Saturday, January 23, 2010

Surname Saturday: Bolle

The Bolle branch of my family has been investigated by a cousin of my father already, so a lot of it is known, although I am slowly going through the generations, checking his work and maybe finding something more. The branch this cousin has constructed counts ten generations (!) of Bolle's. I'm very happy so much work has already been done, because checking is so much easier than doing it all on your own, and the branches that haven't been done are challenging enough.

The Meertens Institute here in the Netherlands says the Bolle surname is a patronym

From surnameDB, this information about the surname:

This interesting name has a number of possible origins. The first of these is a Norman surname, and derives from the place called Bouelles in Seine Martime, being introduced into England sometime after the 1066 Norman Conquest. In this case the place derives its name from the Old Norman-French "boelle", meaning enclosure and specifically one cleared for agriculture. The recording of one Walter de Bowell in the 1275 Hundred Rolls of Hertfordshire is from this source.

Secondly, the modern surname, which can be found as Bolle, Bolles, Bowell, Bowells, Bowle and Bowles, may be Welsh in origin, from the patronymic form of the given name Howell. In that case the prefix 'ap' or 'ab' meaning 'son of' has over the centuries fused with Howell to create Powell, Powles, Bowell and Bowle(s).

Thirdly the surname may be a variant form of Bowler, an English medieval occupational name for a maker or seller of bowls and buckets. This occupation is a derivative of 'bolle' meaning 'a vessel for containing liquids'. Job-descriptive surnames originally denoted the actual occupation of the namebearer, and later became hereditary. Examples of the surname recording include James Boule in the 1297 register of accounts of the Duchy of Cornwall, and Thomas Bolles of Suffolk, who in 1528 was granted the following blazon of arms. A blue field, charged with three gold cups, out of which issue three boars heads couped. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John le Boule, which was dated 1296, in the Subsidy Rolls of the county of Sussex, during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

If the Meertens Institute is right that it's a patronym, then the second meaning of the surnameDB counts for the Dutch version of Bolle. It is likely, and also very interesting.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Why Assumptions Are Bad, Bad, Bad!

Every genealogist knows (I hope!) that assumptions are a bad thing. They make us blind to other possibilities, and they are often wrong. I always thought I was careful in not making any, but recently I caught an assumption I made years ago and never bothered to verify!

I've always know that the rather large van Aken family that's living in my village is related to us through my mother's side of the family. I always assumed (yes, there is that dreaded word!) that this relation was through my maternal grandmother, Henriette Geertruida Lamboo, since the Lamboo family, just like the van Aken family, is from these parts even way, way back. In a recent conversation with my mother, however, I discovered differently! All because I asked the simple question of where exactly the relation was made. My mother told me that her paternal aunt, Anna Knura, married a van Aken!

Now why did I make this assumption? I made it because my grandfather's family came from Germany, and I never expected anybody else here except my grandfather. What a big mistake that turned out to be! My great-aunt Anna was here before my grandfather, in fact, my grandfather moved in with her when he just arrived in the Netherlands. From newspaper records that record the comings and goings of the population, I have found that numerous Knura's (all brothers and sisters of my grandfather) have come and gone in this area. They arrived, worked and/or stayed a few years, then moved back to Germany. Some even repeated this proces. How much information I would've overlooked if I hadn't known that the connection to the van Aken's was through the Knura branch!

The lesson here? Always, always verify your information, no matter how 'obvious' it appears!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

52 Weeks To Better Genealogy - Challenge #3

The challenge this week: Assess yourself! You’re great at researching everyone else’s history, but how much of your own have you recorded? Do an assessment of your personal records and timeline events to ensure your own life is as well-documented as that of your ancestors.

Well, I can't say I have logged much information about myself so far. However, in the boxes of documents I am currently going through, I do have all records of myself that I currently own. There are things from my birth there, from my primary school, and from my secondary school. Since I'm now doing the university 'thing', I can say that my life is pretty well documenten until now, even though I haven't logged any of them yet. The same goes for pictures.

