Thursday, January 5, 2012

thoughts of the week

no followers yet?!  Hmmm, that’s ok, I’ve been busy anyway searching, reading, translating and b(u)ilding a tree…

btw                  >Happy New Year!<               >Bonne Année!< 
              >Gelukkig Nieuwjaar!<         >Frohes Neues Jahr!<

     back to my thoughts of the past and present: I am quite content to have found kindred spirits with the same last name; perhaps some distant cousins but nevertheless relations. Since childhood I thought I was the last one with this name. No siblings. And of course, my Dad did not know that he had cousins on his father’s side. All he knew that ‘de Bilde’ was a rare name originating in Zeeland. He was only thirteen when his parents, my grandparents divorced in 1934!

     Just a little over a year ago I learned my grandfather’s name. He was never spoken of, so I didn’t know and I didn’t ask. I had no grandfather on either side of the family – my mother’s father is another story some other time. It was quite by accident that I found out about my grandfather. Initially I did some research for my mother that was fruitless and frustrating to say the least because her maiden name might as well be the most common name in the world: Schulz!! There are millions of them and hundreds if not thousands named Hans Schulz which was my grandfather’s without a middle name. So I pretty much had to disappoint her but I haven’t given up yet on my German side.

     While sticking my curious nose into genealogy research I ventured to the Dutch side, after all I was born in Nederland. I once was a Nederlands meisje!! And while finding and signing up with all these fascinating websites I was contacted by a Dutch genealogist [insert name here] who turned out to be a 2nd cousin – his grandfather and my grandmother were siblings, we share the same great-grandparents!!

     That was it, I was hooked on genealogy. I love to read and I am fascinated with historical facts especially if I can relate them to my ancestry research. I also love pouring over maps, old and new, where my photographic memory comes in handy. Last but not least I like linguistics and semiotics (the study of the relationship between symbology and language). All this encompasses the intellectual excitement of my detective work in the research of my last name.

     To brush up on my history I just read “by pike and dyke: a tale of the rise of the Dutch Republic” which told about the struggle of Holland and Zeeland against Spain during prince William’s of Orange time in the late 1500s. The Dutch called William also Willem de Zwijger. A fascinating account of the Dutch/Flemish peoples and the Zeelanders against a common foe, their tenacity, ingenuity and seafaring abilities left an impression of revere. Holland, Zeeland and especially Flanders have been major battlegrounds since the Middle Ages for their strategic locations. Flanders was eventually recovered by Spain in the late 1500s and continued under the Spanish rule until 1714, when the Peace of Utrecht awarded it to Austria. Parts of West Flanders were annexed to France and became known as French Flanders. Austria ceded the remainder of Flanders to France in 1797, but the Congress of Vienna awarded the former Austrian Flanders to the Netherlands. Yikes,

     And somewhere in that history I traced my line of ancestors to Laurentius de Bilde born March 26, 1708 in Beveren-Waas (Oost Vlaanderen) and he may not be the progenitor?!  The line continues even further than the early 1700s and I am searching for the records of his father Adrianus …

notes: do you have corrections and/or more information for my blog? please leave a comment so I may contact you ...
thanks to all who have helped and contributed to my quest so far especially [insert]

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

this week's favorite...

As a regular feature I will choose an ancestor and this week's favorite is Gerardus!
Gerardus is the son of Petrus Johannes de Bilde and Maria Pieters. Petrus Johannes was my grandfather's 2nd brother just mentioned for perspective. Back to Gerardus, he was born in Vlissingen on May 20, 1913.

       As I was looking for the distribution of the name de Bilde in the world I came across the National Archives of Australia and there were 4 that emigrated from the Netherlands. Well, one was de Bilde, Gerard born 1913; nationality: Dutch, arrived Jan 19, 1962 in Sydney. I double-checked with and there was only (1) Gerard or Gerardus born in that year!!  So, it had to be ours... unfortunately this was all the information I could find. He was 49 years old when he left Europe. He may have been married in 1934 but I couldn't find any birth records for children or a marriage record for that matter. It would be interesting to know why he left and how his life went in Australia?!

notes:  do you have any information about this person?? by all means contact me or leave word in the comment section...

Friday, December 16, 2011

origin of proper names

Onomastics is the study of the history and the origin of proper names. It also becomes part of studies in other fields like linguistics, history, geography and many more. There are two branches/types of proper names, 1. place names or toponyms and 2. personal names or anthroponyms. I am interested in both as I am actively investigating where the name 'de Bilde' comes from.

The oldest entry with the exact spelling I have is for a birth record in Beveren-Waas, Oost Vlaanderen, Belgium for Catareena de Bilde born April 18, 1664 (copy received via email).

Also I found the name 'de Blide' hoping this to be a misspelling under Flemish Names from Bruges, 1400-1600;  the year for the census: 1468!!
ref.: Histoire de la Guilde des Archers de Saint Sebastien de la Ville de Bruges by Henri Godar.
Yet all of the above does not help much with the origin of the name but it places it historically in what is today Belgium... so the 'deBilde'-Zeelanders were/are actually from East Flanders aka Oost Vlaanderen!!

That explains the spread of the name in Belgium today:
                             217   in Belgium                            ref.:
                               73   in  the Netherlands               ref.:

One of my clan members was born in Beveren (1708) and married in Hulst (1736). The question is what were the borders in those days?

