This is the Message Centre for Alfredo

Searching for the violist

Post 1


After I escaped my parental home, I rarely stopped by that house again. On one of the occasions that I did, my mother grabbed the opportunity to give me a dramatic message. She walked towards her desk, opened a draw and from a wooden box, where I kept my allowance as a child, took out a picture of a sitting man, who’s holding a violin that’s resting on his leg…

“Look Fredo”, she said carefully – this because talking about her own family was just not done in this household – “This man once fled from the Basks and became a violinist at the French court of Napoleon. He traveled with the court of his brother Lodewijk, who had his pales in Harlem and my mother gave this picture to me. I’m passing it on to you, to save it carefully.”
“I will”, was my promise and I put the picture of postcard size in my jacket and left.
Away from home.

Her dramatic message must have stuck with me, because it was on my wall during my marital years, between the pictures of my daughters. It gave a sense of history between the newcomers and I liked that.
As appreciation of that document I had a copy made and, as it turned out, that wasn’t unnecessary, because in an emotional outburst in the year of George Orwell, the violinist was ripped to pieces and thrown into the fireplace.

At the end of the nineties my mother passed away. And when my dad passed away a few years later, anecdotes on small papers, which she kept in a secret safe at the bank, surfaced. She wrote about whether to take mathematics in collage and how she wanted to be a pharmacist but became a secretary at Haas vinegar factory in Harlem.
“Yes mom, I know, the first real natural vinegar”
There, for the last time.

I read about her dad who was supposed to be ‘on the wrong side’, but who during the war changed sides. He always secretly wore an orange tie and I see pictures of the family in a T-Ford and find notes about a violinist “who’s name was engraved in one of the walls of the ‘Princenhof’.

That last part grabs me and suddenly it appeals to me to start digging in history and also turning the promise of saving carefully into discovering about.
I’m also planning to buy a small house in about 5 years and who knows, maybe this birth town where this Spanish violist lived is the place where I would really want to live.

Even if it would only be to be buried there, even though I realize that in this millennium there isn’t anything more difficult in Europe then to move a body from one country to another.
But a grave, on the side of a Spanish village where Olive trees whisper stories about ancestors, that seems like a burial place I would almost long to.
And so the violinist arrives on stage again.
He now functions as a compass in a new episode in my life.
It’s October 2003.

Through the Net I start looking for anything about Napoleons, even though I’ve never been a fan of them. And I try to contact the ‘Lodewijk Napoleon institution’ hoping to find everything at once about what I’m looking for. Unfortunately the wife of the initiator of this foundation told me on the phone that ‘her husband died in ’93 and everything ended then, because shortly after his brother also died and there was no one to take over the lead’.

Death never sleeps, apparently. In my case though, it only motivates me to dig up the stories of the dead now that I still can. Time has many faces and for now I borrow its mask of curiosity to discover what’s still left to discover.

Couragesly I realize that there just ‘has to be an institution who can tell me in which wall of the ‘Princenhof pales’ de name of my Spanish ancestor is engraved.
It’s the first pin on my imaginable pinbord. There, in my own hometown.

I call, e-mail, read and fax to see where my questions end up and I may finally receive the fist few answers. It’s very convenient that I could scan the picture and attach it to my e-mail. Who knows, maybe someone will recognize it instantly!

After two days I receive an answer that stuns me right away.
“Do you realize that Lodewijk Napoleon lived here from 1810 ‘till 1813 and that the very first picture was mad in 1847 and that it wasn’t popular until 1870? On top of that, the ‘Princenhof’ is not a pales, it’s a city hall.


Finding is calculating. This man doesn’t seem any older that 50 and wouldn’t be younger than 15 when he played for ‘the Court’, as my mother would officially and with capital wrote it. So he had to be at least 15 in 1810 and he couldn’t have let his picture taken before 1865, so the man in the picture had to be at least 70 years old.

“There goes my Court violinist, my job as a treasure keeper and my compass in the Mediterranean world”, became conclusion 1.
There I am with my Spanish/Frensh inheritance, exotic phenomenon’s included.
What’s still standing about my explanation that in every crisis in my life I end up in Spain in no-time? And that, once I’m there, I have to come up with what I’m going to do there.
My just being there was apparently enough and I knew why. There were my roots.

