Friday, April 30, 2010

Genealogy in the Netherlands: Primary sources after 1811 part III- Burgerlijke Stand (BS) part 1: civil registration

Last time I discussed Persoonskaarten as a primary source, this time I will be talking about the Burgerlijke Stand (BS), which is the Dutch civil registration. Civil registration in the Netherlands was generally started in 1811, but in the South it was sometimes started as early as 1796. By 1812, every city and town in the Netherlands had started with the civil registration of births, marriages and deaths. These certificates were kept in bound books, one book for every kind of certificate. So there is a book of births, a book of marriages and a book of deaths for every place. Registration occurred in the place where the event took place.

Civil registration of births

The civil registration of births is public after 100 years. So currently, all births before 1910 are public. A birth certificate will give the following data:

Name of the child
Names and residence of the parents
Profession of the father
Date and time of birth
Place of birth
Special notices, like whether the child was born out of wedlock.

Civil registration of marriages

The civil registration of marriages is public after 75 years. So currently, all births before 1935 are public. A marriage certificate will give the following data:

Place and date of the marriage
Names and ages of the bride and groom
Birthplaces of the bride and groom
Profession of the groom, and sometimes also of the bride (be aware, if the certificate notes no profession for the bride, this does not mean she didn’t work at all, she could very well have helped out her family in the family business, for instance)
Names, professions and places of residence for the parents of the bride and groom (often it is also noted if they are deceased at the time of the marriage)
Sometimes mention is made of permission for the marriage, recognition of a child born out of wedlock, and other special events surrounding the marriage
The names, professions and places of residence of the witnesses, sometimes the familial relationship is also noted.

Civil registration of deaths

The civil registration of deaths is public after 50 years. So currently, all deaths before 1960 are public. A death certificate will give the following data:

Name of the deceased
Place, date and time of death
Birthplace and date of the deceased
Profession and place of residence of the deceased
Name of partner, and sometimes of previous partners
Name, profession and places of residence for the parents of the deceased, sometimes it is also noted if the parents are alive or deceased

Finding the certificates

The first thing you need to do is figure out which archive contains the certificates of the town you’re interested in. If you search in Google on ‘archief and name of the town’ it’s easy enough to find. Most archives have a digital search engine that will search all if the civil registry certificates they have. Do always check to see which part of their collection isn’t available digital yet! The Genlias database is also a good idea to check, it contains civil registry certificates from a lot of town in the Netherlands.

When you have found the correct certificate through a digital database, you can usually click on it to get some more information. Sometimes, a digital scan is available. You can see a scan of the original and with that you can easily transcribe all the available data. However, if there is no digital scan, you will either have to order a copy (prizes vary from archive to archive) or go and see the certificate at the archive. If you do not do this, you will miss a lot of information, because only the bare basics of the certificate (name of person(s), name of his/her/their parents and date of event) are in the database. Don’t forget to see the original!

If the town you’re interested in does not have a digital database, you will have to go to the archive to look for the certificate. In this case, you will have to look in the index. The indexes are for every 10 years and give in alphabetical surname order all names of the people who were born, married, died or got divorced in that time period, together with the date the certificate was made. Then you can look for the certificate. Please, do not make the mistake of thinking the date the certificate was made (the date mentioned in the index) is the date of the event!

Some other, important notes

Although I’ve given the time periods after which certificates are considered public, this doesn’t always mean they can be found. There are often delays in handing over certificates to the archives, and especially in smaller towns certificates of multiple years are in the same book, which means the books are transferred every 5 or 10 years, instead of every year. This means that even though I should be able to find a birth certificate made in 1909, there is a good chance it is not at the archive yet. Generally, birth certificates of 1900 and before can be found, marriage certificates of 1925 and before and death certificates of 1950 and before.

There are two other registers that are a part of the Burgerlijke Stand, namely the Huwelijksbijlagen (Marriage Supplements) and the Registers van Naamsaanneming (Registers of Name Adoption). I will talk about them in part 2.

To cite a civil register certificate, use the following: BS [place] Certificate Year [enter year] Number [enter number]

Examples of birth, marriage and death certificates will appear in the series Looking For Lamboo. I will post a notice here when these posts are made.

For other posts in this series, see the How-to Guide to Genealogy in the Netherlands.

