Genealogie Bos

This is my English-language Genealogy & Ancestry Blog.
(Mijn Nederlandstalige blog is

31 Mar 2013

The Kleinjan family and their American branch

Over the years I've also been researching the extensive Kleinjan family that originated in the Hoeksche Waard area in South-Holland. I descend from the elder generations of this extended family. 
The oldest ancestor is Cleijn Jan Ariaensz who lived around 1600. His son, Arijen Jansz Cleijnjan, has descendants in Mijnsheerenland, Heinenoord, Barendrecht, Rhoon and even in Volga, Brookings, South Dakota. In 1664 one of Arie's sons, Jan Arijens Kleijnjan, married Haesje Cornelisse who originated from Charlois, now part of Rotterdam. Jan's burial was registered on 26-1-1712 in 's-Gravendeel.

Since the baptism records of the village of 's-Gravendeel are missing, children within the Kleinjan family that died young are unknown to us, and the links between subsequent generations can not always be proven. A possible son of Jan and Haesje was Arie Janse Kleinjan (†1713) who married Bastiaantje Floren van der Giessen (†1755), who introduced the given name Floris into the Kleinjan family. This couple had at least 2 sons, Floris and Jan, and 2 daughters, Johanna and Adriana. Adriana (±1705-1763) married Jan Anthonisse Duijser (1705-1764) and became one of my ancestors. 

Floris Ariensz Kleinjan (±1700-1778) married twice, as did his son Jan Florisse Kleinjan (±1740-1802), who settled in Barendrecht. Then something strange happened. Jan's 2nd wife was Lena Pieters Louter (±1754-1829), who, as a widow, married Krijn Hendriks Vermaas (1754-1825). Both had children from their first marriage. In 1807 Krijn's unmarried, 18-year-old daughter Maria Krijne Vermaas became pregnant. She said that her stepbrother Kleijs Jansz Kleinjan (1790-1869) was the father, and named the child Kleijs after him. Strangely, Kleijs never bothered to marry his stepsister. In 1803 he married another girl, and had additional issue. Being an unmarried mother, Maria was "damaged goods", but in 1814 she was finally able to marry a widower from Sliedrecht, and had additional issue, too.

An elder brother of naughty Kleijs was Floris Janse Kleinjan (1769-1795) who married the widowed Jannetje Louter, who was 10 years his senior and a sister of his stepmother. Their eldest son was Pieter Florisse Kleinjan (1796-1872) who lived in Rhoon and married twice.

Jan "John" Kleinjan married Maria Adriaantje Huijgen 
on 31-10-1878 in Rhoon. 
Het nieuws van den Dag, Kleine Courant, 4-11-1878

Jan "John" Kleinjan
One of their sons was Jan Kleinjan (1852-1926). In Poortugaal Jan fathered 10 children with his first wife, Maria Adriaantje Huijgen (1854-1893). As a widower Jan decided to emigrate with his children to the USA. In 1893 they travelled with the steamship Rotterdam with captain Roggeveen from Rotterdam to New York.
Initially, Jan seemed to have settled in Iowa, and later he lived in Volga, Brookings, South Dakota. There Jan was known as "John". His second wife was Maria Heiltje Vis, known as "Mary". They had 6 additional children: Leendert (who died from the flu epidemic in WW1), Gerrit, William, Helena, Floyd, and Marion.    

J. Kleinjan and his children travelled with the S.S. Rotterdam to New York,
Het Nieuws van de Dag, Kleine Courant, 21-4-1893
The S.S. Rotterdam II, 3,329 tons; 119,56 x 11,89 meters, speed 12 knots.

Recently, my father told me a story about an American Kleinjan who wanted to visit The Netherlands shortly after World War II. Apparently, to be able to do so, he needed to own something in The Netherlands. The Kleinjan family is a family of farmers, so he decided to export 3 tractors to relatives in the Hoeksche Waard, the first tractors to arrive in that area. The money he earned with the deal was deposited on a Dutch bank, thus allowing him to visit The Netherlands.

  • "1593 's-Gravendeel 1993 (Uit de geschiedenis van een dorp aan de Kil", Stichting Jubileumboek 's-Gravendeel, 1993
  • "Rhoonse Bronnen Deel II, Dopen 1718-1812, Trouwen 1718-1811", J.H. van der Boom, K.J. Slijkerman, Werkgroep Overmaas, 2001
  •, Douglas Rozendal, 2011
  •; Het Nieuws van De Dag, Kleine Courant

17 Mar 2013

Anneke Jans and the Webber Controversy

For generations descendants of a Wolfert Webber claimed that property on Manhattan Island in New York had illegally been taken from their family by the Trinity Church.