The feeling of living without a destiny grew every day and I looked for comfort at institutions who kept archives. Longing slowly becomes a life priority.
On top of that, these institutions turn out to be a maze using legal terms that are as unclear to me as Dutch in the Middle ages. Kafka is nothing compared to this.
There are birth certificates, personal cards, family cards, church books, marital acts, etc. And every form of registration has it’s own archive in yet another building at yet another institution.
On the Net there turns out to be a jungle of possible family trees that all claim to have ‘everything’.

For a second I feel ground beneath my feet when I see a careful, but effective tip on a beginners page that says that after typing a few magic words on Google that I will be blessed with family trees who could be related to me.

And yes, the family trees keep coming in and it suddenly seems as if everybody in Holland honoring their ancestors. After running into the same name in one document for the third time it starts dazzling me and I feel like I’m falling from the top of this rainforest all the way down.

With pretend distance I surf on the Net a few days later and land on a site ‘family histories’, where I find a picture if a man and a woman. Both mid-thirties, looking at each other from each side of a table. They seem to be completely happy in peace. In the description beneath this picture it says that they do research in historical archives and do research for others as well. The hour rate is 25 Euro and ‘if we go to the archives for more then one person you pay half of that train ticket, second class’.

The “ultimate nerd” I conclude “with some influence from Zeeland. I would even leave illegal money with these people”. And they may know that as well. Well, not in these exact words, I’d like to get a good start.
Within 24 hours I get a response with the question if I want a ‘family tree investigation’ or a ‘Kwartierstraat (Quarterstreet latterly translated)’
“Excuse me?”
I wait patiently so they can explain the ins and outs of this, including ‘the cold and warm side’.

“I’m only interested in the ancestors on my mothers side with the same family name. But I also have a picture of a violinist….. and this one has different name: Croix. And if you find any exotic people here and there, that’s fine with me too.”

The clear assignment was born and could go any way. “I’m going to do research on Thursday in Harlem, is that Okay?” is the question. “Fine by me. I might also be there to pick up some skills first hand”. Not. I stayed home, at a safe distance.

Two weeks later on a Sunday night, I received e-mail. It takes a while to download. It turns out to be the final report. After an introduction it becomes clear to me that there haven’t been any ‘foreigners’ found. Often these kinds of stories belong to land of the family fairytales. “My family also has these kinds of stories”, he ads wisely and subtle. “But I did find a few strange characters in your family tree.”

“There is no way back” I concluded bravely: “Come on Alfredo, brave warrior” and by reading an enormous length of logistics, documents, pieces, summaries and codes, I did indeed discover some ‘strange characters’.

Like a Pieter Kuyler, who had been drawn a few times by a street artist in Harlem, with a theatrical hat, long knee socks and slippers on his feet.
His son had, as a doorkeeper at the ‘Big Market’ and after loud trumpet blows – announced a trial against a conman from up town. He had demanded that the man would be punished by putting a ‘noose around his neck, standing on the platform and burning the initials TPF in his right shoulder.
That’s a little different from today’s punishment of picking up papers from the ground for a week…

Another ‘strange character’, according to my researcher, had even more ruthless working methods. He was connected to Napoleon, known as “The Greater Warrior” in the army, though my researcher was so kind to translate for me and put (“butcher”) behind his name.

“Would I be able to undo a wish?” I though silently. “Would that help?”
My violinist gone, no Mediterranean blood what so ever, and an ancestor who served Napoleons army as a butcher (and whose family sign hangs around my eldest daughters neck during ballet classes on a golden necklace)
Everything seems to fade away in this historical triangle. Nothing is what it seemed to be.

But this triangle turned out to have another side… and that side tells of a whole different story about the lives of my ancestors.

There had been a small notebook found from 1816, where the butchers cousin mentions him. He mentions his traveling trough Europe while in the army of Napoleon, along with his wife and children, who apparently could come with him. De writer appears to been with him.
He describes their journey to Amiens in France, where “child Helena” was staying with a family member in 1811 in “The Hague, with mother's Family, who died of whooping cough and was buried there.”

The suffering grows when “Maria Keppen” is born in 1813, "in Germany", in an area called Stettien at the borderriver "Ooder"."We were surrounded by Pruysen and Russians, because we were still under French demand. And this child was born when we hardly had any food supplies. We had to eat horse- and dog meat and that’s nothing, but I can’t tell everything that went on there. And that child stayed with my mother in Amsterdam where she grew older, died and was buried there."