So, basically, my own life is well-documented, I just need to input and file everything, which I will do once I get to the Mulder documents in the box (I did already seperate them by surname, which is why I know what there is).

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Research Log

1 januari 2010

I looked through the newspaper archives of Leiden and found some clues. I looked up Knura and Lamboo. Need to get back to this and do it properly sometime in the future.

Found the parents of my grandmother H.G. Lamboo, worked on their records. I transcribed a couole of the ones from her father Bernardus Johannes Lamboo that I could access digitally (scans).

Entered a lot of records for my parents that I have lying around here, archived them properly.

6 januari 2010

Found grave Adriana Versloot on site http://www.ogs.nl/pages/home.asp
Searched for Ariana Versloot in archive Almaar, who also has the collection of Den Helder (place of birth Klaas Mulder, her son), found 1 entry, stated name of her husband as Salomon Mulder, born Leiden, born 28 november 1900. In this entry it states several moves from and moves back to Den Helder.

Looked in the Rotterdam archives because it was one of the places named in the previous source, found their marriage certificate. This also gave me the names of their parents. Also found Adriana’s birth certificate there.

Looked in archive Leiden on-line, two entries, no birth entry, which should be available, need to look it up in the archive itself.

Still need to process this information correctly and completely.

9 january

Searched for Salomon Mulder with the National Institute of Militairy History, found a possible lead and one definite lead, need to go there to check it out.

Put some more Knura documents into my genealogy program, found something about my grandfather’s time in the German military during WW 2, from the date it looks like it wasn’t long before he was injured in Russia and went AWOL to get back to his family, but I don’t fully understand it so I need to go dig up my German to Dutch dictionary and see if I can scan it in and enhance the image, because some of it is hard to read.

Friday, January 15, 2010

52 Weeks To Better Genealogy - Challenge #2

This weeks challenge: go to your local public library branch again. Examine the local history, archives and/or special collections section. Ask a librarian if you don’t know if your library has special collections or where they are located. Be sure to check the reference section, too, as many of the newer and more valuable books are held in that area.

My local library has a good local collection about Leiden, which is where it is located, however, most of my ancestors lived in Voorschoten. But, there's this nifty little system here called Interlibrary Loan, which basically means I can ask for books my library doesn't have, but other libraries do, and then in about a week or two I can pick them up at my own library! So, the local history books that are of interest to me which I can loan through my own library are:

Als de linden konden spreken – J.H.M. Sloof
Brandende kwesties in Voorschoten – J.H.M. Sloof
Honderd jaar zingen – J.H.M. Sloof
Straatnamen in Voorschoten – J.H.M. Sloof
Focus op Voorschoten – J.H.M. Sloof
Een wandeling door het oude hart van Voorschoten – J.H.M. Sloof
Kadastrale atlas van Zuid-Holland 1832 – J.H.M. Sloof
Achter verduisterde ramen – R.J. Braggaar
Dorp in oorlog – Leo van der Bijl
Voorschoten: historische studien – J.L. van der Gouw
Monumenten van de 20e eeuw – Jane Koopstra
Oude prenten en prentkaarten vertellen over Voorschoten – E.J. de Keuning
Boerenerfgoed – Robert van Lit
Beeldig Voorschoten – Jane Koopstra
Lusthoven en oude huizen langs de Vliet – C.H. Voorhoeve
Zilverfabriek Voorschoten –
Leefbaar Voorschoten
Voorschoten schrijft verder
Het Ambachtshuis en het Baljuwhuis van Voorschoten – G. ’t Hart
Religieus Erfgoed –
Voorschoten – Jan Vreeswijk
De tram en Voorschoten – Georg J. Groenveld
Voorschoten – C.W. Delforterie
Voorschotenaren verhalen over oorlog en vrede – Joop Peters
Voorschoten – Laura Kloet
Voorschoten in oude ansichten – C.H. Voorhoeve

It's quite a list, but then again, Voorschoten has several local historians who are pretty prolific in their writing, In fact, one of the local historians lives two houses to my left! Might need to go and talk to him when I have a little more data of my own.