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Pilgrim Archives

Today is Dutch-American friendship day and in honour of that, I'd like to point all of you Americans (and everybody else) who have Pilgrims in their ancestral tree to the Pilgrim Archives.

The Pilgrims were English Protestants, who fled England to escape oppression. They lived and worked in Leiden from 1609 to 1620. From 1620 groups of Pilgrims travelled onwards to North America. The Pilgrim Archives tell the story of the Pilgrims themselves and the 17th century Leiden that was their home.

During their stay in the city the Pilgrims got married, bought houses, got involved in disputes and made wills. In the database on the site you will find the documents the Pilgrims left behind. All records consist of the following data:

Date
Names of all the people mentioned in the document, in the modern English or Dutch
Places and streets mentioned in the document, in the modern English or Dutch
Description of the source (archive, volume)
Number of archive
Number of source
(sometimes) additional number of source
page or number of act.
A short description of the content of the document.
The full transcription of the document itself
A scan of the document

You can search by name, date, place, street and you can do a free search.

Pilgrims who travelled to America are indicated in the text of the description by a letter for the ship they travelled with: M for Mayflower, F for Fortune, ALJ for Anne and Little James, M2 for the second Mayflower.
Those Pilgrims who travelled separately have an approximate year of emigration behind their name.

It's a great resource! Have fun researching!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Looking For Lamboo Part IV: The Stories Pictures Tell

Yesterday I wrote about all the secondary sources I have for Henriette and what they tell about her life. Today, I'm taking a look at the pictures I have of her and what new information they can give me. Sometimes, a picture is all you have of an event and they can hold surprising amounts of information, especially if you talk to your relatives about it.

The first picture that presents me with new information is the one below, taken around 1920-1921. It's a picture of my grandmother when she's in primary school, so I now know for sure she was in primary school. Primary schools are always local, and she lived in Voorschoten all her life, so she went to the local primary school in Voorschoten. Also, she was Roman Catholic, so she went to the local, Roman Catholic primary school in Voorschoten.




I have a picture of Henriette and Adolph's 35 year marriage party, their 40 year marriage party and, depicted below, their 50 year marriage party. So I know they threw parties!



I know my grandmother liked to do puzzles. This picture, taken somewhere around 1955-1965 shows just how early that hobby had grabbed her!



This picture shows Henriette on a trip with the organization Zonnebloem. It's an organization that battles loneliness in elderly people, among other things, and they organize several (day-)trips a year. My grandmother always went.



And then we come by the MYSTERY PICTURES! The first one shows my grandmother with the group of girls, the second one is an assembly (where I'm sure she's too, I just can't make her out). The organization is girls-only, as far as I can see, and must be Roman Catholic. The pictures where taken between 1925-1935, approximately. I have no idea what organization this is.





So what did we learn? My grandmother attended the local Roman Catholic primary school, threw a party when she was married for 35 years, 40 years and 50 years. (Maybe 25 and 12 1/2 too?) She liked to puzzle early on in life and participated in Zonnebloem trips. Also, she was a member of an organization in her teenage years.

I'm currently making inquiries about what organization is depicted on the mystery pictures and in the summer months I'm going to take a look in the local archive of Voorschoten to see if I can find more information about the primary school she attended.

Next time, we'll take a look at the information I've managed to gather about Henriette in one formal interview with my mother and one small, informal talk with my mother.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Looking For Lamboo Part III: Secondary Sources for Henriette

Last time I looked at the information I could find on Henriette in the primary documents of Adolph Knura. It was quite a bit of information, but most of it was confirmation of what was in Henriette's primary sources. Almost all of the information was names and dates, but to tell her story I want more information. So, out come the secondary sources.

The first source I have is a notification of the marriage ban of Adolph Knura and Henriette Geertruida Lamboo. It also served as the wedding invitation, because all the information about the date and place of the marriage is on there. The time and place of the marriage is on Wednesday 11 May 1938, in the H. Laurentius Church in Voorschoten at 9.30.



