Friday, November 30, 2012

Searching for Dutch Military Records Post 1813 for a Marine

When one of your Dutch ancestors was in the military, there are two things you need to know before you can really look for records. First, you need to know what time period your ancestor served. There are three time periods when it comes to military records: pre-1795, 1795-1813 (the French ruled the Netherlands during that time period), and post-1813. And then there’s the military branch your ancestor served in. He could have been army, navy, air force, or marine. But, there’s a catch! We also have people serving in the KNIL (which is the Royal Dutch Indies Military), a military branch which served in the East Indies – and not only Dutch people served in it. And you’ve got separate records pertaining to the military serving in the West Indies – meaning Suriname, the Dutch Antilles, and off the coast of Guinea in Africa.

It seems fairly easy to find records once you know who, when, and where. But looks can be deceiving, as I found out when searching for the military records of my great-grandfather Salomon Mulder. He was born 28 November 1900 in Leiden, Zuid-Holland. From my grandmother, his daughter-in-law, I learned that he’d been a marine and he’d served in the Dutch East Indies, where he’d been a POW during World War Two.

The very first thing I did was request information about him from the Netherlands Institute of Military History (NIMH). They’ve got genealogical as well as historical information about the Dutch military. I do have to add that as far as genealogical information goes, they’ve mainly got information about the navy and the marines. But since Salomon was a marine, I requested information about him. They send me twenty pages! His complete military record as they had it. I couldn’t have been happier.

But the NIMH is not the only place that has military records. Another place I could look for records was the National Archive. For one, his militia records – mandatory service in the National Guard for those who were selected by drawing lots – reside there. As an aside, this brought a bit of a surprise about Salomon’s occupation before going into the military, which shows that it’s never a good idea to forgo looking at records just because you think they can’t give you anything new.

However, it’s also there that I got a bit confused. There were two archivists there that day, one of whom was an expert in the military records, and both of them had never heard of someone serving in the Dutch East Indies and not being a member of the KNIL. However, nothing in the records from the NIMH showed him being transferred to the KNIL during his multiple tours in the Dutch East Indies. Still, I looked in the KNIL records for Salomon – and did not find him. So my initial assumption was right, Salomon never served in the KNIL. When looking at the records for the navy – which includes the marines – I didn’t have much luck either. Salomon’s records are among those that were lost. There’s a gap of about a few years and only an index of names of the people whose records were lost remains. Salomon’s name was among them. Actually, there are two S. Mulder’s, and one of them has a military number that matches the records I got from the NIMH.

So, in the end, I’ve got Salomon’s militia records and twenty pages of … well, military abbreviations in atrocious handwriting comes closest to describing the records I got from the NIMH. In the coming Amanuensis Monday’s I will try to decipher these records page by page, transcribe them, and analyze them. I’m probably going to get stuck sometimes, either with understanding the abbreviations or with reading the scribbles the people making the records call handwriting. But I’m sure I can find the help I need to decipher things. Figuring this out will kick off my research into Salomon Mulder.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

What Name To Put Down as the “Right One”

Names are not always spelled the same, even on official, government records, a fact of life all genealogists are familiar with. However, when referring to a person in a narrative, or when entering the primary or ‘official’ name in a genealogy program or family tree, which variation of the name do you use?


Here in the Netherlands, that’s actually a pretty easy decision to make. I’m sure not many people realize it, but the only official name you have in the Netherlands is the one that appears on your birth certificate. I found out about this when my mother applied for a passport, about eight years ago. She gave her name as she’d always known it – and as it appears on most, if not all, of the records pertaining her – with one of her middle names being Johanna. However, her birth certificate said Joanna, a spelling error from either the clerk or her father, whichever one wrote it down. And that’s her official name, and that’s also how it appears on her passport. The name Joanna is actually a mistake, as her parents meant to name her Johanna, but since no-one caught the mistake when the birth certificate was made, it’s now Joanna.

Now, in the case of my mother, it means that most record would have a different name on them than her birth certificate. That can also be true for many of my other ancestors. But, since the government considers the birth certificate name as the official name, that is the primary name I use for my ancestors – all other spellings (no matter how often used) are spelling variants.

Of course, this gets harder if the ancestor is born before 1811, as no birth certificates are available before that date. Then I use the baptism information instead. This consistency makes things clear for everyone involved.

So, how do you handle spelling variants?

Monday, November 26, 2012

Amanuensis Monday: Lodewijk Wesselo as an Expert Witness (2)

Amanuensis Monday is a weekly effort to transcribe family letters, journals, newspaper articles, and other genealogical and historical documents, first started by John Newark at the TransylvanianDutch blog. I will not only transcribe the documents, but also do a quick English summary and analysis of the document.

In an article about Lodewijk Wesselo, the following statement was made:

Mr. Wesselo is also reputed as an expert outside of his direct circle of clients. Several times he was named and heard as such during disagreements, both in front of a court as in other ways.”(1)

Of course I was interested in finding out more. However, with so little information to go on - it does not even say which period Lodewijk served as a witness - it's nearly impossible to go looking for court records. Unless I wanted to look through court records in three separate cities, hoping he was called to testify in the place he lived. However, old newspaper gave me two court cases that actually made the news where he was named in the article, so I do have more information about two instances where he served as an expert witness. Last week I transcribed the first newspaper article (2) and the subsequent verdict (3). Today, I have transcribed the second newspaper article (4), and I also looked up the subsequent verdict in the case, because I was curious, which was in another newspaper article (5).

Below are the English translations of my Dutch transcriptions. Where the Dutch transcriptions are precise, I have taken a little bit of liberty with the translation - especially with antiquated Dutch terms - in order to keep it understandable for readers. It does not detract from the story, and anyone interested in the original transcription can contact me; see the About Me page for that or simply leave a comment to this post.

The Price of an Earring

In September of the previous year a 25-jarlge maid from Venlo was tried for theft of some jewelry to the detriment of Mrs. A. J. D. H. van den Heemraadssingel, whom she had worked for. On 30 March she left her service, taking with her various valuable things. However, before she went to the station she sold a diamond earring and a ladies watch to a jeweler in the Mlddellandstraat. This jeweler, the 63 - year old M. S., had to account for fencing stolen goods, because he was said to have sold both objects for f 22.50 without having properly accounted for their provenance. The Court then decided that the investigation was not complete and referred the case back to the magistrate.

This morning the case is again before the court. The judge was Van Oosten Slingeland. The handling of the case took a lot of time, as many experts had to be heard as witnesses. The taxation of the stolen earring was tedious. Witness L. Wesselo, store manager of the firm Van Kempen, Begeer en Vos, estimated the purchase value at f 100, but witness Leo van Ierland (for the defense) said that he would give approximately f 30 for it.

