The Beijen/Beyen Family Site
by Laurens Beijen
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The Jan Thomas branch of the IJsselstein family

The Gerrit subbranch

Gerrit Beijen and Cornelia Oskam

Of the three sons of Jan Thomas Beijen who had offspring, Gerrit Beijen (10.9) was the youngest. He was born in 1783 in Benschop and married in 1810 Cornelia Oskam, who was born in the neighbouring village of Lopikerkapel.
Gerrit and Cornelia moved to a farm in Bodegraven on the south bank of the Old Rhine, nearby the farm of his brother Maarten. Just like Maarten he rented his farm from his father. In 1828, when Jan Thomas Beijen's estate was divided, Gerrit inherited a larger farm, also close by.
The map shows a part of the municipality of Bodegraven, east of the center of the village, as it was in 1887. Maarten's farm is marked with A, Gerrit's second farm with B. The farms C to G are discussed later on this page.

Gerrit and Cornelia had twelve children. The two youngest of them died at a very young age. The other ten children all reached adulthood.
Gerrit died in 1837 at the age of 53. At the time, two of his children, Jannigje (11.14) and Jilles (11.16), had married and left the parental farm. Eight others, the youngest of whom was only six years old, were still living at home.
After Gerrit's decease Cornelia Oskam continued the farming activities with the help of her three eldest unmarried sons. In the course of years the other children moved to other farms. Cornelia's farm had the name "Beijen-Zorg", which can be translated as "Beijen care", but also as "Beijen concern". Cornelia died in 1875 at the age of 84.

The children of Gerrit and Cornelia

Below is some information about the ten children of Gerrit and Cornelia who reached adulthood. It is striking that not less than five of their sons remained unmarried.
  • Jannigje (11.14) (1811-1837) married in 1836 Johannes van den Berg. She died nine months later, probably at the birth of her first child.
  • Jan Thomas (11.15) (1813-1882) remained living on the farm together with his mother and his brothers Willem and Floris. He was a member of the municipal council of Bodegraven and chairman of the board of the polder in which the farm of the family was situated. Around 1875 he unsuccessfully offered opposition to the construction of the railway between Leiden and Woerden that cut the farmlands in the polder in two. Alongside is the obituary notice that was put in a newspaper by his brothers and sisters.
  • Jilles (11.16) (1815-1900) is discussed below.
  • Willem (11.17) (1816-1873) remained on the parental farm together with Jan Thomas and Floris. He died two years before his mother.
  • Floris (11.18) (1819-1901) was the last member of the family who was living on the farm Beijen-Zorg. In 1896, when he was 77 years old, a burglar stole a large amount of bonds from a safe while Floris was asleep. The total value was nearly 40,000 guilders, which corresponds to hundreds of thousands of present-day euros. Many Dutch newspapers wrote about this spectacular burglary. Nearly two years later a man who tried to sell a part of the bonds was picked up in Rotterdam. This led to the solution of the burglary. All of the bonds were returned.
    In his will Floris had stipulated that the farm was to be taken over by one of his heirs and that a public auction was not permitted. However, the nineteen cousins who were his heirs found a way to skirt around this condition. Floris also left behind money that was intended for a yearly distribution to the poor people of the Reformed Congregation of Bodegraven. In later years the Floris Beijen Foundation was established for the administration of the money.
    Annegje Voordouw Beijen (left) and Marrigje van Dobben Beijen (right) in traditional local dress.

  • Annegje (11.19) (1821-1894) married in 1842 Cornelis Voordouw. They lived on a farm in Bodegraven and had a large number of children, eight of whom reached adulthood.
  • Pieter (11.20) (1823-1856) died on a relatively young age.
  • Gerrit (11.21) (1826-1884) was a very remarkable man because of his poems and his tombstone. He is discussed on the page The tombstone of Gerrit Beijen.
  • Cornelis (11.22) (1828-1888) is discussed below.
  • Marrigje (11.23) (1831-1883) married in 1857 Cornelis van Dobben. They lived on a farm in the municipality of Zwammerdam and had four children who reached adulthood.

    Jilles Beijen and his descendants

    Jilles Beijen (11.16) (1815-1900) was the second son of Gerrit Beijen and Cornelia Oskam. In 1837 he married Annigje Oudshoorn, who was born in the village of Nieuwkoop. Jilles and Annigje lived successively in Nieuwkoop, Bodegraven and Lopik. In 1862 they returned to Bodegraven, where they rented a farm (marked with C on the map above) that had been bought by Jilles' mother. After the passing of his mother Jilles inherited the farm. Jilles and Annigje remained living there for decades. Annigje died in 1896, Jilles in 1900. He was nearly 85 years old.

    Jilles and Annigje had fifteen children. Not less than ten of them died within a few months after their birth. An eleventh child died in infancy as well: in the register of deaths of the municipality of Lopik is stated that their son Jan Thomas (12.40) was found dead in 1853 near the house of the family. It was just on his third birthday. We must assume that he has fallen in one of the many ditches in the polder and has drowned.

