Family tree brought to life (EN)

Written by: A.J.J. de Nijs
Many thanks to Attie de Wit for her translation!


  1. Foreword
  2. Zeeland
  3. Zeeuws-Vlaanderen
  4. City of Hulst
  5. Country of Hulst
  6. Jan de Nijs (sr)
  7. Jan de Nijs (jr)
  8. De Nijzen in the 18th century at Lamswaarde
  9. Farming cultures in the land of Hulst, specifically madder and sugar beet
  10. Johannes de Nijs at Kreverhille
  11. Johannes Francies de Nijs at Kreverhille
  12. Aloisius Josephus de Nijs, Quartermaster
  13. The Potato Grower and Consumer
  14. Aloys de Nijs at Kreverhille and Knapaf
  15. Bertha van de Vijver at Knapaf
  16. Quarter sheet of Bertha van de Vijver
  17. Crown domain Kloosterzande
  18. Flevoland (1) - De Noord Oost Polder
  19. Flevoland (2) - East and South Flevoland
  20. Uncle Mon and uncle Wies leave for Canada
  21. In the track of Uncle Mon and Uncle Wies to Canada


0. Foreword - History of family tree Aloys de Nijs-Bertha van de Vijver
This family tree is one with large branches in The Netherlands and Canada, as well as branches in Belgium, Africa and one in the UK and the USA.

My brother Frans has done research during the 1950s into the ancestors of Aloys de Nijs, who was a quartermaster and heir. He came across the names Joh. Francies, Johannes, Anthony and Andries de Nijs and the year 1801.

My attempts to continue during the past two years remained fruitless until I received cooperation from a nephew and last summer we came to the following results: Starting with Andries, we discovered the following names; Johannes Jr. and Johannes Sr, who was married on September 29, 1681 to Cornelia Smallegange at Hulst and born before 1660.

The digital road, via the archives and the archivist of Axel-Terneuzen, has helped us with our research. We will continue, but we want to first tell the history of our family through small articles found under the heading ‘History’ and then under the heading ‘Members of our family tree’ which can be found on our website

With the assistance of more nieces and nephews in The Netherlands and Canada, including information and translation of the articles into English, we hope that our webmaster, Ray Discount, will be able to update the website with new information, such as births, marriages and deaths that have occurred in our family tree.

Comments are welcome on our website. Questions about the content of the articles can be directed to Oom Guust de Nijs. By mail to: A. de Nijs, J. J. Benteijnstraat 1 - 116, 4515 EC Of IJzendijke, or by e-mail to:

Research requires a lot of time, patience and luck. The quality of data and information is paramount. I am not a pro, but an amateur in providing the information.

There are still four of the eighteen children from the De Nijs family alive, we have 356 years (Leine 96, Guust 89, Trees 86 and Emery 85 years old) between us. The oldest nieces and nephews, children of our brothers and sisters are now in their seventies. Now is the time to provide and pass on the information to the next generation. Photos, especially very old photos of our ancestors are welcome for the archives of our family.

IJzendijke, September 29, 2013,
the 332th Wedding Anniversary of Johannes Sr de Nijs and Cornelia Smallengange.

God bless and greetings,

Oom Guust de Nijs


1. Zeeland
There is an expression: “God created the world and the Dutch created The Netherlands.” Rik Lauspach wrote in his book “1953″( published 2009) about the biggest flood in South West Netherlands which started with “God created but forgot Zeeland”. Long ago Zeeland was neither sea nor land. The delta from the rivers Schelde, Maas and Rhine was a swamp area where twice daily the high and low tides would flood the sandbar and again the water would retreat and it would be dry. This created a maize of water inlets and land.

The first verse of the Zeeuws Flemish folk song reads:
Where once it squeeled of seagulls, now it echoes on the lonely beach,
There the Zeeuws raised from mud and swamp their land,
And when the storm winds came, trying to destroy everything,
They stopped the floods from their newly claimed land.

On the Zeeland’s shield there is a saying “Lactor et Emergo” which means “I struggle and will come on top.” In 1585 in their battle against the Spanish and later against the water during many centuries.

2000 years ago, located in the Honte, now Western Schelde, there was a high hill called Kreverhille where sailors at times of high wind found a safe haven. Kreverhille is situated on the North tip of Hulst, West of the Perkpolderhaven in the area of Ossenisse. In Kreverhille, on October 29, 1882 Aloys Josephus deNijs was born, our centre master of all our family lines. This is three kilometers past the farm, the Knapaf, the farm of Marcel de Nijs Jr. And Bernadette Inghel and the home of Leo de Nijs and Marianne van Remortel. Leo de Nijs is the son of Joos de Nijs and Alma De Waal. On this farm Aloys Sr. met our centre master lady Bertha van de Vijver, married her on April 30, 1907 and started farming there.

Our family tree De Nijs-van de Vijver (Aloys J. De Nijs en Bertha van de Vijver) is traced back to Johannes de Nijs, landlord and wine dealer in Kuitaart, close to Kloosterzande who was born at the end of the 17th century. His father was Johannes de Nijs and his mother was Corneilia Smallegange. These last two people were born before 1660. All our known forefathers came from East Zeeuws Vlaanderen and from Hulst. In those days everyone travelled by foot, boat or horse. They stayed close to home to find their spouse.

Zeeland and Canada lie far apart – in earlier times it was unbelievable for normal people to comprehend the distance but now, for us, this is achievable trough travel.

De vlag van ZeelandHet wapen van Zeeland
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2. Zeeuws-Vlaanderen
It is a “rare” piece of land, Zeeuws and Vlaams, or as they sing in the chorus of the Zeeuws-Vlaamse anthem, “from d’Ee to Hontenisse, from Hulst to Cadzand.

This is our own “little” country, but a part of the Netherlands. Zeeuws-Vlaanderen is the most Southern part of the Province Zeeland, between the busy Westerschelde and the Belgium Provinces of West and East Vlaanderen.

The landscape of dikes and polders is still changing. Thousand years ago, it was swamp land marsh with sandy areas in the South, along the border and sandbars with salt meadows on which the tides left behind clay deposits.
Especially, the Flemish abbeys reclaimed the area, first the West, by the St Baafs-and the St Abbey at Gent, and later in the East by the Cisterian monks of the Abbey Ten Duinen, Ter Doest, Baudelo and Cambron. “Ora and Labora”-”Pray and work” was their motto. Citizens did this at a later stage, such as Vader Cats the Groede.
Floods and military inundations required more reclaimed land; new land was added and reclaimed land was called ‘old land”. Deep gullies remained as creeks.
Excavation of peat for fuel and so called “darinck” for the salt production made it very unsafe country. look at the typical town names such as: Kloosterzande, Zuidzande, Biervliet, Nieuwvliet, Hengstdijk, IJzendijk, Ossinisse, Hontenisse, Sluis, Sluiskil, Sas van Gent, Sasput, Lamswaarde and Vogelwaarde, as a reminder of the water. ( Lamswaarde and Vogelwaarde are low lying areas, so called “holm” near the creek East-Vogel and West-Vogel).

