Gerrit Smorenburg (1761 – 1832)


  1. His childhood

Our Smorenburg family branch continues with Gerrit Smorenburg, my husband’s great-great-great-great-grandfather.  He was born at Bunnik in the province of Utrecht in the Dutch Republic (also known as Republic of United Seven Netherlands). His parents were Cornelis Corse Smorenburg (1718 – 1789) and Adriana van Loenen (1740 – 1808). Gerrit was christened on 16 April 1761 at Bunnik. He had 15 brothers and sisters; Cornelis, who died in infancy, Cornelis, Machteldis, Jacob(us), Adrianus, Maria, Aaltje, Adriana, Willemijntje, Antonius, Henrica, Wilhelmus, Cornelis, Lambertus and Neeltje.1,2   2. His wife

2.1 Cornelia Compier

Gerrit married Cornelia Compier on 17 November 1789 at Zeist, Utrecht, Dutch Republic. Together they had one child.1 Cornelia must have died between 1789 and 1792 as Gerrit married in 1792.1-3

2.2 Margarita Eijbers(en)

Gerrit got married a second time on 31 August 1792 at Ermelo, Gelderland to Margarita/Marretje/Maartje Eijbers(en). The couple had 15 children. Maartje was the daughter of Andries “Drees” Eijbersen and Grietje Karssen and was christened on 16 October 1768 at Elspeet, Gelderland. She died at the age of 70 years on 11 December 1838 at De Bilt, Utrecht.1-4

    3. His career

In his younger years, Gerrit Smorenburg was a hunter,3 but not much further is known about the career he followed thereafter or the means he used to provide for his own family. Gerrit, however, lived during turbulent times in the history of the Netherlands. How that impacted on him and his family is not known, but surely it must have created major uncertainties. Yet, the Napoleonic Batavian government was more popular among the general Dutch population than was the previous Prince of Orange Administrations.

Gerrit was born during the rule of Stadtholder William V, Prince of Orange, when the Dutch Republic was already in decline as a global political and economical power. It was also marred with internal political unrest and instability, as well as a growing impoverishment among the majority of the Dutch population that caused increasing dissatisfaction. The invasion of the Northern Netherlands in 1795 by the revolutionary French army of  Napoleon Bonaparte brought an end to the weakening empire of the Republic of the United Seven Netherlands. For the next ten years the French would rule over the Dutch.6,7

By 1795, the Dutch unexpectedly found themselves living in a unitary state called the Batavian Republic (1795 – 1806). It had a revolutionary Dutch ministerial government that was still controlled by the French. From 1799, Napoleon introduced greater elements of democracy and administrative reforms. The Napoleonic Kingdom of Holland (1806 – 1810) under direct leadership of the 28 year-old Louis Bonaparte, brother of Napoleon Bonaparte, followed. Fortunately he sought to serve the interests of the Dutch people, much to the dismay of Napoleon. So much so, that Napoleon nullified the new Dutch Kingdom in 1810. And national Dutch identity disappeared when France annexed the Northern Netherlands and incorporated it directly into the French Empire until 1815. Again the Dutch were re-organised into new administrative departments, this time with French names such as Bouches-de-I’Yssel, Bouches-du-Rhin and Zury dezée. French-speaking Belgian Catholics were appointed in many high administrative posts in the northern Protestant Dutch-speaking regions. The successful Napoleonic Wars (1803 – 1815), however, eventually also led to Napoleon’s defeat and abdication in 1815, and his second and final exile to the British island of St Helena until his death in 1821. 7-13

A mere 75 years later, Gerrit Smorenburg’s great-grandson, Jan Smorenburg (1881 – 1968) and great-grand-nephew, Andries Smorenburg (1872 – 1939) would spend time on St Helena as Boer (Afrikaner) prisoners-of-war captured during the South African War (Second Anglo-Boer War) of 1899 to 1902.

