Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Value of Posting Brick Walls on Genealogical Bulletin Boards

My uncle, Joseph G. (Buddy) Allen, in Dordrect, Holland
visiting with Hogerzeil relatives immediately after World War II.

My great grandmother, Florence Etta Hoogerzeil,
born in Beverly, Massachusetts in 1871, daughter of Peter Hoogerzeil, Jr.
The Hoogerzeils of Holland and Massachusetts....

In previous blog posts I’ve mentioned that I’ve been posting on genealogical bulletin boards for more than fifteen years. When all else fails, and you are stuck on finding a clue (we call it a "brick wall") it can be invaluable to post your problem on, rootsweb or anyother on line resource. Sometimes I’ve received answers right away that help me to find the clues for primary sources to prove a lineage, and sometimes it takes years for someone to reply. Some brick walls postings are still waiting for the right person to read them. I’m sure that someday most of my mysteries will be solved, and I’m willing to wait.

In August 2009 I wrote about how a posting on a Batchelder family bulletin board lead to someone mailing me an account book for a farmer in Chichester, New Hampshire. In July 2009 I wrote how the curator of Washington Place in Honolulu, Hawaii (now the Governor’s residence) sent me copies of letters to help prove a mysterious family myth. About ten years ago someone in the Netherlands helped me to make a connection between a sailor in Beverly, Massachusetts to a sea-faring family in Dordrecht, Holland. This will be the story of my Hoogerzeil ancestors.

Erik Kon, a researcher in the Netherlands, saw a posting I made on line about Peter Hoogerzeil of Beverly, Massachusetts of “Dort, Holland.” He had been doing research on the Hogerzeil family, which stretched back to the 1600s as a family of whalers and sea captains. It turned out that the surname “Hogerzeil” was a completely made up name by Captain Ocker Bruins Hoogerseijl. Traditionally in Holland, the names were patronymics. Captain Ocker Bruin’s son Michiel should have been named Michiel Ockers, but they broke tradition by using the name “Hoogerseijl” [high sails] in honor of the family occupation. Thus, as far as we can now tell, anyone in the world with the name Hogerszeil/Hoogerzeil or its variations are members of this same family.

Previously, all I knew was that Peter Hoogerzeil had been a young stowaway, on a ship full of hemp from Rotterdam, bound for the ropeworks at Salem, Massachusetts. He must have charmed the captain of the ship, because he ended up marrying his daughter! The census records at Beverly list him as a mariner, caulker and engraver. Peter, Jr., born in Beverly, was also a sailor, and an inventor and owner of a shipping company. My uncle, a grandson of Peter Hoogerzeil, Jr., visited the Hogerzeil’s of Dordrect as a soldier serving in the newly freed Netherlands immediately following World War II.

With Erik’s help, I’ve put together a lineage for this family, which shows how the Beverly, Massachusetts Hoogerzeils came to America. All this would never have been possible without one little posting on a bulletin board!

The Hoogerzeil/Hogerzeil Lineage:

Gen. 1. Arijen Bruynen married to Aeltie Jacobs.

Gen. 2. Bruin Arijens, d. before Aug. 1667; married to Annetje Ockers, daughter of Ocker Joppense Stierman and Neeltie Gerrits.

Gen. 3. Ocker Bruins Hoogerseijl, b. 18 Oct. 1663 at Krimpen aan de Lek, Holland, d. 27 Jan 1748/9 at Krimpen aan de Lak; married in 1695 to Lijbeth van’t Hof. Ocker Hoogerseijl was the commander of a whaling ship from 1720 to 1730.

Gen. 4. Michiel Ockers Hogerzeijl, b. 18 Jul 1696, d. 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 Engeldr van Thiel. Michiel Ockers Hogerzeijl was the captain of a whaling ship from 1729 to 1759.

Gen. 5. Simon Machielszoon Hoogerzeijl, b. 2 Jun 1743 at Krimpen aan de Lek, Holland, d. 24 Feb. 1814 at Dordrecht, Holland; married on 30 Sep. 1764 at Krimpen aan de Lek to Anna Ooms, daughter of Adam Adriaans Ooms and Anna van der Ham. Simon Hoogerzeijl was the captain of a whaling ship from 1771 to 1802.

Gen. 6. Simon Hogerseijl, b. 7 Jul 1776 at Neiuwpoort, Holland, d. 15 May, 1829 at S'Gravendeel, Holland; married on 5 Sep. 1799 at Dordrecht to Lissa Van Epenhuizen, daughter of Pieter Van Epenhuizen and Margrieta Koolhallder.  Simon was also a captain of a whaling ship.  

Gen. 7. Peter Hoogerzeil, b. 28 Oct 1803 at Dordrect, d. 12 May 1889 at Beverly, Massachusetts; married on 30 Dec. 1828 at Beverly to Eunice Stone, daughter of Capt. Josiah Stone and Susanna Hix. Peter and Susanna had six children, all born in Beverly, and they are my 3x great grandparents.

Copyright 2009, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

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