Hendrik van Galen (ca 1620 – ?)


   1. His childhood

Our Jansen van Galen family branch has its origins in the Netherlands. The earliest progenitor can be traced back to Hendrik van Galen who was born in ca 1620 at possibly Randwijk, Gelderland (Guelders in English) in the Republic of Seven United Netherlands (also known as Dutch Republic).1

   2. His wife

He married his wife in ca 1650. Jannetje Jansen was also born at Randwijk in ca 1630.1

   3. His children

They had four sons and one daughter that were found in archival documents thus far, but it is possible that they had more children. The identified children were: Hendrik Hendriksz (*ca 1655, Randwijk), Jan Hendriksz (*ca 1663, Heteren), Berend Hendriksz (*ca 1665, Heteren), Harmen Hendriksz (*ca 1670, Randwijk – 2 November 1747, Ede, Gelderland) and Teuntje Hendriks (≈25 January 1674, Heteren).1

Our branch continues with the eldest child. READ MORE on Hendrik Hendriksz van Galen.

   4. His career

What kind of work Hendrik van Galen did to provide for his family is not known, but the family lived during several interchanging intervals at either Randwijk or Heteren. Randwijk is a very small village about 20 km west of Arnhem. By 1805, it had 406 inhabitants and by 2014 there were 1421 villagers. The settlement nestles on the south bank of the Nederrijn River. Just 8 km east of Randwijk lies the larger village of Heteren, 12 km west of Arnhem. In previous centuries, Heteren was known as a fertile farming area, particularly fruit farming. For many years there also was an important brick-works near the town.2-6

Being a resident of the Gelderland province, Hendrik van Galen lived during the governance of Stadtholder Frederick Henry from 1625 to 1647, Stadtholder William II from 1647 to 1650, Grand Pensionary Johan de Witt from 1653 to 1672 and Stadtholder William III from 1672 to 1702.7-11  A stadtholder (a political leader and usually a member of the House of Orange-Nassau or the House of Nassau) governed in conjunction with the States-General, which was an assembly of representatives from each of the seven provinces.12,13

The 17th century was overall known as the Dutch Golden Age of the Dutch Empire. It was initiated by the Peace Treaty that Frederick Henry signed with Spain in 1648. This era was characterised by a predominantly stable government that allowed for a peaceful existence for the Dutch people, with better living conditions and greater wealth for all. The Dutch Republic saw global commercial and maritime expansion and the establishment of trading posts and colonies in the North and South Americas as well as in South Africa, India and Indonesia. The Dutch Empire was the supreme naval power that dominated naval trading routes. Any of the wars or conflicts that occurred, were fought outside the borders of the country.14-16 Hopefully Hendrik and his family had a happy, peaceful life.

   5. His death

Date of death is not known but, if the linkages with his children are correct, one can assume that he died after 1674 when his youngest child was born – thus, at the age of 54 or older.


  1. Parenteel van Hendrik van Galen. http://members.upc.nl/y.galen2/vgs/Ede/index.html#p23951
  2. Randwijk. https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Randwijk
  3. Randwijk. https://www.plaatsengids.nl/randwijk
  4. Heteren. https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heteren
  5. Geschiedenis van Gelderland. https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geschiedenis_van_Gelderland
  6. Gelderland. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:P05-GL-positiekaart2-gemlabel.png
  7. List of monarchs of the Netherlands. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_monarchs_of_the_Netherlands
  8. Frederick Henry, Prince of Orange. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frederick_Henry,_Prince_of_Orange
  9. William II, Prince of Orange. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_II,_Prince_of_Orange
  10. Johan de Witt. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johan_de_Witt
  11. William III of England. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_III_of_England
  12. Stadtholder. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stadtholder
  13. States General of the Netherlands. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/States_General_of_the_Netherlands
  14. Dutch Golden Age. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dutch_Golden_Age
  15. Dutch Empire. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dutch_Empire
  16. History of the Netherlands. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Netherlands