Happy 101 Award



In the last week I've received the Happy 101 Award from several people, namely Cheryl Fleming Palmer from Heritage Happens, Dr. Bill (William L.) Smith from Dr. Bill Tells Ancestor Stories, Greta Koehl from Greta's Genealogy Bog and Amanda Acquard from A Tale of Two Ancestors

I thank you all!

For this award, you're supposed to list 10 things that make you happy. You're also supoosed to pass it on to 10 bloggers, but since there is no way I can choose, I pass this on to every blogger who reads this post who hasn't received this award yet! Now, my 10 things that make me happy:

1. My family
2. My friends
3. Reading
4. Writing
5. Learning
6. Tea
7. Chocolate
8. Roses
9. Good food
10. Nature

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Google to the Rescue!

In one of the old picture albums that are in my possesion, this picture of my father appears. It's made on Queens Day, 30 April 1963. He's dressed up as a minister for the parade.



My father told me that there was a theme each year that his school class dressed up as, and that year it had been a song. He'd been the minister in the song and there were many other characters named in the song, and the rest of the class had dressed up as those characters. The song itself was an old Dutch children's song. We both knew a sentence of it, and we could hum it, but for the life of us, the rest of the lines, or the title, escaped us.

With the faint hope that I might find something, I entered the two sentences in Google. And look! It spit out the exact song we couldn't remember! It's called Catootje. If you want to see it performed (with English subtitles!) you can watch it here.

Surname Saturday: Knura

The Knura surname in my family tree is almost synonymous with difficult. Not only the people who carry it are hard to find information on, but I can't even find out the meaning or the exact geographical origin of the surname!

I know the surname Knura is most likely from German or Polish origin, but other than that, I really can't say anything about it.

As to the people who carry it, well, let's just say that while my mother and my grandfather Adolph Knura are 'easy' (and for my grandfather that's only true from when he came to the Netherlands), the rest of the Knura's are not so easy. Adolph Knura's father is known only by his name: Bergmann Josef Knura. That's it.

Not much, is it? Ah well, I hope to be able to change that this year.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

52 Weeks To Better Genealogy - Challenge #1

This weeks challenge: Go to your local public library branch. Make a note of the genealogy books in the collection that may help you gain research knowledge.

My library has quite a lot to offer a genealogist. I've just listed the books that were 1) of interest to my research and 2) in the genealogy section, which means that general history books that give information about the surroundings of ancestors were not taken into account here.

Burgerlijke stand en bevolkingsregister by R.F. Vulsma ; a book dealing with primary sources from 1811 onwards.

Dagen, maanden, jaren: tijdrekenkunde in kort bestek by W. Wijnaendts van Resandt; a book dealing with the different calendars you encounter as a genealogist.

Genealogie: van stamboom tot familiegeschiedenis by Rob van Drie; a book about how to turn your genealogy research into a family history story.

Genealogisch onderzoek in Duitsland by J.G.J. van Booma; a book about genealogical research in Germany (import because I have a German branch)

Geschiedenis van het priveleven: bronnen en benaderingen by Pieter Stokvis; a book of articles about genealogy with the focus on the privat life of people, very informative.

Heraldisch vademecum by H.K. Nagtegaal; an encyclopedia about family weapons, primarily about the designs

Hoe schrijf ik geschiedenis? By Jan van de Wetering; a book about writing your family history

In tijd gemeten: inleiding in de chronologie by C.C. de Glopper-Zuijderland; another book about different calendars you can encounter when doing genealogical research.

Internet bij stamboomonderzoek by Yvette Hoitink and Jeroen van Luin; a book about using the internet when doing genealogical research, probably too old to be of much use anymore.

Onderzoek bij het Centraal Bureau voor Genealogie by Rob van Dries; a book about doing research at the Central Bureau of Genealogy here in the Netherlands, the first stop any genealogist should make after exhausting the resources they already have at home.

Op zoek naar een biografisch portret in het verleden by Kees van der Wiel; a book about finding material to write a biography about someone.