The D.A., Mr. Hoeffelman, considered deliberately selling stolen goods proved. The maid was in the store for a short amount of time, perhaps nine minutes. The defense now argues that he initiated an in-depth investigation before purchasing the items. Among other things, he’s said to have sent his daughter to the Spangenschekade by bike, to see if someone did indeed live there by the name which the seller had mentioned. The convicted maid has stated that the shopkeeper paid her f 12.50 for the earring and the watch. It has appeared that the truth is different. The defendant paid f 22.50, but in any case this is not enough. Mr. Hoeffelman wanted to keep to the taxation of Mr. Wesselo and considered the defendant guilty.

Mr. G.C.A. Oskam, defendant’s attorney, held a detailed plea in which he maintained that the testimonies of the experts are prone to multiple interpretations and that a store manager of an expensive jewelry store should not be confused with someone who does nothing but estimate values of diamonds. The defendant’s attorney was sorry he had not found someone from a pawnshop in order to hear his judgment. The attorney for the defense considered his client’s guilt absolutely unproven, and said in closing that – even if his client’s record is not as shiny as the diamond earring he sold – the last few years showed a marked improvement.

Ruling January 21 leading.
”(4)

The 63-year old jeweler M.S., living in Rotterdam, was convicted to 3 months in jail for selling a stolen earring and a ladies watch.”(5)

Note:

This M.S., going by the age, is actually the same jeweler that Lodewijk testified against in 1925!

Sources:

1. Life description Lodewijk Wesselo – Handwritten by himself, 1947, Familiearchieven: CBG, fa 00472, familiearchief Wesselo, Doos 1, portfolio 3, CBG, Den Haag.

2. "Recieving Stolen Goods," Rotterdamsch nieuwsblad, 29 May 1925, Lodewijk Wesselo as witness in a court case; digital image, Koninklijke Bibliotheek Historische Kranten (http://kranten.kb.nl/ : accessed 7 November 2012).

3. "Rulings," Rotterdamsch nieuwsblad, 4 June 1925; digital image, Koninklijke Bibliotheek Historische Kranten (http://kranten.kb.nl/ : accessed 7 November 2012). Excerpt pertaining to court case in newspaper clipping 29 May 1925.

4. "The Price of an Earring," Rotterdamsch nieuwsblad, 8 January 1941, Lodewijk Wesselo as witness in a court case; digital image, Gedigitaliseerde Kranten Stadsarchief Rotterdam (http://rjb.x-cago.com/kranten/index.do: accessed 13 August 2010).

5. "Rulings," Rotterdamsch nieuwsblad, 22 January 1941, Gedigitaliseerde Kranten Stadsarchief Rotterdam (http://rjb.x-cago.com/kranten/index.do: accessed 26 October 2012). Excerpt pertaining to court case in newspaper clipping 8 January 1941.

Friday, November 23, 2012

The Joy of Old Postcards

Sometimes, you just don’t have a lot of pictures of an ancestor – or perhaps no pictures at all. But often times we do have a location where that ancestor lived. A picture of that location can brighten up your family history, give the reader (and yourself) a visual. But many old homes are no longer there, or the location has changed so much that your ancestor would hardly recognize it. And even if the building is there, minor details that bring that special touch might be wrong – a modern car parked in front, or letters on the store front painted over or replaced by another name. A good alternative is to look for pictures of the location around the same time period your ancestors lived there, and often times old postcards are a treasure trove of such pictures.

Take for instance this postcard below. It’s a factory for gold and silver works around 1900. Note the letters on the front, saying “Koninklijke Nederlandsche Fabriek van Goud en Zilveren Werken” (transl. Royal Dutch Factory of Gold and Silver Works).


The façade is actually a protected monument, but as you can see on the picture below, that did not prevent the letters from being painted over. And honestly, when I’m writing a piece about my ancestor who worked in this factory from 1888-1911, I do not want a modern car parked out front in the picture I put in my family history.


Sometimes, an old postcard actually gives you details you never would have noticed otherwise. For instance, the postcard below is of a street called Lange Delft in Middelburg, around 1910. Lodewijk Wesselo managed a store here from 1912-1920.


The red arrow (inserted by me for this blog post) points to a store front that is actually Lodewijk’s store! I had not expected it to appear on a postcard, and the only reason I know this is the store is because of the lettering above it. It says “Fabriek van Goud en Zilveren Werken” and I can only read that because I know what it’s supposed to say. Now that’s what I call a picture worthy of illustrating my ancestor’s life!

*Clicking on the pictures in this post will enlarge them.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Finding Aides, Not Just for NARA and the US!

Evidence Explained QuickLesson 4 (1) deals with the NARA finding aides that open up a whole lot of research avenues just by showing you what sources are out there. But of course, finding aides are not restricted to NARA, nor to the US.

Here in the Netherlands, many archives (including our National Archive) have finding aides on their websites – mostly by topic. They are a great help when you want to research something specific, since it basically tells you what sources that specific archive has on the topic you’re researching. Topics range from general ‘ancestors’ and ‘homes’ to more specific ones like ‘military’ and ‘naturalization’. These finding aids often point you to sources at other archives as well.

But there’s one huge source of finding aides that covers a lot topics and is not specific to an archive, but it’s sliding into obscurity. They are called broncommentaren (English: source comments), and basically does what the name suggests. It takes either a source (like population registers, or tax rolls in the 17th century) or a topic (like sources concerning the registration of foreigners in the 19th and 20th century) and describes the sources – what can be found in them and where you can find them, along with general information that will let you evaluate the information you glean from these sources. As an aside, these broncommentaren talk about the instructions or particular laws that governed the making of these sources. This is important to truly understand and correctly interpret the source, as shown quite clearly in Evidence Explained QuickLesson 9 (2).

There are 20 broncommentaren available, about a multitude of sources and topics ranging from the 20th century all the way back to the middle ages. These broncommentaren have helped me when I was stuck so many times already, it would be a shame if people didn’t know they were there anymore – especially since all of them are now online, for free! They can be found here.

Sources:

(1) Elizabeth Shown Mills, “QuickLesson 4: NARA Citations & Finding Aids,” Evidence Explained: Historical Analysis, Citation & Source Usage (http://www.evidenceexplained.com/content/quicklesson-4-nara-citations-finding-aids : 2 November 2012)

(2) Elizabeth Shown Mills, “QuickLesson 9: Census Instructions? Who Needs Instructions?” Evidence Explained: Historical Analysis, Citation & Source Usage (http://www.evidenceexplained.com/content/quicklesson-9-census-instructions-who-needs-instructions: 2 November 2012).

