HISTORY

OF

THE

FRISIAN

VOGELZANG

FAMILY.

 

| 1 | 2 |

Compiled by
Peter J. Vogelzang
2007(revised 2011)

Introduction.


The compilation of this work is the result of many years of gathering information about the Vogelzang family. This process led me to many visits to Friesland in the Netherlands and the meeting of many people who supplied information and filled in gaps.

In compiling the history I have gone back to the earliest history of mankind. The reason for doing so is that if one wants to understand where the Vogelzangs come from, one must also understand the origins of mankind and its history. In this process, I have tried to reconcile various branches of study in order to arrive at an as truthful understanding of our origins as possible. Hence the work contains a chapter on genetic research as it lately has become available. It shows how the Vogelzangs migrated from the earliest form of homo sapiens from Africa to Friesland in Holland. Furthermore, we have attempted to have that research confirmed from archeological evidence.

It is interesting that by pursuing these separate avenues, it is found that for some time different humanoid beings existed side by side. Homo sapiens, first emerged about 50,000 years ago. The archeological record shows humanoid beings existing hundreds of thousands years early and some claim as early as 2 million years ago. However, homo sapiens had a greater level of intelligence, thus developing the ability to create better tools, weapons and greater knowledge. They thus outwitted, and probably were instrumental in the destruction of, the other humanoid forms, such as the Neanderthals.

My reason for writing this history is twofold:
1. It is an expression of gratitude to those who have gone before us and by their character qualities have left a legacy worth following and to live by and valuable to pass on.
2. We want to leave to our children and their offspring an understanding of their roots, not only physically, but also of the values that their ancestors lived by.

When studying our ancestors we find that, on balance, they were strong and resilient people, not only physically but also in character; they were people of integrity and principle; they had an independent spirit with a healthy disrespect for authority – were no respecters of persons; they were people considerate of others but hard on themselves, capable of enduring great physical and emotional pain; intolerant of injustice; driven by duty and a sense of responsibility; strong willed and determined. Physically they are tall, with brown/blond hair, typical representing the Frisian/Germanic body characteristics. Over discernable history they seemed to have stayed pretty much around the Gaasterland area. Hence it is reasonable to assume that they were probably exposed and possibly took part in the historic events described in the chapters of this work.

Unfortunately, they were also part of their culture, in the sense, that it was not considered manly to show emotion; they found it difficult to express affection, even though they longed for it to receive it as a part of their normal human need. Rather than giving an embrace or a loving touch, their way of expressing “love” was by the fact that they would go to almost any length, often at great hardship to themselves, to provide, and thus fulfill what they perceived to be their duties to their families.
It is hoped that our offspring will take courage from their positive qualities and adopt them as their own. By the same token it is worth knowing their weaknesses we also inherited from them and work on overcoming them.

I would be remiss if I did not recognize the help received from the late Andries Vogelzang in Workum, Friesland. He has done a great deal of research on the family and without him much of the family details for the last three hundred years would not have been put together. Similarly the work of the late Fimme Nagelhout, from Venray in Limburg, and Peter de Jong from Elahuizen, Friesland, have been invaluable. Though the author has tried to be as accurate as he knows how, he is merely an amateur historian. Hence he welcomes any correction of errors that may have crept into this work.

By its very nature, this type of work is always evolving as new Vogelzangs and their offspring are born, or they pass on to the next life. For this reason, we would greatly appreciate receiving any information about births, deaths, marriages, divorces, or anecdotes that will help in keeping this work current and interesting.

Finally, if any reader has any documents, whether pictures, marriage or death certificates, interesting correspondence, prayer cards, or anything of interest, the author would be grateful if you would send them, or a copy, to him. As of 2011 his address is

Peter J. Vogelzang
Box 160
Seeleysbay, Ontario, Canada
K0H 2N0
Phone 613 387 3308
Fax 613 387 3463
E mail: ppeter038@sympatico.ca

Inhoud van deze pagina:

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Peter J. Vogelzang, 2003

 

17e eeuw Friesland-Groningen.

 

Chapter 1; Genetic Origin of the Vogelzangs.


With the discovery of DNA it has become possible to trace the evolutionary migration of human beings. Late in the 1990’s National Geographic Magazine, sponsored by the Watt Family Foundation launched a project whereby the DNA of different races and population groupings were mapped. In particular, special attention was placed on population groupings which over the ages had stayed in one place. In doing this it was found that specific genetic markers existed for different population groupings. As these groupings mixed, these markers remained present in the DNA chain of the offspring. This created the possibility of tracing back the genetic origin of the current population of the earth.

The manner in which this is achieved is that a distinct DNA consisting of a combination of genes is passed on from both one’s mother and father. These genes give us the traits that range from eye color , height, build to athleticism, disease susceptibility etc.

A human cell is made up of 43 chromosome. They perform different functions. Normally the gender of human beings is determined by the presence of the Y or X chromosome. A female would have two X chromosomes (XX). A male on the other hand has one X and one Y chromosome (XY). The unique characteristic of the Y chromosome is that it unaltered is passed over thousands of generations from father to son. Hence it provides a unique history of one’s origin and thus ancestral grouping.

The ancestral groupings are called “haplogroups” The principal ones are assigned an alphabetical designation from A through R. Each alphabetical designation is then further subdivided by a number. Some groupings are much older than others. For instance the haplogroup A found in populations originating in sub Saharan Africa and now also in North America by negroid population originally brought to N. America as slaves date back as far as 150,000 years.

The fact that humanoid beings go back close to two million years ago, and that different haplogroups have different ages, combined with the fact that female DNA have an older history then male DNA raise some interesting speculation about the biblical story of human creation. Scripture states that God took dirt and breathed a human soul into it. Many scholars think that what scripture is really saying that God took an existing substance and breathed a soul into it. Using that line of thought there is no reason that the existing substance could not have been an existing humanoid.

Haplogroups developed over the ages by the mixing of different groups of human beings. Hence though the Y chromosome remained the same, as different human groupings mixed, a modified Y chromosome developed resulting into a different haplogroup. Within these haplogroups further mutations occur as people intermarry and the mixing of different “races” leave their imprint on the Y chromosome in the form of “markers”. The markers are identified by a number to distinguish the different groupings from which they originate.

The markers act as a beacon. It can be mapped through generations because it will be passed down from the man in whom it occurred to his sons, their sons, and every male in his family for thousand of years.

In some instances there may be more than one mutation event that defines a particular branch on the family genetic tree. This means that any of these markers can be used to determine one’s particular haplogroup, since every individual who has one of these markers also has the others.

When geneticists identify such a marker, they try to figure out when it first occurred, and in which geographic region of the world. Each marker is essentially the beginning of a new lineage on the family tree of the human race. Tracking the lineages proves a picture of how small tribes of modern humans in Africa tens of thousands of years ago diversified and spread to populate the world.

A haplogroup is defined by a series of markers that are shared by other men who carry the same random mutations. The markers trace the path the Vogelzang ancestors took as they moved out of Africa. It is difficult to know how many men worldwide belong to any particular haplogroup, or even how many haplogroups there are because scientist simply do not have enough data yet and the genetic study is really a work in progress.

Nevertheless certain broad indications of the genetic origin of the Vogelzangs do exist. The Vogelzangs belong to haplogroup K2 and their distinct markers carry numbers.

M168>M89>M9>M70. The first genetic marker M168 reaches back roughly 50,000 years to the first common markers of all non-African men, the Eurasian Adam, and follows the Vogelzang lineage to its present day, ending with marker M70. The large M9 lineage, knows as the Eurasian Clan, gave rise to many distinct lineages that spent the next 30,000 years gradually populating the planet.

The earliest marker, M168, originates in Africa. At the time the climate in Africa moves from drought to warmer temperatures and moister conditions. It was a time when there was a temporary retreat from an African ice age. The estimated number of Homo sapiens (meaning “wise man”) at that time was about 10,000. They had primitive stone tools. There was the first evidence of art and advance of conceptual skills.

The African ice age was characterized by drought rather than by cold. It was around 50,000 years age that the ice sheets of northern Europe began to melt, introducing a period of warmer temperatures and moister climate in Africa. Parts of the inhospitable Sahara briefly became habitable. As the drought-ridden desert changed to a savanna, the animals hunted by the Vogelzang ancestors expanded their range and began moving through the newly emerging green corridor of grasslands. The Vogelzang ancestors, being nomads, followed the good weather and the animals they hunted, although the exact route they followed remains to be determined. The other point to remember is that at that time Africa was fastened unto Southern Europe by a land bridge, making it easier from them to cross what is now the Mediterranean.

In addition to a favorable change in climate, around the same time there was a great leap forward in humans’ intellectual capacity. Many scientists believe that the emergence of language gave us a huge advantage over other early human like species. Improved tools and weapons, the ability to plan ahead and co operate with one another, and an increase capacity to exploit resources in ways we had not been able to earlier, all allowed modern humans to rapidly migrate to new territories, exploit new resources, and replace other hominoids.

M168- The man who gave rise to the first genetic marker of the Vogelzang family probably lived in northeast Africa in the region of the Rift Valley, perhaps in present day Ethiopia, Kenya or Tanzania, some 31,000 to 79,000 years ago. Scientists put the most likely date for when he lived around 50,000 years ago. His descendants became the only lineage to survive outside of Africa, making him the common ancestor of every non-African man living to day. The reason for him venturing out of the familiar African hunting grounds is likely that the fluctuation in climate due to the disappearance of the Ice Age, provided the impetus to start the exodus out of Africa, as he followed his animal hunting prey north.

The next marker – M89- is found in 90 to 95 percent of all non Africans. This man was born around 45,000 years ago in Northern Africa or the Middle East. He was part of tens of thousands of Homo sapiens like individuals. The tools they used were made out of stone, ivory and wood. The area in which he lived was a semi arid grass plain. The first people to leave Africa likely followed a costal route that eventually ended as far as Australia. The Vogelzang ancestors followed the expanding grasslands and plentiful game to the Middle East and beyond, and were part of the second great wave of migration out of Africa.

Beginning about 40,000 years ago, the climate shifted once again and became colder and more arid. Drought hit Africa and the grasslands reverted to desert. For the next 20,000 years the Saharan Gateway was effectively closed. With the desert impassable, the Vogelzang ancestors had two options: remain in the Middle East, or move on. Retreat back to the home continent was not an option. Many of the humans having marker M89 remained in the Middle East. However, others continued to follow the great herds of buffalo, antelope, wooly mammoths, and other game through what is now Iran the vast steppes of Central Asia.

These semi arid grass covered plains formed an ancient “superhighway” stretching from eastern France to Korea. Those migrating north out of Africa into the Middle East traveled both east and west along this Central Asian superhighway. A smaller group continued to move north from the Middle East to Anatolia and the Balkans, exchanging grasslands for forests and high country.

M9 came from a man born around 40,000 years ago in Iran or southern Central Asia and marked a new lineage whose descendants spent the next 30,000 years populating most of the earth. His lineage is known as the Eurasian Clan, and gradually dispersed along the vast super highway created by the Eurasian steppe. Eventually their path was blocked by the massive mountain ranges of South Central Asian: the Hindu Kush, the Tian Shan, and the Himalayas. The three mountain ranges meet in a region known as the “Pamir Knot” located in present day Tajikistan. Here the tribes of hunters split into two groups. Some moved north into Central Asia, other moved south into what is now Pakistan and the Indian subcontinent. Nearly all North Americans and East Asians are descendents from the man making up the M9 marker, as well as most Europeans and many Indians.

M70 Mediterranean Traders. Not all of the M9g descendents challenged the problem of the “Pamir Knot”. Many migrated to the fertile climes of the Near East, including the Vogelzang ancestors. From them, about 30,000 years ago, a new marker M70 appeared. It also defines the haplogroup K2. During this time the climate was warmer and drier. Hundreds of thousands of people as we know them lived in this region. They had tools and skills of the middle Upper Paleolithic era Ancient members of this haplogroup dispersed across the Mediterranean world. They traveled west along the cost of North Africa and also along the Mediterranean coastline of southern Europe.

These movements suggest and intriguing possibility that the M70 marker may have been carried by the Phoenicians. These seafaring people established a formidable first millennium B.C. trading empire that spread westward across the Mediterranean from its origins on the coast of modern Lebanon. They established port cities throughout the Mediterranean as strongholds of their trade empire, most notably Tyre, in present day Lebanon, Carthage in what is now Libya, or Cadiz in Spain. Their maritime superiority owed much to the famous cedar trees of western Lebanon. The cedars helped Phoenician vessels travel faster than those of Roman, Persian, Greek or Macedonian ships. This competitive advantage allowed the Phoenician trade empire to flourish for some 1500 years.

Alexander the Great’s army conquered the Phoenician capital city of Tyre in 332 B.C. The Romans vanquished most of the remaining empire after they destroyed Carthage to end the Third Punic War. Much of Phoenician history has been lost. Yet their genes may very well live in the Vogelzang gene pool. M70 is found today throughout the Mediterranean, in particular in Lebanon. It endures in its highest frequency (about 15%) in the Middle East and in Northeast Africa. Members of this haplogroup also live in Southern Spain and France.

Since the Vogelzang by all indications are of Frisian stock, and since the Frisians are of Germanic origin, as intriguing as the Phoenician route sounds, as we will see from the archeological record, more likely they migrated, along with the other Germanic people, from the middle east through Southern Russia to Northern Europe and thus Friesland.

Why do people migrate and culture develop? The story of populating the earth is as old as mankind. Whether we look at the biblical record showing how Israel came about from the migration of Abraham from Ur in Babylon or that of any tribe or nation, the reasons are all similar, and the Vogelzangs migration is no different.

Early Homo sapiens was essentially a hunter. Hence he lived and changed territory in line with the movement of animals. That movement was influenced by seasonal fluctuations in weather conditions, such as the annual cycle in rain fall and thus the corresponding growing and dry season.

Over longer periods of time climatic changes occurred, modifying temperature and moisture conditions. Hence the land produces less vegetation and thus less feed for the animals. They therefore move to areas where there is more feed, and thus humanity which lives off the meat the animals provide moves with them.

As home sapiens develops, rather than living off the hunt only, he starts to gather the fruit and edible plants around him to supplement his diet. Over time rather than completely relying on the gathering of these from the wild, he learns to seed and cultivate the edible plants himself, and primitive farming initially compliments and later supplants the gathering of edible plant food. Similarly over time people learn to husband certain animals, such as sheep, goats, fowl, cows etc. to provide the meat and by products they need to live on. As a result they, depending on climatic conditions and thus availability of feed, either settle in certain areas which have plenty of feed, or they herd their animal from one area to the next essentially following the availability of potable water and animal feed.

In areas where feed is plentiful, or where the soil and weather conditions are favourable, larger herds and more intensive farming develops, to the point where the food supply being made available is greater than the need of the individual and his family. As a result time become available for some of the people to devote their talents away from hunting and gathering for food, or from growing and herding for food, to building settlements, eventually cities, and eventually arts and sciences. Thus one sees the development of civilization as we know it. The more surplus in food is available, the higher the level of civilization, the greater the arts, and the richer the pursuit of knowledge.

Unfortunately with all of this comes the human tendency to want to protect the sources that supply food or wealth. Hence struggles occur over the use and eventually the ownership of land. With wealth comes power, and with all of these the desire to increase power or wealth by means other than one’s own hard work. Hence the introduction of strive and wars. Power is often associated with the religious system one has adopted. With the result that anyone who does not follow the same religious insights as one has oneself, is seen as a threat to power or wealth, again resulting in war and struggles.

This phenomenon has not changed. Even today people migrate, or emigrate, from one country to the next to economically better themselves; escape wars; or find ways to feed themselves. The history of the Vogelzang family shows exactly the same patterns.

References:The-National-Genographic-Project: www.nationalgenographic.com -Access code FWDQ9F33K3

 

Chapter 2; Historic Origins.


