Was Eleanor of Aquitaine my Ancestor? Generation 14 – Laureijs Denis Colen

This is the fifteenth 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 tenth great-grandmother Aleid Laureijs Colen was the daughter of Laureijs Denis Colen and Catharina Jan Adriaens Smolders.

Laureijs Denis Colen, son of Barbara Peter Goijaert Pulskens

Research into Aleid’s parents already turned up several records about her parents:

  • Their marriage record
  • The record of the second marriage of mother Catharina.
  • Their guardianship accounts

These records will be analyzed for evidence of Laureijs Denis Colen’s parents.

Marriage

Laureijs Denis Colen is the earliest generation for whom church records are available. On 14 July 1602, Laureijs Denijs Colen had banns published in the Roman Catholic Church of Tilburg to marry Lijnken Jan Adriaensdr. Three marks in the margin of the marriage record indicate that the three proclamations were held without opposition. The marriage was solemnized in on the 28th.1

Roman Catholic marriage record

The names of the bride and groom in this marriage record closely resemble those of Aleid’s parents. Lijnken is a diminutive of Catharina/Catelijne. As the only Laureijs Denijs Colen and Catharina/Lijnken in the index in this period,2 this has to be her parents’ marriage record.

The groom’s patronymic indicates that his father was Denijs Colen. Denis is a common name in Tilburg, which has saint Dionysius as its patron. Denis is the Dutch version of the Latin Dionysius. Colen also is a common name there.

Second marriage of Lyntken Jan Adriaens

On 26 January 1620, Jan Willem Mutsaerts and Lijntken Jan Adriaens had banns published for their marriage. Witnesses were Lauwreijs Adriaens and Corst Lauwreijs Denis. The marriage was solemnized on 13 February.3

The name of the bride matches that of Laureijs Denis Colen’s wife in the 1602 marriage record.

Marriage record of the second marriage

Burial record

According to the burial record created by the church, Laureijs Denijs Colen was buried in Tilburg on 4 April 1617.4 The time of his death fits with a second marriage of his widow in 1620. The burial record does not give any names of relatives.

Burial record

Guardianship accounts

The accounts of the estate of the children of the late Laureijs Denijs Colen of whom the mother was Catharina, daughter of Jan Adriaen Smolders span the period 20 February 1620 to 1628. The guardians who had to account for the expenses were Wouter Denis Colen and Peter Jan Adriaen Smolders.5

These dates are significant. 20 February 1620 is a week after the marriage of Lijntken Jan Adriaens to Jan Willem Mutsaerts. Before being allowed to remarry, a widow with minor children had to come to an agreement with the guardians of her minor children. The estate had to be appraised so the share of the minor children could be determined. The accounts show that there was an estate division on the 20th February 1620. It mentions that Jan Willems had married the children’s mother. That shows that it was Aleid’s mother Catharina Jan Adriaen Smolders who married Jan Willem Mutsaerts. The end of the guardianship accounts in 1628 coincides with Aleid’s marriage, when she would no longer need a guardian.6

Introduction of the guardianship accounts

Based on his patronymic and last name, guardian Wouter Denis Colen was Laureijs’ brother, a logical choice for that role. The other guardian, Peter Jan Adriaen Smolders, was apparently Catharina’s brother, so both sides were represented, as was common. Another relative mentioned in the record was Jan, the oldest son of Laureijs Denis Colen and Catharina, who signed off on the estate division, implying he was already of age.

The approximately 100 pages of the guardianship accounts mention several incomes and expenses. They show that the children received a house next to the shed, without specifying its location more precisely. The income includes payments of rents of farm land, indicating that the family owned more land than they used themselves.