Monday, November 19, 2012

Amanuensis Monday: Lodewijk Wesselo as an Expert Witness (1)

Amanuensis Monday is a weekly effort to transcribe family letters, journals, newspaper articles, and other genealogical and historical documents, first started by John Newark at the TransylvanianDutch blog. I will not only transcribe the documents, but also do a quick English summary and analysis of the document.

In an article about Lodewijk Wesselo, the following statement was made:

Mr. Wesselo is also reputed as an expert outside of his direct circle of clients. Several times he was named and heard as such during disagreements, both in front of a court as in other ways.”(1)

Of course I was interested in finding out more. However, with so little information to go on - it does not even say which period Lodewijk served as a witness - it's nearly impossible to go looking for court records. Unless I wanted to look through court records in three seperate cities, hoping he was called to testify in the place he lived. However, old newspaper gave me two court cases that actually made the news where he was named in the article, so I do have more information about two instances where he served as an expert witness. Today, I have transcribed the first newspaper article (2), and I also looked up the subsequent verdict in the case, because I was curious, which was in another newspaper article (3).

Below are the English translations of my Dutch transcriptions. Where the Dutch transcriptions are precise, I have taken a little bit of liberty with the translation - especially with antiquated Dutch terms - in order to keep it understandable for readers. It does not detract from the story, and anyone insterested in the original transcription can contact me; see the About Me page for that or simply leave a comment to this post.

Receiving Stolen Goods

The 48-year old jeweler M.S., partial recidivist, was tried in respect of receiving stolen goods again. Defendant was said to have intentionally received 12 silver ice cream scoops, an asparagus scoop, six fish cutleries and a decorative pin on 23 February last, while he knew these objects had been acquired through theft. He claimed that the scoops had been redeemed by his wife. Defendant submitted an invoice of the asparagus scoop.

He has sold the asparagus scoop to a gentleman and a lady.

Police inspector E.J. Bloemendaal seized several different objects. Defendant failed to register all the exchanged things.

Ms. B.A. Beukers, servant to Mr. Gerzon, stated that in January, in his house, a burglary was committed at which time several items were stolen. One day the witness walked along the Nieuwe Binnenweg and recognized in the jewelry store of the defendant the objects which were stolen from the house of the family Gerzon. She stated categorically that she recognized the objects, present as evidence at the hearing. She could not be mistaken.

Ms. M. Beukers, like her sister, said that she came by the shop and saw the objects there.

Mr. J. M. Gerzon, to whom the burglary was committed, summed up the missing objects and recognize the evidence as his property. Thereupon the witness 's wife was heard. There is for approximately f 3000 stolen from their home. Witness. L. Wesselo, as expert, said that he saw the lot at the firm of Van Kempen in The Hague. The pin is unsecured inspected within the country, it is an uncommon model.

Witness J. v.d. Velde, from The Hague, has received a party silver from the defendant in payment for an account.

Witness S. Johanson, accountant, confirmed this statement. The clerk P.J. the Kruyff was present at the exchange.

Witness G. Bon, traveling salesman, said he supplied the defendant different fish cutlery than those which were present as evidence at the hearing.

After hearing the witnesses F.P.H. Brescchier and J. H. Duhl, the D.A. took the floor, to take the indictment.

Mr. Gombault said it had been established that two witnesses had seen the objects, which were stolen from the home of Mr. Gerzon, in the defendant’s shop. Then His Honor extensively went over the statements of the defendant and the witnesses. The crime, said the speaker, is very serious. The defendant is a recidivist, he has already had one year imprisonment previously.

The demand was: 2 years imprisonment.

Mr. A. v.d. Wild, defendant’s attorney, believed that there can be no question of intentional healing. Speaker said that evidence of this was not supplied during this hearing. Counsel requested the immediate release of the defendant.

After having withdrawn into the Council Chamber, the Judge, Mr. Thomas, said the Court found no grounds to set the defendant free.

Ruling June 4 leading."(2)



"M.S., 48, jeweler, recidivist and detained because of receiving stolen goods, namely 12 silver ice cream scoops, an asparagus scoop, 6 fish cutlery and a decorative pin, all originating from theft, [sentenced] to one year in prison;"(3)


Sources:

1. Life description Lodewijk Wesselo – Handwritten by himself, 1947, Familiearchieven: CBG, fa 00472, familiearchief Wesselo, Doos 1, portfolio 3, CBG, Den Haag.

2. "Recieving Stolen Goods," Rotterdamsch nieuwsblad, 29 May 1925, Lodewijk Wesselo as witness in a court case; digital image, Koninklijke Bibliotheek Historische Kranten (http://kranten.kb.nl/ : accessed 7 November 2012).

3. "Rulings," Rotterdamsch nieuwsblad, 4 June 1925; digital image, Koninklijke Bibliotheek Historische Kranten (http://kranten.kb.nl/ : accessed 7 November 2012). Excerpt pertaining to court case in newspaper clipping 29 May 1925.


Friday, November 16, 2012

Window Into the Past: The Flood of 1953

This series will showcase historical research I have done in order to write the biographies of the Wesselo siblings. This research spans the time from 1865 (when the first sibling was born) until 1989 (when the last of the siblings and spouses died). The focus of this series is sometimes broad – dealing with nation-wide events – and at other times very local. It’s always related to something a specific ancestor encountered, but without using sources that name that ancestor.


The Flood of 1953 – known as the ‘Watersnoodramp’ in Dutch – is engraved in the memories of the Dutch people. Even the generations born after ’53 know about it and most have seen the black and white images of entire villages swallowed up by water, only a few rooftops still above the water. The flood was caused by a combination of high tide and a storm tide, caused by a certain type of severe wind blowing in just the right direction. The storm, bringing the flood with it, struck the Netherlands on the night of Saturday 31 January 1953 and the morning of 1 February 1953. 1,836 people died that night, most casualties occurring in the most southern coastal province, Zeeland. But because this province was hit so hard, many people tend to forget that other parts of the Netherlands also flooded. One of those parts was Rotterdam – where Lodewijk Wesselo and his family were living at the time.

Saturday evening, eleven o’clock. It’s still low tide, but the Geldersekade has already flooded. In the following hours, more and more of the lower lying parts of Rotterdam are inundated with water. Unrest among the citizens turns to fear when around three o’clock the water rises high enough to seal some parts of the city, including a hospital, off from the rest, the flooding forming islands where buildings are on higher ground. Around half past five a dike in the south of Rotterdam is no longer high enough to stop the water and an area 150 hectares is flooded. Everywhere in the city people are evacuated and sandbags are placed by the fire department and volunteers to stop the water. The city is in total chaos, as the storm hinders efforts of emergency services. Especially the elderly have a hard time getting to safety.

