Genealogie Bos

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

26 Nov 2018

Dutchman Frans Slierkamp disappeared in Indonesia ~ Mariner Monday

Gouda, Holland
Frans Slierkamp was baptized on August 5, 1759, in Gouda, Holland. The witness at his baptism was his aunt Marrighie Willems Rietvelt. Frans' parents are Gijsbert Slierekamp, who was born in Utrecht, and his wife Pieternella Booij. She's a daughter of my ancestors Abraham Booij and Neeltje Snoeij (1696-1755) who were living in Gouderak, Holland. Frans Slierkamp was his parent's eldest surviving son, and he was named after his paternal grandfather. Additionally, Frans had had an uncle named Frans Slierekamp, born in 1714, who had boarded a ship for Indonesia in 1735, and nothing of him had ever since been heard.

Frans boarded the new ship "Regt door Zee" as a sailor before it departed from Goeree in Holland on November 11, 1787, for its maiden voyage. The ship was owned by the Chamber of Delft, part of the Dutch East India Company (V.O.C.). It contained 176 sailors, 77 soldiers, 14 artisans and 3 passengers. The captain was Dirk Varkevisser. A long-distance voyage was hard on the health of a sailing ship’s crew. During the first 2-3 months of the voyage newcomers aboard usually developed scurvy due to a vitamin C deficiency.
In April 1788 the ship arrived on the 4th at Cape of Good Hoop in South-Africa, and departed on the 30th with fresh supplies. The ship arrived in Batavia (nowadays Jakarta) in Indonesia on August 20th.
When it was time for his return voyage, Frans Slierkamp didn't turn up. He had disappeared like his uncle.

Salery and expences of Frans Slierkamp


14 Nov 2018

Blackstone family intermarriage in Dordrecht, Holland

A family named Blackstone, Blextoon, Blaxstone or Blekton has been living for centuries in the city of Dordrecht in Holland. The name suggests a British origin. In fact, I did find a mention of a John Blacston and John Ploucquet (also Pluckett) in 26-7-1702 in Dordrecht that also names London and Durham in England, and Rotterdam and Goeree in Holland, but I couldn’t match this John Blacston with the siblings Jan, Matthijs and Maria Blekston who were all – when marrying - assisted by their uncle Matthijs Muts, for both their parents had died in 1704. The notice of marriage for those parents, Isaac Cornelis and Grietje Jans, was on November 22, 1682, in Dordrecht where they were living.

Maria Blekston married David Croes in 1714, and died in January 1715 while giving birth to a daughter Maria. Matthijs Blekston married Jacoba Croes in 1271 and had children named Isaak, Johannis, Margrieta, Maria and David. Jan Blaekston married Adriaantje Stoop on January 31, 1717, and they had 9 children, including Isaak, Grietje and Matthijs. Their son Isaak was baptized on May 24, 1722, in Dordrecht. Isaak married Johanna Catharian den Adelaar (1721-1800) on December 8, 1748, in Dordrecht and they had 6 children.
Isaak's eldest son, Johannes Adrianus Blackstone (1753-1813), married Maria van Eijsden (1749-1833) on 29 October 1772 in Dordrecht. Upon his marriage Isaak was assisted by his mother due to the confinement of his father. Maria van Eijsden was a great-granddaughter of the Matthijs Muts mentioned above. Maria's mother, Dirkje Muts, was named after Matthijs' wife, Dirckje van de Graeff. Their son Gerrit Blackstone (1790-1845), a tailor, married another girl of the Van Eijsden family named Catharina Petronella (1787-1838).

Dordrechtsche Courant (newspaper), 16-11-1813:
Tailor G. Blackstone advertised with the latest Paris fashion.

5 Nov 2018

Jan Bras of IJsselmonde was shipwrecked in 1727 ~ Mariner Monday

“Zeewijk” was one of 4 ships of the Dutch East India Company (V.O.C.) to have been wrecked close to Australia. This particular ship was built by the Chamber of Zeeland in 1725, and had a length of 145 feet (44 m) and a width of 36 feet (11 m). It left Flushing a year later - on its maiden voyage - to the V.O.C.’s Indies headquarters in Batavia (now Jakarta, Indonesia), but it wouldn't reach its destination.

One of the 341 people on board the “Zeewijk” was Johannes “Jan” Bras. Jan was baptized on 17 February 1704 in IJsselmonde. His parents, Claes Bras and Marijtjen van Mullem, were married on 17 May 17 1699 in Charlois (now part of Rotterdam). Jan had an elder brother Pieter Bras who had joined the Dutch East India Company as a sailor in 1720.

After months of preparation, on 7 November 1726 “Zeewijk” - and the rest of her fleet - left Rammekens near Flushing for the long voyage to Batavia. It was carrying a crew of 208 men, 315834 guilders in silver and some cargo. Its skipper was Jan Steijns in his first command. Jan Bras was recruited as sailor and gunner. 
On 13 November 1726 they were forced to interrupt their journey at the Roads of Downs in Great Britain to wait for fair winds. Finally, 10 days later they were able to sail off again. During this part of the voyage, accidents and illness occurred, resulting in 28 deaths. It was common on V.O.C. ships at the time to lose so many people during the first part of the voyage.
The remainder of the crew, 180 people, most of whom were in (relatively) good health, reached the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa on 26 March 1727. At the Cape 38 sick men were taken ashore and hospitalized, and 7 soldiers were deployed. The crew, diminished further by 3 deaths, was enlarged with the recruitment of 22 men, most of whom had likely recovered from a previous voyage. Fresh water was collected, too. On 21 April 1727 the “Zeewijk” once again set out to sea. Their journey progressed swiftly due to favorable winds. Meanwhile, illness resulted in another 16 deaths.
The V.O.C. required ships to utilize the "Brouwer Route" to cross from the Cape to Batavia, enjoying the prevailing westerly winds by travelling eastwards before finally turning north. Turning north too late - due to a miscalculation in the longitude - was risking being wrecked on the reefs of Western Australia.

In darkness on 9 June 1727 the “Zeewijk” was wrecked on Half-Moon Reef, just off the coast of Western Australia. In the aftermath of the wrecking, the ship lost its masts and flooded a little, but remained largely intact. When the morning dawned, the survivors saw a number of islands in the distance, and realized they might be saved. Most of the men wanted to leave the vessel, but with the hard surf around them, they found no possibility to do so during the first few days. When they made attempts, these often resulted in men drowning - or nearly drowning - and jolly-boats capsizing. It was not until 14 June that the first attempt to reach an island succeeded. Two days later the longboat was launched successfully and more crew members were ferried to an island with fresh water. It is now known as Gun Island.