Genealogie Bos

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

19 Nov 2020

Cornelis Hendrik Zijderveld (4x) in Rotterdam

On 3 September 1913 the body of Cornelis Hendrik Zijderveld (28) was found in the River Maas in Rotterdam. He used to work with ore. Newspapers of that date report that a 28-year-old docker was doing a job on the steamship “Bacchus”, when he fell overboard and drowned. His body was recovered on the same day.

Death registration of Cornelis Hendrik Zijderveld on 5-9-1913 in Rotterdam.
De Amsterdammer (Newspaper), 4-9-1913
De Courant (Newspaper), 4-9-1913
Cornelis Hendrik Zijderveld III was married on 9 September 1908 in Rotterdam to Geertruida Weiss (19). She was born on Rotterdam on 2 January 1889 in Rotterdam as daughter of Helena Johanna Seelbach and Georg Weiss (who was born in Buurmalsen in The Netherlands).
Cornelis Hendrik and Geertruida had a son named Cornelis Hendrik Zijderveld IV (1909-1912), and additonal daughters named Helena Johanna and Elisabeth. The widow, Geertruida Weiss, was to marry 2 more times: her 2nd husband was Adrianus Soek and her 3rd husband was Philip Ernst Oudenaarden. Geertruide Weiss died on 21 March 1961 in Rotterdam at the age of 72.

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9 Nov 2020

The family of Roel van Vuuren (1793-1859) in the USA

Roel van Vuuren, his wife Grietje and their 7 surviving children boarded the ship “Oscar” in 1848. After 6 weeks at sea, they arrived in the U.S.A. in June. Roel bought 600 acres of land north of the Little Calumet River. Historically, the Little Calumet River and the Grand Calumet River were one, the former flowing west from Indiana into Illinois, then turning back east to its mouth at Lake Michigan.
In the USA, Roel busied himself with farming, stock raising, and fishing. He is said to have been a tall man, while his wife was short.
Roel's children married into other Dutch families in the area. Two of Roel's daughters, Anna and Teuntje, married 2 brothers De Jong. Three other children married into the Gouwens family. 

Roel van Vuuren was born on 1 September 1793 in Streefkerk, Holland, as a son of Lambert van Vuuren (1759-1845) and his wife Neeltje Huisman. Roel was married on 17 October 1818 in Giessen-Nieuwkerk, Holland, to Grietje Baardwijk. Grietje was born on 7 May 1797 in Giessen-Nieuwkerk as a daughter of Giel Baardwijk and Gerritje Huisman, a sister of Neeltje Huisman (see below).

Dirk Huisman
Neeltje Huisman
Lammert van Vuuren
Gerrigje Huisman
Giel Baardwijk
Roel van Vuuren
Grietje Baardwijk
Anna van Vuuren
Arie de Jong
Teuntje van Vuuren
Jan de Jong

28 Oct 2020

Revisited - Barend Verkerk (1823-1905) and family

Recently I wrote about the marriage of Barend Verkerk (1823-1905) and his first cousin Aartje Verkerk who were both illegitimate children. Barend was a little man with a height of around 121 cm. His face and chin were rounded, and his mouth was small. His eyes were blue, his eyebrows were blond, and his head was bald. Because Barend was so small, he did not have to do military service.
AmmerstolHis height was not the only striking thing about Barend. Before Barend’s birth, the name Barend was not in use in the Verkerk family of Ammerstol and Bergambacht. Thus, it’s likely Barend was named after his unknown father.