This source also has a little goldnugget of information that is very hard to find elsewhere. It states the current addresses of the couple and the address they will be living in after the wedding! Voorstraat 7 and Burgemeester Vernèdepark 54 are named as the current addresses. Last time, I showed you that one of the addresses of Adolph Knura mentioned on his persoonskaart is Voorstraat 7, which means that Burgemeester Vernèdepark 54 is Henriette's address. The address the married couple moved into is Burgemeester Vernèdepark 14, which is corroborated by Adolph's persoonskaart.

The next document I have that mentions Henriette is Adolph Knura's German passport. It was issued on 15 October 1952 and Henriette is recorded in there as his wife, with picture and everything. Besides giving her birthdate, birthplace and place of residence, it also gives a description of her. She's described as 159 centimeters in lenght, oval shaped face and green eyes. The four children that were born at the time the passport was issued are also noted in there with their names and birthdates.



I also have a Dutch passport for Henriette herself, but this one was issued on 14 December 1987. It once again gives us a birthdate and place and the current place of residence. Here too, a description is given, but very brief. 151 centimeters tall and green eyes. It also contains a picture and signature of Henrietter.




This passport also shows a trip she made to Australia, almost two years after her husband died. She arrived on 10 December 1991 in Australia and left 23 January 1992. She visited her eldest daughter, who lives in Australia, during this trip.

I also have a tourist card for Henriette in my possesion. This tourist card was issued on 4 June 1960 and was a short-term 'passport' that could be used for a trip within several European Countries, among which was Germany. The tourist card was most likely requested by Henriette for a trip to Adolph Knura's family in Bottrop.



Th card itself doesn't give any new information, once again containing a birthdate, birthplace and current place of residence. It does, however, contain a picture.

The last paper source I have that mentions Henriette is one of Adolph Knura's In Memoriams. In it, it says that Adolph and his wife (Henriette) manage the SVLV clubhouse for years. SVLV is a local soccer club. This was in the years 1945-1965, give or take a few years.




This time we learned quite a lot. We got some more details about Adolph and Henriette's marriage, we got information about two addresses where Henriette lived, we got information about two trips she took and we got a description! Also, she helped her husband for years with managing the clubhouse of the local soccer club.

Next time: pictures as secondary sources.

Sources:
Ondertrouw aankondiging van A. Knura en H.G. Lamboo, 21 April 1938, Voorschoten, Zuid-Holland, Familiearchief Mulder, Voorschoten.
"Paspoort Adolph Knura" 15 oktober 1952, Duitse Ambassade, Den Haag, Familiearchief Mulder, Voorschoten.
"Paspoort Henriette Geertruida Lamboo" Afgegeven op 14 December 1987, Familiearchief Mulder, Voorschoten.
"Toeristenkaart van Henriette Geertruida Lamboo" Afgegeven op 4 June 1960, Familiearchief Mulder, Voorschoten.
"In Memoriam voor Adolph Knura" undated clipping, February 1990, from unidentified newspaper; Familiearchief Mulder; privately held 2010 by J. Mulder, [address for private use], Voorschoten.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Reconstruction of the Knura Family's Migration

My grandfather Adolph Knura was not the first of his family to come to Voorschoten and he was also not the last. Throughout the first half of the 20th century his siblings came and went between Voorschoten (and surrounding places) and Bottrop. Only my grandfather and his elder sister Anna stayed in Voorschoten. In an effort to document their trips back and forth over the border, I have searched the digitalized newspaper archive of the Regional Archive Leiden. Although this has given me a lot of information, it is by no means complete, nor is it always accurate. However, it is likely going to be all that I have, as I can’t think of another source at the moment. So, for better or worse, I present to you: the migration of the Knura siblings.

Sometime before August 1924: Anna Knura arrives in Leiden from Germany

August 1924: Anna Knura moves from Leiden to Kasteel Oud Wassenaar (Castle Old Wassenaar) in Wassenaar

Sometime before January 1925: Maria Knura arrives in Leiden from Germany (possibly together with her sister Anna?)

