Andries Smorenburg II (1842 – before 1928)


   1. His childhood

Andries was born at De Bilt, Utrecht province in the Kingdom of the Netherlands (commonly known as the Netherlands) on 26 March 1842. He was the youngest surviving child of Andries Smorenburg (1795 – 1880) and Georgina Ida Anthonia Allewaert (1807 – 1876).1-4

Just two years prior to his birth, the Netherlands finally settled into a fairly peaceful and stable politically era until the outbreak of World War I in 1914. From the 1860s, the Netherlands was also transforming into industry-driven society under King William III, who reigned from 1849 to 1890. His daughter, 10 year-old Wilhelmina succeed him, as Queen Wilhelmina. Her rule lasted from 1890 to 1948, although her mother served as regent during the first eight years as Wilhelmina was still a minor.5-7

Andries was a member of De Bilt Church Congregation until 29 April 1866, just a month after his 24th birthday.1 He possibly relocated thereafter for work purposes.

   2. His wife

At the age of 29 years, Andries married 26 year-old Maria Jansen van Galen on 21 March 1872 at Rheden, Gelderland.2,4,8-10 Her parents were Pieter Jansen van Galen (1822 – 1913) and Everdina van Laar (1824 – 1906). Maria was born at Rozendaal (previously Rosendaal), Gelderland at 9 pm on 26 August 1845. The two witnesses at her birth registration on 27 August were 46 year-old Jan van der Sandt, a blacksmith and 49 year-old Marinus van den Berg, a pharmacist, both from the local Rozendaal community. Maria was the first-born of 13 children, of whom only six survived into adulthood. Her five brothers and sisters that she grew up with were Jan Willem, Janna Everdina, Derkje, Roelofje, Pieternella Everdina.3,9-14 READ MORE on the Jansen van Galens. Maria died at the age of 83 years and one month on 11 May 1928 at 9 am at Velp, Gelderland, a small village 5 km north-east of Arnhem, the provincial capitol of Gelderland, Netherlands. She was buried at the Heiderust Cemetery at 21 Lente Street, Rheden. Fifteen years later, her one daughter was buried in the same grave.15-17

   3. His career

Andries Smorenburg followed in the footsteps of his father and worked on the railways in the Gelderland province of the Netherlands. At the time of his marriage in 1872, he was a train-driver. Later on he was promoted to the position of Train Conductor.2,18

Andries and his family moved around, most likely for work reasons. By the early 1870s, Andries and Maria lived at Emmerich, a town just within the eastern border of the German Empire (now Germany), only 5 km away from Arnhem in the Netherlands.2,4,12 At that time, Otto von Bismarck was Chancellor of the unified German Empire that lasted from 1871 to 1918.19,20 Andries possibly worked on Railway Section Oberhausen-Arnhem of the Cöln-Mindener Eisenbahn Gesellschaft (Cologne-Minder Railway Company) that was opened between the Netherlands and Germany in 1856.21 By 1874, their third child was born at Velp, Gelderland – whether they lived there or just visited, is unknown – as their fourth child was again born at Emmerich in 1875. By the late 1870s, the Smorenburgs were residing at Arnhem, a city located on both banks of the rivers Nederrijn and Sint-Jansbeek.2,4,12 Arnhem was serviced by several intercity railway lines as well as lines that serviced destinations abroad such as Germany and Russia. Arnhem had a main central railway station since 1845. It also was the terminus for several local railway services. This is still true of Arnhem today.22,23

  4. His death

When and where Andries Smorenburg died, is uncertain – somewhere between 1886 and 1925. By the time his wife died in 1928, she was a widow.16

  5. His children

Andries and Maria Smorenburg had nine children. They were:

5.1 Andries jr. (III)

He was born in ca 1872 at Emmerich, German Reich. On 23 April 1897, Andries married Zwaantje Gerhardina Gorseling at Arnhem. She was born on 24 July 1873 at Arnhem as the daughter of Jan Gorseling and Zwaantje Gerhardina van Bruggen. Andries worked as a railway official and died on 30 October 1913 at Zuphten, Gelderland.2,12

