Andries Smorenburg I (1795 – 1880)


   1. His childhood

Andries, the third child of Gerrit Smorenburg (1761 – 1832) and Margarita Eijbers(en) (1768 – 1838), became my husband’s great-great-great-grandfather.

He was born on 17 February 1795 at De Bilt, Department van de Rijn (previously Utrecht province) in the Batavian Republic (previously Republic of United Seven Netherlands, also known as Dutch Republic). His christening on 22 November 1795 at De Bilt was witnessed by Maria Versteeg.1-4 Just ten months earlier Napoleon Bonaparte and his French revolutionary army seized the Dutch Republic (Northern Netherlands) and instituted the new Batavian Republic. Although a revolutionary Dutch government was now in charge, it was still stringently controlled by the Napoleonic French government. The Napoleonic Kingdom of Holland from 1806 to 1810 followed. This Dutch Kingdom, however, was dissolved and subjected to an aggregated French governance when France entirely annexed the Northern Netherlands from 1810 to 1815.5-7

Andries, therefore, spent his whole childhood up to the age of 20 years under French influence and political control. He must have learned to speak some French while at school, since the French language became compulsory at primary school level.5 This argument is strengthened by the fact that Andries served in the Dutch Division of Napoleon’s French Army.3

   2. His wife

The 34 year-old Andries married 22 year-old Georgina Ida Anthonia Allewaert on 15 November 1829 at Stiphout, a village situated 3.5 km east of the larger town of Helmond in North Brabant province, United Kingdom of the Netherlands.1,3,8,9 Witnesses at their matrimonial ceremony were Matthijs Deelen (62 year-old carpenter from Stiphout), Hendrik Deelen (27 year-old farmer from Stiphout), Jan van Moorsel (28 year-old farmer from Vlierden) and Jan Visser (60 year-old fisherman from Stiphout).3

Georgina was born on 31 October 1807 at Helmond in the Napoleonic Kingdom of Holland and was christened on 1 November 1807. George Potman was a witness of her christening.3,10 Several variations of her first name, such as Georgelina, Chorsina, Schorsina, Schersina and Sientje, have been found in other documents and on websites.3 Up to the age of eight years, Georgina not only grew up within the Dutch community but also lived under French influence.

Georgina was the sixth child of Johannes/Jan Hendricus/Hendrik Allewaert (*25 December 1759, Helmond – ?) and Elizabeth Ramaer (*25 February 1773, Eersel – 24 August 1825, ‘s-Hertogenbosch).1,3,11 The family seemed to have moved frequently as their children were born in various towns within the same province (now North Brabant). By 1810, during the complete annexation of the Netherlands by France, this family appeared on the Residents List of Helmond (notably their Dutch names were recorded with French interpretation) as follows:

Jean Henri Allewaart [Jan Hendrik Allewaert] (Protestant faith, head of the family) and his wife, Elisabeth Ramaer, their children: Guillaume Jean Henri [Willem Jan Hendrik] (*9 October 1796, Osch (now Oss)), Andre Antoine Jacques [Andries Antonij Jacobus] (*12 August 1798, Vlierden), Anne Catherine Marguerite [Anna Christina Margaretha] (*8 October 1800, Vugt), Jean Henri Gerard [Jan Hendrik Gerrit] (*1 May 1803, Deurne), Elisabeth Gertrude Louise [Elizabeth Geertruijda Louisa] (*15 November 1805, Deurne), Georgine Ide Antoinette [Georgina Ida Antonia] (*28 October 1807, Helmond) and Hermine Henriette Sibille [Hermiena Hendrica Sibilla] (*16 February 1809, Helmond – 3 November 1891, Velp).11,12

   3. His career

At the age of 19 years in 1814, Andries Smorenburg was serving as a gunner in the Second Division of the Regiment Rijdende Artillerie of the French Army during the expansion of the French Empire under Emperor Napoleon I. Andries did military service for six years in total. In 1829, at the age of 34 years in the same year he got married, he indicated his profession as ‘hunter’. He later joined the railroad services and worked as a train engine-driver at Rheden and Arnhem in Gelderland province.1,3As an adult, Andries Smorenburg lived during the reign of King William I, King William II and King William III. The rule of William I over the United Kingdom of the Netherlands, consisting of the Northern Netherlands and the Southern Netherlands, lasted from 1815 to 1840. 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, however, 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 1839.5,13 Nowadays, the Kingdom of the Netherlands is often referred to as just ‘Netherlands’.