Back to the investigation of origins, many theories exist, for a while I believed that the town of the ‘De Bilt’ might or could have been the birthplace of the name but... there is another blog entry for De Bilt. So I followed my ancestors across the "border" to Waasland.... one fellow researcher suggested that the name de Bilde is more a Belgian-Flemish name than Dutch-Flemish. ok. and yet another fellow from Belgium presumably gave me this reference: "Woordenboek van de familienamen in Belgie en Noord-Frankrijk" door Dr Frans Debrabandere
 ISBN 90 204 0207 2, pg 310 - the old French name for tree stump is "bille" and spoken in Flemish becomes “bilde” (ll becomes ld). Makes sense to me and perhaps reading a bit more about the History of Holland or Flanders will give me more insight as to who the first "tree stump" was?!

     Could there be a Danish connection?? Here are the records I found with the name 'Bilde" sans de...
“Histoire de Danemark depuis les temps les plus reculés jusqu'a nos jours: avec une bibliographie et des tables généaloques »  par C.F.Allen;
troisième période: 1596-1660   guerre avec la suède
page 74:  Le maréchal danois André Bilde...
page 78:  André Bilde
page 409:  Bilde, commandant à Kronberg
“Annual report of the Deputy Keeper of the Public Records”
Great Britain Public Record Office
page 21: 1548, July 22  mention of Andrew Bilde, consul @ Helsignor
« memoirs de la société des antiquaires de l’Ouest »
page 11 :  1556  mention of Jean Bilde, governor of the island of Gothland
     Isn’t it fascinating to find “famous” commandants, a governor even and a consul with our name? What really started my creative juices aka fantasy was this entry from 1548!!
”records of Scandinavian students at the University of Orleans, France”
1601    Andreas Bilde, danus (Dane)
1548    Henricus Bilde, danus nobilis dominus (Danish noble Lord)

We all know how much fun students have away from home… Henricus was no exception and he might have produced some offspring while studying in France. Who knows?! I couldn’t help but picturing this scenario at the dinner table:
Papa: “qui pater est?”  or in French:  “qui est le père?”
Girl whispering:  « danorum nobilis Bilde »  or in French :  « Bilde, le noble danois »
Papa:  “o nobilis in Bilde”  or in French:  “oui, le prix de la noblesse de Bilde”  (the price of the nobility Bilde)
or something like that. In French it would explain where the ‘de’ comes from. So that’s my story!!  Hahaha. Farfetched? Certainly, but I could use a little humor in my often frustrating and fruitless research.

for fun a dictionary of Flemish First names with translation in Latin and French:

notes: do you have corrections or more information for this blog?  please leave a comment so I may contact you...
thanks to all who have contributed to my quest especially Bernard Krijbolder and Ludo Hemelaer. thanks.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

a town named De Bilt

De Bilt is a municipality and a town in the province of Utrecht, Netherlands.

I blatantly copied this article from the archives of the 'De Biltse Grift'...
interesting to learn about the origins of a name but likely no connection
translation in progress

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Graauw en Langendam

Graauw is a town in the Dutch province of Zeeland - part of the municipality of Hulst -
22 km SW of Bergen op Zoom...
in 2001 the town had 513 inhabitants and in 2010 956.

according to the 1796 census Pieter de Bilde (my 5th grandfather) was the only de Bilde,
not counting wife and 4 children in Stoppeldijk...

location: Zeeland, Netherlands
coordinates: 51d20'0 North, 4d6'0 East.

Adrianus de Bilde

my 2nd grandfather was born March 1, 1856 Graauw, Zeeland
he passed Dec 2, 1938 Graauw
Adrianus married Rosalia Bracke May 9, 1879
this marriage produced (12) children:
1. Aloisius, my grandfather b Sep 5, 1878...
2. Petrus Josephus  b Feb 27, 1880...
3. Petrus Johannes  b Feb 9, 1881...
4. Rosalia Theresia  b Jul 27, 1882...
5. Alphonsus Aloisius  b Aug 2, 1883...
6. Paulina  b Dec 6, 1886; p Mar 17, 1887 - she was 3 mths
7. Maria Louisa  b Dec 31, 1887; p Jun 19, 1908 - she was 21
8. Andries  b Jan 4, 1889...
9. Victor  b Jun 18, 1891; p Aug 1, 1891 - he was 6 wks
10. Desiderius  b Dec 25, 1892; p Feb 27, 1894 - he was 14 mths
11. Adrianus Aloisius  b Jan 13, 1894...
12. Desire Petrus  b Jan 7, 1901; d Feb 7, 1922 - he was 21
more details about marriages and offspring to be added at a later date

Pieter Francies de Bilde

my 3rd grandfather was born Sep 20, 1823 in Graauw, Zeeland, NL
he passed on Jun 1, 1911 in Hontenisse, NL - he was 87.
Pieter (or Petrus) Francies married Isabella Theresia de Smit June 9, 1851 in Graauw
this marriage produced (8) children unfortunately (5) passed very young in age.
1. Anna Maria  b Mar 3, 1852; p Jul 1, 1857 - she was 5
2. Cornelis  b Jul 25, 1853; p Dec 24, 1888 in Boom, Belgium - he was 35; see marriages below
3. Cornelia  b Nov 24, 1854;  see marriages below
4. Adrianus  b Mar 1, 1856;  see marriages below
5. Josephus Theodorus  b Dec 23, 1857; p Jun 4, 1868 - he was 10
6. Maria  b Mar 31, 1861; p Aug 17, 1861 - she was 5 mths
7. Apolonia  b Apr 19, 1862; p Jan 28, 1864 - she was 21 mths
9. Petrus Francies  b Dec 27, 1864; p Aug 29, 1865 - he was 8 mths
May 25, 1877  Cornelis at age 23 marries Apolonia Spiessens age 25
Jul 27, 1877  Cornelia at age 22 marries Francies Bogaert age 25
May 9, 1879  Adrianus [my 2nd grandfather] at age 23 marries Rosalia Bracke age 24