This document starts mentioning names of chíldren around the battlefields of Napoleon.

Maria’s brother, “Matthijs”- is born during the battle at Waterloo in Mons, “a place where we stayed at because we were part of the Lienje troops and this big city needed to stay free.”
The family now apparently fights against the French.

I read somewhere that during that time old war mates would run into each other at the battle fields and yell that they should come join the other side. Napoleon made Europe into one big battle field and everybody had his own part in it.
Children are staying with family en despite that, they die.
People and animals die with thousands, tens of thousands at a time.

In the battle field against Russia, millions of Russians die and from the 500.000 soldiers that Napoleon sent out only 17.000 return. During that return they could walk by the frozen bodies of there mates and say goodbye one last time.
Soldiers who Napoleon promised to become “rich and famous” to get them to go to war.

I can’t undo what’s in this notebook and the same goes for History.
I can only discover, understand, and pass on. The only thing I could change was that “The Great Warrior” wasn’t in fact a butcher, but a head of a military court. “A typical internet mistake” admits my researcher.

I also know too little about how en why people got into the army.
And I do not understand, why Lodewijk, brother of Emperor Napoleon, is being mentioned “first king of Holland” and “His Highness” on the website of the Dutch parliament. In my eyes he’s nothing more then a substitute boss for a dictator from France.

“Are there any other ‘strange characters’? , I sort of ask myself.
Because at the horizon I see a shadow of a woman rising.

Somebody sent me a document, who ‘had gotten it of somebody once’
I see that my mothers name coming up in the family tree around 1750. And I read in one of the original certificates that in 1790 a certain ‘Anna Kuyler’ is born in Harlem, mother of an illegal child of an unknown man.
And that in Calvinistic Holland.

In the right lower corner I read a name and address from the writer and I decide to give the person unknown a call. I hear a male voice: “Yes, that must have been my wife. She’s been working on that for quite a while. And who are you?”
“I’m the son of… etc.”
“Oh, that sounds close related. We went to your mothers and fathers funeral. My wife is a half sister of your mother. “I didn’t even know she existed”, was my lame response.
“But I don’t think she interested anymore, but I’ll give her the message when she gets home.”

After a half hour my phone rings.
“Lydia Kuyler speaking”
“Well, I found a document of yours and that’s why I’m calling”. I tell her about my search, about my low results in the beginning and the things I did find later on, about the fact that I didn’t know that my mother had a half sister (twp even and two half brothers), the research that I had done, and about Anna Kuyler, who appeared out of nothing.
“Yes, Anna was a strong woman”, she says as if she knew her personally.
“She sure was”, I agree with excitement.
At the end she tells me,that she is my only aunt still alive.
We decide to meet each other in January 2004 in Halem, now that we still can.

Again my eyes are attracted to the notes about this Anna Kuyler, “mother of an illegal child of an unknown man.” This child later became a shoe repairer and is one of my ancestors.
“What awful terms has mankind invented”, I think grimly.

Anna Kuyler lived with her mother for a while, who was a knitter for her profession, ‘became a shop salesgirl in The Hagesteeg’ and married when she was 34 to a greengrocer from her town. They have a baby, but when she’s 50 her husband dies.

But Anna is Anna and so she remarries when she’s 55 on 29th February 1845 with "Gerrit History".(people had to invént familynames those days,as an order of Napoleon). Gerrit had also lost his wife.

Her new husband also dies and by now her signature – with a graceful A – is seen on numerable documents of relatives who marry, divorce, etc.
Anna was present everywhere.

Then, when Anna is 74 years of age, she dies “on March 2nd 1864 on the Vogelkopsteeg 15 at 1:00 P.M.”, says the coroners rapport, which was written by two coroners, who happened to be family members as well.

Her biggest A – that even a goldsmith couldn’t have made – was shown during my own battlefield of 8 weeks, where there was no violinist to be seen, where stories collapsed, horrifying battles were fought, hunger and death ruled Europe and words as illegal were made by mankind to keep people like Anna at a distance.

She saw them all coming and going.
In January I’ll talk about her with my newly discovered aunt.
For the first time in thirty years back in Harlem.

With thanks to Anna.

