Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Genealogy - Then and Now

I started doing genealogy back in the early 1990's. In the early years of my research, I discovered a fair bit of information about my ancestors. But after a few years, other interests grabbed my attention, and I put my genealogy research on hold. Two years ago, twenty years after beginning, I resumed my research. In this tome, I'd like to take a look back and compare how I did genealogy back then with how I do it today.

Back then, I used a DOS based program called GIM. Most programs at the time supported the GEDCOM 3 standard. Today, I use a program called Gramps, which implements fully the GEDCOM 5 standard, still under development in the early 1990's. As far as I'm concerned, the most important improvement of GEDCOM 5 is robust support for sources and citations. Back then, if you recorded source information at all, it was done using notes. Today, you have no excuse for not including citations in your database.


These days, I don't add any fact to my database unless I can cite the source. When I restarted my research, one of the first things I did was go through my data, adding sources and citations to every fact. I also cross-referenced my hand-written notes by adding the citation id to every event in my notes. Using a filter in Gramps, I was able to locate every event without a citation. I had to be brutal, but some facts had to be deleted since I had no idea where they came from.

Back then, the general public just started getting access to the internet. This was a great boon to genealogists since it allowed us to better share data. But we still needed to visit the local LDS Family History Center to view microfilmed records, and record the data in hand-written notebooks.

Twenty years later, the technology continues to improve. There are a couple of incredible on-line resources that I take advantage of on a daily basis. The first is FamilySearch.org, which hosts jpeg images of almost all of the LDS's collection of civil and church records from the Netherlands. Since half of my ancestors were born in the Netherlands, I fully take advantage of this incredible collection. Whenever I find a record of interest, while working at my desk at home, I download the image, crop and scale the image, and then include the image in my database as part of the citation. You can't support your facts any better than that.

Another incredible resource is WieWasWie.nl, an index site for the Dutch civil registration. There are a few holes in their coverage, such as Gelderland births, but otherwise, it's the first place I visit when searching for people. As far as I'm concerned, if for whatever reason I can't find a scanned image of a record, cutting and pasting WieWasWie data into a citation is an acceptable alternative.

For the German side of my research, the on-line resources are still lacking. FamilySearch.org has the images for the 1867 and 1900 censuses of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, which helped me connect with my Ludwigs ancestors. However, to view the Mecklenburg-Schwerin church books, I still need to visit the local LDS Family History Center. It's a 20 minute drive, and is never very busy. But since the Dutch on-line resources are so much better, I haven't done nearly as much research on my German ancestors.

There is hope, however. There is an effort underway to digitize the German church books and put them on-line. Hopefully, the site will be as easy to use as FamilySearch.org. And more importantly, I hope that the quality of the scans will be as good. Once the Mecklenburg-Schwerin church books are on-line, I expect to spend a lot of time downloading those records. (Of course, the LDS are working hard digitizing all of their microfilms, but who know when they'll get to the books I need.)

Finally, here's a summary of what's in my Gramps database as of this morning:
  • Number of individuals: 8196
  • Number of families: 3167
  • Unique surnames: 2375
  • Number of unique media objects: 5909
  • Total size if media objects: 1592 MB
The last number is significant. The vast majority of media objects are jpeg images of scanned source records. As I mentioned before, you can't have better citations than scans of the original civil and church records.

Cheers! Hans

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Tangled Interrelationships in Utrecht

In my previous posting, I commented that I didn't expect to find many tangled interrelationships in Utrecht. After all, in a city like Utrecht, the fourth largest city in the Netherlands, people have a much greater choice when looking for a mate than those living in isolated rural areas. However, even before I wrote that last epistle, I saw hints of some interrelationships. I noticed the name "van den Hoeven" in a couple of records, and I wondered if they were related. It turned out that they were.
Let's start with Hendrik Vink (1826-1906) and my distant cousin Everarda Houpst (1838-1905). This couple also appears in the drop chart in my last posting. But here, we look at the offspring of a different child, Casper Cornelis Vink (1861-1942) and his wife Elisabeth Maria Rijnders (1855-1902). All together, they had eight children. However, two were still-born, and three more died shortly after birth. The remaining three reached adulthood and married.

Hendrik Vink (born 1890) and his sister Elisabeth Maria Vink (born 1893) married two siblings, respectively, Wijntje Spierenburg (born 1891) and Barend Spierenburg (born 1893). The remaining Vink sibling, Aletta Gesina Vink (1886-1925) married Willem Franciscus van den Hoeven (born 1871). Willem Franciscus was a half first cousin to Wijntje and Barend Spierenburg. That is, all three Vink siblings married a grand-child of Jan van den Hoeven (1807-1882).

