My new friend (and Xth Mulder cousin) Elly sent me something she found in the Goes archives that I think is quite special.
Let me give a little context first. My grandfather, Adrian Zuidweg, was the son of Adriaan Zuijdweg who immigrated to the United States in 1893. Adriaan’s father and mother, Johannes and Jennie, also immigrated after their son–in 1901. Here are Johannes and Jennie who you have seen before.
Johannes’ father was Adriaan Zuijdweg, 1801 (or 1805)-1851. He only lived to be 46 or 50 years old.
I also want to “remind” you that both my maternal grandparents are descended from Carel Mulder, the jailer’s hand. So while Elly was researching the Mulders she came across information about not only a descendent of Carel in the form of Johanna, his daughter, but also her husband Adriaan Zuijdweg, my 3rd great-grandfather through my grandfather’s line.
I found a quote in the archives of Goes, that Adriaan Zuidweg (born in 1805 and married [to] Johanna Mulder, daughter of Carel Mulder) made a request at the town-councelors to make it possible ( to emigrate with his family –5 children) to the USA.
Apparently it was denied, because 6 years later he died in Goes.
!!! He wanted to bring his branch of the family to the United States long before the family actually did come here!
Here is the text:
Als gevolg van de misoogst en armoede, maar ook vanwege de tegenwerking van de afgescheidenen van de Hervormde kerk, verlaten de zogenaamde ‘landverhuizers’ ons land en emigreren naar Amerika en Canada. Op de 26e juli 1845 verzoeken twee ingezetenen van de stad om in de gelegenheid gesteld te worden buiten hun kosten te vertrekken naar Noord Amerika omdat ze zich buiten staat bevinden hier in hun levensonderhoud te voorzien. Het betreft de ongehuwde 39-jarige Adriaan Johannes de Wolff, timmerman, metselaar en schilder, en de 40-jarige Adriaan Zuidweg, kleermaker, gehuwd en vijf kinderen.
It was an article about emigration.
Translated it says:
Because of crop failure and poverty, but also because of the opposition against the members of the separated Reformed church , many people leave the Netherlands and emigrate to the US and Canada.
On 26 July 1845 two citizens of Goes made a request to be enabled to emigrate, with the costs of this emigration paid by the town, because they are not able to support their means of living in this town.
It concerns A.J.de
Wolff ( 39 years old, not married), carpenter, bricklayer and painter, and Adriaan Zuidweg, tailor, married and 5 children.
Of course, my mind went off in many directions. I wondered if the family was very poor and if they were even hungry. I thought that Adriaan had absolutely no resources. That he had to essentially beg to leave. That he was denied that opportunity, which seems cruel, like imprisoning someone without food. That my information shows Adriaan had six children, not five (note to self: investigate further). That here was confirmation that Adriaan was a tailor as I had already learned.
Then it dawned on me that I didn’t know what “separated Reformed church” means. I had vaguely known that most of my Dutch ancestors were adherents to the Reformed religion (a branch of Calvinism), at least until they came to the United States. But what did this “separated” thing mean?
I tried to Google the information, but it got more and more confusing to me, so I asked Elly if she could help. She sent me some sources. A Google translation of a passage from http://encyclopedievanzeeland.nl/Emigratie_van_Afgescheidenen goes this way:
As the Pilgrim Fathers in 1620 as a community have migrated to America, so are also left the secessionists of South Beveland in the spring of 1847 and she settled in Michigan as a congregation.
Apparently for a short time in the mid-19th century, there were people seceding from the Reformed Church–and these people must have included my 3rd great-grandfather, Adriaan Zuijdweg. Apparently they were from Zeeland, and this was not a big “wave” all over the Netherlands.
According to Elly, this period lasted from approximately 1830-1850, and the people were not persecuted but did find a lot of opposition. The movement must have been very small and confined to the region because apparently it is not taught in history classes in the Netherlands.