Alfredo, 30th November 2003

(Some names and data have been changed for privacy reasons)

The original text has been translated by one of my Dutch/American daughters, born in 1980, who dreams in English, but still had a tough job doing this, because of chronic lack of time.
So may thanks to my dear daughter, who'll probably never read my writings here as the others won't do so either.
It is my very personal space.

Searching for the violist

Post 2


At the very end,it says;

Her biggest A – that even a goldsmith couldn’t have made – was shown during my own battlefield of 8 weeks, where there was no violinist to be seen, where stories collapsed, horrifying battles were fought, hunger and death ruled Europe and words as illegal were made by mankind to keep people like Anna at a distance.

But I intended to say;

"Her proud A - that even a goldsmith couldn't have made - rose at my own battlefield of 8 weeks, etc. etc."

Searching for the violist

Post 3


If you use Google (English), than you could do this, to find ancestor information that might be relevant for you.

You type Genealogy * familyname * and click at "search".

You can also mention first- and second name between * * and even make a combination with a town where they might have lived. That town you should be mentioned outside * * .

And don't forget, that names were also written as they were spooken before 1810 (in continental Europe), so they change remarkably in earlier days.
And in even earlier days they are just mentioned as "son of" in relation to their father's first name.

(P.S. I discovered many mistakes in the translation, as I read "pales", which had to be "palace" , etc.
That's not so much the fault my daughter. It's because of my own impatience and not first checking the whole story.)


Post 4


And there's a smart way of finding a specific name in very large documents at the internet.

When you have a document at your screen, click at the button Ctrl and the button f , and then you'll see suddenly a menu "searching" and when you write the name you're looking for, it can find it in a second - if it's there at all - by colouring that specific name dark blue.

Saves a lot of time when searching in genealogy sites that people make about their own families!

Of course you can use this method in all other sites too.


Post 5


You've got to push Ctrl and f at the same time.

visiting Haarlem

Post 6


Because of my continuing search in my family-tree/ancestors, which has its roots in Haarlem (near Amsterdam) I decided to visit three musea that are relevant for me.

It appeared to be "museum-weekend", so there were all kinds of special activities. I wasn't prepared for it, because I had not read about it.

One of my ancestors was administrator in 1798 of the army of Haarlem (which was a city-state these days) and the painter Frans Hals made many group-portrets of these members of the rifle in a long period of time, although my ancestor has never been painted by Frans Hals.

I entered the biggest room of the Frans Hals museum and suddenly there comes a lady to me and asks me, if I want to be dressed up like one of these army men and be photographed in front of that huge painting of these members of the rifle.

I didn't need to think about such a request - although very kitschy -
because I lóve dressing up .
So now I suddenly "became" one of these ancient proud members of the rifle, who had more interest in being painted than doing their job properly.
(Rembrandt made his "nachtwacht" about an Amsterdam rifle group)
Over ten days that picture (with many others) will be shown at the website of the museum.

There was also a "flowerwalk" in the Frans Hals museum, because Haarlem was in 17th century thé centre of tulip bulbs which became a real tulip-mania (selling óne tulip-bulb for a complete house) and there are created a lot of still-life flower paintings these days in and around Haarlem.
One of these painters was a female; Judith Leyster, Haarlem 1609 -
1660 who became a real master painter (together with another woman master painter from Haarlem) and that was very unique in 17th century Europe (not more then 10 female master painters in the whole of Europe! "Male society" ).

A selfportret of Judith hangs in the National Gallery of Art in Washington and another painting by her of a young Haarlem flute player hangs in the National Museum Stockholm.

Judith Leyster painted one page in a so called "Tulip Book".
In the 17th century some flower books (florilegia) were compiled;
collections of pictures of flowers. Growers used them as catalogues for potential buyers.
This tulipbook contains óne painting by Judith Leyster, which is why the whole book is named after her (The tulip book of Judith Leyster. Although twó pictures have her name on it, it appears that just óne of them is really from the skilled hands of Judith (nr. 29).
The book has a total of 49 pictures, each depicting one or two tulips and giving their names.

For this special weekend the book was to bee seen, exactly at the page that Judith painted.
It was thrilled.

There is also for sale ,around the world, the Judith Leyster tulip-bulb, for planting in your garden.

And after this I visited the oldest museum of Holland (1784); The Teylers Museum.
Entering the museum, I got the feeling of entering the 18th century.
Dark wooden floors and walls, beautiful windows of white glass in the ceilings, etc. etc.

