Genealogie Bos

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

26 Dec 2013

Interesting Blog Posts of 2013

Happy New Year to my readers! I've already prepared new posts for January, so stay tuned. Meanwhile, here is a list of links to interesting blog posts of this year. At the top mostly my own blog posts, some are my own favorites, others are the most popular posts of 2013. Other people's blog posts I like are prefixed with the blog name. Enjoy!

Genealogy Tips

Black Sheep & Other Madness

30 Nov 2013

Juliane of Salm gave birth within 2½ months of her marriage

On 18-11-1642 the Wittelsbacher Count Palatine Georg Wilhelm (1591-1669) divorced Countess Juliane of Salm (1616-±1647) because she had given birth within only 2½ months of their marriage. 

Juliane of Salm was the youngest daughter of Johann (1582-1630), Wild- und Rheingraf in Grumbach und Rheingrafenstein and Countess Anna Juliane von Mansfeld (1591-±1626), thus Juliane had been an orphan since around the age of 14.

Birkenfeld Castle

Juliane married Count Palatine George Wilhelm on 30-11-1641 in his castle in Birkenfeld. He was 25 years her senior. Juliane gave birth within 2½ months of the wedding ceremony on 14-2-1642. The child had been fathered by Count Johann Ludwig of Salm-Dhaun (1620-1673) who belonged to another branche of the same family. On 30-10-1643, however, Johan Ludwig married another relative instead, Elisabeth of Salm-Neuviller (1620-1653).

19 Nov 2013

Cornelis Geeritsz de Haen drowned in 1648 in Brazil after falling off a bridge

This is a story about Cornelis de Haen from Dordrecht, The Netherlands, who fell off a bridge in Brazil.

Maeijken Jansdr de Ridder was born in Dordrecht. Maeijken married 
(1) Cornelis Geeritsz de Haen on 4-9-1639 in Dordrecht, after their intention to marry had been registered on 21-8-1639. Cornelis drowned on 1-5-1648 in a river after falling off a bridge in the Pernambuco area in Brazil. 
(2) Cornelis Pietersz Brand on 4-2-1649 in Dordrecht, after their intention to marry had been registered on 31-1-1649
Both of Maeijken's husbands were born in Dordrecht. Maeijken had a son Pieter with her 2nd husband, baptised on 22-9-1649 in Dordrecht. 

After returning from Brazil Cornelis Volckersz. van Embden and Hendrick Helmich gave a testimony on 29-1-1649 in Dordrecht about the drowning of Cornelis Geeritsz. de Haen in a river between Mauritsstad and Recife after falling off a bridge together with another, unknown man. Grietge Jansdr., widow of Boudewijn Dircxsz., Cathelijn Jansdr. Goetleth, wife of Frans Fransz. Dermoeijen, currently in Brazil, and Willemken Jans, sister of Seger Jansz. van Geelkercken, currently in Brazil too, declared they had received letters from their relatives describing how De Haen was drowned. Due to those testimonies Maeijken was able to remarry. 

Strangely, a Cornelis de Haen from Dordrecht is also mentioned on a list of soldiers who died on 19-2-1649 in the battle of Guarapes in the Pernambuco area. If that really is Maeijken's husband, her marriage on 31-1-1649 was bigamous and her son illegitimate. 


6 Nov 2013

Habsburg Inbreeding: Charles II of Spain (1661-1700)