In the previous chapter we examined the genetic origins of the humans from which the Vogelzang family originate. This chapter will look at it from its general historic perspective.

With the formation of the different haplogroups, different population groups came into existence. The word “race” is unpopular anymore because of the racial abuse it is associated with. However, without deeming any population groups superior over the other, for the sake of convenience we shall us the word “race” in this chapter.

The Vogelzangs are of Frisian stock. The Frisians in turn are of the Germanic group of people. They also include the Anglo Saxons, the Dutch, Danish, Norwegian and Swedes,- the Germans. They lived primarily in North Western Europe. At around 5,000 B.C. the Germanic people moved from Southern Russia from the area near the Caucasian mountains; hence the expression that they belong to the “Caucasian” race. What prompted them to migrate is not really known. Some scholars believe it was caused by a massive flood caused by the breaking of a land dam near what is now the Bosporus near Constantinople and which created the Black Sea. By extension, they claim it is the origin of the biblical flood story where with the exception of Noah, then known mankind was wiped out. A more plausible explanation is that with the retreat of the ice sheets at the end of the last ice age the world’s oceans rose as much as 100 meters causing massive changes in climate and thus living conditions.

Scientists claim that on Jun 23, 3123 BC the area around the Middle East and following the 28th through 31st parallel was hit by a comet, causing enormous fires and severe droughts. This in turn affected the growth of vegetation and was one of the reasons for people to move north away from the drought. The comet apparently sheared off some of the mountain peaks in Austria and finally hit near the Dead Sea, thus causing the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.

Whether or not this is true is a good question. Truth is that the migration took place over several millennia, starting in the time indicated and lasting till about 500 B.C. What is interesting is that the migration of the haplogroup M70 was in two directions- going west along the Mediterranean and going east towards southern Russia. Hence the genetic record is confirmed by provable history.

Leaving the Black Sea Basin the Nordic Indo European peoples invaded Europe and Asia. Europe was settled by four main groups: The Celts, the Germans, the Balts and the Slavs. In the south they settled pre-dynastic Egypt and the Middle East, and penetrating India form the Indo Aryans; in the east Afghanistan (Aryans) and China (Tocharians) and Japan (Ainu). The reason for the differences in the appearance of these population groups is probably caused by the mixing of dissimilar peoples.

Where people come from a common area, it is reasonable to expect some commonality in language as well. This is exactly the case. All European languages have what is called an Indo European origin. Studies done in the late 1800’s based on words in different languages succinctly show that, as different as they may sound to day, European as well as Mid and Near East languages had a common origin. Over the millennia this common language developed in different ways, forming the current languages. The further one goes back in history, the greater the amount of time exists in which language could diverge. Similarly, the closer in time related population groups were together the more commonality exist in their languages.

For this reason many words in English, Dutch, Frisian, German, Danish, and Norwegian have clearly recognizable similarities. For instance:

  Dutch Frisian German English Danish Swedish
             
Door deur doar tur door dor dorr
Goose gans goes Gans goose goes gas
Wife wijf wif Weib wife vif viv
Cold koud   kalt cold kold kall
Foot voet   Fusz foot fod fot etc.

The peoples that moved from the Black Sea area had a considerable level of civilization and knowledge that moved along with them as they spread out over the areas inidicated. For instance the builders of Stonehenge in Southern England commenced this project between 3500 BC and 3000BC, a good 1000 years before the building of the great pyramids in Egyptian civilization. The knowledge they displayed of the working of the solar calendar and the sophistication of their method of building is remarkable.

Similarly there is evidence that the predecessors of these Black Sea peoples could draw on the culture and knowledge of earlier civilizations. For instance, bow and arrows were invented around 9000 BC. It created a huge step forward in the killing of prey and in inter-tribal warfare. Sewing needles were invented during that time, making it easier to fashion clothing. Stone blades were used as tools such as scrapers to clean hides, which in turn could be used for garments or tents.

As early as 26000 BC fired ceramics have been found of very over weight women representing fertility goddesses. The fact that they could bake ceramics showed that they could control the use of fire- a huge step forward on the road to civilization. As early as 3000 BC the first houses made of mammoth bones, wood and hides have been found in the Russian area from which the great migrations of the 5000’s BC occurred.

As the peoples moved from the Russian Caucasus, they often displaced existing peoples with their own form of civilization. In addition as they inter mixed with these natives they formed a complex intertwining of the races and peoples; a complexity which retains the ability to recognize basic characteristics such as build and physical features of the individuals, but also creates so many different nuances in culture, language and bloodlines, that they are near impossible to follow.

In Europe three distinct subgroups of Caucasian peoples exist. The Nordic characterized as tall, blond, blue eyed individuals; the Alpine characterized as shorter, muscled, darker haired individuals with brown and green eyes, and the Mediterranean which tend to be darker skinned as they have over the ages been more exposed to inter mixing with Arab and other Semitic peoples.

 

Chapter 3; The Conundrum of Reconciling Science and Archeology with Scripture.


In considering the history of mankind, and looking at all of knowledge on a holistic basis as it relates to the background of peoples, one would be remiss in ignoring the spiritual aspect of humans. In doing so it is fair to ask the question: “Is there really a God?” and if so “What does one do with Him?”

The first question has been pondered by mankind for thousand of years. Great thinkers, such as Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, and Thomas Aquinas, to name a few, have struggled with it. In the process they have come up with reasonable proofs that there must be a God, and it is interesting that their thoughts are confirmed by science.

Aquinas was a leader in developing a series of formal proofs of God’s existence. They include:

A. Nothing comes into existence from nothing.

B. Nothing comes into motion unless there is a force to bring it into motion.

C. The order that exists in nature indicates the existence of a great intellect and thus an “ultimate” being- God- the Intellectual Designer.

Though the author by no means pretends to be a chemist, chemistry shows that all chemical elements are made up of matter and energy; “matter” being anything that “occupies space”; “energy” being “the capacity for performing work” Furthermore, in a simplified form, all the different elements distinguish themselves by atoms made up of protons/neutrons kept within an electronic shell. The number of protons/neutrons in the atom determines the nature of the element. For instance, the simplest element -hydrogen- consists of an atom made up of one proton kept in the energy of electrons-electronic shell. Oxygen in turn would have 16 protons/neutrons. Elements of one kind can attach themselves to elements of a different kind. For instance, the combined elements of one element of hydrogen and two of oxygen create water.

Helium has 4 protons/neutrons; lithium 7;beryllium 9; etc. Currently 117 elements have been identified. Each element becomes more complicated by having a larger number of protons/neutrons. For instance element number 92- uranium has 238 protons/neutrons. When one examines the chart of elements, however, one is intrigued by the order that exists in the progression of their atomic structure. Taken by itself one gets drawn to the conclusion that this structure has not just developed by chance but indicates the probability of an Intelligent Designer- God.

This conclusion gets further strengthened when one examines the progression of properties for each level of being. It will be noticed that each group of beings have all the properties of the previous group, plus certain additional ones, thereby distinguishing them as belonging to that particular group of beings-there is a progressive order. When one thinks this through to its logical conclusion, one ends up with a Supreme Being which has to be perfect in every aspect. In other words, that perfection has to exist, for if it did not it would be possible that another more superior being could exist which would have all perfection. Hence the Supreme Being has to be without beginning or end; has to be perfectly all knowing; perfectly just; perfectly all loving; perfectly without need of anyone else, perfectly self sufficient etc. The following chart illustrates this progression:

Group of Beings  Added Properties
   
Elements Distinguish themselves by their physical chemical properties.
Plants, the above plus the Ability to absorb food Ability to reproduce themselves. Have a plant soul and thus life/death.
Animals, the above plus the Ability to move Have senses and feelings
At higher levels, some degree of intellect.
Humans, the above plus the Ability to laugh; have emotions
Ability to be introspective
Ability to reason
Ability to acknowledge existence of a higher
being. Have an eternal soul.
Angels, the above plus they Can have a supernatural or natural body
Have a superior intellect. Have the ability to travel beyond the earthly world. Consist of sub groupings e.g.: Seraphims-Cherubims- Archangels-Devils (fallen angels and Satan fallen Archangel)
God, the above plus Has neither beginning nor end.
Is perfect in all aspects

God, by being perfect in all things, is also perfect in love. However, for love to exist it must have an object to which it can manifest its love. In God’s case men is that object and the perfect expression of this love is that one person of his triune existence becoming man and atoned for men’s sins by voluntarily being willing to die the most gruesome and horrible death one can imagine. Furthermore He gives everyone who so desires the opportunity to be in harmony with Him and share His eternal life by foregoing one’s own will and turning it over to Him and let Him direct it for the purposes that He has planned it to be lived and be used in this world. As St Francis would state it “It is by dieing to oneself that one lives and finds eternal life”

God to men is a mystery. However, He is perfectly loving and thus can be perfectly trusted even though we cannot fully understand all His aspects. Through His Word, he has shown the way to follow in living a full and rich life, as well He has interwoven in it the history of His chosen people, showing the good and bad things that happened/happens to them if they do or do not follow His precepts. In addition He foretells in great detail the events that will happen in the future and ultimately in the final days. The book –Bible- is amazing, not only as a guide book for life, but also as a historical record, and a code book of future events. With regard to the latter, by using the power of the computer Jewish scholars have taken the biblical scrolls of the Torah, and by taking the first letter of a word in a certain place in a given book of it; for instance the first letter of the fiftieth word in the book of Isaiah, they discovered a code. It foretold certain world events; e.g. the rise of Hitler; the 9/11 event etc. Anyone can purchase the computer program and duplicate this experiment and show its validity.

As intriguing as the biblical code phenomena is, there is always the question about the seeming contradiction in some of the aspects of the scriptures when compared to known reality. An example of this is the six days creation story, and the age of the earth. Recent research, however, has made major steps in reconciling scientific reality with the scriptures.

The leading Jewish scientist Dr. Gerald Schroeder in his paper of the Age of the Universe points out that in Jewish understanding of this, there are two aspects: i.. the traditional Jewish calendar starting to count from Adam’s creation or about 5700 BC plus ii. “six days”. He points out that the Hebrew word for “darkness-night” can also mean “black fire” or “black energy” or “darkness” “absence of light”. Similar the word for “evening” can also mean “ chaos”, and the word for “morning” can mean “order” Hence when these words are used it can properly be interpreted as a period in which the chaos for that series of events is changed to order. That is why in Genesis it says “there was evening and morning, Day One”, as opposed to the normal more logical flow of morning and evening. What it is saying is there was evening-chaos- and morning- order. Hence a more accurate translation of the first day of creation in Genesis would be “it was chaos changed to order; the first day”

As confirmed by the observations of the Hubbell telescope, there was a beginning when a “package” of energy spread to form the universe- the Big Bang. Scientists have calculated that this “beginning” occurred about 15 billion years ago. A day as we know it consists of the twenty four hours it takes for the earth to rotate before the sun. In addition the earth rotates around the sun in about 365 days, or a year. Furthermore the sun and planets are a part of the milky-way galaxy. That whole celestial system rotates in the universe. Finally the whole universe keeps on expanding at the rate energy moves, i.e. the speed of light. In the biblical six days the sun does not appear until the fourth “day”. Hence since there is no sun, there is no 24 hour period and obviously the word “day” does not mean that time period but can just as easily mean the time it took to bring chaos into order for the events dealt with.

Dr. Schroeder’s article-is showing as Appendix A to this book. In it he clearly demonstrates that based on the duration of the “scientific day”, the six days as we know them exactly equate the six scientific- I will call- “energy days” or about 15 billion years. Rather dumbfounding!

Finally, what about evolution? Darwin introduced this concept in the 1800’s. However, it is surprising that it is still taught. As one would expect with an intellect behind the creation, there is order in the animal world, and in the same way as with the elements there is a progression of more and more complicated beings. The same phenomena can be observed in the study of DNA among the animals. However, there is absolutely no fossil or DNA evidence showing where one animal evolves from one being into another. There is adaptation within each species to different circumstances, however, no evolution.

When one ponders and examines the overwhelming evidence that there must be a God, one has two choices: i. One can still reject Him and in one’s pride, in the same way as the fallen angels or Adam and Eve, decide that one knows better than He does what is best for us, or, ii One can accept Him to exist; acknowledge that He is the Being that perfectly loves us, Who knows what is best for us and Who has a purpose for our life and ask Him to run our life. The choice is ours! If we accept the truth of His Word we know that by going the latter route we have eternal life. If we rely on our pride and reject Him His Word says we are condemned for the life to come and we’ll live an earthly unfulfilled life.

Pascal made an interesting, rather sobering, observation. He stated that if we accept the truth of an after life and the path of accepting Him to run our life on earth; and it turns out that at death we learned that we were wrong, the worst that has happened is that we lived a full earthly life. However, if it turns out that we were right, we receive eternal life.

On the other hand if we do not want to accept that truth but lived as if there were no after life, and if we found out that our choice of going our own way was wrong, we lose everything.

● References: “From Aether to Cosmos-Cosmology” by: Celestine N. Bittle;
Bruce Publishing Company, Milwaukee 1941

“The Signature of God” by Frank Jeffrey; Frontier Research Publications Inc., P O Box 129, Station U, Toronto, Ont. M8Z 5M4

“Genesis and the Big Bang” by: Dr. Gerald Schroeder. Bantam Doubleday Books

aish.com/societywork/sciencenature/Age_of_the_Universe.asp

www.biblicalhistorytimeline.com

 

Chapter 4; Origins and History of the Frisians.


As stated before, early men were primarily hunter/gatherers. They moved with the migration of their prey, and thus followed them as the animals’ habitat changed with changing weather conditions. With the retreat of the glaciers at around 10,000 BC, homo- sapiens’ pretty well was confined in the areas south of the Caucasian Mountains, in Southern Russia. They formed a natural land barrier. As water levels rose caused by the melting ice, the levels of the Mediterranean Sea rose accordingly. At around 6000-7000 BC this caused pressure to build on the narrow land bridge existing between the Mediterranean and what is now the Black Sea, near the present Constantinople/Istanbul. As a result the land formation preventing the Mediterranean from flowing into the now Black Sea, broke and a massive, catastrophic, flood occurred, wiping out the settlements that existed on the then sweet water lake, drowning that civilization, and changing it from a sweet water lake to salt water sea.

Similarly, a massive volcanic explosion occurred around 4000 BC in what now is the island of Crete and the Cyclade, Negropond, and Santorino islands in the Mediterranean. The explosion was caused by a similar phenomenum as occurred in the 1890’s near Krakatau Island in Indonesia. A new undersea volcano was birthed. As the earth’s crust opened up, sea water poured into the crater, causing a tremendous pressure of steam to build up. It finally exploded with a force far greater than a series of atom bombs, and causing enormous destruction. At the time of the Krakatau explosion, the ashes circled the earths for several years, and influenced the earth’s climate for some time. In the case of the Mediterranean explosion the civilization in that area was pretty much destroyed. If one looks at the map of that area, one can still see the enormous crater that exists.

Coinciding with the glacial retreats, the earth’s human population increased considerably and along with it we saw the birth of human civilization as we now know it. Because the earth warmed, food became more plentiful; and with it edible animals. Man learned to domesticate animals and we see the introduction of agriculture. Rather than having to be constantly on the move to obtain food, people started to stay in one place and we see the first formation of towns and cities. For instance, one of the oldest cities in the world, Jericho, dates back to this time period. The first evidence of this city goes back to before 9000 BCE.

In Jewish history, the story of Noah exists. It is very close to the story of Gilgamesh and that of Ziusudra in Mesopotamian history and myth. The Jews place Noah around 2350 BCE. This date is based on their counting time from the creation of Adam and the genealogies that exist in their Torah –their and our Bible. Archeology has not been able to confirm this date. In fact there is good reason to believe that certain generations are missing from the Torah, and Adam’s existence goes back considerably further, as evidenced by the city of Jericho.

