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 Henriëtte 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

Monday, March 31, 2014

Tangled Webs in Doornspijk and Oldebroek

My Labots ancestors lived in the village of Velp in the southern part of Gelderland. My 4th great grand uncle Klaas Labots (1726-1789), however, moved from Velp to Doornspijk, a village in the far northern corner of Gelderland. Consider the geographic location of Doornspijk. Although it is located in the middle of the Netherlands, the area is relatively isolated. Dornspijk is in a rural area bounded to the north-west by the Zuiderzee, to the south by the Veluve, and to the north-east by the IJssel. At Doornspijk, this area is no more than four kilometers wide. Considering the isolation of this area, it should come as no surprise that tangled webs of interrelationships are easy to find. In this essay, I begin an investigation that will continue over several blog postings.

Northern Gelderland in the 19th Century
Here's the drop chart for today's study. The people marked in blue are distant cousins. To keep track of the people, I suggest opening the image in a new browser window.
Interrelationships in Doornspijk and Oldebroek
Where to begin with this tangled web? First, I should point out that although I have Moll ancestors, also from Velp, the Mol's listed here are unrelated, as far as I know. Wilhelmus Mol (c1745-1800) was born in Körrenzig in the Duchy of Jülich, now part of Germany, and at some point moved to Oldebroek. His daughter Agatha Mol (1780-1829) married my distant cousin Aart Labots (1768-1833).

Now on to the tangles: Consider Gijsbert Koster (1794-1872). He married twice, first to Geertje Schoonhoven (1796-1827), and later to Christina Labots (1805-1871). Geertje and Christina were first cousins once removed.

Christina's brother Jan Labots (1808-1846) was the first husband of Marrigje Juffer (1818-1887). Her second husband Aalt Koster (1825-1898) was a child of the previously mentioned Gisjbert Koster and Geertje Schoonhoven, and second cousin of Jan Labots. In addition, Jan Labots' aunt Geertje Wilhelmus Mol (1776-1848) was married to Marrigje Juffer's uncle Harmen Harmsz Juffer (1772 -1832).

Moving down a generation, we find two brothers Beerd van de Weg (1837-1916) and Aalt van de Weg (1840-1916) marrying the two sisters Agatha Koster (1839-1885) and Aaltje Koster (1841-1914). After the death of Agatha, Beerd married again, to Agatha's first cousin Christina Labots (1853-1922).

There are more children of Wilhelmus Labots and Marrigje Kragt. In a future epistle, I'll discuss the interrelations between the spouses of some of those children.

One more thing before I forget. It appears that, after the death of Klaas Labots in 1789, his son Aart Labots followed in his father's footsteps, and took over his job of sexton of the church in Oosterwolde. On the last page of a church burial book for Oosterwolde, just past the year 1789, you can find this fancy signature. Such rare artwork is a pleasant treat to discover in the old church books.

Aart Labots' signature, 1789



Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Coers, Onnes, and Roest - More Tangled Webs

In previous blog postings, I've explored various tangled webs of interrelationships within my genealogy database. In this missive, I look at three families from opposite corners of the Netherlands: The Onnes family from Groningen, the Roest family from Middelburg (Zeeland), and the Coers family of Arnhem, in the south of Gelderland.
Interrelationships between Coers, Onnes, and Roest families.

In this drop chart, the individuals marked in blue are distant cousins. Let's begin with someone we've visited before, my fourth cousin twice removed, physicist Heike Kamerlingh-Onnes (1853-1926). His parents were Harm Kamerlingh-Onnes (1819-1880) and Anna Gerdina Coers (1829-1899), linking two of these families.

Heike's uncle Jacob Jan Coers (born 1834) worked in the printing and lithography business in Arnhem, establishing in the 1850's the firm Letter- en stereotypegieterij, kunstboekdrukkerij en graveerinrichting Onnes, de Boer en Coers. One of his partners in that company was Hermannus Barteld Onnes (1807-1863), first cousin once removed of Heike Kamerlingh-Onnes.

In the 1880's, Jacob Jan Coers took on his brother-in-law, Gerrit Roest (1857-1908), as a partner in the firm Coers & Roest, a company that still does business today.

