Archive for Foundation Cows

Johanna – Foundation Families of the Holstein Breed

Johanna 344 H.H.B., the foundation cow of the Johanna family, was born in 1871 in the Dutch province of North Holland. According to breeders at the time she developed into “the best dairy cow of Holland” and was transported to the United States by Gerrit Miller in 1878 as a seven-year-old cow. There, she was regarded as “one of the best cows of the breed”; in 1880, she was honored at the New York State Fair as the first prize milking cow for all breeds. Her son Joe became a popular bull at the time.  Johanna is the 23rd dam behind Hanoverhill Starbuck, one of the breed’s fifteen most influential sires. Both of Canada’s principal foundation sires – King Toitilla Acme and Johanna Rag Apple Pabst – both owing substantial debts to the white, slope-rumped cow.

Johanna 344 H.H.B, was bred by K.J. Akkerman of North Holland and imported by Gerrit S. Miller in 1878. She immediately made her presence felt at Miller’s Kriemhild Farm, winning the prize for best dairy cow of all breeds and taking her place as a member of Miller’s Gold Medal herd at the New York State Fair in 1880.

Johanna’s best yearly production while running with Miller’s general herd was 12,264 lbs. milk. When she reached ten years of age, Miller turned her and Empress out to pasture in a field that fronted his residence, milking up to 88lbs on their best days. Johanna made 2,407 lbs in a 31-day month, believed to be extremely rich.

When Wilson Gillett bought Johanna, he sold her to Gillett & Moore of Wisconsin for $500.00. Johanna’s descendants born under Gillett ownership were given the word “Johanna” for their first name. Johanna transmitted principally through two Gillett-bred daughters, Johanna 4th and Johanna 5th. Johanna 4th produced two daughters of influence: Johanna Aaggie and Johanna May; while the important daughters of Inhanna 5th were Tohanna Rue and Johanna 5th Clothilde, who founded the four branches of the Johanna family.

