Identifying Salomon Mulder (Mulder Research Part 1)

This post is the first in a series showing not only the results of my research into my paternal Mulder line, but also my research journey. Take a peek over my shoulder as I try to find my Mulder ancestors.

 

Last week I wrote about my Mulder ancestry, which is my paternal line. I did the initial research way back when I first started and knew nothing, I used one source (civil registration) and was basically a name collector at the time. Name, birth date, marriage date, death date (all based on a single document per information item) and done. I did get a few extra records about my great-grandfather, but that’s about it. Occasionally, I would search online and stumble upon something that could be and very well might be about one of my Mulder ancestors. So I have plenty of material to get to work with.

 

I can prove my parents are indeed my parents with three different documents that give direct evidence and plenty of indirect evidence. Not to mention of course my own memories and my parent’s memories. My father’s father, Klaas Mulder, can be proven by four different documents that give direct evidence, several other documents that give indirect evidence and of course personal memories of both my father and my grandparents. All of these documents I am talking about are in the Mulder Family Archive, which is in my possession.

001

Part of the Mulder Family Archive.

Since my grandfather passed away, I could discuss the research I’ve done on him, but to protect my grandmother’s privacy I will not do so at this time. But while I will start by showing the research I am doing on my great-grandfather Salomon Mulder, I do hope I’ve shown that my connection to my great-grandfather is solid.

 

Before I can really dive into Salomon Mulder’s life, I need to solidly identify him in the records I already have. Mulder is a common name here in the Netherlands. So I need every bit of detail about him I can find so I can be sure I’ve got the right Salomon Mulder in any records I may find.

My grandfather’s death certificate gives the names of his parents: Salomon Mulder and Adriana Versloot.[1] His personal record card also gives information about his parents. His parents are named as Salomon Mulder, born 28 november 1900 in Leiden, and Adriana Versloot, born 22 february 1905 in Hillegersberg.[2] Then I have the personal card of Salomon Mulder, born 28 November 1900 in Leiden, which lists his first wife as Adriana Versloot, born 22 February 1905 in Hillegersberg.[3] It also lists Klaas Mulder as his son. The birthdate of my grandfather is correct, as is the marriage date and the name of my grandmother, who is listed as his spouse on this card. Because these details all match, I can be certain that this personal record card is indeed of my great-grandfather Salomon Mulder.

 

That’s where it gets interesting, because this personal record card holds a lot of information. Salomon Mulder is born on 28 November 1900 in Leiden. His parents are Wilhelmus Johannes Bonifacius Mulder, born 14 May 1878 in Leiden, and Johanna van Wezel, born 31 January 1879 in Leiden. Salomon’s profession is listed as a sergeant in the marines, then retired, then an insurance agent (which is a detail I never noticed before and new to me), and the last entry is that he is without a profession.

According to this record he was married two times, which fits with the information I received from my grandmother. His first wife was Adriana Versloot, born 22 February 1905 in Hillegersberg. He married her on 26 October 1921 in Rotterdam. Adriana died on 24 May 1945 in Semarang, in the Dutch East Indies. I wrote a bit about her here. During his marriage with Adriana, three children were born. A daughter, Johanna Mulder, born 13 December 1924 in Rotterdam.[4] Then my grandfather, who was born in 1927 in Den Helder. And then another son.[5] Salomon remarries in 1946.[6] His three stepchildren are also recorded on this card.

Salomon Mulder died on 15 May 1986 in Leiden. Aside from all of this information, there is also a list of 17 addresses, with the first one in the list being in Den Helder and moved there sometime before 28 February 1936, when he is recorded as moving to Rotterdam.

That’s a lot of information for one record, and it certainly is enough to positively identify him in other records. While I do have two other records of him at home – photocopies of his military record and a print-out of his Japanese POW card – these two record each have their own set of problems. I’ll discuss them in a separate post.

