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...

1 comment:

  1. Great Documents and Thank You for Honoring the Women this Month! It was endearing to hear she and the clerk are the only ones who could write. Generations later here you are remembering them.