  • Johanna Aaggie made a junior 4-year-old record of 22.86 lbs. butter from 479 lbs. milk in May 1898, sired by Aaggie Cornelia 5th’s Clothilde Imperial. Three of her four Advanced Registry daughters transmitted through their own daughters, while the fourth, Johanna Aagoie 2d, was dam of Johanna Aaggie 2d’s Lad. In one of the Holstein-Friesian Advanced Registry lists of the time, there were no less than forty females whose names began with the words “Johanna Aaggie,” which is one measure of the influence of this animal. The pedigree of Wayne-Spring Fond Apollo (GP-GM), sire of To-Mar Blackstar’s dam, shows the same thing, only in slightly different form. Johanna May’s Aaggie Clothilde, her sire, was out of Johanna May; second and third dams were Johanna 4th and Johanna. These animals represent the fulfillment of a capability inherent in all of the family trees of the Johanna clan. This potential was there at the beginning, making its presence felt numerous times in various places.
  • Johanna May, the second influential daughter of Johanna 4th, was primarily transmitted through her son, Paul Johanna DeKol, sired by Paul Mutual DeKol. This bull sired Pearl of the Dairy’s Joe DeKol, one of the foundation Homestead sires. Johanna May’s Aaggie Clothilde, son of Aaggie Cornelia 5th’s Clothilde Imperial and Johanna May, was used in the Cascade herd of William Todd & Sons, Yakima, Wash., the first of three Gillett-bred sires used in that herd. Johanna May’s maternal granddam, Bessie Lassie, was the maternal granddam of Cascade Jessie, with 1,276 lbs. butter from 24,866 lbs. milk at nine years of age.
  • Johanna 5th had two influential daughters: Johanna Rue, by Ben Nicolaas, and Johanna 5th Clothilde, by Aaggie Cornelia 5th’s Clothilde Imperial. Johanna Rue was the premier female of the Johanna family, with her 21-1b. record made in 1896. She had five Advanced Registry daughters from 20 to 24 Ibs., of which, four were strong transmitters. Johanna Rue 2d, by Aaggie Cornelia 5th’s Clothilde Imperial, was one of the early 21-1b. cows. Her four proven sons included Johanna Rue 2d’s Paul DeKol, grandsire of King Segis and Sir Johanna Canary DeKol, sire of Spring Brook Bess Burke 2d. Johanna Rue 3d, a world’s champion junior 2-year-old with 16.85 lbs. butter, was famous for three proven sons, the strongest of which was Johanna Rue 3d’s Lad.
  • Johanna Rue 4th, son of Johanna Rue and Aaggie Cornelia 5th’s Clothilde Imperial, was dam of Johanna Rue 4th’s Lad, by Sarcastic Lad. Sold as a yearling to Matt Richardson, Riverside Farm, Caledonia, Ont., Johanna Rue 4th’s Lad left 32 tested daughters and 21 proven sons. One of his outstanding daughters was Jemima Wayne Sarcastic, dam of Jemima Johanna of Riverside, Canada’s first 30,000-1b. milk cow and 1,000-lb. fat producer.
    Johanna DeKol, another good daughter of Johanna Rue, was a 20 lbs. senior 4-year-old and dam of the former world’s champion, Johanna DeKol 2d, who was the first 24 lbs. senior 4-year-old. Johanna DeKol 3d, a daughter of Johanna DeKol, had a daughter, Johanna De Colantha, whose Colantha Johanna Champion son was Johanna De Colantha Champion. Johanna De Pauline, the second transmitting daughter of Johanna 5th, was sired by Aaggie Comelia 5th’s Clothilde Imperial.
    Colantha 4th’s Johanna was the first cow to cross the 35-lb. butter barrier on seven-day test.  Continued for the full year she produced 1,200 lbs. butter (998 lbs. fat), a new high mark over all breeds for fat production on yearly test.  The record closed on December 18, 1907.  During the course of Colantha 4th’s Johanna’s record, Gillett’s neighbours grew worried.  The man was spending night and day with his cow.  When a friend admonished him, “Gillett, you are going to kill yourself looking after that cow”, he replied, “If I do, I shall die happy.” Colantha 4th’s production of 24.49 lbs. butter and 513 lbs. milk won the first Association prize for the year 1899.  Her sire was Aaggie Cornelia 5th’s Clothilde Imperial, mentioned earlier as one of the best sons of Clothilde 4th’s Imperial.  Colantha 4th’s Johanna’s sire was Sir Johanna, a son of Johanna Rue 2d, a great-granddaughter of the Gillett foundation cow, Johanna 344 H.H.B.
    One prime example came in Johanna Rue 4th’s Lad, his dam, which produced the dam of Jemima Johanna of Riverside, Canada’s first 30,000-lb. milk and 1,000-lb. fat cow. He also sired Toitilla DeKol Sarcastic whose son sired King Toitilla Acme (Extra), sire of the 1937 All-American get. Jemima started the Jemima family while the King daughters provided the underpinning for Ontario’s Glenvue and Spring Farm herds. The same kind of Johanna strength is found in the pedigree of Johanna Rag Apple Pabst – his first name wasn’t “Johanna” on a whim.

Both of Canada’s principal foundation sires – King Toitilla Acme and Johanna Rag Apple Pabst – both owing substantial debts to the white, slope-rumped cow that Gerrit Miller brought over from Holland in 1878.  For Elevation one of the most influential sires of the Holstein Breed, it was stated that “His dam Eve traces 20x back to Johanna Rag Apple Pabst”. Johanna Rag Apple Pabst is undoubtedly one of the most important transmitters of the Holstein breed, and is heavily developed by Johanna breeding.

