Cornelis Corse Smorenburg (1718 – 1789)


   1. His childhood

Cornelis Corse Smorenburg (≈27 February 1718, Soest, Utrecht) was the youngest of six children. Unfortunately nothing is known about his level of schooling or education. His parents, Cors van Smorenburg (1670 – ?) and Metje Kuijer (1685 – 1758) were the owners of De Oude Tempel estate at Soest op den Berg (now Soesterberg), Utrecht province, Dutch Republic (also known as the Republic of Seven United Netherlands) and they appeared to be fairly well-off. By the time his mother died, she was survived by the 40 year-old Cornelis and and his 42 year-old brother, Jacob, as well as their younger half-brother Teunis Breunisz Kuijer (37 years) from their mother’s third relationship.1,2

Somewhere during the course of his life, Cornelis van Smorenburg became Cornelis Smorenburg without the ‘van‘. His children and their descendants carried the family name Smorenburg.

   2. His wife

The 39 year-old Cornelis announced his intent to marriage to the 17 year-old Adriana van Loenen on 19 December 1757 at Zeist, Utrecht province. They wed on 30 March 1758 at Bunnik, just five weeks before his mother died on 10 April 1758. Adriana was the daughter of Gerrit van Loenen and Maria Hendriks van de Berg. She was christened on 15 December 1740 at Soest, Utrecht province. Together Cors and Adriana had 16 children, nine sons and seven daughters. Two years after the death of Cornelis, 51 year-old Adriana tied the knot again to Jacob Verhoef on 8 November 1791 at Zeist. She died 17 years later at the age of 68 years on 18 December 1808 at Zeist.1,2

   3. His career

What career Cornelis Smorenburg pursued or what means he used to provide for his family are not known. “Social status was largely determined by income. After aristocrats, patricians and urban merchants came the affluent middle class, consisting of Protestant ministers, lawyers, physicians, small merchants, industrialists and clerks of large state institutions. Lower status was attributed to farmers, craft and tradesmen, shopkeepers, and government bureaucrats. Below that stood skilled laborers, maids, servants, sailors, and other persons employed in the service industry. At the bottom of the pyramid were the “paupers”: impoverished peasants, many of whom tried their luck in a city as a beggar or day laborer. Workers and laborers were generally paid better than in most of Europe, and enjoyed relatively high living standards, although they also paid higher than normal taxes. Farmers prospered from mainly cash crops needed to support the urban and seafaring population.”3 (Dutch Clothing 4-6)Cornelis Smorenburg lived during the governance of the first hereditary stadtholders, William IV and William V. William IV was the first stadtholder to be appointed over all seven provinces of the Dutch Republic in an attempt to curb the French threat and coalesce the Dutch nation under one national leader. The last five years of his reign, however, became marked with internal political division as the disparity between the rich and poor grew. His deepening alliance with the business class also didn’t promote a positive standing among the general public.7 After his death in 1751, his son William V, inherited his position as stadtholder. Since he was only three years old, a long regency began until he was able to formally assume his position in 1767. Britain and France were a growing threat to the Republic. The Fourth Anglo-Dutch War of 1780 – 1784, fought mainly at sea, exposed the political and economical decline of the Dutch Republic, when the Dutch were forced to cede colonial territories to Britain. Between 1783 and 1787, internal political conflict mushroomed and a series of republican revolutions against the authoritarian regime of William V followed. The country’s people was divided between the revolutionaries called the Patriots (pro-French) and the royalists/Orangists (pro-British). Although the Orangists were able to defeat the republican forces in 1787 with the aid of Prussia, the Republic finally succumbed to France in 1795. William V was the last stadtholder of the Dutch Republic.8-11One wonders how the political unrest and economical decline in his country affected Cornelis and his family. What was his opinion on all these concerning developments and the insecurities and fears these created? With whom did he or his sons side …. the Patriots or the Orangists?

   4. His death

Cornelis died at the age of 70 years on 29 January 1789 at Soest.1,2 Just six years after his death, the over 200 year-old Dutch Republic was overthrown by Napoleon Bonaparte of France to be replaced by his French-governed Batavian Republic (1795 – 1806).12 Cornelis’s wife, Adriana outlived him with almost 20 years. This is not surprising as Cornelis Smorenburg was 22 years older than his wife.

   5. His children

All the children of Cornelis and Adriana Smorenburg were christened in the Reformed Church at Bunnik, Utrecht province.2 Bunnik is a village surrounded by forests and farmland. Its origin dates back nearly 2000 years to the time of the Roman Empire. The Romans constructed a fort at Fectio (now Vechten) with a harbour on a branch of the Rhine River,13 now called the Kromme Rijn. (During the medieval times, the river naturally closed off and water was no longer flowing.)14,15 By the 4th century, the Romans abandoned the fort, but it continued to develop into a thriving trading centre. Later the Frisians and Franks occupied the area. The training post expanded into a village and by the 8th and 9th century became known as Bunninchem, which later over hundreds of years adapted into Bunnik.13,16,17

Their children were Cornelis (≈23 February 1758, who died within one year from birth), Cornelis (≈25 March 1759), Gerrit (≈16 April 1761), Machteldis (≈28 February 1763), Jacob(us) (≈18 February 1764), Adrianus (≈26 March 1766), Maria (≈23 September 1767), Aaltje (≈9 April 1769), Adriana (≈16 December 1770), Willemijntje (≈10 March 1772), Antonius (≈27 April 1774), Henrica (≈10 August 1775), Wilhelmus (≈12 March 1777), Cornelis (≈13 February 1779), Lambertus (≈30 July 1780) and Neeltje (≈25 November 1781).1,2 Cornelis married late in life and by the time he died at age 70, his youngest child of 16 children were a mere eight years old.