But I was in a hurry to also see a third museum.
Just to get a first impression of the tree in total.
Later on I'll return many times.

On my way back I bought some tulips and threw them one by one in a canal in Haarlem.
I had discovered an ad in the Haarlem newspaper from 1795 (!!) which contains a call for the citizens to look for a man, 47 years old, etc. etc. His clothes are described, his way of walking, his hair, his face, his hour of leaving home (18.00 Okt 29) and that he had not returned home.
Later on I discovered for sure, that this man was óne of my ancesters and was found six weeks later in the canal by friends and family.
He was drowned.

Just before I reach my car to leave Haarlem, I suddenly see at my leftside a dummy in a shop window, which appeared to be a shop for theatre-clothing.
The dummy was álmost exactly dressed as the description in the advertisement in 1798! Only the hat was missing.

Now I was standing there, eye in eye with a "replica" of my drowned ancestor, Rochus Sebil.(Haarlem 1751 - 1798

Farewell, dear Rochus.

Johannes vermeer 1665

Post 7


I have just watched the movie "Girl with a pearl earring" (just released 5-2004) and I watched it with great satisfaction; good acting (English actors), well chosen personalities, extraordinary beautiful pictures, fitting music.
A splendid costume drama.

About what and whom?
About the 17th centure Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer who lived and worked in Delft (close to The Hague).
He painted mainly inside his home, with a woman close to a window, reading a letter or just looking at the view of the street.

One painting became his most famous; "girl with a pearl earring".
A young woman whose eyes are turned to the viewer and tell us by her look something about her young and serene soul.

I referred to that painting when I wrote a letter to a prior love whom I had not seen for thirty years but had received her adress from her parents because of my call in a national newspaper.

"How is it possible - you might ask - that you returned after thirty years in my mind and emotions?
Well, the last few years, I have been writing a lot. Stories and lyrics and the last couple of months I have been writing about my time in Rotterdam. I am able to do it now, because it has passed nostalgia a long time ago.
In my writing, I mix reality and fantasy, but I did that just as well in the time I got to know you. Part of our existence, isn't it?

The final trigger why you returned in my mind, was a painting I saw in the Mauritshuis in The Hague; "the girl with a pearl earring" (also knwon as "the girl with the turban").
Suddenly I thought; "ah, that blond girl in Rotterdam......" and little by little the memories came back in my mind, even your name and second name.
But the fact, that I finally stept óut of my written stories, fiction and memories, in search for the living Melanie, came because of this;

I live here in Amsterdam, on my own, along a beautifull small canal, just outside the historical center. Hundred meters from here, there is an Italian Ice-cream parlour. One evening I bought there some Ice-cream and enjoyed it outside the canal.
At the other side ,I saw a man of my age, walking with rounded houlders, searching for the remains of cigarettes and after he had found a few, he made his own from all these leftovers.

Suddenly I knew it unmistakably; an old friend of mine from the time I lived in Rotterdam. We once lived in the same building in Rotterdam for a while.

The "girl with the pearl" = Melanie (symbol of life) and the former housemember searching cigarettes (symbol of death) suddenly came very close to each other.
Because of that experience, I felt the impulse ánd courage to trace your existence and to write you. I suddenly felt the urge to do it.
You got it? "


So watching this nice movie had already it's extra dimension.
But there happened to be another one, because time doesn't like to stand still.

In my search for my ancestors I discovered a call in a newspaper from 1795(!) .
"At thursday, october 29, 1795, a MAN at the age of 47 left his home at 6 o'clock in the evening.
His lenght is 160 cm, he walks a bit headfirst and he has blond hair, a light red colour at his face, and he had on a green coat, a light blue waistcoat, green pair of trousers, grey striped stockings, silver buckles at his shoes and a silver one at his belt. He also had a sliver watch at a silver chain in his pocket and his underware is marked with R S. He had a three cornered hat on his head.
Anyone who can help us finding him; alive or dead is requested friendly to do so
in Haarlem in the Kleine Houtstraat at the corner of the canal and he wil receive a reward for it"

I knew I had an ancestor living in Haarlem in those days with the name Rochus Sebil (French name) but how could I find out if it was him?
In a legal act of the police in Haarlem I found, that "my" Rochus Sebil;
"Is found by family and friends in the canal, at december 6 , 1795. He was drowned at october 29th, 1795, almost unrecognisable".
So it wás him.
What a way to go.
Two weeks ago I layed down some tulip flowers in the canal where he drowned.

