Saturday, December 28, 2013

My Son's Dutch Ancestors

I am so grateful that my son Ben's Tante Leny (his great-aunt, Margaretha Magdalena Doorn-Van den Boom) kept such good family records, that she wrote a memoir called Reflections (Apeldoorn, The Netherlands, c1997), and that we have a typewritten copy of the English translation. 

The part of the memoir that shows the family tree charts is in Leny's beautiful handwriting. It was both fun and challenging to read words in another language and in unfamiliar handwriting. Then we needed to look up genealogical terms in Dutch such as born, died, married, etc.; as well as lists of place names in order to verify what we thought we were reading. Here is a sample of the handwriting (click to enlarge):

We found some more information about the family on the web page of a Dutch genealogist, Henk Zomer, at everything was entered into WikiTree, we were able to produce these charts. 

The first chart, a three-generation family tree, begins with Ben's great-grandfather, 
Willem van den Boom. As you will see, there are a lot of Willem van den Booms in the family, so their dates are important when trying to keep them straight.  The line continues back to some of his great-great-great grandparents, Gradus van den Boom and his wife, Johanetta Schumacher; and Gerrit van Andel and his wife, Elisabeth Petronella Verschoor.

Going even further back in time, the tree below begins with Ben's great-great-great grandfather, Gradus, and continues back through more generations to some of his great-great-great-great-great-grandparents, Goosen, Catharina, Adrianus, and Petronella. 

Thank you Ben, for helping with this part of our family history project. And thank you, Henk Zomer, for permission to use these photos.

                                         embeddable family tree updated live from WikiTree


  1. This is really amazing (and I mean it!). Thank goodness for Tante Leny. Too bad there aren't more ancestors doing that sort of thing on Daddy's side of the family. I had a lot of trouble reading some of the letters in the handwriting though - you have a lot more patience than I do!

  2. Hi,
    Your son is lucky to have Dutch ancestors, as we keep excellent records in the Netherlands. Many of them are available online. For example, the marriage record of Gradus van den Boom and Johanetta Schumacher can be found here: They married in 's-Hertogenbosch on 21 May 1836. It shows that Gradus served in the militia (schutterij) at the time of his marriage, in a unit that was mobilized as a result of Belgium's bid for independence. The record contains a lot more information. The second page of the marriage record: includes signatures of the bride and groom.
    There is a lot more information waiting to be found. On my website at, you can find several articles that will show you how to find this information.

  3. BTW, I just noticed that you have a pretty clear photograph of Gradus van den Boom, a man that died in 1863 according to your tree. In the Netherlands, the state of photography wasn't advanced enough in the 1860s to produce a photograph like that. Are you sure that picture is of him?

    1. Oh, dear. I found the photo on Henk Zomer's website (see the post for the link), and am using it with his permission. I will need to look for further information about the source. Thank you for pointing out a possible problem.

  4. Yvette, thank you. I hope that I will live long enough to do all the genealogy research I want to do! I am currently working on my mother's New Brunswick, Canada ancestors. Sometime in the coming year I hope to return to the Dutch ancestors as well. I have found that Dutch genealogists are so kind and helpful. Thank you so much for these links and information.

  5. If you want to search for more Dutch genealogical records, on a Dutch website which is available in English, head over to Open Archives!


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