The Habsburg Kings of Spain descended from Queen Joanna "The Mad" of Castile (1479-1555), who was mentally unstable and prone to fly into rages. Her descendants increased her inheritance by inbreeding: they preferred to marry either their cousin or their niece. These incestuous marriages resulted in the mentally and physically handicapped King Charles II (1661-1700), who possessed the physical peculiarities of the Habsburgs to an extent that made him little short of a monstrosity. 
The Habsburg King Charles II of Spain (to the right) was sadly degenerated with an enormous misshapen head. His Habsburg jaw stood so much out that his two rows of teeth could not meet; he was unable to chew. His tongue was so large that he was barely able to speak. His intellect was similarly disabled. His brief life consisted chiefly of a passage from prolonged infancy to premature senility. Charles was unable to walk properly, because his legs would not support him and he fell often. His body remained that of an invalid child. He was a mentally retarded and hypersensitive monarch, who grew steadily worse over the years. By the age of 35 his hair had fallen out, his teeth were nearly gone and his eyesight was failing. "Many people tell me," Charles II once said, "I am bewitched and I well believe it; such are the things I experience and suffer." 
Charles II of Spain was the result of generations of inbreeding within the Habsburg family. His mother was a daughter of his father's sister who had married her cousin the Emperor Ferdinand II. His great-grandfather, Philip II of Spain, too, had married a daughter of his sister who had married her cousin the Emperor Maximilian II. As a result, Charles II of Spain descended multiple times from Joanna "The Mad" as shown below. 

9 Oct 2013

Descendants of Evert Jansz Bos in the USA

Bos is a very common surname in The Netherlands. Many non-related families with that surname can be found all over the country. One particular family starts with Evert Jansz Bos who had many descendants in Veenendaal, The Netherlands.

One of the many descendants of Evert Jansz Bos was Dirk Drost, born on 13 May 1865 in Veenendaal. He descended from Gerrigje Everts Bos (1758-1814) who had married a Van Kooten. Dirk Drost was married on 4 March 1896 in Rhenen to Carolina Robbertsen. On 5-11-1904 they departed with the "SS Rijndam" from Rotterdam, arriving in New York on "Ellis Island" on 16-11-1904. They had 5 children.

31 Aug 2013

Surname Saturday - The most common surnames in Europe

In many areas around the world, patronyms predate the use of family names. A patronym, orpatronymic suffix, is a component of a personal name based on the given name of one's father, grandfather or an even earlier male ancestor. In Europe many surnames originate from patronyms.
An example is the nr. 7 surname in England: Johnson (0.37%) that originally meant "son of John". On the Faroe Islands Johannesen ranks nr. 7, too (1.09%). In Norway Johansen ranks nr. 2, but the nr. 1, Hansen, is just a shortened version of the same name. In Sweden Johansson is the nr. 1 name (0.16%).  In The Netherlands Jansen ranks nr. 2 with 0.46%, but when the closely related Dutch surnames Jansen, Janssen and Janse are combined, they rank nr. 1. The top 2 names in Belgium are patronyms, too: Peeters and Janssens, names mostly used in Flanders. 
In Russia the surname Ivanov (Ivan's/John's) ranks 2nd (1.30%). That surname is also popular is Estonia and Bulgaria. Jovanović (son of Jovan/John), ranks 1st in Serbia. The prefix Ó in Ireland means "descendant of", while the prefix Mac/Mc means "son of". Nowadays, Icelandic law still favors the use of patronyms - or more recently, matronyms - over family names.

12 Aug 2013

Madness Monday - Death by Beard

A 16th century Austrian, Hans Steininger, was famous for having the world's longest beard - and for dying because of it. Hans was proud of his nearly 1.4 m. long beard. He used to keep his beard rolled up in a leather pouch, but failed to do so one day in 1567. 
A fire broke out in his town that day, and in his haste to evacuate, Hans forgot to roll up his beard. H accidentally stepped on his beard, lost balance and stumbled. Apparently, he fell down the stairs and broke his neck. 

See also:

7 Aug 2013

Wordless Wednesday - Giving birth in Pennsylvania

Giving birth in Pennsylvania

Source: Vries, L. de, Ha dokter Ho dokter (Knotsgekke Geneeskunde Uit Grootvaders Tijd), 1980

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. 

17 Jun 2013

Mariner Monday - Thomas Brullee's Whaling Expeditions

Whaling is the hunting of whales primarily for meat and oil. The species hunted in the Arctic Ocean was the Bowhead Whale, a baleen whale that yielded large quantities of oil and baleen. The whales entered the fjords in the spring following the breakup of the ice. They were spotted by the whalemen from suitable vantage points, and pursued. The whale was harpooned and lanced to death. It was either towed to the stern of the ship, or to the shore at low tide, where men with long knives would cut up the blubber. The blubber was boiled in large copper kettles and cooled in large wooden vessels, after which it was funneled into casks. The stations at first only consisted of tents of sail and crude furnaces, but were soon replaced by more permanent structures of wood and/or brick. 