William II succeeded his father 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 11 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.5,14 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 arrived only in the 1860s.5,15 During his reign, the Netherlands gradually transformed into a modern middle-class industrial society with the the various railway companies being among William III’s beneficiaries.5

   4. His death

Georgina Smorenburg died at De Bilt, Utrecht, Kingdom of the Netherlands on 21 April 1876 at the age of 68 years. Four years later, Andries passed away on 1 February 1880 at De Bilt at the age of 84 years.1,3,16Andries saw the coming and going of the Batavian Republic, followed by the Republic of Holland, its French annexation, then the establishment of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands until Belgium said its good-byes, and finally the materialisation of the Kingdom of the Netherlands as we know it today.

  5. His children

5.1 Elizabeth Anna Hermina

She was born on 27 October 1830 at Vlierden, North Brabant, United Kingdom of the Netherlands (now Kingdom of the Netherlands). At the age of 27 years on 29 May 1858, she married Gysbert Kluydt (ca 1833 – <1873) at De Bilt, Utrecht, Kingdom of the Netherlands. She later married again at the age of 42 years on 6 June 1873 at De Bilt to Gijsbert Rosendaal (*ca 1826, Westbroek), son of Jan Rosendaal and Neeltje Remmergen. Elizabeth died on 20 February 1885 at Soest, Utrecht province, at the age of 54 years.1,3,17-19

5.2 Johannes Wilhemus

Johannes was born on 13 May 1833 at De Bilt, Utrecht, United Kingdom of the Netherlands. He became a wagon master1,3 – a person that oversaw the transportation of a group of wagons carrying cargo or mail from one place to another.20 He married Johanna Margaretha Geertruida Molenaar (née Hersbergen) on 26 October 1866 at Berkel and Rodentijs, South Holland, Kingdom of the Netherlands. Johanna ( ca 1832, Rotterdam – 2 June 1899, Utrecht) was the widow of Willem Molenaar. Johannes Smorenburg died at the age of 63 years on 23 February 1897 at Leiden, South Holland.1,3

5.3 Gerrit

Gerrit was born on 23 May 1835 at De Bilt. He married Johanna Aletta Rijnhart (1833 – 1899) on 20 May 1864 at De Bilt, when he was 28 years old. She was the daughter of the carpenter and organ-maker, Andries Rijnhart (1789 – 1839) and his wife, Anna Sophia Margaretha Krooman/Kroeman (1794 – 1855). Gerrit and Johanna had four children.1,3 While these children were still young, Gerrit deserted his family when he disappeared to join the French Foreign Legion. (Apparently he was in a state of drunkenness when he joint the Legion).21 He was gone for years but Gerrit eventually did return. By 1887, he was a shopkeeper and by 1892 a butcher’s assistant. His long absence, however, had consequences and it is, therefore, not surprising that his marriage ended in divorce, executed on 1 December 1897 at Baarn, Utrecht.3 Gerrit died on 29 March 1909 at Baarn at the age of 73 years.1,3  His four children were:

  • Ida Anthonia Georgina

She was born on 2 January 1866 at Nijkerk, Gelderland.1,3 Witnesses at her wedding on 31 August 1887 at Amersfoort, Utrecht province with the 27 year-old beer brewer, Nathanael Traugott Kürt Kupferman (1 July 1860, Gothenburg, Sweden – 1 June 1896, Johannesburg South Africa) were also all residents from Amersfoort. These witnesses were August Ellinghaus (53 year-old beer brewer), Hendrikus Johannes Theodorus van Arom (33 year-old innkeeper), Gerrit Blok (37 year-old blacksmith) and Paul Höhne (26 year-old beer brewer).22,23 They resided in Amersfoort for another two years before moving to Baarn in the same province where the residing family were recorded on 19 August 1895.24 Ida and Nathanael had four sons namely Carl Hugo Johan (*1 October 1887, Amersfoort, Ω14 June 1911, Johannesburg Cemetery), Johann Gerhard George (3 October 1889, Baarn – >1965, Johannesburg; who married Elizabeth Susan Kohl [1891 – 1965] on 15 June 1916), August Kürt Andries (10 December 1891, Baarn – 2 October 1948, Johannesburg; who married Caroline Helene Felstead [1893 – 1962] on 11 September 1918) and Kürt George (2 May 1894, Baarn – ?).24-32

The family immigrated to the Zuid-Afrikaansche Boer Republiek [ZAR] (South African Republic) on 6 November 1895,24 probably following Ida’s younger brother, Andries and her uncle, Andries Smorenburg (see 5.6) who had already left for the ZAR a few years earlier. Sadly, their move to the ZAR was short-lived with a sad ending. Although Nathaniël [Dutch version of his name] were able to find work as a loading master in Johannesburg at the ZAR’s railway works, known as the NZASM (Nederlandsche Zuid Afrikaansche Spoorweg Maatschappy), he passed away on 1 June 1896 at the Johannesburg Hospital, a month before his 36th birthday.23 Ida was left a 30 year-old widowed housewife with four small children in a strange land. It seems that she returned to the Netherlands soon after her husband’s death, leaving her sons behind in the care of her widowed younger sister, Anna, who likely immigrated with Ida and Nathanael to South Africa. On 4 September 1896, however, Ida’s body was found floating in the river De Eem at Soest (although she resided in Utrecht at that time).1,3,33,34 It is not clear whether her death was the result of suicide, murder or an accident.

Their three eldest sons remained in South Africa, while the youngest of the four Kupferman brothers, Kürt George, returned permanently to the Netherlands near the end of 1912 (then aged 19).32

  • Anna Sophia Margaretha

She was born on 8 May 1869 at Nijkerk, Gelderland. The 21 year-old Anna married Wilhelm Bernardus Ruitenbeek (10 December 1867, Prussia – 14 September 1893, Baarn) on 9 July 1890 at Baarn, Utrecht. Two years after the death of her husband, it seems that she migrated with her sister, Ida and her brother-in-law, Nathanael Kupferman, to South Africa in late 1895. She had no children of her own, but became the foster mother of her four young Kupferman nephews after their parents’ death. Anna remained in South Africa for some time while residing in Johannesburg. She bought shares in various companies such as Witbank Consolidated Mines Ltd., W.W. Rand Brick & Tile Co. Ltd., Fine Art Fashions Ltd. and Tugela Investments Ltd. By 1908, at the age of 39 years, she was back in her birth country where she married Cornelius Lub (1854, Amsterdam – 31 August 1928) on 13 February 1908 at Amsterdam, Utrecht. No children were born from this marriage. Anna died 22 years after her second husband at 38 Treiler Avenue, Scheveningen, Den Haag at the age of 81 years and seven months on 11 December 1950. Her foster-son, Kürt George Kupferman, was at that time residing at 4 Loon Street, ‘s-Gravenhage (the sophisticated name for Den Haag). He was sole heir of Anna’s estate according to her will drafted on 21 July 1949 at ‘s-Gravenhage.1,3,34