There were also political changes: County of Vlaanderen the Gent, the Spanish rule. During the “eighty year war” (1568-1648) it became Dutch territory and after the French Period -1814- part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands

On the farm “Noorddijkhof” at Knapaf, in the Township of Hontenisse, eight leaseholders of the same family farmed -Adriaanse- from 1683-1907. Afterwards it was Aloys, Joos, Marcel, Leo and Marcel de Nijs until now. In 1999, the farm became in ownership of the partnership de Nijs. Leo de Nijs is enjoying a well deserved rest. Marcel Jr de Nijs farms on and his two sons are taking agricultural education. When Leo and Marcel purchased the farm, they left the hunting rights to the Crown Domain; a thankful gesture, while at the same time a permanent link to the House of Oranje.
The Crown Domain was good for the farmers, but included conditions, such as the livestock manure had to stay on the farm, the hunting rights stayed with the Crown Domain.
See Note below p.s

The liaison between the two families Adriaans and de Nijs, is Bertha van de Vijver. born in Koewacht on July 11, 1883. From her 4th year, she lived with her uncle Guust van de Vijver, born in Koewacht Feb 19, 1840, died in Hontenisse on April 15, 1909, and her aunt Apolonia Adriaansens. They could not have children themselves. They were very welcoming and often nephews and nieces stayed over. Often a farm wagon full of young people came from the Koewacht to de Knapaf. Also niece Bertha liked it there very much and stayed weeks, months and even years, until she married Aloys de Nijs from Kreverhille on April 30, 1907. They were uncle Guust’s successors.

The property of the Abbey Ten Duinen at Koksijde (Belgium) in (East) Zeeuws-Vlaanderen was given to the Staten Generaal in the Hague on April 16, 1646. This was done as compensation for the loss of the Principality “Oranje” in South-France.
It also was the beginning of the Crown Domain Kloosterzande. The proceeds of which came every year to the wearer of the Crown of the House of Oranje. ( First stadtholders and after 1814, four Kings and three Queens)

Zeeuws Vlaanderen in 1850De vlag van Zeeuws Vlaanderen
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3. City of Hulst
The name Hulst originates from Hulst forest.

Hulst came about in the 11th century as a settlement. It received its city rights in 1180 from the Count of Vlaanderen and became a stronghold and port city. The remnants of a middle age city can clearly be found in Hulst.
The stronghold was located on a high strip of sand with a forest of ” holly- vegetation” close to a water channel.

The terrain was a circle or oval shape, surrounded by a canal. In front of the settlement there was a clearing , where they could celebrate special occasions. Leading from the settlement was a straight road, the oldest and first hard surfaces “stone street” to the inner port, where they established a fish market. Later they built a double port by the canal, a water and land port for shipping and a road to the land of Hulst. The stronghold became the town hall and an open spot in the centre, the large market, near the Steenstraat you find the animal, wood and bread market. Near the large market they completed the Sint-Willibrordus Basilica in 1535. In the Steenstraat was the mansion of the Hulster Territory ,because they had their own board, same as the City Council had meetings in City Hall. The City walls were built between 1568-1648. During 1610-1630 nine more bastions and four ravelins were built. [a ravelin is a triangular fortification]

Hulst is called “the most Flemish City” of the Netherlands because of its Burgundian lifestyle (Burgundy is an area in east central France)
Our family has many relationships both past and present with Hulst. Vader and opa Aloys de Nijs went to the market in Hulst almost every Monday afternoon. Thirteen of his children followed in agriculture or household or secondary school education. Three of the children , Marie, Tina and Thiele went to boarding school at an early age on the advice of the family doctor to give Mother more rest. The oldest son, Dolf lived there for about 20 years and his wife Liza lived there for 26 years. Presently their sons Emiel and Jo live respectively on Zoutzeider and Janseniusstraat. These streets suggest there was salt exploration during the middle ages. Jansenius was a citizen of Hulst and the first bishop of Gent (1559 -1576). As bishop, he was a representative to the Council of Trente to restrain the reformation of Luther and Calvin.

Jan de N(e)ijs sr. also lived there around 1700. His five children: Petronella, Joannes, Dijna, Cornelis and Adriaan were born in Hulst during 1683-1689 from his second marriage to Cornelia Smallegang(e). In the archives the family De Nijs and Smallegang are written with and without an e. New information has been found regarding Jan de N(e)ijs! The information comes from baptismal records and other documents and from Hulst Territory . Registration by municipalities came after the time of Napoleon.

His son Johannes jr became a wine merchant and a rural resident. He establised himself in Kuitaart in the land of Hulst. His successor in the family tree De Nijs-van de Vijver became farmer in the upper region of Hontenisse, also in the land of Hulst.

De vesting Hulst in 1649Stadhuis van HulstSint-Willibrordusbasiliek
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4. Country of Hulst
In 1242, the four Townships of Hulst, Axel, Assenede and Boekhoute received a “keure” which is a law or a book of laws with all the rights and duties of the Count of Vlaanderen at Gent.
Assenede and Boekhoute are situated in Belgium, but the Northern area reaches all the way to the river de Honte, which is now called the Westerschelde.
In the Netherlands the four Townships were situated approximately in the middle and East of Zeeuws Vlaanderen.
This portion only relates to the Township of Hulst, home of our ancestors. This is where our ancestors were born and raised, at least from Johannes de Nijs to our quartermaster Aloys de Nijs, whose children were born here, but moved elsewhere.
The first six generation were farmers in Hontenisse, from Lamswaarde to Kreverhille.

Name Age Town Polder Lease
Johannes de Nijs 1688 - 1749 Kuitaart Oost-Vogelpolder 1725 - 1760
Andries de Nijs 1723 - 1780 Kuitaart-Lamswaarde ? ?
Anthony de Nijs 1759 - 1812 bij Kuitaart Schaperspolder 1797 - 1840
Johannes de Nijs 1801 - 1879 Kreverhille Kruis- en
1842 - 1883
Joh. Fancies de Nijs 1840 - 1916 Kreverhille Kievitspolder 1883 - 1918
Aloys Jos. de Nijs 1882 - 1975 De Knapaf Noordhofpolder 1907 - 1948
Partnership Aloys en Joos de Nijs Noordhofpolder 1948 - 1957
Partnership Joos en Marcel de Nijs Noordhofpolder 1957 - 1975
Partnership Marcel en Leo de Nijs Noordhofpolder 1975 - 1997
Partnership Leo en Marcel jr. de Nijs Noordhofpolder till 1999, afterwards ownership

Note: twice the Lease agreement went over to the widow.
1. Joh. Francies de Nijs died in 1916, but stayed on as the lease holder. How was this possible? His widow stayed, with the assistance of her son Petrus, who took over the lease in 1918.
2. Anthony died in 1812 and his widow continued to lease until 1814, after which the lease was signed over to Adriaan de Nijs ( possibly her son?) from 1814-1832. Johannes (born in 1801) was 13 years old when his father died. He became farmer in the Kruispolder from 1845-1850 and in the Kievitspolder from 1850-1883 at Kreverhille.

Father and Opa de Nijs had the foresight that in the future, there would not be a farm available for each of his children and stimulated his sons to continue their studies. However, Dolf at the Clinge, Albert in the Noord-Oost Polder (Flevoland), Mon and Aloys Jr. in Canada, Joos and Marcel on the home farm, became all farmers. Thuur, Leo and Guust became priests in the Diocese of Breda. Frans became Mayor of Graauw and Obdam (Noord Holland) and Emery owned a hotel in Kloosterzande.

