Getting to know Gerrit almost 300 years later

dutchboyToday is the 299th anniversary of the birth of my ancestor Gerrit Kreijkes, who was my 5th great grandfather. Although I know almost nothing of his life beyond a few dates and names, I’m mentioning him briefly as part of my birthday profiles series, because he is evidence of the Kreykes family’s deep roots in Rijssen, Overijssel, Netherlands. I previously wrote about Rijssen here.  Perhaps I can learn more about Gerrit for the 300th anniversary of his birth next year.

Gerrit was born in Rijssen in 1720, a time when the area seems to have been dominated by farming and an emerging textiles trade. His father’s name was Bernt, and his mother’s name was Beerte. Gerrit’s parents both were also born in Rijssen, taking this family’s history there back to at least the 17th century. Bernt and Beerte were 30 and 28, respectively, when Gerrit was born.

Gerrit married Janna Ligtenberg, likely in the 1740s. I do not know how many children Gerrit and Janna had, but I assume it was many. It was at least four, one of whom was my ancestor and 4th great grandfather, Jan Kreijkes, also born in Rijssen.

LocatieRijssen-HoltenThis effectively sums up my knowledge of Gerrit, although I can assume things about his life based on where he lived … a small, largely agricultural town in the eastern Netherlands. I have many questions, though, that for the time being are likely to go unanswered. Was he a farmer? Where did he live? What was his home like? What were his values? What did my ancestor, Jan, learn from him? What caused his death? Gerrit Kreijkes died in Rijssen in 1784.

This is the second in a series, Birthday Profiles, which includes brief descriptions of ancestors on the anniversary dates of their births. It is one good way to slow down and focus on individuals in their totality, including some I might otherwise miss.

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