Showing posts from February, 2019

52 Ancestors Challenge 2019 Week 1 (Jan 1-7) First - Lodewijk Knoops

This first prompt for the 2019 challenge is about the first ancestor I 'met' -  Lodewijk Knoops. His portrait hung on the wall in my grandparents living room beside the grand writing desk.  I was about nine years old when I first enquired who that man was. He's family, I was told.

It was a classic oil painted portrait, with a gold painted frame and a little larger than an A4 notebook in size. It shows Lodewijk Knoops, seated at his desk with quill in hand, poised as if about to write something important with three very large heavy books stacked by his elbow. Behind him we can see a large well stocked book case.

He is wearing the typical 18th century male attire for the middle class; the frilly lace cuffs at the wrists, a patterned waist coat, the long coat in a dark neutral colour and the powdered wig. He was a slim man probably not very tall, unsmiling, but with regular features, pale complexion, small mouth, thin lips, straight nose, brown eyes, not unattractive.

The in…

Week 43 - Cause of Death - The Strangling Angel of Children

Death is one of the certainties of life. Let's explore causes of death this week. Do you have a relative who died in an unusual way? Perhaps you've found an unusual record that shows the cause of death.

Finding the cause of death is a challange. The Dutch BMD records simply state the date and name, plus some biographical details such as place of birth, age and the parents. But then I discovered that Amsterdam kept statistics for the cause of death between 1811-1868, Staten van overlijden naar geslacht, burgerlijke staat, leeftijd en maand van overlijden. (Statistics for deaths according to gender, civil state, age and month of death). 

Here I found the reason that Cornelia Blomberg, my grandfather's sister, died at the tender age of six.  It took me some time to browse through the online scans, but I knew the address of the family at the time, which did not yet include my grandfather (he was a born in 1991) and the date of her death - 29 November 1890. 

Little Cornelia died o…