    4. His death

Gerrit died at the age of 71 years on 5 April 1832 at De Bilt where he was also buried.1-3,5 The last seventeen years of his life, Gerrit lived again under Dutch rule in the United Kingdom of the Netherlands which was established in 1815. The national leader was the self-proclaimed monarch, King William I (William Frederick), son of the last stadtholder of the Dutch Republic, William V.7

   5. His children

In total, Gerrit had 16 children from his two marriages. One major reform introduced by Napeleon Bonaparte was the improvement of teaching in schools and at tertiary level. The French language also became compulsory at primary school level. Hopefully Gerrit’s children benefited from these educational reforms.7

  • From Gerrit’s first marriage to Cornelia Compier, one child was born named:

5.1 Wilhelmus

He married Maria Kesting and they had a son, Jan who was born at Tiel in Gelderland on 14 May 1842.1 No more information could be found on the life of Wilhelmus and his descendants.

  • All the children from his second marriage were born and christened at De Bilt. Gerrit and Maartje Smorenburg had 15 children of whom five died during infancy or childhood. The children were:

5.2 Cornelis

Cornelis was christened on 27 January 1793 at De Bilt  in the Utrecht province of the Dutch Republic. Sadly he died six years later on 31 May 1799 at De Bilt. The cause of his death is not known. By then the Dutch Republic was no more, being replaced by the Napoleonic Batavian Republic since 19 January 1795.1-3

5.3 Duijfje

Duijfje was christened on 13 April 1794 at De Bilt in the Utrecht province of the Dutch Republic. She married Antonie van Ettehoven on 9 May 1821 in her hometown. Antonie was also born at De Bilt in ca 1787 as the son of Jan van Ettehoven and Alleta van IJsendoorn. Duijfje and Antonie had three children who were born at De Bilt; Margaritha (1822 – 1903), Jannigje (1823 – 1857) and Gerrit (1824 – 1871). Duijfje died on 25 January 1868 at De Bilt.1-3,5

5.4 Andries

Andries was christened on 22 November 1795 at De Bilt in the Department van de Rijn (previously Utrecht province) of the newly established Batavian Republic.1-3,5 He married Georgina Ida Antonia Allewaert and they became my husband’s great-great-great-grandparents. READ MORE on Andries Smorenburg.

5.5 Cors

Cors was christened at De Bilt on 30 January 1797. Sadly, he died a few days later and was buried on 9 February 1797 at De Bilt.2,3,5

5.6 Cors

Cors was born in the Batavian Republic. He was christened on 29 December 1797 at De Bilt. On 7 February 1851, Cors/Kors married Elisabeth Schouten (*ca 1813, Amerongen), the daughter of Harmanus Schouten and Elisabeth van den Berg. Cors died on 28 December 1889 at De Bilt.1-3

5.7 Cornelis

He was born on 22 September 1799 at De Bilt, De Rijn, Batavian Republic and christened on 13 October 1799. Cornelis wed Arnoldina Margaretha Allers in November 1821 at Amsterdam, Utrecht. They had one son named Gerrit.Cornelis died on 8 March 1869 at Driebergen, Utrecht.1-3

5.8 Willem

Willem was the third child who died in infancy or childhood. He was christened on 4 March 1801 at De Bilt and died on 28 February 1816 at the age of 15 years.1-3,5

5.9 Gerrigje

The second daugher, Gerrigje was born at De Bilt on 3 June 1803 and christened on 19 June 1803. It seems as if she spent her whole life living in De Bilt where she also died on 12 December 1866 at the age of 65 years. She married Teunis Meijer on 18 October 1822 and three children, Gerrit (*1823), Margaretha (* 1830) and Aaltje (*1843) were born at De Bilt (children found in records thus far). Teunis Meijer was the son of Harmen Meijer and Gerritjen Peters.1-3,5

5.10 Jaantje

She was born on 27 January 1805 at De Bilt, christened on 10 February 1805 and died sixteen days later at the age of one month on 26 February 1805.1-3

