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Han van der Voort's Homepage


AD 1610?-Present

Van der Voort

History of the Van der Voort family, Van der Voort coats of arms?, Genealogical data

History of the Van der Voort family

The name Van der Voort literally means "of the ford" (a ford being a place where a road crosses through shallow water in a riverbed). The name is not uncommon, and there appear to be a number of different families with this surname who are unrelated. It seems certain that we are not related to any traditionally Roman Catholic Van der Voort, Van de Voort, and Rouppe-van der Voort families. Our great-grandfather, who was the first to research the origins of our family thought that we are related to one of the older, traditionally Protestant families. One of these was founded by Arthur van der Voort who lived around 1500 in Flanders (Turnhout) in present-day Belgium. It was probably his offspring who went to Amsterdam and became successful "zijdekooplieden" (silk merchants). In 1593 a Hans Jansz. van der Voort was "poorter" of Amsterdam. There still is a warehouse at the "Korte Prinsengracht", dating from 1656, with the Van der Voort name on it. In the same period there were other Van der Voorts in Amsterdam, the so-called "huidenkooplieden" (leather skin merchants), who may well have been related to the silk merchants. Another Van der Voort family is from 's-Gravenhage ("The Hague") in the province of Holland in the west of the Netherlands. Its earliest known members were living at the farm "Crispijnshoeve" (in the Houtrust area) in the 15th century, but they later moved to the "voirde" (ford) in Rijswijk, near The Hague. And yet another Van der Voort family was founded around 1500 in Lisse, Holland, by the son of Dirk van Laren who called himself "Van der Voorden". This family is also thought to be not related to us.

The most recent research in the municipal archives of Zwolle, January 1999, seems to have given proof that we belong to a separate family Van der Voort, which originated around the middle of the seventeenth century when our founding father took his name from the ford near his mill called the "Voortmolen" in the Assendorp area of Zwolle, outside the "Sassenpoort" (which is still there). The "Molenweg" (Mill road) is still there as a reference to our family's mill.
Earlier research by our great-grandfather Asuerus van der Voort had led no further back than to his own great-grandfather Gerrit. The exact origins of our branch of the Van der Voort family had remained unknown until now. Only the notion that we were related to the Amsterdam Van der Voorts was passed on, and a mysterious story that this link could not be proved because an archive had been lost in a fire in a Protestant Church in the city of Den Bosch. There is however no record of any such lost archive. My sister and I are still very much interested if anyone can find more information on Jan Jansen (van der Voort)'s ancestors, and on other unknown people in our family tree. In the meantime, we will continue our own research.

Van der Voort Coat of Arms (?)

[Click for big picture]        [Click for big picture]        [Click for big picture]        [Click for big picture]

Our great-grandfather Asuerus van der Voort had a golden sealing ring with a coat of arms on it, similar to the first one from the left, engraved with the date 12-8-72 (12th of August 1872). (He is wearing it in one of the pictures that were taken of him at the time.) Sealing rings used to have a practical purpose, namely to press a personal mark into the hot red wax with which official documents were sealed. By the late 19th century, they had long become status symbols without practical use. Our great-grandfather must have had his ring made shortly after he had received his commission as an Infantry officer. Later, he must have given rings like these to each of his four children: the one he gave to our grandfather Hendrik Willem is still in our possession and the one he gave to his eldest daughter Charlotte is still in the possession of her descendants.
In spite of this coat of arms having been in our family now for over 130 years, we seem not to be entitled to it. Even our great-grandfather had not been able to establish a link to the Amsterdam branch of Van der Voorts, who bore a very similar coat of arms, see the second picture from the left. (This was kindly sent to me by Walter Leonard "Len" Vandivere, USA.) In spite of this, he may still have believed that he was descended from the high-status Amsterdam branch, but in any case it seems certain that he wanted others to believe this. To us, the whole idea of claiming to belong to a family who had high status in the seventeenth century may now seem very strange and irrelevant, but one has to take into account that he lived in very class-conscious times. Our great-grandfather himself must have known this only too well, having been rejected once just for not belonging to the traditional Dutch ruling class, in spite of his talents. Especially military officers and clergymen had sealing rings made in those days, as signs that the bearers had to be accepted as true members of the establishment, or in any case as professionals who deserved at least some respect.
The third coat of arms is completely unfamiliar to me, I got this from Heraldry on the Internet. The documentation I received was not specific about which Van der Voort family is supposed to have used it.
The fourth coat of arms was sent to me by Mike van der Voort of the USA, who told me that his grandmother had ordered it sometime in the 1950's. He thinks that it is not of any real significance as it probably came from a company selling a coat of arms to anyone who orders it.
I hope to find out more on the subject of coats of arms of the various Van der Voort branches, any information is welcome.