 

On my to do list right now is to see if I can find the evidence of the death of Salomon’s second wife and his youngest son. If I find the evidence, I will edit this post to show more information. For now, I am turning my attention to verifying the birth and marriage date and place of Salomon Mulder in the civil registration records. His death record in the civil registration is not public yet, and won’t be until 2036. However, I can look at possible newspaper messages as another source for his death.

 

Sources:

  1. Civil Registration (Leiden, Zuid-Holland), extract of death record of Klaas Mulder, died Voorschoten 23 April 2003; privately held by J. Mulder.
  2. “Nationaal Register Overledenen” [National Register Deceased], personal record card of Klaas Mulder, born Den Helder 11 October 1927, died Voorschoten 23 April 2003; Centraal Bureau voor Genealogie; photocopy provided via mail.
  3. “Nationaal Register Overledenen” [National Register Deceased], personal record card of Salomon Mulder, born Leiden 28 November 1900 died Leiden 15 May 1986; Centraal Bureau voor Genealogie; photocopy provided via mail.
  4. Johanna Mulder passed away on 10 February 2011. This is personal knowledge, as I attended her funeral.
  5. While as far as we know he has passed away, I do not have any definitive evidence of that as of yet, so I will not post any information about him online at this time. In the course of my research, should I get this evidence, I will edit this post to show more information.
  6. While as far as I know his second wife has passed away, I do not have any definitive evidence of that as of yet, so I will not post any information about her online at this time. In the course of my research, should I get this evidence, I will edit this post to show more information.

 

Other notes:

Thanks to Yvette Hoitink, who not only inspired me to shore up my research on the Mulder line with her posts about the possible ancestral line back to Eleanor of Aquitaine she has, but also gives great examples of source citations in those posts. They greatly help me when I am creating my own source citations.

Picture credit:

Picture taken by author.

 

 

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A Tale of Two Sisters

In honour of family history month, I will be posting one week of stories about my family history. Today a tale of two sisters.

After World War One, the new Weimar Republic in Germany had to deal with massive debt and hyperinflation. The economic situation wasn’t good and continued to deteriorate in the early years of the 1920s. It is this economic crisis that caused many German women to come to the Netherlands to work here as domestic servants.

dienstbode

1. Domestic servant

My maternal grandfather’s sister, Anna Knura, was one of those women. She came to the Netherlands in 1922 and lived in Leiden.[1] Presumably she worked there as well. She was around 17 years of age when she came here.[2] A year later her younger sister Maria comes to Leiden as well, at only 15 years of age.[3] However, they don’t live at the same address.[4] Perhaps that wasn’t possible for some reason, or maybe one or both of them were live-in servants.

Family stories mention that Maria was very homesick. Records show that she leaves the country to go back to Germany in 1925.[5] Anna, on the other hand, moves to Wassenaar in 1924.[6] Perhaps her sister moving to Wassenaar and leaving her alone in Leiden contributed to Maria’s move back to Germany?

Somewhere between Anna’s move to Wassenaar in 1924 and 19 December 1928 she meets Lambertus Johannes van Aken. The two of them marry on 19 December 1928 and with the marriage Anna is granted the Dutch nationality.[7] She lived out the rest of her life in the Netherlands.

Maria was a different story. Right now I have some clues she might have returned to the Netherlands once again and might have worked in The Hague for a while, but eventually she returned to Germany for good.[8]

I’m still working on the details of all of this. But one thing is already certain. These are two sisters, with two similar but very different tales. And I can’t wait to find out more!

 

Picture credit:

1. Picture is in the public domain. Found here.

Sources:

  1. Inventaris van het archief van de Gemeentepolitie Leiden, 1853-1993 (Police Archive Leiden 1853-1993), I.B.2.6 Vreemdelingenpolitie [Police department dealing with foreigners], call no. 2469 (G-L), Registration card Knura, Anna; Erfgoed Leiden, Leiden.
  2. Ibid.
  3. Inventaris van het archief van de Gemeentepolitie Leiden, 1853-1993 (Police Archive Leiden 1853-1993), I.B.2.6 Vreemdelingenpolitie [Police department dealing with foreigners], call no. 2469 (G-L), Registration card Knura, Maria; Erfgoed Leiden, Leiden.
  4. Inventaris van het archief van de Gemeentepolitie Leiden, 1853-1993 (Police Archive Leiden 1853-1993), I.B.2.6 Vreemdelingenpolitie [Police department dealing with foreigners], call no. 2469 (G-L), Registration card Knura, Anna; Erfgoed Leiden, Leiden. Inventaris van het archief van de Gemeentepolitie Leiden, 1853-1993 (Police Archive Leiden 1853-1993), I.B.2.6 Vreemdelingenpolitie [Police department dealing with foreigners], call no. 2469 (G-L), Registration card Knura, Maria; Erfgoed Leiden, Leiden.
  5. Inventaris van het archief van de Gemeentepolitie Leiden, 1853-1993 (Police Archive Leiden 1853-1993), I.B.2.6 Vreemdelingenpolitie [Police department dealing with foreigners], call no. 2469 (G-L), Registration card Knura, Maria; Erfgoed Leiden, Leiden.
  6. Inventaris van het archief van de Gemeentepolitie Leiden, 1853-1993 (Police Archive Leiden 1853-1993), I.B.2.6 Vreemdelingenpolitie [Police department dealing with foreigners], call no. 2469 (G-L), Registration card Knura, Anna; Erfgoed Leiden, Leiden.
  7. Civil Registration (Voorschoten), marriage register 1923-1932, marriages 1928 no. 43, van Aken-Knura (19 December 1928); “Personen, akten en registers,” index and images, Gemeentearchief Voorschoten en Wassenaar (https://gemeentearchief.wassenaar.nl/atlantispubliek/Default.aspx?modules=Akten%20en%20registers# : accessed 30 October 2018).
  8. Ministerie van Justitie [Department of Justice], Verbaalarchief, 1915-1955; Kabinetsarchief, 1915-1940, archive no. 2.09.22, call no. 11159, file no. 1209 Adolph Knura. Questionnaire for the purpose of requesting naturalization to the Dutch nationality. Adolph states he has a sister working in The Hague. The questionnaire was probably filled in sometime in April 1937, as 13 April 1937 is the date it was put in the file.
    Population registers The Hague 1913-1939, Marie [sic] Knura, born 12-4-1908 in Bottrop; “Zoek personen,” index and images, Haags Gemeentearchief (http://denhaag.digitalestamboom.nl/(S(dig4nyewkm05n3ixfq4uxja3))/nl/home.htm: accessed 30 October 2018). The birth date and place are a match to the one from Maria Knura on the registration card in Leiden. It’s very likely that Maria is the Knura sister in The Hague Adolph mentions in 1937. However, there are several other Knura’s popping up in the index and the date Maria was there isn’t quite certain yet, so it could still be a different Knura he is referring to. However, it does seem very likely Maria at least worked in The Hague for some time as well, and considering she was 15 when she arrived in Leiden, I am assuming this was after her time in Leiden and return to Germany in 1925.

 

 

Adriana Versloot

In honour of family history month, I will be posting one week of stories about my family history. Today, a look at what I know about my great-grandmother.

I know very little about my great-grandmother Adriana Versloot. She was married to Salomon Mulder. The last time he was deployed to the Dutch East Indies Salomon’s family was allowed to come to. That’s how Adriana Versloot ended up in the Dutch East Indies, nowadays Indonesia, with her three children.

During World War Two Japan attacked the Dutch East Indies and took over control of the area. All Dutch people were eventually incarcerated in camps. I’m not quite sure who was incarcerated where, the family stories aren’t quite clear about it, but I do know that the family wasn’t all together. Adriana eventually ended up in camp Halmaheira, Semarang, located in present-day Central Java in Indonesia. There she died, on 24 May 1945, perishing of hunger according to her daughter who was incarcerated there with her.

During my research into the Mulder line, I also hope to learn more about my great-grandmother. Some of the records I need for that final period of her life have been given into the care of the National Archive last February and they’re now getting the records ready for use by researchers. I am hoping to find the answers I seek there. Meanwhile, hopefully my research will show me a little more about Adriana Versloot’s life before she was incarcerated by the Japanese. I’d like to tell her whole story, not just the final period of her life.

