Was Eleanor of Aquitaine my Ancestor? Generation 13 – Aleid Laureijs Colen

This is the fourteenth post in a series about my possible line of descent from Eleanor of Aquitaine. In the first post, I explained how I discovered the possible line, and how I am going to verify it one generation at a time. In the last post, I proved that my ninth great-grandfather Laureijs Denis Peters was the son of Denis Peters, also known as Pulskens, and Aleid Laureijs Colen.

Aleid Laureijs Colen, daughter of Laureijs Denijs Colen

The research to prove that Laureijs Denis Peters was the son of Aleid Laureijs Colen already turned up several records that mentioned her, including her marriage record, last will, and estate division. These records will be analyzed for evidence about her parents.

Marriage record

According to the Roman Catholic marriage register, Elen Laureijs Denis Colen had banns published to marry Denis Peter Antenus on 16 December 1627. They were married on 11 January 1628. Witnesses were Jan Willem Mutsaerts and Jan Peter Antonis.1

The patronymics of the bride identify her as the daughter of Laureijs Denis Colen. The patronymics of the second witness match those of the groom, suggesting Jan was Denis’ brother. That makes it likely that Jan Willem Mutsaerts was a relative of Elen Laureijs Denis Colen, since it was common to have one witness from each side.

Marriage record

Children

Denis Peters and Elen had the following children baptized in Tilburg:

  1. Petrus, baptized 13 November 1628. Witnesses: Jan Willems, Maeijken Sijmons.
  2. Laureijs, baptized 10 June 1631. Witnesses: Wouter Dionijs Coolen, Eelen Goijaerts.
  3. Antonius, baptized 8 January 1634. Witnesses: Jan Denijs Coolen, Cathalijn Jans.
  4. Maria, baptized 9 November 1635. Witnesses: Jan Janssen, Maijken Thonis Adam.
  5. Peerken, baptized 13 February 1638. Witnesses: Adriaen Janssen, Jenneken Cornelis.
  6. Adrianus, baptized 17 September 1639. Witnesses: Jan Jacobs Damen, Peerken Peters.
  7. Catharina, baptized 22 April 1648. Witnesses: Heijlken Cornelis in the name of Maiken Jan Vreijssen.2

Based on their patronymic and last name, Wouter Dionijs Coolen and Jan Denijs Coolen were probably uncles of Eelen/Aleid.

Baptismal record

Married in 1628 and mother of children born between 1628 and 1648, Aleida was probably born between 1603 and 1610. No baptism of an Aleida or variations, daughter of Denis was found in the index of Tilburg baptismal records.3 Tilburg baptismal records start in 1600, but the earliest records seem to be incomplete. For example, only eight baptisms were recorded for 1605.4 Aleida’s baptism may have been unrecorded, so the absence of her baptism in Tilburg records does not imply she was born elsewhere.

Last will

On 24 March 1665, Denijs Peter Anthonis Pulskens and Aleijt Laureijs Colen recorded their last will.5 Aleid and Elen are variations of the same name. His first name and patronymics and her first name, last name, and first patronymic match the information from the marriage record, proving that this is the will for the couple who married in 1628. The will did not identify any relatives besides daughter Catherina and unnamed unmarried children.5

Last will

Estate division

On 17 August 1684, the heirs of Denis Peter Pulskens and Alida Lauwreijs Colen, also called Aletta Freijs Coolen, divided their estate.6 The court record of the division named their children and grandchildren, as described in the previous blogpost.

Guardianship accounts of Laureijs Denijs Colen’s children

The court records of Tilburg include a bundle containing the guardianship accounts of the income and expenses for the minor children of the late Laureijs Denijs Colen and Catharina, daughter of Jan Adriaen Smolders. His first name, patronymic, and last name match the inferred information about Aleid’s father. The guardianship accounts show that this couple indeed had a daughter Aleida.

The earliest account dates from 20 February 1620, when Wouter Denijs Colen appeared as guardian and Peter Jan Adriaen Smolders as supervising guardian during an estate sale. The accounts span 32 pages and cover the years 1620-1628. They include several payments made on behalf of the children, of which some examples are given here.

1620-1621:

  • To Aleijdt the daughter for money that she consumed in the new year 4 stuivers [5 cent coin]
  • To the teacher in Hasselt for the school money for the three small children 2 guilders, 5 stuivers, 1 oirt [penny coin]
  • To the wife of Wouter Denijs for consumption and for the children during the year, 4 guilders 5 stuivers.
  • For white bread when the daughter was ill, 1 stuiver.

This account mentions Corstiaen Laureijs Denijs Coolen as “voorsoone” [son of a prior marriage]. Besides Aleijdt, the record also mentioned Jan the older, Jan the younger, and Adrian as children for whom payments were made. It also mentions that Jan Willems, having married the minor children’s mother, should pay them some remaining sum.

