Jan Willem Jansen van Galen (1797 – 1867)

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   1. His childhood

Jan Willem Jansen van Galen’s parents were Peter and Gerritje Jan(s)sen van Ga(a)len.1,2 He was born on 15 February 1797 (and christened on 19 February 1797) at Rozendaal (previously Rosendaal),1-4 Department van de Rijn in the Napoleon’s Batavian Republic (1795 – 1806), the new ‘identity’ of the Dutch people after his revolutionary French Army invaded the Dutch Republic in 1795. Jan must have learned to speak some French while at school, since the French language became compulsory at primary school level. Until the age of 18 years, Jan lived under French influence and political control until 1815 when the new United Kingdom of the Netherlands, consisting of the Northern Netherlands and the Southern Netherlands, was established under the first (self-proclaimed) Dutch king, William I. His reign lasted until 1839.5,6

Jan had two sisters, Johanna and Hermina Hendrika, and seven half-siblings. They were Barend, Derck Jan, Hendrik, Hendrik Arends, Gerrit, Anneke and Gerritje. Not all of his half-siblings survived into adulthood.1,2

   2. His wife

At the age of 23 years, Jan married 30 year-old Maria Theodora van Zadelhoff on 10 August 1820 at Rozendaal.1,3,4 In preparation for his marriage, he had to submit a declaration from the Netherlands National Army that he was not at that time, or would not be for one year after his marriage in active service, as was the custom of the day. On the certificate issued by the Army, the physical appearance of the Jan is described as round build, 5 feet and 7 inches (1.74 m), brown eyes and dark brown hair, with a scar on his left cheek. His signature is clearly visible on the document.4

Maria was employed as a servant until she wed her husband. She was the daughter of Steven Hendrik van Zadelhoff and Derkje Berendsen/Brendsen Brands. Maria was born on 12 March 1790, christened on 14 March 1790 at Rheden and died on 19 May 1841 at Rozendaal at the age of 51 years.1,3,4.7

   3. His career

Jan was the third generation Jansen van Galen that followed a career in carpentry, like his father, Peter Jansen van Galen and his grandfather, Derck Jansen.2,3

As an adult, Jan lived during the reign of King William I, King William II and King William III. The French annexation left the Dutch economy in shatters but through William I’s liberal economic modernisation, the country prospered again. Economic progress and peaceful living was restored and lasted until the Belgian Revolt in the Southern Netherlands started in 1830, which eventually led to the establishment of two separate, independent countries, the Kingdom of Belgium and the Kingdom of the Netherlands, in 1839. Nowadays, the Kingdom of the Netherlands is often referred to as just ‘Netherlands’. William II succeeded his father, William I, in 1840 and ruled for nine years until his death in 1849. He observed the growing demand for constitutional reform and broader electoral representation from all eleven provinces, and with wisdom guided his people towards a better future. During his reign, the Netherlands became a parliamentary democracy with a new constitution drafted in 1848 where the king became part of the government rather than its master. William II was succeeded by his son, William III whose reign lasted from 1849 to 1890. In contrast to his father, William III opposed the new constitution and wanted to abdicate several times during his reign. This, and his unpredictable, explosive behaviour, made him rather unpopular among members of his cabinet, but he was quite popular with the common people. Industrialisation moved slowly in the Netherlands compared to other European countries and William III often provided financial aid to industrial enterprises to enhance progress. Notable industrial growth finally arrived only in the 1860s. During his reign, the Netherlands gradually transformed into a modern middle-class industrial society.5,6,8,9   4. His death

Jan Jansen van Galen remained his whole life at Rozendaal until his death at the age of 70 years on 1 August 1867.1,3

   5. His children

The couple had seven children who were all born at Rozendaal. Spelling variation among the children’s surname has been noticed as either Jansen van Galen, Jansen van Gaalen or Janssen van Gaalen. As parents,  Jan and Maria experienced much heartache and grief, as only two of their children matured into adulthood.1,3,10-17

Their firstborn and their youngest child, both boys, were stillborn – the eldest one on 30 October 1820 and their seventh child on 10 May 1834.1,3,10,11 Three of their children died in infancy or as a teenager, and were:

  • Derkje (I), a daughter, was born on 11 August 1824 and died two and a half years later on 17 February 1827.1,3,12
  • Gerrit was born on 4 May 1826 and died on 10 January 1845 at Rozendaal at the age of 18 years.1,13,14
  • Steven (6 September 1828 – 5 December 1828) died when he was only three months old.1,3,15

Pieter (1822 – 1913) and Derkje (1830 – 1900) were the only children who survived childhood and went on to marry and have their own children.