Encouraged by reports of whales off the coast of Spitsbergen (Svalbard) in 1610, an English whaling expedition was send there the following year. The expedition was a disaster, with both ships sent being lost and the crews returning on another ship. The following year 2 more ships were sent. Other countries followed suit, with Amsterdam and San Sebastian each sending a ship north. The latter ship returned to Spain with a full cargo of oil. Such a fabulous return resulted in 1613 in a fleet of whaleships being sent to Spitsbergen. The English send 7 ships, backed by a monopoly charter granted by King James I. They met with 20 other whaleships, including 3 Dutch ships. 

Early in 1614 the Dutch formed the Noorsche Compagnie (Northern Company), a cartel composed of several independent chambers (each representing a particular port). In 1615 the Dutch arrived with a fleet of 11 ships and 3 men-of-war under Adriaen Block (±1567-1627). They built the 1st permanent structure on Spitsbergen: a wooden hut to store their equipment in. The following year, 1616, the English, with a fleet of 10 ships, occupied all the major harbors, appropriated the Dutch hut, and made a rich haul, while the Dutch, preoccupied with the isle of Jan Mayen, only sent 4 ships to Spitsbergen, which "kept together in odd places... and made a poor voyage". 

In 1619 the Dutch and Danes, who had sent their 1st whaling expedition to Spitsbergen in 1617, firmly settled themselves on Amsterdam Island, a small island on the northwestern tip of Spitsbergen, which came to be called "Smeerenburg". The English did the same in the fjords to the south. 
Beginning in the 1630s, for the Dutch at least, whaling expanded into the open sea. Gradually whaling in the open sea and along the ice floes to the west of Spitsbergen replaced bay whaling. At first the blubber was tried out at the end of the season at Smeerenburg, or elsewhere along the coast, but after mid-century the stations were abandoned entirely in favor of processing the blubber upon the return of the ship to port. The English meanwhile stuck resolutely to bay whaling, and didn't make the transfer to offshore whaling until long after.

One of my ancestors, Thomas Thomasz Brullee, was commander on the ship "D'Zee Egel" in 1687. The ship had trouble with leakage and broken pumps and returned without cargo. In 1712 Thomas was commander on the the ship "'t Dortse Lam" when the ship was attacked in the Arctic Ocean by French pirates who stole the cargo. Thomas is not a typical Dutch name; his ancestors may have originated in Great-Britain. 

27 May 2013

Madness Monday - The longest beard

Hans Nilsen Langseth was nicknamed "King Whiskers" for holding the record for the world's longest beard, 18 feet and 6 inches long. He used to roll it up and tuck it into his coat or vest, which hid much of it. 

This is a portrait of Hans Nilsen Langseth, aged 68.
Mr. Langseth is seated in an ornate chair with
his beard draped over his shoulder and down again.

Mr. Langseth was born on July 14, 1846, in Norway to Nils Olsen Langseth and Marthe Gulbrandsen Overholtet. Like at least 3 of his brothers, Mr. Langset made his way to the USA. With his wife Anne Benson he had 6 children. 
Mr. Langseth spent much of his life as a farmer. For a while, however, he traveled with a circus show, exhibiting his beard to the public, but he soon tired of people yanking his whiskers to see if they were real.

Hans (to the right) with his children Pete, John, Emma, Martin and Nels. 
When Mr. Langseth passed away on November 10, 1927, one of his children - to the displeasure of his other siblings - cut his father's beard. It is preserved in the Smithsonian at Washingon, D.C. 

14 May 2013

Jamestown Colonists Resorted to Cannibalism

Archaeologists have discovered the first physical evidence of cannibalism by desperate English colonists driven by hunger during the Starving Time of 1609-1610 at Jamestown, Virginia, the first permanent English settlement in the New World. 