27 June 1621:

  • For Aleijdt the daughter linnen sheets, 13 stuivers 3 oirt
  • For Aleijdt the daughter a black apron, 29 stuivers 3 oirt
  • For Aleijdt the daughter a pair of shoes, 22 stuivers
  • For the same Aleijdt black wollen cloth for a bodice, 3 guilders 10 stuiver
  • For Aleijdt the daughter to buy a hat and have her shoes repaired, 11 stuivers
  • To the teacher at the Hasselt 30 stuiver

Account since 12 January 1625 to 1628:

  • For Aleijdt the daughter a pair of shoes 24 stuivers
  • For Aleijdt the daughter when she was ill sent to Rotterdam, 8 guilders
  • And for the second trip of the same because of her illness travelled to Rotterdam 4 guilders 5 stuivers
  • For Aleijdtken the daughter a pair of shoes 29 stuivers 2 oirt
  • For the cloth for a frock for Aleijtken when she was the bride, 14 guilders 8 stuivers, 3 oirt
  • Given to Aleijdt the daughter in money 15 guilders.7

Entry for a frock for when Aleijdtken was the bride

The accounts only mention the sale of moveable goods; no real estate was sold. The accounts include income from rents, and the expense accounts include some payments for repairs of a house, which shows that they did own property. This suggests the real estate remained undivided in the joint possession of the children and their mother.

The accounts identified four apparent brothers of Aleijdt: Jan the older, Jan the younger, Peter, and Adriaen, plus apparent half-brother Corstiaen.

The expenses provide great insights into the youth of Aleida. She was apparently raised for a time in the household of Wouter Denijs Coolen and his wife. His patronymic and last name identify him as Aleida’s uncle. She probably went to school in the hamlet of Hasselt, if she was one of the three younger children for whom money was paid to the local teacher. She was ill around 1620, when white bread was bought for her, and again between 1625 and 1628, when she required two visits to Rotterdam to get cured; a distance of about 75 km/45 miles. She married between 1625 and 1628, since the account includes an expense for a frock for her wedding.

With the accounts is a stack of receipts, including a receipt dated 27 March 1628 for several purchases of cloth, paid for by Wouter Denis Coolen. The purchases include for Eelen the sister cloth for one frock for the sum of 14 guilders 8 stuivers 3 oirt. Most of the receipts were paid for by Wouter Denis Coolen or Jan Willem Mutsaerts.8

Receipt for Elen’s frock

Elen is another form of Aleida/Aleijdtken. The sum of 14 guilders, 8 stuivers, and 3 oirt matches the entry in the account for Aleijdtken’s bridal frock. The receipt was from 27 March 1628. People often had a running tab with merchants that they settled periodically, which explains why there were several purchases on the same receipt. That means that Elen/Aleijdtken, the daughter of Laureijs Denijs Colen and Catharina, daughter of Jan Adriaen Smolders had a bridal gown made before 27 March 1628, perhaps as much as a few months before.

The estimated date of the marriage is consistent with Aleida Laureijs Denis Colen, who married Denis Peter Antonis on 11 January 1628. No other brides named Aleida Colen were found in the index in 1625-1628.9

The presence of the receipt for the bridal gown of Aleida in the guardianship accounts of the children of Laureijs Denijs Colen and Catharina Smolders implies that it was their daughter who married Denis Peter Antonis.

Marriage record of the parents

On 14 July 1602, Laureijs Denijs Colen had banns published to marry Lijnken Jan Adriaens daughter. They were married on the 28th of the same month.10

The name of the groom fits the father in the guardianship account. Lijnken is a diminitive of Catharina, so the bride’s name matches that of the mother in the guardianship accounts too. Their 1602 marriage is before the 1603-1610 estimated birth date of Aleida Laureijs Colen, consistent with them being her parents.

Marriage record

Jan Willem Mutsaerts

Jan Willem Mutsaerts witnessed the publication of the banns of Aleida to Denis in 1627, and also appeared on several receipts showing that he made purchases on her behalf.

The Tilburg marriage register explains his presence. On 26 January 1620, Jan Willem Mutsaerts had banns published to marry Lijntken Jan Adriaens. Witnesses were Lauwreijs Adriaens and Corst Lauwereijs Denis. The marriage was solemnized 13 February 1620.11 

His bride must have been Catharina/Lijnken Jan Adriaens, the widow of Laureijs Denijs Colen. The guardianship accounts said that the children’s mother had married Jan Willems, so that fits. Cathalijn Jans and Jan Willems both witnessed the baptism of one of Aleida’s children.

As Aleida’s stepfather, Jan Willems Mutsaerts would have been a logical choice to witness her marriage and sign receipts for purchases on her behalf. The date of the estate sale, a week after her second marriage, also fits. The guardians of the children would have insisted she first came to an agreement with them before starting her new life with a new husband.

