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picture: serpentinite (ever being the geologist)
Family Tree always intrigued me, but children, immigration, work etc. played
havoc with the family history.
Now, retired having a bit more time and with the help of the internet, and
spurred on by the birth of our grandchildren, it became an interesting hobby.
Along the way I connected with other family members interested in the same
reason for my interest in my ancestors was me being curious about the origins
of my name
Hein Elbert de Vries.
The family name "de Vries" only became used in the early 1800's.
Then the Netherlands were part of the greater French empire of Napoleon. To
facilitate recruitement for his armies he required everyone to choose a family
name. So my ancestor Anne Abels (Anne: son of Abel) became known as Anne Abels
de Vries . His brother Bate Abels became Bate Abels van der Veen. Their dad
just remained Abel Roelofs (Abel son of Roelof).
Especially in Friesland people just used patronyms prior to Napoleon. In other
areas family names are more common.
the name Elbert comes from my great-grandmother Margje Elbers. Exploring this
question was very interesting and rewarding and yielded contacts with members
of the Elbers family.
The research into the many generations of house-painters from the Elbers and
the de Vries families, became even more interesting with the research by Alle
Elbers into the painting of flags by members of the Elbers family. These flags
were meant to be flown from ships at special occasions; several of which are
now in Dutch Maritime musea.
the name "Hein" comes from is still a enigma. Striking is that a
brother of Margje Elbers also named a son "Hein". Somewhere and
sometime there must have been a "Hein" who had a special bond with
the Elbers family!!
wife's family name Kuilenburg can be traced back to the early 1600's in the
town of Nieuwpoort. In the early baptismal and marriage records the family
name was being used, written in several different ways: Cuijlenburgh, Kuijlenburg,
Kuilenburg etc. A good guess is that eventually the family must have had some
connection with the town now called Culemborg.
keep on digging!!!
of our de Vries and Kuilenburg Families.
questions and comments:
at (=@)) heinandwil.net
in Canada, most information I gathered from the internet, with a heavy emphasis
on publicly available archival records (more trips to the Netherlands would
have been nice but not absolutely necessary) although one trip to the Historisch
centrum Overijssel in Zwolle. a few years ago, was very helpful.
Public archives are unlocked, as in:
Genlias: for records after
1811 all of the Netherlands,
Drenlias: for records before and after 1811, province of Drente,
for records after 1811, province of Groningen, however they intend to include
older records in the future,
Tresoar: for records
before and after 1811, province of Friesland,
Centrum Overijssel: for records mainly after 1811, some info from before
1811, province of Overijssel
Hoogeveen: for records after 1811 in Hoogeveen (Drente.
for photos of the actual marriage and death certificates from 1811,
Other big cities like Amsterdam, Rotterdam, the Hague, Leiden do have their
own on- line access to their archives as do some regional archives as Groenehart
archieven with data from Gouda and surroundings.
website set up by the Mormon Church which makes available a multitude of filmed
copies of the original recordings of marriages, birth and deaths by the Netherlands
Civil Authorities since 1811. The search is somewhat complicated but given
some time you can find copies of the original recordings.
is becoming quickly THE portal for mainly church records from before the establisment
of a public administration in 1811. (Napoleon again!) Volunteers actually
photograph the pages of the church books and publish them on this site. I
have found many of my forebears on these pages!!!
posted by other genealogists on the internet can be very helpful in breaking
logjams. Use Google!
Dad told me, years ago, that his uncle Antoni de Vries had searched for
our ancestors. He apparently visited a number of archives (this was way
before the computer era), but got stuck somewhere in Friesland.
Unfortunately nothing has been preserved from his work, so I started again
help from newly found relatives and the ever growing presence of original
documents on the web, I am now (January 2011) well on my way. There are
now over 9000 names in my database. This data base can be accessed here:
One is never finished however; there are always persons to be found, connections
to be explored, personal histories te be recalled.
my family research I came across some interesting stories:
what about the Bosma's: my maternal grandmother. Family lore had it that they
originated in Friesland like the 'de Vries'es.
the name changed into Bosma from Bosmaar from Boussemaire. The family moved
in the early 1600's from Rijssel (named Lille in what is now Northern France)
to Leiden because of King Louis XVI renouncing the Nantes Edict in which Protestants
were granted freedom of religion.
Or: Pieter Roelofs de Vries, a nephew of my forefather Anne Abels de Vries,
was called up for duty in Napoleon's armies that went on to Russia in 1812-1813.
I am still trying to figure out what happened to him. He appears to not have
survived this ordeal.
Or: Claas Elbers, a family member of the family of my great grandmother. He
was part of the Patriots who partook in the defense of the town of Hattem
in 1785 when the Orangists stormed this town. He was subsequently banned from
the town. Many of his comrades fled to France where the Revolution welcomed
these republicans. Claas and his dad Hendrik Elbers appear to have fled into
the crowds of the big city of Amsterdam.
Or: the history of my Mother's relatives: the Molendijk farmers family from
Brecklenkamp in Twente. The name of this farm is already mentioned in 14th
century papers of the old Frenswegen monastery. Tradition in this part of
the Netherlands dictated that the occupants of this farm were always named
Molendijk, whether or not there was a blood relationship or not. I am aware
of at least two instances where the occupation of the farm did not follow
straight male lines.