This is the birthday week of our 2nd great grandfather, Hendrik VandenBosch, born on Sept. 20, 1827, making this week the 194th anniversary of his birth.
Hendrik was born in the rural village of Doornspijk, in Gelderland, the Netherlands’ largest province, 147 years before Doornspijk was absorbed into the historic city of Elburg. Hendrik’s parents had also been born in Doornspijk, and on the day Hendrik was born, his father Dirk was 37, and his mother Gerrigje, was 29.
Unfortunately, thus far I know little about Hendrik’s life, as either a child or an adult, other than the basic facts. I do know he married Hendrikje Top, after whom my grandmother Henrietta (“Hattie”) was probably named, in Doornspijk in January of 1872. He was identified as a landbouwer, or farmer, on the marriage certificate. This was likely the occupation of most of the people of Doornspijk at the time.
To my knowledge, Hendrik himself never left the Netherlands. It was his son Gerrit, my great grandfather, who would make the trip across the ocean to Iowa. Gerrit was born to Hendrik and Hendrikje in December 1873, just short of two years after their marriage, and was their second child of six in 10 years.
Hendrik passed away in Doornspijk in December of 1885, about 7 years before his son Gerrit arrived in America, and about 16 years before the death of his wife Hendrikje. Will continue trying to get to know him. Rest in perfect peace, Hendrik.