Genealogie Bos

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

15 Jul 2013

Madness Monday - A woman with 69 children - or not?!

Feodor Vassilyev (±1707-1782) was a peasant from Shuya, Russia. His 1st wife (her name may have been Valentina) sets the record for most children birthed by a single woman. She gave birth to a total of 69 children. How did she do that? Well, she gave birth to 16 pairs of twins, 7 sets of triplets and 4 sets of quadruplets in the period 1725-1765 in a total of 27 births. An astounding 67 of the 69 children born are said to have survived infancy.
The French Academy of Sciences attempted to verify the claims about Vassilyev's children and contacted "M. Khanikoff of the Imperial Academy of St Petersburg for advice as to the means they should pursue, but were told by him that all investigation was superfluous, that members of the family still lived in Moscow and that they had been the object of favours from the Government". In the 1930s Julia Bell concluded that Vassilyev's case "must be regarded as under suspicion". Too good a story to be true?!

13 Jul 2013

A photo of Maaike van Driel (1859-1936), my Great Grandmother - Sepia Saturday

Recently my father's cousin, named Teun like my father, provided me with an old picture of my great grandmother on my father's side!

Her name is Maaike van Driel. She was born in Strijen, South-Holland, on December 2, 1859, as the youngest, but only surviving daughter of Paulus van Driel (1812-87) and Barbara Hoogvliet (1816-89). In the winter of 1855-56 the 5 surviving children of this couple (Grietje, Maaike, Pieter, Willempje and Kornelis) had all died, likely from the prevailing cholera epidemic, or another infectious disease. At the age of 40, Barbara had no living children left, but she managed to give birth to 3 more children of whom her son Pieter reached the age of 30, and Maaike, my great grandmother, survived to old age.

Maaike van Driel (to the left) and her daughter Barbara ("Bet") Bos (to the right).

Maaike van Driel married my great grandfather Teunis ("Teun") Bos (1853-1923) on April 21, 1880, in Strijen, and they lived on the Keizersdijk in Cillaarshoek (nowadays part of Strijen). They had 11 children and 9 of them reached the age of maturity and married. One of Maaike's children was Barbara ("Bet") Bos (1894-1980, above to the right). She married Cornelis den Tuinder and had 2 sons. The photograph above was likely taken in the 1910s before Bet's marriage. 

In old age Maaike van Driel lived with her youngest son Hendrik ("Henk") Bos, my grandfather, and his family. My father, another Teunis ("Teun") Bos, still remembers his grandmother. Maaike was 76 years old when she died on January 24, 1936.