More information was found on some of their children:

  • Cornelis, their second child, married Hendrikje Pront on 31 January 1786 at Bunnik. She was the daughter of Gijsbertus Pront and Alijdis Franse Bolderwijn. Hendrikje was christened on 13 November 1752 at Soest and died on 9 February 1796 at Soest. The couple had three children all born at Soest: Arnolda (1787 – 1844), Alida (1789 – 1826) and Cornelis (1792 – ?).1
  • Their third child, Gerrit, became my husband’s great-great-great-great-grandfather. READ MORE on Gerrit Smorenburg.
  • Jacob(us) was born in ca 1764. He married Margaretha Cornelisse Ruisch (*ca 1789) at Langbroek, Utrecht on 2 June 1812. She was the daughter of Cornelis Ruisch and Grietje de Groot. Jacob and Margaretha had eleven children. The eldest, the fourth child and the fifth one were born at Langbroek, the others at Sterkenburg (merged with Driebergen in 1857) and the youngest at Maartendijk. The distance between Langbroek and Sterkenburg was 5 km. The children were Cornelis (1813 – ?), Margaretha (5 May 1814 – 19 August 1814), Hannis (1815 – ?), Gerrit (1816 – 1901), Aaltje (1817 – 1903), Jan (1817 –1819), Lambertus (1818 – 1842), Jan (4 October 1819 – 16 October 1819), Margrietha (1821 – 1822), Willem (1823 – 1827) and Cornelia (17 March 1825 – 30 April 1825). Six of the children died in infancy or childhood. Jacobus died on 6 August 1829 at Maartensdijk, Utrecht.1,2
  • Maria got married on 6 November 1797 to Willem Uijlenbroek, a shopkeeper and barber. He was born on 11 March 1765 at Bunnik as the son of Gijsbertus Uijlenbroek and Maria Pront. Maria and Willem had four children. Maria died on 2 February 1829 at Zeist and Willem in the same town on 21 June 1839.1
  • Willemijntje was born in 1772 and died on 22 July 1852 at Soest. She married Gerrit Cornelisse van Breukelen, a builder and farmer, on 1 May 1794 at Bunnik. They had 10 children.1,2
  • Antonius was born in ca 1774. He became a farmer and married Neeltje ‘t Clooster on 24 November 1795. They had a son, Marthinus who was born at Bunnik on 27 October 1801. Antonius married a second time on on 29 October 1818 at Darthuizen to 31 year-old Alletta Passierse Baart (1787 – 1859), who worked as a servant. At that time Antonius was 44 years old. They had one son, Cornelis who was born on 30 August 1819 at Amersfoort. Antonius died at the age of about 67 years on 30 April 1841 at Barneveld, Gelderland.1,2
  • Lambertus (25 years) married Willemijntje Passierse Baart (20 years) on 28 January 1805 at Bunnik. She was born on 3 June 1785, Zeist as the daughter of Paschier Baart and Antje Jacobse van Vulpen and the sister of Alletta Baart, who married Lambertus’ older brother, Antonius. Lambertus died on 14 January 1834 at Sterkenburg, Utrecht and Willemijntje on 15 August 1848. They had nine children. They were Cornelis (1805 – 1843), Willem (1807 – 1878), Antje (1810 – 1882), Sier/Passier (1812 – 1884), Jaantje (1815 – ?), Jan (1818 – 1885), Neeltje (1820 – ?), Jacobus (1823 – 1891) and Willemijntje (1825 – 1851).1,2

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  1. Voorouders van Annie Verschuren-van Eck.
  2. Gezinsblad Cornelis Corse Smorenburg.
  3. Bunnik.
  4. Zeist.
  5. Kromme Rijn.
  6. Bunnik location map.
  7. Postillion Hotel, Utrecht, Bunnik.
  8. Dutch Golden Age.
  9. 1770s Dutch woman’s outfit.
  10. Pipe-smoking Dutch man and peasant woman.–th-century-dress-th-century-clothing.jpg
  11. Netherlands baroque costumes. 17th century.
  12. William IV, Prince of Orange.,_Prince_of_Orange
  13. William V, Prince of Orange.,_Prince_of_Orange
  14. Portrait of William V, Prince of Orange.
  15. Fourth Anglo-Dutch War.
  16. Dutch Republic.
  17. Batavian Republic.