Sunday, June 24, 2012

National Archives Visit Summary

I went to the National Archives yesterday with two very distinct questions I wanted to answer. The first thing I wanted to find out was when Lodewijk Wesselo had to draw lots to see if he would be conscripted into the military, since I had conflicting evidence about this. I managed to find this out and will detail everything about this in a separate post tomorrow.

The other question I had was about Lodewijk Wesselo’s house. I already knew it was going to be hard to figure this question out – the land records are scattered over several archives and it’s hard to even know which pieces you need, let alone where they are. The archivist on duty recommended that I put my question in an e-mail to the National Archives, because one of the archivists is an expert on land records and he’d be able to help me figure out if this question can be answered and which records I would need for this. He wasn’t there this Saturday, which is why I need to send the e-mail. So hopefully I’ll be able to answer this question, but right now I don’t know yet.

Of course, not even starting to answer the second question left me with lots of extra time, which I put to good use. Since I was already working with the ‘militie-registers’ to answer my first question, I also looked for Lodewijk Wesselo’s brothers – and found all of them.

I also wanted to look at Salomon Mulder’s military record – I have his record from the marines, from their own archive, but there should be something at the National Archives as well. I found Salomon’s entry in the ‘militie-registers’ (which held a nice little surprise as well, considering it said he was a butcher – something I hadn’t know, as he was a furniture maker before that), but the other records from his military career were not available. There’s a gap in the records, and that’s exactly the period in which his record fell. I did manage to ‘prove’ that he was not a part of the KNIL – a separate part of the Dutch military that served in the Dutch East Indies – by not finding him in any of the KNIL records. This means that he was and remained a marine for his entire time in the service, even when he was stationed in the Dutch East Indies. I also found his Japanese internment card from his time as a POW during World War Two – and apparently there’s a translation key on the site of the National Archives for the Japanese stamps used on the card. And there was a record that’s a reconstruction of the missing data – basically a list of names with their military registration number – and Salomon was on that list. No further data could be found, but even though his military records at the National Archives were lost, the bits and pieces I did find were very interesting.

All in all, a very good visit. Now here’s to hoping my second question can also be answered. I’ve send the e-mail, now it’s a waiting game.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the very nice post about what can be found in your National Archives and the progress you made in your research there.