Oud schrift; several parts that teach you how to read old writing.

Repertorium DTB by W. Wijnaendts van Resandt; a book that gives a global view of the available primary records from before 1811.

Verre verwanten by Rob van Drie; a book that gives possible sources to find information about certain aspects of your ancestors lives, like school, health, and professions.

And some general how-to guides to genealogy in the Netherlands

Gids voor genealogisch onderzoek in Nederland by P.W. van Wissing

Gids voor stamboomonderzoek by Roelof Vennik; my personal favorite and one that’s on my wish-list for my personal library

Maak uw eigen stamboom by Gerard van de Nes

Handleiding voor genealogisch onderzoek in Nederland by J.C. Okkema

Het stambomenboek by Els W.A. Elenbaas

De stamboom en geschiedenis van uw familie by Henri Vannoppen

Stamboomonderzoek voor beginners by Rob van Drie

Wordless Wednesday - Great-Grandparents 2


A picture of my great-grandparents Bergmann Josef Knura en Sophia Zbieszczyk, who are the parents of my grandfather Adolph Knura. I know nothing about them except their names, and hope that that will change this year.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Part 3: Adolph Knura In Memoriam

As I mentioned in Part 1, I found several In Memoriam articles about my grandfather Adolph Knura. In Part 2 I discussed the In Memoriam found in the local newspaper. In this part, I’ll discuss the In Memoriam pieces found in the club magazine of SV Voorschoten. I’ll post the scan of the original, and then discuss the translation of the article below that.

The first piece that mentions my grandfather comes from somewhere in the beginning of the club magazine. Perhaps in the foreword, or in the news items?


On this sad Saturday many accompanied Dolf Knura to his final resting place. An in memoriam can be read elsewhere in this magazine, but it seemed right to mention how great the interest was and thus how great the place was which he occupied in our club and in our hearts. We will think of him often.

Apparently, a lot of people from the soccer club went to his funeral. I do remember my mother once telling me there were a lot of people at his funeral. His funeral was on a Saturday, according to this.

The next piece is the actual In Memoriam found in the magazine, which was mentioned in the piece above.


The dismay among the people of SV was great when it was announced that Dolf Knura passed away suddenly on Tuesday 30 January. It overshadowed all other events. We would like to give our sincerest regards to the next of kin here and we wish them the strength to bear this loss.

This part tells me it was a Tuesday on which my grandfather died.

Dolf wasn’t completely healthy this last month and as a consequence he was absent more than usual. Still, he had many plans and jobs he would do as soon as he felt better. It wasn’t to be.
Mentioning all of the accomplishments of Dolf would fill a club magazine. He was invaluable to our club, and for all the entire Voorschotense soccer community. Once active as a talented soccer player with SVLV and working as a KNVB referee for a long time, after which he gave his knowledge and workforce selfless to the Voorschotense soccer community. Ever since the founding in 1982 of SV Voorschoten.


Once again, his career as a soccer player for SVLV is mentioned, as well as his referee career. Also, it is mentioned he wasn't feeling well before he died, something to ask my mother about.

Last Saturday we said goodbye to him. Goodbye to a friendly, loveable man, who sometimes dropped the towel in the ring if injustice was done to him, but who always came back. Because he was a clubman through and through. He was so much a part of everything, not to be missed at the SV complex. Sure, it will be difficult to get used to now seeing him there. But on the other hand, he will always be there. His name will be mentioned there often and he will never be forgotten. Dolf, thanks.

In name of the direction of SV Voorschoten,
K.R. Verrips, secr.


Yet another character sketch, which this time mentioned a slightly negative character point.

In what I assume is the same magazine, one other piece is found. It’s a game report.


Game report
S.V.O.W. – Voorschoten 5 2-1
After the rain came down in waterfalls, the players were silent for 1 minute in remembrance of Mr. Knura.


I imagine this was the Sunday after the funeral. Something else to find out.