It’s not until half past six on the morning of 1 February that the water level finally starts to drop. Everybody heaves a sigh of relief, for Rotterdam has narrowly avoided a disaster. The damage is enormous and it will take days before the entire scale becomes clear. With the dawn the first outside aid arrives. By nightfall, people from all over the country have come to Rotterdam to help. But soon it becomes clear that the islands south of Rotterdam have been hit much harder, and volunteers are redirected to those areas. In the days following the disaster, the Ahoy halls in Rotterdam become the central aid point for refugees coming from the south.


Part of Rotterdam in 1953, the flooded areas are visible as pale blue circles on the map. Stationssingel 61 is the address where Lodewijk and his family lived (upper pin), they kept their feet dry, barely. The Ahoy is also indicated on the map (lower pin). Clicking on the picture will make it larger.


Sources:

General information about the flood in first paragraph: Inez Flameling, Hoogwater: 50 jaar na de watersnoodramp (Den Haag: Ministerie van Verkeer & Waterstaat, DG Rijskwaterstaat, 2003).

Specific information of Rotterdam in the rest of the article: Kees Slager, Watersnood (Rotterdam: De Buitenspelers, 2010), page 446-447.

Picture credit:


The picture shows a small part of a loose inlay map from Hoogwater: 50 jaar na de watersnoodramp by Inez Flameling (see general source above). I scanned part of it and created an historical map overlay in Google Earth. The pins with addresses were added by me.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Why I Write My Blog in English

Sometimes people ask me why I write my blog in English while my family and thus my family research is in the Netherlands. Why not write in Dutch, they ask me. Well, there’s several reasons for that:


1. I’ve got family in Australia and Canada. The Australian family I know, the Canadians I don’t. Maybe this English blog will be cousin bait for the family I know emigrated to Canada, as well as their descendants. I’ve also got relatives in Germany, and English seems to be the language most people are able to read, so hopefully they will find their way here as well.

2. The genealogical community – most genealogists are English-speaking, and US based. They have a very broad knowledge base and a far larger precense on the internet. At least, that’s what I’ve experienced. To be able to easily communicate with that group, belong to that group by virtue of blogging in the same language, there’s a virtual army of people who can help me, point me in the right direction, or point out errors.

3. There might be a lot of people interested in doing genealogical research in the Netherlands that do not speak Dutch and don’t live in the Netherlands. If all Dutch genealogists only write in Dutch, how will they learn? Yes, there’s research guides for research in the Netherlands, but they usually deal with the common sources. If you want to go any deeper, research becomes harder, sources become more ‘hidden’ and the best way to discover them is by looking at what other genealogists are doing. I know I’ve found a lot of sources simply because other people were using them in their research and then blogging about it. So this is me, spreading Dutch genealogy across the globe.

Do you blog in English while it’s not your countries language? Why do you blog in English?

Monday, November 12, 2012

Amanuensis Monday: Lodewijk Wesselo’s Mortgage Agreement

Amanuensis Monday is a weekly effort to transcribe family letters, journals, newspaper articles, and other genealogical and historical documents, first started by John Newark at the TransylvanianDutch blog. I will not only transcribe the documents, but also do a quick English summary and analysis of the document.


This week I will transcribe, summarize and analyze a mortgage agreement Lodewijk Wesselo made with his Jan Hendrik Ruskamp in 1899.(1) He used this money to build a house on the plot of land he bought in 1898, the deed of sale which I transcribed last week.

“Heden den eersten April achttien honderd negen en negentig verschenen voor mij Dirk Karel Johannes Schoor, notaris, gevestigd te Voorschoten, in tegenwoordigheid van de na te noemen mij bekende getuigen”

This paragraph introduces the notary, Dirk Karel Johannes Schoor, where he has his practice (Voorschoten) and the date, 1 April 1899.

“De heer Lodewijk Wesselo, goudsmid, wonende te Voorschoten; ter eener

De heer Jan Hendrik Ruskamp, kantoorbediende, wonende te Amsterdam, Haarlemmerdijk 21, ter andere zijde

De comparanten zijn aan mij notaris bekend.”

Lodewijk Wesselo, goldsmith, living in Voorschoten, is introduced here, as well as Jan Hendrik Ruskamp, office clerk, living in Amsterdam, on Haarlemmerdijk 21.

“De comparant ter eener verklaard ter leen ontvangen te hebben van - en mits dien schuldig te zijn aan den comparant ter andere zijde, die verklaard deze schuldbekentenis aan te nemen, eene som van twee duizend vijf honderd gulden, Nederlandsch.”

This paragraph statest hat Lodewijk Wesselo has loaned two thousand five hundred guilders from Jan Hendrik Ruskamp.

“Partijen verklaarden, omtrend deze geldlening het navolgende te zijn overeengekomen:

De schuldenaar zal op den vijftienden Augustus van het jaar negentienhonderd en daarna telken jare op den vijftienden Augustus minstens vijftig gulden moeten aflossen of zooveel meer, als hem mocht convenieeren. Bovendien zal het gehele per resto verschuldigde bedrag op den vijftienden Augustus negentien honderd negen of daarna te allen tijde opvonderbaar zijn, met drie maanden voorafgaande waarschuwing.

Zolang geene gehele aflossing heeft plaats gehad, wordt over het verschuldigde kapitaal of onafgeloste gedeelte daarvan rente voldaan, berekend tegen drie en een half ten honderd in half jaarlijksche termijnen op vijftien Augustus en vijftien Februari.

Alle betalingen geschieden van – en ten huize van den schuldeischer in gangbare Nederlandsche standpenningen of muntpapier, eerder eenige kophing of schuldvergelijking.”

This part is about the amount Lodewijk has to pay each year, the interest he has to pay, and when payments are due. There’s also a clause that says that from 15 August 1909 onwards, the entire amount still owed can be recalled by Jan Hendrik Ruskamp in one go, with only three months of advance warning.

“Tot zekerheid voor de voldoening van kapitaal en renten op de daarvoor vastgestelde tijden verklaard de comparant ter eener ten behoeve van den comparant ten andere zijde eerste hypotheek te verleenen op:

Het huis en erf met tuin te Voorschoten, kadastraal bekend in Sectie B onder nummer 2399 groot twee are en één centiare

waarvan de comparant ten eener den eigendom verkreeg door de overschrijving, gedaan ten hypotheekkantoor te Leiden den achtsten October achttienhonderd acht en negentig deel 698 nummer 62 van het afschrift eener acte van verkoop en koop den vijfden Augustus bevorens voor mij notaris verleden.”