  • Andries

Andries Smorenburg was born at De Bilt, Utrecht on a stormy night on 3 March 1872.3,35  From an early age, he had to help supporting his family, since his father left them to fend for themselves. At the age of 15 years, Andries – by then a carpenter apprentice – migrated with his bankrupt employer to the southern tip of Africa in the hope of making their fortune on the gold mines of the Witwatersrand in the ZAR. Soon thereafter, in 1887, after an argument with his employer, Andries joined the Transvaal Police Force, known as the Zuid-Afrikaansche Rijdende Politie (ZARP). He started out as an administrative clerk, but soon progressed to the rank of Constable. By 1895, he already held the rank of Detective-Sergeant when he participated in the investigation of the ill-fated Jameson Raid and its instigators. By 1896, he was promoted to Sergeant. At the turn of the century, just as the Second Anglo-Boer War (also known as the South African War) broke out in 1899, Andries was back in the Netherlands at Arnhem, Gelderland to receive medical treatment to his leg that was at risk to be amputated due to an injury that resulted in blood poisoning with associated gangrene. Fortunately the treatment was successful and he returned to the Pretoria, the capitol of the ZAR via Lourenço Marques (now Maputo in Mozambique). Upon his arrival, he joined the Boers of the ZAR as a Dutch volunteer, in their determined fight for freedom against Britain. He was offered the rank of Commander in the Second Dutch Foreigners Corps and was asked to use his policing background to train them into a commando. His 19 year-old cousin, Jan Willem Smorenburg (1881 – 1968) joined him and was appointed as his quartermaster.21,35

Both Andries and Jan were later captured during the Battle of Boshof on 5 April 1900. At first, the 64 captured foreign volunteers (French Legionnaires, Germans, Dutchmen, Americans and one Russian Prince) of the Boer Army were kept in prison at Boshof, a small farming village situated in the western region of the Orange Free State Boer Republic. Eventually the prisoners were sent off with other prisoners-of-war to the remote British island of St Helena in the Atlantic Ocean. Andries and Jan Smorenburg were allocated to Deadwood Plain Camp. In late 1901, Andries attempted a daring albeit unsuccessful escape from the island.21,35-37 Read more on the ‘BOER IN THE BOX’ who almost outwitted his British capturers.

After the Peace Treaty was signed in June 1902 – and on the condition that they had to pledge their allegiance to the British Crown – the prisoners started to return to Cape Town in South Africa between 26 June 1902 and 21 October 1902.21,37 Andries Smorenburg settled in the British Transvaal Colony (previously the ZAR) in Johannesburg to work as a carpenter. From the age of 32 years (in 1904), he was employed as a civil servant at the City Council of Johannesburg, Transvaal, Union of South Africa until his retirement in 1928. He was initially appointed as License Inspector of Public Vehicles but was promoted several times through the years to eventually retire in the position of Head of Licensing. Andries also served as Sworn Translator in the English and Dutch languages, as well as a Justice of the Peace.21,38

He married Martha Sprong (ca 1875, Rotterdam, South Holland – 5 May 1942, Winkelspruit, Natal, South Africa) on 5 June 1906 at Johannesburg. She was the daughter of Salamon Kornelis Sprong and Neeltje Vaalburg. The couple resided at 11 Sixth Avenue, Bezuidenhout Valley, Johannesburg. Andries died on 16 April 1939 at the age of 67 years. They had two daughters, who both never married. They were Johanna Aletta “Zus” (ca 1911 – 2012, Johannesburg) and Nelly Cornelia “Bobs/Baby” (? – 6 July 1955, Johannesburg). Both sisters were involved in theatre, especially at His Majesty’s Theatre in Commissioner Street , Johannesburg. They worked mainly on the backstage and met many famous performers.21,39-42

  • Pieter August

He was born on 8 October 1874 at De Bilt. By June 1892, his family resided at 4 Kalver Street, De Bilt. He came to the ZAR probably with his two older sisters, Ida and Anna, in 1895. As a 25 year-old during the ABO2, he served in the para-military policing unit, known as the ZARP.24,43,44 No further information could be found on Gerrit and Johanna Smorenburg’s fourth child.