Seeing this movie about the life and work of Johannes Vermeer when he painted "the girl with the pearl earring" in 1665 in Delft, in my mind I also saw myself walking with my girlfriend in 1970 along the streets of Rotterdam and álso saw Rochus Sebil walking through town, doing his business and fatally leaving home.

So lots of history came together when I watched this movie
and I must confess, that I do project a lot of my romantic feelings at the ancient times,
but that is one of my "handicaps" that I'm not fighting against; just realising it once and a while.

I enjoyed the sheer beauty of this 17th century Dutch drama, and some moving memories about my past and that of some of my ancestors.
All of that was united in the look of the eyes of "the girl with the pearl earring".

Burried alive

Post 8


Today I found out, that the sister of an ancestor of mine, was "burried alive".

It is about 1575 and cities like Antwerpen and Doornick are being occupied by Spanish (catholic) armies.

While my ancestor Steven Janzen flees the enemy, his sister Tanneke is "burried alive" by the Spanish soldiers.
Her name was written for this reason in "The Book of Martyrs".

The source of this story is a handwritten book by familymembers in those days. It seems to be lost, but a historian had it in his home for six months and wrote about it in 1965 and 1966.

It was also written that she was an illegitimate child of her mother.

To honour this woman for whom she was and is;

Her name is; Anneken van den Hoven smiley - rose

She lived and died in the 16th century ,around Antwerp (Belgium)

I won't forget her and keep a sharp eye at the human religious mania that ruined her life and still flourishes around the world today.

Woman are the first victims of religious fanatics.
The word "martyr" can be an obscure word of male dominance.

Burried alive

Post 9



"It was also written that she was an illegitimate child of her mother".

No one is "illegitimate".

She was an "extramarital" child of her mother and it is only written down here, because it was likely to be in those days a painful aspect of her existence.


Post 10


As a memory to Anneken, Steven Janzen changes his family name from "Van Fulpen" into "Van doorn" = Thorn.

But two hundred years later, the family name of "Thorn" leaves the family;

women could not inherit their own family name in these days, as it still happens in many places all over the world.

Book of Martyrs

Post 11


I did find today "Anneken van den Hove" in a "Martyrs-book" for the Baptist martyrs since 1524.

"Martelaers spiegel der werelose christenen t'zedert Ao. 1524"

(my translation; "A mirror of martyrs of defenceless christians since 1524".

The Book is printed in Haerlem in 1631 and at page 932 and 933 "Anneken van den Hoven" is fully described as one of the martyrs Anno 1597".

She is described as an "Dienstmaeght"="housekeeper" of a familymember. But that is most probably an undercover name for a girl from an extramarital birth.

I still have to translate a lot, because it is written in Dutch, Anno 1631.

Very moving to read a book, about 350 years old, and being confronted with the very cruel fate of this woman who is also related to my own ancestors.

Book of Martyrs

Post 12


Finally, I found many articles at the internet by writing her name properly; Anneken van den Hove.

She was a "voordogter" = daughter from another marriage or relationship.
She was a radical protestant, like the Mennonites in the U.S.A. who feel very inspired by her.

There is even an engraving about her death in a book of 1685 "Martyrs mirror" to write it in my English.

Quote from just a website;

While in prison for two years and seven months, Anneken was severely beaten and tortured but remained steadfast in her resolve to remain faithful to her adopted country.
Her tormentors promised her immediate freedom if she would but apostatize, but she replied with a firm, "No." Two hours later she was told to prepare herself to die.
At eight o'clock that same morning she was marched under guard to an abandoned field outside of Brussels where a grave was prepared for her. She was forced to undress herself and lay in the grave. Her lower limbs were covered with earth and she was asked if she would turn from her faith. She said, "No," but that she was glad that the time of her departure was so near.
In the meantime they continued to throw earth upon her body, up to her throat, while continuing to promise her complete freedom if she would recant. She remained steadfast and answered that she had peace in her conscience, being well assured that she would have eternal life, imperishable life, full joy and gladness in the nation where God reigned in heaven.
Hence, they at last threw much additional earth upon her face and stomped upon it with their feet, in order that she should die sooner.

And finally here I found a translation of what she herself had written and confessed ánd what the author of the Martyr Book of 1631 wrote about her(there are many different editions of the Martyr book).
So now I/you can get a picture of the content.

