The favourite son
Jan Zee was the twelfth, last, and it seems most loved child of Bruin Bruinzoon Zee and Jannetje Tromp. His birth was something of a surprise – his mother Jannetje was 43 when he was born, and it had been eight years since his similarly named brother Johannis had died at a young age, in 1775.
After his mother died in 1790, his father Bruin was quick to draw up a will to ensure that he would be taken care of. As wills go, this one is very curious and specific. The background is clear: he didn’t want his son to repeat his own experiences as child, when his own father died, he had to watch helplessly as his three sisters were placed in an orphanage.
First off, Jan was to be given 1,000 guilders, and an equal share of the family gold and silver. But very specifically, the will left instructions that it would not be paid out until Jan had reached the age of 22, and had learned and could recite the basic ‘Psalms and Kamphuizen’, mathematics as written by Bartjens and Venema, Seamanship and navigation, Land surveying, Italian book-keeping, and had taken his confirmation with the Reformed church. Jan was going to be a busy young man!
Whether or not Jan learned all the topics set down by his father, his older brother Bruin certainly did – as this advertisement he place in 1817 shows:
B. ZEE, te Hoogwoud, geeft ONDERWIJS in de Algebra, Stuurmans-Kunst, in de Gronden van Wiskunst, en in het Werkdadig Landmeten; benevens in het maken en zetten van differente sorrten van Zonnewijzers; alsmede in meerder andere nuttige WEETENSCHAPPEN, Ouders en Voogden over hunne Kinderen of Pupillen daarvan gebruik willende maken, addresseeren zich deswegens aan bovengemelde.
B. ZEE, in Hoogwoud, is offering LESSONS in Algebra, Helmsmanship, in the Basics of Mathematics, and in the Surveying of Land; in addition to making and using different sorts of sundials; as well as in several other useful SCIENCES: Parents and Guardians wishing to this for their Children or Pupils, contact the above mentioned.
Three of Jan’s brothers – Bruin, Frederik, and Pieter Zee were all teachers. Where did this great fondness for teaching and learning come from? Undoubtedly through their grandfather, Frederik Tromp – in his time a much respected teacher in Lutjebroek.
Jan’s father Bruin indeed did pass away, in 1798, when Jan was almost 15. The will was also clear as to who should take care of him: his brother, Bruin Bruinzoon jr., living in Hoogwoud, or, his other brother Frederik, if we was of age. His siblings Bregje, Pieter, and Frederik, had already moved to Hoogwoud by 1791, so either way, in 1798, Jan went to live in Hoogwoud.
By 1808, Jan Zee was living in Twisk, but after marrying Aaltje Schuitemaker in Obdam in 1808, they moved to Winkel, which would become home for the family. But he went against the grain, probably figuring that there were enough teachers in the family: Jan became a farmer. Of seven children born, only three survived childhood: Jannetje (x Arien Pater), Pieter (x Neeltje Veer), and Bruin (x Aafje Hasselman).
A tragic January
In January 1825, Jan Zee was faced with two tragic early deaths: his wife, and his brother, Frederik, within a week of each other.
Aaltje Schuitemaker died unexpectedly at the age of 38, when their newborn son Bruin was only 6 months old. For Jan, looking after a baby without a mother, and grieving the death of his wife, and brother, was very difficult. Bruin was therefore raised by Maartje Kamp (Arien Pater’s mother) and Jantje Pater, in the house at Laagzijde 104, Winkel, while Jan lived at Hoogzijde 38.
In 1832, Jan Zee married again, to Trijntje Smit, and died in Winkel in 1848.
New discovery: Jan Zee and Aaltje Schuijtemakers will
Jun 4, 2022 – I just discovered an entry in the Notarial Records of Cornelis Dekker in the Rijksarchief Alkmaar: on April 7, 1812, Jan Zee and Aaltje deposited a will. The reference numbers are 47 and 48. Cornelis Dekker was a notary in Winkel, and also the local schoolteacher [>]. It make sense than Jan and Aaltje would have vistied him to make a will.
The date is a week before Aaltje was to give birth to Pieter Zee, my great-great-grandfather, who married Neeltje Veer. His birthdate was April 14, 1812. Finding the actual will should prove interesting.
