Families [Van] Bolhuis
Nieuwsletter May 2005
For this newsletter I have no specific topic. I considered a summary of activities of familymembers during World War II. This would provide the opportunity to tell about someone participating in the invasion in Normandy in 1944. But also less heroïc events, like the man who allegedly reported his brother to the Germans. A story like that can only be included in the genealogy with consent of the direct kinsmen. Several stories could not be verified. Most intriging was the case of the man who was accused of collaboration and sent to prison after the war. However, the same man figures on a list of members of a resistance group, drawn up well after the war. And so a topic emerges after all: the privacy aspect.
Groundrule is that everybody is owner of his/her own data. Also when I can take information from a public source, like a newspaper, it will not be included in the genealogy when the person in question objects. A pity, because this kind of background stories add flavor to the genealogy, but anybody has a right to privacy and it cannot be the case that somebody is hurt because I have a hobby.
Dutch law only gives someone the right to correction or delation of information regarding the person himself or herself. In my view that is too restricted. Children should also have influence on the information of their deceased parents. But then the kind of information should be weighted. I can imagine that someone does not like to see in writing that his mother committed suicide. Just een imagenary case. But inclusion of a newspaper item that a home was burglerised is different. It really happened that somebode asked to delate information, unwelcome to her, not involving her, about her sister (and preferably also deleting the sister). The information was provided by the sister. Of course the request was neglected.
It happens that people only want reference to the good and nice things in the genealogy. Or make events look nicer than reality. I try to prevent that and try to give an honest picture. I try to verify stories. Tell different members of the family the same story? Is there written proof? Often verification is impossible, the story is then introduced with a line like "according to familytradition …" of "it is told…"
Members of the [Van] Bolhuis family were (are?) often good citizens. But not always. "About the dead nothing but good" is a poor guidline for the genealogist. Like I say, I bloody murder is welcome, if it occurred long ago. A criminal in 1700 makes a beautiful story, adding value to the genealogy, and I will publish it without hesitation. But things are different when it concerns your grandfather.
I found a murder in 1700 (not the killer, but the killed virgin was a Bolhuis), but I have an other nice story from the epoque. Something for the next newsletter.
Questions and answers
The remaining questions from previous newsletters.
Who was the Bolhuis who during WWII participated in a resistance group passing on informaion by radio to London, was arrested an interned in Krefelt (Germany). Still pending.
In the city of Leiden we find about 1990 the auto mechanic Gert-Jan Bolhuis. In the year mentioned he participated in the final of a professionals contest. But who is Gert-Jan Bolhuis?
The last period has showed little progress as a number of other things required my attention, like the moving of two of our children. They may be independend, it is easy to have parents at hand.
Updating the adresses also took considerable time. Of course by hand. The lates telephone CD gave the adresses.I had a total of 958 adresses, and 237 are not in the lates edition of the CD. However, I found 99 new adresses. For a part these will be the same persons as the 237 missing.
De Amsterdam-branch provided much new background information, accompanied by photo's. It turned oud to be a very interesting contribution, even raw material for a novel.
Jan van Bolhuis