In the case of the peoples now making up the Germanic tribes, which include the Frisians, they appear to have developed as such over a period of several thousand years. Initially they were part of the hunters/gatherers which moved across the Caucasus Mountains and then hit the Russian and Baltic plains and forests, in which game plentifully existed. As the numbers of humans in that area increased and thus new family groups developed into new tribes; natural catastrophes occurred; pressures from other tribes infringed on their normal territory; what now has become the Germanic race moved north and west following the natural “roadways” of rivers and plains. Hence, we find that about 1750 BC the first humans arrived in the area now making up Friesland. These early inhabitants were of Germanic origin, but had not yet become the “Frisian” tribes as we know them.

The Frisian area at that time roughly consisted of South Scandinavia, Denmark, and the Weser/Oder region along the Baltic Sea. They were part of a large group of peoples called the “Germanics”. This larger group was mainly of the “Nordic” race characterized by the shape of their skull-dolichocranic- with elongated head or face. Among the Nordics was a smaller group of people who were enslaved to the “dolichocranics”, and who had a broader skull and face –brachycranics.

Around 800 BCE, the original Germanic groups had split into Western (Saxons, Angles, Frisians and others); Eastern (Goths and Vandals); and North Germanic groups (Scandia- present Norwegians and Danes ) The Germanic groups are primarily characterized by language- Germanic in Celtic means “shouters” while Teutonic is the Celtic word for “tribe”. The Germanics evolved as small tribes or clans, and they developed individual characteristics which helped to identify them even though they had no written language, before Latin was adopted, and thus their history is sparse. The clans were just as likely to fight each other for resources as to align with one another in confederations which gave rise to “nations” eventually, under names we recognize today. (See Appendix B)

The Frisians spoke “low german” which was mutually intelligible with the “Scandia” who spoke “norsk, donsk tunga,or dansk tunga; with “olde English” of the Angle clan’, or “olde saxon” of the Saxon clan. All these languages are part of the “western subgroup” of the Indo-European languages.

The West Germanics can be divided along religious lines, into three tribe groups: the Ingvaeones, Istaevones, and the Herminones., The Frisians belong to the Ingvaeones. The name Ingvaeones is derived from the god Inguz from whom the Frisian believed they descended. Inguz is another name for the Germanic god Freyr, the god of sun and rain, and the patron of bountiful harvests. He is both a god of peace and a brave warrior and he is the ruler of the elves. His sister is Freya (after which the sixth day of the week-Friday is named) In the runic script, the letter “Inguz” means “fertility; New Beginnings; Love and Harmony.

Statue of Freyer

Rune symbol- Inguz

In mythology the god Tuisto had a son Mannus, who in turn had three sons –Ingus, Istae, and Hermin, who became the progenitors of the Germanics- The Ingvaeones lived nearest the sea; the Herminones in the interior; and the Istaevones in the remainder of the Germanic areas. Other tribes belonging to the Ingvaones were the Jutes, Warns, Angles and the Saxons. The latter were the closest to the Frisians. Around 700-600 B.C, the Ingvaeones colonized the coastal areas around the mouths of the rivers Eems and Weser and the coastal clay districts of the current Dutch provinces of Friesland (Westgo) and Groningen (Oostgo) (“go” means “island”). Later they spread further along the Dutch coast to the area around Leiden up to Delfzeil in the North of what is now the Netherlands. A distinct proto-type Frisian culture started to evolve around 200 B.C.

The area of this “Frisian” culture looked quite different then, from what it does now. It was a low land of morasses, clay flats, peat-moors and peat bogs, surrounded with dunes. During bad storms the area was constantly flooded. During many of these floods large numbers of people lost their lives. Over time, as Christianity took more of a hold, the monks constructed primitive dikes to protect the land from the sea. The original settlers constructed “terps”- low knolls made up of refuse and soil. They still exist. Up to 1200 have been identified. They are anywhere from one to 10 meters high. Some are big enough to construct a small village on; others contain just a farm home and outbuildings.

 Friesland around 600 B.C.
1. Clay- First Frisians settle in striped areas; 2 Peat-moors/peat bogs, uninhabited;3 sand 4 mud flats- uninhabited; 5 peat formation locally- uninhabited (later known as West-Friesland)

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The first terps were constructed around 500 B.C. A second wave of them, were built between 200 B.C. and 50 B.C. Around 300 AD sea levels rose so dramatically that most of the clay areas were deserted. They were re-occupied around 400 AD. This continued until about 1200 AD when dikes were constructed instead. “Terp”(plural “terpen”) is the Frisian word for “village”. The Dutch equivalent is “dorp”; English “thorpe”; German “Dorf” They were usually built on top of a sand bar and over time it was heightened by soil and offal.

 

Terp(en) as seen from the ground and from the air.

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Because the prevailing winds in Friesland are from the North-west, and come from the Atlantic, and because the shape of England and Denmark acts as a funnel, when storms develop, enormous pressure can develop on the terps and later on the dikes. As a result the history of the Netherlands is rife with stories of floods causing major damage and loss of life, as well as major changes in the landscape. Many of the sea arms shown on the map of Holland, to day, are the results of these floods. A huge flood took place in 1196 (St Nicholas’ Flood ) Lake Flavo- based on the Roman name, and later called Almere Lake, became further inundated and changed from a body of sweet water to the salt water Zuiderzee (Southern Sea). In addition it started what is now the Waddenzee north of Friesland. In 1219 a similar event occurred – the St. Marcellus Flood. It further extended the Zuiderzee. An estimated 36000 people were killed in this event.

Contact with the Romans.

Between 57 and 50 B.C. Julius Ceasar conquered Celtic Galicia (current France and Belgium) and moved the borders of the Roman Empire to the river Rhine. The Frisians thus still fell outside the Roman borders. Emperor Augustus ( 28 B.C-14 A.D. wanted to extend the Roman empire’s most northern border to the Elbe river, and in the process rule the Frisians. The latter chose to collaborate with the Romans when Drusus and his army arrived at the Rhine in 12 B.C. They negotiated a truce whereby the Frisians agreed to pay tribute in the form of cowhides. Because the Romans found the Frisians primarily living along the coast of the present North Sea, they named it “Mare Frisicum”, after the Frisians.

Under Emperor Tiberius the taxes became so high, due to the fact that the Romans based the size of the cow hide on their oxen rather than the smaller Frisian cattle, that the Frisians were unable to meet the Roman requirements. As a result the Romans would take their cattle, their land and finally their women and children, to be sold as slaves. In 28 A.D. the Frisians rebelled and hung the tax collectors. The Romans sent their legions to punish and conquer Friesland. However, the Roman army was defeated in the battle of Badehenna Wood. Because Rome had its own internal problems at the time, no reprisal was taken by them and the Frisians were free for the next 20 years.

In 47 A.D. the Frisians made another truce with the Romans – the general Corbulo. They agreed that they would mutually respect the Rhine as the border between them. Friesland would fall under Roman influence, but would not be occupied by them. In 58 A.D., however, the Frisians colonized an uninhabited strip of land south of the Rhine, thereby breaking their agreement. When two Frisian leaders went to Rome to see if they could persuade Nero to keep the land, the Frisians were violently removed by the Romans from the region below the Rhine. In 69 A.D. the Batavians (the forebears of the present Dutch) with the Frisians and Canninfats as allies rose up against the Romans. They got soundly defeated and the Rhine remained the Roman border till the collapse of the Roman Empire in 410 A.D.

In 69 A.D. Tacitus wrote an interesting treatise of the Germanic peoples, describing their habits and listing numerous tribes. Of these only the Frisians have preserved their ancient name. (See appendix B)

Around 250 A.D. because of rising sea levels, the Frisians abandoned the coastal areas of Friesland and until 400 A.D. formed a tribal alliance with their southern neighbours, the Chaukians, to become the Franks.

After 400 A.D. the sea levels receded and the Frisian people and their nobility returned to the Frisian clay district. By then, however, it had been colonized by peoples from the Elbe and Sleeswick/Holstein. These new colonizers assimilated with the Frisian to form the Frisians as we know them today.

The age of migration.

With the fall of the Roman Empire, migrations of peoples sweep all over Europe. The Angles, Saxons, Jutes and some Frisians cross the North Sea and establish the Anglo-Saxon empire, now known as England. The Frisians colonized the county of Kent in Southeast England. Between 400 A.D. till 719 A.D. when their famous and greatest king Redbad died, the Frisians became vast traders. Their area of influence stretched to England, France, Scandinavia and Northwest Russia. Because most of Europe at that time was impassable, due to poor roads and lawlessness, the Frisians dominated the sea-going trade. The latter consisted mainly of slaves, Frisian cloth, herring from Sweden, and timber from the Baltics. Unlike the rest of Europe, which mainly used the barter system, the Frisian traders used silver currency, called “sceats”. These were gained through interaction with the Vikings and probably minted in England and Friesland.

As can be seen from Appendix B, the early Germanics and thus Frisians did not have a high level of culture. They basically lived as relatively primitive people and did not value gold and silver the way many other civilizations do. Part of the reason for this is that these precious metals are not naturally found in their regions. As a result, cultural objects for that early time period are few and far between. Those that do exist usually originate from trading, or have been given to their leaders as gifts. A unique gold leaf coin like object worn like around one’s neck was found near Hitsum, Friesland, and dates back to 750 A. D. Similar objects have been found in Sweden. They are very rare.

Gold bracteate with runes -750 A. D.

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Redbad is the greatest folk hero of the Frisians. He is the Frisian defender of their freedom against the Frankish army and the Catholic Church. The Franks had become Catholics when Clovis, the Frankish King, in 496 A.D. in Reims was baptized by Remigius. It started a constant struggle between the pagan Frisians and the Franks. The latter were determined to establish a Frankish Empire, using the Church as a means to this end, if so required. Redbad was a devout heathen, not about to give up his treasured freedom to the Franks. Hence when the Franks were internally divided he attacked the Franks, conquered Utrecht, destroyed the church and banished Christianity. In 689 A.D. the Frankish king Pepin re-conquered Utrecht thereby controlling the trade gateway from the Frankish hinterland via the Rhine to the North Sea When Pepin died in 714 A.D. Redbad took advantage of this and beat the Frankish army at Cologne in 716 A.D., thereby winning back the Frisian Empire.

Franks Conquer Friesland.

This lasted till 734 A.D. when the Franks re-conquered the western part of the lands and made the Frisian counts their vassals. Not until Charlemagne, the grandson of Charles Martel, came to power did .the Saxo-Frisian alliance come under the rule of the Franks (785 A.D.) It is at that time that the Frisian language as we know it to day is borne. Charlemagne formed the first strong, centralized government in early medieval Europe. Though illiterate himself he encouraged learning using the monastic orders. He codified the laws of all the conquered peoples. The Frisians produced the “Lex Frisonium”. It gives a fascinating picture of people in a state of flux between the ancient pagan ways and the new Catholic creed taught by missionaries recruited by Charlemagne like Liudger and Boniface. The conversion to Catholicism was not without struggle. Boniface was murdered by the Frisians in 754 near Dokkum. (It was during this time span that Willibrord was missionary to the Dutch).

The coronation of Charlemagne in 800 AD.

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With the death of Charlemagne on Jan 28, 814, his empire started to fall apart and the Franks were forced to grant Friesland to the Danes as a feudal property. In 886 A.D. the last Viking king to govern Friesland- Godfried the Norwegian was murdered by the Frisian and the ruling Danes-Vikings- were evicted by the Frisians from their land. Periodic Viking raids still took place. However, it ceased completely in 1014 when the Christian king of Denmark, Norway and England, Knut the Great, rose to power.

Since Charlemagne’s empire stretched from Italy to Germany, on his death some of his counts tried to carry on his reign Following Charlemagne’s death, his empire gradually fell apart. A portion became Frane (Frankrijk in Dutch, Frankreich in German-meaning “the domain of the Franks). In 843 the Frankish count Lotharius II, became the ruler of Friesland. In 925 the descendants of Lotharius accepted Henry 1 of Germany as king and Friesland became a part of “Holy German Roman Nation” This remained that way until 1217 when Middle-Friesland did not have a count, no feudal tenant, almost no knights, no slaves and a few cities. They were people of farmers, fishermen and seafarers. Since there was no overruling authority, everywhere indigenous administrative organs developed. It was a booming prosperous period; agriculture and trade flourished. Frisian cities joined the “Hanze”- the west European trade alliance.

With the decline of the Viking influence, the counts of the “House of Holland”, which were of Frisian decent, became the ruling elite of the lands along the North Sea, south of West Friesland. However, after the birth of the province Holland, a deep rift developed between the counts of Holland and the West Frisians (the ones located on the west side of the Zuiderzee). Several attempts were made by the counts of Holland to subdue the West Frisian; with mixed results initially. Their count Arnulf was killed in 991; Willem II attacked West Friesland in the winter of 1256 and while on his horse fell through the ice and is beaten to death by the Frisians. Floris V, son of Willem II, bent on revenge, defeats the West Frisians killing 1200 of them in battle. This is the beginning of the decline of the Frisians as an independent people. After the defeat of the West Frisians, the counts of Holland set their eye on Middle-Friesland- the present Friesland and Groningen located in the Netherlands. In 1346 count Willem IV set out on an expedition to conquer Middle-Friesland. With a large fleet and with the help of French and Flemish knights he sailed over the “Zuiderzee”. On the 26th of September 1345, the army met near Warns. They were surrounded by the Frisian common people and were beaten to death, including Willem IV.

With the demise of the Frankish rule, in Middle Friesland (the present Dutch provinces of Friesland and Groningen) two rivaling Frisian groups, the “Schieringers” and the “Vetkopers”, developed. In essence they were two competing groups of nobility, and the monastic orders they were associated with, they were vying for control of trade and power in Friesland. The Schieringers (referring to the grey garments of the Cistercian monks- “schiere” in middle Dutch means “grey”), lived in Oostergo-the eastern part of Friesland that became the Dutch Province of Groningen (This also gives the origin of the name of the island of Schiermonnikoog in the Waddenzee-North Friesland); the Vetkopers lived in Westergo and were associated with the Norbertine monks who obtained most of their income from farming and livestock. “Vetkopers” means “purchasers of fat”. It was a time where the monks had great influence in Friesland and hence also on the nobility. Remember the Church and government were intertwined and relied on each other to exist. The monks had been very influential in the building of dikes thus creating the farm land and hence the means of existence.

Over time the friction between the two became so strong that for all practical purposes a civil war ensued. Village fought against village; fathers strived with sons. As a result there was no central power, and the Grietman (judge) could not enforce the laws. To end this catastrophe, on the invitation of the Schieringers of Oostergo, .and with the consent of the Vetkopers, in 1498, the aid of a foreign authority, Albrecht of Saxony, was accepted. This ended Frisian freedom. Albrecht created a centralist authority and installed Saxon civil servants. Law and order returned, but the Frisian language and culture impoverished. The language of the civil service was German. As the reformation started to take hold in the following century, the Bible used initially was in German and the preaching was done in that language only. Later Dutch took over as the official language. As a result, the Frisian language only survived in the homes and in non governmental dealings of the Westergo Frisians (now making up the Dutch Province of Friesland). In the Oostergo part (now Groningen Province.) the Frisian language pretty well disappeared, and it explains why its current dialect is such a mix of German, Dutch and Frisian.

In the mid 1500’s, Charles V set out to unite Western Europe (He lived from 1500-1558 and became king of the German –Western European- Empire.) His empire included Friesland. His son, Phillip II (1527-1598), became king of Spain. Spain had freed itself of the Moors and was strongly Catholic. In fact the state and the church were entities that relied on each other to exist. An attack on the Church was in fact an attack on the State. Hence when the Reformation took place around that time, not only the Church was deemed to be threatened, but also the State. For that reason the persecution of the Protestants took place not just as a means to protect the church but also the State. Yet because of the degeneration of the Church and its Christian doctrines, the populace wanted a purer form of Christianity and thus the protestant movement took hold, even though ipso facto it threatened the State. Certain areas became protestant, thus in effect declaring war on the Catholic Spain of Phillip II who also was king of the Netherlands.

