Here’s another letter from Jacques, this one addressed to Madame Janssens, Magasin du Modes, Domplein, Utrecht.
Dated Oct 29, 1901, it looks for information concerning the whereabouts of “your son, Theodore Jansen,” who, the correspondent believes, ran away with Frederika Vanderdonck in 1890. The two are believed to be living in Paterson.
This is eleven years after the young couple ran away from Utrecht! The search is no doubt on behalf of Mr. Vanderdonck ,who had by this time moved back to Belgium.
We looked for buildings on the Domplein that might have housed Magasin du Modes, but really, it’s been too long. Here, though, is a shot of the area of Utrecht where great-grandmother Janssen (or Jansen!) had her shop.
The fact that the shop had a French name and that it was a “store of styles,” as well as its central location in Utrecht, indicate that the operation was fairly high class. This, clearly, is where Frederika and Theodore met — Frederika was working as a seamstress in Utrecht at the time of her disappearance.
It would be possible, I think, to search the Utrecht archives for news of the Magasin du Modes. Another time, another trip. Perhaps even another traveler? I have other assignments if anyone is willing to go!
I’ve asked my genealogist friend in Leiden about the s or double s in Jansen. I am awaiting his reply.