In Holland, as well as elsewhere, the grandchildren have studied and have chosen a variety of occupations. It would be very interesting to find out about these occupations through our family web site. Anyone interested in writing about their job?

Archives of the Township of Hulst, and the Municipalities of Hulst and Terneuzen
Archives of the “Kroondomein Rentmeesterschap Kloosterzande”
Farms in the “Land van Hulst” published in 1997

“About the Four Townships” 750 years Keure and 500 years Count Jansdijk (published in 1993)

De Vier Ambachten in de MiddeleeuwenDe Vier Ambachten in de Middeleeuwen
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5. Jan de Nijs (sr)
They found new information regarding our family tree. See information below. Great news!

Jan de Nijs senior, was born April 15, 1646 in Bornem, now called Bornhem in Belgium, 10 km South of St Niklaas and Antwerp along the Schelde. He moved around 1677 with his wife Adriaeneken Guilliaems and three children to Hulst. He became a fish inspector and on December 5, 1678 he became an official citizen and city worker of Hulst. His father was Alexander. His grandfather Adrianus de Nijs was born around 1595, and married as did Jan sr , in Bornem. Hopefully in the future they will find more information in Bornhem about them!

Click on the image to enlarge

Stamboom vanaf 1595
Stamboom vanaf 1595


6. Jan de Nijs (jr)
Jan de Nijs (sr) left Bornhem (B) in 1677 with his wife and three children and settled in the city of Hulst. He became a city worker, city servant, minister of justice, judge and belle-klinker (town crier and possible beller for the fish auction?) On December 5,1679 he pledged an oath to became citizen and city worker and on December 20, 1680, an oath of loyalty as a city servant. Several times he was a witness in a court of justice or tribunal in Hulst. For now we will use this summary about him and his father and Opa Adrianus .

Jan deNijs Jr, son from the second marriage of Jan deNijs sr. and Cornelia Smallegang (k) was born Jan 31, 1685 in Hulst and became a wine merchant and a rural resident (according to the records of the Hulster territory). He gave notice on May 19, 1685 of his upcoming marriage to Catharina van de Poel, born in Hengstdijk. They had six children. As a widower Jan remarried Pieternella Andriessen from Hontenisse on Nov 29, 1714. Together they had 6 more children. Two of the 12 children died at an early age.
On September 23, 1711 Jan deNijs jr. took the oath of wine and brandy wholesaler. He was thus wine dealer and farmer as he leased from the crown domain a farm measuring 22 gemeten.(a gemet is approx. an acre) and 93 roeden (one roede is approx. 14.74 sq m.). The entire acreage is approx. 9 ha and is located in the Dreefken of the Oostvogelpolder close to the Boudelodijk in 1725-1760.

This property was farmed by Michiel de Zwart from 1925-1955. The home became a vacation house. The current address is Boudelodijk 8 4586 RZ Lamswaarde. Presently the next door neighbours are Harrie and Annie de Bruijker-van Laar; check the family tree nr.6 under Martine nr. 6 , 4. This is a notation for family who are familiar with the Lamswaarde and Klosterzande area. You will find this in the book “Boerderijen in het Land van Hulst”(published 1997) bottom of pg. 610
Jan deNijs jr. grew wheat, barley, beans and oats (a mixed farm with some livestock). Jan died in 1749. His wife and family continued farming until 1760; the youngest son was 13 when his father died. His son Anthony took over the lease from 1760-1766. Anthony was not one of direct forefathers as our branch stems from Andries.
Andries carried on as a wine merchant and on July 3, 174l, he took an oath as a retailer of brandy. On May 10,1756, he was allowed to open a store and inn on the Lamswaardse chapel in the house of the late Marinus Roeland. On May 4, 1760, he received a permit to travel abroad.
The first church barn or chapel was built in 1686, on Lamswaarde (see photo below) on the spot where until the late 20th stood the R.C. rectory. Once it was a remote spot as designated by the civil government of the time. Today it is the town centre.

The church barn was simple and small, the entrance via the current Achterstraat. The chapel was not allowed to look like a church and was surely not allowed to have church doors. At that time the Reformed church was the official State church. The parishoners came from Kuitaart, Grauw, Dullaertpolder, Stopppeldijkpolder, SerPauluspolder, Canbronpolder, Havenpolder, Kruispolder en Polder van Namen. This information comes from the baptismal and marriage records of that time.

Schuurkerk van Lamswaarde
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7. De Nijzen in the 18th century at Lamswaarde
This chapter pertains to Jan, Andries and Anthony de Nijs and children, family, church and work.
Source: “Lamswaarde through the years” by Carlo Buysrogge.
Thanks to Carlo Buysrogge for the information below.

1. Families
Jan Jr. de Nijs (1685-1749) had 15 children, 6 with Catharina van de Poel from Hengstdijk:
1. Johannes Jacobus, died at the age of 8
2. Johannes Antonius, died at the age of 43
3. Petronella died at the age of 22 and was married for 3 years to Jac. de Waal, farmer at Graauw
4. Petrus, died at 41
5. Cornelis, died at 39 and was married to Elisabeth Jansen, lived in the Kruispolder
6. Apolonia, died at 1 year old. As well, he had 9 children with Pieternella Andriessen from Lamswaarde-Roversberg;
7. Gerard, born September 30, 1715, died August 24, 1772
8. Anthony, married to Marianne Martens, was the successor to his Dad, as farmer in the Dreefke
9. Catharina, died at 11 years old
10. Pieter, died around the age of 55 was married to Maria Leenknegt, living in the Kruispolder
11. Andries, our ancestor, wine buyer, shop keeper and innkeeper at Lamswaarde
12. Cornelia, died at the age of 38, was married to Joos van der Neck, farmer, shopkeeper and taylor
13. Johanna, married to Pieter Kint(s), blacksmith at Hengstdijk
14. Catharina, born around the year 1732, no information available
15. Josina, born around 1733, was 23 years old when she died, was married for 1 year to Jacobus de Maat

Jan de Nijs (Jr.) must have had some education, since he was born and raised in Hulst and became a wine buyer. Also his children must have had some form of education, most specifically Andries, since he became a wine buyer, shop keeper and inn keeper. There was some form of education during the 18th century at Lamswaarde, however, the provisions were very poor and depended mostly on contributions from the parents.Classes were held in a small building near the “barn church” until 1827. During the summer of 1845, there were nearly 70 students, during the winter there were 130 children at the rural school. In 1864, a public school was established at Lamswaarde, at the same time as a second public school in Kloosterzande on the Molenstraat (now Kloosterstraat) (There was already a public school where later the Civic Centre was built.) The first law pertaining to children attending school was passed in 1900. It stated that all children were to attend school from 6 to 12 years of age as of January 1, 1901. This law was passed with 50 votes while 49 votes were against this law. The only absent voter, who was an opponent, had fallen off his horse. The word amongst the backers of the law was that: ” the horse was smarter than his rider”.

