Genealogie Bos

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

29 Aug 2018

3 Otterspoor brothers in Australia

The Australian Anzacs website shows the records for Dutch immigrants in Australia who enlisted as soldiers in World War I. Among them are 3 brothers of the Otterspoor family: Servaas (“John”), Arnoldus (“Harry”) and Franciscus Jacobus (“Frank”). John Otterspoor is listed in 1917 as being an engineer, born in Utrecht, The Netherlands, aged 24 years and 2 months, and married to "Trintje". In fact, John and Arnold were born as twins in Utrecht on 19-11-1892. Their mother was 19-year-old and single Hendrika Johanna van Kesteren. She was born on 7-10-1873 in Amersfoort. Her parents are Arnoldus van Kesteren and Engelina Welling.

Servaas ("John")
   Arnoldus ("Harry")
Franciscus Jacobus ("Frank")

25 Aug 2018

Four Degrees of Separation

separation degrees among generationsRandy Seaver offered the following Saturday Night Genealogy Fun challenge:
Using your ancestral lines, how far back in time can you go with FOUR degrees of separation? That means “you knew an ancestor, who knew another ancestor, who knew another ancestor, who knew another ancestor.” When was that fourth ancestor born?
That's not an easy challenge, for my oldest grandparent, my maternal grandfather, was born when all his grandparents had already died, so I had to pick another grandparent. With my paternal grandfather I had the same issue. Then I stumbled upon missing ancestors because I have a lot of ancestors in places with missing baptism records like Hendrik-Ido-Ambacht, Sint-Anthoniepolder, Wieldrecht and 's-Gravendeel, all in Holland. 
W.C. Zijderveld

I also found out that to establish this line, and make sure they knew each other, I had to turn the definition around into "that ancestor knew that descendant" for a baby or toddler may not remember someone.

Here is my line:
  1. I knew my maternal grandmother Willempje Cornelia Zijderveld (1892-1976).
  2. She knew her maternal grandmother Adriana de Sterke (1829-1917).
  3. Adriana knew her paternal grandfather Pieter de Sterke (1765-1842).
  4. His double grandmother Lijsbet Kevers (1703-1767) knew him. Pieter was Lijsbeth's grandson both through her daughter Maria de Sterke (1730-1806) and her son David de Sterke (1733-1797). 
They were all born in Dordrecht in Holland.

I want to thank Randy Seaver and Yvette Hoitink for the inspiration.

21 Aug 2018

Tuesday's Twins - Daniel & Cornelis Bakker

The twins Daniel and Cornelis Bakker were baptized in Sliedrecht on August 24, 1721. Their parents were Pieter Bakker and Neeltje Bisschop. The witnesses at their baptism were Jan (son of Daniel)  Bakker, Kundertje (daughter of Pieter) Visser, Arijen (son of Cornelis) Hofman and Zijchje (daugher of Leendert).

Daniel & Cornelis, sons of Pieter Bakker & Neeltje Bisschop, were baptized on August 24, 1721, in Sliedrecht.
Both Daniel and Cornelis reached the age of maturity. Daniel was buried in Sliedrecht on June 15, 1747. Cornelis was married to Grietje Barents Hovestadt who originated in Werkendam. They had a son Barent Bakker baptized on March 17, 1743, in Sliedrecht. In 1772 in Leyden, Holland, Barent was married to Geertruij (daughter of Teunis) Slijkhuijs who originated in Twello. At the baptism of their daughter Margrieta on September 21, 1774, in Leyden, Cornelis Bakker and Grietje Hovestadt were the witnesses.


13 Aug 2018

Madness Monday ~ Edmund Frowein (1813-90) was locked up

Edmund Frowein was baptized on December 19, 1813, in Zevenaar in The Netherlands. His father, trader Frederik Frowein, was born in Zevenaar around 1784. His mother, Anna Dorothea Frederica Ronstorff, was born in Düsseldorf in Germany. The notice of marriage for Edmund’s parents was registered on February 7, 1813, in Zevenaar. Subsequently the wedding ceremony took place in Düsseldorf.

Edmund’s younger brothers Wilhelm and Julius Frowein were baptized in Zevenaar on March 16, 1815, and June 30, 1816, respectively. Wilhelm and Julius were married in Nijkerk, The Netherlands, in 1843-44 to 2 sisters, Dina and Carolina Marcus, daughters of Jacob Marcus and Elisabeth Jacobs. Wilhelm and Julius both had children. Edmund, however, remained a bachelor.

Arnhemsche Courant, 11-1-1845
Edmund was described as “innocent” and locked up in a lunatic asylum in Deventer, The Netherlands. The Law Court in Arnhem established a guardianship for Edmund on January 6, 1845. His administrator was his father.

6 Aug 2018

Married for just a few weeks: Johannis Brouwer (1770-1802)

Johannis Brouwer was baptized on April 15, 1770, in Alblasserdam, Holland. Witnesses at his baptism were Isaac de Ridder and Jannetje Heukelman. His parents are Wouter Brouwer (1740-1825) and Maria Heukelman. His paternal grandparents are my ancestors Andries Brouwer (1711-1770) and Dilliaantje Spruijt (1717-1807). Johannes grew up with his elder siblings Lijsje Brouwer (1765-1847) and Andries Brouwer (1766-1847).

On April 16, 1802, in Alblasserdam, a notice of marriage was registered for Johannis Brouwer (32) and Anna van de Graaf (33). Anne had been baptized on April 9, 1769, in nearby Oud-Alblas. Her parents were Jillis van de Graaf and Grietje Harwig. After her father's death, Anna's mother had married Cornelis Prins on March 7, 1777, and Jan Zaanen on September 7, 1780. Grietje Harwig died around 1782, while Anna was still a teenager. Anna de Graaf and Johannis Brouwer were married on May 3.

Johannis Brouwer was married in 1802 in Alblasserdam
Just 19 days after their marriage, on May 22, Johannis Brouwer was buried in Alblasserdam, leaving Anna a widow. Like him, Johannes' siblings remained childless, so on February 19, 1848, in Dordrecht, Holland, the inheritance of his last surviving sibling Andries was distributed among their cousins, nephews and nieces, including my ancestor Anna Keesmaat (1778-1850), widow of Gerrit Stolk (1778-1846).

Anna van de Graaf remained a widow for 12 years. Finally, on June 9, 1814, in nearby Papendrecht Anna (45) married Wijnand Otto (35). He was baptized on February 2, 1779, in Papendrecht, and his parents were Jan Otto and Sijgje Muijen. Likely due to the bride’s age, this marriage remained childless too. Anna van de Graaf died on September 16, 1831, in Papendrecht, aged 62. Her widower Wijnand Otto died on July 26, 1845, aged 66.

Sources: G. Gouweneel’s Alblasserdam CD, Families of South Holland CD ("Klappers"),