John HUIGENS was born on 15 Jun 1862 near Henry, Marshall Co., IL. His parents were Evert/Edward and Catherine (Toemmes) HEUIGEN. The two main sources of information on him are from biographies in "Compendium of history, reminiscence, and biography of Nebraska," (1) which is availabe on-line here, and "100 years of progress, Creighton, Nebraska, 1874-1974. (2) I also have his NE death certificate which provides the same information on his parents, date and place of birth as the bios do. His eldest son, Bernard, provided the info for his death certificate. I don't know who provided the info for the 1974 bio.
If the parents followed the standard German and Dutch naming patterns, John, as the second male child, was named after his mother's father, Johann TOEMMES. John most likely never met his grandfather. His grandmother brought her children to America in 1853, all by herself.
John's father died in 1864, when he was 2 years old. His mother married Nicholas WEND sometime before 1869, when their first child was born.
John's parents' farm was in the north half of the northeast quarter of Section 10 of Hopewell Twp. in Marshall Co., IL, east of Henry. That's where he was born, if he was born at home, which seems very probable. Here is an 1890 plat map when the farm was owned by John's brother-in-law, Joseph ROTH. I have also seen an 1873 plat map that shows the same piece of land owned by John's step-father, who would have assumed ownership of the farm when he married John's mother.
My great-grandfather John was born during the US Civil War and lived to the age of 86, when he died in 1949. He lived through the US Civil War, the Spanish-American War, World War I and World War II. Several of his grandchildren served in WWII. His life covered quite a span of US history.
Further lines of research are to look for a baptism record from St. Mary's Catholic Church in Henry and to find an obituary to see if that has any inconsistent information. I checked the newspaper archives at the Henry Library in Sept. 2006 hoping to find a birth announcement, but their microfilmed copies of the local newspaper do not go as far back as 1862.
1. Alden Publishing Co. 1912. Compendium of history, reminiscence, and biography of Nebraska: containing a history of the state of Nebraska ... also a compendium of reminiscence and biography containing biographical sketches of hundreds of prominent old settlers and representative citizens of Nebraska. John Huigens entry, 497, Chicago: Alden pub. co.
2. 100 years of progress, Creighton, Nebraska, 1874-1974. 1974. [Creighton, Neb.?]: Centennial Book Committee.