    Below is a fragment from the overview of the Jan Thomas branch: Jilles and his Beijen descendants from the generations 12 to 15. For easy reference the children who died at a yound age are left out: eleven children in generation 12, four in generation 13 and six in generation 14.
    The ancestors of the present Beijens in this little branch are marked grey, the others white. The summary shows that all later Beijen descendants in this little branch descend from Jilles' son Gerrit (12.31) and his grandson Ruth (13.55). In Holland Ruth was sometimes used as a boy's name.

    Gerrit Beijen (12.31), the oldest son of Jilles and Annigje, was born in 1838. In order to distinguish him from other family members he was sometimes referred to as "Gerrit Beijen Jillis' son". In 1861 he married Eigje Kool. She died in 1870. In 1871 Gerrit married Dirkje van Dam. He had a farm in Laagnieuwkoop (between the villages of Kockengen and Breukelen) and afterwards a farm in Harmelen. He died in 1916.
    As is shown by the summary above, Gerrit had ten children who reached adulthood: two sons, both from his first marriage, and eight daughters, nearly all from his second marriage.
    Alongside is a fragment from a picture that was taken in 1899 at the wedding of Gerrit's daughter Cornelia (13.59) and Cornelis Verzaal. The bride and the bridegroom are sitting on the right. To the left are Cornelia's parents Dirkje van Dam and Gerrit Beijen, and Gerrit's youngest daughter Gerritje (13.65). We do not know the names of the other people on the picture.

    Gerrit's son Ruth Beijen (13.55) (1864-1910) married a distant relative (third cousin) of the Dirk subbranch, Anna Hendrika Hermina Beijen. Ruth worked as an innkeeper and a coach driver. He and Anna lived in various towns; from 1903 they were living in Utrecht. Ruth died in 1910, Anna in 1944. They were the ancestors of the greater number of the present members of the Gerrit subbranch.
    Jillis Beijen (13.56) (1865-1943), another son of Gerrit, was a farmer in Willeskop near Montfoort. For a number of years he was a member of the municipal council of Willeskop. From 1935 to 1939 he was also one of the aldermen. None of the present members of the Gerrit subbranch descend from him.

    Jan Thomas Beijen (12.44) (1856-1923), the youngest son of Jilles and Annigje who reached adulthood, was a farmer in Bodegraven. One of his sons, Jilles Beijen (13.66) (1879-1954), was a very prominent man in that town. He was a cheese merchant, a member of the municipal council and founder and president of innumerable local and regional associations. Jilles had no children.

    Cornelis Beijen and his descendants

    Cornelis Beijen (11.22), who was born in 1828, was the youngest son of Gerrit Beijen and Cornelia Oskam who reached adulthood. In 1851 he married his cousin Johanna Bos, a daughter of his aunt Lijsje Beijen (10.11) and Johannis Bos. Initially Cornelis and Johanna lived on a farm in Hazerswoude. In 1867 they moved with their five children to a farm in Bodegraven (marked with D on the map above) that Cornelis' mother had bought some years before.
    One year later Johanna died. At the time the children were from twelve to four years of age. Cornelis did not marry again and had to see to the children himself, presumably with the help of one or more servants.
    Cornelis was a successful farmer. In 1871 he bought the farm that is marked above with E and rented it to somebody else. After his mother's death in 1875 he inherited the farm D where he was living, and in 1886 he bought a third farm, now on the north bank of the Old Rhine, marked with F.
    Cornelis died in 1888. At the division of his estate his three sons inherited the three farms, while his two daughters inherited shares and money, partly from extra payments of their brothers.

    Elisabeth Beijen (12.46), the oldest daughter of Cornelis, was born in 1856 and married in 1882 Jan Spruijt from the village of Kockengen. They were living on a farm near Kockengen. Jan died nine years later, in 1891. The picture on the left shows Elisabeth as a young woman. The picture on the right shows her together with her four children Cornelis, Johanna, Anna and Bart Spruijt (from left to right) shortly after the passing of her husband. The sorrows and grief over the loss can be seen from her face.
    Elisabeth went on with the farming. In 1911 she bought an extra farm: the farm called Raadwijk in her hometown Bodegraven, marked with G above. She died in 1927.

    Gerrit Beijen (12.48), the oldest son of Cornelis, was born in 1859. He married Maria Helena Hoogeboom who was born in the village of Koudekerk. At first they lived with their children in Stein near Gouda (on the farm where Gerrit's uncle Gerrit Beijen Gerrit's son (11.21) had lived) and afterwards in Haastrecht and Woubrugge.
    Gerrit died in 1915. Maria Helena, who is said to have inspired the author Herman de Man to write the character of the widow Beijen in his novel "Het wassende water", outlived her husband by 33 years.
    Alongside is a picture of the family from about 1895. The eight children were (from left to right) Arie (13.74) (born in 1887), Maria Helena (13.73) (1886), Cornelis (13.72) (1885), Marijtje (13.71) (1884), Antje (13.70) (1883), Johanna (13.69) (1881), Floris (13.76) (1891) and Cornelia Flora (13.75) (1889).

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