Families Intertwined

In honour of family history month, I will be posting one week of stories about my family history. Today, a small look at two family lines I am not currently focussed on.

Sometimes, truth is stranger than fiction. The Bolle line, on my father’s side, has their roots in Zeeland. The family didn’t come to Voorschoten until my great-grandfather’s mother moved their family there after her husband died. My great-grandfather later on served on the town council.

At the same time, a Mr. Lamboo served on the town council. The Lamboo family line belongs to my mother’s side of the family. As far as I know now, they’ve been in Voorschoten for many generations. I haven’t been able to identify which member of the Lamboo family it is, but it’s almost certainly a relative of some kind. Most, if not all, of the Lamboos in Voorschoten are related.

It’s funny how two sides of the family came together several generations ago, never knowing I would one day combine the family lines just by existing.

Are there any meetings of your maternal and paternal ancestral lines way before your parents ever met in your family history?

Teaching Farmers How to Farm

In honour of family history month, I will be posting one week of stories about my family history. Today, a ‘sneak peek’ into my research on Jan Jerphaas Wesselo (1877-1952), who is next on my list to write a biography about.

Jan Jerphaas Wesselo was a primary school teacher. I have many sources telling me this, from a brief life sketch written by Jan Jerphaas to newspaper articles and his employment card from his time in Amsterdam. So when I found a newspaper article saying a Jan Jerphaas Wesselo had to teach the agricultural course, I was hesitant to say it was him.[1] However, the time period and place were correct, so I kept the option open that it was him.

I did a little research into this agricultural course. What was it? In a book about vocational training in agriculture of Dutch farmers a small description is given about these agricultural courses.[2] Apparently, they were taught since the 1890s and were given in the evening by a teacher with a diploma, who often also taught at primary school. The first agricultural schools weren’t set up until 1921. That fits with Jan Jerphaas Wesselo teaching this course in 1902 even while working as a primary school teacher.

 

NL-HaNA_2.24.01.05_0_901-8353

1. Haymaking in 1946

So it’s looking more and more likely that Jan Jerphaas Wesselo did indeed teach farmers how to farm – the courses focussed on new methods and often had older participants [3] – and the newspaper articles were about him. I do need to actually go to the Nijkerk archive and check to see if I can find any other Jan Jerphaas Wesselo in Nijkerk at the time, but so far I haven’t seen any evidence of that.

Who knew primary school teachers doubled as agricultural teachers? I certainly didn’t! But it was fun to find out more about this unknown to me part of history.

 

Picture credit:

  1. Harry Bedijs, National Archive/Anefo, CC0

Sources:

  1. Amersfoortsch Dagblad, 5 November 1902, p. 3, column 3 (title on page 2: Uit den omtrek); newspaper database Archief Eemland (url https://archiefeemland.courant.nu/issue/AD/1902-11-05/edition/0/page/3?query=wesselo&period=1877-2018&sort=issuedate%20ascending: accessed on 26 June 2018) and “Plaatselijke Berichten,” De Eembode, 8 November 1902, p. 2, column 4; newspaper database Archief Eemland (url https://archiefeemland.courant.nu/issue/DEB/1902-11-08/edition/0/page/2?query=wesselo&period=1877-2018&sort=issuedate%20ascending: accessed on 26 June 2018).
  2. A.W. van den Ban, Boer en landbouwonderwijs: de landbouwkundige ontwikkeling van de Nederlandse boeren (Vocational training in agriculture of the Dutch farmers). Bulletin 6. (Wageningen: afdeling sociologie en sociografie van de landbouwhogeschool, 1957), 8. PDF version, Wageningen University and Research (url https://library.wur.nl/WebQuery/groenekennis/414981: accessed on 27 October 2018).
  3. Ibid.

