Traveling to the Netherlands: The Winkel Tour

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The Netherlands is a beautiful country. If you are from Hendrik and Everdina’s family line, you have a great opportunity to learn about your ancestors. There are a variety of family history locations to visit, spanning several different regions of the country. I have broken this guide into three sections: the Winkels, the Van Ojens and Hendrik and Everdina’s Early Years. I believe you will find this information useful in planning your trip as well as getting around when you are there. All quotes are from the book “The Winkels” by Dena Allen.


  • I strongly suggest you rent a car. You can see a lot more country that way. I got one of those little tiny cars.
  • Take the Winkel book by Dena Allen with you!
  • Use Google Earth to visit each location in advance.
  • While you are there, take the time to do research of your own.
  • Before leaving, email the libraries of the cities you want to visit, especial those in the North were we know so little, and tell them what you are doing. Ask any questions you may have such as: “I’m going to be looking for …. ” or “When I arrive, where might I find records concerning … “
  • Take a digital camera to photograph records, tombstones, houses etc.

I’ve found emailing in advance to be very useful. On my first trip my wife and I had an incredible time looking for Winkel sites. It was the ultimate scavenger hunt. However, we failed to find the Alphen bakery. Before my second trip, I emailed the Alphen librarian and told him what I was looking for. A man from the library actually found the site for me and sent me the address. Please don’t just drive around. You will miss a great opportunity if you don’t try to find new sites.

There is a ton of research that could be done in all of these cities. Finding relatives, getting records, finding the places they lived and worked, etc. Then of course there is the actual genealogy work which I have never done. In reality, that is the most important thing you could do.

The Apeldoorn library had a wealth of information. They had dozens of historical postcards of town. This made it easy to see what the neighborhoods looked like when Hendrik and Everdina were there. These cities kept records of those who moved in and out of town including: how many children they had, where they lived and their occupation. You don’t have to be skilled to do research.

Most people speak English so getting around isn’t tough. However, when sending emails I used the Google translator to write and translate letters.

I do not have any contacts for family members in The Netherlands. I know there have been occasions where Utah Winkels have visited them and vice versa but I don’t have any names or addresses. Establishing these contacts would be great. They certainly would have more information about our ancestors.

The Winkel’s

“According to records received from the archives in Assert, capital of the province of Drente in Netherland, the Winkels resided in Ruinen near Meppel. Ruinen was noted for its yearly horse markets in connection with a kermis or carnival. We also found Winkels living in Hoogeveen, Meppel and some places in southern Drente during the sixteenth, seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Although the name of Winkel existed in these localities for a period of some four hundred years, their history and records have been difficult to trace.”

The Winkels were called Voorhees in part of the fifteenth and the whole of the sixteenth century. The records in Assen show that transaction of land and leasing took place at this particular period. Later, the Winkels became schippers and lived on the rivers, and when a child was born it was recorded wherever they happened to be at the time, making it very difficult to find complete records of families. Sometimes to distinguish one Winkel from another, the name Schipper was added.

Cities to visit:

  • Ruinen
  • Hoogeveen
  • Nyeveen
  • Avereest
  • Devontot

I don’t know of anyone who has visited these cities or done any research in these areas.

The Van Ojen’s

“Grandfather van Ojen was born on October 1851 in Maurik, Gelderland. Grandmother was born in Zoelmond, May 8th, 1851 also in Gelderland. They, however did not meet until each had gone to the city of the Hague for employment. One evening she was being molested by some drunken men and he came along at the right moment to rescue her and accompanied her to her boarding place. Five years later they were married, Aug. 8, 1877 and Everdina, Cornelia was their first child who was born on the first day of October, 1878. Grandfather van Ojen was a landscape gardener and also raised vegetables and flowers. Later they moved just outside of that city to a place called Loosduinen, to work for a man by the name of Correndorf who owned a beautiful estate with many fine beautiful horses and carriages.”

Cities to visit:

  • Maurik
  • Zoelmond
  • Loosduinen (The Hague)

I visited Maurik and Zoelmond. I didn’t have time to do any research. I just drove around. They are very small beautiful towns.

Loosduinen is a former village, now a neighborhood of The Hague. Loosduinen was a separate municipality until 1923, when it merged with The Hague. I’m pretty sure that Loosduinen is on the South side of Den Haag. Since there is some description of the area it would be great to find the estate in which they worked. You should be able to find the area based on the old map below.

I don’t know anything about this Van Ojen house in The Hague.

Hendrik and Everdina’s Early Years

“By this time their little family had grown to children and it was difficult to find employ as most wealthy people preferred gardeners with no families. He, however did find work at Oudshoorn by Alphen on the Rhine.”

The present municipality of Alphen aan den Rijn was formed in 1918. Then the smaller municipalities of Alphen, Aarlanderveen and Oudshoorn were merged. In 1964 the municipality absorbed the municipality of Zwammerdam.

“Seeing an advertisement in the paper for two young people from the country to come to the city, they moved to Rotterdam and had a bakery there in the Agnusestraat.”

“Discouraged with the bakery they decided to buy a freighting business from Arnhem to Apeldoorn. This proved fairly profitable.”

Cities to visit:

  • Alphen aan den Rijn
  • Rotterdam
  • Apeldoorn
  • Arnhem

I visited each of these cities. I tried to find the bakery in Alphen. The first trip to the Netherlands I was unsuccessful but as you can see from the twin pictures above, I found the bakery on my second trip.

I haven’t been able to find the street in Rotterdam were they worked.

In Apeldoorn, it’s easy to find the huge church that they attended. The churches records are at the library so don’t bother going to the church to do research. However, the inside is impressive if you want to stop by and take a look. Family members have said that they had a bakery in Apeldoorn. I’m pretty sure that they just did the freight work. The city has no record of them baking.

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