5.2 Pieter

Pieter was born in ca 1873 at Emmerich. During his working life, he was a labourer, a train-driver, a gardener and a florist. He wed Angenita Wilhelmina Ellens (ca 1872, Dieren, Gelderland – 19 December 1934), the second youngest child of Peter Ellens (1832 – 1895) and Aaltje de Winkel (1830 – 1903), on 13 July 1893 at Rheden. Angenita had three sisters and four brothers. Together Pieter and Angenita had two sons and four daughters. They were: Elisabeth Geertuida Louisa (3 November 1893, Arnhem – 10 July 1894), Pieter Andries (1894 – 9 December 1945), Maria (*30 January 1895, Arnhem), Helena Catharina (*7 February 1901, Dieren), Aaltje (*8 April 1902, Baarn) and Jan Willem (* 13 June 1904, Baarn). Pieter Smorenburg died on 30 November 1939 at Zeist, Utrecht, Netherlands.2,4,10,12

5.3 Wilhemina Maria

She was born on 23 May 1874 at Velp, Gelderland. She married Jacob Peters (*ca 1875, Velp – 22 April 1944, Haarlem, North Holland) on 10 May 1900 at Rozendaal, Gelderland. Wilhelmina died on 15 March 1964 at the age of 89 years.12

5.4 Martha Georgeline Antonie

She was born on 20 March 1875 at Emmerich and died at the age of 67 years on 6 March 1943 at Rheden, Gelderland. Martha never married and had no issue. She was buried at Rheden in the same grave plot as her mother.12,17

5.5 Everdina Maria

Everdina was born in 1877. She married Jan Wilhelm Sartorius in ca 1900. She died on 12 April 1959 at Utrecht, Utrecht province.12

5.6 Maria

Maria was born on 29 November 1879 at Arnhem.24 Nothing more is known about Andries and Maria Smorenburg’s sixth child. She presumably died young.

5.7 Jan Willem

Jan Willem was born on 6 October 1881 at Arnhem, Gelderland.4 Folklore has it that Jan and his younger brother, Herman Hendrik arrived in South Africa as stow-aways on a Dutch ship – aged about 18 and 16 years, respectively – at the onset of the South African war, also known as the Second Anglo-Boer War (1899 – 1902). As Dutch volunteers, they specifically came to join the Boers in their fight for freedom against the United Kingdom.25 The Boers and their political leaders (descendants of 17th and 18th century Dutch settlers at the Cape of Good Hope, with whom the people of the Netherlands as well as Queen Wilhelmina felt very closely linked) were highly displeased with the increasing British imperialistic interference in their two independent Boer Republics, the Zuid-Afrikaansche Republic (ZAR) and the Republic of the Orange Free State. Several interrelated factors and actions taken by British leaders, who were based in the Cape Colony, as well as the demands of the ‘outlanders’ (foreigners) residing in the two republics, eventually triggered the outbreak of the war. Queen Wilhelmina had a stern dislike for the United Kingdom partly as a result of the annexation of the two Boer Republics. Near the end of the war, she ordered a Dutch warship, the HNLMS Gelderland, to South Africa to evacuate Paul Kruger, the embattled President of the ZAR.7,26

Soon after arriving in the ZAR, Jan joined his cousin, Commandant Andries Smorenburg (1872 – 1939), chief officer of the Second Dutch Foreigners Corps, and was appointed Quartermaster of the commando.27,28 Both Jan and Andries were later captured on Kalkfontein farm 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 (POWs) to the remote British island of St Helena in the Atlantic Ocean. Jan and Andries Smorenburg were allocated to Deadwood Plain Camp. The 18 year-old Jan was allocated prisoner number #2217. In late 1901, Jan assisted his cousin in his attempt to escape from the island. Initially his escape seemed successful, but Andries Smorenburg was discovered five days later where he was hiding in the hull of the ship en route to Britain.27-33