Marriage record

Wouter Denis Coolen

Wouter Denis Coolen forms another link between Aleida, the wife of Denis Peter Anthonis Pulskens, and Aleida, the daughter of Laureijs Denis Colen and Catharina Jan Adriaens Smolders:

  • Wouter Dionijs Coolen witnessed the baptism of Laureijs, son of Denijs Peters and Elen [Aleida Laureijs Colen].12
  • Wouter Denis Coolen was the guardian over the minor children of Laureijs Denis Coolen and Catharina Jan Adriaens Smolders.13

Peter Laureijs Colen’s will

On 18 August 1664, Peter Laureijs Colen, lying ill in his bed, made up his last will. He left 1/3 of his estate to his brother Jan Laureijs Colen or his heirs, 1/3 to his sister Alijd or her heirs, and 1/3 to the children of the late Jan Laureijs Colen the younger of whom the mother is Cornelia Adriaen Anthonis Gerits de Beir.14

The four siblings Peter, Jan the older, Jan the younger, and Alijd match four of the five minor children of Laureijs Denijs Colen and Catharina Jan Adriaens Smolders mentioned in the guardianship accounts. This shows that their daughter Aleijdtken was still living in 18 August 1664, consistent with her being the wife of Denis Peter Antonis Pulskens.

Naming patterns

Denis Peter Antonis Pulskens and Aleida Laureijs Colen named their second son Laurentius, apparently after her deceased father.15 In 1648, they named their youngest daughter Catharina, apparently after her mother.16 Since only deceased family members were usually named after, this indicates that Catharina probably died before 1648. A gap in the surviving burial registers of Tilburg from 1633 to 1654 prevents us from finding out the burial date of Catharina Jan Adriaens Smolders.17

Conclusion

All the evidence leads to the same conclusion: Aleida Laureijs Colen was the daughter of Laureijs Denis Colen and Catharina Jan Adriaens Smolders. Her patronymics in her marriage record identified her as the daughter of Laureijs Denis Colen. The guardianship accounts show that Laureijs Denis Colen and Catharina Jan Adriaen Smolders had a daughter Aleijdtken/Elen who married around the time that Aleida Laureijs Colen married Denis Peter Anthonis Pulskens. The witness to that marriage, Jan Willem Mutsaerts, was the second husband of Catharina Jan Adriaen Smolders; her stepfather. Joint appearances with siblings and half-siblings confirm the relationship. No evidence was found to contradict this conclusion.

The receipt for the wedding dress has to be one of the coolest pieces of evidence I’ve ever found during my research. This find shows that it pays off to expand your search beyond the church records and what’s online, and to take the time to do on-site research in less commonly used sources. The guardianship account provided key evidence to link Aleida to her parental family.

That’s thirteen generations down, fifteen to go!