5.11 Adriana

Like her sister Gerrigje, Adriana also seems to have spent her whole live at De Bilt. She was born  on 5 February 1806, christened on 5 June 1806  and died 10 May 1880 at the age of 74 years. She married her husband Gerrit Starink (ca 1801, Steenderen – 1873) at De Bilt on 16 April 1828. They had eight children; Johannes (1828 – 1852), Magarietha (1830 –1868), Johanna (1831 – 1875), Gerrit (1833 – 1910), Duif (1834 – 1911), Evert (1837 – 1918), Willem (1842 – 1913) and Adrianus (1845 – 1909).1-3,5

5.12 Hendrikje

Also called Heintje, Hendrikje was born on 4 June 1807 at De Bilt, Utrecht province, Kingdom of Holland (previously Bavarian Republic). She was christened on 5 July 1807. Heintje married Hendrik Sloeserweij (1806 –1869) on 27 January 1836 at De Bilt. Her husband was the son of Egbert Soesterweij and Dirkje van Lunteren. Hendrikje died on 5 October 1853 at Kockengen, Utrecht province, Kingdom of the Netherlands.1-3,5

5.13 Evert

Evert was born on 15 January 1809 and christened on 5 March 1809 in the Kingdom of Holland. He married Jannetje Langelaar at De Bilt on 20 January 1839. Jannetje (28 April 1815, Leusden – 26 February 1890, Driebergen) was the daughter of Gerrit Langelaar and Gerritje van Ginkel. Evert and Jannetje’s nine children were born at De Bilt. They were Margaritha (*13 June 1839), Gerrigje (8 September 1840 – 10 August 1841), Gerrit (*19 May 1846, died same day), Maria Elizabeth (20 August 1847 – 25 June 1877, Doorn), Gerrit (24 November 1848 – 11 February 1925, Appeldoorn), Georgie (? – 17 July 1852), Gerritje (*3 July 1851), Kors (16 September 1852 – 30 September 1852) and Evert (8 July 1854 – 27 December 1939, Driebergen). Evert sr. did something of everything during his lifetime – he was a hunter, labourer, shopkeeper, caretaker and rijksveldwachter (policeman). He died on 19 January 1892 at Rheden, Gelderland.1-3,5

5.14 Jan

Jan was christened on 17 December 1810. He died on 27 June 1820 at De Bilt at the age of nine years old.1-3,5

5.15 Teunis

The twin brother of Margaretha, Teunis was born on 3 March 1813 and christened on 21 March 1813 at De Bilt, now annexed by France (previously Kingdom of Holland). He married Maria Veenman (*ca 1815, Breukelen, Utrecht) on 29 June 1839 at Breukelen-Nijenrode, Utrecht. Teunis immigrated with his family to the United States of America where he died on 18 May 1901 at Pella Marion, Iowa. He had several children.1-3,5

5.16 Margaretha

Margaretha, also known as Martje, was born and christened in ‘France’ on the same date as her twin brother Teunis. Martje’s husband Albert Pastunick was from Bentheim in the Kingdom of Hannover (now Germany), the son of Joost Pastunick and Swenne Schulte Siering. The couple married on 9 March 1844 at De Bilt. Martje died on 26 May 1862.1,3,5


  1. Voorouders van Annie Verschuren-van Eck.
  2. Gezinsblad Gerrit Smorenburg.
  3. Beindorff, W.H. Genealogie Beindorff, Been et al.
  4. Gelderland.
  5. Stamboom Zieltjens.
  6. William V, Prince of Orange.,_Prince_of_Orange
  7. History of the Netherlands.
  8. Napoleon.
  9. Napoleon Bonaparte.
  10. Napoleon Bonaparte biography.
  11. Batavian Republic.
  12. Kingdom of Holland.
  13. Kingdom of Holland and its departments.