The interrelationships between these families continue: Gerrit Roest married Heilina Froukelina Onnes (born 1859), a first cousin of Heike Kamerlingh-Onnes. And Jacob Jan's brother Gerrit Thomas Coers (1826-1903) married Agatha Henderika Onnes (1831-1895), a second cousin of Heike Kamerlingh-Onnes.

Cheers! Hans

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Tangled Webs, The Tale Gets More Complicated

In previous blog postings, I discussed various examples of tangled interrelationships in my database. This time, we visit the towns of Nijkerk and Putten in northern Gelderland. Have a look at the following drop chart. (Click on it to see the full picture. Better still, open the image in a new browser window.)


Previously, I used an image program to produce a nice, easy to read chart. This time, there were just too many people to include, so I decided to take the easy way out, and just scan my rough, hand-drawn chart. In this chart, the black rectangles represent direct ancestors and the red rectangles represent distant cousins.

I began this saga of exploration researching some descendants of my 4th great grandparents Steven van Coot (1743-1813) and Helena van Hagen (d.1799). In my pedigree, these are persons #108 and #109. When I got down to their 2nd great grandchildren Gerrit van de Nautena (1862-1945) and Jannetje van de Nautena (1865-1931), I noticed that they both married a child of a van de Beerenkamp. Although these were in-laws, I just had to dig deeper. Gerrit married twice, to two sisters, Willempje van Korler (b.1853) and Maartje van Korler (b.1855). Their mother was Maria van de Beerenkamp (1820-1856), a daughter of Hendrik Elbertsen van de Beerenkamp (1797-1888).

Hendrik Elbertsen had another daughter, Willempje van de Beerenkamp (1822-1901), who married Abraham van Wijland (1821-1872). The name van Wijland was familiar. It turned out that Abraham and Willempje were the parents of Hendrikje van Wijland (1865-1893), whose husband was my great grand uncle Cornelis Moll (1855-1907), child of my 2nd great grandparents Herman Moll (1822-1902) and Johanna Anthonia Laboths (1821-1887), persons #24 and #25 in my pedigree. That is, the van de Beerenkamp family provides a link between two separate lines of my ancestors!

As if we haven't seen enough interrelationships so far, if you look more closely at the van de Beerenkamp family, you'll see even more. For example, we have yet another case of siblings marrying siblings: Aart Elbertsen van de Beerenkamp (1799-1872) married Maria Bleumink (1807-1874). Aart's younger brother Aalt Elbertsen van de Beerenkamp (1805-1866) married Maria's younger sister Jannetje Bleumink (1809-1866).

And we also have a couple of cases of cousins marrying: First, Willem van de Beerenkamp (1837-1897) married his first cousin Johanna van de Beerenkamp (1851-1931). Second, Willem van Wijland (1853-1917) married his first cousin once removed Aaltje van de Beerenkamp (1849-1919).

Looking at the chart, I wonder what other interesting interrelationships might be uncovered with further research.

Before I close off this epistle, I'd like to offer one more observation: Among the thousands of individuals born in the Netherlands in my database, I have very few cases of illegitimate births. And one of them shows up in this drop chart. My database does contain a number of cases of "miraculous" births, occurring less that nine months after the marriage of their parents. But during the 18th and 19th Centuries, illegitimate births seem relatively uncommon in the Netherlands.

Cheers! Hans

Sunday, February 16, 2014

My Pet Peeves About Genealogy

Like any other pursuit, there are some things about genealogy that bug me. Some call these things "pet peeves". They're not enough to discourage me from my efforts. But, like some flying insects hovering around the backyard patio in the summer, they are annoying.

To begin with, allow me to complain about published genealogies. Don't get me wrong, I take advantage of whatever resources I can. I don't mind that they often contain errors. After all, I'll still double check the information by searching for the original source documents at familysearch.org. But some things still irk me. For example, when a published genealogy uses the married name for women. Sure, many women adopt their husband's name on marriage. However, it makes searching for people that much more difficult. It's also confusing since you can never really be sure if it's a birth name or married name.