And, here it is, from the archives of the Rijksarchief Alkmaar:
Actually, it doesn’t provide much more background on Jan & Aaltje. It states that he is a farmer, living in Winkel at Nr. 42, and in the event of his death, leaves all his goods to his wife Aaltje. The second page, below, is all essentially standard legal language, but it is signed by Jan and shows a rather educated and fluent signature. It seems that the education plans set down in the will of his own father, Bruyn Zee, were followed through.
There may be more from the same notary, so the search continues! Jan and Aaltje married in Obdam, though why is unclear, and how they came to live in Winkel is also not clear. Since Jannetje was born in March 1809 in Winkel, they had arrived at least by then. At the marriage in Obdam, Jan Zee was noted as living in Twisk.
April 9, 1808 – Ondertrouw (Marriage banns) for Jan & Aaltje
On Saturday, April 12th, 1823, Jan Zee held a public auction at his own house in Winkel, to sell live cattle, and the contents of house. The details are noted in the archives of the notary J. Roggeveen >. This was not a regular event, and may have meant that Jan Zee was selling up his farm and getting out of farming. The cattle and contents sold brought in a total of 190 guilders.
By the following July, Jan and Aaltje had moved to Sijberkarspel. Here, on July 14th, 1824, Bruin Zee was born at 4am.
This document from 1825 indicates that Pieter Ameliswaard received the sum of 3,203 guilders from Jan Zee, farmer living in Sijbekarspel en Benningbroek, for a “Boerehuis of Kapberg”, and land, 84 roeden, in Winkel on the Hoogzijde, beside Louris Groot and Klaas Butter to the east, and Gerrit R(o?)der to the west, the house numbered 35, as well as 7 bunders of land in the Oosterpolder at Winkel, bought in public. But it seems that Jan Zee bought the house for another person called Willem Slijksteeg.
Certainly if Jan Zee sold his own contents and animals for a total of 190 guilders, it seems unlikely he would have had 3200 guilders to buy this large farm. Perhaps Willem Slijksteeg didn’t want to be at an auction or have his business known? Willem was married to Aaltje Zijp – maybe a relative? [Aaltje Zijp married Willem Slijksteeg in Hoogwoud in 1819 >, she died 1827, her parents were Louris Zijp and Antje Blauw]
On April 28, 1828 Jan Zee held another auction of goods in Winkel, selling some livestock (cows mostly) and other items. Pieter Schuitemaker bought Cow No. 9 for 68 guilders. After the livestock sale, general goods were sold – a couch for 50 cents, a chest for 25. Arie Pater (his daughters husband) was there too. Jan Bakker bought a wagon for 57 guilders. Jacob Gorter (married to his sister Bregje Zee) bought some buckets for 2.70. There must have been 50 or more people at the sale. After 171 items, Arie Pater wrapped up the auction by buying a clock for 5 guilders 50. The total came to 858 guilders and 35 cents.
Jan Zee b 02-Sep-1783 Noordscharwoude [Bruin Zee & Jannetje Tromp] + 22-Jan-1848 Winkel aged 59 x Aaltje Schuitemaker 09-Apr-1808 Obdam * 24-Dec-1786 Berkhout [Pieter Schuitemaker & Meijnouwtje Pijl] + 18-Jan-1825 Sijbekarspel aged 38 D1 Jannetje 23-Mar-1809 Winkel x Arien Pater D2 Pieter 19-Mar-1811 Winkel + 17-Apr-1811 D3 Pieter 14-Apr-1812 Winkel x Neeltje Veer D4 Meinuwtje 15-Nov-1813 Winkel + 20-Jan-1814 Winkel D5 Bruin 17-Feb-1816 Winkel + 10-May-1819 Winkel D6 Meinuwtje 13-Feb-1818 Winkel + 15-Feb-1818 Winkel D7 Bruin 14-Jul-1824 Sijbekarspel x Aafje Hasselman X Trijntje Smit 23-Dec-1832 Winkel * 1781 Winkel [Klaas Smit & Aagje Kornelisdr. Kos] + 29-Nov-1846 Winkel aged 65