After the Peace Treaty was signed in June 1902, the prisoners started to return to Cape Town in South Africa between 26 June 1902 and 21 October 1902.27,30  Jan Smorenburg didn’t return to the Netherlands but settled in the British Transvaal Colony (previously the ZAR). This implies that he must have pledged his allegiance to the British Crown, which was a requirement for Boer– and foreigner POWs to return to South Africa. Jan married Marie Augusta Caroline Dobrowsky on 31 January 1912 in Germiston, Transvaal, Union of South Africa and the family lived for many years at Brakpan, Transvaal. Marie was born in East London, South Africa and died on 27 June 1958 at the Germiston Hospital in Germiston. By then the couple resided at 6 Rand Refinery, Germiston. Jan died on 20 March 1968 at Virginia, Orange Free State, South Africa from coronary thrombosis. At the time of his death, his residential address was indicated as 21 Goshawk Road, Flamingo Park, Welkom, Orange Free State. Jan and Marie Smorenburg had three children: Ivy Frances, Johanna Marie and Ernst Hugh (2 January 1914 – 27 February 1984).34-36

5.8 Herman Hendrik

Herman was born on 29 July 1883 at Arnhem.4,37 At the turn of the century, he migrated to the southern tip of Africa. There he married a Scottish girl and and became my husband’s great-grandfather. READ MORE on Herman Hendrik Smorenburg.

5.9 Elizabeth Geertruida Louisa

She was born on 3 September 1885 at Arnhem and sadly died four years later on 4 December 1889 in the same town where she was born.4,12


  1. Birth & church membership of Andries Smorenburg.
  2. Voorouders van Annie Verschuren-van Eck.
  3. Gerrit Smorenburg (1835 – 1909). Beindorff, W.H. Genealogie Beindorff, Been et al.
  4. Van Otterlo, H. 10 February 2016. Parenteel van Peter Janssen van Gaalen.
  5. History of the Netherlands.
  6. William III of the Netherlands.
  7. Wilhelmina of the Netherlands.
  8. Marriage of Andries Smorenburg & Maria Jansen van Galen on March 21, 1872 in Rheden (Netherlands). Open Archives.
  9. Parenteel van Hendrik van Galen. 26 September 2016.
  10. Maria Jansen van Galen. Genealogie Ellens Jonkman Hansma Jager.
  11. Birth of Maria Jansen van Galen. Gelders Archive (Netherlands), Arnhem, Civil registration births. Rozendaal, archive 207, inventory number 3152, August 27, 1845, record number 7.
  12. Parenteel van Hendrik van Galen. 26 September 2016.
  13. Maria Jansen van Galen. Genealogie Ellens Jonkman Hansma Jager.
  14. Family Photo Album: Smorenburg & Rowlinson Families. Scanned from original photos. Privately held by Pamela Jean Jamison (neé Rowlinson), Randfontein, Gauteng, South Africa.
  15. Death Notice of Maria Jansen van Galen.
  16. Death Notice of Maria van Galen.
  17. Grave of Maria Jansen van Galen. Rheden, Begraafplaats Heiderust, Graf 377638.
  18. Andries Smorenburg (1842).
  19. Otto von Bismarck.
  20. German Empire.
  21. Cologne-Minden Railway Company.
  22. Arnhem.
  23. Arnhem.
  24. Maria Smorenburg. Beindorff, W.H. Genealogie Beindorff, Been et al.
  25. Interview on 23 March 2017 with Pamela Jean Jamison (neé Rowlinson), Randfontein, Gauteng, South Africa. [Great-granddaughter of Andries and Maria Smorenburg].
  26. Second Anglo-Boer War 1899 – 1902.
  27. Andries Smorenburg.
  28. Andries Smorenburg.
  29. Battle of Boshof.
  30. Boer prisoners (1900 – 1902).
  31. St Helena tourist map.
  32. Jan W Smorenburg.
  33. Photos of St Helena. Accession Numbers KO 1466/10- 003, 012, 020, 051, 054, 077(x2), 079 & 103. King’s Own Royal Regiment Museum, Lancaster. . [Permission to publish the photos on this website was obtained on 8 November 2017].
  34. Death notice, will and estate of Marie Augusta Caroline Dobrowsky. National Archives & Repository Service of South Africa, Pretoria. TAB MHG 7528/58, 1958
  35. Death notice of Jan Willem Smorenburg. South Africa, Orange Free State, Estate Files, 1951-2006, database with images, FamilySearch ( : 17 April 2015), Jan Willem Smorenburg, 20 Mar 1968, Death; citing Virginia, Master of the Free State High Court, Bloemfontein; FHL microfilm 005200795.
  36. Ernest Hugh Smorenburg.
  37. Birth of Herman Hendrik Smorenburg.