Do you ever have a feeling that our ancestors are conspiring to be found? I certainly do!
Back in 1993, just two years after I had begun doing genealogy, I used some money I had made baby sitting to buy the transcribed church records of Aalten in Gelderland. (And yes, I was a weird teen.)
Soon afterwards, there was a query in Gens Nostra, the monthly magazine of the Nederlandse Genealogische Vereniging (Netherlands Genealogical Society), asking about an Aalten family. The writer was stuck on a man named Lubbert Tammel, son of Arent. She could not find any Arent Tammels in the Aalten marriage records and wondered who he was.
Using my new purchases, I was able to find out that Arent had been born as Krejenbrink and married a widow who lived on the Tammel farm. He apparently moved in with her and as was the local tradition, Arent took the name of the farm. That’s why his descendants became known as Tammel.
The original poster was happy to have her brick wall solved, and I was happy to have been of service. My reply was published, the first time I ever saw my name in print. I was seventeen years old at the time.
Fast-forward twenty-three years.
Genealogy has become more than my hobby, it has become my profession. For my portfolio for the Board for Certification of Genealogists, I wrote an article about my Kastein ancestors. As part of that project, I revisited the underlying research and discovered that I had identified the wrong person as my ancestor. Using a wide range of sources, I was able to prove that I descend from his same-named cousin.
The mother of the wrong cousin was a long-standing brick wall of mine. But the mother of the right cousin was easy to find. She was born in Aalten.
You can see where this is going, right?
Sure enough: she was a descendant of Arent Tammel, also known as Krejenbrink, the first man I ever published about.
I love it when ancestors want to be found 🙂
- “Vragenrubriek” [Questions and answers], Gens Nostra 48 (1993): 417, reply 519.