Find My Dutch Ancestors

Genealogy, Identity and Cultural Heritage in the Netherlands

By Antecedentia 15 Jan, 2018
Now the Christmas holidays are over and the new year has started, it is time to think about plans for 2018. What can I do to develop my skills as a professional genealogist and how can I promote my own business?

Here is my top 5 of 'new year resolutions' in random order.

1. Attend events and conferences
At the moment I have plans for three events: the annual Interpret Europe Conference in Köszeg, Hungary (March), the bi-annual genealogy event Famillement in Leeuwarden, Netherlands (June) and APG's annual Professional Management Conference in Kansas City, United States (October). I will tell you more about these events in upcoming newsletters.

2. Get more involved in APG activities
Right from the start of my career as a professional genealogist, I have been a member of the (international) Association of Professional Genealogists (APG). I met some fellow APG members in Birmingham in April 2017 and I will meet many more of them at the Professional Management Conference in October 2018. I would also like to volunteer for APG, for example in one of their committees.

3. Finish all (or most) of the classes for the Professional Development Program
The National Institute for Genealogical Studies offers several programs. One of them is the 'Professional Development Program', in which I have been enrolled now for almost three years. I have finished 32 out of 40 classes and I plan on finishing as many of the remaining classes as possible. It would be a great achievement to finish the complete program by the end of 2018.

4. Connect cultural heritage and genealogy
Many of my clients are not only interested in their family history, they also want to visit the Netherlands. I always enjoy these 'heritage trips' as I like to connect genealogy with cultural heritage. For me, genealogy is heritage interpretation on a micro level. I want to explore options for engaging clients in examples of Dutch culturale heritage.

5. Produce blogs, articles, presentations and webinars
Last year I wrote the Legacy QuickGuide on Dutch Genealogy (see below). This year I want to publish some articles in national or international magazines and journals. I want to write stories for my website and guest blogs for genealogical organizations and companies. I want to give presentations at one or more events and I want to present a webinar at least once. Part of this resolution is also to send out a monthly newsletter for my genealogy business.
By Antecedentia 29 Oct, 2017

It was not until I filled in the In-Depth Genealogist’s writers inquiry that I realized foster children are part of my family history. It came to me that my mother’s family has a long history in fostering children. This blog post is about them, my nonblood-related family members. Note: all families lived in Loon op Zand, a small village in the south of the Netherlands.

Adriana ‘Jaoneke’ Maas (1855-1936) was the widow of my great-great-grandfather’s only brother Gerrit Jansen. She had seven children of her own. When in the 1910s, most of her children had left the parental house, she welcomed two foster children into her home: the brothers Wilhelm Johannes Hendrik van Ewijk (1908-1932) and Johannes ‘Jo’ van Ewijk (1911-1940) from Deventer.

Both came to a tragic end. The older one drowned in the IJssel river at the age of 24 when playing with a little boat. The younger one died in the first days of World War II on the battlefield of Grebbeberg, in the area of Rhenen. Only 29 years old, he was survived by his wife and two children.

One decade later, my grandfather became a foster son himself. His mother was often too sick to take care of her five children and therefore my grandfather Adrianus ‘Jos’ Jansen (1916-1999) was raised by his uncle Petrus Johannes ‘Pieter’ Jansen (1886-1966) and aunt Huiberdina ‘Dien’ van de Graaf (1885-1958), a childless couple. After Dien had died, Jos moved in with his foster father. He, his wife and their three children lived with ‘grandfather’ and took care of him, until he died at the age of almost 80 years.

My grandfather’s brother, Cornelis Petrus ‘Kees’ Jansen (1913-2000), and his wife Anna Elisabeth Antonetta ‘Annie’ Donders (1914-2002) even had four foster children, all living with them at the same time. The children grew up as brothers and sisters and they were always a part of the Jansen family.

But also on the other side of my mother’s family, fostering children was not uncommon. My great-grandparents, Josephus Petrus ‘Sjef’ Snoeren (1889-1988) and Adriana Cornelia ‘Jaon’ Biemans (1891-1966), had three children of their own, of which one died as an infant. They had also two foster children. Of one I know nothing more than her first name: Fien. She came as an infant and stayed only for a short period with my grandmother’s family.

By Antecedentia 17 Oct, 2017
In the center of the Netherlands lies the city of Apeldoorn. It has about 160,000 inhabitants and is well-known for its zoo with 35 different species of monkeys, called Apenheul. The city is also famous for one of the finest Dutch palaces: Het Loo. I recently visited the palace, the gardens and the park. Although I was there a couple of times before, it was interesting again to see the staterooms and to read about the royals who lived here during many centuries. In the first half of the 20th century Het Loo was the favorite palace of Queen Wilhelmina (1880-1962). After she abdicated, she spent the last fourteen years in quietness in and around this palace. Here she made many paintings of the surrounding area. Her granddaughter, princess Margriet, was the last resident. She lived here until 1975, together with her husband and four sons. Since 1984 the palace is a museum and is open to the public.

English royals
One of the most fascinating parts of Het Loo’s history, is the fact that it was built between 1684 and 1686 for stadhouder William III of Orange (1650-1702). Because of his marriage to Mary Stuart in 1677, he became king of England, Scotland and Ireland in 1689. As a Prince of Orange he was already a sovereign prince and this - together with the office of stadtholder of the Dutch Republic - gave him an international status. His position only improved when he ascended the English throne. He now needed his palace in Apeldoorn to be an impressive summer residence, full of splendor and grandeur. The palace was enlarged, the gardens became a true example of garden art. If you want to read more about the history of the palace, please visit the website of Het Loo .
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