5.4 Antonij (22 Augustus 1837, De Bilt – 9 February 1897, Baarn),

He was born on 22 August 1837 at De Bilt. He married Aleida Frelink (1838, Elburg – ?) on 31 January 1872 at Amersfoort, Utrecht when he was 34 years old. She was the daughter of Jan Hendrik Freilink and Jantje de Jong. Antonij died at the age of 59 on 9 February 1897 at Baarn, Utrecht.1,3

5.5 Margaretha

Margaretha was born on 22 December 1839 at De Bilt. Sadly, she died five years later on 4 February 1845 at De Bilt.1,3

5.6 Andries jr.

Their youngest surviving son, Andries jr became my husband’s great-great-grandfather. He was born on 26 March 1842 at De Bilt. He married Maria Jansen van Galen and they had eight children.1,3  The signatures of his parents, Andries and Georgina Smorenburg appear on his  marriage document as shown below.45 READ MORE on Andries Smorenburg jr. (II).5.7 A son

Andries and Georgina’s seventh child was stillborn on 17 August 1845,1,3 just six months after his sister, Margaretha’s untimely death.


  1. Voorouders van Annie Verschuren-van Eck.
  2. Gezinsblad Gerrit Smorenburg.
  3. Gerrit Smorenburg (1835 – 1909). Beindorff, W.H. Genealogie Beindorff, Been et al.
  4. Stamboom Zieltjens.
  5. History of the Netherlands.
  6. Batavian Republic.
  7. Kingdom of Holland.
  8. Marriage Record of Andries Smorenburg. Brabant Historical Information Centre (Netherlands), Brabant, Civil registration marriages. Bron: boek, Part: 7453, Period: 1829, Stiphout, access code 50, inventory number 7453, November 15, 1829, Huwelijksregister Stiphout 1829, record number 4.
  9. Map of North Brabant (Netherlands).
  10. Baptism of Georgina Ida Antonia. Regional Historic Centre Eindhoven (Netherlands), Eindhoven, Church records baptisms. Doop-, trouw- en begraafboek Helmond, Helmond, access code 10225, inventory number 68.23, November  1, 1807.
  11. Allewaart Family. Regional Historic Centre Eindhoven (Netherlands), Helmond, Residents lists. Etat de population de la mairie de Helmond, Helmond, access code 100, inventory number 166, 1810, record number 69, 70.
  12. Death of Hermiena Hendrica Sibilla Allewaert. Gelders Archive (Netherlands), Arnhem, Civil registration deaths. Velp (Rheden), archive 207, inventory number 3160, December  2, 1891, record number 246.
  13. William I of the Netherlands.
  14. William II of the Netherlands.
  15. William III of the Netherlands.
  16. Death Notice of Andries Smorenburg. The Utrecht Archives (Netherlands), Utrecht, Civil registration deaths. De Bilt, archive 481, inventory number 1050-04, February  2, 1880, record number 5.
  17. Birth of Elizabeth Anna Hermina Smorenburg. Regional Historic Centre Eindhoven (Netherlands), Eindhoven, Civil registration births. Geboorteregisters, 1812 Geboorte, Huwelijken en Overlijden, Vlierden, access code 13130, inventory number 595, October 27, 1830, folio 17.
  18. First marriage of Elizabeth Anna Hermina Smorenburg. The Utrecht Archives (Netherlands), Utrecht, Civil registration marriages. De Bilt, archive 481, inventory number 814-13, May 29, 1858, record number 9.
  19. Second marriage of Elizabeth Anna Hermina Smorenburg. The Utrecht Archives (Netherlands), Utrecht, Civil registration marriages. De Bilt, archive 481, inventory number 814-28, June  6, 1873, record number 12.
  20. Wagon master.
  21. Andries Smorenburg.
  22. Marriage of Ida Anthonia Georgina Smorenburg. The Utrecht Archives (Netherlands), Utrecht, Civil registration marriages. Amersfoort, archive 481, inventory number 804-01, August 31, 1887, record number 80.