Genealogical data

Child of
? (van der Voort ?) (?-?)
and Unknown

(See 9 generations back)

Jan (van der Voort ?)
(blood-relationship 0,195 %)
* ? x ? (wife unknown, married around 1640) + ?
Occupation: unknown, perhaps already owner of the "Voortmolen", see below.

(Not known if any other children)

Child of
Jan (van der Voort ?) (?-?)
and Unknown

(See 8 generations back)

Jan Jansen (van der Voort)
(blood-relationship 0,39 %)
* ? x Willemtie Willems (around 1661) + ?
Occupation: owner of the "Voortmolen" in the Assendorp area of Zwolle, outside the "Sassenpoort". Near the mill was a little stream or canal and the actual ford from which he took his name.

(Not known if any other children)

Children of
Jan Jansen (van der Voort) (?-?)
and Willemtie Willems (?-?)

(See 7 generations back)

1. Janna van der Voort
* 7-12-1662 (Zwolle) + ? (before 1665)

2. Janna van der Voort
* 11-6-1665 (Zwolle) + ?

3. Geessien van der Voort
* 16-6-1667 (Zwolle) + ?

4. Willem van der Voort
* 17-4-1670 (Zwolle) + ? (before 1671)

5. Willem van der Voort
* 18-4-1671 (Zwolle) + ? (before 1678)

6/7. Fennighie van der Voort
* 19-10-1673 (Zwolle) + ?

6/7. Berentien van der Voort
* 19-10-1673 (Zwolle) + ?

8. Hendrick van der Voort
* 2-4-1676 (Zwolle) + ?

9. Willem Jansen (van der Voort)
(blood-relationship 0,78 %)
* 31-12-1678 x Swaentien Arends (Zwolle 29-4-1702) + ?-4-1725
Occupation: lived and worked at (and possibly later inherited) the "Voortmolen". Willem Jansen was buried at the Bergkloosterkerkhof on 5-4-1725.

Children of
Willem Jansen (van der Voort) (1678-1725)
and Swaentien Arends (?-?)

(See 6 generations back)

1. Jan Willemsz. van der Voort
* 22-2-1703 (Zwolle) + ?

2. Arent Willemsz. van der Voort
* 30-12-1704 (Zwolle) + ? (before 1705)

3. Arent Willemsz. van der Voort
* 4-12-1705 (Zwolle) + ?

4. Willemina Willemsd. van der Voort
* 18-1-1708 (Zwolle) + ? (before 1715)

5. Willem Willemsz. van der Voort
* 2-9-1710 (Zwolle) + ?

6. Geertje Willemsd. van der Voort
* 11-12-1711 (Zwolle) + ? (before 1713)

7. Geertje Willemsd. van der Voort
* 2-7-1713 (Zwolle) + ?

8. Willemina Willemsd. van der Voort
* 18-6-1715 (Zwolle) + 31-8-1715
The records state that a child of Willem Jansen, living "op de Voort", was buried at the Bethlehemkerkhof on 31-8-1715. This certainly must have been this baby Willemina.