The Depths of Winter and War

In honour of family history month, I will be posting one week of stories about my family history. Today, an excerpt from my biography about Lodewijk Wesselo (1875-1962), which was posted as a series on my former blog and will be re-released as a PDF-document for download in the coming month.

The winter of 1944-1945, known as the hunger winter because of its bad conditions, approached. The war heated up as allied forces worked together to stop Hitler, and in September 1944 the battle for the Netherlands truly began as allied forces liberated parts of the south of the Netherlands. But, Lodewijk and his family were in Rotterdam, still a long way away from freedom. They did notice the increased fighting, as in October 1944 bombs fell in the neighbourhood where Lodewijk lived, fuel became unavailable and food was starting to get scarce.[1] On 22 December of the same year Lodewijk celebrated a very sober birthday, but he was gifted a bread, some milk, a piece of bacon, and a small bag of potatoes by customers – very welcome gifts in a time that the only foodstuff available was either on food stamps or for exorbitant prices on the black market.[2] Then, as an extra birthday present, just before Christmas 1944 Lodewijk got an official clean bill of health and he also had his voice back.[3] All’s well that ends well in this case.

Looking at the situation in December 1944, Lodewijk’s family was one of the more fortunate ones. Even though life was hard, they are in relatively good health and have no big complaints. The Germans had instituted a curfew, everyone had to be inside by six o’clock in the evening and were not allowed outside before six o’clock in the morning.[4]  The days are very short for Lodewijk and his family, they go to bed between seven and seven-thirty, also to save fuel.[5] But while food was in short supply, the family did not have to go to the soup kitchen [6], while many other residents of Rotterdam had to rely on that for their food.

January 1945, the depth of winter, saw food and fuel getting ever more scarce. Prices on the black market rose sky high, and for Lodewijk and his family enduring was the only thing they could do. Fuel rations were in short supply, and it is not unusual for Lodewijk to wait in line for over an hour only to go home without fuel.[7] While it’s cold, the heater, which is also used as a stove, is only turned on from around half past eleven in the morning to around five o’clock in the afternoon – there’s simply not enough fuel to keep it burning longer.[8] The family still eats every day, only now it’s porridge cooked with water.[9] Lodewijk is dreading having to eat sugar beets, although he admits it’s “possibly without reason.”[10]

In March the food situation for the family has gotten a little better, mainly because Lodewijk’s daughter Antje goes on long and sometimes dangerous hunts for food.[11] But her hard work pays off, as the family manages to eat some fresh vegetables every day and they are not reliant on the food kitchen.[12] However, despite Lodewijk’s dread of sugar beets, it has become one of the staples of the family diet.[13]

NL-HaNA_2.24.01.05_0_927-0110

1. Two women on an expedition for food, like Antje would have done, during the hunger winter.

On 18 March 1945, a VI-bomb meant for Antwerp came down on Rotterdam by mistake. Sunday morning, around half past seven, the city was still slumbering – everyone was caught by surprise.[14] When Lodewijk wrote his brother Abraham the next day to let him know he and his family were fine, the amount of people dead from the bomb was not yet known, but Lodewijk is certain there are a lot.[15] The bomb crashed on a very populated area, and thousands of windows were shattered by the blast – including many in Lodewijk’s street.[16] The family was lucky, because if the bomb “had gone further for a few seconds” it would have struck very close to where Lodewijk was living.[17]

Around the end of April of 1945, it was clear to everyone that liberation was coming, but when exactly was still in question. News of Hitler’s suicide on 30 April 1945 reached Rotterdam that same day and coupled with mass food droppings it caused people to go into the streets that evening despite the German-dictated curfew.[18] However, liberation did not come – not even when Germany capitulated on the 4th of May. It was not until the 8th of May when units of the First Canadian Army moved into the city that the German troops finally retreated and Rotterdam was free once more.[19] The war was finally over and Lodewijk and his family had survived, despite the frequent disasters befalling the city they lived in and the glaring lack of food and fuel at the end of the war.

