Sunday, February 21, 2010

Looking Into the Face of My Great-Grandmother

The picture below is one of the most special ones in my collection. The original is in the possesion of my grandmother, but I have the digital scan of it. On it is my great-grandmother Adriana Versloot, who's the mother of my grandfather Klaas Mulder. The picture is made in the Dutch East-Indies. It is the only picture of Adriana that I know of.

Adriana Versloot has been a mystery woman for a long time. My grandfather never spoke of her to me. In fact, he barely talked about her at all. All I knew was that she died in World War II in a Japanese internment camp, quite horribly if the family stories are true. I also knew she was married to Salomon Mulder, who was a marine and stationed in the Dutch East-Indies before the war broke out. She also had to have been in Den Helder in 1924, as my grandfather was born there that year. My granfather also had an older sister, but I didn't know where she was born.

Now, of course, I am much further in my research then I was when I first saw the photograph. I now know where Adriana was born, where she was married, I can follow her from Den Helder to Rotterdam and back (several times). I know where and when my grandfather's sister was born, I know the family was still in the Netherlands in 1936, so the picture must have been taken after 1936. I also know when and whereAdriana died and where she's buried.

Still, she's very much a mystery lady. I’m currently working on finding out in which camps she was during her internment and if I can find out how she died. I also haven’t found their departure date to the Dutch East-Indies yet. But, I’m still looking and there are many sources I haven’t seen/used yet. Perhaps one day I can look at this picture and feel that I at least know her a bit.

This post was written for the 21st edition of Smile For The Camera.

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