9. Willemina Willemsd van der Voort
* 18-6-1716(Zwolle) + ?

10. Gerrit Willemsz. van der Voort
* 29-8-1717 (Zwolle) + ? (before 1719)

11. Gerrit Willemsz. van der Voort
* 18-9-1719 (Zwolle) + ? (before 1722)
It is sad to notice that Willem and Swaentien lost 6 of their 12 children.

12. Gerrit Willemsz. van der Voort
(blood-relationship 1,56 %)
* 13-8-1722 (Zwolle) (17-8-1722 according to our great-grandfather) x Hermina van Rijsen (30-3-1750) + ? (?-2-1786, in Zwolle according to our great-grandfather, but there is no record of this from any of the cemetaries in Zwolle.)
Occupation: not known (brewer of beer according to our great-grandfather).

Children of
Gerrit Willemsz. van der Voort (1722-?)
and Hermina van Rijsen (1730-1811)

(See 5 generations back)

1. Swaantien van der Voort
* 17-1-1751 (Zwolle) + 26-1-1751

2. Willem Jan van der Voort
* 12-12-1751 (Zwolle) x Geertruit van de Vegt + 28-3-1826 (Zwolle)
Occupation: "waagmeester"

3. Egbertus van der Voort
* 2-3-1755 (Zwolle) + ? (probably in the same year, as a baby)

4. Egbertus van der Voort
* 17-10-1756 (Zwolle) + ?

5. Hermannus van der Voort
* 24-5-1759 (Zwolle) + ?

6. Gerrigje van der Voort
* 8-7-1764 (Zwolle) + ? (probably before 1766)

7. Arendina van der Voort
* 18-8-1765 (Zwolle) + ?

8. Gerrigje van der Voort
* 26-10-1766 (Zwolle) + ?-10-1774
Gerrigje, not yet 8 years of age, was buried at the Grote Kerkhof on 24-10-1774.

9. Lambert van der Voort
(blood-relationship 3,13 %)
* 19-2-1770 (Zwolle) x I. Hermina van der Kolk (Haarlem 6-1-1799) II. Elisabeth Geertruida Leeman + 5-12-1826 (Hazerswoude)
Occupation: "Rijksontvanger" (State tax collector)

10. Jan van der Voort
* 1-1-1773 (Zwolle) + ?

11. Gerrit van der Voort
* 6-10-1776 (Zwolle) + ?

Children of
Lambert van der Voort (1770-1826)
and Hermina van der Kolk (1775-1825)

(See 4 generations back)

1. Hillegonda van der Voort
* 13-5-1801 (Haarlem) x Abram Koolhoven + 13-10-1880

2. Hermina van der Voort
* 24-11-1802 + ?

3. Diena van der Voort
* 1805 + ?

4. Jan van der Voort
* 1807 + ?

5. Marrigje van der Voort
* 1808 + ?

6. Asuerus van der Voort (See portrait)
(blood-relationship 6,25 %)
* 1-10-1809 (IJsselmonde) x I. Gerritje van Hemert II. Maria Catharina Stoel (Bloemendaal, 19-8-1843) + 25-2-1883 (Haarlem)
At the age of 17, Asuerus lost his father, and he had to take over his father's administrative responsibilities. Later, he got an appointment at one of the Government Departments in The Hague. In 1831 he volunteered to take part in the "Tiendaagse veldtocht", the unsuccessful 10-days military campaign against Belgian independence from the Netherlands. After returning, he found that in the meantime his position at the Ministry had been given to somebody else. He then became the owner-manager the "Groot-Zomerzorg" hotel in Bloemendaal which he had inherited from his first father-in-law Van Hemert. In 1854 he became "administrateur" of "Meerenberg" psychiatric institution in Bloemendaal until his death. For 25 years he also was "secretaris van het departement Bloemendaal van de Maatschappij tot het Nut van het Algemeen". For his services he received an ink-well with a silver statue, which is still in the family.