Jan Zee 07-Feb-1806 Aaltje Schuitemaker signed in to Lidmatenregister Obdam > 09-Apr-1808 (at Marriage) Jan Zee living in Twisk, Aaltje Schuitemaker living Obdam 1811 Registre Civique: Boer, Winkel. Born Sep 1784. 07-Apr-1812 Jan Zee & Aaltje Schuitemaker registered a will in Winkel [Notaris C. Dekker, inventarisnummer 5605, aktenummer 047]. A week before Pieter Zee was born. Living at Nr. 42 in Winkel. 20-Jan-1814 Death of daughter Meinuwtje, living at Huis Nr. 42. 1818 Death of daughter Meinoutje (2nd), woonende Huis Nr. 80 Winkel. 12-Apr-1823 Public auction held at Jan Zee's house, at his own request, to sell live animals and contents of his house. Notaris J. Roggeveen [RAA] [>] 14-Jul-1824 (Birth of Bruin Zee) Jan Zee & Aaltje living in Sijbekarspel. Was this the move that allowed Pieter Zee to meet Neeltje Veer? For more check LMR Benningbroek. 21-Dec-1824 Pieter Ameliswaard & Arie Hauwert te Jan Zee wonende Benningbroek, Publieke Verkoop van huis en erf te Winkel, 7 bunderen, 43 roeden, 70 ellen land gelegen aldaar in de ooster polder om f. 3203., sale complete 4 Jan 1825. Ref. 1671. Seem Jan Zee was simply a witness here [>] 15-Feb-1825 Huis & Land transaction, Jan Zee 'ter behoeve van' Willem Slijksteeg, fl 3203. 27-Jan-1828 Jan Zee present at marriage of daughter Jantje to Arien Pater in Winkel. Occupation: Farmer, living Winkel. Also present: Jan Komen. 28-Apr-1828 Jan Zee roeroend goed, geproveneerd f858.35, wonend 'te meere onder?' Winkel [>]. In the act, "Jan Zee wonend in de weere onder de gemeente Winkel". Sale of livestock and property. 1829 Benningbroek house sale [?source?] 01-Jan-1830 Winkel Census, Jan Zee, Arbeider, was living in Hoogzijde 38 in a household of three people: himself, aged 46, Henderik Lindeboom (Koopman, Catholic), 27 from Ochtrup, and Dieuwertje Stapel, 20 from Winkel. [Winkel Census 1830]. So where was Bruin (aged 6) and Pieter?. Bruin Zee (6) living with Maartje Kamp (60), Trijntje Pater (25), and Grietje Klaare (1) - Laagzijde 104. 1840 Winkel Census, aged 56, Living Langerijs 111. with Trijntje Smit and Dieuwertje Koorn, 15, born Winkel. 29-Nov-1846 Trijntje Smit died aged 65, in the house at Langerijs 111, born in Winkel, earlier married to Dirk Koorn. So, Dieuwertje was her daughter. 1848 Woonende Huis Laagzijde Nr.51, Winkel at death Jannetje Zee 22-May-1830 Winkel to Abbekerk [LMR Abbekerk] 04-Sep-1854 Abbekerk to Nieuwe Niedorp [LMR Abbekerk] Quartierstaat Aaltje Schuitemaker 1. Aaltje Schuitemaker *24-Dec-1786 Berkhout 2. Pieter Schuitemaker *15-Feb-1756 Berkhout 3. Meijnouwtje Pijl b. 1758 Zwaag 4. Cornelis Schuitemaker * Berkhout? m. 23-Jul-1752 Berkhout > d. Hoorn 1802 5. Geertje Klaas Ham * Berkhout? d. 1801 Berkhout 6. Reijnder Pijl *c. 1720 Zwaag? m. 4-Jan-1756 Zwaag [2nd marriage] 7. Aaltje Teunis *c. 1730 Wervershoof ? 8. Joris Schuitemaker 9. x 10. Klaas Ham 11. x 12. Teunis Pijl 13. x 14. Teunis 15. x 24-Feb-1752 Reijndert Pijl Lidmaat Zwaag, arrive from place not mentioned > 04-Jan-1756 Marriage of Reindert Pijl (weduwe) and Aaltje Teunis from Wervershoof. Also listed in DTB Medemblik for some reason > 20-Dec-1812 Marriage of Geertje Schuitemaker, born Obdam, 23, to Floris Mienis > 18-Feb-1816 Marriage of Reindert Schuitemaker, brother of Aaltje. Parents Pieter Cornelis Schuitemaker & Mienouwtje Reinders Pijl. 29-Oct-1837 Marriage of Jan Schuitemaker and Bregtje Dal. Parents Pieter Schuitemaker & Meinouw Pijl.