 

Picture credit:

  1. Photographer unknown, National Archive/Anefo, CC0

Sources:

[1] Lodewijk Wesselo (Rotterdam, Zuid-Holland) to “Bram & Riek” [Abraham Bernardus Wesselo and his wife Hendrika Johanna Wilhelmina Broer], letter, 29 October 1944; portfolio 3, doos 1, familiearchief Wesselo;  familiearchieven: Centraal Bureau voor Genealogie, fa 00472; Centraal Bureau voor Genealogie (CBG), Den Haag, Zuid-Holland.

[2] Lodewijk Wesselo (Rotterdam, Zuid-Holland) to “Bram & Riek” [Abraham Bernardus Wesselo and his wife Hendrika Johanna Wilhelmina Broer], letter, 25 December 1944; portfolio 3, doos 1, familiearchief Wesselo;  familiearchieven: Centraal Bureau voor Genealogie, fa 00472; Centraal Bureau voor Genealogie (CBG), Den Haag, Zuid-Holland.

[3] Lodewijk Wesselo (Rotterdam, Zuid-Holland) to “Bram & Riek” [Abraham Bernardus Wesselo and his wife Hendrika Johanna Wilhelmina Broer], letter, 25 December 1944; portfolio 3, doos 1, familiearchief Wesselo;  familiearchieven: Centraal Bureau voor Genealogie, fa 00472; Centraal Bureau voor Genealogie (CBG), Den Haag, Zuid-Holland.

[4] Lodewijk Wesselo (Rotterdam, Zuid-Holland) to “Bram & Riek” [Abraham Bernardus Wesselo and his wife Hendrika Johanna Wilhelmina Broer], letter, 25 December 1944; portfolio 3, doos 1, familiearchief Wesselo;  familiearchieven: Centraal Bureau voor Genealogie, fa 00472; Centraal Bureau voor Genealogie (CBG), Den Haag, Zuid-Holland.

[5] Lodewijk Wesselo (Rotterdam, Zuid-Holland) to “Bram & Riek” [Abraham Bernardus Wesselo and his wife Hendrika Johanna Wilhelmina Broer], letter, 25 December 1944; portfolio 3, doos 1, familiearchief Wesselo;  familiearchieven: Centraal Bureau voor Genealogie, fa 00472; Centraal Bureau voor Genealogie (CBG), Den Haag, Zuid-Holland.

[6] Lodewijk Wesselo (Rotterdam, Zuid-Holland) to “Bram & Riek” [Abraham Bernardus Wesselo and his wife Hendrika Johanna Wilhelmina Broer], letter, 25 December 1944; portfolio 3, doos 1, familiearchief Wesselo;  familiearchieven: Centraal Bureau voor Genealogie, fa 00472; Centraal Bureau voor Genealogie (CBG), Den Haag, Zuid-Holland.

[7] Lodewijk Wesselo (Rotterdam, Zuid-Holland) to “Bram & Riek” [Abraham Bernardus Wesselo and his wife Hendrika Johanna Wilhelmina Broer], letter, 15 January 1945; portfolio 3, doos 1, familiearchief Wesselo;  familiearchieven: Centraal Bureau voor Genealogie, fa 00472; Centraal Bureau voor Genealogie (CBG), Den Haag, Zuid-Holland.

[8] Lodewijk Wesselo (Rotterdam, Zuid-Holland) to “Bram & Riek” [Abraham Bernardus Wesselo and his wife Hendrika Johanna Wilhelmina Broer], letter, 15 January 1945; portfolio 3, doos 1, familiearchief Wesselo;  familiearchieven: Centraal Bureau voor Genealogie, fa 00472; Centraal Bureau voor Genealogie (CBG), Den Haag, Zuid-Holland.

[9] Lodewijk Wesselo (Rotterdam, Zuid-Holland) to “Bram & Riek” [Abraham Bernardus Wesselo and his wife Hendrika Johanna Wilhelmina Broer], letter, 15 January 1945; portfolio 3, doos 1, familiearchief Wesselo;  familiearchieven: Centraal Bureau voor Genealogie, fa 00472; Centraal Bureau voor Genealogie (CBG), Den Haag, Zuid-Holland.