The list of items sold on 20 February 1620 consists mainly of household items, farm equipment, and weaving implements, not real estate. Buyers included:

  • The widow, who purchased a bed and peat [fuel]
  • Jan Willem Mutsaerts, who purchased a cow
  • Jan Denis Colen, who purchased a cutting board and a loom to weave linen
  • Wouter Denis Colen, who purchased a wagon, an iron object, some wooden objects, an iron grid, and tongs.
  • Denis Corsten, who purchased a dray, an “effenaer” [ladder-shaped tool to keep strings apart while weaving], an ashtray, and a tray
  • Denis Abrahams, who purchased a a bobbin
  • Denis Vreijssen, who purchased a kettle
  • Denis the son who purchased a jug
  • Focus Jan Gerits, who purchased a harrow.7

The majority of items were purchased by many different individuals. The sold items included several looms and other weaving implements, implying that Laureijs had been a weaver. That is a type of occupation often passed on from father to son. It is possible that one of the man named Denis was his father, although given the different types of property that the accounts indicate, it is likely that Laureijs’ father had already passed away.  Jan Denis Colen and Wouter Denis Colen were apparent brothers of Laureijs Denis Colen.

Weaver. Print by Jan and Casper Luyken, circa 1690 (public domain)

Agreement between children of first marriage

On 1 February 1620, Denijs and Corstiaen, sons of Laureijs Denijs Koolen, of whom the mother was Aleijdt daughter of the late Corstiaen Cornelis Antonissen, received a third of unspecified property in Tilburg from their parents’ estate.8

The timing of this agreement, during the marriage proclamations of Catharina Jan Adriaens Smolders to Jan Willem Mutsaerts and around the time of the estate settlement of Laureijs Denijs Colen, indicates that this record is about the same Laureijs Denijs Colen. It shows that he had a first wife, Aleijdt, daughter of Corstiaen Cornelis Antonissen, before he married Catharina Jan Adriaen Smolders in 1602. Aleid, the daughter of Laureijs Denijs Colen and Catharina Jan Adriaen Smolders, was probably named after this first wife, as was the tradition. Son Denis might be the Denis Vreijssen [variation of Laureijs] who purchased a kettle from the estate sale in a few weeks later.

Koolen inheritance

Agreement between children of Corstiaen Cornelissen van Buerden

On 21 March 1602, Denijs, son of the late Corstaen Cornelissoon van Buerden, of whom the mother was Dimphna daughter of Denijssen Reijnen, is mentioned with Laureijssen, son of Denijs Laureijs Colen, widower of the late Aleijdt, his housewife, who was a daughter of Corstiaen and Digna, with whom he had children Corstiaen, Heijliger, Denijs, and Digna.9

The names of Laureijs, his first wife, and two of the children (Corstiaen and Denijs) match the information from the 1 February 1620 record, proving this is the same family. This record gives Laureijs’ father’s name as Denijs Laureijs Colen, giving us his father’s patronymic.

Van Buerden agreement

Coolen sale

On 19 March 1605, Jan and Wouter, brothers, sons of the late Denijs Laureijs Coolen, Phocus, son of the late Jan Gerritsen as husband and guardian of Barbara his wife, Adriaen, son of Adriaen as husband and guardian of Machtelt his wife, sisters, daughter of Denijs foresaid, of whom the mother was Barbara daughter of Peter Goijart Pulskens, for themselves, and Phocus also with Denijs Corstiaen Cornelis Anthonissoon as guardian and supervising guardian over Corstiaen, Heijliger, Denijs, and Dijgna, brothers and sisters, minor children of Laureijs Denijs Laureijs Coolen, sold property in Tilburg.10

This record identifies Jan, Wouter, Barbara, and Machtelt as the children of Denijs Laureijs Coolen and Barbara, daughter of Peter Goijart Pulskens. The children of the late Laurens Denijs Laureijs Coolen are mentioned as co-sellers, which implies that Laurens was their sibling too.

Phocus Jan Gerritsen was one of the purchasers in the 1620 estate sale of Laureijs Denijs Colen and Catharina Jan Adriaen Smulders. His marriage to Barbara, daughter of Denijs Laureijs Colen and Barbara Peter Goijaert Pulskens means he was a brother-in-law of Laureijs.