What we do know is that Barend Verkerk was born on 28 June 1823 in Ammerstol as an illegitimate son of Geertje Verkerk (1793-1842) who had been widowed since 31 July 1818. You can find a small family tree of Geertje’s parents and grandparents in my previous blog post about Barend’s marriage.
We don’t know what Barend’s mother Geertje looked like, but she had 3 brothers who were described when they were conscripted for military service, and they all had brown eyes with black eyebrows and black hair:
  • Pieter Verkerk (1781-1855) had a height of around 150 cm. He was round-faced with a broad forehead, a small nose and a rounded chin. His eyes were brown and his hair and eyebrows were black. 
  • Arij Verkerk (1784-1834) had a height of around 136 cm. He was narrow-faced with a flat forehead, a small nose and a rounded chin. His eyes were brown and his hair and eyebrows were black. He had rings in his ears.
  • Jan Verkerk (1799-1849) had a height of around 141 cm. His face was oval-shaped with a high forehead, big nose, and rounded chin. His eyes were brown and his hair and eyebrows were black. His skin was pockmarked.
At the website I found one man with the Christian name Barend who was living in Ammerstol at the time of Barent's birth: Barend Zaanen. Barend Zaanen was born on 27 November and baptized on 3 December 1797 in Ammerstol. His parents are Anna Verschoor (1778-1809) and Willem Saanen (1772-1811). Barend’s great-grandfather is my ancestor Willem Saan.
At the age of 25, Barend Zaanen was married on 26 July 1823 in Ammerstol to 22-year-old Maria Verkerk who was heavily pregnant at the time. On 11 August 1823 in Ammerstol, Maria gave birth to a daughter named Aartje. Aartje may have been named after Maria’s father Arij Verkerk who had died in 1812.
Maybe Barend Zaanen got 2 women pregnant in the winter of 1822-23: Geertje Verkerk (aged 30, who named her illegitimate son Barend) and Maria Verkerk (22) whom he married.

  Description of Barend Zaanen in 1823     Description of Barend Verkerk in 1850  
Barend Zaanen had a height of around 137 cm. His nose was small, he had a rounded chin, his eyes were brown and his eyebrows and hair were dark brown. He had rings in his ears. People with brown eyes and a dark hair color can get a blond and blue-eyed child if both parents have some - more or less distant - ancestors with blond hair and blue eye. So, the difference in eye and hair coloring between Barend Zaanen and Barend Verkerk does not exclude a familial relation. What both men did have in common is a rounded face and a small nose. Barend Verkerk was around 15 cm smaller than Barend Zaanen, whose height was equal to that of Barend's shortest uncle, Arij Verkerk.

19 Oct 2020

William Marius Branderhorst (1898-1976) travelled to Pella

William Marius Branderhorst of Pella, Iowa, was born on 17 December 1863 in Genderen, Brabant, The Netherlands as Willem Marius, younger son of Gerrit Branderhorst (1826-1911) and his first wife Peterke van Gammeren (1823-1866). Peterke died on 30 July 1866 at the age of 43, leaving 6 young children.
Widower Gerrit Branderhorst, aged 49, was married secondly on 15 March 1876 to 23-year-old Pieternella van Wijk (1852-1924). They had at least 4 additional children.
William Marinus and his father Gerrit are male-line descendants of an earlier Gerrit Branderhorst (1680-±1749) who is also my ancestor. The area where this line of the Branderhorst lived was dotted with 3 villages: Heesbeen, Eethen and Genderen.

At the age of 24, William Marius was married on 2 August 1888 to Maria Johanna van Beek. She was born on 30 April 1869 in Genderen as daughter of Gijsbert van Beek (1827-1900) and Emmeke Bax (1835-1904. Her brother Lambert Gijsbert (1867-1941) had earlier married Hester Margaretha Branderhorst (1861-1942), a full sister of William Marius.
Soon, approximately every 1½ year Maria Johanna gave birth to a new child. One of their children, Gijsbert, had died in 1898 at the age of 6.
After the birth of their 14th child, Lambert, William Marius and his wife and 13 children left The Netherlands on the S.S. Rotterdam. William Marius was already fluent in English, and travelled second class. On board he made acquaintance of the novelist Newton Booth Tarkington (1869–1946). Their ship with its 1,243 passengers arrived in the U.S.A. in 1908.

Dagblad van Noord-Brabant (newspaper), 16-9-1908

8 Oct 2020

Longevity ~ Pieter Verkerk (103)

Pieter Verkerk was born on 2 March 1857 in Bergambacht, Holland. He was the 3rd of 5 children of Barend Verkerk (1823-1905) and Aartje Verkerk (1821-1862) who were first cousins. At the age of 5, Pieter lost his mother. At the age of 8, Pieter gained a stepmother, Johanna van Eijl (1824-1868). Pieter lost his elder brother Jan (18) when he was 15. Like his father, Pieter was exempted from military service due to his short height.