This paragraph describes the collateral for this loan: the house and land in Voorschoten that Lodewijk owns. The cadastral number is here as well.

“De comparanten verklaarden, naar aanleiding van deze hypotheekstelling nog te zijn overeen gekomen als volgt:”

There are several terms under which this agreement was made:

“1. Het verbonden ontroerend goed moet door den schuldenaar in goede toestand worden onderhouden, de onderhoudskosten en belastingen ten behoorlijke tijden worden voldaan en de kwitantiën daarvan op de eerste aanvrage aan den schuldeischer worden vertoond.”

1. Lodewijk has to maintain the house and pay all associated costs on time, and he has to be able to provide proof he did so to Jan Hendrik if asked.

“2. De gebouwen blijven tot de voorhaling des te nemen inschrijving ten koste van de eigenaar in een solide maatschappij ten genoege van den schuldeischer tegen brandschade verzekerd; ten bewijze waarvan de polis in handen van laatstgenoemde blijft berusten en telken jaren bij de eerste rentebetaling de kwitantie der laatst betaalde premie of omslag aan hem wordt vertoond.

Bij eventuele brandschade zullen de assurantiepenningen tot het beloop of in mindering der inschuld in de plaats der onderzetting treden en zal de schuldeischer bevoegd zijn, om al zodanige rechten en vorderingen te doen gelden, als uit de verzekering zullen voortvloeien, daaronder begrepen de regeling der schade en de ontvangst der assurantiepenningen, om daaruit al het verschuldigde te verhalen. Van dit bedrag kan krachtens deze acte de noodige beschenningen geschieden.”

2. The building has to be insured against fire, and as long as there’s still an outstanding debt, Jan Hendrik Ruskamp will be the beneficiary if there should be a fire.

“3. De schriftelijke toestemming van den schuldeischer zal noodig zijn, om het verbondene te vervreemden of met meerdere hypotheken of andere zakelijke rechten te bezwaren, te verhuren, of onder welken anderen titel ook in gebruik af te staan; terwijl bij toegestemde verhuring in geen geval vooruitbetaling van huurpenningen mag worden bedongen of overdracht van huurpenningen mag plaats hebben; alles op straffe van nietigheid.”

3. Jan Hendrik Ruskamp has to give written permission if Lodewijk wants to use the house as collateral on another loan. He also has to give written permission if Lodewijk wants to rent it out or let someone else use it, and even if permission is given for renting it out, there are several stipulations for doing so.

“4. Bij nalatigheid in de voldoening van kapitaal, renten of aflossing op de daarvoor vastgestelde tijden, bij niet nakoming van de verplichtingen voor den schuldenaar, uit deze acte voortvloeiende of bij eenige daartegen strijdende handelingen zal door het enkel verloop van den tot voldoening bepaalden termijnen, door de nalatigheid of overtreding hiervoren bedoeld en evenzoo bij inbeslagneming van het verbondene of faillissement van den schuldenaar, al het op dat tijdstip verschuldigde dadelijk zijn vervallen, om zonder eenige uitstel in één termijn voor het geheel te worden afgedaan, ongeacht den tijd, die anders naar den inhoud deze acte nog zou moeten lopen. Geene ingebrekestelling of andere rechtsformaliteit zal daartoe noodig zijnden alleen een eenvoudig exploit, waarbij de oorzaak van het vervallen zijn der schuld wordt geconstateerd, ten koste van den schuldenaar.”

4. Should Lodewijk fail to adhere to any of the stipulations, including missing a payment, he will have to pay the entire amount owed all at once, immediately.

“5. Bij gebreke van voldoening van het verschuldigde dadelijk via het hier voren bedoeld exploit zal de schuldeischer onherroepelijk gemachtigd zijn om het verbonden ontroerend goed in het openbaar te verkopen ten overstaan van een notaris ter zijner keuze en het verkochte te leveren op zoodanige voorwaarden als ook ten aanzien van ontruiming en aanwaardering het plaatselijk gebruik zal medebrengen en in billijkheid zal worden raadzaam geacht, voorts om de kooppennigen te ontvangen en daarvan te kwiteeren, ten einde op dat bedrag al het te dien tijde verschuldigde met de kosten te verhalen; en om verder al datgene te doen wat strekken kan, om het alzoo verkochte in vollen en vrijen eigendom aan de kooper over te dragen, daaronder begrepen – indien daartoe termen zijn – de likwidatie met verdere hypothecaire schuldeischers, terwijlde onherroepelijk gemachtigde het recht hebben zal tot opher[icht]ing van het verbondene, indien volgens zijn inzien het in veiling gebrachte niet genoeg mocht gelden.”

5. If the situation as described under nr. 4 occurs and the amount due is not payed, Jan Hendrik can sell the house and use the proceeds to pay off Lodewijk’s debt.

“6. Bij willigen verkoop van het verbondene zal indien de zuivere opbrengst lager is dan het uit kracht van deze acte alsdan verschuldigde geene zuivering van dit verband kunnen plaats hebben; welke bepaling echter niet zal gelden, indien de verkoop geschied krachtens zo voorbedoelde onherroepelijke volmacht.”

6. If Lodewijk sells the house, but the proceeds are not enough to pay off his debt to Jan Hendrik Ruskamp, he will still have to adhere to the stipulations in this agreement.

“7. Alle kosten en rechten dezer acte, die van inschrijving, vernieuwing van inschrijving, doorhaling en alle verder uit deze acte voortvloeiende kosten zijn voor rekening van den schuldenaar.”

7. Any and all costs associated with this agreement are for Lodewijk.

“Voor uitvoering dezer wordt woonplaats gekozen ten kantore van den ondergetekende notaris.

In minute verleden te Voorschoten, ten kantore van mij notaris op den dag in het hoofd dezer gemeld, in tegenwoordigheid van den heer Johannes Christoffel Paap, candidaat-notaris en Jacob Zuiderduin, tuinder, beide wonende te Voorschoten als getuigen.

Onmiddellijk na voorlezing hebben de comparanten, de getuigen en ik notaris deze acte geteekend.”

Some legal language, mentioning the two witnesses – an apprentice notary and a gardner – and mentioning that Lodewijk, Jan Hendrik, the notary and the witnesses signed this act; followed by the signatures.


