Steven and I recently returned from a second trip to Holland in as many years. This trip was made possible through the generosity of our genealogist, Eric Ruijssenaars.
Eric was awarded a Senior Visiting Research Fellowship by the New Netherlands Institute, and is working for the year in the State Archives in Albany. His work involves translating 17th Century documents from the founding of New Amsterdam, with a particular focus on Abraham Staats, one of the early settlers.
Since Eric is in New York for the year, he offered us the use of his apartment in Leiden. It was an offer too good to pass by, so we went to Leiden in mid-September for two weeks. From Leiden we took trains to Utrecht,The Hague, Delft, and Amsterdam. And we rented a car for a few days to drive to Nijmegen, a city east of Utrecht. At the end of our trip, we took the train to Paris, where we spent three nights before returning to New York.
Of course, I had genealogical objectives. I wanted to learn more about great-grandmother Paulina Johanna Cornelia Maria Kool Vanderdonck Van der Pijl. I also wanted to find out more about her sister, Cecelia. Finally, I had in mind searching out more information about grandfather Jansen’s brother, Albert Jacobus Jansen.
Well, two out of three isn’t bad. I never got into the archives in Amsterdam to research A. J. Jansen. The day we went, a Monday, the archives weren’t open, so we took in the Van Gogh museum instead. We had planned to return a second day, but found ourselves too exhausted, and too beguiled by Leiden, to go. And then we ran out of time.
I did, however, learn more about great-grandmother and her sister, and as I put together the pieces I’ve uncovered, I’ll share them here with you.