Wednesday, March 29, 2017

The 18th century Brothers sisters.

Before Women's History Month is over, I wanted to post another article, this time about the family of my 6-times great-grandmother Anna Maria Gebruers. Anna Maria was great-grandmother to my 3-times great-grandmother Joanna Gelens. She was also great-great grandmother to my great-great grandmother Joanna Verelst.

In Flemish "gebruers" means as much as "gebroeders" in Dutch, which translates into "brothers" in English. Funny thing is, so far, I've only been able to find sisters of Anna Maria and no brothers at all.

Based on the age mentioned on her death certificate, Anna Maria must have been born about 1757. Her parents were Michaël Gebruers and Anna Peeters. The family lived in the village of Geel, which is in the southeastern part of the present day province of Antwerp in Belgium. At that time, however, Geel was located in the Austrian Netherlands.

Anna Maria's three sisters were named Maria Anna (°19 January 1754), Maria Catharina (°22 October 1756) and Maria Theresia (°28 November 1767).

So, as if naming one daughter "Anna Maria" and another one "Maria Anna" didn't create enough confusion, all three sisters of Anna Maria had the first name Maria...

Tragically, father Michaël died early September 1767, two months before Maria Theresia was born, leaving mother Anna Peeters with the care of her daughters.

Burial registration of Michaël Gebruers (1767)

Anna Peeters died in 1795 and only four years later, also her daughter, my 6-times great-grandmother Anna Maria died at the age of 42.

Death registration of Anna Maria Gebruers (1799)

Anna Maria had married a man named François Gelens in September 1784 and the couple had at least five children: three sons and two daughters. All of the children were born in the 1780's and 1790's.

Marriage registration of Anna Maria Gebruers and François Gelens (1784)

Sister Maria Anna performed day labour for a living and married a man named Joannes Dams. She died in 1825 at the age of 71.

Entry in civil register concerning the death of Maria Anna Gebruers (1825)

Sister Maria Catharina was a lace worker and never got married. She eventually died in 1836 at the age of 79.

Entry in the civil register relating to the death of Maria Catharina Gebruers (1836)

At the time of her wedding, in 1806, the youngest of the sisters, Maria Theresia, made a living spinning yarn. On the entry in the civil register, Maria Theresia's autograph definitely stands out. In fact she was the only person, other than the civil servant, who knew how to write. Because she wrote so beautifully, I assume she received quite a good school education.

Signature of Maria Theresia Gebruers (1806)

Maria Theresia did live to become old, as she died in April 1859, at 91 years of age...

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Tracing back the mothers line

March is Women's History Month and today is International Women's Day - so plenty of reasons to dedicate a post to some of the women in my family tree.
This time I'm starting in the mid-18th century...
Elisabeth Vereggen was possibly born about 1750. Closest potential match I was able to find so far is a baptism record of 1749 mentioning the baptism of "Elizabetha Vereggen", daughter of Jacobus Vereggen and Adriana Van den Boogaert.
Although I still have to find out more about Elisabeth, I know for sure that she married Antonius Van den Broek and they had at least one daughter called Maria Theresia Van den Broek who was born in 1779 in the village of Budel which was in the Generality Lands of the United Provinces of the Netherlands. More specifically in Brabant of the States, which was the northern part of the Duchy of Brabant.

Entry in baptism records relating to
the baptism of Maria Theresia Van den Broek in 1779

Maria Theresia's daughter, Elisabeth Quanten, was born in 1799, also in the village of Budel. By that time, however, the Dutch Republic had been succeeded by the Batavian Republic. Maria Theresia also gave birth to an additional three children - all boys.
Maria Theresia used to work on a farm, while her daughter Elisabeth first was a maidservant, then performed manual labour and eventually became day labourer on a farm.

Baptism of Elisabeth Quanten in August 1799

While the baptism record of Elisabeth Quanten shows that she was born illegitimately, she was recognized by her father from the very beginning. In 1828, Elisabeth Quanten had a daughter called Joanna Schreurs, in the village of Sint-Huibrechts-Lille, which, at that time, was in the United Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Birth of Joanna Schreurs in 1828

Joanna was the oldest of five children as she had two youngers brothers and two younger sisters. When Joanna was four year old, her grandmother, Maria Theresia died, aged 52.
Joanna Schreurs, who performed manual labour for a living, had six children, three boys and three girls. The youngest daughter was Johanna Herteleer. Johanna was born in 1869 in the village of Hamont, meaning she was the first one of the female line to be born after the Belgian independence and thus in the Kingdom of Belgium.

Birth of Johanna Herteleer in 1869

Three years before Johanna was born, her grandmother Elisabeth had passed away aged 67 in her house in Hamont. On her death record, her last name was spelled as Kwanten which is phonetically exactly the same as Quanten.
Death record of Elisabeth Quanten in 1866
Johanna Herteleer was the first woman in this line to have had a right to vote, but only on municipal level... She worked as a market vendor and died in the early 1930's when she was about 64 years old.
Johanna's oldest daughter was Maria Broeckx (born in 1893) and was the mother of my great-grandmother Anna Hennebicq (born in 1909) and grandmother of my maternal grandmother, Hilda Sterckx. All three of them were allowed to vote in all elections - so including federal elections - only from 1948 onwards.
My grandmother told me many years ago that she remembered her great-grandmother, Johanna Herteleer, wearing a long black dress and a white, lace bonnet. She would sit in her rocking chair and the children from the neighbourhood would come and sit all around her and ask for her to tell stories from long time ago...

Three generations :
Hilda Sterckx (standing left) and Anna Hennebicq (standing right)
with Maria Broeckx (sitting)
While I already wrote a post about great-great grandmother Maria Broeckx, I still have to write more about my grandmother Hilda and my great-grandmother Anna. I will do that in later blog posts because I have so much to tell about these remarkable women.