Another thing that bugs me is lack of citations in many published genealogies. Most of the time, the information is enough for me to locate the relevant documents. However, as you go further back through time, and the information in the registries become skimpier and skimpier, it becomes more and more important to document how a particular conclusion was reached. For example, if only a year is given for a particular event, you know that the year is just an educated guess at best, unless there's some other document that supports the fact.

Death/burial records in Dutch church registries bug the heck out of me. First, for children, they rarely list the name of the child. Normally, they just list the name of the father. In past centuries, couples often had lots of children, many of whom would die in infancy. And so figuring out an exact date of death for many children is an impossible task. Often, the best you can do is narrow down the date to a couple of possibilities. Take the family of Willem Moll and Dirkje Goetinks as an example. They had five children born in Arnhem between 1785 and 1796. However, when Dirkje died in 1800, the burial record noted that she had no children, which meant that all her children died in infancy. The burial registry for Arnhem lists deaths for three unnamed children of Willem Moll. The only definitive conclusion I can make for all five children is that they died before 1800. There's not enough information to be any more specific.

Second, why are the burial records so hard to read? Marriage and baptism records seem much more easier to deal with. But for some reason, it often seems like the worst scribes possible were assigned to record deaths and burials. Perhaps that's understandable, considering the nature of the task.

Finally, consider this scenario: You're up late searching through various web sites, you're tired, and you want to go to bed. You decide to visit just one more page. Bingo! You come across some previously undiscovered ancestors. What do you do? Do you bookmark the site and add it to your to do list? Or, excited about your new find, do you keep going? Do you enter the data into your database knowing full well that you're too tired to do so without risking the introduction of errors into your database?

These are some of my pet peeves. What are yours?

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Spurious Data and the Interconnected Web of Relationships

I spent some time researching the Matser family of Rheden, Gelderland. Since these were in-laws, and not blood relatives, I spent more time than I really wanted to. However, I did want to determine if two lines of Matser's were related. The research was proceeding fine, until I reached a bump in the road. According to a couple of published genealogies, Wouter Matser (1791-1861) was a child of Gerrit Matser (1760-1810) and Johanna Arends (1764-1842). I found baptism, marriage, and death records for Wouter Matser, however, for the baptism and marriage records, his father was listed as Hendrik Matser, not Gerrit.

I found records for Wouter's siblings, and he did seem to belong to the family of Gerrit Matser and Johanna Arends, and I could find no other mention of a Hendrik Matser. In addition, clearly, a least one other genealogist concluded that Wouter belonged to that family. So the name Hendrik must have been spurious. Or was it? If spurious, how could it be so in both baptism and marriage records?

I puzzled over this conundrum for a while. Finally, while loading the trunk of my car with groceries in the No Frills parking lot, the answer came to me. In the 19th Century, marriage applications in the Netherlands required a fair bit of paperwork. Normally, the marriage application included various documents, such as birth record extracts for the bride and groom, as well as possibly death record extracts for the parents. When Wouter Matser and Jantje Rong wanted to get married, the birth record extract for Wouter included the spurious name Hendrik Matser as the name of his father. This error was repeated verbatim on the marriage documents.

The additional paperwork for a marriage application can be found in the Huwelijksbijlagen. The information can usually be found elsewhere, with more detail. But if you're having trouble finding a date of birth or death for someone, you might be able to get the information from this set of documents. Unfortunately, it can often be difficult searching the on-line images at familysearch.org for the records you need since each marriage typically has up to half a dozen documents and extracts.

To get back to the interconnected web relationships, I was interested in tracing the Matser's since two distant Moll cousins married Matser's. Barend Moll (1850-1929) and Jan Willem Moll (1850-1937) were third cousins to each other. Barend married Hendrika Mariana Matser (1855-1931) and Jan Willem married Johanna Matser (1854-1918). We've met Johanna Matser once before, in A Tangled Web - More Interrelationships.

Seeing the name Matser crop up twice, I wondered if Hendrika Mariana and Johanna Matser were related. It took some effort, but I determined that they too were third cousins, descendants of Jakob Matser (1717-):
No doubt there are even more interrelationships between the people in my database. In this case, the clue was the common surname. But when tracing through maternal lines, the interrelationships are of course not as obvious.