Pieter Van Brugh (1666–1740), Mayor of Albany, New York, in the periods 1699-1700 and 1721-1723, was descended from Norwegian immigrants. His mother's parents were Anneke Jans (1605–1663) and Roelof Janse (1602–1637), who was born on a small island in Norway (that was ceded to Sweden in 1658). In New Amsterdam Roelof received a grant of 62 acres of land on the Hudson River on Manhattan Island in nowadays New York. After her husband's death in 1637, Anneke married in 1638 the Rev. Everardus Bogardus of the Trinity Dutch Reformed Church on Manhattan Island. 

Anneke Jans and Everardus Bogardus
Anneke Jans became famous through a long series of lawsuits initiated by her descendants, who claimed (1) ownership of real estate on Manhattan and (2) royal descent. 
F.A. Virkus writes in "The Compendium of American Genealogy":

"Anneke (Webber) Jans (1605-63), [..] dau. of Wolfert Webber (b 1565), 
said to have been son of William, 9th prince of Orange and later King of Holland".

It was even said that Anneke Jans, "daughter of Wolfert Webber, 4th King of Holland, whose father was William, Prince of Orange", was born in "the King's Mansion in Holland" in 1605.

The first and only person who held the title "King of Holland" was Louis Napoleon Bonaparte (1778-1846), who ruled The Netherlands in the period 1806-1810. The compendium probably refers to Prince William I "the Silent" of Orange (1533-1584), stadtholder of Holland. In 1565, the supposed birth date of Wolfert Webber, William was still married to his rich - but mad - 2nd wife, Anna of Saxony (1544-1577), while he was still married to his 4th wife when he was murdered. During his life William of Orange did recognise only one illegitimate son, Justinus (1559-1631). It wasn't until 1815 that one of William's descendants in the female line, Willem Frederik of Orange-Nassau (1772–1843), became the 1st King of The Netherlands

10 Mar 2013

Dutch Genealogy Research Tips

In 1581 The Netherlands became a republic with a confederation of autonomous provinces with their own government and a confederal government. It didn't become a united Kingdom until 1815. Through the ages baptisms, marriages and burials used to be registered in special books by pastors and priests until 1811-12, when the "Burgelijke Stand" was introduced in The Netherlands. From then on births, marriages, divorces and deaths were officially registered by a municipal officer.

Dutch Genealogical Sources

You can search for sources of Dutch birth, baptism, marriage, death and/or burial at these websites: 
  • digital resources is a site with all known links to Dutch and Belgian genealogy sources
  • has mainly birth, marriage and death records from 1811 onwards, but elder records are being added
  • features searching for records of 85 participating Dutch archives
  • hogenda genealogical sources for the Holland area of The Netherlands (parts are password-protected) - more in Holland:
  • archief brabant with genealogical sources of the Noord-Brabant area, including criminals - more in Noord-Brabant:
  • alle drenten with records of people in the Drenthe area, including people in a colony for the poor and homeless
  • zeeuwen gezocht with records of people in the Zeeland area, including crew members of ships of the Zeeland admirality
  • ga-het-na Dutch national archive with a.o. marriage, baptisms, deaths, burials, and people working for the Dutch East India Company (V.O.C.)
  • huygens knaw Dutch-Asiatic Shipping in the 17th and 18th centuries
  • with Dutch military service records in the period 1811-1940
  • delpher old Dutch newspapers

Dutch Genealogy Words

When searching for ancestors in The Netherlands, a major obstacle can be the Dutch language. Here you'll find a Dutch genealogy words list: FamilySearch's Dutch Word List.

Dutch Genealogy Research Articles

These are some English-language websites explaining aspects of genealogy research in The Netherlands:

In Holland and Brabant in the southwestern part of The Netherlands surnames were used from approximately 1700 onwards. Through the ages patronymics (surnames based on the given name of one's father) have often been used in place of family names, or as middle names. This article explains how patronymics were used in the 1600s in The Netherlands:   

Baptisms in South Holland

Alas, the links to the websites selling the Genealogy of South Holland DVD with baptisms in South Holland have become obsolete. However, their contents are now available on the Internet, and an explanation and index is available, too: Zuid-Holland Index.