January 1925: Maria Knura moves from Leiden to Grutonstrasse 5, Bottrop, Germany

1928: Anna Knura marries L.J. van Aken and moves to Donklaan 30, Voorschoten

February/March 1932: Adolph Knura moves from Germany to Donklaan 30, Voorschoten

Sometime before 1933: E. Knura moves from Germany to Voorschoten

June 1933: E. Knura (male) moves from Voorschoten to Bottrop, Germany

August 1933: E. Knura (male) moves from Bottrop Germany to Donklaan 30, Voorschoten

Sometime between August 1933 and July 1936: E. Knura moves from Voorschoten to Germany


May 1934: Karl Knura moves from Germany to Voorschoten

June 1935: Karl Knura moves from Voorschoten to Germany


July 1936: E. Knura (male) moves from Germany to Donklaan 12, Voorschoten

January 1937: E. Knura (male) moves from Voorschoten to Bottrop, Germany



I have no records of any Knura’s migrating after 1937.


Sources:

"Opgave van personen die uit Leiden zijn vertrokken," Leidsch Dagblad, 13 August 1924, Vertrokken Mej. A. Knura, Wassenaar, Kasteel Oud Wassenaar; on-line scans, Digitaal Krantenarchief Regionaal Archief Leiden (http://leiden.courant.nu/ : accessed 4 April 2010); page 2/8.

"Lijst vestiging en vertrek," Nieuwe Leidsche Courant, 28 January 1925, Vertrokken: Mej. M. Knura, Bottrop (D), Grutonstrasse 5; On-line scan, Digitaal Krantenarchief Regionaal Archief Leiden (http://leiden.courant.nu/ : accessed 4 April 2010); page 8/8. From context: she left Leiden.

"Loop der bevolking - Voorschoten," Leidsch Dagblad, 1 March 1932, Gevestigd: A. Knura, Donklaan 30, van Duitsland; On-line scans, Digitaal Krantenarchief Regionaal Archief Leiden (http://leiden.courant.nu/ : accessed 4 April 2010); page 6/12.

"Loop de bevolking - Voorschoten," Nieuwe Leidsche Courant, 21 June 1933, Vertrokken: E. Knura n Bottrop (Dld.); On-line scans, Digitaal Krantenarchief Regionaal Archief Leiden (http://leiden.courant.nu/ : accessed 4 April 2010); page 6/8.

"Loop der bevolking - Voorschoten," Leidsch Dagblad, 19 June 1933, Vertrokken: E. Knura naar Bottrop (Dld.); On-line scans, Digitaal Krantenarchief Regionaal Archief Leiden (http://leiden.courant.nu/ : accessed 4 April 2010); page 11/14.

"Loop der bevolking - Voorschoten," Leidsch Dagblad, 5 August 1933, Gevestigd: E. Knura, Donklaan 30, van Bottrop (Dld); On-line scans, Digitaal Krantenarchief Regionaal Archief Leiden (http://leiden.courant.nu/ : accessed 4 April 2010); page 7/14.

"Voorschoten - Ingekomen," Leidsche Courant, 4 August 1933, Ingekomen: E. Knura, Donklaan 30, van Bottrop, (Dld.); On-line scans, Digitaal Krantenarchief Regionaal Archief Leiden (http://leiden.courant.nu/ : accessed 4 April 2010); page 7/10.

"Loop der bevolking - Voorschoten," Leidsch Dagblad, 8 July 1936, Gevestigd: E. Knura, Donklaan 12; On-line scans, Digitaal Krantenarchief Regionaal Archief Leiden (http://leiden.courant.nu/ : accessed 4 April 2010); page 7/12.

"Loop der bevolking - Voorschoten," Leidsch Dagblad, 4 January 1937, Vertrokken: E. Knura naar Bottrop, Dld.; On-line scans, Digitaal Krantenarchief Regionaal Archief Leiden (http://leiden.courant.nu/ : accessed 4 April 2010); page 8/14.

"Loop der bevolking - Voorschoten," Nieuwe Leidsche Courant, 28 May 1934, Ingekomen: Karl Knura van Duitsland; On-line scans, Digitaal Krantenarchief Regionaal Archief Leiden (http://leiden.courant.nu/ : accessed 4 April 2010); page 6/8.

"Loop der bevolking - Voorschoten," Leidsch Dagblad, 19 May 1934, Ingekomen: Karl Knura van Duitsland; On-line scans, Digitaal Krantenarchief Regionaal Archief Leiden (http://leiden.courant.nu/ : accessed 4 April 2010); page 6/20.