Andries de Nijs (1723-1779): 14 children with his wife Anna Maria Heijman
1. Gerard, born April 30, 1753 at Lamswaarde, married Christina Cappendijk, died February 6, 1838 at Hontenisse (Innkeeper at Café Rue du Nord in the Noordstraat 16 4588 KM Walsoorden)
2. Petronella, born about 1758 at Perkpolder, married Josephus de Haan, died about 1790 in the Molenpolder
3. Anthony, our forefather, farmed in the Schaperspolder, near the farm from his Opa, Jan Jr.
4. Cornelia, born May 1762 at Perkpolder, died June 1, 1762 at Perkpolder
5. Catharina, born June 23, 1764 at Perkpolder, died before 1780
6. Johannes, born Aug 31. 1765 at Hulsterambacht, died before 1771
7. Maria Anna, born Feb 20, 1767 at Perkpolder, died March 2, 1768 at Perkpolder
8. Maria Anna, born April 10, 1768 at Perkpolder, died April 29,1768 at Perkpolder
9. Judocus, born April 27, 1770 at Perkpolder, died May 14, 1770 at Perkpolder
10. Johannes, born June 10, 1771 at Perkpolder, died July 18, 1771 at Perkpolder
11. Maria Anna, born Sept 20,1772 at Perkpolder, died Oct 12, 1772 at Perkpolder
12. Franciscus, born Oct 29, 1773 at Perkpolder, died Nov 8, 1773 at Perkpolder
13. Maria Anna, born April 16, 1778 at Perkpolder, died July 18, 1778 at Perkpolder
14. Andries, born July 15, 1779 at Perkpolder, died 1779 at Perkpolder

During the 18th century there was a high mortality rate for infants. This was also the case for the families of Andries and Anthony de Nijs!

Anthony de Nijs (1759-1812): 14 children from his marriage to Maria Th. Verdict from Kuitaart;
1. Maria Anna, born March 17, 1791 at Hontenisse, died September 3, 1804, at Hontenisse
2. Adriaan, born May 2, 1792 at Schaperspolder, married July 28, 1815 to Anna C. Gordijn, died 1831 at Hontenisse (forefather of Petrus, Alphonsus J., Piet en Pieter de Nijs of Lepelstraathof at Zandepolder)
3. Gerard, born July 21, 1793 at Hontenisse
4. Elisabeth, born Aug 27, 1794 at Hontenisse
5. Apollonia, born March 15, 1796 at Hontenisse, died April 17, 1813 at Hontenisse
6. Johannes, born April 27, 1797 at Hontenisse, died July 18, 1807 at Hontenisse
7. Cornelis, born July 16, 1798 at Hontenisse, died before 1800 at Hontenisse
8. Cornelis, born December 17, 1799 at Hontenisse
9. Johannes, born April 12, 1801 at Hontenisse Schaperspolder, married on 25-4-1835 to Apolona Leenknegt Hontenisse (our forefather), died December 1,1879 at Kievitspolder
10. Josephus , born September 24, 1802 at Hontenisse, died October 10, 1802
11. Cornelia, born February 20, 1804 at Hontenisse, married Pieter de Wilde, died December 15, 1857 at Hontenisse
12. Pieter, born October 15, 1805 at Hontenisse, died October 26, 1805
13. Pieter, born February 25, 1808 at Hontenisse, married to Virginia Bogaert, died February 14, 1873 at Hontenisse
14. Maria Anna, born Jan 2, 1810, died November 1, 1811 at Hontenisse

2. Church- Barn Church
With the capture of Hulst in 1645, the Roman Catholic Churches in Hengstdijk and Ossenisse also closed and the the Church of Hulst and the Church of Hof at Zande (Kloosterzande) were taken over by the Reformed Church. The Catholics were forced to attend the Churches in Klinge or Kieldrecht, across the border. They sometimes were forced to rely on a priest who would deliver the sacraments in secret. The State-General had proclaimed that the public profession of the Catholic faith was prohibited, however, they turned a blind eye, when in 1686 the “barn churches” started to be built. As a result, in 1686, a barn church was built in Lamswaarde, one in Groenedijk and one in Hulst at the Overdamse straat, near the fish market. It was a difficult time for the Catholics in the area, as their Bishop lived in Gent.
The Dutch mission, above the Westerschelde, Maas and Rijn had to deal with a vicar, since they did not have a Bishop. In 1853, however, there was the restoration of the Hierarchy of Bishops in Holland. The Catholics of this area maintained their faith and with the transfer of Zeeuws Vlaanderen in 1832 to the vicarage and later the Diocese of Breda, Bishop Van de Velde declared: “The Dutch Catholics of Zeeuws Vlaanderen are honourable people, who kept their Catholic faith”.
The nickname of Lamswaarde was “Holy Land” or was it a name of honour? The Church choir is still called ” Terra Sancta”! The name probably comes from the Monestary of Boudelo, who had their abbey in Sinaai (Belgium) and later in Gent.
Our forefathers, Andries and Anthony de Nijs were born during the 18th century in the “Holy Land”.

3. Work
Zeeuws-Vlaanderen was mainly agricultural with trade in the small towns and some fisheries along the the coast and along the Schelde. The population, mainly lived off of the land. There was a lot of time-consuming work to be done in the fields, barn, home and family. In today’s society, we bring home more groceries for two people than the farmer’s wives, from a long time ago, did for 10 or more people. During the 18th century they had milk from a cow or goat, meat, eggs, wheat, vegetables, fruit, etc all from home. Knitting and spinning was done near the hearth. The knitting and sewing needles were very precious. The men worked long hours in the field, and during the winters, in the barn. The women worked many hours in the stables. Many children did not go to school during the harvest, as they needed to help out and do chores around the farm during these busy times.
In 1740 there were several trades and professions. In Lamswaarde, there were 17 shopkeepers and 70 farmer and workers families. Jan Jr. de Nijs sold wine and owned a small farm of about 9 hectares. Andries had his liquor store and tavern and was possibly an agent for agricultural products.
Anthony was a farmer, who perhaps grew Madder (a plant used for dye). There were workers needed for the Madder and Meestoof crops and, therefore, a Co-op was formed with about 16 farmers to help with the cost.
On a small scale they harvested peat for fuel and “darick”, or salty peat, for the saltworks.
Also, the maintenance of the dikes, ditches and roads required workers. There was plenty of work for all the 4000 adults who lived in the Hulster Township during the 1750s.

De oudste boerderij van Lamswaarde
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8. Farming cultures in the land of Hulst, specifically madder and sugar beet
The madder crop existed here on the clay soils of South-West Netherlands from the 14th century until 1860, specifically in Schouwen and Duivenland (North of Zeeland) and in Zeeuws-Vlaanderen. Old names such as “Stoofpolder”(oven polder) and “Oude Stoof” (old oven) come to mind. This crop was revived during the time of Anthony and Johannes deNijs in the Schapers and Kievitpolder. Eight madder ovens stood in the Hulst region, one in Campen south of Vogelwaarde, one in Walsoorden and two in Kuitaart South of Lamswaarde. Madder was a crop that was grown for the red dye alizarin (Turkish red) whereby textiles, especially felted wool and leather were dyed. The crop was harvested after 2-3 years for its roots. The roots were dried in madder ovens and then ground into a powder. Roots were ground using treadmills driven by horses. Around 1850 horses were replaced with steam engines.