I hope that with this short series about my grandfather’s In Memoriam articles I not only gave you a glimpse into my grandfather’s life, but also showed how volunteer work our ancestors did left traces that can be found. The In Memoriam articles on their own are a treasure of information, but, as I have shown in my comments, it is also another clue on where to look for information next.

Part 2: Adolph Knura In Memoriam

As I mentioned in Part 1, I found several In Memoriam articles about my grandfather Adolph Knura. In this post I’ll be taking a closer look at them. I’ll post the scan of the original, and then discuss the translation of the article below that.

This first In Memoriam is from a local newspaper. I don’t know which one, except that it’s a newspaper from Voorschoten, because the newspapers of Leiden have been digitalized and I have not been able to find this article there.


In Memoriam: Adolph Knura

Tuesday 30 January Adolph Knura passed away, 75 years old. With his passing the Voorschotense soccer community lost one of her greatest sons. Dolf Knura has earned respect at all 3 soccer clubs in Voorschoten. His first club was SVLV. He played there many years in the first team. After his long career as active soccer player comes an even longer period in which Dolf gives his all to his greatest hobby: soccer.


This paragraph confirms his death date. It also tells me he was involved in three soccer clubs and that he played soccer in the first team of SVLV. This will come in handy when I dig into whatever is left of the archives of SVLV from that time.

He stays with the players on the field, this time as referee. Next to refereeing he does a lot of maintenance work around the sport complex and manages the cafeteria of SVLV for many years with his wife. At the end of the sixties Dolf Knura decides to switch to Rouwkoop, nowadays Randstad Sport, because of several differences of opinion. Dolf had a great love for youth soccer. As such, it was no wonder that quickly came to manage the youth cafeteria of his new club at the MOC-terrain, now together with his daughter Lydia.

This paragraph tells me he was a referee. Maybe there are still records of that at the KNVB, the national soccer association here in the Netherlands. They train the referee’s and license them. It also tells me there were differences of opinion, maybe I can find out what they were by asking some people. It gives me a timeframe for his switch of clubs. It also tells me that my mother helped him in the cafeteria. I already knew this. There is, however, a mistake her. In this article her name is given as Lydia, which it’s not. It’s Lidy.

In this period, the early seventies, a new guild of young youth leaders appears. Dolf was the great mentor, one of these young youth leaders would eventually become his son in law, Kees Mulder. A lot of people still look back to this MOC-period with warm feelings.

Yes, the Kees Mulder mentioned here is my father. Got to look him up in the archives of Rouwkoop/Randstad Sport too.

Randstad Sport moves to sport park Adegeest, at the building of the new sport complex is Dolf predominantly present. He will apply himself completely to the daily maintance at Randstad Sport until 1982 and is a member of the youth committee under the leadership of Joop Zwager. In 1982 SV Voorschoten is founded and Dolf was closely involved. One last time he changed clubs. In this turbulent period a new sport complex is build in a few months time.

Not much new information here, but the fact that he was in a youth committee will give me yet another thing to look for in the archives of the club.

Dolf, master craftsman he is, is a part of the building committee and is working for the new club just about day and night in the summer of 1982. In the 8 years SV Voorschoten, Dolf can be found at the soccer fields nearly every day. He’s taken on the complete maintanence of the clubhouse ‘De Tent’ and on Saturdays he’s the center of the club. Receiving referees, pouring lemonade and tea at half-time and many other ‘small’ jobs.

A building committee, yet another thing to research. Perhaps I can find some things about the build in general too. And when reading the fact that he pours lemonade and tea at half-time I am reminded of a story my mother tells in which little me’s antics causes him to forget to do that for the first and last time in his life.

Dolf is not only a familiar face in Voorschoten, at the clubs in the region Knura was a familiar name and if the name wasn’t familiar he became, after a bit of conversation, that ‘small man with the white hair that poured lemonade and collected lost objects’. It describes Dolf to a t, the man in the background, not looking for a directorship. A sweet man, who might even put himself last a bit too much. Almost two years ago we got to do something in return, even if it was very little in comparison. For the occasion of the party for his 50 years of marriage, which Dolf was anticipating eagerly, we had the opportunity to show Dolf and his wife our great appreciation for everything this couple has done for us. Adolph, small very big man, rest in peace. We shall miss you.