7. Johanna van der Voort
* 29-6-1813 + 1889

8. Elisabeth van der Voort
* 15-4-1815 x Evert Pieter Westerveld + 9-12-1863

9. Gerrit van der Voort
* 27-10-1816 + ?

10. Maria van der Voort
* 1819 + ?

Children of
Asuerus van der Voort (1809-1883)
and Maria Catharina Stoel (1821-1892)

(See 3 generations back)

1. Lambert Antonie van der Voort
* 9-12-1837 x I. Gesina Otto (Alkmaar) II. Grada van Tuil (1880, Jaarsveld) + 29-10-1905 (Jaarsveld)
Occupation: "kameraar van de Lekdijk benedendams en van de IJsseldijk", headteacher of a primary school in Hoofddorp.

2. Abraham van der Voort
* 21-12-1838 (Bloemendaal) + 15-4-1924 (Haarlem)
Occupation: non-commissioned cavalry officer, employee at a bank.

3. Alexander Leendert van der Voort
* 16-12-1839 + ? (Probably in the USA)
(Had a drinking problem, was "put on a boat to America", and was never heard from again.)

4. Asuerus ("Arnold") van der Voort Azn. (See portrait 1), (See portrait 2), (See family portrait)
(blood-relationship 12,5 %)
* 5-12-1844 (Bloemendaal) x Anna Wilhelmina Metman (Wateringen, 20-12-1876) + 20-3-1933 (Haarlem)
As a boy our great-grandfather was too weak physically to walk the distance to school every day from Santpoort to Haarlem and back. Therefore, he received his education at home from his father, who had a large personal library. This was probably a very good education. He entered military schools in Kampen and Den Bosch. Because his commander thought the Van der Voort family's social status was not high enough for being a member of the officer corps, he was refused at first to take part in the officer's examinations. Fortunately, his next commander saw no objections, an our great-grandfather passed the exams top of his class. He was an infantry officer in 1871 until his honorary discharge in 1874. His intention was to marry Anna Wilhelmina Metman, but he could not afford to raise a family just on a young lieutenant's salary. Officers were then still expected to have access to their family's supposed wealth. He then became a geography teacher at a secundary school from 1874 until his retirement in 1909. It is said that our great-grandfather's interest in the Van der Voort family's origins was triggered when a collegue at his school could prove that he was a descendant of an Amsterdam "regentenfamilie", which gave him the right to the title of jonkheer. But our great-grandfather would certainly also have remembered his rebuke when first applying for the officer's exams. In fact, the golden ring with the Van der Voort coat of arms dated 12-8-72 mentioned above, was made shortly after he had become an officer.
Later he became "lid van het hoofdbestuur van de Volksbond tegen Drankmisbruik" (a board member of the National Society against Alcohol-Abuse) perhaps because of his brother's problems?, and had many other social functions. For his services, he was appointed "Ridder in de Orde van Oranje-Nassau".

5. Jan Hendrik van der Voort
* 22-11-1852 (Bloemendaal) x Anna Paulina Magdalena Danckaerts (Goes 2-8-1881) + 12-10-1925 (Den Haag)
Occupation: teacher of English at a secondary school in Gouda and later in Voorburg; he edited a Dutch-English dictionary, a copy of which is still in our possession.

6. Hermina "Mina" van der Voort
* 18-5-1855 (Bloemendaal) x Philippus Metman (Bloemendaal 30-11-1873) + 27-9-1923 (Enschede)
Hermina's husband was the brother of our great-grandmother Anna Wilhelmina Metman. "Flip" Metman was a naval officer who later became "secretaris" of Bantam, Dutch East Indies. He returned to Holland with his daughter Pauline by an Indonesian woman. Paulus van den Berg describes "Mina" van der Voort as a very kindhearted woman, who brought up her husband's daughter Pauline as if it was her own. In fact, Pauline only discovered much later that Hermina was not her biological mother.

7. Adriaan Mari van der Voort
* 9-5-1862 (Bloemendaal) x Everdina ("Eef") Sparenberg (Amsterdam 7-2-1907) + 31-12-1940 (Bloemendaal)
Occupation: teacher at a primary school, administrative assistant at the psychiatric institution in Santpoort, "administrateur" of the psychiatric institution in Castricum.