Growing madder was costly, not a job for a single farmer, a group of farmers including merchants and noblemen formed a co-op. The madder powder was high quality and was traded on the merchant market in Rotterdam and sold to dyers and cotton mills. In 1868 a couple of German chemists were able to make a synthetic red dye. The synthetic red dye quickly led to the demise of the madder crop.

The address of father and opa Aloys deNijs was Drogendijk 1, Walsoorden because of the drying ovens for the madder powder and on Drogendijk 15 stood a drying factory. Tante Louise from Canada would go via the Oude Stoof on her way to school in Hengstdijk.
Growing sugar beets began here during the French time with Napoleon, who hoped to break the blockade with England. Cane sugar was no longer coming into Western Europe; the research and experimenting of beet sugar was in its’ infancy and the process was successful after a few decades. The harvest of sugar beets required heavy manual labour during fall and early winter due to the heavy clay and blubber in Vlaanderen and Zeeuws Vlaanderen. The farm workers were as hard working as the Zeeuwse and Vlaamse horses. Many sugar beet factories opened around 1900 but were replaced by two large factories, the Co-op and the Centrale in Sas van Gent. The Lippens family from Gent processed sugar at a factory in Moerbeke. These factories were closed around 1990. Today the sugar beets are processed in Dinteloord (Noord-Brabant) and in Tienen, Belgium. In 2013 there were still two sugar factories in the Netherlands (Dinteloord and Hoogkerk, Groningen). Three factories operate in Belgium (Tienen, Wanze and Fontenoy).
One hundred years ago the sugar factories in Sas van Gent and Moerbeke had shares and interests in the two factories in Wallaceburg Ontario, Canada. Many immigrants from Vlaanderen and Zeeuws-Vlaanderen settled and began work in the sugar beets. Requests were made in the spring (1900-1950) through the factories in Sas van Gent, Moerbeke and Wallaceburg for experienced farmworkers. They left by way of the Cunard ship line from Antwerp. You will find names from Hontinesse, the land of Hulst in Southern Ontario, thanks to the sugar beet. All about this later! One could write a book!

Thank you to Carlo Buijsrogge, archivist for the municipality of Terneusen.
His help, especially with the first seven chapters, was greatly appreciated.


9. Johannes de Nijs at Kreverhille
Johannes was born April 12, 1801, son of Anthony de Nijs and Anne Maria Verdickt native of Kuitaart. He was 11 years old when his father died and when he was 13 his mother also died. Adrian, his brother who was 10 years older remained on the family farm. Johannes was married on April 25, 1835 to Apolonia Leenknegt in the R. C. church at Groenendijk and at the same time came to farm in the Kruispolder (their address was Wijk D –no. 67 and now Lange Nieuwstraat 21, 4587 RH Kloosterzande). In a notarial document dated April 22 1842 (notary Noël at Hontenisse) the lease in the Kievitpolder at Kreverhille was changed over to Johannes de Nijs. Johannes took over the lease from Andries Cappendijk and bought the buildings. It is known as Hoeve Kievitsburg with a current address: Kalversdijk 6 4588 RC Walsoorden.

They had four children: the eldest daughter Roza never married and remained with her parents.
1. Rozalia *born August 9, 1840, at Hontenisse, died July 23, 1897 at Hontenisse.
Cornelia * born January 22, 1839, married Josephus van Wesemael and died May 28, 1872 at Hengstdijk. (The farm was and remains at Platte dijk 6A 4585 PT Hengstdijk)
2. Johannes Francies * born December 28, 1840 in the Kruispolder, married Catharina Hiel and died September 24, 1916. They are the parents of our quartermaster Alouisius Josephus de Nijs.
3. Petronella * born February 9, 1843 at the Kievitspolder, married Jacobus Josephus de Jonghe in 1876, died 1885

In the early years, the present day Zeeuws-Vlaanderen belonged to France. French and republican minded patriots expected some change according to the slogans of the French revolution “liberté, egalité et fraternité – freedom, equatily and brotherhood. However, they did not have many followers.

The Catholics were happy that the basilica in Hulst became a simultaneous church (the rear area, the sermon church, continued to be for the reformed and the choir church was returned to the Catholics), but remained Prince and Oranje minded. Johannes witnessed the return of and the coronation of the Prince of Oranje to King Willem 1.

On July 20, 1814 the Generaliteit Staats-Vlaanderen became part of Zeeland and officially known as Zeeuws-Vlaanderen. After the separation from Belgium in1830, the Reformed and Catholics remained loyal to the Royal House of Oranje, so that during the second century we can sing: “from the D’Ee to Hontenisse, from Hulst to Cadzand: this is our small piece of land, but a part of Nederland” .Zeeuws_Vlaanderen is a distinct piece of land!

Johannes de Nijs earned his stripes for his family, but also for his community. We are in possession of a letter of credentials with 4 documents of his appointment as councillor to the municipality of Hontenisse in 1851. It was at that time that the municipal law for the Netherlands was introduced. It meant true independence for the residents of the municipality. A councillor was appointed, not elected. With the help of Johannes de Nijs a public school was opened in 1865 in the Noorderstraat for the area from Walsoorden to Kreverhille. He was also appointed as churchwarden for the RC church board and witnessed the building and opening of the St Martinus Church at Groenendijk in 1871.

Johannes de Nijs was an exemplary husband and father, a good farmer on 82 gemeten or 33 h.a. He was a good director and for that he was appointed to the town council and church board; all in all he was a very influential man during a time of change.

De boerderij in de Kievitspolder te Kreverhille (gepacht door Johannes de Nijs)
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10. Johannes Francies de Nijs at Kreverhille
Francies de Nijs was his given name, but to me he was Opa Francies, born December 28,1840 in the Kruispolder, married July 21, 1879 to Anna Catharina Hiel. He died September 24, 1916. My grandmother C (K)atrien was born August 5, 1854 and died November 4, 1927. Since they were cousins and also second cousins, they were married in the church with dispensation. They had previously lived close to one another.
Their children were:
1. Louisa, born September 19,1880, died December 5,1945 (Groenendijk 4587 CR Kloosterzande),
Married to Alfons Adriaansen, born November 23, 1885, died May 10, 1952.
2. Aloys our forefather and quartermaster, (Drogendijk 1, 4588 KK Walsoorden), married Bertha van de Vijver.
3. Petrus, born April 17, 1886, died October 15, 1960 (Kalverdijk 6, 4588 RC Walsoorden), married Helena Buysse, born June 19, 1891 died January 13 1967.
4. Joseph, born May 1, 1887, died September 1, 1964 (Noordstraat 1, 4588 KM Walsoorden), married Marie de Nijs born May 29, 1889 and died March 18, 1949.
5. Maria, born June 11, 1893, died December 15, 1962 (Helenaweg 1, 4521 GR Biervliet), married Petrus Leo Mangnus, born February 13, 1889 and died May 5 1978

Opa went to boarding school in Kieldrecht, Belgium, which was rare in those days. His children went to public school, taught by Mr. Borm, who also taught my father evening courses in agriculture. During the 1880’s a huge agricultural crisis evolved. To improve the future of agriculture, an agricultural university was opened in Wageningen. Young teachers were trained to give evening courses in the rural areas. The agriculture products were: wheat, barley, oats, fava beans, brown beans, flax, (madder until about 1870) and sugar beets. Livestock consisted of horses, cows and sheep.