Thus the war for Dutch independence resulted, (Tachtig Jarige Oorlog- eighty year war) from which eventually the Netherlands as we know it to day was born. These Netherlands were a confederacy of seven provinces (Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht, Gelderland, Overijsel, Groningen and Friesland). In later years the provinces of Drenthe, Brabant and Limburg were added. It was governed by a “Stadhouder” –count- of the German house of Orange/Nassau, Germany till 1814 when he became king of the Netherlands including Friesland.

● References- Encyclopedia Mythica: www.pantheon, org/articles/f/freyer.html

www.ealdriht.org/mannus.html

Redbad: History of the Frisian Folk. www.boudicca.de/frisian1.htm

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Floods_in_the_Netherlands.

www.vanderbilt,edu/Blair/CoursesMUSL242/f98/charles.htm

www.drf.nl/business/history.htm

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ygo_Gales_Galama

 

 

Chapter 5; The Origin of Names, and of the Vogelzang Name.


If to day, one visited a small town and were looking for someone whose name one did not necessarily knew, but knew some circumstantial information about him, in referring to that person one would say something like: ”Do you know John the baker?”; or “Do you know John who lives in the house with the sailboat sign in front of it?”; or, Do you know John the son of Peter?”.

 

When names were not formally assigned, people used the same system. They gave names to person on the basis of:
1. Occupation; e.g. Smith, Baker, Mason, Cooper, Barber, Dean, Presser, Miller, Adelman (nobleman), Fisher, Stewart, etc.

 

2. Being the offspring of a certain person; e.g. the son of John, Johnson, Peterson, Adamson, Anderson, Thomson, Simonson, etc.

 

3. Another way of referring to a person’s relationship was to add “ ‘s “ to the name indicating the possessive tense; e.g. Reynolds- belonging to Reynold, Rodgers- belonging to Rodger’ ’, Adams, etc.

 

4. To mark a specific house of place of business it was common to have a sign hung from one’s place, or a gable stone. It thus became a means of identifying the place and set it apart from the other buildings. E.g. the house where the butcher lived may have had a sign with a lamb hanging over the door. Hence the butcher could have been called “John of the lamb”, shortened as “John Lamb”; if the sign was that of a bird, he would be John Bird, etc.


5. One’s place of origin could have been the identifier of a person. E.g. if the chap came from Holland, he may have been referred to as “John the Hollander” shortened to “John Holland” or if he was from England to “John England”; or if he came from Kingston he was “John Kingston”


6. Another way was if a person lived near a landmark he be named after it E.g. if he lived near the church he could be called “John Kirk”, or Kirkham- “ham” being a derivative of the French “home”-man.


7. He could be named after a character quality. E.g. Bonham-Bonhomme in French- “bon” being “good”, “ham” being “man”- a good man.; or Goodfriend’, etc.

The possibilities are endless and essentially were based on what set that person apart from others. In the old days no formal registry of births, marriages or deaths existed, unless one belonged to an important family, such as nobility or royalty. As the churches became more established, they would keep record of this information – usually baptisms rather then births as baptism was more closely identified with the church. The information they would record would be that on a given day an e.g. male child having so and so as father and so and so as mother was baptized in the presence of certain witnessed and he was given the name of whatever. Sometimes it may also state where the parents lived and what their status in life was. Similar type of information was recorded in the death registers and marriage registers.

However, the exact spelling of the person’s name could vary. Formal dictionaries often did not exist and much depended on how well the priest and minister, or the parents, were educated. Most common people could not read or write. Hence when they presented themselves before the authority the stated their name and he would write the information down based on how it sounded rather than any exact spelling.

The system of using names in Holland and Friesland was no different. In addition Friesland had some peculiarities in name giving based on name endings. The most common endings are:
“ ‘s” being the possessive ending. Girls were often endearingly called “Popke”- little doll. Hence the surname “Popkes” It was also often based on one’s first name e.g “Foppe”- hence “Foppes”
n”, orns” again indicating the possessive or using the name Popke again it could become “Popken” or “Popkens”
ma” which indicated where one was from or whose offspring one was. E.g. if one came from the town of “Dokkum” one could be called “Dokkema”, or if one’s father was Adam, his son could be called “Adama” In the case of the Vogelzangs the name “Wierdsma” is common as being married in the family. It means the son of Weird- the latter being a first name.

 

So one sees name like Boukema, Jelsma etc. – Bouke and Jelle being common first names.
gaoringa” People with the latter ending are of oldest Frisian descent. It means “belonging to” or “related to” the person named in the name before. Similar ending appear in Old English or Frankish. E.g Witting in Old English is “the son of Witt”; or Carolingi (Charlemagne and descendents) Frisian names are Abbinga, Dekkinga. Elsinga, Tamminga,Huizinga, etc.
stra” This ending means “originating from somewhere” e.g. Dykstra- from the dike; Beekstra- from the stream; Boonstra; Balkstra; Westra; etc.

In the case of the Vogelzangs, the common practice of naming boys after the fathers and grandfathers or uncles, and girls after the grandmothers, mothers and aunts, was often followed. There was a system in this, in that the oldest son was normally named after the grandfather, or the oldest daughter after the grandmother on father’s side; the second son/daughter after the grandfather/grandmother on mother’s side; the other children usually after the aunts and uncles who acted as witnesses at the baptisms of the baby. This system is called “patrimony” and in studying genealogy is a useful tool in tracking relationships, in particular if no formal last name exists.

As a result of this system, Jan who was the oldest son of Harmen, who in turn was the oldest son of Jan, would be referred to as “Jan Harmen of Harmen Jans” The latter son John being “Harmen’s John”. It could get quite a mouthful, but the system worked. It is obvious, however, that in a village several “Jans” of different families could live. Hence unless one could clarify the name a bit more, confusion would reign. In the Vogelzang family were at one time two “Jans”. One was a fisherman and of great strength and stature. Hence when referring to him they would call him “greate Jehonnus”, or “big Jan”

Following the French revolution, Napoleon became Emperor of France. He put an end to the chaos the French revolution had created. He also conquered most of Western Europe, including the Netherlands. Like Charlemagne in his days, Napoleon was a man of order. In 1799 a law was passed by him to complete the work begun by the French king Louis XVI to standardize measurements, temperatures and weights. He also codified laws, and formalized civil registration of births, deaths and marriages- getting away from the haphazard and somewhat informal church system.

Prior to Napoleon, a foot could be anything, based on one’s shoe size; a length of cloth was an “ell”- the measurement of an outstretched arm. Obviously depending on one’s size, or how far one stretched out one’s arm when measuring, the “ell” could be any length. It thus was open to all kind of abuse. Miles would vary between nautical miles, German miles, Roman miles etc. Some systems were based on multiples of 12, others on multiples of 20, etc. To end the mess, he introduced the metric system or decimal system. A “meter” was the common starting point of measurement. It consisted of 1/40,000,000th of the polar circumference of the Earth. A liter was the volume of one cubic decimeter. A liter of water was also deemed to be the weight of one kilo. Zero degree was the freezing point of water. It was a simple system where fractions of these measurements merely meant adjusting the decimal point and it was not open to manipulation, but provided standardization, as illustrated by the following table:

 

Measurement Basic unit
Weight gram
Distance meter
Volume liter
Area are (10x10metre)

 

Multiples or fractions of basic units based on  decimals e.g..

1/1000

milli millimeter
1/100 centi centimeter
1/10 deci decimeter
10 deca decameter
100 hecto hectometer/hectare
1000 kilo kilometer/kilogram

 

Over the years the metric system has been refined. However the basic system has stayed the same from Napoleonic times.

In August, 1811 a law was passed throughout the Napoleonic Empire whereby everyone had to pick a surname, and register it at the nearest administrative office, by the end of the year. Some people thought that to pick a name was a big joke. They did not expect that the French would stay too long as occupiers, and once they left everything would be back to where it was prior to the French occupation. Hence they picked silly names like “Naaktgeboren”- meaning “born naked”; or “Komtebedde”- meaning “come to bed”. Guess what happened though. Once the French left, things did not revert to the state prior to the French occupation and the silly names stick to this day. Another fairly common name is “Posthumus”.

It indicates that the child was born after the death of the father; i.e. it was conceived while the father was alive. However, while the mother was carrying the baby the father died and thus he was not alive when the baby was born.
Friesland at that time was divided in “departments”, which in turn were divided into “kantons”. The Vogelzang family lived in the department of Sneek which was made up of the kantons of Bolsward, Hindelopen, Lemmer, Rauwerd and Sneek. As we will see from the genealogy, the ancestor at the time was “Melchert” No surname existed for his family. He had six sons. Five of them chose the name “Vogelzang” and one, the oldest,. the name “Melchers”. The latter was understandable as the name merely meant “the son of Melchert”.

 

Document registering Kornelis Jans chosen name as “Melcherts”

Voor ons Adjunct Maire der Gemeente van Koudum Canton Hindelopen Arrondissement Sneek Department Vriesland compareered zijnde Kornelis Jans wonende te Hemelum heeft de zelve verklaard dat aanneemt de naam van Melcher voor famillie naam. Dat hij heeft het volgende getac zonen en Dochters te weten Jan oud 16 jaren, Klaas oud 13 jaren, Janke oud 10 jaren Durk oud 8 jaren Witze oud 20 jaren Grietje oud 14 jaren all wonened te Hemelum and heeft dezende …. Getekend den 16 Januarij 1812
C J Melchert Folke Wouters

Before us deputy Mayor of the municipality of Koudum, canton Hindelopen. district Sneek Department Vriesland have appeared Kornelis Jans living in Hemelum. He himself declared to adopt the name of Melcher as family name.That he had the following sons and daughters namely Jan old 16 years, Klaas old 13 years, Janke old 10 yers, Durk old 8 years, Witze old 20 years Greitje old 14 year all living at Hemelum and has signed this …
The 16th of January 1812.
Signed C J Melchert and Folke Wouters

Most of the Vogelzangs were fishermen on the Zuiderzee, and small farmers. They usually combined both activities, i.e. they fished as well as farmed at the same time. They tend to be strong bodied people as well as people of strong character; tough on themselves yet kind hearted; people of integrity; respecting authority but not necessarily intimidated by it; fiercely independent; loyal.(see Introduction)

The area in which the Vogelzang family lived is “Gaasterland”. The ground there is somewhat higher than the surrounding land and is made up of small hills, deposited during the ice age. It has rustling forests. The area is situated on the migration routes of many birds. Because the land was higher, it is some of the oldest inhabited land in Friesland. “Gaesten” were hilly sandy deposits dating back from the ice-age. Hence the meaning is “Land of the Gaesten” – land of the hills-and reflects the nature of the region.

Gaest at Oude Wirdum around 1910 prior to its “landscaping”/grading.

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The area was heavily wooded. and its forests had many song birds. Hence, our ancestors when having to choose a name picked “Vogelzang”- bird song- reflecting the characteristic of their neighbourhood. Many of the Vogelzangs have good singing voices. This also may have influenced the selection of the name. The name “Vogelzang” is relatively rare in the Netherlands. To the best of the author’s knowledge three unrelated family groups by this name exist: The Frisian family- ours; one family originating in The Hague, and one from Groningen.

There is every indication that the Frisian Vogelzang family, are just that- Frisian. As far as it can be traced, they always lived in Friesland and thus were more than likely exposed to the history of Friesland described in the previous chapters.

Gaest being graded.

 

Gaest near Oude Mirdum as it looks to day with its “improvements”

● References:

www.fehmarn-genealogy.com/culture_of_the_frisians.htm

www.holland.com/goudencirkel/gb/discoveer/cities/friesland/gaster.html

www.answers.com/topic/english-unit

www.du.edu/-jcalvert/tech/oldleng.htm

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/metric_system

www.dirk-advies.com/prod01.htm

 

 

Map of Gaasterland in 1865 made by Kuijper.
Population at the time was 4050.

Gaasterland to day.

 

Chapter 6; The earliest traceable Vogelzangs.


As we earlier showed, the name “Vogelzang” dates back to 1811. Prior to that point our ancestors merely were referred to as the son of “so and so”; being the first name of the father. Since the first name could also be held by another person, not necessarily related, it gets very difficult to ascertain with certainty which person any early documents really refer to. This is further aggravated by the fact that the early documents are often hard to read. Penmanship would vary by the person marking down the birth, deaths, marriage or baptismal information in the registers. In addition no dictionaries existed. Hence names were written down based on what they sounded like to the official keeping the vital statistics’ registers.

Depending on the education, diction, or dialect of the person giving the information to the official, he might hear it different than his predecessor, with the result that a variation of spelling could easily occur. The one thing that helps is that most of the villages in which our ancestors lived, had a fairly small population, thus limiting the number of people with similar first names. In addition, the family seems the follow the patrimonial rules for giving first names. Also, by examining the births/baptismal and marriage records, and the names of those who attended as witnesses at these events, family interconnections can often be made. Last but not least, until the 20th century, people pretty much stuck to living in the same general area, thus making it easier to track them.

Based on the above then, we feel reasonably certain that the oldest traceable ancestor is Melchert. He was probably born around the 1610’s He had a least one son-Jan Melcherts who was born in the 1640’s in Workum. On Jan 28, 1672 he married Geertje Louws who was born in Sneek. The couple had 12 children. The eighth child was a Coert Jans.

We have a copy of his marriage certificate dating to February 28, 1681. It is practically illegible, but this information can be deciphered from it:

A Coert Jans (Coert the son of Jan) from Ruigahuizen marries a Sjoke Wijbrens (Sjoke the daughter of Wijbren) who came from Mirns. Since people married fairly young in these times, this means that they were probably born in the 1670’s. This is further strengthened by the fact that we have been able to find two children from this union in the Archives for the Province of Friesland located in Leeuwarden and having an excellent website. One was Melchert Coerts, born around 1700 and the other Berend Coerts, born around 1705.

Ruigahuizen is a very small village. In 1811 it only had 20 inhabitants. The name first shows up in 1250 as Rughahusem and in 1505 as Rughahuysum. The exact meaning is not absolutely clear. In Frisian the word “ruch” means the same as the Dutch “ruig”- tough, disorderly. The other possibility is that it comes from the Frisian male name “Roege” and thus means the home of Roege- the latter is more likely the case.

Map of the Corner of Gaasterland from where the Vogelzangs originated.

 

Berend Coerts, a widower from Ruigahuizen, who married in Gaasterland on Jul 17, 1747 a Lijsbeth Arnoldus. She was 33 years old and hence born in 1714. Going by the age of his second wife, it seems reasonable to assume that Berend was born around 1714. Berend died sometimes between 1747 and 1752 as his wife remarried on May 24, 1752 to a Gert Geerts, who was borne in 1715. There is no record of children from the union between Berend and Lijsbeth.

However, from Berend’s first marriage probably was some offspring. There is a record of a marriage of Coert Berends who on August 31, 1760, in the Roman Catholic church of Woudsend, married a Marija Pieters, who was from Ypecolsga. They lived in Harich, from where he originated. He probably was born around 1739. From this union was a child – Berend Coerts, born in Harich Mar 17, 1764. He must have died as an infant, for another son by that name was born in Harich on Jun 22, 1765. The mother Marija probably died in childbirth, a common phenomena in those days, as no more children are recorded from this union. However, in the Frisian Archives there is a record showing Coerts Berends remarrying to a Trijntje Melcherts on Mar 29, 1769. This union has no record of any children. When names had to be chosen in 1811, Berend Coerts chose the last name Koets.