On 28 Febraury 1885 in Ammerstol, Holland, Pieter Verkerk married Arigje de Vries. Arigje was born on 28 September 1863 in Bergambacht. At the time, her mother, Jacoba Looren de Jong (1941-1926), was still unmarried. Eight months later, when Jacoba married Adriaan de Vries (1841-1928) on 28 May 1864 in Ammerstol, Adriaan acknowledged Arigje as being his daughter, and gave her his surname. Thus, Adriaan de Vries was Arigje's legal father, but that doesn't mean he was also her biological father. Arigje may have been named after her mother's father Arie Looren de Jong. Both her uncles Willem (1838-1931) and Huijbert (1843-1924) Looren de Jong had a daughter named Arigje, too. 
On 3 August 1885 in Ammerstol, Pieter Verkerk and Arigje de Vries had a son Jan, but sadly he died on 30 September.  

De Volkskrant (newspaper), 10-5-1960
At some point in time, the couple moved to Germany. There, Pieter Verkerk created and repaired fishing nets for a living. His wife Arigje died in Germany.
After World War II, Pieter Verkerk returned to The Netherlands. He met his niece for the first time, and stayed with her in Hoorn. At the age of 103, Pieter Verkerk died in Hoorn on 7 May 1960. He was buried on the 11th.
Pieter Verkerk died at the age of 103

30 Sept 2020

Sisters Pieternella and Peterke van Gammeren

The sisters Pieternella and Peterke van Gammeren were living in the 19th century in an area in Brabant, The Netherlands, with the villages Eethen, Genderen and Heesbeen. Their parents are Cornelis van Gammeren (1769-1845) and his wife Johanna Vos (1791-1869) who were married on 9 December 1814. Johanna is a daughter of Peter Vos and Petronella van Steenhoven.
The couple's eldest daughter was named Catharina after her paternal grandmother. On 5 March 1821 a daughter was born that was named Pieternella after her maternal grandmother. The next daughter was born on 6 July 1823, and named Peterke after her maternal grandfather. However, names like Pieternella, Petronella, Peterke, Pietertje, Pietje and Petra are basically different forms of the same name, a female version of the biblical male name Peter.

Eethen (left), Genderen (middle) and Heesbeen (right)
The first sibling to get married was Catharina van Gammeren (1819-1888) who was married on 27 May 1841. The groom was Gerrit Branderhorst, son of Dirk Branderhorst (1786-1864) and Aletta Antonetta Verdoorn (1786-1885), and a male-line descendant of my ancestor Gerrit Branderhorst (1680-±1749).
Catharina and Gerrit were to have several children, including Cornelis, Johanna, Aletta Antonetta and  Arie Lambert.

Pieternella van Gammeren, the second sibling, was married on 31 March 1843 to Jan Dirk van den Heuvel. He was born on 19 March 1817 in Genderen. His parents are Aletta Branderhorst (1793-1848) and her first husband Cornelis van de Heuvel. Aletta is also a descendant of my ancestor Gerrit Branderhorst.
Pieternella and Jan Dirk were to have 11 children, including Aletta Johanna, Johanna Cornelia, Cornelis, Cornelia Pieternella, Pietertje, Labina, Labinus and Jansje van den Heuvel (1859-1945).

Peterke van Gammeren, the third sibling, was married on 14 February 1845 to Hermen van der Beek. He was born in Waalwijk on 23 December 1816 as son on merchant Cornelis van der Beek and his wife Antonia Branderhorst (1790-1818). Hermen van der Beek died on 1 March 1855, aged 38. His widow was 31 years old, and childless.
Peterke was remarried on 27 March 1856 to 29-year-old Gerrit Branderhorst. He was born on 26 October 1826 as son of Johannis Branderhorst (1789-1865) and Hester Millenaar. Peterke's second father-in-law was a brother of her first mother-in-law. Those siblings Johannis and Antonia Branderhorst are also descendants of my ancestor Gerrit Branderhorst.
Peterke and Gerrit are the parents of Johanna Hester, Johannis Cornelis, Cornelis Johannis, Hester Margaretha, Willem Marius and Petertje Gerritje Branderhorst.