Genealogie Bos

This is my English-language genealogy blog. It's available in Google Currents, too.
(Mijn Nederlandstalige blog,, gaat over mijn voorouders en locale geschiedenis van Zuid-Holland en de Langstraat.)

5 Mar 2015

Treasure Chest Thursday - My Grandmother's 1918 Church Membership Certificate

This certificate shows that my grandmother Willempje Cornelia Zijderveld, born on November 6, 1892, became a member of the Dutch Reformed Church on March 5, 1918, in Dordrecht, The Netherlands:

On March 29, 1917, my grandmother had married my grandfather Pieter de Jong (1892-1973). They had 10 children and a miscarriage from 10 pregnancies. At first they lived in Sprang-Capelle, Noord-Brabant, later they moved to Mookhoek, Zuid-Holland. My grandmother died on July 16, 1976, in Oud-Beijerland. 

My Little Treasure Chest

13 Feb 2015

20th Century Dutch immigrants in Canada

The first Dutch people to come to Canada were Dutch Americans. The largest wave was in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, when large numbers of Dutch helped settle the Canadian west. During this period significant numbers also settled in major cities like Toronto.

While interrupted by World War I, this migration returned in the 1920s, but again halted during the Great Depression and World War II. After the war a large number of Dutch immigrants moved to Canada, including a number of war brides of the Canadian soldiers who liberated the Low Countries. One of my uncles moved to Canada after the flood of 1952 had destroyed his home.

There are over 1 million Canadians of Dutch descent, including those of full or partial ancestry. While one of the largest minority groups in Canada, Dutch Canadians have tended to rapidly assimilate.

Emigrants to Canada wait until they can board the SS "Volendam".
Rotterdam, Netherlands, May 15, 1951.


3 Feb 2015

Tuesday's Tip - When a website uses small characters..

When you struggle reading small fonts on websites, the solution is simple. 

To increase the size of any web page, simply hold down the Ctrl key and press the + (plus) key on the numerical key board to the right. Pressing the + key several times, while holding down the Ctrl key, will make the web page even larger.
You can do the reverse, too. Hold down the Ctrl key and press the - (minus) key to make the web page smaller. 

This simple solution should work on all browsers and on all operating systems. 

6 Jan 2015

Tuesday's Tip: Don't be afraid to question 3rd party publications - or how to knock down a Brick Wall

In The Netherlands the genealogy magazine "Ons Voorgeslacht" is well known. Years ago, I found an article on ancestors of mine, a Verhoef family in the Lopikerwaard in The Netherlands, in the 1995 edition. This is a translation of the interesting paragraph in the article:

Reijnier Verhoef was baptized in Polsbroek in August 1680 and buried in Gouda in June 1741. He married his 1st wife, Willemijntje Saarse Bouwman, in October 1708 in Moordrecht. Willemijntje was born in Lopik, had 4 children and died in Gouderak in august 1719. Reijnier remarried his 2nd wife Murrigje Willems Kroon in November 1720.

The author of the article was T.F. Verhoef. I assumed that - since the author had the same surname as the people in the article, and he had published in such a well-known magazine - he must be an expert, so I assumed that everything he wrote was right.

That's why my ancestor Willemijntje Bouwman remained a brick wall for years.

Recently, I read DutchGen's tip "A couple usually married in the bride’s home town". I hadn't noticed that in my own research, but I remembered it when, later on, I noticed my Bouwman brick wall again. Since Reijnier Verhoef and Willemijntje Bouman married in Moordrecht, could Willemijntje have originated from Moordrecht instead of Lopik?

Research in Moordrecht's records knocked down this brick wall.

Willemijntje was baptized in Moordrecht on May 1, 1688.  Her parents were Saers Franke and Afie Willems. Willemijntje had 11 siblings. Her grandparents were Vranck Saersen and Appolonia (Pleuntie). Her great-grandfather may have been Saers Pietersz Cos, who was buried on 14-9-1653 in Waddinxveen and married to Barbara Cornelis. Saers Pietersz Cos was a son of Pieter Jansz Cos and Aechgen Saers.