Berend Coerts had an older brother Melchert Coerts. There exists a marriage declaration for him dated Jun 4, 1727. In Old Dutch it states the following:

 

“Melchert Coerts, jong man uit Balk ende Beerendje Jans wonende op de Hoijbergen, met const van hun vader Jan Jansen, wonende in Twente, hebben elcander egte ende trouw beloovt en begeeren daarinne volgens landsortie te laten bevestigen.
Naa voorgaande drie geregtelijke proclematien haarder egte over deze geregte gegaan zijnde, compareerden voor onze ondergetekenden, commys en secretaries”
Melchert Coerts, jong man uit Balk, ende Beerendje Jans, jong dochter op de Hoijbergen, en verklaarden mits dezen dat zij elcanderen egte and trouw hebben belooft, en dat zij deshalves aannamen ende beloovden met elcanderen te leven gelijk goede egte getrouwde personen toestaat, en volgens Gods Ortie schuldig zijn te doen zonder om eenige oorzaak van elcanderen te scheiden, waarop zij elcanderen den regter hand hebben gegeven, in presentie van ons, commys en secretaris, op 4 Juni 1727.”


The translation of this is: “Melchert Coerts, young man from Balk and Beerendje Jans, who lives on the Hoijbergen, with the permission of her father, Jan Jansen, who lives in Twente, have promised each other marriage and fidelity, and desire to have this affirmed according to the order of the country.”

“After this, three proclamations having been made regarding this intended marriage, in accordance with the requirements of the law, have they appeared before the undersigned, commissioner and secretary”

“Melchert Coerts, young man from Balk, and Beerendje Jans, young daughter on the Hijbergen, declared herewith that they have promised each other marriage and fidelity, and that they therefore accepted and promised each other to live like good in marriage united persons, and that they would be guilty according to God’s Laws, if they for any reason would divorce; after which they have given each other the right hand in the presence of us, commissioner and secretary, on June 4, 1727”

The Frisian archives show four children. The second son was Jan Melcherts-Jan Melcherts’son. The parents followed the patrimonial rules by naming him after his maternal grandfather.The oldest son was named after his paternal grandfather and thus be Coert Melchterszoon.

Jan Melcherts was probably born in Oudemirdum-Gaasterland in 1730. The Frisian Archives show that he married in the Roman Catholic Church of Bakhuizen, Gaasterland on March 29, 1758 to a Margaretha (Grietje) Cornelis, who was born in Hogeburen, near Mirns on about Sep. 11, 1737. The church registers do not record the actual dates of birth, but rather the date of baptism- in this case Sept 11, 1737. She was the daughter of Cornelis Joannes and Yske Cornelis. Jan Melcherts and his wife were called “Jan and Grietje” They died within a month of each other in 1801 in Mirns. They lived from their marriage date till about 1765 in Heuteburen near Oudemirdum, and then moved to Hogebergen near Mirns.

 

Village square in Oude Mirdum, May 2010.

 

1. Cornelis, born in Heuteburen on about February 16, 1750. He died in Hemelum on February 14, 1828.In 1811 he chose the family name of Melchers, since he already was known by that name anyway. His occupation was “veldwachter”- rural police constable, an occupation that occurs on numerous occasions in the Vogelzang family. He was twice married. The first time in the Roman Catholic Church of Bakhuizen, on May 11, 1789, to Tjidske (Tietske) Klazer, who was born in Bakhuizen and was there baptized in the RC Church on Jan 10, 1767. She died in Hemelum on Oct 10, 1808. At this marriage the official witnesses were Jan Melcherts, who probably was his father, and a Wybe Wierds, possibly a Wierdsma family ancestor.

Picture of a police constable in late 1800’s.

The second marriage was on February 17, 1819, before the civil authority in Koudum, and on February 21, 1819 in the RC Church in Bakhuizen, to Attje (Atje) Berends de Vries. She was born in the Zuidermeer, in the jurisprudence of the town of Stavoren around Jan 1, 1786. It almost appears that she was born at sea, as the word Zuidermeer seems to indicate this. She was baptized in the RC Church of Bakhuizen on Jan 1, 1786. She was the daughter of Berend Evert de Vries, farmer, and of Alltje Frankes. This second wife died in Bakhuizen on December 18, 1833. When her husband Cornelis died, she remarried on Jun. 18, 1829, to Rients Bokkes Stremler, who was born in Schettens and was baptized in the Reformed Church in that town on Mar 18, 1787. He died in Warns on Jun 12, 1833. By occupation he was a master blacksmith. He was the widower of Jaaytske Hettes, who was born in Witmarsum and there baptized in the Reformed Church on Nov. 22, 1789. She died in Warns on Nov 17, 1828.

It is interesting to note that the second marriage reflected the new laws introduced by the French occupiers. As a result of the French Revolution the separation of church and state became very pronounced. Because of this, when the French occupied the Netherlands, they introduced this phenomena which resulted, for registration purposes, in the introduction of non recognition by the state of any church marriages. All marriages had to take place before a civil authority, usually at City Hall. Yet, people did not want to abandon being married in the church, as, particularly in the Roman Catholic Church, marriage is deemed to be a sacrament. Hence for civil purposes they married earlier at City Hall. However, Catholics in particular, did not deem themselves married till they had exchanged their vows before a priest in their church. They therefore had a church wedding, usually a few days later. This system is still followed to this day. The other thing of interest is that the second husband of Atje was a Protestant. In those days there was still a fair bit of friction between the Catholics and Protestants, as a left over from the Reformation which caused a great upheaval in Dutch society. Hence it is unusual to see such a mixed marriage.

2. Melchert, who was born in Heuteburen and was baptized in the RC Church of Bakhuizen on Jul 2, 1761. He died in Marns Bakhuizen on October 26, 1836. In 1798 he married Jannetje Gerrits (Brandenburg)- the latter the name chosen in 1811. She was born in Braambergen on October 10,1770 and was the daughter of Gerrit Johannes and Marijke Jans. She died in Wijckel on March 16, 1853.
Melchert’s occupation was farmer/labourer.

Showing his Vogelzang independence trait, he was somewhat tardy in registering a last name in 1811. At the time he had indicated at City Hall in Balk that he would choose the name Vogelzang, but did not formally register it as such. Hence he got charged and fined by the Napoleonic authorities for not having formally registered a surname. This gave him the incentive to register in 1813 when he picked the same name as his brothers-Vogelzang.

3. Harmen, was born in Hogebergen and baptized in the RC Church in Bakhuizen on September 20, 1767. He died in Laaxem on January 10, 1830. On May, 1794 he married in the RC Church in Bakhuizen to Geeske Jans (Krol)(Krul)) who was born in de Wiel and was baptized in the RC Church in Bakhuizen on August 26,1776. She died in Laaxem on December 22, 1829. Harmen was a fisherman by occupation. In Stavoren he registered that he had chosen the name Vogelzang in 1811. The couple had ten children. He was the ancestor of the Laaxem and Lemmer Vogelzang branches, (See chapters 7 and 9)

Registration of the name Vogelzang” by Harmen Jans.

Translation: Before us Mayor of the Municipality of Stavoren, Arrondissement Sneek, Departement Vriesland have appeared Harmen Jans living in Scharl the same declared that that he adopts the name of Vogelzang as family name. That he has three sons such as Jouke old 16 years, Johannes old 15 years, and Jan old 13 years and three daughters such as Jantje 8 years, Gatske 2 years and Grietje 20 weeks all living at Scharl. And has this person signed with us Stavoren the 29th of December, 1811
                                                         H J Vogelzang J A Lootsman.

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4. Berend, was born in Hogebergen and was baptized in the RC Church in Bakhuizen on December 2, 1769. He died in Warns on June 19, 1807 being only 38 years old. Berend was a master butcher in Warns. On Apr 30, 1797 he married in the RC Church in Bakhuizen Oeke Jans (Monkelbaan) – the latter name elected by her family in 1811. She was born in Harich and baptized in the RC Church in Balk on September 20, 1771. She died in Mirns/Bakhuizen on September 28, 1858. Her parents were Jan Johannes (Monkelbaan) and Popkje Baukes. The couple had 10 children. The tenth one from this union was born after the death of her father. After her husband died Oeke found herself pregnant from a chap by the name of Ignatius thus adding an eleventh child to her brood. Seven of her offspring died as infants. At time of choosing a last name, and as her husband had died by then, Oeke chose the name de Jong for her offspring. Since she had only one son Jan Berends, who never got married, this branch of the family died out.

5. Ybeltje (Yp)-girl- was born in Hogebergen and baptized in the RC Church in Bakhuizen on June 17, 1772. She died in Tjerkgaast- municipality of Doniawerstal- on Jun 20, 1842. She was married twice; the first time to a Durk Piebes, Jan 19, 1794 in St Nicolaasga. From this union were three children. Durk Piebes died in St. Nicolaasga on Feb 8, 1800. On April 24, 1804 she remarried in the RC Church of St. Nicolaasga Jan Luitzens (Brouwer) who was born in Harich and baptized in the RC Church of Bakhuizen on March 16, 1773. He died in Tjerkgaast on August 17, 1826. Jan’s occupation was labourer. From this union three children resulted. Since she was married prior to 1811 she had no need to adopt a new maiden name.

6. Berendje-girl- who was born in Hogebergen and baptized in the RC Church in Bakhuizen on May 14, 1775. She must have died before 1811 as there is no further record of her in the civil records.

7. Johannes (Joannes), was born in Hogebergen and baptized in the RC Church in Bakhuizen on November 1, 1776. He died on February 14, 1823 in Mirns/Bakhuizen. He was married on October 19, 1799 to Geertje Sibbles Coldewayer, who was born at Bakhuizen and baptized in the RC Church of that village on April 9, 1773. She was the daughter of Sibel Lolles and Jantje Durks. She died at Bakhuizen on October 9, 1828. He was a labourer and she a seamstress. They had seven children- 5 boys and 2 girls. In 1811 he registered the name Vogelzang for him and his family.

Translation: Before us, Bailiff of the Municipal Government of Gaasterlan, acting in the function of Mayor in the Municipality Balk, Canton Lemmer, Arrondisement of Sneek, Department Vriesland have appeard Johannes Jans Vogelzang living at Bakhuizen the same declard that the adopts the name Vogelzang as family name, and that he has three children, namely Jan old eight years, Sible old seven years, and Lammer ond one year and seven months.
And he did not sign this document as he declared not to be able to write. The 23rd of December 1811. B Baukema F. L. Zomeg?

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8. Anne Jans, was born in Hogebergen and baptized in the RC Church in Bakhuizen on Sept 25, 1780. Just prior to the date that names had to be registered he died in Oudemirdum on November 1, 1811.He was married to Grietje Wieges(Huizinga) who was born in Oudemirdum and baptized in the RC Church of Bakhuizen on June 19,1776. She was the daughter of Wiebe Jelles and Jeltje Berends. She died in Oudemirdum on Dec 24, 1823. Anne’s occupation was labourer. The couple had 6 children-4 boys and 2 girls. The last boy-Anne- was born seven months following the death of his father. Though the mother registered the name Folmers for her children, none of them ever went by that name. They all took the name Vogelzang. However, because the youngest boy was born after the death of his father, his name was Anne Posthuma Vogelzang.; Posthuma in Latin means after the death of the father. His oldest sister when she married showed her name as Vogelaar- a person who catches birds.

Following the death of her husband-Anne, Grietje remarried under the name Huizinga an Age Ytzen ten Brink who was born in Harich and baptized there in the Dutch Reformed Church on April 5, 1783. He was the son of Ytzen Ages ten Brink and Lisbeth Gerrits Kok. He died at Bakhuizen on Aug 18, 1859. He also was a labourer by occupation.

It is interesting to note that when choosing a name, the registration papers make mention of the fact that the registrants could not read or write. By to day’s standards one would wonder whether this was because they were dumb, or what. In actual fact the Vogelzangs were smart people in so far as life’s wisdom is concerned. However, because they were so poor, and because schooling had to be paid for privately as no obligatory education systems existed, they just did not have the funds to send their kids to school, even if schools were available.

In the 1840’s a teacher settled in Workum, about 5 km from Laaxum. As a result one finds that more and more of the locals of Laaxum and environs became literate. However, even when the kids went to school, it was not uncommon for them to go with a half empty stomach. When the harvest of corn, potatoes or fish had run out, one often went to school or work with a breakfast consisting of a slice of turnip. Common people, like the Vogelzangs, would deem it a treat if they would be given the fried intestine of cow that died, or the meat of an aborted calf.

It is also interesting that the Vogelzang belonged to a remnant of Catholics that lived in the area of St. Nicolaasga and Mirns Bakhuizen. In 1580 Roman Catholicism was officially outlawed and most of the population of Friesland became Protestant. The properties of the Catholic Church were confiscated and the proceeds spent on the Franeker School of Higher Learning, which trained ministers. As a result the more wealthy catholics moved away and as mall portion of the population, usually poorer people, remained Catholic even though they were persecuted for their belief. Those falling in that category tended to be fun loving people, who though practicing their faith, still had a mind of their own and, though loyal to the Faith, still would not necessarily swallow everything that was told in church.

With the making into land of the Zuiderzee and the accompanying construction of highways on the old sea bed, the ferry service discontinued and the vessels were either scrapped or became sight seeing ships.

● References: www.spanvis.nl

www.offringa.nl

-De Lemmer Boot, a levenslijn tussen Amsterdam en Lemmer, by Anne Wilinga and Johan Saverda.

 

 

Chapter 7: Laaxum, “the Smallest Fishing Village of Europe”


In looking at the Vogelzang family, one would be remiss not to include the hamlet of Laaxum, or in Frisian Laeksum. It is the smallest fishing village in Europe with the smallest fishing harbour.in Europe. Yet in spite of its size, Laaxum has a remarkable history, which includes the Vogelzang family

The village is located on the south west corner of Gaasterland on the edge of the Zuiderzee. It dates back to at least 1200 A.D. and possibly longer. Near it, in the 1800’s a “hunnebed” –a megalithic grave- was found and excavated. The reason for its long history is that Laaxum is a part of the “Westergo” (See page 23) and sits on a sand ridge deposited during the last ice age. The name of the hamlet seems to mean “home of Laek”.In Dutch the ending “sum” comes from the old Dutch word “heem”, “heim in German, “home” in English. When added to another word the “heem” gets modified to “sum” (E.g the Dutch towns of Bussum and Hilversum) or “kum” (e.g the towns of Dokkum, and Blarikum)

 

 

Landing of Willem IV near Laaksum.


The above map shows the high area on which Laaksum was located and the two nearby lakes- Northern Lake and Southern Lake. The monolith was near Warns.

You will recall that in 1345 the Dutch Count Willem IV attempted to conquer Friesland. He assembled a sizable fleet off the Town of Enkhuizen on the West side of the Zuiderzee. Crossed it and ended up near Laaxum. Off the coast of Laaxum is a sandbar-the Mokkebank-.Willem IV’s vessels got stuck on it several hundred yards from terra firma. Because he could not get his vessels afloat again, he decided to disembark, leaving his horses on board, however, wearing his armour. Once ashore near Laaxum, he found that the hamlet was abandoned and burned the empty homes. He then proceeded to Warns, which also had been abandoned and the same process repeated itself- he burned the homes

Frisian Peasant Soldier in the 16th century
as pictured by Cornelis Kempius’ in De origine Phrisonum
.

 

Warns is a hike of about 2.5 km. Being dressed in their armour, and without their horses, the walk tired out Willem IV and his entourage. Hence when the local farmers attacked them near Warns, they were soundly beaten and clubbed to death. A monument to the battle stands just outside Laaksum (Roode Klif.- Red Cliff) Each year on September 26, a memorial gathering of the battle is still held at the monument. The wording on it in Frisian says “Leaver dea as sleaf”- Better to be dead than slave.

 

Roode Klif.- Red Cliff.