  23. Death notice of Nathanael Traugott Kürt Kupferman. South Africa, Transvaal, Probate Records from the Master of the Supreme Court, 1869-1958, FamilySearch ( : Tue Oct 31 02:54:12 UTC 2023), Entry for Nathaniel Frangott Carl Kupfermann, 1896
  24. Kupferman family in 1895 census. Archief Eemland, Bevolkingsregister. Periode: 1860-1915, Amersfoort, 000201_1396.
  25. Burial of Karl/Carl Hugo Johan Kupferman. South Africa, Johannesburg, Cemetery Records, 1840-2019, FamilySearch ( : Sun Nov 12 02:10:20 UTC 2023), Entry for K. H. J Kupfermann, 14 Jun 1911
  26. Birth of Johann Gerhard George Kupferman. The Utrecht Archives in Utrecht (Netherlands), Civil registration births. Burgerlijke Stand van de gemeenten in de provincie Utrecht 1811-1902, Baarn, archive 481, inventory number 14-05, 04-10-1889, Baarn 1889, record number 134
  27. Marriage record of Johann Gerhard George Kupferman. South Africa, Transvaal, Civil Marriages, 1870-1930, FamilySearch ( : Fri Oct 06 08:41:39 UTC 2023), Entry for Johan Gerhard George Kuppermann and Elizabeth Susan Kohl, 15 June 1916
  28. Death notice of Elizabeth Susan (Kohl) Kupfermann. South Africa, Civil Death Registration, 1955-1966, FamilySearch ( : Wed Oct 04 12:31:44 UTC 2023), Entry for Elizabeth Susan Kohl Kupfermann, 19 May 1965
  29. Marriage record of August Kürt Andries Kupferman. South Africa, Transvaal, Civil Marriages, 1870-1930, FamilySearch ( : Thu Oct 05 05:12:48 UTC 2023), Entry for August Kurt Kupferman and Caroline Helena Felstead, 11 September 1918
  30. Death notice of August Kürt Andries Kupferman. South Africa, Transvaal, Civil Death, 1869-1954, FamilySearch ( : Sat Oct 07 00:59:21 UTC 2023), Entry for August Kurt Andries Kupferman, 2 Oct 1948
  31. Death notice of Caroline Helene Felstead. South Africa, Civil Death Registration, 1955-1966, FamilySearch ( : Wed Oct 04 04:26:58 UTC 2023), Entry for Caroline Helene Felstead Kupferman, 18 Jun 1962
  32. Kurt Kupferman Church Membership. Regional Archive Alkmaar in Alkmaar, Population register. Bevolkingsregister, Bron: Bevolkingsregister, Period: 1899-1925, Texel, Bevolkingsregister 1899-1925 deel II.
  33. Ida Anthonia Georgina Smorenburg (1866 – 1896). SJ Mostert & WH Beindorf. Geneologie Beindorf en Mohlmann.
  34. Death certificate, will and estate of Anna Sophia Margaretha Lub. National Archives & Repository Service of South Africa, Pretoria. TAB MHG 1472/51, 1951.
  35. Andries Smorenburg.
  36. Battle of Boshof.
  37. Boer prisoners (1900 – 1902).
  38. Appointment as translator: Andries Smorenburg. National Archives & Repository Service of South Africa, Pretoria. TAB TPD 8/195/583, 1917.
  39. Death notice of Andries Smorenburg. National Archives & Repository Service of South Africa, Pretoria. TAB MHG 1424/39, 1939
  40. Death notice and estate of Martha Sprong. National Archives & Repository Service of South Africa, Pretoria. TAB MHG 2304/42, 1942
  41. Death notice and estate of Nelly Cornelia Smorenburg. National Archives & Repository Service of South Africa, Pretoria. TAB MHG 4697/55, 1955
  42. Interview with Pam Jamison, great-granddaughter of Andries Smorenburg II, on 25 December 2017 at Pretoria
  43. Pieter August Smorenburg.
  44. Pieter Smorenburg in ABW2.
  45. Marriage of Andries Smorenburg & Maria Jansen van Galen on March 21, 1872 in Rheden (Netherlands). Open Archives.