"Loop der bevolking - Voorschoten," Leidsch Dagblad, 22 June 1934, Vertrokken: K. Knura naar Duitsland; On-line scans, Digitaal Krantenarchief Regionaal Archief Leiden (http://leiden.courant.nu/ : accessed 4 April 2010); page 7/16.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Looking For Lamboo Part II: Adolph Knura

Last time I looked at the primary source for Henriëtte Geertruida Lamboo. This time, I’m going to take a look at the primary sources of her husband, Adolph Knura. Considering the fact that married partners spend a great part of their lives together, it’s good practice to look into sources that are primarily about the partner of your research subject for information about your research subject.

As with Henriëtte, civil registration records for Adolph Knura are not public yet. However, his persoonskaart is. Below in the pictures you can see the front and the back of the card. I blacked out all info on his living children. Translation follows below the pictures. My own comments are in the brackets.





Front of the card:
Box 1 gaVR [civil archive Voorschoten] 27 Apr 59 [1959] AA [Don’t know the meaning of AA, but 27 April 1959 is the date the civil records were compared to the data on the card, approximately a year after Adolph got the Dutch nationality]

Box 2 Women [This is clearly a mistake, it should have read Husband or at the very least Male]

Box 3a Knura
Box 3b Adolph

Box 4 Born on 1 Juli 1914, city Bottrop, country Germany

Box 5 Nationality Vr [crossed out, possibly stands for stranger/foreigner which he was until 1958] Ned [short for The Netherlands] see box 35

Box 7 Occupation: painter (o) [The o means he was an employee]

Box 8 Son of: Josef – and Zbieszczyk, Sophia

Box 9 and 10 Married with: Lamboo, Henriëtte Geertruida

Box 11 and 12 Born on 15 Dec 13 [1913] in Zoeterwoude [Here we have confirmation on Henriëtte’s birth date and place]

Box 13 Married on 11 May 38 [1938] in Voorschoten [Confirmation of their marriage date]

Box 21 and 22 [These contain a list of addresses Adolph lived and the dates the change of addresses were reported]
BOTTROP (Dld) [Germany]
VOORSCHOTEN
25 Feb 32 [1932] Voorstraat 7 [Voorschoten]
12 May 38 [1938] Burg Vernèdepark 14 [Voorschoten] [This is the day after Henriëtte and Adolph were married, so it is very likely this is the house they moved to]
20 Dec 40 [1940] Burg Vernèdepark 54 [Voorschoten]
24 Apr 41 [1941] Badhuisstraat 18 [Voorschoten]
13 Sep 45 [1945] [Address blacked out for privacy reasons, address still in Voorschoten] [I know for a fact that Henriëtte and Adolph lived at this address until 1990, Adolph died before the move was comlete]

Box on the lower right side:
Died in Leiden on 30 Jan 1990

Back of the card:
Box 27-32 [These boxes give information on all of Adolph’s children. All of his children come from his marriage with Henriëtte and this information matches what is on Henriëtte’s persoonslijst, but this card provides a little more information. I blacked out the data of the living children, but once again left Bertje’s information available]

O [stands for deceased] 11 Sep 61 [1961] in Leiden, Lambertus Johannes Adolphus, Born 19 Jun 55 [1955] in Voorschoten

Box 35 Naturalized by law v 18 Dec 57 [1957], Stb 538, valid from 1 Jan 58 [1958]; change added on 16 Jan 58 [1958]
[Here we have information on Adolph’s naturalization, which was quite late. This had some effect on his children, but not on Henriëtte, she was and remained throughout her life a Dutch citizen.]

So what information about Henriëtte did we get by looking at Adolph Knura’s primary records? Well, first of all it gave us confirmation on Henriëtte’s date and place of birth and the date and place of her marriage. It also gave us a list of addresses where she could’ve lived during her life, from her marriage onward. However, here it is very important to note that a) this information is not flawless (as shown by the epithet of woman used for my grandfather!), b) the addresses listed are addresses for Adolph Knura and therefore do not necessarily mean the rest of the family lived there too and c) a lot of these address changes were during the war years and considering my grandfather was a German and therefore likely to be called to serve in the military (and eventually was), it is plausible that the address changes were just him moving around or him saying he was moving around. The records are suspicious and need further looking into. So, while the addresses are a nice place to start, they need to be corroborated by other sources, both for Adolph as for Henriëtte.