Sources

  1. St. Dionysius Roman Catholic Parish (Tilburg),  marriage register 1621-1633, p. 299, Antheunis-Colen (16 December 1627); “Zoek een persoon,” index and images, Regionaal Archief Tilburg (http://www.regionaalarchieftilburg.nl : accessed 7 May 2016).
  2. St. Dionysius Roman Catholic Parish (Tilburg), baptismal register 1634-1649; “Zoek een persoon,” index and images, Regionaal Archief Tilburg (http://www.regionaalarchieftilburg.nl : accessed 7 May 2016).
  3. “Zoek een persoon,” index, Regionaal Archief Tilburg (http://www.regionaalarchieftilburg.nl : accessed 7 May 2016).
  4. St. Dionysius Roman Catholic Parish (Tilburg), baptismal register 1600-1615; “Bladeren in registers,” browsable images, Regionaal Archief Tilburg (http://www.regionaalarchieftilburg.nl : accessed 20 March 2018).
  5. Charles de Roy, notary public (Tilburg), minutes 1656-1668, call no. 15, fol. 208, last will of Denijs Peter Anthonis Pulskens and Aleijt Laureijs Colen (24 March 1665); “Zoek een persoon,” index and images, Regionaal Archief Tilburg (http://www.regionaalarchieftilburg.nl : accessed 7 May 2016).
  6. Aldermen’s Court (Tilburg), general protocol 1681, fol. 75v-79r, estate division heirs of Denis Peter Pulskens and Alida Laureijs Colen (17 August 1684); call no. 380, microfiche, Aldermen’s Court of Tilburg and Goirle, Record Group 14; Regionaal Archief Tilburg, Tilburg.
  7. Aldermen’s Court (Tilburg), estate inventory and guardianship accounts of Laureijs Denijs Colen and Catharijne Jan Adriaen Smolders (1620-1628); call no. 8736, Schepenbank van Tilburg en Goirle, Record Group 14; Regionaal Archief Tilburg, Tilburg.
  8. Aldermen’s Court (Tilburg), estate inventory and guardianship accounts of Laureijs Denijs Colen and Catharijne Jan Adriaen Smolders (1620-1628), receipts.
  9. “Zoek een persoon,” index, Regionaal Archief Tilburg (http://www.regionaalarchieftilburg.nl : accessed 8 May 2016).
  10. St. Dionysius Roman Catholic Parish (Tilburg),  marriage register 1600-1612, p. 202, Colen-Adriaensdr (14 July 1602); “Zoek een persoon,” index and images, Regionaal Archief Tilburg (http://www.regionaalarchieftilburg.nl : accessed 8 May 2016).
  11. St. Dionysius Roman Catholic Parish (Tilburg),  marriage register 1600-1630, p. 153, Mutsaerts-Adriaens (26 January 1620); “Zoek een persoon,” index and images, Regionaal Archief Tilburg (http://www.regionaalarchieftilburg.nl : accessed 8 May 2016).
  12. St. Dionysius Roman Catholic Parish (Tilburg), baptismal register 1634-1649, p. 183, Laurentius Dionijs Peeters (10 June 1631).
  13. St. Dionysius Roman Catholic Parish (Tilburg), baptismal register 1634-1649, p. 227, Catharina Denis Peeters (22 April 1648).
  14. Aldermen’s Court (Tilburg), general protocol 1664-1665, fol. 64v-65r, last will of Peter Laureijs Colen (18 August 1664); call no. 368, microfiche, Aldermen’s Court of Tilburg and Goirle, Record Group 14; Regionaal Archief Tilburg, Tilburg.
  15. Aldermen’s Court (Tilburg), estate inventory and guardianship accounts of Laureijs Denijs Colen and Catharijne Jan Adriaen Smolders (1620-1628).
  16. St. Dionysius Roman Catholic Parish (Tilburg), baptismal register 1634-1649, p. 183, Laurentius Dionijs Peeters (10 June 1631).
  17. “Bladeren in registers,” browsable images, Regionaal Archief Tilburg (http://www.regionaalarchieftilburg.nl : accessed 20 March 2018).
About Yvette Hoitink

Yvette Hoitink is a professional genealogist in the Netherlands. She has been doing genealogy for almost 25 years. Her expertise is helping people from across the world find their ancestors in the Netherlands. Read about Yvette's professional genealogy services.

Comments

  1. Doris Waggoner says:

    Yvette,

    You’ve gone almost exactly halfway by now! I can hardly wait to see where the ending takes you.

    The detailed amount of information you have collected for this new generation is really quite astonishing.Where’s the photograph of that wedding dress? Oh–you’re 200 years BEFORE photography! You do provide us details like naming customs, that people often ran running tabs with professionals they dealt with regularly, that they traveled to a larger city with, presumably, better health care when they were seriously ill. Would there be records to find out what Elen’s health issue was? It must have been a chronic illness, to have sent her to Rotterdam several times. Of course, that would take you off the track of your goal of tracing Eleanor of Aquitaine.

    Finding out that some of the guardians were no doubt uncles, and that the witnesses were too, I found very interesting.

    Again, this is probably the most interesting post, with the largest amount of information you’ve been able to collect and make logical inferences from so far.

    I look forward to each one and this one whets my appetite for the next!

    Doris

    • This is my favorite article of the series too, because these guardianship accounts give the most personal information yet (apart from the recent generations).

      I don’t know what Elen’s health issue was. Den Bosch would have been the nearest big city. To go to Rotterdam suggests she must have seen a specialist. I’ve gone through all the Tilburg records I could think of to look for evidence of Elen’s life and relatives, and did not come across any other that refer to her health. She lived to her 70s or even 80s and had seven children, so whatever it was, she seemed to have been cured or grown over it. Perhaps it was asthma, which is often worse in children than adults. Or maybe a food allergy that was undiagnosed or a bowel problem, which might explain why white bread helped.

  2. Wow, Yvette, this generation’s work was amazing. All the surmises you can make about people’s relationships, seem so intriguing. How does a stepfather feel about paying for the wedding dress of a step-daughter? How does the family arrange to travel so far for the well-being of one child?

    So Lijnken is a diminutive of Catharina? I would not have guessed that. Noted.

    I’m also so envious that you have resources to reach back 13 generations. If I tried to do that, and stay inside my own country, I’d have to pick a line that leads to the Mayflower. And that would sometimes lead me to the Netherlands, too. 🙂

  3. Michaël Boers says:

    Dear Yvette,

    What an examplatory way you have to document your line of descent towards Eleanor of Aquitaine. And what a thorough way of stating the genealogical proofs. I can learn a lot from you.
    I have ancestry myself from Tilburg (the Backx family), so maybe we share some ancestry somewhere.
    I can’t wait to read your next blog posts.

    Michaël Boers

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