There are 5 historical accounts written by or about Jamestown colonists that reference cannibalism, but this is the 1st time it’s been proven. Portions of the butchered skull and shinbone of a 14-year-old girl from England were unearthed by Jamestown archaeologists last year. They found the remains about 0.8 meters down in a 17th century trash deposit in the cellar of a building built in 1608 inside the James Fort site. 

Multiple chop and cut marks are found on the girl’s skull that were made by one or more assailants after she died. Four closely spaced chop marks in her forehead indicated a failed attempt to split her skull open. The close proximity of the unsuccessful blows indicates that she was already dead, or they would have been more haphazard. There were numerous cuts, saw marks, and gouges along her lower jaw made by the tip of a knife to get to the meat, and to remove throat tissue and the tongue. The girl's hair was not removed. 

The girl probably originated from the southern coast of England, based on a comparison of oxygen isotopes in her tooth and oxygen isotopes found in groundwater samples from the area. Although only part of the skull is still intact, researchers were able to produce a facial reconstruction by digitally creating a 3-D skull as is shown to the right. 

The girl may have arrived at Jamestown in August of 1609 on one of six ships from England that had survived a hurricane during their crossing. The new arrivals’ food stores were spoiled or depleted - most of their provisions were lost when the flagship Sea Venture shipwrecked during the storm - and many of them were in poor health. When the 300 new settlers arrived, having suffered from diseases and food shortages at sea, the Jamestown colonists were already starving due to increasing demands for food from nearby Indian tribes, coupled with severe drought conditions. 

By November Indians were laying siege to Jamestown, cutting the colonists off from outside help. At first the settlers ate their horses, then their dogs and cats. Jamestown residents also ate rats, mice, and snakes. Some colonists ate their boots, shoes, and any other leather they could find. Others left the fort to search for roots in the woods, but were killed by the Indians. As the siege continued into the winter the famine increased and "nothing was spared to maintain life and to do those things which seem incredible, as to dig up dead corpse out of graves and to eat them, and some have licked up the blood which hath fallen from their weak fellows". How many of the dead were cannibalized is unknown, but the girl   found by archaeologists was not an isolated case, according to historical accounts. 

The colony was saved that spring by the arrival of settlers who had been shipwrecked with the Sea Venture in Bermuda. They had built themselves a new boat and brought in much-needed supplies. They were followed soon after by Lord de la Warr, Jamestown’s first governor, who brought in additional supplies - a year’s worth - and even more colonists. 

Source: Neely, P.: Jamestown Colonists Resorted to Cannibalism, National GeographicSee also:

28 Apr 2013

Look out for improbable dates

To have a critical look at the dates in your genealogy database once in a while is a good idea. If you are looking at part of a pedigree you haven't viewed for a while, just start adding up and subtracting the numbers and evaluate the result. Look for dates that create improbable or impossible situations for your ancestors. Were children born in the same year, less than 9 months apart? Do the ages that events were supposed to happen add up? Were your ancestors married during childhood, or are women having children at an advanced age? 
All of these indicate that either the dates are wrong, or the people are misidentified. Poor math can also result in the skipping of a generation. 

To check for errors, you can use genealogical analysis programs like these: 
  • The Genealogica Grafica tool does thorough tests on GedCom consistency, like finding subsequent births within 9 months.
  • The website Bonkers can identify groups of claims that are inconsistent with each other.  
  • Analyze is a command line program for displaying unconnected individuals in any GedCom file.
  • GedCom View and Compare visualizes differences in the data of persons included in two GEDCOM files.
  • The program GedCompare searches for possible double persons in a GedCom file. 
  • With GenMerge you can find possible double persons in a GedCom file and merge them, when needed. 
  • When submitting a GedCom file to the Ged-InLine website, a report is produced with warnings about deviations from strict GedCom. 
  • The GedCom Service Programs checks GedCom files for duplicate entries and logical errors and allows a merging of duplicate persons. Additionally, a selection of a GedCom file can be exported, when you want to share only part of your data with someone. 

Een Nederlandse versie van deze pagina vind je op mijn Genealogie Bos Blog.