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We also referred to the friction between the Schieringers and Vetkopers. This reached its summit on June 10, 1498 when Albrecht of Saxony, who tried to pacify Friesland after having become its ruler, amassed an army near Laaxum to beat the Schieringers once and for all. His opponents were the local Frisian farmer/soldiers. They were, however, no match for Albrecht’s well trained and well armed German army. The reason for this was not so much because the Frisian could or would not fight, but more so because they lacked the leadership to drill them in putting up an organized battle. They acted as a disorganized mob, reasonably well armed with a sword, clubs, field tools- such as forks and threshing utensils- and spears, and thus got licked once and for all. The result was the end of the Frisian “state” as such.

The connection with Laaxum and the Vogelzangs dates back to 1808 when Harmen Jans- later called Vogelzang built a fishermen’s home in Laaxum. He had moved to Laaxum and become a fisherman.

Construction of the home was started by a carpenter from Melkwerum. However, he died while in the construction process and the job was finished by Harmen Jans. He was fairly handy. However, like many of his name sakes, not the most skilled builder. As a result, many of the walls etc. are out of square.

Vogelzang home in Laaxum in the 1930’s.

The home is still standing and is shown as house 2 and 3 on the following diagram of Laaksum in the 1920’s.The villagers were all Protestants in those days, but for the catholic Vogelzangs who attended church in Mirns- a 2.5 km walk from Laaxum.

Occupants of the Laaxum homes in the 1920’s.

1. Yke and Marie Visser
2. Johannes Vogelzang
3. Auke Vogelzang
4. Wiele and Anne Visser
5. Douwe and Siementje de Vries
6. Jan and Neeltje Visser
7. Hylkje De Vries (single)
8. Teake and Siebeltje de Vries
9. Otte and Tetje Heyes
10. Oanne and Geske Bakker
11. Wietze and Martje Boersma
12. Wabe and Akke Visser
13. Setse and Baukje Visser
14. Oanne and Geertje Visser
15. Jan Visser
16. Popke and Griet Visser
17. Harmen and Trijntje Visser
18. Trijntje Visser

Laaxum has the distinction of being the smallest fishing harbour in Europe. It had a relatively large fishing fleet of about 18 vessels, prior to the building of the “Afsluitdijk”- the sea dike closing off the Zuiderzee from the North Sea. At that time the sea fish such as herring, sole etc were caught .At present there are only three fishing families left who catch eel, and anchovy.

Laaxum harbour in 1927 showing some of the fishing boats.

 

Painting hanging in the Laaxum Vogelzang house, of same.

 

The Vogelzang house has been partially restored to its original state by its new owners.. On the village plan it shows that two families lived in the “Vogelzang” house and hence the plan shows house #2 and # 3. Since its erection, house # 2 was occupied by the following:

 

View of the Laaxum Vogelzang house-2004.

Harmen Jans d.o.b. 20 09, 1767, who died in Laaxum Jan 10, 1830 and his wife Geeske Jans Krol and their 11 children. He was fisherman by trade, and built the Vogelzang house in Laaxum.

The oldest son was Jan Harmens born around 26 9 1796, died in Laaxum 11 04 1862 and his wife Neeltje Aukes Sonsma and their 5 children. He also was fisherman by trade.
Their oldest son, Harmen Jans (Johannes) Vogelzang, was born in Laaxum 19 05 1834 where he died on 17 07 1872. His wife was Trijntje Liewes van der Veen. He also was fisherman. They had 4 children

Their oldest son was Johannes Harmens Vogelzang was born in Laaxum 22 02 1864 and he died there 22 05 1924. He was married to Marijke Fimmes de Vries. They had 9 children. He also was a fisherman. He was called “Greate Jehonnus”- the big Johannes. He was a tall man, well over six feet and had curly reddish hair. Some people called him the “mayor” of Laaxum. He was the only Catholic in the hamlet in a period of time where friction between Catholics and Protestants was not uncommon.

He came by that name by the fact that once a year the fishermen living along the Zuiderzee coast from Laaxum to Stavoren had to bid for the coastal fishing rights from the Provincial Government. The rights, thus bought would allow the successful bidder to place his nets in certain spots along the coast. For a while one of the Protestants in the village looked after this and he would then sublet certain areas to his fellow fishermen from the village. Since some spots were better “fishing holes” then others, the subletting was not always done in the most honest way and Johannes felt that he and his boys were not treated fairly.

As a result, one year he went to the governing authorities and placed a bit for all of the fishing rights along the whole coast, and at a price considerably higher than the regular bidders. He thus ended up with owning the rights and his fellow fishermen had to come begging to him to be let in on his deal. He agreed to do so, but because he was a man of integrity he subdivided the rights in an honourable way, to the satisfaction of most. As a result he was from then on delegated to negotiate the rights and divide them equitably among the locals.

Bachelor sons and wife of Greate Jehonnus Vogelzang.

 

Auke Vogelzang.

May 6 1896-Jan 23, 1977

Harmen Vogelzang jr.

Sep 19, 1892-Nov 6 1953

Marijke de Vries.

Apr 24, 1868-Apr 19, 1953

 

Bachelor daughter and sons of Greate Jehonnes.

 

Akke Vogelzang.

Dec 27, 1907-Nov 3 1996

 Jozef Vogelzang.

Mar 23, 1906-Sep 7, 1969

Frank Vogelzang.

Nov 10, 1901-Dec 28,1987

 

 

 

Birth Certificate of Pieter Vogelzang #487 4th son of Greate Johannes.

Dutch text: In het jaar Een duizend acht honderd acht en negentig, den veertienden der maand Februarie is voor ons Ambtenaar van de Burgelijke Stand der Gemeente Hemelumer Oldephaert and Noordwolde, Provincie Friesland, gecompareerd: Johannes Vogelzang our drie en dertig jaren van beroep vischer wonende to Scharle welke ons verklaarde, dat op den twaalfden dag der maand Februari dezes jars, des middags ten twaalf ure, te Scharl een kind van het mannelijke geslacht is geboren uit zijn echtgenote Marijke de Vries, zonder beroep inogelijks te Scharl woonachtig aan welk kind hij verklaarde de voornaam to geven van Pieter.
Deze verklaring is geschied in tegenwoordigheid van Inne de Vos out vijf en dertig jaar, van beroep veldwachter wonende te Koudum en van Klaas Visser oud twee en dertig jaar van beroep schipper wondende to Koudum.
Waarvan wij deze acte hebben opgemaakt, die na voorlezing is getekend door ons, den comparant en de getuigen
J H Vogelzang, K Visser; G H Tromp; I de Vos

He had eight sons, most of whom were unmarried. A good number of the locals were young fishermen with young families. In those days there was no workers compensation or other government plans to help if one got sick or injured. Hence when his fishermen neighbours got sick or could not find affordable help, Johannes would tell one of his sons to go and help them out. A noble gesture, but one not always appreciated by the sons, as the helping was to be done “pro Deo” or free of charge.

He was a man with a social conscience. To convert his fish into cash, he would peddle them in the nearby towns. The story goes that he sold some flat fish to the local doctor for one guilder and to the cleaning lady of the doctor for fifty cents. The doctor approached hem and asked why he charged him a guilder and his cleaning lady only half. His reply was that he had sold the doctor the best species of his flat fish and the cleaning lady the ones of a lower quality. Besides, the doctor could afford to pay more. Hence he was entitled to do so.

If by the end of the day he had fish left over, he would clean them and give them away to widows, or folk with big families and who were not too well of.

The oldest son- a fisherman –Harmen Johannes Vogelzang was unmarried. He was born in Laaxum 19 09 1892.and died in Groningen of a brain tumor on Nov 6, 1953. His brother Fimme, initially also was a fisherman but with the building of the “afsluitdijk” became policeman in Amsterdam, lived in the house. He was married to Antje Willems de Vries. When he went to Amsterdam the house was turned over to his bachelor fisherman brother Auke. When in Amsterdam he got kidney disease and was put on disability. He then returned to Laaxum and with his fishermen brothers took up fishing again.

 

Back view of the Laaxum Vogelzang house – 2004.

In House #3 lived Auke Johannes Vogelzang born in Laaxum 17 10, 1845, and his wife Froukje de Vries. He and his oldest brother Harmen Jans Vogelzang owned a fishing boat together. It was probably the HL2. (HL identifies boats from Laaxum) He had 9 children. His oldest son (a twin) Johannes Aukes Vogelzang died within 16 days of birth. Hence the next son got the same name.-Johannes Aukes-Vogelzang. He was born 2 11 1876 and died in Laaxum on 2 12 1921. He also was a fisherman and a bachelor, as well as a hot head.

The Hang in Laaxum.

After the building of the “afsluitdijk” the fish caught were auctioned off at the local “auction hall” called the “Hang”. The auctioning was carried on till the operation moved to the nearby larger fishing town of Stavoren. Hang stands for the place where fish were strung on strings and smoked

Prior to the closing off of the Zuiderzee, the Hang was used to salt and smoke herring-(bokking) a way of preserving the fish. The stone building is still standing just off the harbour, though it is no longer used for anything but storage.

The “Hang” in Laaxum, 2004.

 

Additional view of rear of Laaxum Vogelzang house.

 

Laaxum Vogelzang house in 2010- available as vacation cottage.

 

Laaxum Vogelzang house, winter 2010 (picture by Peter de Jong)

 

Original fire place in Laaxum Vogelzang house, 2010.

One may wonder why the Vogelzangs suddenly became fishermen in Laaxum. The reason for this is that during most of the reign of Napoleon, 1795 – 1814, the British fleet under Admiral Nelson, enforced a blockade of the North Sea ports. It was an effort to cripple the economy of the French Empire. As a result the fishing ports along the North Sea were pretty much out of commission and the fishermen were unable to catch, let alone market, their livelihood. Because at that time the Zuiderzee was still open water, and because it was rich with herring, anchovy, and similar fish, the fishermen located along the Zuiderzee prospered. Fish was scarce and thus the price of it soared. Hence it was logical for the Vogelzangs to tie in to this prosperity by purchasing a fishing boat and earning enough money to build the Laaxum Vogelzang house.

In her book “Land en Mens van Gaast en Klif” the author, Mrs L. Post Beuckens, makes mention that a Harmen Jans from Laaxum, obviously our ancestor, regularly bartered with the French occupiers and supplied a good deal of food for their kitchens. He, as well as many of his neighbours, were not at all pleased to see the French beaten and cease their occupation of the Netherlands as supplying them helped him to make a living.

Unfortunately, once Napoleon was defeated and the blockade lifted, an over supply of fish resulted, dropping their price and making the life of a fisherman anything but prosperous. Many could hardly make a living and look after their families, including the Laaxum Vogelzangs.

The following are typical figures as they apply to a fisherman in those days. They are based on the fact that fishing for herring and anchovy is done for about 20 weeks of the year. The remainder of the time would be spent in miscellaneous work activities, such as subsistence farming.

 

Value of fishing vessel

Fl. 1,400

Value of anchovy nets

490

Value of herring nets

280

Value of dragging material

225

Total

Fl. 2,395

   
Gross income from anchovy

240

Gross income from herring

200

Total

440

Cost of fisherman’s helper paid on shares  
1/6 of gross from anchovy

40

1/5 of gross from herring

40

Operational cost for 20 weeks

40

½ of interest on vessel and wear and tear

70

Interest on capital invested in nets

25

Cost of loss of nets

115

Total

330

   
Profit available to owner of fishing vessel

330

Profit available to owner of fishing vessel

110

 

● References: www.spanvis.nl
www.mnopr.com/laaxum and www.warns.nl
Land en Mens van Gaast en Klif, by L Post-Beuckens.
Gaasterland, Eeuwenoud Land tussen Mar an Klif- Friese Press and Boekerij.

 

Chapter 8- The Laaxem Vogelzangs.
 

Translation:

In the year one thousand eight hundred and thirty three, on the thirtieth of the month of January , in the forenoon of eleven hours, appeared before us “Grietman”- administrator- officer of the civil registry of the administrative district of Gaasterland, Province of Friesland, Jan(according to the Latin baptismal registration “Johannes”) Harmens Vogelzang thirty four years old, fisherman and living in Schaarl; born at Mirns and Bakhuizen, son of age of the later Harmen Jans Vogelzang, while living fisherman, and of Geeske Jans Krul, while living spouses, and having lived and died in Schaarl. Grandson on father’s side of Johannes Melcherts, while alive a labourer, and Grietje Kornelis without occupation having lived and died at Mirns Bakhuizen, en from mother’s side of Jan Jansen Krol and Gatske Aukes, while alive spouses, both having lived and died at Mirns Bakhuizen as mentioned.

And Geeskje Joannes Konst, thirty three years of age, without occupation and living at Mirns Bakhuizen, born at Bovenkarspel, widow of Lubbert Sijskes Bosman, while alive baker, having lived and died at Mirns Bakhuizen as mentioned, daughter of age of Johannes Konst, while alive tailor, having lived and died in Balk ( in the attached death certificate referred to under the name of Jan Evert Konst) and of Trijntje Tjallings de Boer, while alive labourer, having lived and died in Balk; granddaughter on father’s side of Andries Christiaan Konst, tailor when living, and of Geesje Maatcate, both having lived and died at the Zeldam, district of Deldin; and from mother’s side of Tjalling de Boer and Akke Pieters, while alive spouses, labourers, having lived and died at Stavoren.

Having checked the birth and death certificates as having been properly prepared, who have requested us to carry out the intended marriage, of which the announcements as such have been posted on the front door of our home the district office, of the district of Hemelumer-Olderheert and Noordwolde, and which events took place on the twenty fourth and thirtieth of December last year, and in the last mentioned district on the sixth and thirteenth of January of this year, at each time at twelve o clock in the afternoon.

Since no objections against the announced marriage to our knowledge, has been made known did we agree to the request, after reading of the mentioned twelve attachments, which will be attached to this certificate in accordance to the sixth chapter of the Civil Code, did we record in writing the fact that we asked the about to become spouses if they mutually wanted to become husband and wife, to which each of them gave a positive answer, and thus do I declare in name of the law that Jan Harmens Vogelzang and Geesje Joanane Konst, previously mentioned, are united in marriage of which we have made up the official document in the presence of Willem Pieters Albada, fifty eight years of age, police constable, living at Oude Mirdum; Hidde Jacob Koornstra fifty three years old and police servant, living at Balk; Willem Tjietjes Roskam, thirty years old, living at Wyckle and police constable; and of Franks van Elschot, twenty one years old, clerk, living at Balk and no relatives of the mentioned contractors, which document along with us and the contractors, after having read the document I declare that I requested the contractors to sign, they requested not to do this as they had not learned how to write.

W.P Albade, J.H Vogelzang, W van Sinderen, H J Koornstra; F van Elschot, W.T Roskam.

As a point of interest the name “Krol” means “curl” and probably in 1811 was chosen based on the nature of the registrant’s curly hair.

Death Certificate of Jan Harmen Vogelzang.

Translation:

In the year one thousand eight hundred and fifty eight, on the thirteenth day of the month of March, appeared before us Teuke Harmen Visser, official of the Civil Registry of the district of Gaasterland, Province of Friesland

Joost Sents Stoker, fifty years of age, teacher and Bouke Jans Terpstra, twenty six years of age, labourer, living at Mirns/Bakhuizen, which declared to us that

Jan Harmens Vogelzang, fifty nine years of age, fisherman and shopkeeper living at Mirns/Bakhuizen, born in Laaxum, spouse of Geeske Johannes Konst, without occupation, living at Mirns/Bakhuizen, son of Harmen Jans Vogelzang and Geeske Jans Krul, both deceased

On the twelfth day of the month of March of this year, in the morning at the eleventh hour at Mirns and Bakhuizen in the house numbered sixty three has died: and have we prepared this document read it to the declarers, which they thereafter along with us have signed.
J.S. Stoker , Bouke J Terpstra, Teuke H Visser
In Chapter 6 we saw that Jan Melcherts had 8 children. The third one was Harmen who married Geeske Krul (Krol). This couple had 10 children:

1. Joucke Harmens Vogelzang, born in Bakhuizen and baptized there on March 14, 1796 in the RC church. While haying in the Kolderwolde he suddenly died on Jul 21, 1818. He was unmarried.