Coolen sale

Heirs of Goijaert Matthijs Wouterssen Denis

On 12 February 1618, the heirs of Goijaert Matthijs Wouterssen Denis got together to sell their inheritance. Among the four pages of heirs were Jan and Wouter, brothers, sons of the late Denijs Laureijs Colen of whom the mother was Barbara, daughter of Peeter Goijaert Pulskens for themselves, and Wouter also on behalf of Adriaen Adriaenssen as guardian of Mechtelt his housewife, daughter of the late Denis and Barbara foresaid; Phocus son of Jan Geritsen as husband and guardian of Barbara his wife, daughter of the late Denijs and Barbara foresaid, and the foresaid Jan and Wouter also on behalf of the “nakijnder” [children of the later marriage] of the late Laureijs Denijs Colen procreated by said Laureijs with Catharina his wife, daughter of the late Jan Adriaen Gerit Smolders.11

The four pages of heirs in the record are all Pulskens heirs. The inclusion of Laureijs’ children among the Pulskens heirs indicates that Laureijs was the son of Barbara, daughter of Peeter Goijaert Pulskens.

The record shows that Denijs Laureijs Colen and Barbara Peter Goijaert Pulskens had the following children:

  • Jan
  • Wouter
  • Mechtelt, married to Adriaen Adriaenssen
  • Barbara, married to Phocus Jan Geritsen
  • Laureijs [deceased], married as his second or later wife to Catharina Jan Adriaen Gerit Smolders, leaving minor children.

Wouter Denis Colen appeared as guardian over the minor children of Laureijs Denis Peter Colen and Catharina Jan Adriaen Gerit Smolders in their guardianship accounts. Jan and Wouter Denis Colen and Focus Jan Geritsen were among the purchasers in the 1620 estate sale. The combination of these names shows that this is all the same family.

Page from the sale mentioning the Colen heirs

Pulskens estate division

On 16 May 1595, Denijs, the son of the late Laureijs Colen, widow of the late Barbara, daughter of Peeter Goijaert Pulskens, together with his sons Laureijs and Jan, Phocus, son of the late Jan Gherits van Aelborch as husband of Barbara, and Denijs foresaid and Adriaen son of the late Laureijs Colen and Jan son of the late Jan Peter Melis as guardian and overseeing guardian of Wouter and Mechtelt, brother and sister, minor children of Denijs and the late Barbara foresaid, appeared with the other heirs of Peeter Goijaert Pulskens to divide his estate. Among the land assigned to Denijs Laureijs Colen on behalf of his children was a shed and land in the Heijdzijde.12

First page of Pulskens estate division

First page of Pulskens estate division

This record shows that Denijs Laureijs Colen and Barbara daughter of Peeter Goijaert Pulskens had the following children in 1595:

  • Laureijs
  • Jan
  • Barbara, married to Phocus son of Jan Gherits van Aelborch
  • Wouter (minor)
  • Mechtelt (minor).

These children are the same as the children of Denijs and Barbara in the 1605 and 1618 records.

The presence of these children in the estate division of Barbara’s father shows that they were all her children. If Laureijs had been the son of a different wife of Denijs Laureijs Colen, he would not have been named among the heirs.

Tax book of 1595

The tax book of 1595 shows an entry for the children Denijs Laureijs Colen in the Heijdzijde district. Immediately above is an entry for Laureijs Denijs’ son.13

The entry for Laureijs is written in a different ink and the lack of spacing suggests it was added later. This land is probably the share of the Pulskens estate divided in the 1595 estate division, the same year that this tax book was created. The entry for Denijs Laureijs Colen and Laureijs Denijs is bracketed by those of Sijmon Anthonis Pulskens (seven entries before) and Quirijn Embrecht Pulskens (next entry). These were two other Pulskens heirs that received land from Peter Goijaert Pulskens estate. The timing and neighbors confirm that it is the Pulskens land.

1595 tax record

1595 tax record

Conclusion

Three independently created court records of sales by heirs and estate divisions identified Laureijs Denijs Colen as the son of Denijs Laureijs Colen and Barbara Peter Goijaert Pulskens. This Laureijs’ wife was named as Catharina Jan Adriaen Gerit Smolders in the 1618 record, proving that this is the correct Laureijs Denijs Colen. The siblings identified in these records were frequent associates of the Laureijs Denijs Colen who first married Aleijd Corstiaen Cornelis van Buerden and second Catharina Jan Adriaens Smolders. Laureijs Denijs was listed immediately above Denijs Laureijs Colen in the tax record of 1595, suggesting he took over paying the taxes on his father’s land.

