Some research that I compiled from Genlias (which is a joint product of the Regional History Centers and Archives in the Netherlands and overseas) has provided new insight to the history of Hendrik Walvoort (1802-1865).
Once upon a time, I thought that he had only one son, Gerrit Jan Walvoord (1826-1856), but he also had a second son, Derk Antoni Walvoort (1827-1828), from his first marriage that died six months later. He also had a third son from his second marriage Tonie Walvoort (1831-1833) that died at the age of two. He also had a daughter from his third marriage, Theodora Maria Walvoord (c.1835-1840) that died at the age of five.
As I was adding more and more information from Genlais, it became evident how many young children died in that time-period in the Netherlands. Many mothers also died in child birth. I can’t imagine how difficult it must have been to endure such tragedy after tragedy. It gives me a new found respect for my ancestor, Hendrik. Even more so, when he pulled up all roots to emigrate to America for a chance at a new life. But even here in this New World of promise, tragedy still followed Hendrik when his only surviving adult son, fell off the pier in Amsterdam, Wisconsin at the age of 30 and drowned.
Take a moment to re-read the newly updated biography of Hendrik Walvoort (1802-1865) and reflect on what chances and choices have affected you from your ancestor.