My mother, Patricia Brusten, with her mother, Hilda Sterckx
And then of course - after this long history - I obviously have to add my own mother, Patricia Brusten, to the list. I know she will be reading this post with great interest. And of course this post is also largely dedicated to her.
So these are the women, traveling back about 270 years all along my maternal line...
I've read that mitochondrial DNA (mDNA) is exclusively maternally inherited. Well I can genuinely say I'm proud to be part of this gene pool. 

*   *
Maart is Women's History Month en vandaag is het daar bovenop Internationale Vrouwendag - genoeg redenen dus om een blogbericht te wijden aan enkele vrouwen in mijn stamboom...
Elisabeth Vereggen werd waarschijnlijk geboren omstreeks 1750. De meest waarschijnlijke "match" die iheb kunnen vinden is een doopregistratie van 1749 die de doop vermeld van "Elizabetha Vereggen", dochter van Jacobus Vereggen en Adriana Van den Boogaert.
Hoewel ik nog meer moet te weten komen over Elisabeth, weet ik zeker dat ze gehuwd was met Antonius Van den Broek en dat ze ten minste een dochter hadden die Maria Theresia Van den Broek heette en die was geboren in 1779 in het dorp Budel dat zich in de Generaliteitslanden van de Republiek der Verenigde Nederlanden bevond. Meer specifiek in Staats-Brabant, dat zich in het noorden van het hertogdom Brabant bevond.

Doopregistratie van Maria Theresia Van den Broek in 1779

De dochter van Maria Theresia was Elisabeth Quanten, geboren in 1799, ook in het dorp Budel. Tegen dan was de Republiek der Verenigde Nederlanden echter opgevolgd door de Bataafse Republiek. Maria Theresia kreeg nog drie kinderen - allemaal jongens.
Maria Theresia was akkerbouwsterterwijl haar dochter Elisabeth eerst dienstmeid was, dan handwerkster was en uiteindelijk dagwerkster werd.

Doop van Elisabeth Quanten in augustus 1799

Terwijl uit de doopregistratie van Elisabeth Quanten blijkt dat ze onwettig geboren was, werd ze wel reeds erkend door haar vader. In 1828 kreeg Elisabeth Quanten een dochter die ze Joanna Schreurs noemde en die werd geboren in het dorp Sint-Huibrechts-Lille, dat, in die tijd, in het Verenigd Koninkrijk der Nederlanden gelegen was.

Geboorte van Joanna Schreurs in 1828

Joanna was de oudste van vijf kinderen en had twee jongere broers en twee jongere zussen. Wanneer Joanna vier jaar oud was overleed haar grootmoeder, Maria Theresia, op de leeftijd van 52 jaar.
Joanna Schreurs, die dagwerkster was, kreeg zes kinderen, drie jongens en drie meisjes. De jongste dochter was Johanna Herteleer. Johanna werd geboren in 1869 in het dorp Hamont, wat betekent dat ze eerste in de vrouwelijke lijn was die werd geboren na de onafhankelijkheid van België.

Geboorte van Johanna Herteleer in 1869

Drie jaar voor Johanna werd geboren, was haar grootmoeder Elisabeth overleden op de leeftijd van 67 jaar in haar woning in Hamont. Op haar overlijdensbericht werd haar familienaam nu gespeld als Kwanten wat fonetisch natuurlijk overeenkomt met Quanten.

Overlijdensregistratie van Elisabeth Quanten in 1866

Johanna Herteleer was de eerste vrouw in deze lijn die het recht had om te stemmen, doch, enkel in gemeenteraadsverkiezingen... Ze werkte als marktkraamster en overleed begin de jaren 1930 wanneer ze ongeveer 64 jaar oud was.
De oudste dochter van Johanna was Maria Broeckx (geboren in 1893) en was de moeder van mijn overgrootmoeder Anna Hennebicq (geboren in 1909) en grootmoeder van mijn maternele grootmoeder, Hilda Sterckx. Zij hadden alledrie stemrecht - ook in federale verkiezingen - maar pas vanaf 1948...
Mijn grootmoeder vertelde me jaren geleden hoe ze zich herinnerde dat haar overgrootmoeder Johanna Herteleer, meestal een lang zwart kleed droeg en een wit kapje op haar hoofd had. Ze zat in haar schommelstoel terwijl de kinderen uit de buurt rond haar kwamen zitten en haar vroegen om nog eens verhalen te vertellen over vroeger. 

Drie generaties :
Hilda Sterckx (staand links) en Anna Hennebicq (staand rechts)
met Maria Broeckx (zittend)
Terwijl ik al een bericht schreef over bet-overgrootmoeder Maria Broeckx, moet ik wat schrijven over mijn grootmoeder Hilda en mijn overgrootmoeder Anna. Ik zal dat in toekomstige blogberichten doen omdat ik veel te vertellen heb over deze opmerkelijke vrouwen.

Mijn moeder, Patricia Brusten, met haar moeder, Hilda Sterckx
En dan natuurlijk - na deze lange geschiedenis - moet ik uiteraard mijn eigen moder, Patricia Brusten, toevoegen aan deze lijst. Ik weet dat ze deze blog leest met veel interesse en uiteraard is dit bericht grotendeels ook bijzonder aan haar opgedragen.
Dat zijn dus de vrouwen, ongeveer 270 jaar terugreizend in de tijd, langs mijn maternele lijn...
Ik heb gelezen dat mitochondriaal DNA (oftewel mDNA) exclusief wordt doorgegeven door vrouwen aan hun kinderen. Wel, ik kan oprecht zeggen dat ik trots ben om deel uit te maken van deze genenpoel.