10 Apr 2013

1816, "The Year Without a Summer"

Starting on 10-4-1815, a series of explosions of the Tambora vulcano triggered a 'Volcanic Winter' all over the world, ultimately causing the worst famines of the 19th century both in Europe and the USA. It also caused spectacularly coloured sunsets throughout the world, and global temperatures dropped by as much as 0.3°C in 1816.

The Tambora is one of Indonesia’s 130 active volcanoes, still standing at a gigantic 2800 m. on the northern Sumbawa Island. Prior to the enormous 1815 eruption it had shown no signs of volcanic activity for a thousand years.

On 10-4-1815, however, the first of a series of eruptions sent ash 20 miles into the atmosphere, covering the island with ash to a height of 1.5 meters. Five days late, the Tambora erupted violently once again, expelling so much ash that the sun was not seen for several days. The series of explosions continued for 4 months. 

Red-hot stones rained down after the grumbling volcano finally blew, and nearby settlements were completely engulfed in lava. 
Debris, particles and sulphur components were blown into the higher layers of the atmosphere. All vegetation on the island was destroyed by the noxious ash, and the resulting poisoned rain. Floating islands of pumice 3 miles long were observed before the coast, and even 4 years later these islands still hindered navigation. In all, so much rock and ash was thrown out of the Tambora that the height of the volcano was reduced by 1400 m. An astounding 70,000 people may have died in Indonesia as a result of burning, starvation, or poisonous gasses. 

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.

17 Jan 2013

Bos is a common name in The Netherlands

The Dutch word for "wood'" is "bos". Bos is also a very common surname in The Netherlands. Many non-related families with that surname can be found all over the country. My paternal ancestors with the name Bos have always lived on an island in the south of Holland called "Hoeksche Waard". 

The Hoeksche Waard is an island in the south of Holland 

My family likely started with Gijsbert Gerrits ("Gijsbert, son of Gerrit") who married around 1600 a woman called Centje Cente ("Centje, daughter of Cent"). Ever since the name "Cent" has been given to males in our family. Since "Cent" is not a common given name, the name combined with the location uniquely identifies our family.
Gijsbert and Centje lived in Puttershoek in the "Hoeksche Waard", located near the cities of Rotterdam and Dordrecht. After the reclamation of the polders that nowadays surround the village of Numansdorp, the Bos family moved to Middelsluis, just north of Numansdorp.

Cent Leenderts Bos (1788-1869) and Barbara van der Giessen (±1787-±1854) were the couple who decided to settle in Cillaarshoek, some kilometres south of Puttershoek. My male ancestors have lived in Cillaarshoek for over 200 years, and some family members are still living there. 
Members of other branches of this Bos family still live in Numansdorp. The name Cent is no longer used in those branches, but, like in our branch, the name Cornelis is common. The branches in Numansdorp also feature male names like Huib(ert) and Meeuw(is), names that are not used in our branch of the family. 

In the village of Heerjansdam on the isle of IJsselmonde to the north of the Hoeksche Waard lived another family with the name Bos. That family started with Cornelis Pieters Bos(ch) who married twice and baptised children in Heerjansdam. A member of that family, Adrianus Bos, lived with his wife Neeltje Verrijp in Oud-Beijerland in the northwestern part of the Hoeksche Waard.

Yet another family with the name Bos started - as far as I know - with a Cornelis Bos(ch), who was baptised in 1711 in Tricht. His son Hendrik Bos (1734-76) moved to Oud-Alblas in the Alblasserwaard. His youngest son was named Aalbert, a name that clearly distinguishing that family. This Aalbert Bos (1770-1852) moved to Geervliet. His son Cornelis Bos (1807-89) moved to Numansdorp. There he married twice and fathered 9 children. 

In Vlaardingen lived yet another family with the name Bos. Willem Bos was baptised on 3-10-1706 in Nieuwerkerk. He became a mason and moved to Kethel near Schiedam. His son Jan Willemse Bos (1744-1808) moved to nearby Vlaardingen. His younger son Adrianus Bos (1778-1861) moved to nearby Maasland, but his elder son Willem Jans Bos (1766-1847) remained in Vlaardingen, as did his elder sons. 

And these are just examples of different families with the name Bos in the area to the south of Rotterdam.