Monday, March 15, 2010

Amanuensis Monday- A Letter from a Proud Grandpapa

  • I read about Amanuensis Monday in Randy Seaver’s blog “GeneaMusings”, and he read about it on John Newmark’s genealogy blog “TransylvanianDutch”. Amanuensis: a person employed to take dictation or to copy manuscripts.

Michiel Ockers Hogerzeijl was the captain of a whaling ship from 1729 to 1759. He lived in Holland and hunted for whales off the coast of Greenland. His father, Ocker Bruins Hoogerseijl, was also a commander of a whaling ship from 1720 to 1730. There is a Hogerzeil Street in the town of Krimpen aan de Lek, Holland, where they lived. In the 1970s the village decided to name the streets after people and items related to whaling, which had been an important industry in the 18th and 19th centuries.

I always thought of sea captains as a tough bunch of old salts. This letter from Michiel to his daughter-in-law proves me wrong. It was written upon the occasion of his hearing she had given birth to his grandson, Adam Hogerzeil, on 4 August 1766 in Niewpoort, Holland. Adam was the brother to my ancestor, Simon Hogerzeil (1776-1829), who was also a whaling sea captain. Adam Hogerziel died at sea in 1788, age 22, whilst on a sea voyage with his father. He was not buried at sea, but put into a barrel of brandy for the return home, where he was buried in the church, Hervomde Kerk, Nieuwpoort, Holland.

Translated Letter from Michiel Ockersz Hogerzeil to his daughter in law, Anna Ooms.

Dear and honorable daughter Anna Ooms.
I have received your very pleasant letter of the 4th of this month with great joy, wishing that God will give you a speedy recovery. I wish you much blessing with your son (and hope) that you will enjoy much happiness of it, that God the Holy Spirit will guide him in growing up and will then admit him in his eternal glory. With us here everything is still well, glory to God. We are eagerly waiting for good news from Greenland but there is not much hope. This list mentions your father for one fish, Ocker for one fish, uncle Jurry (her uncle Jurriaan Ooms) not known. The Davis Strait is also bad, the list mentions 24 whales and one caselot (sperm whale) caught by the Hollanders in the Davis Strait and Jan Pieterse Bos has stayed over, so that 31 ships have 24 fish. Our Lijssie (his wife, Elisabeth Schouten) intends to come next Tuesday in 8 days, to see you as well as your son if all is well. With this, after loving greetings to you my dear daughter and mother Ooms and uncle Van der Zijde, Mr. Bunnik and wife, and all my good friends,

your father
Michiel Ockersz Hogerzeil

the newborn a dozen kisses to be given for me
Krimpen aan de Lek 7 August 1766

Michiel Ockers Hogerzeil, son of Ocker Bruins Hoogerseijl, born 18 Jul 1696, died 25 May 1779 at Krimpen aan de Lek, Holland; married on 25 Jan 1738/9 at Dordrect, Holland to Lijbeth Schouten, daughter of Simons Jans Shouten and Agnietje Engldr van Thiel. Four Children:

1. Ocker Hoogerzeijl, born 14 August 1740, died about 2 September 1794; married on 9 November 1759 to Maria de Vos
2. Simon Machielszoon Hoogerzeijl, born 2 June 1743, died 24 Feb 1814; married on 30 September 1764 to Anna Ooms, my 5x great grandmother, and the recipient of this letter. Simon was also a commander of a whaling ship from 1771 to 1802.
3. Elisabeth Hoogerzeijl, born 1 August 1745, died 21 November 1802; married on 4 November 1770 to Arie Weggeman
4. Johannes Hoogerzeijl, born 21 November 1752, died 21 September 1821; married on 4 October 1776 to Neeltje Schenk

For a complete Hoogerzeil lineage see my posting from 2 September 2009,
The photo above was taken at Mystic Seaport, Connecticut, of the whaling ship Charles W. Morgan.


Copyright 2010, Heather W. Rojo

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