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Showing posts from December, 2015

A long way from home

I've started a unit Writing Family History online at University of Tasmania and the following is one of the assignments.  The task was to to find some common thread in the family history.
My grandfather’s grandfather, Reinier Scherius, followed his two older brothers to the East Indies, which was at the time a Dutch Colony. By the age of 27 he was civil commander in Gerontolo, on the island of Celebes. This was a long way from home, Amsterdam, where he was born. 
Jan Peelen, my great-grandfather, was born in Cairo in 1859, the son of a Dutch engineer, who was sent to Egypt to build a steel mill for the Khedive. Another family member a long way from home. Jan also went on to become a civil engineer and lived with his family in the Rhineland area of Germany, where his son, my grandfather, Reinier Peelen grew up.
Reinier would also end up in Indonesia, in Java, where he managed coffee and tea plantations. My mother and her siblings were all born in the Dutch East Indies, as Indonesi…