Gerrit Miller agreed to sell Johanna to Wilson Gillett and Howard Moore in 1882, four years after importation. For Miller, she had generated a male, Joe 1002 H.H.B.; and two females, Joy and Joan of Arc. At the time of sale, she was eleven years of age. There’s another plausible reason for the sale, one that appeals to Miller, who had become fond of Wilson Gillett. The Wisconsin man was attractive personal qualities and ambitious, one who could get the best out of this animal. Miller likely thought the cow could do his new acquaintance a world of good. So Johanna went to Springdale Farm with Miller’s blessing, in retrospect a fortunate turn of events. On the Gillett farmstead, she accomplished things that likely weren’t even in Miller’s realm of experience. At Gillett’s, she gave Johanna 4th and Johanna 5th to the breed, and Gillett exploited these daughters to the fullest. His was a sparkling program set in a classy domain, where concentrated feeding, regular testing, aggressive merchandising, and the use of high octane herd sires were the norm. Gerrit Miller, on the other hand, inhabited a different world – a laid-back sort of enterprise when compared to Gillett’s, a place where it wasn’t necessary to sell a bunch of bulls every year to pay the bills.

Enjoy reading about the foundation cows of the Holstein Breed?  Then check out Edward Morwick’s latest book “The Holstein History” click here.

Pietertje 2d – Foundation Families of the Holstein Breed

Pietertje 2d (born 1877) Her record of 30,318 lbs. 8 oz. milk in a year, completed in 1888, was not exceeded until 1914. Foundation dam of the Pietertje family which sprouted countless influential males and females.

Pietertje 2d (born 1877) is the name of a legendary world record producer who immigrated to the United States as a five-year-old from the Netherlands. She established a 24-year record of 30,318 lb/13,781 kg milk when she was 10 years old. The Pietertjes had a significant breeding impact on the male line as well. The bull Pietertje Ormsby Mercedes 37th, born in 1912 (with Pietertje 2d in his pedigree seven generations back), is regarded as the breed’s founding sire; his name occurs in the pedigrees of the icons Elevation and Chief.

The Foundation dam of the Pietertje family was Pietertje 2d, and she developed numerous branches like a robust tree trunk. Alonzo Bradley of Lee, Massachusetts brought her from Holland in 1882, when she was five years old. Other cattle imported by this lumberman-turned-farmer laid the groundwork for many imported hers.  Some of these cows Haizum 4702 H.H.B. (decedents include Snow-N Denises Dellia), Gritje 1528 H.H.B. (Decedents include: Lutz-Meadows E Mandel) and Aagje Beck 5990 H.H.B. (decedents include: Johns Lucky Barb). Bradley had seen hundreds of herds in Holland and found Pietertje 2d to be a wonderful cow with extraordinary milk veins. After keeping her for a short time on his farm, she was sold to Elizur Smith, a neighbour, who later became the property of Dallas Benjamin Whipple. Whipple practiced dentistry in Cuba, New York, and later became involved in the oil industry, operating oil fields at Kendall Creek and Clarksville, Pennsylvania. He used some of his oil profits to purchase high-end Holstein cattle.

Dallas Whipple gave an account of Pietertje 2d’s life up to the time she began her world record. He visited several herds of Holsteins in the New England States in September 1884, and found her capable of milking more than any cow that he had ever seen milked. He bought her, along with twelve others, and shipped them home to Cuba, where she has remained ever since.

Pietertje 2d was pregnant when imported and gave birth to the bull, Pietertje 2d’s Holland King. In 1883, Bradley mated his cow with Keyes 6th, one of his herd sires, then sold mother and son to Elizur Smith. In Smith’s herd, the cow dropped a heifer calf, Milla, who was re-registered as Pietertje 3d after the family came to prominence. In 1884, Smith sold Pietertje 2d, her son, and young daughter to Dallas Whipple, and Pietertje 2d gave birth in 1885 to another heifer calf, Pietertje 4th, by Netherland Duke (a maternal brother of Netherland Prince).

On February 24, 1887, Pietertje 2d commenced a private record at Whipple’s which substantially exceeded the world record of 26,021 Ibs. milk was established by Clothilde in 1886. The first North American Holstein to exceed 30,000 Ibs. milk in a year, she produced 30.318 Ibs., 8 oz. milk, a record that stood unchallenged for 26 years. It was finally bested in 1914 by Tilly Alcartra’s production of 30,451 lbs in the herd of A W. Mores & Sons.