Things of note:

Jan Hendrik Ruskamp is Lodewijk’s uncle, he’s married to Christina Hendrika van Grasstek, the sister of Lodewijk’s mother Alida Petronella van Grasstek. From going through the notarial archives it seems that getting a mortgage from a family member was pretty common around 1900.

Although this agreement talks about the house as if it’s already build, another source tells us the house was build with this money.(2)

The cadastral number matches the one in the deed of sale from 1898, confirming the house was on that plot of land.

From the third point in this agreement, where Jan Hendrik Ruskamp needs to give written permission to rent the house out, it becomes clear that Lodewijk intends to use the house for himself.


Sources:

1. Morgage Agreement from Lodewijk Wesselo for Jan Hendrik Ruskamp, 1 April 1899 (filed 8 April 1899). Deeds 1899, inventory number 5, number access 739B, Notarial archives Voorschoten, Regional Archive Leiden, Leiden, Zuid-Holland.

2. Life description Lodewijk Wesselo – Handwritten by himself, 1947, Familiearchieven: CBG, fa 00472, familiearchief Wesselo, Doos 1, portfolio 3, CBG, Den Haag.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Indirect Evidence for an Illness

Just because something isn’t named explicitly, doesn’t mean we cannot identify it. All it takes is reading between the lines, taking the indirect evidence that we do have, and drawing logical conclusions from it.


Case in point: Lodewijk Wesselo’s illness in the 1940s. There’s no medical information available for this, merely mentions he makes himself in various letters. And in those letters, he doesn’t explicitly states what illness he has. All we have are fragmentary comments that describe symptoms and sometimes treatments.

A. “Monday radiation therapy for 8 days for the last time, probably to Amsterdam at the end of the month for examination and then starting to talk. For now, just whispering.”(1)

B. “30 September I was with the radiologist for a check-up, who found a small spot. Knowing the old history, he found it necessary that I notify Dr. N., who came to the same conclusion and said he would have to cut off a piece of it for examination or there was no certainty about what it was. I’ve had a few bad days because of the anesthesia and the ingesting of the fluid. Have taken the bottle to the pathological institute myself, and was notified by Dr. N. on Thursday that it was harmless. End of the month I have to see him again. My voice, I had begun to talk pretty well again, is completely gone again and I have to start all over again. I’ve stopped the speech lessons.”(2)

C. “I am doing well. What seemed evil, God has turned to good, the old wound has healed magnificently and the Lord was pleased. I do not regret the last surgery. Next week I will start speech lessons again.”(3)

D. “I was at the specialist on Saturday and he could call me cured. You understand how thankful we are for this wonderful gift. My voice is not pretty, but there is no doubt it will improve.”(4)

When quote A is made, the illness is clearly nearing its end. Radiation therapy – a standard treatment for cancer – has been given and it’s for the last time. He’s whispering, and quote B & C clearly indicate that this condition came through surgery on the throat area. Quote B tells us the most, namely that there is some kind of ‘spot’ on the throat, and that a biopsy is needed to see if it is evil (see quote C) or in other words malignant – due to “old history”. Quote D tells us he is now cured – good news for Lodewijk – and that he was seeing a specialist.

The surgery, radiation therapy, the biopsy on a spot on his throat, the waiting for news on whether it’s malignant or not, the specialist, it all points to cancer. Throat cancer, to be exact. It’s never explicitly named that, but all the information together makes me pretty confident in calling it that.


Sources:
(1) Correspondence Lodewijk Wesselo during the war years 1940-1945 , Familiearchieven: CBG, fa 00472, familiearchief Wesselo, Doos 1, portfolio 3, CBG, Den Haag. Letter 4 September 1944.

(2) Correspondence Lodewijk Wesselo during the war years 1940-1945, Familiearchieven: CBG, fa 00472, familiearchief Wesselo, Doos 1, portfolio 3, CBG, Den Haag. Letter 10 October 1944.

(3) Correspondence Lodewijk Wesselo during the war years 1940-1945, Familiearchieven: CBG, fa 00472, familiearchief Wesselo, Doos 1, portfolio 3, CBG, Den Haag. Letter 29 October 1944.

(4) Correspondence Lodewijk Wesselo during the war years 1940-1945, Familiearchieven: CBG, fa 00472, familiearchief Wesselo, Doos 1, portfolio 3, CBG, Den Haag. Letter 25 December 1944.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Why I Transcribe by Hand

Whenever I go to an archive, I bring a notepad and pencils with me (as pens are often times not allowed). That’s it. No camera, no laptop. Then, when I find a record I need, I transcribe it by hand. I don’t take a picture, often times don’t make a copy, and I don’t transcribe it directly to my laptop. Many have called me crazy for it. When I was transcribing all of the letters Lodewijk Wesselo had written – hours upon hours of transcribing by hand – many people asked me “why don’t you just make a copy?” It has several reasons.


First and foremost is the reason that transcribing by hand makes me look at record I am studying in detail. I don’t miss anything due to speed because I am writing down every word by hand. If I were to do it directly onto a laptop, I would go faster and make more mistakes, and on top of that I wouldn’t take in as many details.

Secondly, handwriting is very difficult to read on a copy. Handwriting is often faded, and the lines of the text are not equally clear (or unclear) on the entire document. I tried to take a copy of a handwritten letter and it took me five times before I had a reasonably readable copy – that’s also paying for four copies I cannot use! And that is not taking into account the tremendous amount of money I would have had to pay to copy every single letter I transcribed – and that’s only a fraction of the collection of letters written by my ancestors at that particular archive! So yes, money is one of the reason I transcribe by hand.

So why not take a picture? To be honest, most of the transcribing I do is at an archive where photography is not allowed. But still, even if I could take a picture, I still wouldn’t. Because then I would have to transcribe the pictures, because pictures are not searchable. And I like being able to search on names, especially in letters and journals where a lot of names are mentioned. Also, even if I were transcribing from a picture, I would be right back at the beginning of this post, with my primary reason for transcribing by hand being the slow take-in of information.

So, I first transcribe by hand, then enter that into a word document. That way I have a digital copy, searchable for any word, and by handling the information twice I am insuring I do not miss anything. That is my reason for transcribing by hand. Now does that sound as crazy as it looks?

Monday, November 5, 2012

Amanuensis Monday: Deed of Sale for a Plot of Land

Amanuensis Monday is a weekly effort to transcribe family letters, journals, newspaper articles, and other genealogical and historical documents, first started by John Newark at the TransylvanianDutch blog. I will not only transcribe the documents, but also do a quick English summary and analysis of the document.


