Families [Van] Bolhuis
Nieuwsletter September 2003<
Time and again I am asked how the research on het [Van] Bolhuis family is progressing. Some advised me to mail a newsletter in order to maintain attention.
It seems a sound idea, and, till het moment the genealogy [Van] Bolhuis has been published I will twice a year write a newsletter, to be sent to those of whom I have an e-mail adress. I hope they will pass on to their kinsmen whom I cannot reach in this way. Of course anybody can look on the website (vanbolhuis.org) for details on the research.
At the same time it is a method to see if the e-mail adresses I have are still valid.
Is there progress?
A question often asked. The answer is yes and no.
To start with the "no". Filling in the blanks in our data, it became apparent that some data already entered into the system were incorrect. Sometimes a date was slightly different, sometimes a name. From 1811 onwards an official government registration of marriages, births an deads exists. This information is public untill the year 1922. I decided to check all data since 1811. Marriages are already on the internet. So all marriages with a groom [Van] Bolhuis marriages are double checked. Fortunately the number of mistakes was limited.
Now I am working on the brides.
Useful work, and the book improves with every correction. On the other side, it means the we need more time before we can go to the printer.
The "yes" refers to the fact that text and illustrations are getting more complete with the day, and more specific information about individual persons emerges.
Without exageration it can be stated that the genealogy in its present state is better the most of the genealogies published.
Experiences and discoveries
Parallel I phone namesakes, taking their numbers form the telephone directory.
Those abroad I try to reach by (E-)mail. But while it is more troublesome to obtain the adresses, also the response is lower, due to the less direct approach. However, for some reason, unknown to me, the response from Canada is better than from the USA.
Facebook offers some opportunities in this respect.
Also I get nice reactions.
The Bolhuis-family with its roots in Wittewierum/Ten Post had a cyclostyle familybooklet with lots of details about this branch. A wealth of annecdotes and an insight in everyday life, contributing a lot to the contents of the book to be. And I came across several other parts of the family where al kind of stories were told. This way people can become persons, in stead of names.
Also new questions arise.
What to think of the Bolhuis who after WWII was convicted for collaboration with the Germans, but I also found him listed as member of a resistance group, a list, drawn up well after the war. We still have to discover how this fits, may be you never hear again from this story. May be the solution is in the genealogy.
Or take Klaas Bolhuis, in hiding during the war in order to prevent deportation. Arrested in Januari 1945 suspected of participation in a raid on the prison in Leeuwarden. He was released because it turned out the Germans confused him with somebody else. A narrow escape. Most intersting are the letters Klaas wrote while in prison, still preserved by his descendents.
Very rewarding was the discovery of a small (5 x 5 cm) portret, painted on ivory owned by a family Van Bolhuis. They did not know whose image it was. According to the grandfather of the owner it should be an ancestor. With the help of the Groningen Museum it was possible to establish the time that the portrait was painted, the Iconografisch Bureau in Den Haag confirmed and added information about the painter. With these two sets of information it was possible to proof that the image was of a Van Bolhuis. A funny coincidence is that also of the parents of the man portraits are known. His mother, Eke Jans Rozeboom, is on the website. In this case portraits are known from ancestors born 1786. Even a portrat of his grandmother (1725-1796) has been preserved!
Jan van Bolhuis