Quote from "the Martyrs Book of defenseless christians"- Anneken van den Hove Anno 1597.

"At Brussels, under the reign of the archduke Albert, there was apprehended for her faith and following Christ, a young maiden named Anneken van den Hove (being the servant maid of Nicolaes Rampaert's sister), having been betrayed, as it was said, by the pastor of the Savel church at Brussels.

This Anneken was imprisoned two years and seven months, in which time she suffered much temptation, from priests, monks, Jesuits and others, who thereby sought to make her apostatize from the faith she had accepted; but however great pains they took with her, in the way of examining, tormenting, fair promises, threats, long imprisonment, and otherwise, she nevertheless constantly remained steadfast in the faith in her Lord and Bridegroom, so that finally, on the ninth of July, 1597, certain Jesuits came and asked her whether she would suffer herself to be converted, for in that case she should be released and set at liberty. Thereupon she replied, "No." They then offered to give her six months more time for consideration; but she desired neither day nor time, but said that they might do what seemed good to them, for she longed to get to the place where she might offer up unto the Lord a sacrifice acceptable unto Him. This answer having been conveyed to the judges, information was brought her about two hours afterwards, that if she wanted to die, prepare herself, unless she wished to turn.

Hence the justice of the court, and also a few Jesuits, went out with her about eight o'clock, half a mile without the city of Brussels, where a pit or grave was made, while in the meantime she fearlessly undressed herself, and was thus put alive into the pit, and the lower limbs having first been covered with earth, the Jesuits who were present asked her whether she would not yet turn and recant? She said, "No;" but that she was glad that the time of her departure was so near fulfilled. When the Jesuits then laid before her, that she had to expect not only this burying alive of the body into the earth, but also the eternal pain of the fire in her soul, in hell. She answered that she had peace in her conscience, being well assured that she died saved, and had to expect the eternal, imperishable life, full of joy and gladness in heaven, with God and all His saints.

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In the meantime they continued to throw earth and (as has been stated to us) thick sods of heath ground upon her body, up to her throat; but notwithstanding all their asking, threatening, or promising to release her and take her out of the pit, if she would recant, it was all in vain, and she would not hearken to it.

Hence they at last threw much additional earth and sods upon her face and whole body, and stamped with their feet upon it, in order that she should die the sooner.

This was the end of this pious heroine of Jesus Christ, who gave her body to the earth, that her soul might obtain heaven; thus she fought a good fight, finished her course, kept the faith, and valiantly confirmed the truth unto death.

Since she then so loved her dear leader, Christ Jesus, that she followed Him not only to the marriage at Cana, but also, so to speak, even to the gallows-hill, there cannot be withheld from her the honor and name of a faithful martyress, who suffered all this for His name's sake.

Hence she will also afterwards, when going forth as a wise virgin, yea, as a dear friend of the Lord, to meet her heavenly Bridegroom, be joyfully welcomed and received in the heavenly halls of immortal glory, together with all steadfast servants of God.

O God, be merciful also unto us that are still living, that continuing faithful unto the end, we may with her, and all the saints receive Thy blessed inheritance.

One year subsequently, namely, 1598, there was published a printed work called the Apologia Catholica, by Franciscus Kosterus, in which, on page 160, these words are found, "Moreover, there was no injustice done at Brussels, to Anneken van den Hove, inasmuch as they proceeded against her in accordance with the old laws of the emperor's; nor need the Calvinists complain of the lords; for she was found a Mennonist and Anabaptist, who Calvin himself confesses, ought to be punished.

Subsequently, in the year 1601, another tract was printed and published at Antwerp, by Hieronymus Verdussen, entitled: Brief and true account of the sufferings o f solve pious and glorious martyrs, etc.,- wherein she, near the close, is pronounced an Anabaptist."

End printed story and quotations Anneken van den Hove in the Book of martyrs.

Apparently there were many edited versions of the Book and therefore different texts and descriptions.

Book of Martyrs

Post 13


There is an etching (picture) about the fate of Anneken, made by Jan Luykens; 1649-1712. It was included in the Martyrs Mirror Book that already existed.

