,” said Dr. Friesen. “It’s true folks, it all started in Henderson.”
There has been talk of changing the village name to something more appropriate like Friesenville, but so far it hasn’t happened.
“Maybe if all the Friesens move back to town we can convince the village council to make the change,” said Dr. Friesen. “Until then we’re putting up a cairn in honour of the original Friesen.”