  • Pieter was born on 7 February 1822. He married Everdina van Laar and they had 13 children.1,3,16 They became my husband’s great-great-great-grandparents. READ MORE on Pieter Jansen van Galen.
  • Derkje (II) was born on 5 May 1830. She married Peter Versteeg (ca 1830, Arnhem – 26 April 1919, Renkum, Gelderland) on 2 November 1859 at Arnhem. They had five children: Hendrik (*17 September 1860), Maria Hendrika Urselina (ca 1862 – 12 November 1851), Peter (ca 1862 – 25 October 1863), Hendrika Urselina (ca 1864 – 14 July 1865) and Hendrika Urselina (ca 1867 –1894).1 Derkje died at the age of 69 years on 8 April 1900 at Arnhem.1,17

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  1. Parenteel van Derck Jansen (van Galen?). http://members.upc.nl/y.galen2/vgs/Ede/index.html#p23951
  2. Hendriks, G. Stambomen Kleinstarink, Hendriks, Hageman, Kant, Walraven, Van Hengel & Huijs. https://www.genealogieonline.nl/stambomen-kleinstarink-hendriks/I5302.php
  3. Van Otterlo, H. 31 March 2017. Parenteel in boekvorm van Peter Janssen van Gaalen. https://www.jmvanotterlo.nl/parenteelboek/boekineke07.09.htm
  4. Marriage of Jan Willem Jansen van Galen. Netherlands, Archival Indexes, Vital Records,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QL55-X734 : 6 October 2017), Jan Willem Janssen van Gaalen and Maria Theodora van Zadelhoff, Marriage 10 Aug 1820, Rozendaal, Gelderland, Nederland; from database, openarchives (https://www.openarch.nl : 2016); citing Rozendaal, archive 0207, inventory number 3147, record number 5; Gelders Archief.
  5. History of the Netherlands. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Netherlands
  6. William I of the Netherlands. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_I_of_the_Netherlands
  7. Death of Maria Theodora van Zadelhoff. Netherlands, Archival Indexes, Vital Records,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QLNW-4RT4 : 30 August 2017), Jan Willem Jansen van Galen in entry for Maria van Zadelhoff, Death 19 May 1841, Rozendaal, Gelderland, Nederland; from database, openarchives (https://www.openarch.nl : 2016); citing Rozendaal, archive 0207, inventory number 3137, record number 3; Gelders Archief
  8. William II of the Netherlands. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_II_of_the_Netherlands
  9. William III of the Netherlands.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_III_of_the_Netherlands
  10. Death of Janssen van Gaalen. Netherlands, Archival Indexes, Vital Records,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QLNH-HWR8 : 30 August 2017), Jan Willem Janssen van Gaalen in entry for Janssen van Gaalen, Death 30 Oct 1820, Rozendaal, Gelderland, Nederland; from database, openarchives (https://www.openarch.nl : 2016); citing Rozendaal, archive 0207, inventory number 3138, record number 5; Gelders Archief
  11. Death of Jansen van Galen. Netherlands, Archival Indexes, Vital Records,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QLNH-6VT6 : 30 August 2017), Willem Jansen van Galen in entry for Jansen van Galen, Death 10 May 1834, Rozendaal, Gelderland, Nederland; from database, openarchives (https://www.openarch.nl : 2016); citing Rozendaal, archive 0207, inventory number 3137, record number 5; Gelders Archief
  12. Death of Derkje Jansen van Galen. Netherlands, Archival Indexes, Vital Records,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QLN7-PYHL : 30 August 2017), Jan Willem Janssen van Gaalen in entry for Derkje Janssen van Gaalen, Death 17 Feb 1827, Rozendaal, Gelderland, Nederland; from database, openarchives (https://www.openarch.nl : 2016); citing Rozendaal, archive 0207, inventory number 3138, record number 1; Gelders Archief
  13. Birth of Gerrit Jansen van Galen. Netherlands, Archival Indexes, Vital Records,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QL4J-9TWP : 23 August 2017), Jan Willem Janssen van Gaalen in entry for Gerrit Janssen van Gaalen, Birth 04 May 1826, Rozendaal, Gelderland, Nederland; from database, openarchives (https://www.openarch.nl : 2016); citing Rozendaal, archive 0207, inventory number 3153, record number 5; Gelders Archief
  14. Death of Gerrit Jansen van Galen. Netherlands, Archival Indexes, Vital Records,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QLN7-PC1S : 30 August 2017), Jan Willem Jansen van Galen in entry for Gerrit Jansen van Galen, Death 10 Jan 1845, Rozendaal, Gelderland, Nederland; from database, openarchives (https://www.openarch.nl : 2016); citing Rozendaal, archive 0207, inventory number 3137, record number 2; Gelders Archief
  15. Death of Steven Jansen van Galen. Netherlands, Archival Indexes, Vital Records,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QLN7-RKG4 : 30 August 2017), Jan Willem Janssen van Gaalen in entry for Steven Janssen van Gaalen, Death 05 Dec 1828, Rozendaal, Zuid-Holland, Nederland; from database, openarchives (https://www.openarch.nl : 2016); citing Rozendaal, archive 0207, inventory number 3138, record number 7; Gelders Archief
  16. Birth of Pieter Janssen van Gaalen. Netherlands, Archival Indexes, Vital Records,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QL46-G5SK : 23 August 2017), Jan Willem Janssen van Gaalen in entry for Pieter Janssen van Gaalen, Birth 08 Feb 1822, Rozendaal, Gelderland, Nederland; from database, openarchives (https://www.openarch.nl : 2016); citing Rozendaal, archive 0207, inventory number 3153, record number 1; Gelders Archief
  17. Death of Derkje Jansen van Gaalen. Netherlands, Archival Indexes, Vital Records,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QLNH-GBD2 : 30 August 2017), Jan Willem Jansen van Gaalen in entry for Derkje Jansen van Gaalen, Death 08 Apr 1900, Arnhem, Gelderland, Nederland; from database, openarchives (https://www.openarch.nl : 2016); citing Arnhem, archive 0207, inventory number 412, record number 389; Gelders Archief

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