[10] Lodewijk Wesselo (Rotterdam, Zuid-Holland) to “Bram & Riek” [Abraham Bernardus Wesselo and his wife Hendrika Johanna Wilhelmina Broer], letter, 15 January 1945; portfolio 3, doos 1, familiearchief Wesselo;  familiearchieven: Centraal Bureau voor Genealogie, fa 00472; Centraal Bureau voor Genealogie (CBG), Den Haag, Zuid-Holland.

[11] Lodewijk Wesselo (Rotterdam, Zuid-Holland) to “Bram & Riek” [Abraham Bernardus Wesselo and his wife Hendrika Johanna Wilhelmina Broer], letter, 5 March 1945; portfolio 3, doos 1, familiearchief Wesselo;  familiearchieven: Centraal Bureau voor Genealogie, fa 00472; Centraal Bureau voor Genealogie (CBG), Den Haag, Zuid-Holland.

[12] Lodewijk Wesselo (Rotterdam, Zuid-Holland) to “Bram & Riek” [Abraham Bernardus Wesselo and his wife Hendrika Johanna Wilhelmina Broer], letter, 5 March 1945; portfolio 3, doos 1, familiearchief Wesselo;  familiearchieven: Centraal Bureau voor Genealogie, fa 00472; Centraal Bureau voor Genealogie (CBG), Den Haag, Zuid-Holland.

[13] Lodewijk Wesselo (Rotterdam, Zuid-Holland) to “Bram & Riek” [Abraham Bernardus Wesselo and his wife Hendrika Johanna Wilhelmina Broer], letter, 5 March 1945; portfolio 3, doos 1, familiearchief Wesselo;  familiearchieven: Centraal Bureau voor Genealogie, fa 00472; Centraal Bureau voor Genealogie (CBG), Den Haag, Zuid-Holland.

[14] Lodewijk Wesselo (Rotterdam, Zuid-Holland) to “Bram & Riek” [Abraham Bernardus Wesselo and his wife Hendrika Johanna Wilhelmina Broer], letter, 19 March 1945; portfolio 3, doos 1, familiearchief Wesselo;  familiearchieven: Centraal Bureau voor Genealogie, fa 00472; Centraal Bureau voor Genealogie (CBG), Den Haag, Zuid-Holland.

[15] Lodewijk Wesselo (Rotterdam, Zuid-Holland) to “Bram & Riek” [Abraham Bernardus Wesselo and his wife Hendrika Johanna Wilhelmina Broer], letter, 19 March 1945; portfolio 3, doos 1, familiearchief Wesselo;  familiearchieven: Centraal Bureau voor Genealogie, fa 00472; Centraal Bureau voor Genealogie (CBG), Den Haag, Zuid-Holland.

[16] Lodewijk Wesselo (Rotterdam, Zuid-Holland) to “Bram & Riek” [Abraham Bernardus Wesselo and his wife Hendrika Johanna Wilhelmina Broer], letter, 19 March 1945; portfolio 3, doos 1, familiearchief Wesselo;  familiearchieven: Centraal Bureau voor Genealogie, fa 00472; Centraal Bureau voor Genealogie (CBG), Den Haag, Zuid-Holland.

[17] Lodewijk Wesselo (Rotterdam, Zuid-Holland) to “Bram & Riek” [Abraham Bernardus Wesselo and his wife Hendrika Johanna Wilhelmina Broer], letter, 19 March 1945; portfolio 3, doos 1, familiearchief Wesselo;  familiearchieven: Centraal Bureau voor Genealogie, fa 00472; Centraal Bureau voor Genealogie (CBG), Den Haag, Zuid-Holland.

[18] Gemeentearchief Rotterdam, “Bevrijding” [Liberation], Brandgrens (http://appl.gemeentearchief.rotterdam.nl/brandgrens/index.php?Itemid=24&id=17&option=com_content&task=view : accessed 22 December 2012).

[19] Gemeentearchief Rotterdam, “Bevrijding” [Liberation], Brandgrens (http://appl.gemeentearchief.rotterdam.nl/brandgrens/index.php?Itemid=24&id=17&option=com_content&task=view : accessed 22 December 2012).