Aunt Louise and my father Aloys were each married before my grandfather died in 1916. Following their father’s death uncle Peet, aunt Maria and uncle Joseph were each married. What a coincidence that the three brothers Aloys, Petrus and Joseph became renters of crown domain and farmed within a few kilometers of each other. Uncle Joseph followed his uncle Gijs Hiel (who had no children), on the farm that was previously worked by his grandfather and grandmother, Andries Hiel and Marie Anna de Schepper (see below her photo, she is dressed in the peasant costume of the Land of Hulst )

Maria Anna de Schepper, moeder van Anna Catharina Hiel
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Social changes were coming.
1874 child law of Van Houten
1889 workers law of Ruys de Beerenbrouck
1895 and 1897 safety law at the Chambers of Labour
1901 accident law, housing law, health law and children’s law
Also in other areas: 1901 compulsory school attendance 6-12 years of age and obligatory military service
In 1902 a nursing home was built beside the church at Groenendijk. It was named Liefdehuis Sint Antonius under the direction of the Franciscan Nuns from Bergen of Zoom.

Jan Francies de Nijs (1840 - 1916) en Anna Catharina Hiel (1854 - 1927). Zij woonden in de Kievitpolder. Daar woont nu Peter de Nijs (achterkleinzoon).
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11. Aloisius Josephus de Nijs, Quartermaster
He was called Aloys, born October 29, 1882 at Kreverhille, he married on April 30, 1907 to Bertha van de Vijver. He died February 25, 1975. Albertha Pharaida van de Vijver was born on July 11, 1883 at Koewacht. She died October 30 1958 at Kloosterzande.

There children were:
1. Adolf
2. Anna
3. Maria
4. Arthuur
5. Joos
6. Marie
7. Martina
8. Mathilde
9. Albert
10. Alma
11. Madeleine
12. Frans
13. Leo
14. Edemon
15. Aloys
16. Auguust
18. Emery
19. Marcel
Anna and Maria (2 and 3) were twins, Maria only lived for 13 days; eighteen children lived to adulthood.
Leo died when he was thirty years old. Marie de Nijs - de Wit, wife of Albert, lived to be only 36 years old. All other children became at least 65 years old and four are still living, as of Jan 1, 2014.

Look at the wedding picture of my Mom and Dad, 23 and 22 years old, a young and energetic couple!

Trouwfoto van Alois de Nijs (1882 - 1975) en Bertha van de Vijver (1883 - 1958). Zij woonden op de Knapaf en kregen samen 19 kinderen.
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There are no words appropriate to describe our feelings. After 106 years, we are still thankful and full of gratitude. They meant the world to their children, grand-children and great grand- children. Looking back through their eyes, so much love, care, dedication, joy and sorrow, but especially the blessings received from above and their own children …these are some of the characteristics:

Aloys sr.
- strong character, faithful, sincerely, resolute and studious
- great father, always in control ( a blessing for the mother)
- His spouse always said: “Aloys is a farmer and again a farmer”.
- He passed his workmanship and passion on to his children and workers.
- He had two sons working with him for more than thirty years.

- caring mother, treated all children the same
- she knew how to divide the caring and her work, it came naturally to her.
- she was surrounded with qualified help and her daughters

- they stayed long at home ( also because of the war 1939-1945) and helped with all chores in the family and farm
- six sons and four son-in-laws became farmers
- three sons became priests and one daughter a nun
- one son became Mayor and one son-in-law became the Provincial Archivist
- One son owned a hotel and one daughter stayed home to look after the parents and the visitors
- they were free in choosing a life partner or work
- they were taught to be responsible
- they were raised with the word “us” and were always thinking about caring for others


12. The Potato Grower and Consumer
The potato, is the most important food crop in the world, after rice, wheat and corn. Potatoes contain carbs, vitamin B6 and fibre. In Holland and Belgium (frites) they are the main course, while in other countries they are considered a vegetable. There are varieties that are firm (vastkokers), they keep their consistency during the boiling process. Other varieties are more crumbly (droogkokers) and are better suited for making mashed potatoes.
“Afkokers” are potatoes that, when cooked for a long time, completely fall apart. The Spanish discovered the potato around 1536 in Peru and Chili. They brought them to Europe, where they were grown abundantly and for about two centuries potatoes were grown in gardens near convents and universities.
In 1736 the “States of Zeeland” issued a notice, in which it was decided that a tax (the “tiendrecht) should be levied for potatoes. Many fields were transformed for potato crops.

In Ireland, the potato became around 1650 the main source of food. The climate is too wet to grow a lot of wheat and the citizens were, mainly by English landowners, more and more driven back to areas not suited for growing grain. Families were able to live off a small piece of land. When Europe, in 1845 and 1846 was afflicted by the notorious potato disease phytophtora, a mildew, Ireland with their 9 million inhabitants were the most affected. Almost 1 million Irish died of hunger and malnutrition, together with connected diseases such as dysentry and cholera. Many Irish left their country. Poor and uneducated, they started working in the British factories. Even more people left for the United States; emigration peeking in 1915.

Vincent van Gogh painted “De Aardappeleters” (Nuenen,1885) about 130 years ago. In our area the first large scale cultivation of potatoes took place in Oostburg in 1697. Jan de Nijs (Jr) of “het Dreefke”, replaced the turnip with the much healthier, tastier and more nutritious potato. His farm (9 h.a) needed only a few workers, and the children helped with harvesting the potatoes from the field. His successors did the same. the potatoes were often twice a day consumed during meals until the first half of the 20 th century.
In Holland the important growing areas are: for consumption, Flevoland, Zeeland and Brabant; starchy potatoes in Drenthe and Groningen. Seed potatoes, due to less louse, in the North and also in Zeeuws-Vlaanderen. Almost half is for consumption ( also fries, chips etc) and one quarter of the seed potatoes are mostly for export.

The potato belongs to the nightshade family, same as the tomato, pepper and tobacco. The green parts of the potato are poisonous. In contrast to the tomato, some potato varieties can be very poisonous in the form of berries. Even the inside of the bulb has a very high level of Solanine.

At the end of this Chapter, I like to write an interesting anecdote pertaining to the potato. It happened at the French Royal Court. The chef wanted to impress everyone with a new product. The beautiful green potato with their berries were served; while discarding the ordinary potato into the garbage.
All dignitaries became ill from the new dish served . All poison was removed. The gardener brought all the garbage to the compost pile and discovered several months later beautiful and delicious potatoes, a cheap and delicious supplement to a meagre ration for his family.

A person does not need to be educated to be smart!

