A while back, my mother emailed the above photo of her grandfather, Eduard LEMMENS with his siblings. The only ones identified at the time were Eduard (left) and his brother, Michel (right) whose records I had been unable to locate – I didn’t even have names of the sisters but at least the photograph was evidence that there were at least five.
It turns out that Eduard was in fact one of thirteen children born to Frederic Jean LEMMENS & Celine Marie VAN WOUW (blogged about previously) but only these seven had made it to adulthood.
A search for Frederic in the Dutch archives website (openarch.nl) led me to all the records in which he was listed as father.
There seems to be a wealth of information available online for those seeking their Dutch ancestors, albeit a little tricky to navigate for the non-Dutch speaking users (like me). I was finally able to locate a birth record for brother Michel. His name had been spelled Micheal in the records which seemed to be the reason it was difficult to find him (unlike other ‘more fuzzy’ search engines I’ve used). All their children’s birth records were there (all born in Vlessingen, Zeeland), as well as death records for the five who died as infants/children. I have yet to translate these death records as I want to make a death counterpart to my ‘Super-Duper-Handy-Dandy Dutch Birth Record Translation Helper’ and am currently learning some basic Dutch to help me research this particular branch.
However, with this information I was able to find the names and birthdates of the surviving children and guess who is who in the photograph. Irma and Leontine were the easiest being the youngest but I have reservations about the older girls as I can only guess at their ages (sorry, ladies). The woman I labelled as Valentine looked the oldest to me, and ‘possible Anna’ looked younger than ‘possible Esperance’ but of course, I could be wrong. I am in the process of trying to date the photograph and glean as much information as I can from the image (ie. why the photo album on the table?).
- Date the photograph
- Translate death records
- Seek more photographs to help correctly identify each individual