Next time, we’ll take a look at the secondary sources I have for Henriëtte, collected from closets of various family members. Perhaps we’ll find some new information and we might even corroborate some of the information we found in the primary sources.

Sources
Personal knowledge J. Mulder, granddaughter of Henriëtte Geertruida Lamboo
Persoonskaart: CBG, persoonskaart Adolph Knura (1914-1990).

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Genealogy in the Netherlands: Primary sources after 1811 part II – Persoonskaarten

Last time I discussed Persoonslijsten as a primary source. This time I will be talking about its predecessor Persoonskaarten.

Persoonskaarten were introduced in 1938 and the introduction was complete in 1940. These cards hold a lot of primary information and sometimes some supplemental information. Persoonskaarten are available for everyone who was living in the Netherlands in the period 1938-1940 (some towns were faster with switching systems than others) and died before 1 October 1994. The card can be requested in writing by the Central Bureau for Genealogy in The Hague. (See www.cbg.nl for more information)

If there is a Persoonskaart of the person you’re interested in, you get a copy of the card. There are several boxes on the card, this is what you can find there:

On the front:

Box 1: Date the name and birth date and place were compared with the birth certificate of civil registry. In some cases, a person outside the Netherlands born, that comparison was not possible.

Box 2. Relation to the head of the household, such as husband, wife, father and mother.

Box 3. Surname (box 3a) and first names (box 3b).

Box 4. Date of birth and town where the birth took place.

Box 5. Nationality.

Box 7. Occupation and whether one job as head (h) or subordinate (o) was employed. Although changes in occupation had to be reported, this often didn’t happen so these data are often outdated.

Box 8. The names, birth places and dates of the parents. When in 1938/1939 the cards were made, it was not always possible to find information on the parents, especially the elderly, So this information is sometimes missing.

Boxes 9 and 10. Surname(s) and first name(s) of spouse(s.

Boxes 11 and 12. Birthdate(s) and place(s) of spouse(s).

Box 13. Date and place of marriage.

Blocks 14, 15 and 16. Date and place where the marriage was dissolved by death of partner (O) or divorce (S).

Box 22. Data on consecutive home addresses of person. The CBG is not allowed to provide the addresses of persons who died less than 20 years ago, in order to protect the privacy of the families, who often lived or still live at the same addresses.

The death date and place of the person which is noted on the back of the card is also printed on the front of the card.

The back of the card contains personal data mainly on the children. Usually children only appear on the card of the father. From the back you only get one copy if children are indeed mentioned. You will get the data:

Box 27. The date and manner in which the child left the family of the person on the other side. The way is indicated by a letter: A for departure (administratively removed), O for death, H for marriage.

Boxes 28 and 29. Surname and first names of the children.

Boxes 30 and 31. Birthplace and dates of the children.

Box 32. The ratio of children to the household, z for son, d for daughter, sd for stepdaughter and sz for stepson.

By the introduction of the card in 1938/1939 previous marriages of married persons weren’t always recorded and the children who were not living at home anymore were also often not recorded. Children did of course get their own individual card. This does not apply to children who were already deceased. On the back there are also sometimes other notations made, like naturalizations, but these are rare.

Some cards of deceased persons from the war years 1940-1945 have been lost during the war.

If you want to properly source a Persoonskaart, use this format: Persoonskaart: CBG, persoonskaart [first names and surname] ([year of birth]-[year of death]).
For an example of a persoonskaart and what can be gleaned from it, see Looking for Lamboo part II, in which I take a look at Adolph Knura’s persoonskaart to get information on Henriëtte Geertruida Lamboo.

For other posts in this series, see the How-to Guide to Genealogy in the Netherlands.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Ancestor Approved Award

I’ve been honoured with the Ancestor Approved Award by Miriam from Ancestories: The Stories of My Ancestors, and by Dorene from Graveyard Rabbit of Sandusky Bay, and also by Cheryl from Heritage Happens.



The Ancestor Approved Award asks that the recipient list ten things you have learned about any of your ancestors that has surprised, humbled, or enlightened you and pass the award along to ten other bloggers who you feel are doing their ancestors proud.

