Derck Jansen (van Gaalen) (1716 – 1796)


   1. His childhood

Derk was christened on 16 July 1716 at Ede, Gelderland, Dutch Republic (also known as Republic of the Seven United Netherlands). He was the fourth child of Jan Dercksen van Gaalen (*ca1682) and Nenneken Cornelissen (*ca 1688). He had two brothers and three sisters: Hendrik (*ca 1709), Brandje (*ca 1712), Trijntje (*ca 1715), Cornelis Jansz (*ca 1716) and Geusje (*ca 1717).1

Although Derck – sometimes spelled Derk – was born as Derck Jansen van Gaalen, he seemed to have used his second Jans(z)en as his surname for the duration of his life. The ‘van Gaalen’ thus fell away and does not appear in formal documents. His children were christened as only Jansen as well.1,2

   2. His wife

The 21 year-old Derck married 31 years-old Heijltjen/Heeltje Limper(t)s at Rozendaal (previously Rosendaal) Gelderland in ca 1737. She was the daughter of Peter Hendricksen Limpers (≈11 October 1673, Westervoort, Gelderland) and Mechteld Evers Jacobs, who were married on 25 February 1703 at Lathum, Gelderland. Her grandparents were Hendrick Limpers and Enneken/Anneke ter Horst.1,3 Heiltjen was their second eldest child and was christened on 11 July 1706, Rheden, Gelderland.1-3 She had seven brothers and sisters, known as Evert (≈18 January 1705, Velp), Hen(d)rik (≈3 June 1708, Velp), Jan (≈23 March 1710, Velp), Johanna (≈17 March 1713, Rheden – died young?), Johanna (≈18 March 1714, Rheden), Cornelis (≈20 February 1716, Rheden) and Jacob (≈24 December 1718, Rheden).1,3

    3. His career

Derck was a carpenter.1,4  What kind of carpentry he did, is not known. The family moved around and lived at Velp, Rheden and Rozendaal. These villages are all in rather close proximity of each other. Although Derck was born during the Dutch Golden Era, he also experienced the political and economical decline of the Dutch Republic under Stadtholder William IV and and particularly under Stadtholder William V. The war of 1780 to 1784, called the Fourth Anglo-Dutch War, forced the Dutch to cede colonial territories to Britain. Between 1783 and 1787, internal political conflict mushroomed and a series of republican revolutions against the authoritarian regime of William V followed. The country’s people was divided between the revolutionaries called the Patriots (pro-French) and the royalists/Orangists (pro-British). Unrest within the country grew, but the Orangists were able to defeat the republican forces in 1787 with the aid of Prussia. Derck and his family, however, eventually witnessed the end of the once esteemed Dutch Republic when it was invaded and conquered in 1795 by Napoleon Bonaparte of France. One year later Derck died in a country no longer known as the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands, but then renamed by Napoleon to Batavian Republic (1795 – 1806).5-9

   4. His death

Derck died at the age of 79 years on 8 May 1796 and was buried three days later on 11 May 1796 at Rozendaal.1,3,10 Heiltjen died ten months later on 16 March 1797 in the same town at the age of 90 years.1,3 She was approximately ten years older than her husband.     5. His children

The couple had six children. They were all christened at Velp, Gelderland. They were Jan Derk (≈22 June 1738), Mechteld Derkje (≈14 February 1742), Gerrike Derk (≈3 May 1744), Peter Limperts Derck (≈28 August 1746), Willem Knelissen Derk (≈30 April 1749) and Anna Lijsbeth Dirck (≈27 June 1751).3 Peter became my husband’s great-great-great-great-great-grandfather. READ MORE on Peter Jansen van Galen.

His children carried the surname of Jansen only. In 1813, however, his 67 year-old son, Peter, changed his own surname back to Jans(s)en van Ga(a)len (Dutch: Naamsaanneming), an action that was supported and followed by Peter’s children and grandchildren.1,2


  1. Parenteel van Derck Jansen (van Galen?).
  2. Hendriks, G. Stambomen Kleinstarink, Hendriks, Hageman, Kant, Walraven, Van Hengel & Huijs.
  3. Bessie-Liet, E.S. 2007 Kwartierstaat Derk Liet.
  4. Primitive Coffer Box Dutch Late 1700’s.,jpg
  5. List of monarchs of the Netherlands.
  6. William IV, Prince of Orange.,_Prince_of_Orange
  7. William V, Prince of Orange.,_Prince_of_Orange
  8. Dutch Golden Age.
  9. Dutch Republic.
  10. Marriage record of Jan Willem Jansen van Galen. Netherlands, Archival Indexes, Vital Records,” database, FamilySearch ( : 6 October 2017), Jan Willem Janssen van Gaalen and Maria Theodora van Zadelhoff, Marriage 10 Aug 1820, Rozendaal, Gelderland, Nederland; from database, openarchives ( : 2016); citing Rozendaal, archive 0207, inventory number 3147, record number 5; Gelders Archief