Think Out Loud

Passing on a little family history to the next generation

A very long trip – Rotterdam to Tanjung Priok — May 17, 2018

A very long trip – Rotterdam to Tanjung Priok

My Opa – Johannes Hubertus Theodorus Gerardu

Continuing the story from my previous post – 1921: The Decision to Join KNIL

This young Dutchman began a new chapter in his life on March 6, 1921, when he boarded the S.S. Wilis, destination Batavia, Dutch East Indies.

However, before I go there, in an effort to imagine what life was like when he left the Netherlands, I found this video that gives a peek into city life in Groningen. While this is not where Hubert lived, it gives you an idea of what he was leaving behind.

Stamboek Entry: 3/6/1921 Geembarkeered te Rotterdam a.b.as. “Wilis”

Fifty-five days. At sea. In 3rd class or steerage. Now that’s a long trip!

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1921: The Decision to Join KNIL — April 16, 2018

1921: The Decision to Join KNIL

My Opa – Johannes Hubertus Theodorus Gerardu

He did it. Even though his father did not want him to. He did it anyway. “What right does he have to have a say in my life?”, he thinks.” He hasn’t acted as a father since I was seven.” That was when his mother died. She was forty-three. As solace, his father turned to the bottle. It must have been too much to bear. How does a man support and raise seven children on his own? Yes, the bottle helped avoid this reality. This wasn’t the way it was supposed to be. Hubert essentially lost his mother, Maria Catharina van Engelshoven (21 Jan 1865, Maastricht, NL) and his father, Servatius Gerardu (29 Jan 1865, Maastricht, NL) that year. It was 1908.

Shortly after the death of his mother, Johannes Hubertus Theodorus Gerardu, better known as Hubert and his two brothers moved in with Servatius’s youngest brother Jos (Hubertus Johannes Josephus Gerardu, 25 Aug 1877). Jos and Elizabeth (Elizabeth van Eijsden, 18 Mar 1878) had five children of their own, so now there were eight. Imagine how loud and crazy it must have been! [Update: Only Hubert went to live with his uncle Jos; one of his younger brothers went to live with another uncle and one to an aunt.]

~1909 Class Photo
~1909 Class Photo in Maastricht, NL

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Finally…A Home for My Family Tree — August 27, 2015

Finally…A Home for My Family Tree

Have you ever ended up getting pulled into a hobby very much by accident? Perhaps you were Internet surfing, and wham, you found something that surprised, yet intrigued you. Well, that is what happened to me! About fifteen years ago, I stumbled upon a genealogy site with information about my family going back to the 1600s, and today, I still find it fascinating. I don’t have much time to work on it, but every once in a while I get a burst of energy to update it. Yesterday was one of those days.

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The challenge with long-term, pick it up/put it down projects, like genealogy, is technology passes you by while you are busy doing other things. It seems like every time I start working on it, a significant amount of time is spent updating and relearning the apps. The good news is that the technology continues to get better and better. My computer, phone, and tablet now work together (finally), so I can make changes at any time, on any device. Yay!

With that said, I now have a home for my Family Tree web project. Take a peek and let me know what you think – Gerardu-Low Family Tree.