The Forgotten Uncle

In honour of family history month, I will be posting one week of stories about my family history. Today, a story saved from the clutches of time.

I always thought I knew all of my mother’s siblings. So when I had a picture of a young boy, around two years of age, whom I knew was one of my mother’s brothers, I expected it to be one of my three uncles. So imagine my surprise when I asked my mother which one it was, and she answered that it wasn’t any of them. In fact, it was Bertje, the youngest of my mother’s four brothers! Of course, the logical question was “why didn’t I know about him?”. The answer was simple, he died when he was six years old.

For a long time, that was all I knew about him. However, when in 2009 the Carnival Of Genealogy’s theme was Orphans and Orphans, I decided to do some digging into this forgotten uncle’s short history.

I found his official inoculation card in amongst the family papers, which noted his date of birth as 19 June 1955 and his full name as Lambertus Johannes Adolphus Knura. This was collaborated by the first year of life booklet I found, in which my grandmother made the note on the first page that on Sunday 19 June at 3.55 Lambertus Joh. Adolfus Knura was born, weighing over 4 kilograms.

Two observations immediately jumped at me when I read this. First of all, Bertje was the first and only one of the four sons that was named after my grandfather, Adolph Knura, even though he’s the last boy that was born. Also, there are two spelling variants. The official one is with a ph, but apparently the version with an f snuck in there pretty early!

There aren’t many notes in the first year of life booklet, but it does state that the height at birth of Bertje was 51 centimetres, his weight in the first week was 3750 grams and in the second week 3770 grams. Another bit of information comes from a loose piece of paper tucked in the official inoculation card, which states that Bertje received his inoculation against small pox on 22 March 1956.

I haven’t been able to find any other documents about Bertje, although there are two pictures of him. One is of Bertje when he was approximately 2 years old. It’s the picture that started it all. The other one is a school picture. In that time period, school pictures were posed pictures in which the child was doing something. He’s playing with blocks and has a mischievous smile on his face. He has to be either 4 or 5 when that picture was taken.

Bertje died after a short sickbed in the St. Elisabeth Hospital in Leiden on 11 September 1961, as mentioned on his In Memoriam card. His death certificate confirms the date of death. He was 6 years old. I am not sure what illness he had. One of my aunts is convinced it was children’s leukaemia that was misdiagnosed, while my mother thinks it might have been meningitis, also misdiagnosed. What is certainly true is that he was misdiagnosed, because at first they thought he had a simple children’s disease. When it became apparent that this wasn’t the case, it was already too late.

Bertje was buried on 14 September 1961 at the Roman Catholic graveyard of the St. Laurentius church in Voorschoten in the children’s section.

 

Afbeelding 002

1. Gravestone Bertje Knura

As it is, I now know a little bit more about an uncle I never met. He will not be forgotten again, but live on in the memories of his relatives, and certainly in mine.

 

This post is a combination and rewrite of two posts previously posted on my former blog Tracing My Roots. The first post was titled ‘The Forgotten Uncle’, written for the 85th edition of the Carnival of Genealogy, and posted on 23 November 2009. The second post was titled ‘Tombstone Tuesday – Bertje Knura’ and posted on 2 March 2010.

Sources:

All sources are mentioned in the text. All documents can be found in the Mulder Family Archive, privately held by the author.

The only exception to this is the death certificate, for which the source citation is as follows:
Search term ‘Knura’ in ‘Zoek personen’ search index of Erfgoed Leiden (https://www.erfgoedleiden.nl/collecties/personen, accessed 25 oktober 2018); Lambertus Johannes Adolphus Knura, deed 947, deaths 1961, inventory number 149, archive number 1005, Plaatsingslijst van het archief van de ambtenaar van de burgerlijke stand Leiden, 1929-1993.

Family stories about Bertje were documented by the author. Specific names of the sources have been withheld due to privacy reasons.

Picture credits:

1. Picture made by me.