Posts Tagged ‘Dutch sailor 1890s’

Three years ago, I wrote about the youngest child of Johannes and Jennie Zuijdweg. I explained that Grandpa had told me that Lucas, age 21, was a sailor and, in a tragic accident, fell on the anchor of his ship and was killed.

Lucas was certainly a blue-eyed blond, like his sister, and looks remarkably like her and like Johannes, their father.

Since I had been writing about Johannes recently, I thought it fitting to revisit his son’s death.

On Zeeuwen Gezocht, I found the birth and death records of Lucas. I hoped to discover the cause of his death written on the documents.

And here is the cropped version.

Here is the death record.

Again, here is the cropped version.

According to a very nice member of a Facebook group, the translation is as follows:

Today, the 4th of April, 1894, appeared to me,
officer of the Civil Registry of the town of Goes

Jan Bruggeman, aged 56 years, profession : undertaker, living at Goes, not related (to the deceased),
and Hubertus van Liere, aged 53 years, profession : merchant, living at Goes, not related,
who have declared to me that on the 4th of April 1894 at 4 o’clock at night (AM) passed away
Lucas Zuijdweg, aged 21 years, born at Goes, profession : labourer, lived at Goes, son of
Johannes Zuijdweg, announcer, and of Jannegien Bomhoff, his wife.

And is immediately made up this record, which has been signed by myself and declarants after being read out.

Unfortunately, there is no record of how Lucas passed away. Well, I wonder. What if there is a newspaper article? I guess I need to learn Dutch and then learn how to search for newspaper articles in Dutch papers!

What does come to mind from this document is wonder that an undertaker was with him when he died. What in the world? Since Grandpa said this was an accident, I wonder in what bad shape Lucas was in and if he was taken, still alive, to a morgue? How can that be? And Hubertus van Liere might not be a relative, but of course, the daughter of Johannes and Jennie–Lucas’ sister–would marry Marinus Van Liere in 1900.

Also, it states that Johannes was an announcer. He has also been a crier in past records. But mainly he was listed as a merchant. So he was an announcer when Lucas died and a few months later, when he was sentenced, he was a merchant again? How did he accomplish these two occupations?

According to Dutch genealogist, Yvette Hoitink, there aren’t many Dutch graves on Findagrave. She suggests begraafplaatsen, which are the Dutch graves that have been put online. Lucas is not listed, and they are still looking for volunteers to photograph graves. I am not even sure how to find out where he is buried.


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My grandfather’s father, Adriaan Zuijdweg (later called Adrian Zuidweg), was born in Goes, the Netherlands, on 3 January 1871. He was the oldest of three children. On 17 September 1872, Lucas was born. Then, on 23 December, 1873, Johanna Geertruida Maria was born. The children were barely a year apart in age. I find it interesting that their mother Jennie had a child every year for three years and then no more children. I wonder if she had a health problem after delivering Johanna.

Adriaan immigrated to the United States in 1893, but Johanna did not immigrate until 1904. She came to Kalamazoo, no doubt following her brother there. Lucas did not emigrate from Goes. Instead, on 4 April 1894, at the age of 21, he passed away. At the time of his death he was listed as a “laborer” in Goes; however, my grandfather’s story about his Uncle Lucas was different. Note that Lucas died not long after his older brother left the Netherlands.

Grandpa said that he was a sailor and, in a tragic accident, fell on the anchor of his ship and was killed.

It seems to me that Grandpa’s information has the stamp of authenticity, especially since Lucas did die at such a young age. But why was he listed as a laborer at the time of his death? Is that a term used for sailors? Maybe if he was hired as a sailor, but not part of the Navy?

I found a website with a photograph of a Dutch “Coast Defence” ship. This photo might be a ship called Piet Hein in 1894, the year of Lucas’ death. Would a ship this big have an anchor that would have killed Lucas? Or would it have been a smaller boat? Click through to the website if you like.

Jacob van Heemskerck (1906)


Hard to imagine a  ship this big in this harbor!! Photo of Goes harbor.


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