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by Laurens Beijen
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The Johan Franco branch of the IJsselstein family

The Johan Franco's II and III

Johan Franco II

Johan Franco Beijen II (8.5) was born in 1738 in IJsselstein. He was the only surviving son of Johan Franco Beijen I, the subject of the previous page. When he was fourteen years old his father died.
Johan Franco studied law at the Utrecht University. In 1763 he obtained his doctor's degree after submitting a thesis on a criminal subject: De Restitutione gratiae (about granting pardons).

After his study Johan Franco returned to IJsselstein. Although his father had supported the Hernhutters generously, the family fortune was still large enough for a carefree life.
After a short time Johan Franco II was asked to be a member of the municipality: in 1764 he was appointed alderman and some years later he was one of the two burgomasters of IJsselstein. The functions within the municipality alternated from year to year, but until his death Johan Franco was almost continuously alderman or burgomaster of IJsselstein.
Johan Franco's wax seal showed the same pair of deer's antlers as the seals of his ancestors from the oldest generations. At the right a copy from 1779 is depicted.

Married to Elizabeth Charlotta Elikink

In 1772 Johan Franco married Elizabeth Charlotta Elikink. She was born in 1740 in Papendrecht near Dordrecht. Her father Bernardus Elikink was the clergyman of that town until his death in 1767. Her mother Elisabeth van Esch was a sister of Johan Franco's mother, and accordingly Johan Franco and Elizabeth were cousins. They had four children, one of whom died in infancy.

Around 1778 the Haarlem painter Augustijn Claterbos (1750-1828) made portraits of Johan Franco and his wife. For many years the two paintings were kept by the family. Around 1992 the paintings were brought to America and unfortunately it is unknown where they are now. As far as we know, the painting of Johan Franco II is the oldest picture of a member of the Beijen families.


Elizabeth Elikink wrote many poems for her relatives and friends. A part of it is preserved in archives. Most of her poems were religiously inspired.

Political struggles

Around 1780 there were great struggles in the Netherlands between the factions of the Patriots and the Orangists. These struggles had also repercussions for the municipality of IJsselstein. Johan Franco Beijen was known as an Orangist, but the following of the patriots was at least as large. In 1785 the Patriots were able to achieve that the local citizen's militia, that had been abolished forty years earlier, was set up again. The Orangists saw this as a prelude to an attempt by the Patriots to seize power in the city. A turbulent time followed, especially when Patriot soldiers from the province of Holland were billeted in IJsselstein.
In 1787 the situation in the Netherlands changed completely, when Prussian troops came to the aid of the Orange party. In IJsselstein the Orangists were also pulling the strings again.

Johan Franco II died in 1789, only fifty years old.

Johan Franco III

Johan Franco III (9.1) was the eldest son of Johan Franco II. He was born in IJsselstein in 1773. When he was fifteen years old his father died.

Johan Franco studied medicine at the Utrecht University. In 1799 he obtained his doctor's degree after submitting a thesis on cell tissue: De tela olim cellulosa nuper mucosa dicta. After returning his studies Johan Franco returned to IJsselstein. In his parental home he worked as a medical doctor.

In 1800 Johan Franco married Marie Jeanne Florentine Trip. She was born in Groningen and descended from a prominent family. The couple had fourteen children, but not less than six of them died in infancy.

Physician and burgomaster

As a medical doctor, Johan Franco was directly confronted with the poverty in IJsselstein that was caused by the economic downturn in the French period. He was a member of a local committee that managed a soup kitchen. In administrative respect Johan Franco III followed in his father's footsteps. Although under French patronage the Patriots had seized power, there was also room for people with an Orangist background. In 1802, before he was 30 years old, Johan Franco Beijen already became a member of the provisional city council. In 1806 it was his turn to be the president of the local government, and he presided the IJsselstein delegation that was sent to The Hague for an official welcome to the king of the newly created Kingdom of Holland, Louis Bonaparte (in Dutch Lodewijk Napoleon).

In that time the municipality of IJsselstein had to deal with huge financial problems. The city was taxed for major contributions to the national government, but the population was unable to pay the necessary taxes. It was hardly possible to keep the heads above water.
When the Netherlands was annexed by France in 1810, Johan Franco Beijen was maire (the French word for mayor) en later deputy maire. One of his tasks as a doctor was to examine large numbers of conscripts for Napoleon's army.

After the French period Johan Franco continued to be burgomaster of IJsselstein. At the same time he worked as a medical doctor.

The coat of arms

In 1824 a small painting was made with the family coat of arms of Johan Franco III. In 1999 I received it from one of his descendants. The coat of arms contains the same deer antlers that also appear on the seal of Johan Franco's ancestors from the oldest generations.
More about the image is said on the page Coats of Arms.

Passed away in 1842

Johan Franco III passed away in 1842. According to the death annoncement above he was burgomaster, doctor and member of the medical committee of the province of Utrecht.
His widow Marie J.F. Trip passed away in 1868.

The descendants of Johan Franco III

All later members of the Johan Franco branch descend from Johan Franco III. On the next page the Johan Franco's IV, V and VI are discussed, as well as Hendrik Johan Rudolph Beijen, who was a son of Johan Franco III and a brother of Johan Franco IV.

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