This week I will transcribe, summarize and analyze a deed of sale for a plot of land in Voorschoten. Lodewijk Wesselo bought this plot of land in 1898 from Johannes Pieter Schmal. (1)

“Heden, den vijfden Augustus achttienhonderd acht en negentig verschenen voor mij Dirk Karel Johannes Schoor, notaris, gevestigd te Voorschoten in tegenwoordigheid van de na te noemen mij bekende getuigen.”

This paragraph introduces the notary, Dirk Karel Johannes Schoor, where he has his practice (Voorschoten) and the date, 5 August 1898.

“De heer Johannes Pieter Schmal, bloembollenkweker, wonende te Voorschoten, als verkoper ter eener

en

De Heer Hendrik Wesselo, winkelier, wonende te Voorschoten als vader en als zoodanig uitoefenende de ouderlijke macht over de minderjarige Lodewijk Wesselo, goudsmid, als koper ter andere zijde.

De comparanten zijn aan mij notaris bekend.”

Here the seller, Johannes Pieter Schmall, bulb farmer and living in Voorschoten, is introduced. Also, Hendrik Wesselo, shopkeeper and living in Voorschoten, is introduced as the father of Lodewijk Wesselo, goldsmith. He will take the role of buyer, as guardian of his minor son.

“De comparanten ter eener verklaarde te verkopen aan aan den comparant ter andere zijde in zijne gemelde hoedanigheid, die verklaarde voor zijnen minderjarigen zoon in koop aan te nemen:

Twee aren, een centiare tuingrond, gelegen in het dorp Voorschoten, grenzende ten Noordoosten aan de laan langs het tolhuis, ten zuidoosten en zuidwesten aan den grond voor den verkooper en ten noordwesten aan den eigendom van den heer Johannes Abram du Pree, kadastraal bekend: gemeente Voorschoten Sectie B nummer 2399, groot twee aren, een centiare.”

This part describes the plot of land that’s being sold: two square decameter, one square meter of horticultural land in the village Voorschoten. It also describes the location, including naming who owns the land surrounding it. The seller, Johannes Pieter Schmall, owns land on two sides of the plot, Johannes Abram du Pree owns land on one side of the plot, and there’s a lane bordering the last side of the plot. It also gives the cadastral number of the plot.

“Partijen verklaren, dat deze verkoop en koop is geschied voor eene som van vier honderd twee gulden, welke de comparant ter eener verklaart op heden te hebben ontvangen van den comparant ten andere zijde, met verleening van volledige kwijting te dier zulke, zonder enig voorbehoud, en wijders onder de navolgende:

Bedingen”

This part says the sale is valid as of today, and the plot of land was sold for four hundred and two guilders. But, the sale was done under the following terms:

“1° De koper wordt geacht, het perceel te hebben in genot aanvaard op heden, van welken dag af de daarvan geheven wordende belastingen voor zijne rekening zijn.”

1. The buyer is responsible for taxes as of this day.

“2° De kooper is verplicht, het gekochte voor zijne rekening van de aan den verkooper verblijvende grond behoorlijk af te scheiden door een houten schutting. De kosten van onderhoud komen inende ten zijnen laste.”

2. The buyer is obligated to put up a wooden fence to seperate his plot of land from the surrounding land. Costs of putting up the fence as well as the costs of maintaining it are for the buyer.

“3° Het verkochte zal uitweg hebben naar den straatweg over de laan van den verkooper, behoorende tot het kadastrale nummer 2398”

3. The plot will have passage to the road by way of the lane of the seller.

“4° De huurwaarde van het op het gekochte te stichten huis zal niet minder mogen bedragen dan twee gulden vijftig eens per week”

4. The rental value of the house to be build may not be less than two guilders fifty a week.

“5° Alle kosten van eigendomsoverdracht en levering komen voor rekening van den kooper”

5. All costs of the transfer of the ownership of the land will be for the buyer.

“De comparant ten eener verklaard, dat hij van de hiervoren gemelde perceelen den eigendom verkreeg door de overschrijving gedaan ten hypotheekkantore te Leidenden negentienden Maart achtienhonderd vier en negentig deel 652 nummer 62 van het afschrift eener acte van verkoop en koop houdende kwijting voor voldoening der kooppenningen, den zestienden Maart bevorens voor mij notaris verleden, en dat hij toestemming geeft tot de overschrijving van een afschrift dezer acte ten hypotheekkantore te Leiden, ten einde den eigendom van het verkochte te doen overgaan op den kooper.”

Here the seller asserts his ownership over the plot of land – indicating he has the right to sell it – and promises to convert that ownership over to the buyer.

“Voor de uitvoering dezen wordt woonplaats gekozen ten kantore voor der ondergetekende notaris

Waarvan acte

In minute verleden te Voorschoten, ten kantore van mij notaris op den dag in het hoofd gemeld, in tegenwoordigheid van de heeren Johannes Christoffel Paap en Theodorus Petrus Josephus Hoppe, beiden candidaat-notaris en woondende te Voorschoten, als getuigen.

Onmiddelijk na voorlegging hebben de comparanten, ik notaris en de getuigen deze acte getekend.”

Some legal language, mentioning the two witnesses – both apprentice notaries – and mentioning that the buyer, seller, notary and the witnesses signed this act; followed by the signatures.

Things of note:

Hendrik Wesselo is the one making the transaction on behalf of Lodewijk, because at 22 years old Lodewijk is still considered a minor.

Hendrik Wesselo's profession is given as shopkeeper, while all other sources I have for him give his profession as silversmith (dated both before and after this document). Definitely something to look into further.

Twee aren, een centiare” is 201 m².

The cadastral number, as well as the names of the owners of the neighboring plots, will help me find the plot of land in the land records. I’m very happy with this bit of information.

Four hundred and two guilders in 1898 would be worth five thousand one hundred euros and ninety-five eurocent in the year 2011.(2) Quite a sum of money!

Lodewijk had to put up a fence, while Johannes Pieter Schmal had to let Lodewijk use his lane to reach the road.

The rental value of the house to be build may not be less than two guilders fifty a week. Two fifty equals thirty-one euros and seventy-two eurocent in 2011.(2) It also gives a bit of insight into the kind of house that Lodewijk would have build.

Lodewijk didn’t sign the deed, not even as a witness. He’s not mentioned as being present at the drawing of the deed either. It looks like he was not there, only his father was, acting in his stead.

Further avenues of research opened up by this document:

I can now search the land records for this plot of land, because of the cadastral number.

I have a minimum rental value for the house, so maybe this will give me an idea of the minimum size of house. I just don’t know yet where I would find such information.

Are there any blue prints of the house Lodewijk was building? Where would I find them? Permits?