My ancestors have surprised me many times, but I’ll share some of the biggest surprises:

1. I discovered that my grandfather Adolph Knura was imprisoned by the Dutch government after World War II on suspected treason. Neither I nor my mother (his daughter) knew about this. I briefly blogged about it here, but this is definitely a surprise that I need to look into some more.

2. I always knew my great-grandfather Salomon Mulder had been a POW in World War II, but to my great surprise, he had been imprisoned in a prison camp in Singapore. I never would’ve looked for him there, if I hadn’t found the information in his military record, which I recently acquired and blogged about here.

3. Another surprise came out of Salomon Mulder’s military record. It was stated he was Roman-Catholic, which came as a big surprise because his son (my grandfather), Klaas Mulder, was definitely Nederlands-Hervormd. I did some checking with my grandmother, and she told me my grandfather converted to Nederlands-Hervormd during his stay in the Dutch East Indies. Another thing learned.

4. A big surprise came from Anna Knura, the sister of my grandfather Adolph Knura. I’d always believed that the Van Aken family was connected to my family by marriage with a Lamboo. However, it was Anna Knura who married a Van Aken and in fact, she came here from Germany almost ten years before my grandfather did! Now that came as a big surprise! Read about that particular discovery here.

5. My recent visit to the CBG, blogged about here, brought a great surprise. I knew that there was a Wesselo Family Archive there, but I never expected it to be six boxes full of pictures, letters and documents of almost all of the Wesselo’s that are my direct ancestors and their brothers and sisters. I was literally blown away.

Of course, except for surprises, there are plenty of ancestors who humble me with their actions. Here are a few examples:

6. My grandfather Adolph Knura spend most of his life doing volunteer work with the local soccer clubs. I blogged about that in this post. Whenever I read and hear how much he has done in his life, I am humbled. Because, really, next to that, I’m kinda lazy looking…

7. I am humbled by the love and generosity of my parents. They set an example I might never be able to meet, yet still strive for.

There are many ancestors who have stories that enlighten me, but some are even more remarkable than others. Funnily enough, they’re all woman!

8. My mother, she sets a great example of how a mother should be. I want to be her when I grow up! No really, I am not kidding. I know most people have some things they would do different from their parents when they have their own children. But when I look at my mother, I really and truly don’t want to do anything different.

9. My great-grandmother Adriana Versloot, whom I briefly blogged about here, is still shrouded in mystery. Still, with every bit of the puzzle I collect, my admiration for her grows. Married to a marine who doesn’t seem to live in the same place for more than a couple of years, having three children, being a POW in World War II and eventually losing your life while imprisoned; it all paints the story of a hard life. But she left behind a strong and loving impression on my grandfather and I know she helped shape the man he became. Because of that, she is an example for me.

10. My grandmother Henriëtte Geertruida Lamboo was born in a time period where she didn’t get all the chances women today have. Still, she lived her life to the fullest, always learning, always giving, always there. I did a brief biography of her life in this blogpost. She is and will always be a great inspiration to me.

Now I know you are supposed to pass the award 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!

Visit to the CBG

Yesterday I spend my very first day at an archive, looking at actual sources instead of copies and digital images. The archive that I visited was the Central Bureau for Genealogy (Centraal Bureau voor Genealogy, CBG), which is the Dutch information and documentation centre for genealogy, family history and related sciences. It's not a governmental archive, but a private one, and as I am a member of the CBG, I have free access to the studyroom.

I must say, I spend the entire day there and it was still too short! Especially considering the fact that there are six (!) boxes of the family archive Wesselo, which contains letters, documents and pictures of almost all of my Wesselo ancesters. But also from other branches I am investigating there is a lot of material. I didn't even have the time to properly look at it all.

There were two highlights of this visit. The first one is that I might've found a related Knura, and if that is the case, than I have a clue as to where Bergmann Josef Knura was born! I can't be certain yet, but it's a start and far more than I expected to find.

The second was a handwritten letter by Johanna Wilhelmina Boezel to her two sons Hendrik Wesselo and Jan Jerphaas Wesselo. Hendrik Wesselo is my great-great-grandfather. There was also some accompanying information written out by a Wesselo, that gave a bit of background information about some points in the letter.

Of course there were many more gems in the Wesselo family archive, not to mention some great little tidbits on other lines. It'll take at least a couple of more visits to get everything written down, but that's half the fun!