So although the cities are not fertile ground when searching for tangled interrelationships, they still can be found there.




Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Another Link Between Two Ancestral Lines

In a previous blog posting, I described a rather complex set of tangled interrelationships connecting two of my ancestral lines. In that post, the van de Beerenkamp family provided a link between my Moll and van Coot lines. In this post, I uncover another, albeit less complicated connection.

Lately, I've been recording distant cousins who lived in the province of Utrecht, either in the city of Utrecht or in Amersfoort. In such large communities, I don't expect to find much in the way of tangled interrelationships. And to a great extent, that's exactly what I found. No cousins marrying, no double cousins, etc.


However, when coming across a new family name, I still do a search to check if I've seen that name before. I traced my distant Utrecht cousins down to Gerrit Vink, born 1885 in Utrecht. He married (for a second time) in 1926 to Derkje Dorland, born 1901 in Rheden. I checked the name Dorland in my database, and turned up a few others, including Jacob Dorland. Jacob was a witness to the marriage of his brother Johann Christoffel Dorland and Berendina Moll, in 1884.

(In the above chart, red indicates ancestors, and blue indicates other blood relatives.)

A bit of research revealed that Jacob Dorland was the father of Derkje Dorland. So the Dorland family had a connection to two of my ancestral lines. First to my Moll ancestors, and secondly to my Laseur ancestors, through their Vink descendants. Evert Moll and Geertrui van Donselaar were my 4th great grandparents. Herman Laseur and Bellitje (Peters) Birckhoud were my 6th great grandparents. These two lines converge with my grandparents, Gerrit Moll and Johanna Maria van de Bunt.

So it always pays off to check your database to see if you've come across a particular family before. Likewise, it always pays off to add witnesses of events to your database.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Consanguineous Marriage in Heerde

After I posted my last blog entry, I resumed my research by verifying information I already had, in particular, for my van Apeldoorn in-laws. My grand-aunt Johanna Moll (1886-1927) was married to Adrianus Gijsbertus van Apeldoorn (1885-1962). Adrianus was the step-son for Johanna's aunt, Geertje Moll (1853-1935). At that time, the van Apeldoorn's were best known as the owners of a soap factory in Heerde which manufactured soap under the brand name "De Klok".


My research turned up a gravestone for Gerrit Jan van Apeldoorn (1878-1933) and Hendrina Hendrika Willmina van Apeldoorn - van Apeldoorn (1879-1967). Could these two be related, I wondered? The answer turned out to be yes. But the subsequent research turned up quite a number of other cases of cousins marrying in that family.
In this drop chart, the individuals marked in red are my ancestors. Blue indicates other blood relatives. And the yellow indicates descendants of Andries Lamberts van Apeldoorn. It shouldn't come as much of a surprise that there are so many inter-relationships. Heerde is a fairly isolated village, bounded to the north-east by the Veluwe, and to the east by the River IJssel.

Here's a summary of the cosanguineous marriages among the van Apeldoorn's. Note that some couples are related in two ways. Almost all lived in Heerde.

1st cousins:

  • Klaas van Apeldoorn (1790-1823) and Aleida van Apeldoorn (1789-1867)
  • Gerrit Jan van Apeldoorn (1878-1933) and Hendrina Hendrika Willemina van Apeldoorn (1879-1967)

1st cousins, once removed:

  • Willem van Apeldoorn (1782-1840) and Elsjen van Apeldoorn (1773-1808)
  • Johannes Lambertus van Apeldoorn (1781-1815) and Adriana Antonia Hafkamp (1783-1870)

2nd cousins:

  • Berend Boeve (1780-1853) and Johanna Aleijda van Apeldoorn (1778-1848)
  • Johanna Lambarta van Apeldoorn (1816-1848) and Lammert van Apeldoorn (1817-1861)

2nd cousins, once removed:

  • Johanna Lambarta van Apeldoorn (1816-1848) and Lammert van Apeldoorn (1817-1861)
  • Gerhardus van Apeldoorn (1813-1887) and Willempje van Apeldoorn (1808-1865)
  • Lambert van Apeldoorn (1813-1883) and Maasina Boeve (1809-1892)
  • Evert Jan van Apeldoorn (1815-1883) and Geertje Boeve (1815-1877)

3rd cousins:

  • Gerhardus van Apeldoorn (1813-1887) and Willempje van Apeldoorn (1808-1865)
  • Lambert van Apeldoorn (1813-1883) and Maasina Boeve (1809-1892)
  • Evert Jan van Apeldoorn (1815-1883) and Geertje Boeve (1815-1877)
  • Adrianus van Apeldoorn (1845-1934) and Hendrika Willemina van Apeldoorn (1849-1910)


3rd cousins, once removed:

  • Adrianus van Apeldoorn (1845-1934), Hendrika Willemina van Apeldoorn (1849-1910)

This research was assisted greatly by the existence of a number of on-line genealogies for the van Apeldoorn family. However, it is my policy to verify all the facts by downloading and checking the relevant civil and church records. Listed at the top of this chart, most on-line genealogies consider Joanna van Marle as a sibling of Berent van Marle. If this were true, there would be even more cases of cousins marrying. However, this fact cannot be easily verified since there's no baptism record for Joanna in the Heerde church book.

This diversion into the van Apeldoorn family was quite the adventure. I think I now need to take a short break from genealogy to catch my breath.

Hans

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Moll's and the Tangled Web

It's been a while since I posted to this blog. I found a few cases of first cousins marrying among my Moll cousins. But once I found a case of second cousins marrying, I thought it was time to add another missive to my growing list of tangled interrelationships. These people lived in Gelderland, west of the Weluwe, in an arc stretching from Rheden to Barneveld. In this chart, the people indicated by red are ancestors of mine. Blue indicates distant cousins. To follow along, best to display the chart in a separate window.


First, to put things into perspective, Gerrit Moll and Cornelia Brouwer were my 3rd great grandparents. They were also the great grandparents of Nobel Prize winning physicist Hendrik Antoon Lorentz, via their daughter Teunisken Moll (not shown).

The first thing of interest is two sisters, Anna Maria Moll (1821-1894) and Antje Moll (1810-1899) marrying two brothers, Gerrit van Ingen (1816-1886) and Jan Rijnaud van Ingen (1813-1871). Not shown in this chart are three children of Ran Rijnaud and Antje, Gerrit (1835-1910), Johanna Christina (1837-1901), and Cornelia (1841-1878). Of the three, only Johanna Christina van Ingen married, producing eleven children. Of these, five died in infancy. Four others are known to have died unmarried. There are no further signs of the remaining two (Cornelia van Ingen, born 1870, and Antoon van Ingen, born 1876, both in Arnhem) in the Dutch civil records. However, there are indications that the latter served in the military in the Dutch East Indies.

In the next generation, we see the first case of cousins marrying. Gijsbertus Moll (1846-1929) married his first cousin Anna Maria van Ingen (1849-1911). One of their five children, Evert Moll (born 1884) married his first cousin Cornelia Clasina Moll (1883-1923), daughter of Gijsbert's brother Gerrit Moll (1843-1907). Her sister Cornelia Moll (1880-1943) married her first cousin Evert Moll (born 1881), son of another of Gijsbert's brothers, Evert Moll (1845-1928).

In the last generation, we find another married couple, Gerrit van Ingen (born 1882) and Woutertje van Kampen (born 1888). These two were second cousins.

Of course, the tangles don't end here. Among the descendants of Gerrit van Ingen and Anna Maria Moll, there are additional tangles, not shown in the chart. Consider two of their grandchildren children, Anna Maria van Ingen (1895-1978) and Gerrit van Ingen (1891-1972). Anna Maria married Aart van Maanen (1890-1973). Gerrit married Neeltje van den Brandhof (1890-1977). Aart and Neeltje were first cousins, grandchildren of Arend van den Brandhof and Johanna van Donkelaar. Among the ancestors of other in-laws, there are tantalizing hints of the possibility of other interrelationships. But that will have to wait for further research.

Hans

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Wijnand Otto Jan Nieuwenkamp and the Tangled Web

Look at the people in your genealogy database. How many of them have their own Wikipedia page? Within my own Gramps database of about 6000 individuals, a few are important enough to be discussed in Wikipedia. These individuals include Hendrik Antoon Lorentz, Heike Kamerlingh Onnes, Floris Verster, Menso Kamerlingh Onnes, and Elisabeth Keers-Laseur. A few days ago, using Google, I came across another distant relative with his own Wikipedia page, my 6th cousin once removed Wijnand Otto Jan Nieuwenkamp.