Children of
Asuerus van der Voort Azn.(1844-1933)
and Anna Wilhelmina
Metman (1853-1927)
(See 2 generations back)

1. Alexandrina Charlotte ("Charlotte") Paulowna van der Voort (See portrait), (See picture of Van Rossum family gathering), (See family portrait)
* 4-11-1877 (Haarlem) x Charles Marie Felix van Rossum (Haarlem 16-1-1902) + 6-9-1960 (Lisbon, Portugal)
Charlotte's husband, director of a sugar factory, was a son of our second great-grandfather Ch.M.F. van Rossum and his second wife, Cornelia Veenendaal.

2. Maria ("Marie") Catharina van der Voort (See portrait), (See family portrait)
* 19-2-1880 (Haarlem) x Coos Hartogh (Amsterdam 28-8-1908) + 15-2-1949 (Millgrove, Canada)
Our great-aunt Marie's husband was a teacher and later became director-general of Education in the Dutch East-Indies.

3. Hendrik ("Han") Willem van der Voort (See portrait 1), (See portrait 2), (See portrait 3), (See family portrait)
(blood-relationship 25 %)
* 23-5-1884 (Haarlem) x Maria Adriana Verweij (Den Haag 4-11-1909) + 8-11-1956 (Wassenaar)
Our grandfather was a civil engineer with "Waterstaat en 's Lands Burgerlijke Openbare Werken" in the Dutch East Indies from 1910 until his retirement in 1932; "Hoofdingenieur-Directeur" of the seaport of Soerabaja in 1927 (Syrabaya is still the biggest port in Indonesia); "gemeenteraadslid" of Makassar and Soerabaja; "hoofdbestuurslid van de Nederlands-Indische Staatkundige Partij Vaderlandse Club", "voorzitter van de Afdeling Den Haag van de Liberale Staatspartij"; "wethouder van de Gemeente Wassenaar" 1945-1953. In Haarlem he met Maria Adriana Verweij through his eldest sister Charlotte, who was married to Charles Marie Felix van Rossum, a son of the elder Ch.M.F. van Rossum and his second wife, Cornelia Veenendaal (see above), and therefore a half-brother to Marie's mother. Marie and Han soon got married and went to the Dutch East-Indies where our grandfather would have better career-prospects than in Holland. The couple first moved from one outpost to another, where our grandfather directed the building of roads, irrigation works, and other infrastructure projects. They lost their first child because there was no doctor or medicin available. After six years, they would have been allowed to go back to Holland for one year's leave, but since the First World War was then still raging in Europe, the Netherlands Indies were cut off from the home country. Only after Armistice was signed in 1918, the family sailed to Holland on the "Noordam". Our grandfaher's final assignment overseas was in Surabaya, where he was appointed director of the seaport. After our grandfather's term in the tropics was finished in 1932, they returned to Holland and lived through the German occupation. They were ordered by the Germans to move out of their home in Scheveningen which was too close to the German coastal defenses. They settled in nearby Wassenaar. After the war he became "wethouder" (alderman) and held many other functions. He died in Wassenaar at the age of 72.

4. Anna ("Annie") Wilhelmina van der Voort (See family portrait)
* 16-7-1888 (Haarlem) x Willem Heijman (Haarlem 18-8-1910) + 2-5-1911 (Soerabaja, Dutch East Indies)

Children of
Hendrik Willem van der Voort (1883-1956)
and Maria Adriana Verweij (1886-1975)

(See 1 generations back)

1. Arnold Asuerus Anthonie van der Voort
* 22-12-1910 (Soemenep, Dutch East Indies) + 23-12-1910 (Soemenep, Dutch East Indies)
Our grandparents' first child was born two months prematurely, and died the following day.