According to Wikipedia:
During the early nineteenth century, large numbers of Dutch farmers, forced by high taxes and low wages, started immigrating to America. They mainly settled down in the Midwest, especially Michigan, Illinois and Iowa. In the 1840s, Calvinist immigrants desiring more religious freedom immigrated. West Michigan in particular has become associated with Dutch American culture, and the highly conservative influence Dutch Reformed Church, centering on the cities of Holland and (to a lesser extent)Grand Rapids.
Waves of Catholic Dutch emigrants, initially encouraged in the 1840s by Father Theodore J. Van den Broek, emigrated from southern Netherlands to form communities in Wisconsin, primarily to Little Chute, Hollandtown, and the outlying farming communities. Whole families and even neighborhoods left for America. Most of these early emigrants were from villages nearUden, including Zeeland, Boekel, Mill, Oploo and Gemert. By contrast, many Protestant agrarian emigrants to Michigan and Iowa were drawn from Groningen, Friesland, and Zeeland; areas known for their clay soils.
The Dutch economy of the 1840s was stagnant and much of the motivation to emigrate was economic rather than political or religious. The emigrants were not poor, as the cost of passage, expenses and land purchase in America would have been substantial. They were not, however, affluent and many would have been risking most of their wealth on the chance of economic improvement. There were also political pressures at the time that favored mass emigrations of Catholics. Yda Schreuder, Dutch Catholic Immigrant Settlement in Wisconsin, 1850-1905 (New York: Garland, 1989); and H. A. V. M. van Stekelenburg, Landverhuizing als regionaal verschijnsel: Van Noord-Brabant naar Noord-Amerika 1820-1880 (Tilburg: Stichting Zuidelijk Historisch Contact, 1991).
It’s true that most of my Dutch ancestors did come from Zeeland and perhaps one branch from Groningen, although one branch came from Zwolle. So was Adriaan really that poor or was he rather temporarily economically “flat” because of the worsening economy in his country? I’d say the latter.
I do feel bad that the family had this hardship and wonder how it affected the children, especially Johannes, Grandpa’s grandfather. Although his father Adriaan couldn’t get him to America, apparently his son Adriaan did so. But in the meantime Johannes’ other son Lucas was killed at age 21 in Goes by “falling on an anchor.” I wrote about him in A Sailor’s Death.
As an aside, when I was a kid I used to love the folk and fairy tales that featured tailors and shoemakers, so I find it charming when I hear that so many of my ancestors were tailors and shoemakers, as well as merchants.
Here’s another tangent. Why do the men have occupations like that so often, but the women are usually maids or servants? Is that because those were their jobs when they got married and then they generally quit work after getting married? Did the daughters of tailors and shoemakers become maids when they were old enough to work but still unmarried? Or did they remain maids throughout their lives? What did it mean to be a maid in Zeeland in the 1800s? And, most importantly, did they wear white pinafore aprons?
Elly and I both wonder what happened to Johanna after Adriaan’s death. I checked out my family tree to see what chronology I could see.
Johanna was 29 when she married Adriaan. Then she had four children in a row. On 26 July, 1845, when Adriaan made his application for emigration, the children were 8, 7, 5, and 3. That’s quite a handful. Less than two years after the application, Johanna’s father, Carel Mulder, died. He is the one who got sick and his prison guard job was award to another son-in-law, NOT to Adriaan. Seven months after Carel’s death, Johanna gave birth to yet another child. I also show that she had a sixth child two years after the birth of the fifth, but he is the only one I do not have a death date for. He is not yet documented, in my opinion.
It’s no wonder that in 1869, when Johanna was 62 years old, she was working as a laborer in Goes. She must have had to go to work after Adriaan’s death, if not before. Did she work when she was pregnant? Who took care of her children? Her own father was undergoing his own problems before his death, so he couldn’t help her. First he was suspended from his job for insubordination, then he became ill and eventually passed away.
What of Adriaan’s parents? The other grandparents of the children . . . . Adriaan’s father, a fish inspector, passed away in 1841, five years before the application to emigrate was made. His mother died in 1838 after seeing only one of her grandchildren by Adriaan born.
Where does some of this information about Adriaan and Johanna (Mulder) Zuijdweg come from? The Goes archives. Elly says that this archives is linked to the archives in Zeeland.
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