No evidence was found that identified different parents. Together, this evidence proves that Laureijs Denijs Colen was the son of Denijs Laureijs Colen and Barbara Peter Goijaert Pulskens.

That’s fourteen generations down, fourteen to go! The half-way point! Of course, the second half will be more challenging, as records get more scarce. Church records in Tilburg start around 1600, so no church records will be available for earlier generations. Tilburg court records start in 1495, and will hopefully allow us to trace the line back at least a few more generations. Stay tuned!

Next up: Generation 15 – Barbara Peter Goijaert Pulskens


Sources

  1. St. Dionysius Roman Catholic Parish (Tilburg), marriage banns register 1600-1612, p. 202, Colen-Adriaensdr, (14 juli 1602); “Zoek een persoon,” index and images, Regionaal Archief Tilburg (http://www.regionaalarchieftilburg.nl : accessed 8 May 2016).
  2. “Zoek een persoon,” index, Regionaal Archief Tilburg (http://www.regionaalarchieftilburg.nl : accessed 18 May 2018).
  3. 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).
  4. St. Dionysius Roman Catholic Parish (Tilburg),  burial register 1617-1630, p. 236, Laureijs Denis Colen (4 April 1617); “Zoek een persoon,” index and images, Regionaal Archief Tilburg(http://www.regionaalarchieftilburg.nl : accessed 8 May 2016).
  5. 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.
  6. 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).
  7. Aldermen’s Court (Tilburg), estate inventory and guardianship accounts of Laureijs Denijs Colen and Catharijne Jan Adriaen Smolders (1620-1628).
  8. Aldermen’s Court (Tilburg), general protocol 1617-1620, fol. 268r, Denijs and Corstiaen Laureijs Denijs Koolen inheritance (1 February 1620); call no. 350, microfiche, Aldermen’s Court of Tilburg and Goirle, Record Group 14; Regionaal Archief Tilburg, Tilburg.
  9. Aldermen’s Court (Tilburg), general protocol 1617-1620, fol. 268r, Van Buerden agreement (21 March 1602); call no. 346, microfiche, Aldermen’s Court of Tilburg and Goirle, Record Group 14; Regionaal Archief Tilburg, Tilburg.
  10. Aldermen’s Court (Tilburg), general protocol 1600-1605, fol. 14v, Colen sale (19 March 1605); call no. 346, microfiche, Aldermen’s Court of Tilburg and Goirle, Record Group 14; Regionaal Archief Tilburg, Tilburg.
  11. Aldermen’s Court (Tilburg), general protocol 1617-1620, fol. 107-110, Goijaert Matthijs Wouterssen Denis inheritance (12 February 1618); call no. 7995, Aldermen’s Court of Tilburg and Goirle, Record Group 14; Regionaal Archief Tilburg, Tilburg; scans provided by Regionaal Archief Tilburg.
  12. Aldermen’s Court (Tilburg), general protocol 1595, fol. 22r-26r, Peeter Goijaert Pulskens estate division (16 May 1595); call no. 7986, Aldermen’s Court of Tilburg and Goirle, Record Group 14; Regionaal Archief Tilburg, Tilburg.
  13. Tilburg, “commerboek” [tax record], 1595, section Heijdzijde; call no. 213, Village Administration of Tilburg, Record Group 3; Regional Archives of Tilburg, Tilburg.
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. Wilhelmina Laurie says

    I found it interesting that I had just discovered a relative in the south of the Netherlands who also had the name Wouter. I am starting to get into names like yours where the previous generations can almost be predicted through the patronymics… Can you tell me what Wouter is derived from. I have come across one relative who was the Burgemeester van Son who sported that name and none since!

  2. Good luck with the second half!

    Wow, that really is a lot of men named Denis.

  3. What treasure – these old records!! Challenging to read, but a ‘cheat sheet’ of writing of the times helps I’m sure. I enjoyed working my way through your findings, documents, and analysis. Hope you find those possible earlier records!

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