Jan Dercksen van Gaalen (ca 1682 – ?)


   1. His childhood

Jan Dercksen van Gaalen was born at Ede, Gelderland, Dutch Republic in ca 1682 as the third child of Hendrik Hendriksz and Trijntje van Galen. He had two sisters, Jantje Derckse and Aaltjen Derckse and two brothers, Gerrit Dercksen and Hendrik Dercksen.1

   2. His wife

He married Nenneken/Nennetje/Nenna Cornelissen (ca 1688, Lunteren – ?) on 15 April 1708 at Lunteren, Gelderland, a village about 8 km north of Ede.1 Lunteren is considered to be at the geographical midpoint of the Netherlands.2-4

   3. His career

The career that Jan Dercksen van Gaalen followed and how he provided for his family is not known but as a citizen of the Dutch Republic during the reign of Stadtholder William III, Grand Pensionary Anthonie Heinsius and Stadtholder William IV, he lived during an era in Dutch history were the political power and booming economy of the country were benefitting its people in many ways. Trade, industry, the arts and the sciences were flourishing. Particularly those from the burgher stand (working class) were leading much higher quality lives than their counterparts in countries such as England and Germany. By the 17th and 18th centuries, the Dutch were the most economically wealthy and scientifically advanced of all European nations. The wars that were fought, specifically the Nine Year’s War (1688 – 1697) and the War of the Spanish Succession (1702 – 1714), were fortunately fought just outside the borders of the Republic in the Lower Rhine areas and in the Southern Netherlands, thus the citizens of the Dutch Republic themselves continued to live their peaceful lives.5-9 Hopefully the Van Galens themselves were able to also prosper within the flourishing and peaceful circumstances that their country offered.

Jan was born six years before Stadtholder William III successfully invaded England in 1688, to be proclaimed king of England, Scotland and Ireland in 1689. Anthonie Heinsius who was at that point the Grand Pensionary over five provinces, including Gelderland where the Van Galens resided, continued to run the Dutch affairs on behalf of King William III who was now based in England. He continued to do so even after the king’s death in 1702 until William IV was appointed Stadtholder in 1711. Heinius continued in the position as Grand Pensionary and second-in-command under William IV until his own death in 1720. William IV was the first hereditary stadtholder and also the first stadtholder to be appointed over all seven provinces of the Dutch Republic, in an attempt to curb the French threat by the coalesce of the Dutch nation under one national leader. William IV’s reign lasted until his death in 1751.5-9

   4. His death

When and where Jan Dercksen van Gaalen passed away, and what the cause of death was, is not known.

   5. His children

Jan and Nenneken had six children, three sons and three daughters. Their surname was also spelled ‘Van Gaalen’. They were all born at Ede.1 The children were:

  • Hendrik (*ca 1709) married Jantje Barents in ca 1735 at Ede.1
  • Brandje was born in ca 1712.1
  • Trijntje (*ca 1715) married Arent Wustenbergh in ca 1735.1
  • Derck Jansz/Jansen (ca 1716 – 1796)1 became my husband’s 6x great-grandfather. READ MORE on Derck Jansen (van Gaalen).
  • Cornelis Jansz was christened on 22 November 1716 at Ede. He married Hendrikje Jacobs (? – 12 January 1779, Ede) in ca 1740. Cornelis died at the age of 77 years on 19 October 1794 at Ede.1
  • Geusje (*ca 1717) married Barent Grevenbroek in ca 1735.1


  1. Parenteel van Hendrik van Galen. http://members.upc.nl/y.galen2/vgs/Ede/index.html#p23951
  2. Photos Lunteren. http://www.zoover.com/netherlands/gelderland/lunteren/photos
  3. Lunteren, Dutch Reformed Church. https://i.pinimg.com/564x/30/2b/d4/302bd45dc1debb239d1f33dc122e951f.jpg
  4. Belvedère, Lunteren. http://www.dordtsekaart.nl/WZ5909.jpeg
  5. List of monarchs of the Netherlands. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_monarchs_of_the_Netherlands
  6. William III of England. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_III_of_England
  7. Anthonie_Heinsius. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthonie_Heinsius
  8. William IV, Prince of Orange. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_IV,_Prince_of_Orange
  9. Dutch Golden Age. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dutch_Golden_Age