2. Jeanne ("Jen") Marie Louise van der Voort (See portrait 1), (See portrait 2), (See portrait 3), (See family portrait)
* 05-02-1912 (Soemenep, Dutch East Indies) x Philip Schuurman (Wassenaar, 3-4-1959) + 15-11-2001 (Den Haag)
Our aunt Jen earned her degree as a physical science engineer at Delft techical university, and then became a mathematics and physics teacher, first at a secundary school in Flims (Switzerland) and later in Steenwijk in the Netherlands from 1939 to 1940. Then she was a scientific assistant at the Netherlands Institute for Documentation and Registration from 1940 to 1948, teacher at the University of Bandoeng (Indonesia) from 1948 until 1951, and scientific assistant at TNO institute for Applied Physical Science until her marriage in 1959. Her husband was a civil engineer who became "hoofddirecteur Water", one of the chief directors of the "Rijkswaterstaat" organisation, where he was responsible for the overall management of dikes, waterways, and waterquality in the Netherlands. (Also see Adriaan Goekoop, an earlier top Rijkswaterstaat official.)
Aunt Jen became ill in January 2001, suffering from a stroke. As her nephew and next of kin, I, the author of this website, had to take responsibility for organising round-the-clock care for her and for managing all her affairs. She died later that year at home, having been spared ending up in a hospital or in a home for Alzheimer patients, like her mother. For a strong-willed person like aunt Jen, who had maintained a great personal style throughout her life, becoming totally dependent on strangers must have been what she feared most. But aunt Jen was of course well aware of her situation, as she herself put it: "Van der Voorts do not reach the age of 90". She never complained about her situation and remained in high spirits until the end, always trying to create the impression that she would recover very soon. Although aunt Jen never reached the age of 90, she did come close. She told me that she had had a good life, especially during the time of her marriage. Among the highlights were the long walks she and her husband made during their holidays in the mountains of Switzerland.

3. Arnold ("Arnold") Asuerus van der Voort (See portrait 1), (See family portrait)
(blood-relationship 50 %)
* 03-05-1914 (Madioen, Dutch East Indies), x Dorothea Zeilmaker (Wassenaar 14-8-1947), + 05-09-1996 (Den Haag)
As a boy of 12 our father had to leave his family and his beloved "Indië" and was sent to Holland for his education at a secundary school. In Haarlem he was boarding with a "decent couple" ("in de kost bij nette mensen"), who, however decent, could not believe any of his stories about life in the Dutch East-Indies. ("You must not tell lies, this is not how people really behave!") Our father was an avid reader of history books, and had a vast knowledge of historical facts and backgrounds, which he liked to share with anyone who asked him. (My sister and I must have got some of this from him). As a boy, he had a great interest in strange animals (so do I) and in electronics (this went to my brother). He was a radio-amateur and built his own transmitter. He won an award from Philips, the electronics company, for a suggested improvement to a radio valve. He had in fact wanted to become an electronics engineer, but my grandfather did not think much of this and wanted him to become a civil engineer instead, like himself, and like his daughter. My father started but did not finish his studies in Delft, and after that he went to Rotterdam to study economics. His studies were interrupted by the Second World War, but he completed them after 1945. He then became an economist at the ministry of Economic Affairs, 1946-1979, and towards the end of his career he was appointed "Officier in de orde van Oranje-Nassau" for his services. He died in hospital at the age of 82.

Children of
Arnold Asuerus van der Voort (1914-1996)
and Dorothea Zeilmaker (1924-)

(See (My own generation)

1. Hendrik ("Han") Willem van der Voort
(author of this website)
* 20-05-1948 (Den Haag) x Mirjam Renée Israëls (Rijnwoude 21-5-1993)
(see Personal Information)

2. Sonja ("Son") Maria van der Voort
(co-researcher for Chapter Genealogy in this website)
* 20-06-1950 (Den Haag)
Occupation: librarian, illustrator of children's books, organiser and player of puppetshows for children.

3. Anthony ("Tom") Otto van der Voort
* 13-02-1954 (Wassenaar)

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