Saturday, March 31, 2018

Surname Saturday ~ HOOGERZEIL of Holland and Beverly, Massachusetts

Grote Kerk "Great Church" in Dordrecht
where Peter Hoogerzeil was baptized

Peter Hoogerzeil, my immigrant 3rd great grandfather, was born in Dordrecht, in Holland, on 28 October 1803 under the name Pieter Hoogerseijl.  He was the son of a whaling sea captain, Simon Hogerseijl (1776 – 1829) and his wife, Lissa Van Epenhuizen.  Dordrecht is an island on the banks of several rivers that flow into the Rhine delta.  It is near Rotterdam, which was a big whaling seaport where the ships sailed for the rich whaling in Greenland.   

Family stories say that Peter Hoogerzeil, the youngest son, stowed away on a ship loaded with hemp, which was headed for the ropeworks in Salem, Massachusetts.  He married Eunice Stone, the daughter of the ship captain, Josiah Stone.  I don’t think a sea captain would have been happy if his daughter married a stowaway, but perhaps the captain knew Peter as a mariner before taking him to Massachusetts?  There are family letters which repeat the stowaway tale, dating back to the 1800s. Perhaps there is a grain of truth to the story?

There are records of Peter Hoogerzeil in ship’s registers out of Salem and Beverly in 1826, 1827, and 1828.  He married Eunice Stone on 30 December 1828 in Beverly.  I found Peter listed in other ships registries until 1835,  when he was listed as a carpenter.  In the 1850 census in Beverly his occupation is listed as a caulker, and in the 1860 census he is listed as a day laborer born in “Ireland?”  By the 1870 census Peter was working as an expressman, which was the family business until the 1930s. 

Peter and Eunice had six children, all named in his will.  He died on 12 May 1889 in Beverly. I descend from his son, Peter Hoogerzeil, Jr. (1841 – 1908).   Over the years Peter, Jr. worked as a fisherman, a quartermaster and then as a teamster.  He began the Hoogerzeil Express Company in 1867 and employed his father and brothers.  After his death he passed the Express business on to his brother-in-law, John Healey.  Peter was also an inventor and world traveler.  He had patents for many inventions, which he sold out of his home on 43 Bartlett Street in Beverly.  As a sailor he sailed the South China Sea several times, and one of his last voyages was to Holland to visit his relatives.

I descend from Peter’s daughter Florence Etta (1871 – 1941), my great grandmother, who married Arthur Treadwell Hitchings.  She had eight children, including my grandmother, Gertrude Matilda (1905 – 2001).   Florence was known by her middle name “Etta”, and she was not well. She had “consumption” or tuberculosis, and spent a lot of time in a sanitorium during my grandmother’s growing up years.  My mother remembers visiting her “Nana” at 43 Bartlett Street, which was later occupied by “Aunt Belle” (my great grandmother’s sister Isabelle Hoogerzeil Sorenson (1888 – 1960).  Aunt Belle continued to correspond with the cousins in Holland all her life, and my uncle visited with some Hogerzeil relatives in occupied Holland during World War II.

 My HOOGERZEIL genealogy:
(see the blog post link below for Peter’s ancestors in Holland)

Generation 1:  Peter Hoogerzeil, son of Simon Hogerseijl and Lissa Van Epenhuizen, born 28 October 1803 in Dordrecht, South Holland and died 12 May 1889 in Beverly, Massachusetts; married on 30 December 1828 in Beverly to Eunice Stone, daughter of Josiah Stone and Susanna Hix.  She was baptized in Beverly on 15 May 1807 and died in Beverly on 21 October 1886. Six children.

Generation 2:  Peter Hoogerzeil, born 24 June 1841 in Beverly and died 10 May 1908 in Beverly; married on 14 March 1870 in Salem to Mary Etta Healey, daughter of Joseph Edwin Healey and Matilda Weston.  She was born 19 May 1852 in Beverly and died 23 July 1932 in Beverly.  Six children.

Generation 3:  Florence Etta Hoogerzeil, born 20 August 1871 in Beverly and died 10 February 1941 in Hamilton, Massachusetts; married on 25 December 1890 in Beverly to Arthur Treadwell Hitchings, son of Abijah Franklin Hitchings and Hannah Eliza Lewis. He was born 10 May 1868 in Salem and died 7 March 1937 in Hamilton.  Eight children.

Generation 4:  Gertrude Matilda Hitchings m. Stanley Elmer Allen (my grandparents)

For the truly curious:

A blog post about Krimpen aan de Lek, with my Hoogerzeil/Hogerzeil lineage back to 1631

A blog post about Dordrecht, where Peter Hoogerzeil was born:

A blog post about my Uncle visiting the Hogerzeil family in occupied Holland after World War II:


Heather Wilkinson Rojo, “Surname Saturday ~ HOOGERZEIL of Holland and Beverly, Massachusetts”, Nutfield Genealogy, posted March 31, 2018, ( accessed [access date]).   

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