2. Johannes Harmens Vogelzang, born at Bakhuizen where he was baptized in the RC church o n Dec 26, 1796. He died in Laaxem on Apr 11, 1862. His civil wedding was at Balk on Jun 14, 1833 where he married Neeltje Aukes Sonsma, born at Oudemirdum. She was baptized at the RC church in Bakhuizen on Dec 27, 1806 and was the daughter of Auke Martens Sonsma, butcher at Oudemirdum and of Grietje Johannes Koshoorn. She died at Laaxem on Nov. 3 1874. Johannes was Fisherman.

3. Jan Harmens Vogelzang, born at Bakhuizen and baptized there in the RC Chruch on Apr 7, 1798. He died in Mirns on Mar 12, 1862. He married in Balk on January 30, 1833 to Geeske (Gatske) Konst, who was born at Bovenskarspel on Sep. 26, 1799. She died in Mirns on Apr 29, 1871/ Geeske had been married before, on May 20, 1825 to Lubbert Sipkes Bosman who was born at Balk on Aug 7, 1788 where he died on Jan 15, 1829. Lubbert was a baker by profession. Jan Harmens was fisherman and shopkeeper and also some form of an innkeeper. He was the progenitor of the Lemmer branch of the Vogelzangs.

4. Hendrik Harmens Vogelzang, born in Barkhuizen where he was baptized in the RC church on Apr 6, 1801. He must have died prior to 1811 as he is not mentioned in the Napoleonic name registry.

5. Jannetje Harmens Vogelzang, born in Bakhuzen and there baptized on Dec. 30, 1803 in the RC Chruch. She died at Mirns on Feb 21, 1872. She married in Balk on Jan 30, 1833 a Lammert Sjoukes va n der Wal who was born in Mirns on Nov. 3, 1808. He was the son of Sjouke Fimmes van der Wal and Gatske Lammerts van der Meer. Lammert died in Mirns on March 11, 1897. He was a short person which excused him from military service. They had two children.

6. Berend Harmens Vogelzang, born in de Wiel and baptized in the RC church in Bakhuizen on Jul 23, 1803. He also must have died prior to 1811 as his name is also not mentioned in the Napoleonic registry.

7. Cornelis Harmens Vogelzang, born in de Wiel and was bapatized in the RC church at Bakhuizen on Sep 1, 1807. He died in Bakhuizen on Oct 22, 1807.

8. Grietje Harmens Vogelzang, born at Warns and baptized in the RC church in Bakhuzen on Oct 6, 1808. She never married and died on March 4, 1877 at Mirns.

9. Berend Harmens Vogelzang, born at Staovren on Feb 9, 1814. He died on March 13, 1814.

10. Berendje Harmens Vogelzang, born in Stavoren on Aug 15, 1815 and baptized in the RC church in Bakhuizen on Aug. 30, 1815. She remained unmarried and died in Hemelum on Apr. 30, 1891. She had the nickname “Freule”- baroness.

The three ladies Gatske, Griet and Berendje were called the “Bot Ladies”as they sold bot (a type of flat fish) caught by their fisherman brothers, door to door. They were not too accurate in turning over the monies collected in the sale. Apparently quite a bit got lost on the way in the purchase of alcohol. The brothers, all of whom were still single, got fed up with this and decided that enough was enough. After some deliberation, they came to the conclusion that the best way to solve the “women selling bot” problem was to find themselves a wife. Jan Harmens found the widow Geeske Konst and married her in January 1833.

His older brother, Johannes, walked to Oudemirdum and visited a well known farmer’s maid. They agreed to get married in the fall of 1832. However, there was a minor problem in that she had to finish her contractual obligations to serve the farmer until June 1833. The fact that she was to get married made no difference to the farmer- a deal was a deal. During the interim time of the fall of 1832 and June 1833, he never saw his bride to be. However, room was made in the parental home in Laaxum, as sister Jannetje got married on the same date as Jan Harmens, January 30, 1833 to her Lammert and moved to Mirns. The last sister, Berendje- the “baroness”, was pawned off to a different village and thus the parental fisherman’s home, built in 1808, had made room for the new couple. The parents in the meanwhile had died in 1829 and 1830 respectively.

Whispering has it that one of the sisters had a child out of wedlock. However, there is no proof of this.

Picture of the HL7 from Laaxum. It was built in 1947 for Johannes Vogelzang as the first post war vessel built by the shipyard “Volharding”owned by van der Werff in Stavoren. Type of vessel is called a “zeil schouw” and was build of steel with an auxiliary engine.
Vessel is shown in Stavoren Harbour, 1947.

 

Chapter 9- Lemmer-A Key Port and Fishing Town in Friesland.

 

Lemmer Inner Harbour- early 1900’s. In the background is one of .
the Lemmer boat ferries. Fish kegs are stacked on the kay
.
 

Lemmer is located on the southern edge of Gaasterland, the high grounds of Friesland, and the low land bordering on the province of Overijsel. Its origins go back to the 13th century when a settlement by the name of Lenna or Limna existed. The origin of the name is unknown. The town was fortified several times in the mid 1400’s, starting with the fortification build by Count Jan van Beieren in the 1450’s. Several times the fortifications were destroyed by Frisian freedom fighters and rebuilt. Emperor Charles V ordered the fortifications destroyed, to no avail.

The importance of the town was its location. Situated on the Zuiderzee, with a good harbour at the mouth of the access to the Frisian lakes, it was the logical place for the access port between Holland and the Frisian hinterland. The rivers- Rien and Zijlroede- which empty the Slotermeer, meet near Lemmer. As early as 1511 a lock was build at the place where the two rivers entered the Zuiderzee, indicating that even in that early year Lemmer was an important harbour. As early as 1581 a regular ferry service was instituted between the Province of Holland and Friesland. Because of the silting of the harbour at Kuinre, and the unfavourable location of the harbour of Tacozijl, Lemmer gained its status of the harbour of Friesland. In the late 1800’s the rivers referred to, were canalized thus giving even better access to the Frisian lakes. It enabled larger inland vessels to transport freight by boat into the Frisian hinterland. Though that still takes place, the main fame of Lemmer to day is that of a tourist town catering to the many pleasure and sail boats traveling from the former Zuiderzee to the Frisian lakes, which are famous as a great place to sail.

Going back a few hundred years, though, Lemmer was known as a fishing town, a centre for transportation, its location near one of the largest peat deposits, wood mills, and its shipbuilding industry. In the 1800 and 1900’s freighters regularly sailed to North America.

Early 1900’s- Picture of business selling sail etc.

 

Because of its location Lemmer was the starting point for regular ferry services of passengers and freight to Groningen, Zwolle, Woudsend, and Joure, and last but not least the daily night boat service between Lemmer and Amsterdam. The latter service dates back to 1719.

The Zuiderzee was known for its plentiful herring and anchovy stocks, and later for eel Fishing was seasonal and primarily took place in the fall and winter months (shifting in later years to the spring). During the summer months, the crews of the fishing boats usually sailed on grain ships to the Baltic Sea. The digging of peat was an important industry in the early 1800’s. However, over time the peat supply depleted, and peat as a fuel was being replaced by coal. Hence the industry had pretty well disappeared by the start of the 20th century, as illustrated by the table below.

Units of Peat dug by year.

1823 1,500,000
1853 650,000
1880 112,700

View of Lemmer-mid 1900’s-with fishing boats in foreground.

In the early 1900’s, the time that the Vogelzangs moved to Lemmer, the town had the following industries:

Fish dealers, processors of fish such as smoking of same 12 firms employing 103 people
Shipbuilding 2 firms employing 43 people
Ship’s smitheries 2 firms employing 14 people
Sail makers 1 firm employing 9 people
Fishing net dealers 1 firm employing 7 people

All of the above provided support to 251 people trying to make a living from fishing

By 1920 however, fish dealers/processors were down to 3 firms employing 30 people. They consisted of the family firms Sterk- in which the Wierdsma family married; De Rook and de Boer. Ship’s smiththeries had disappeared, and the fishermen were down to 200.

As early as October 20, 1710 a Albert Haunus was given the right to operate a ferry service between Amsterdam and De Lemmer. He would have used sailing vessels in those days. The ferry mainly transported goods between the two ports. However, in 1870 the Nieveen brothers established the Groningen steamship company that operated steam powered vessels between De Lemmer and Amsterdam. Before too long their service included transportation of goods as well as passengers.

As will be seen in the following chapter the Vogelzang family played a role in this service by the fact that Grandfather (Pake) J H Vogelzang was captain of several of the company’s vessels, as well as his brother Rintje after first serving as first mate eventually became the captain of one of their vessels.

During the Second World War the ferry service played a critical role in enabling those having to escape from the German occupying army to get to Friesland to find refuge with the local farmers. Making this trip was rather hazardous as the German and collaborating Dutch police would keep a close eye on any passengers boarding the ships. Anyone falling between the ages of 18 to 45 ran the danger of being arrested and shipped off to German labour camps. During the hungerwinter of 1944/45 the ferry fleet acted as a life line between the starving population of Amsterdam, by transporting folk seeking food supplies from the Frisian farmers, to feed their starving families at home.

The journey across the Zuiderzee also could be dangerous. On the 21st of October, 1942 one of the company’s vessels, the Groningen IV, was attacked by British fighter planes. They strafed the vessel, killing its first mate and disabling the vessel. After some time the Groningen III, whose captain was Rintje Vogelzang, the brother of Jan H. Vogelzang, as well as the company’s flagship, the Jan Nieveen, came to the rescue and escorted it back to Lemmer harbor.

With the making into land of the Zuiderzee and the accompanying construction of highways on the old sea bed, the ferry service discontinued and the vessels were either scrapped or became sight seeing ships.

The pictures on the next page show the Groningen III and Groningen IV on which Jan H Vogelzang was its captain, in the case of the latter until his retirement about 1941. On Jan. 8, 1945 the Groningen IV was in collision with the Jan Nieveen and sank. 15 people lost their lives in this event. When Jan H Vogelzang was promoted to captain of the Groningen IV his brother Rintje became its captain. The latter had served as “stuurman” under his brother. The Groningen III, under Rintje Vogelzang, collided on Jan 12, 1943 with the motorship “Amstel” and sank. It was the end of the captainship of Rintje Vogelzang.

● References: www.spanvis.nl
www.offringa.nl
De Lemmer Boot, a levenslijn tussen Amsterdam en Lemmer, by Anne Wilinga and Johan Saverda.
www.spanvis.nl/Stoomschepen De “Groningen IV” Najaar 1939.

Groningen III. Note on the bow, below the name Groningen III, J Vogelzang as its captain.

 

 

Map of Lemmer 1870’s. Note #10 Leeg on the lower right,home of J. H. Vogelzang, family.

 

Weaving of willow branches as the base for the sea dike near Lemmer- ca 1935.

 

Chapter 10- The Lemmer Branch of the Vogelzangs.


In chapter 8 we saw that the third child of Harmen Jans Vogelzang was Johannes Harmens Vogelzang who married Geeske Konst. The couple had five children:

1. Trijntje Johannes Vogelzang, born in Mirns/Bakhuizen on Jan. 13, 1834, where she also died on Nov. 15, 1879. She married at a civil ceremony at Balk on Nov 15, 1853 and in the RC church in Bakhuizen on Nov 23 of 1853, to Rimmer Hokes Hijlkema. He was born at Warns on Dec. 18, 1827 as the son of Lolle Rimmers Hijlkema and Aaltje Rintjes van der Beek. He died in Mirns/Bakhuizen on ? 15, 1911. He was a labourer by profession.

2. Harmen Jans Vogelzang, was born at Mirns/Bakhuizen on Dec 2, 1835 and he died there on May 24,1847

3. Harmen Jans Vogelzang, was born at Mirns Bakhuizen on Sep. 20, 1837. He died there on Aug. 11, 1899. He married at Balk on Sep. 7, 1866 Albertje Rintjes de Vries. She was born at Oudega on Aug 23, 1841 as the daughter of Rintje Andries de Vries and Grietje Berends. She died in Nijmegen on Oct 9, 1929. The reason she was in Nijmegen at her death was that after the death of her husband in 1899 she moved there. Harmen’s occupation was fisherman. They had 8 children.

Harmen Jans Vogelzang and Albertje de Vries, about 1870.

 

Albertje de Vries (Vogelzang) taken in Nijmegen circa 1920. (Great Grandmother of author)

 

4. Joukje Jans Vogelzang, born in Mirns/Bakhuizen on Sep 22, 1840. She died there on Feb. 17, 1915. She married in Balk on Sep 6, 1879 to Gerrit Berends Folmer, who was born at Mirns/Bakhuizen on March 26, 1839 the son of Berend Ooijers Folmer and Fetje Reins Bouma. He died there on Aug 18, 1891. He was a labourer.

5. Johanna Jans Vogelzang, born at Mirns/Bakhuizen May 29, 1843 where she died on Jun 10, 1929. She was married at Balk on May 10, 1868 to Durk Manus Mouse, who was born in Mirns/Bakhuizen on Oct. 3, 1834 the son of Manus Durks Mous and Evertje Josephs Gersies. He died there on Sep 6, 1912. He was storekeeper and postmaster by profession.



The third child of Johannes Harmens – Harmen Jans Vogelzang was married to Albertje Rintjes de Vries. They had the following 8 children, the oldest of which moved to Lemmer and started that branch. The children were:

1. Griet Harmens Vogelzang, born in Mirns Aug 1, 1867. She died in Franeker on March 7, 1949. She married to Sape Westra in Balk on Jun 8,, 1895. He was born in Gaast on May 3, 1865 and he died in Mirns on April 18, 1940. He was a carter by occupation. They had no children.

Sitting Griet Vogelzang and Sape Westra with Belgian refugee soldiers- 1917.

 

2. Jan Harmens Vogelzang, born in Mirns Nov 23, 1869 and died in Rotterdam on Jun 3, 1948. He married in Lemmer on May 25, 1894 to Renske Tecla Wierdsma, who was born in Lemmer on Sep 8, 1867. She died in Lemmer on Aug 29, 1928.

3. Geeske(Gezina) Vogelzang, born in Mirns on Feb 23, 1872. She died in Nijmegen on Mar 25, 1922. She was married in Balk on Jun 29, 1901 to Fimme Nagelhout, who was born in Mirns on Jan 16, 1874. He died in Venraij on Jan 23, 1956. Following his death Geeske remarried on Jan. 16, 1922 to Maria Petronella van den Broek who was born in Nijmegen on August 5, 1877. He died there on Aug 19, 1947. The latter husband was a policeman.

4. Marijke Harmens Vogelzang, born in Mirns on April 28, 1874. She died in Nijmegen at a date not known thus far. She married in Balk on Jun 10, 1899 a Ruurd Wierdsma, who was born in Lemmer on Sep 19, 1873. He died in Nijmegen on Dec 1, 1946. He was chief of police in Nijmegen. He had a great sense of humour. This is illustrated by this story.

One day as he was walking his beat, he saw a bunch of women standing around gabbing away. It was normal in those days that women wore aprons which were tied around their waste and ended in a bow knot on their backs. As they were busy gossiping he walked up to them quietly and without them noticing took the loose ends of the bow knots of each woman’s apron and tied them all together. He then put on his gruff policeman’s voice and asked them what was going on. They were blocking the side walk and better get a move on. As they started to move, you can imagine what happened when they learned that they were all tied together.

