As part of my Level-Up Challenge, I realized I had not completed the research into the population registers of my second great-grandparents, Hendrik Hoitink and Johanna Piek. I had one register only, showing them with their children, but had not bothered to find all of them from cradle to grave. Based on my assessment, that made my research into them a level 2 (vital statistics only). To level up, I needed to find the missing population registers.
One of these registers, from the time they lived in Bredevoort, had a nice surprise. I already knew Hendrik Hoitink was a factory worker, but a pencil note gave his employer. It said “bij Muller Wever” [with Muller Weaver].1 This opened up several new research opportunities.
I own several books about the area. One book shows that there was a textile factory in Aalten, owned by a man named Muller. This factory burned down in 1902 and was not rebuilt.2 Bredevoort is located right next to Aalten. The burning of the factory probably explains why my family moved away shortly afterwards.
The archives of the Muller textile factory did not burn and are now kept at the Erfgoedcentrum Achterhoek en Liemers [Achterhoek and Liemers Heritage Center] in Doetinchem. The finding aid indicates that among the surviving records are the correspondence and the financial records for the 1890s.3 With any luck, I should be able to find Hendrik Hoitink in them, but even if I don’t, these records should provide me more insights into his place of employment. I have put this on my research plan for level 5, where I want to find all the information I can for the person.
I am thrilled to have found such a personal detail. Going through all the population registers may seem repetitive, but you never know what notes they may contain!
- Aalten, population register 1880-1890, 47(Bredevoort):103, Hendrik Hoitink household; call no. 1061, Municipal Administration of Aalten, Record Group 0105, Erfgoedcentrum Achterhoek en Liemers, Doetinchem; finding aid and images, Archieven.nl (https://www.archieven.nl : accessed 6 February 2021).
- H. de Beukelaar and J.G. ter Horst, Geweven Goed: De Textielgeschiedenis van Aalten en Bredevoort [Woven wares: The Textile History of Aalten and Bredevoort] (Aalten: Fagus, 1992), 117.
- “Textielweverij, blekerij en ververij Fa. Gebroeders Muller te Aalten, 1853-1901” [Textile, bleaching, and painting mill, brothers Muller in Aalten], finding aid 0882, Erfgoedcentrum Achterhoek en Liemers (https://www.ecal.nu : accessed 6 February 2021).