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13. Aloys de Nijs at Kreverhille and Knapaf
Aloys’s hobby at a young age was bicycling and therefore had more freedom to get around. The first bike in 1816 was a walking bike without
pedals. The first safety bicycle was made in 1885 and had two the same size tires and pedals, connected through a chain to the wheels. After three years this bicycle was equiped with air filled tires. This way you were able to bike faster and more comfortable.
Aloys became a member of the newly created cycling club. This shortened the time it took for the 6 km distance from Kreverhille to Kloosterzande.
He attended elementary school and some evening classed at Mr Borm, who lived on the Noordstraat. As the oldest he worked at home on the farm, the same as his brothers Peet and Jozef. They worked with horses, cows, calves, pigs, sheep, chickens and also grew corn, barley, sugar beets, flax, beans, potatoes and clover. On his way to the village or Hulst, he always passed the “Noorddijkhoeve van Knapaf” where Bertha lived.
He belonged to the first draft for military service, which meant that he could not send a replacement. In the army he became an orderly, who delivered messages/groceries on his bicycle. It was a simple, yet honourable task. Due to onrest and a railway strike in Amsterdam, lead by the Socialist Troelstra and Communist Domela Nieuwenhuis, he served 3 extra months.He was, for three years (1914-1917), a soldier during the mobilization.The last year of the war he was discharged due to his older age.
Immediately after the surrender of Germany on November 11 1918, he biked with his brother, Peet, who was also a soldier, to the front near the IJzer in Vlaanderen.
They discovered a lot of chaos, while the German army had already been driven back from (West-) Vlaaderen.

Aloys married Bertha on April 30, 1907, one year after the flood in 1906 at Hontenisse. The Noorddijkhoeve had no fields under water, but Oom Guust van de Vijver did stop farming. Aloys and Bertha were 24 and 23 years old , a couple with a future. During that time the rules for behaviour were very strict, especially for the daughters. The sons had a little more freedom. Although, he once told a professor in education: ” We- Zeeuwse farmers- treat our children very well, just like a bag of flour: “never hit them, because you will loose the best (flour) and keep the worthless stuff”.
He enjoyed training young work horses and had a very luxury whip, to Bertha’s dismay, who drove with him in the carriage.
He guided young horses in such a way that they never gave up. “Preservere” this also applied to his children and his staff, who testified:” With boss de Nijs you learned how to work”.

Aloys’ first priorities were his family and farm, but he also wanted to be part of, and help his community. he had no time to be a chairperson, but was a member of many committees. He admired Pope Leo XIII, who wrote his social encyclical “The Rerum Novarum” (of new things) in 1891.
Cooperatives and schools were established and started to flourish. He also was co-founder of the Agricutural Winter School in Hulst in 1924. He co-founded the Cooperative Butter Factory in Kloosterzande (about 1927). For thirty years he was Warden of the Church and committee member of the Liefdehuis St Anthonius, For four years he was a council member for the Municipality of Hontenisse. He was a committee member of the Harmonie St. Cecilia Kloosterzande. During that time men were usually not elected but asked to sit for certain functions.
He also was a member from the start until the closing of the management of the Agricultural Winter School and signed the diplomas of those who passed the exams. He quit when he was 65.
The oldest son Dolf was one of the first students and six brothers followed him. Aloys sometimes talked about his son Leo as being Leo XIII (13th child) out of admiration for Pope Leo XIII. His interest in the community stayed with him for years to come.

He moved, when he was 65, to Kloosterzande where he started together with his son Joos a Partnership, which together with his youngest son Marcel was transformed into the firm: Gebr. de Nijs. (Brothers de Nijs)

Harmonie Cecilia met Aloys de Nijs op de voorste rij rechts. De foto is ouder dan 1930.
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14. Bertha van de Vijver at Knapaf
In 1889, the Sisters of Etten-leur built a convent and girls school behind St. Martinus church in Groenendijk. The nuns had 70 years of teaching experience. Catholic teaching was one of the most urgent needs of the time. Full recognition and support for special education came in 1920.
Dongen, followed by Etten-leur became independent in 1820, through a decree of 1819 (”a monastic community could not have more than 20 members”). For this reason many independent congregations arose during the first half of the 19th century. After Dongen and Etten came Breda, Roosendaal, Bergen op Zoom, Oudenbosch… all were Franciscanessen Penitenten Recollectinen Sisters in West-Brabant. The nuns started with a primary school for children 6-12 years old and shortly thereafter a home economicis school was opened. The mother house at Etten was responsible for a teachers college. By 1932, the sisters from Etten had 28 cloisters with schools in the diocese of Breda.

In Hontenisse, Bertha van de Vijver was 5 years old when the H. Hart-girls school was opened. Prior to this time she spent much time with her uncle Guust and aunt Apolonia van de Vijver-Adriaansens. Weeks became months and often longer, she thrived in the company of her sisters and cousins in Koewacht. By the time she went to school in Groenendijk, the Noorddijkhoeve (name of farm) at Knapaf became her permanent home. She learned to sew at school and sewed along with other farmer’s daughters for the Oranje Society by the damsels Collot d’Escury of the Crown Domain. Later, Bertha’s daughters became seamstresses for the same ladies group. Aunt Apolonia taught her to cook and do other domestic jobs in and around the house and yard. With these skills she was well prepared for her young family and life on the farm. On April 30, 1907 she married Aloys de Nijs. Until that time Uncle Guust van de Vijver rented the farm at Knapaf. He retired from farming in 1907 and died in 1909.
In 1911 they built a new barn and the family grew from year to year. In 1914 peace was disturbed by the First World War. Germany attacked Belgium and France. Her husband Aloys became a soldier for 3 years at Walcheren. The Germans occupied Antwerpen and Gent on October 9 and Brugge on October 14. Tens of thousands of Flemish people fled to Nederland and flooded into Zeeuws Vlaanderen. Hontenisse took in several thousand; hundreds came to the farms and at the Knapaf, the house and barns were full of refugees. Bertha was glad to have her seven children with her in her large bedroom. She wrote Aloys about the emergency. He came home on a leave, saw, and took charge of the situation, and resolutely put affairs in order. He showed himself as – head soldier of his family and she the heart of the family. The war did not last only a few months as the Germans had thought. Beside the IJzer and Marne Rivers (connected by a channel) the war became a trench war, lasting four years. Bertha got along well with her staff: they spent many years with her.

After the war, the doctor prescribed rest for the young mother, her staff were very helpful. The young couple decided to send the children to boarding school: Dolf and Tuur to Ruwenberg, Anna to Etten, Marie, Tina and Thiele close to home in Hulst. The boys were especially stimulated to study, during that time education consisted mostly of written vocational courses and evening school. Mother Bertha had plenty of work for her daughters at home, or in the barns, or helping family and assisting the needy. She was counselor in emergency (today known as First Aid).
Food was never wasted or thrown away; clothes were sewn and sewn again. She noticed everything, had time for everyone, all was done with a heart full of love. The new house was built in 1927. The crisis of 1929 and the following years took everyone by surprise. From the crisis centre in Middelburg, Dolf was asked to be a crisis inspector for butter brands and Marie began teaching milk courses. The 1930’s was a difficult time for many people.

The oldest children had flown the coup. In 1937 Thuur was ordained a priest and spent two years in Belgium. One year later Dolf started farming in Nieuw- Namen with his brother Albert on request of the owner. Marie was married in 1939 and became a farmer’s wife in Biervliet. Tina also became a farmer’s wife in 1940 at Ossenisse. In the spring of 1943 Thiele married a pioneer in the newly reclaimed land of the Noordoost Polder and Alma entered the convent with the Sisters of Charitas at Roosendaal. The war made it difficult to start your own business, for this reason some of the other children stayed home longer.