5. Rintje Harmens Vogelzang, born in Mirns Nov 24, 1876.and died in Lemmer on August 26, 1956. On Novemb er 13, 1903 he married, in Balk, Grietje van der Meulen who was born in Bakhuizen on August 21, 1877. She died in Breda on Feb 22, 1958. Rintje was first mate on one of the Lemmer night ferries to Amsterdam and later became the captain of one of its vessels.

Marriage register abstrat of Rintje Vogelzang x Grietje van der Meulen.

6. Johannes Harmens Vogelzang, born in Mirns on April 14, 1879 and died there on May 18, 1879.

7. Trijntje Harmens Vogelzang, born in Mirns on Mar 5, 1881. She died in Lemmer on Jan.2, 1956. On Jun 17, 1908 she was married in Nijmegen to Wilhelmus Henricus Bernardus van de Bungelaar, who was born in Nijmegen on Jan. 18, 1877. He died there on April 1, 1984. They had three children.

8. Johannes Harmens Vogelzang, born in Mirns on Jul 21, 1884. Gossip has it that he had his wild hairs while he was young. In 1908 he sailed from Rotterdam to the USA and worked as a deckhand on a Laker. On Sep 14, 1912, after having had too much to drink he drowned in Appleton, Illinois. The author eventually located his grave and the circumstances of the mishap. (See newspaper article from the Appleton Evening Crescent of Sep 16, 1912)

Appleton Evening Crescent Newspaper article of burial of Johannes Vogelzang -Sep 19, 1912.

 

Appleton Evening Crescent, Sept 16, article about death of Johannes Vogelzang.
 

 

Bar from which Johannes Vogelzang walked prior to drowning-Appleton 1998.

 

Site of drowning in 1998.

Even though this chapter has dealt with the family of the Lemmer branch of the Vogelzangs, the first Vogelzang to move to the Town was Jan Harmens Vogelzang, the second child and oldest son of Harmen Jans Vogelzang and Albertje de Vries.

Albertje Vogelzang-de Vries-with her son Jan Harmen’s baby son- Herman-ca 1896
Note the traditional Frisian dress with the lace skull cap. Depending on the wealth of the bearer, the cap could be directly over the hair, or could cover a silver or golden clip worn on the lady’s head. To the clip could be fastened a silver or golden round ornament. The clip could be as thin as a straw, or about a centimeter wide. If one was really well off it could be like a silver or golden helmet. Because of the expense, by the late 1800’s the clip/helmet got out of fashion. In the vast majority of the cases, the ladies of Vogelzang family could only afford the lace cap, as shown in the above picture. It appears that Albertje may have the silver ornaments on the side of her cap.

Ever since he left grade school at about the age of 12 he sailed on various vessels, in various capacities. He thus essentially became self taught in the ways of the sea. He was a typical Vogelzang, Hard on himself, physically strong, kind but intolerant of non sense, capable, strong willed.

The story goes that as a young man he was the helmsman on a sail freighter on the Zuiderzee. A storm arose causing the beam holding the lower portion of the sail to come loose and it started to swing back and forth in the wind. As he tried to get hold of it, the power of the storm bashed the beam into his shoulder, breaking his collar bone. Eventually the beam got secured again. However, rather than going below deck, he insisted that they lashed him to the steering wheel and continued to guide the vessel till it reached port. These were the days that shipss were made out of wood and men out of iron!

In his late twenties he became employed by the Lemster Groningen Steamship Company, a firm running a number of freight and ferry boats to various Friesland ports as well as having a regular ferry service from Lemmer to Groningen and Amsterdam. It is at this time that he probably moved to Lemmer. He wanted to settle down and was soon taken by Rinske Wierdsma, the towns’s butcher’s daughter. She was born in Lemmer on Sept. 8, 1867 the daughter of Weird Johannes Wierdsma and Akke Agricola. Weird was born on Apr 16, 1836 in Echten, Friesland. Around 1865 he had married Akke Agricola, who was born in St.Nicolaasga on May 18, 1840.He died in Lemmer on Jun 18, 1924 and was probably buried at the RC cemetery in St. Nicolaasga. Akke died of breast cancer on Oct 22, 1910 in Lemmer and was buried at the RC cemetery in St. Nicolaasga.

 

Akke (Agatha)Agricola/Wierdsma & Weird Johannes Wierdsma.
Late 1890’s
.

 Prayer card of Akke Agricola.

Translation of obituary: The mother, worthy to live in the remembrance of the pious, has died with complete trust in the Lord. And rightly so, for she lived as a saint before God; busily she took care of her family, and she did excel in kindness and goodness to her spouse and children.
Because she was pleasing to God, it was necessary that suffering and trials were her part; however, she bore this patiently knowing that she who suffers with Christ, also with Him will enter into His paradise. Dear husband and children, do not mourn over me, but continue to remember me in your prayers to God.

-

Agricola means “farmer” in Latin or Spanish. Even though they were farmers, it is a puzzle why this name was chosen in 1811. It seems quite sophisticated for simple people. Tracing the family back to the late 1600’s there is no indication that there was any Southern European influence in the family, though it is interesting that the ladies tended to have black hair, pointing to some possible southern connection. By the looks of it, it will be a mystery that will go down with the ages.

Rinske was the second of eight children, all born in Lemmer. The oldest one was Johannes, the third child was Lubertus Johannes, Engeline, Ruurd, Jelle Maria, and Gerardus

Rinske, the author’s grandmother, was a godly soul and devout Catholic, like her mother. As her husband was away at sea a great deal, it was left to her to raise the nine children that eventually came along. Seven of them were lively boys who did their share of getting into mischief. They lived in a small house on the inner harbour in Lemmer. Even though father Jan was deemed to have a good job, material goods, and at times food, were scarce. She died on Aug 29, 1928 of breast cancer, the same illness that took her mother.

 

Johannes.

Jul4, 1866-Jun 27, 1949

Lubertus.

Jul 13, 1869-Dec 2, 1945

Ruurd.

 Sep 19, 1873-Dec 1, 1949

     

Maria.

Dec 17, 1882-Oct 2, 1931

Jelle.

Jan 8, 1885-Sep 24, 1965

Gerardus.

May 14, 1879-Jan 13, 1962

 

In the late 1800’s the Vogelzang and Wierdsma families became quite interwoven. Jan Harmen Vogelzang married Renske Wierdsma, and his sister Marijke Vogelzang married Renske’s brother Ruurd.

As indicated in the earlier chapter on the origins of names, “Wierdsma” means “the son of Wierd”. It will be seen that this name was suitable as in 1811 the ancestor’s name was indeed Wierd.

The family lived in the same general area as the Vogelzangs- Gaasterland and more particularly near St. Nicolaasga, an island of Roman Catholicism in Friesland. Unlike the Vogelzangs, however, who were primarily farmers/labourers and fishermen, the Wierdsma tended to be more entrepreneurial. A number of them owned butcher shops and later on gift/antique stores. Interestingly also, several of them were policemen. They intermarried with some of the other small business people in the area- such as the Sterk family, who were fish merchants in de Lemmer.

Most of the information contained in their geneology has been compiled from Wierdsma family members. In addition the Archives of the Province of Friesland in Leeuwarden, and particularly its website “Tresoar” has been invaluable.

Lubertus Wierdsma started a butcher’s shop on the harbour in Lemmer. Picture was taken
in 1894. The business was taken over by his son Theo and subsequently by his son Paul, who later changed it into a gift and antiques shop
.

Letter written by Jan Vogelzang to ask Rinske Wierdsma on his first date
Translation of letter is
:

Honourable Friend:

I am writing you to inquire if I could please you to visit you in the course of the coming week, with the intention to carry on a courtship with you in the future. Should my proposal meet with your favour, then please let me know the day and time. I will be in Lemmer on Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday. In any case I request a response. You will be able to mail a letter to H Finga in Lemmer. With loving greetings do I call myself your friend, Jan Vogelzang


Things obviously worked out as the couple were married on May 24, 1894.

Wedding pictures of Jan H. Vogelzang and Rinske Wierdsma.

Copy of front page of Jan Vogelzang’s and Rinske Wierdsma’s “trouw boekje”
the booklet issued at marriage to record the marriage, births and deaths of children
.

David Vogelzang, the author’s youngest son, and Theo Wierdsma in front of Jan Vogelzang’s home on Lemmer’s Inner Harbour- Oct 1990. (Civil address Leeg 10)

Sneek VI in the harbour of the town of Sneek.


The Sneek VI had the nickname of “kleine Suup” which in Frisian means “little butter milk”. However the name “Suup” was given to reflect the sound of the steam whistle by which the vessel could be identified from other ones. Sneek VI capsized in 1909 when it was commanded by a captain IJkema, who had taken charge after J H Vogelzang was appointed captain of the Lemmer II. Cause of the accident was a shifting of the load on the upper deck. One person drowned in the accident.

In Nov 1907 Jan H Vogelzang was promoted to captain of one of the night ferries that ran from Lemmer to Amsterdam- the Lemmer II-. He previously was captain of the Sneek VI a 20.47 meter long by 3.62 meter wide vessel, built in 1880, running passengers and freight to one of the other Frisian towns. It was capable of carrying 21 tonnes of freight. The above letter was sent him to inform him of the appointment. It reads as follows:

Groningen Nov 25, 1907

Mr. J Vogelzang, captain of the ship Sneek VI, Lemmer

Sir:

Herewith do I have the honour to let you know that the direction of the Lemster-Groninger Steamboat Company hereby appoints you as captain of the Lemmer II, with a year salary of fl. 800.00

From this promotion you will notice how your suitability coupled to your unblemished reputation, is appreciated by the directors, with the resulting full confidence that you again in this new appointment will turn out to be the right man for the job.

The gentlemen directors (shortly) will give you further instructions.

Sincerely, J H Koen, Secretary.

Jan H. Vogelzang, as captain of the Groningen IV.

Prior to 1932, Jan H was appointed captain of the Groningen III. This vessel was built
in 1874 at the Smit boat building works at Kinderdijk. At the time it was the company’s
flagship and had cost the grand sum of fl.23,600 to build. In later years its flagship-
standing was taken over by the Groningen IV and eventually by the Jan Nieveen. Jan H.
retired around 1940. All in all it appears that Jan H Vogelzang served as captain of the following vessels: Sneek VI till Jan. 1908; Lemmer II Jan 1908 to 1914; Groningen III
1914 to 1932; Groningen IV 1932 to probably 1940.

Tombstone of Jan Harmen Vogelzang- Lemmer Cemetary- 2010.

       

Upper- Jan Harmen at grave of Renske Wierdsma, his wife; prayer card of latter
and gravestone of Renske Wierdsma- 1980 in St Nicolaasga cemetery-before its destruction
.

The early death of his wife devastated Jan H Vogelzang. He dearly loved his wife and never got over her loss. Top left picture shows him at her grave. Picture to the right is of her prayer card. Lower picture was taken in 1978 at the St. Nicolaasga RC cemetery. Shortly after, the stone was destroyed and the grave removed to make room for a new generation of burials. Cemetery space in Holland is at a premium. Hence after about 60 years graves are cleared and the ground is resold for new burials.

Following the death of his wife Jan H tried to stay in his house in Lemmer. He took in a housekeeper by the name of Marie Nijholt. The idea of re marriage was entertained. However, this was strongly opposed by his children. For a short while he lived with his fellow captain brother Rintje down the street from him. ( Rintje had taken over as captain of the Groningen III when Jan H was promoted to captain of the Groningen IV in 1932 ). Later on he moved in with his kids for periods of time, including living with his daughter Engeline and her family in Diemen. After the war, he settled in with his son Rintje in Rotterdam and died there on Jun 3, 1948. By that time he had developed hardening of the arteries and became semi senile. He was a gentle, kind, old man.

 

Prayer card of J. H Vogelzang.

Translation:We commend to your prayers the soul of the late Jan Vogelzang , widower of Rinske Wierdsma, born Nov. 23, 1869 at Bakhuizen, gone a sleep in Christ, after having received the last sacrament, on Jun 3, 1948 at Rotterdam and buried at the RC cemetery in Lemmer June 8, 1948.(Actual burial was at St Nicolaasga?

Worn by the suffering accompanying old age, he died with an unlimited trust in God, whom he served with great faithfulness all his years.
Being a widower for many years, life was not always easy on him. He often felt lonely, missing his own home. However, willingly he adjusted to the circumstances, while he was thankful for the care and services he received from his children.

As a man who loved God, in everything, faith gave him support. Now he has moved on to the other life. May the good Lord have mercy on him.

Dear children, I thank you for your love. Keep unity among each other. Once we shall see each other again, together with your mother, who preceded us in death.
May the good God continue to bless you in all things. Dear Lord grant him peace.

Anecdote
The story goes that at the time Jan Vogelzang was a young man, a law was passed where one had to have a hunting licence to shoot birds, so plentiful in the area he lived. One late fall day he was hunting water fowl when he noticed the game warden approaching. Rather than having his gun confiscated for hunting without a licence, he walked into the water of the Zuiderzee; threw his gun in the water and, in order not to lose it, stepped on top of it.

The game warden approached and asked him: What are you doing Jan?” ”Oh”, Jan replied “I am just enjoying standing here in the water watching the birds fly over.” Game warden-“You better come out of the water. You are going to get sick” Jan- “No I like it here. I’ll stay.” Of course the game warden knew very well what Jan was doing. Jan knew that if he left his spot, he’ll never find his gun again. The game warden waited for some time and finally took pity on him and left, enabling Jan to retrieve his gun and get home, cold and wet.

● Reference:
De Lemmerboot, Levenslijn tussen Amsterdam en Lemmer, by Anne Wielinga and Johan Salverda

Jan H. Vogelzang and Rinske Wierdsma in her traditional Frisian dress- about 1927.

Last will of Pake J. H. Vogelzang.


Dutch text: 10 Februari 1938: Wilbeschikking:

Heb enige waarde papieren bij Westerwoudt &co Singel 297 te Amstedam. Zoo ook de Amsterdamsche Bank te Lemmer en de katholieke Spaarkas. R. Nijholt, Lemmer eenige papieren in een gesloten Trommel thuis.
Heb het verlangen begraaven te worden naast u Moeder Zaliger te St Nicolaasg. Het graf thans nog in hun hebbende. Misschien is het nog koop en anders heb ik gaarne uwe dat in overleg van u Broers en Zusters dat dan doet.
De Grafsteen laten vermaken volgens u goeddenken. De H Missen 5 jaar maandelijks het Zielenboek zoo ook dat van u Moeder Zaliger blijvende, zoo ook de jaarstonden.
Heb zoo een afschrift ook gegeven aan u broers Harmen en Ruurdd. Vergelijk dat bij elkaar. Een testament is er by de notaris. T zal geen waarde meer hebben.
Maar zoo iets noodzakelijk is. Van u Vader. J Vogelzang.

English translation: February 10, 1938. Will instructions. Have some valuable papers with Westerwoudt and Co, Singel 297 at Amsterdam. So also at the Amsterdamsche Bank at Lemmer and the Catholic Savings Bak. R. Nijholt Lemmer some papers in in a closed tin at thome.
Have the desire to be buried next to your departed Mother at St. Nicolaasga assuming there is still a grave available. Perhaps one can still buy one, otherwise do I desire that you do this in consultation with your brothers and sisters.
The tombstone to be re made in accordance to what you deem best. The Holy Masses to be said monthly for five years. Also keep up the Soulbook of your departed mother as well as the year remembrances.
Also gave a copy to your brothers Herman and Ruurdt. Compare them. There is a will with the lawyer. It does not have any further value, but something like that is necessary. From your Father. (signed) J Vogelzang.

Back page of same.

Policies and documents are kept in the safe (at the) Amsterdamsche Bank at Lemmer. Your Father.
Rintje must have 1000 guilders, which I have in safekeeping Amsterdamsche Bank.
Your Father. J Vogelzang

 

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