Why does Hendrik's profession differ in this document from other sources? Did he briefly change profession or did he hold a dual position?

Sources:
(1) Deed of Sale from Johannes Pieter Schmal for Hendrik Wesselo as father of his minor son Lodewijk Wesselo, 5 August 1898 (filed 6 August 1898). Deeds 1898, inventory number 4, number access 739B, Notarial archives Voorschoten, Regional Archive Leiden, Leiden, Zuid-Holland.

(2) “Value of the Guilder/Euro.” International Institute of Social History. http://www.iisg.nl/hpw/calculate.php: 4 November 2012


Friday, November 2, 2012

Summary Visit to the Regional Archive Leiden



Today was my first visit to the Regional Archive Leiden, and I went in order to research a house Lodewijk Wesselo build. The very first question I wanted to answer was where it was located. I knew that not all the information I need to answer that question is located at the RAL, but in order to do research in the land registry, I needed a cadastral number, which could probably be found in the notarial archives of Voorschoten – if Lodewijk used a notary when buying the land (in 1887), because that wasn’t mandatory.


I searched through the index the notary made at the time the records were created, both 1887 and 1888, but could not find Lodewijk. I have to admit, though, it took me awhile to really get a grasp on the handwriting in the index, which was cramped and clearly done ‘in a rush’ – for personal use more than meant to be legible for others. I did find the mortgage agreement Lodewijk made with his uncle in 1899. Unfortunately, the cadastral number was not mentioned in this. By now I had no more trouble deciphering the notary’s handwriting, so I went back to 1887 and started looking for the sales deed again, going by the premise that it had to be before the mortgage agreement – the money being used to build a house on the plot Lodewijk already owned. This time through I did find the sales deed – in 1888, for one thing, and another the primary people on this were the seller and Hendrik Wesselo, Lodewijk’s father. Lodewijk is mentioned in the index, but cramped on the last line of the page, easily missed. Hendrik acted in his son’s stead, because at 22 years old Lodewijk was considered a minor. As far as I can determine, Lodewijk wasn’t even present when the deed was made – he does not sign the deed and is not mentioned as a witness.

Around 1908 Lodewijk changed careers and started working for a company in The Hague. He lasted only a year before taking up his old profession in Voorschoten again, and then around 1911 he was trained to work in the department ‘depot’ in The Hague, after which he and his family moved to Middelburg in 1912, never to return to live Voorschoten again. I checked the notarial archives of Voorschoten for the period 1906-1913 to see if Lodewijk sold his house. If he did, I could not find a record of it. But this is something I will be able to find out in the land registry as well.

I did not have time to look for Lodewijk in the population register, but did manage to ask about conversion tables for the old neighborhood indications to present day locations. There wasn’t one at the archive, but they did give me the tip to check with a historian that knows a lot about Voorschoten. We have a historical museum of Voorschoten, so I’ll e-mail them in hopes someone there can help me.

All in all, it was a very productive visit. I’ve got the information I need to go in search of Lodewijk’s house in another archive. That makes three archives…how many more is it going to take? I’m not sure, but I’m quite liking this ‘treasure hunt’.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Preparing for a Visit to the RAL

I used to go to an archive to ‘look for my ancestors’, but soon found that didn’t really work – too much information, too many directions to go in. So I amended that to looking for ancestors of a specific line. But the last time I went to an archive (the National Archives) I went with two specific goals in mind and made a plan – see this post – and that worked so much better! I worked more efficiently, found answers or clues that helped me on my way to answers. And I even had time to look up additional information – the ‘extra questions’ I prepared in advance in case I had time. So, from now on I will always make a research plan before going to an archive. So, since I’ll be going to the Regional Archive Leiden (RAL) on Friday, here’s my plan.



What do I want to know?

I am going to the RAL to do research on Lodewijk Wesselo’s house with the following questions in mind:

1. Where was it located?

2. Did he live in it?

3. What did he do with it when he moved away from Voorschoten around 1908? He never returned to Voorschoten, going to The Hague, Middelburg, and then spending the rest of his life in Middelburg. Did he sell his house or merely rent it out? I suspect the former, but do not have evidence either way.


What information do I already have?

My questions deal with Lodewijk Wesselo. It’s important to have some data about him to confirm his identity. He was born on 22 December 1875 in Voorschoten to Hendrik Wesselo and Alida Petronella van Grasstek. He married Elizabeth Lubach on 13 July 1899.

Two years before he got married, which would make it 1897, he bought same land located in the former estate “Klein Langehorst” in Voorschoten (and I probably have to be careful not to confuse with the estate “Langehorst” in nearby Wassenaar). In the year of his marriage (1899) he built a house there, with money from a loan from his uncle Jan Hendrik Ruskamp. I do not know the exact location of the former estate, I haven’t been able to find it yet. By 23 April 1900, he’s living in Voorschoten in a house located in Neighborhood “A “ number nine. Street names were not yet in use back then.

Aditionally to that, I actually have one piece of information that while not directly about Lodewijk, will maybe get me over a brick wall when I’m in the archives. Lodewijk’s father, Hendrik Wesselo, also owned a piece of land with a house on it located in the same former estate. There’s an archival number known for it: nr. 126G (kadaster sectie B, nr. 1817). This is supposedly the number that plot of land with house on it is known as within one of the archive I will be searching.



Where can I find my information?

Question 1 might take several archives, not all residing at the RAL, but to know where exactly the house was located I first need to know the number the plot of land was known as in the land archives. When he bought it, that number should have been on the transaction act, which can be found (I hope) in the notarial archive of Voorschoten. Then I will have to look at the land records, which are not held at the RAL.

That same archive should be able to tell me if he sold the house – because selling the house should have made another transaction act. If there’s no transaction act, I will look in the population registration – where people living at a certain address are recorded sequentially. If Lodewijk moved out and rented it to someone, they should be written down there. It does not give direct information on whether Lodewijk sold or rented, but without a transaction act and with other people living there, I’d think he rented it out. Which means I will then have to search for a will and find out if the house was part of his estate. Wills for the period in which Lodewijk would have made his are not yet public in Zuid-Holland, there’s a restriction of 100 years on them. So that would have to wait.

The question of whether or not he lived in his house needs several pieces of information. First, I need to know the location of neighborhood A, number nine – I hope a conversion table has been made for these old indicators to recent street names. This will give me a present day location. If I can find the house he build in the land records, I will have the location of that as well, and then can compare the two.


Additional research – if time allows

Immigration of Adolph Knura, Anna Knura, Maria Knura, and any other Knura’s; searching in police records for registration of foreigners, searching the population register for them, and any other records that might give me information about them.