Jan Luykens created these original etchings for the second edition of Martyrs Mirror, some of which were later rediscovered in a box that had survived World War II Germany.
Luykens was a 17th century Dutch Anabaptist pastor and writer who also illustrated a classic edition of Pilgrim's Progress

The engraving ("picture") of her fate in a 1685 edition;

My search for ancestors

Post 14


Well, my "search for the violist" became finally not the outcome of my enforced promise to my mother.

It has become mý search; for me, my children (and maybe theirs), you readers of this story, and no one else.

My search for ancestors

Post 15


Just before the final of it all, I had to quit.

I am very glad that one of my daughters does the finishing touch,
so it can be given to my four daughters.

That history will be known and pass from generation to generation.
smiley - smiley

My search for ancestors

Post 16


Today, all my four daughters got a copy of my ancestors-exploration smiley - smiley

With many thanks to the youngest, who did all the practical work.

My search for ancestors

Post 17


And that's exactly one year after I started my research.
,although the short period is not that important.
Fifteen generations. So till about 1550.

The fascinating "human interests" of their histories;
thát's inspiring !

My search for ancestors

Post 18


A few links related to the female(!) artist in Haarlem,Netherlands, around 1635. Her name; "Judith Leyster".

Now, in 2007, there appears much more English info on line, than around 2000. Like at wikipedia.
So I thought, not a bad idea to post the most important links.
It won't hurt anybody. She's really someone who might inspire others.

Judge for yourself, of course.

self portret ...

and finally

Searching for the violist

Post 19

Mudhooks: ,,, busier than a one-legged man in an ass-kicking contest...

This is all very interesting, Alfredo!

I am sorry I didn't read it sooner. I haven't visited H2G2 in a long while.

A lot of people find something they don't expect and say "That can't be right" and disregard it all together. The fact is that every story we think we know word-for-word because someone else thought they knew it word-for-word has been passed along so many times that one detail slips out of place each time until a story is nothing like it originally began.

There is a game called "telephone" (known by some as "Chinese Whispers" where one person tells someone a story and that person whispers it to the next person. Once the last person has been told, they tell it out loud and everyone hears how the story changed from the first person's story. That is what our history is.

In amongst my father's belongings when he died was a photo of a little girl walking across some grass. The photo looks as though it was taken in the late 40s to mid-60s. I don't know how old she is, perhaps 6? It isn't me and it isn't my younger sister. Who is it?

We all wonder if it is another sister. Our father was very secretive about parts of his life. He kept a lot of things compartmentalized, telling some people some things, telling some people other things, but telling very few people everything. Despite this, and despite the fact that our father left a trail of wifes and children behind, he was very moral about one thing. He made sure he married his women before getting them pregnant. (Or, at least, that was the KNOWN pattern).

Of all his family, my mother seemed to know the most details of his life. She knew the names of all his wives (except for the last one whom he married long after he divorced my mother) and children. She knew about his family and his family story, details of which I was able to confirm when we finally met.

This little girl is a mystery. Certainly, I asked all the cousins and my aunt and none of them knew who she was.

Since Dad had very few possessions when he died, including in the way of photos, it must have been someone he knew well enough or close enough for him to bother having a photo of. He still had a bunch of negatives of the last time he came to see me when I was little. My mother gave him shortly after. He never bothered getting them made into photos. So who is she?

I guess I will never know.

I found the bit about the family being with the ancestor at the Battle of Waterloo. People did that in those days. It was the only way that a man could ensure his family didn't starve during his absence. The military counted on wives being along to cook for their men, tend to them when they were wounded, wash their clothes, etc.

Of course it was a precarious life for the families, even for the wives of officers. If I can find a website I came across one day which talked about the lives of the wives and families, I will pass it along to you.

Searching for the violist

Post 20

Mudhooks: ,,, busier than a one-legged man in an ass-kicking contest...

I think the documentary was a BBC on called: "Napoleon's Lost Army: The Soldiers Who Fell".

I could be wrong but I think that was it.

There was a team of archaeologists that has been asked to look at what was believed to be a mass burial of French soldiers who had been killed in a massacre in a town in Russia. The townspeople had stories of the massacre.

The documentary followed the story of Napoleon's invasion and then followed the trail of men and families who were abandoned by him when he left abruptly, leaving them to their own devices.

The story looked at memoirs by an officer and someone else. These memoirs recalled the sight of and Officer's wife and her very small child retreating on horseback but not surviving. All very poignant stuff. An excellent picture of the lives of the families who accompanied their soldier husbands.

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