A Wubbels Mystery

Much of genealogy research is simply slogging through records. A good index, such as WieWasWie, can make the task much easier, if not down right boring. But occasionally, we find a mystery that warrants a detour in our research.

When I found the death record for my third cousin three times removed Willemina Slats (1839-1908, Bredevoort), I noticed that the first informant was Gerrit Jan Wubbels, landbouwer, age 56. I have ancestors named Wubbels, many of which are in my database. However, Gerrit Jan was not already in my database. So of course, I needed to find out how he was related to my ancestors. Bredevoort isn’t a big town, so he must be related somehow, right?

The next step was to find information about Gerrit Jan. WieWasWie turned up some information. Gerrit Jan was born in 1852 in Bredevoort to Bernardus Engelbartus Wubbels (born 1825) and Janna Elisabeth Walvoort, married 1851 in Bredevoort. The parents of Bernardus were Jan Wubbels (born 1796) and Gesina Kampe (born 1806). Again, none of these people were in my database.

Finding information about Jan Wubbels and Gesina Kampe turned out to be a challenge. There was precious little about them apart from the birth and marriage records for their son. I tried different spellings of the names, but no luck. Finally, I turned to the bevolkingsregister, a register of people living in a particular place at a particular time. I knew that Jan Wubbels and Gesina Kampe lived in Bredevoort at the time of their son’s marriage in 1851, so I went to the bevolkingsregister for the 1850’s Bredevoort.

Reading through the bevolkingsregister isn’t easy since there’s no index and no meaningful order to the records. Going one by one through hundreds of records, I eventually found the pertinent record.

This record shows a family with parents Hendrikus Joannes Arnoldus Wubbels (born 25 Nov 1795) and Gesina Catharine te Kampe (born 13 Aug 1805). Bernardus Engelbartus Wubbels (born 17 Maart 1825) is listed as the first child. Clearly, this was the family I was looking for. For some reason, the birth record for Bernardus Engelbartus referred to his parents using their familiar names, and not their full formal names.

This record also shows why I hadn’t previously come across this family. The seventh column shows the religion of the person. In this case, their religion is listed as “R Cath“. As far as I know, all the other Wubbels in my ancestry are Protestant.

One mystery was solved, but others remain. I still don’t know the parents of Jan (Hendrikus Joannes Arnoldus) Wubbels. His death record doesn’t list them, and FamilySearch doesn’t host baptism records for the Catholic church in Bredevoort prior to 1798.

Cheers! Hans

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