In name of the direction and members of SV Voorschoten,
Willem van der Linden


A small sketch of who Adolph Knura was in this last paragraph, precious beyond recognition to me. The feast in honor of my grandparent’s 50 years of marriage is a topic for another day.

And because this has turned into such a long piece, the other, smaller In Memoriam and two very small pieces will be discussed in Part 3: Adolph Knura In Memoriam.

Part 1: Adolph Knura In Memoriam

When reading the prompt for the 88th edition of COG, I immediately had a subject in mind. This part of volunteerism was not mentioned in the call for submission, which I think is a shame. Yes, the volunteer work we as genealogist do is important, because without it, a lot of our research would not be possible or greatly more difficult But equally important is the volunteer work our ancestors did, because it gives us such a wealth of knowledge. People who selflessly give their time to something are remembered, mourned when lost, and leave traces for us that gives us a unique glimpse into the life of an ancestor we never knew.

My grandfather Adolph Knura is such an ancestor. I never knew him, as he died when I was two. Certainly, there are stories my parents tell me, and the stories my grandmother used to tell. But that gives a limited view of someone. However, his volunteer work for the soccer clubs of Voorschoten has left such an impression that even now he is remembered.

When I began looking at my grandfather’s life, I did a quick google search. And behold, I found a mention of him on the website of Voorschoten ’97. I had known he was playing soccer and working as a volunteer for the various soccer clubs in Voorschoten, so this didn’t come as a surprise. The website said:

In 1961 the comlex got field-lights, after which in 1962 a beautiful new club house was build. Manager of the new clubhouse was Dolf Knura, who, riding on his moped , had become a famous villager.
(Translated paragraph from the website of Voorschoten ‘97)

I even have a picture of my grandfather during the construction of the clubhouse, which he oversaw.


The historical section of the website had been written by Hans Douw, who, as I found out, had also written a book about the history of soccer in Voorschoten. In this book, my grandfather’s passing was briefly named:

In Januari Dolf Knura passes away, who played an important role with all of Voorschoten’s soccer clubs.
(Translated sentence from De geschiedenis van het Voorschotense voetbal by Hans Douw, blz. 160.)

But the real value of volunteer work was made abundantly clear when I found the In Memoriam articles about my grandfather. One was from the local newspaper, the other pieces were from the club magazine. They give me a glimpse into the life of my grandfather that I might never had had otherwise. For this, I am grateful. I wish more ancestors had done volunteer work and I’ll make sure that I’ll do some volunteer work as well, if only to leave yet another trace of myself in history for future generations of genealogists.

If you’re interested in reading what I found in the In Memoriam articles, you can read on in Part 2: Adolph Knura In Memoriam.


This post was written for the 88th edition of the Carnival of Genealogy.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Year in Review: 2009

I've been interested in genealogy for some years now, but I only started to practise it seriously in mid-2009. The whole thing became almost overwhelming when in November my parents cleaned out their bedroom closet and I was suddenly in the possesion of three boxes of documents and a big (read: huge) box of photographs. Since then I've been going through it in small parts, but I realised I needed a plan and something to keep me on track. And so my blog was born on 20 November 2009.

What I noticed most about my research in the past year, in hindsight of course, is that it was all over the map. I didn't focus on certain people or lines and I was prone to following tangents that were only sideways connected to my family.

These things have led to my 2010 goals. One of my goals is dealing with the materials I got from my parents. The rest have to do with focussing on certain people and then go through all possible sources for those people systematically.

In Januari the focus will lay with going through all the documents and photographs in my possesion. This will also be the main bulk of the research for generation II, which are my parents. There will be things there about other generations, of course, but most of it is about my parents. The goal in Januari is to focus on generation II (and thus the documents and photographs in my possesion) for 5 hours a week. If I have more time, I can do some other things that are on my ever-growing to-do list, but the first 5 hours are reserved, so to speak.