Maria meisjesschool + bewaarschool van Groenendijk Kloosterzande met Anna, Marie, Tina, Thiele en Albert de NijsMaria meisjesschool + bewaarschool van Groenendijk Kloosterzande met Anna, Marie, Tina, Thiele en Albert de Nijs
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15. Quarter sheet of Bertha van de Vijver
The brothers Dominicus and Adolphus van de Vijver were born Apr.26, 1846. They farmed together on a small and large farm close to the former Fort Ferdinandus in the municipality of Koewacht. Their brother Augustinus van de Vijver became a farmer on the Knapaf in Hontenisse and was the godfather of Berta Augusta Pharailda van de Vijver and became a foster father to her. For this reason this quarter sheet is in her name.

6. Johannes van de Vijver married to Catharina Bauwens
date of birth, marriage and death are unknown
5. Judocus van de Vijver married to Anna Maria de Maesschalck
gedoopt op 12-02-1730 at Koewacht born op 27-03-1753 at Koewacht
overleden 08-06-1776 at Koewacht overleden 09-08-1828 at Koewacht
farmer in the Ferdinanduspolder at Koewacht
4. Petrus Ambrosius van de Vijver married to Joanna Catharina Leenkneght
born 07-12-1773 at Koewacht 08-05-1798 at Koewacht born 15-11-1774 at Hulst
died 31-05-1834 at Koewacht died 27-03-1844 at Koewacht
3. Johannes Franciscus van de Vijver married to Ludovica Verbeeck
born 11-07-1800 at Koewacht 02-08-1830 at Stekene (B.) born 28-11-1804 at Stekene
died 10-02-1874 at Koewacht died 11-09-1874 at Koewacht
peasant and farmer
2. Adolphus van de Vijver married to Clemence Maria de Vliegher
born 26-04-1846 at Koewacht 08-10-1877 at Koewacht born 20-05-1853 at Koewacht
died 20-09-1929 at Koewacht died 17-12-1912 at Koewacht
farmer in the Ferdinanduspolder at Koewacht
1. Bertha Augusta Pharailda van de Vijver married to Alouisius Josephus de Nijs
born 11-07-1883 at Koewacht 30-04-1907 at Hontenisse born 29-10-1882 at Hontenisse
died 31-10-1958 at Koewacht died 25-02-1975 at Hontenisse
Daughter of Adolphus van de Vijver and Clemence de Vliegher.
From the time she was 5 she lived with her uncle and also godfather(?) Auguust van de Vijver and her aunt Apolonia Adraansens.

The adult children of Adolf and Clemence van de Vijver (nr.2) are:
1. Alina born 19-07-1878 married 11-07-1923 to Augustinus Ferket died 04-02-1967
2. Prudentia born 18-03-1880 married 08-13-1918 to Julius Mangnus died 02-03-1949
3. Camille born 13-04-1881 married 22-04-1914 to Celestine van Dorselaer died 17-11-1948
4. Bertha born 11-07-1883 married 30-04-1907 to Aloys de Nijs died 31-10-1958
5. Edmond born 05-03-1885 married 06-07-1927 to Josephina Valent died 15-03-1976
6. Mathilda born 07-02-1886 married 31-01-1928 to Jacobus Dom.van de Vijver died 29-06-1973
7. Henricus born 08-10-1887 married 10-06-1920 to Rosalia van Daele died 01-09-1965
8. Augusta born 21-05-1890 married 24-11-1921 to Alphons van Waterschoot died 13-01-1964
There were five more children, four died within their first year and a son died at 12 years

(Thanks to Karel and Erna Verschueren-van de Vijver for the above information)


16. Crown domain Kloosterzande
The Earl’s from Nassau- became Prins of Oranje –had many possessions in the North and South of the Netherlands. The crown domains consisted of 18.000 hectares, of which ‘t Loo by Apeldoorn, forms and adorns the “crown”. Crown domain Kloosterzande consisted of 2600 hectare in the land of Hulst and was a gift from the Vrije from Brugge on Sept.15,1582 to Willem van Oranje for the loss of the principality Oranje in the south of France. The estates belonged to the abbey Ten Duinen by Koksijde and partly to the (sister) abbey Ter Doest at Brugge, who reclaimed the land and also founded it Hof at Zande. In a decision made by parliament on Apr. 16, 1646, Earl Frederik Hendrik was confirmed as the owner of the property after the recapture of Hulst. The management of the property came from the Nassause Domain board in Den Haag. Take note: State-Vlaanderen, Brabant and Limburg were generality lands (lands taken from the Spaniards) and for 200-250 years controlled by parliament in Den Haag; after July 20, 1814 State-Vlaanderen became part of Zeeland, then it became Zeeuws-Vlaanderen (anniversary 1814-2014). With the constitution of 1848 it became domain property of the State and gave the benefits of property to the king, the bearer of the crown. The term “crown domain” dates back to 1848. Since January 1, 1973 crown domain ended and the management of crown domain Kloosterzande with agriculture designation was transferred to it rent office of state domain at Breda.

Since 1666 there were Kloosterzande land agents for the crown domain. The notables are:
1666-1675 prof.Hendrik Bornius
1675-1700 his son Johan Hendrik Bornius
1866-1893 Hendrik AA baron Collot d’Escury, also mayor at Hontenisse from 1868-1893
1893-1929 Karel J. A. baron Collot d’Escury first mayor of Boschkapelle and later at Hontenisse
1929-1968 H A Adolf baron Collot d’Escury and had other positions (amoung others, Sugar-and Butter factory)
1968-1972 K.J.Andre baron Collot d’ Escury later he was chairman of the water board at Hulster-territory.
(Information and picture 1 in: De boederijen in it and of Hulst: page 29-33)

Henderik Bornius, his son Johan Hendrik Bornius and the baron Hendrik ,Karel, Adolf and Andre Collot d’ Escury were tolerant of the leaseholders, Catholics and the local people. They were in favor of erfpacht (the farmer rents the land but owns the buildings) and reasonable rent. Karel baron Collot d’ Escury founded the first Nederlandse Co-operative Beetroot Sugar factory in Sas van Gent and the Co-op and. Stoomzuivel (butter) factory was built in Kloosterzande. He built at the Hof of Zandeplein at the “premises” Collot d’ Escury in 1868. His son Adolf was chairman of the above named factories and local department of the Z(eeuwse) L(andbouw) M(aatschappij) (zeeuwse agriculture company). The years of hunting strengthened the tie between the family Collot d’ Escury and members of the Huis van Oranje. Now that crown domain Kloosterzande has gone, the ties remain close through the hunt.

Ned. Hevr. kerk te Kloosterzande (tekening E.P.M. Blanckaert, Kloosterzande)Ingang hof te Zande, de woning van Collot d'Escury (tekening van Annie Kerckhaert, 25 april 2011)
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17. Flevoland (1) - De Noord Oost Polder
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18. Flevoland (2) - East and South Flevoland
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click here for chapter 18.


19. Uncle Mon and uncle Wies leave for Canada
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click here for chapter 19.


20. In the track of Uncle Mon and Uncle Wies to Canada
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Eén reactie

  1. 12-04-2015 22:50 door Attie de Wit

    Met dank aan Emily en Bouke Bottema, Jan en Elly de Nijs, Toos en Wies de Nijs en Loes Cofell - de Wit

    Thanks for all your help😊


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