During her world-record lactation, Pietertje 2d was carrying twins and was milked three times a day. She spent the day in the barn and the night out the pasture when it was warm outside in the summer. She was given food three times a day for a whole year. Daily, she would consume 20 to 30 pounds of a mixture of bran and crushed oats. Every day, she ate half a bushel of potatoes and half a bushel of turnips. Refusal always resulted in its subsequent removal. Her summertime diet was grass, while her wintertime fare included uncut corn stalks and Timothy hay. In the winter, she was provided with sixty-degree water to drink three times daily. Throughout this record, she was only provided excellent water and no other drinks. She was also fed one pound of Blatchford’s Royal Stock Food daily, also a small quantity of Thorley’s Horse and Cattle Food. They were given a diet of watered-down oats and bran. The dimensions of her run-free box stall were thirteen by fifteen feet.

The Pietertje 2d family, consisting of Pietertje 2d her two daughters, and two sons, was sold to Dutcher & Son, Pawling, New York. During her time with Whipple, Whipple received several offers for Pietertje 2d of over $10,000, while her son, Holland King, was the first Holstein bull whose services were patronized at $500.00.

Of the forty or so original Dutch animals that made a lasting impact on the North American breed, Pretertje 2d occupies a unique position by virtue of the breeding record of certain of her male descendants. These descendants included Milla’s Pietertje Netherland, Sir Pietertje Josephine Mechthilde, Hengerveld DeKol, Pontiac Kordyke, and King Segis.

Milla’s Pietertje Netherland, a leading sire of the 1890s, was born in 1887 and was sired by Duke Netherland, a son of Netherland Prince and Netherland Duchess. His dam, Pietertje 3d, was registered as Milla. Milla’s Pietertje Netherland headed Stevens’ Brookside herd all his life and had his best daughters, Pietertje Hengerveld and Magadora, out of Netherland Hengerveld, one of Henry Stevens’ world champions.

The contribution to breed history of Milla’s Pietertje Netherland was very impactful. He was grand-sire of Segis Inka, foundation dam of the Segis family and granddam of King Segis, and the forebear of Pieterje Maid Ormsty, whose sire was a grandson of Pietertje Hengerveld’s Paul DeKol.

Sir Pietertje Posch’s influence on North American pedigrees included Sir Pietertje Josephine Mechthilde, who fathered Worthemall 3rd’s Sir Pietertje, who carried the Pietertje blood to Canada and sired Alta Posch’s two sons. Sir Pietertje Posch also sired Kaalje DeBoer 2d, dam of Sir Pietertje Posch DeBoer.

Other Pietertje 2d descendants include Sievia Keyes Pietertje, who sired the breed’s first 29lbs. cow, Mercedes Julip’s Pietertje, who was the granddam of King Segis and great-grand-dam of Sir Pietertje Ormsby Mercedes. Pietertje 2d’s youngest and perhaps best son was Pietertje 2d’s Koningen, and his daughter, Ellen, was dam of Manor Josephine DeKol, sire of Pontiac Korndyke. The Pietertje blood in Pontiac Korndyke’s pedigree may account for the outstanding success of his matings with Hengerveld DeKol daughters, as the latter’s dam was a daughter of Milla’s Pietertje Netherland, a Pietertje 2d grandson.

In summary, Pietertje 2d’s production capabilities were made evident when she completed a world record of 30,318 Ibs. milk in 1888, which stood unchallenged for twenty-six years. Pietertje blood was eagerly sought by leading breeders and became widely disseminated. Pietertje 2d’s best descendants usually resulted from crosses with animals carrying Netherland or DeKol blood.  The bull Pietertje Ormsby Mercedes 37th, born in 1912 (with Pietertje 2 in his pedigree seven generations back), is regarded as the Holstein breed’s founding sire; his name occurs in the pedigrees of the icons Elevation and Chief.

Enjoy reading about the foundation cows of the Holstein Breed?  Then check out Edward Morwick’s latest book “The Holstein History” click here.

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