W.O.J. Nieuwenkamp (1874-1950) was a rather interesting person. Described as a multi-faceted autodidact, he was an artist working in a number of different media, as well as a writer, architect, explorer, ethnologist, and collector of East Asian art. In 1900 he married his first cousin once removed Anna Wilbrink (1871-1954). When her parents died, she was left with a sizable inheritance, which enabled Wijnand to finance his numerous trips to the far east. In 1906 and 1907, he traveled to Bali, and pursued pioneering ethnographical and archaeological studies of that island, work that is still appreciated today.
Tangled web of ancestors of Wijnand Otto Jan Nieuwenkamp
If you've been following this blog, you know I like to map out the tangled interrelationships of my distant relatives. Before I encountered W.O.J. Nieuwenkamp, I was starting to map out some tangles with my distant Wilbrink cousins. Wijnand just added some additional flavor to this story. (As before, in the above drop chart, my distant cousins are marked in blue.)

As I mentioned before, Wijnand Nieuwenkamp married his 1st cousin once removed, my 5th cousin twice removed, Anna Wilbrink. Wijnand's four childen would be my 7th cousins and also my 6th cousins once removed.

Moving up a generation (or two depending on which path you take), a couple of Wilbrink siblings married a few members of the van den Ham family: Gerrit Jan Wilbrink (1834-1907) was married to Marianne Gerharda Henriƫtte van den Ham (1837-1913). Gerrit's sister Diderika Wilhelmina Wilbrink (1825-1876) married twice, first to Petrus Albertus Jacobus Moezel van den Ham (1813-1863), and then to his brother Johannes Hermanus Theodorus Wilhelmus van den Ham (1822-1912). These two brothers were the uncles of Marianne van den Ham.

Moving up a generation, we see another case of two brothers, Willem Wilbrink (1798-1859) and Jan Wilbrink (1804-1837) marrying two sisters respectively Gerritje Brouwer (1792-1864) and Hendrikje Brouwer (1786-1849). As far as I can tell, Jan and Hendrikje had no children.

The more I look through my family tree, the more tangles I can find. One great thing about having all the civil and church records for the Netherlands on-line, courtesy of the LDS and familysearch.org, is that you can easily pursue side trips, something that isn't practical using more traditional research techniques. Today's missive also demonstrates the usefulness of doing a Google search whenever researching a new branch. You never know what a Google search may turn up!

Cheers! Hans

Thursday, April 3, 2014

More Tangled Webs in Oldebroek

In these modern times, when people can easily move from place to place, the vast majority of people we meet are completely unrelated. That is, although we are all certainly cousins, we cannot determine a relationship. Contrast this with life in 19th Century Oldebroek. As I discussed in my previous blog posting, Oldebroek is in a relatively isolated corner of northern Gelderland. The majority of people listed in today's drop chart lived their whole lives in that one village. Finding tangled interrelationships between these people is very easy.
Tangled interrelationships in Oldebroek
Consider the drop chart. Some of the people we've met before, in my previous blog posting: Aart Labots and Agatha Mol, Gisjbert Koster and Christina Labots, and Wilhelmus Labots and Marrigje Kragt. This time, we look at some of their other children. As before, the people marked in blue are distant cousins.

Let's start at the top. First, we see two brothers Hendrik Blaauw (1793-1832) and Gerrit Blaauw (1795-1834) married to two sisters Hendrika Wilhelma Spijkerboer (1789-1869) and Fennetje Spijkerboer (1802-1864). Gerrit Stange (1783-1862) married twice: First to a half-sister of the previously mentioned Blaauw brothers, Grietje Blaauw (1804-1887), and second to another Spijkerboer sister, Lubbigje Spijkerboer (1787-1826).

Moving down a generation, consider Hendrika Wilhelma Stange (1819-1905) Her husband, Jan Blaauw (1818-1855) was her father's brother-in-law, from his first marriage. Next, consider the married couple Jan Spijkerboer (1825-1889) and Lubbertje Blaauw (1828-1889). They were first cousins.

In the final generation in this chart, we tie in the previously mentioned lines with my distant Labots cousins. The siblings Marrigje Labots (1855-1930) and Aart Labots (1848-1901) married two first cousins, respectively, Gerrit van Loo (1848-1919) and Fennetje Spijkerboer (1854-1900). Another Labots sibling, Klaas Labots (1859-1900) married a second cousin of the previously mentioned spouses, Oetje Blaauw (1865-1947).

And to link these people again to the Labots, consider Jacoba Berghuis (1849-1888). Her first husband was yet another Blaauw: Goossen Blauw (1851-1882). Her second husband was a Labots descendant, Hendrik Koster (1851-1913).

And still, more interrelationships can be found in this area. In my notes, I've already mapped out a case of someone marrying twice, where his second wife was a niece of his first. But I'll leave the details for another blog posting.

Cheers! Hans