Carla Gerardu-Low

Passing on a little family history to the next generation

A Mad Scramble to Prepare for the Japanese — February 17, 2021

A Mad Scramble to Prepare for the Japanese

One of the problems with doing genealogy research is that it is easy to get distracted by new findings. They are the shiny new findings that are interesting and take one on a previously unexplored historical adventure. Without a doubt, I’ve done a lot of that in the last couple of years. I now have four family trees on Ancestry.com, a little over 2,900 people in the trees, and a decent system for organizing the documents that I find. Whew! There are so many fascinating stories out there, but now it’s time to get back to writing about my dad’s family.

My Opa – Johannes Hubertus Theodorus Gerardu

In my last post, I ended with my grandfather’s arrival as a POW in Pakan Baroe, on the island of Sumatra, in May 1944. However, before I write about Pakan Baroe, I want to go back to the period right before the occupation of the Dutch East Indies (DEI, now Indonesia) by the Japanese in March 1942.

Johannes Hubertus Theodorus Gerardu - timeline during the Japanese occupation of the Dutch East Indies

It was a period of great uncertainty for everyone. After the Netherlands had surrendered to the Nazi forces in May 1940, the DEI operated somewhat independently for two years. Meanwhile, Japan was posturing that it intended to create a bloc of self-sufficient Asian nations, led by Japan, which was to be free of any Western influence. This intention was announced by Foreign Minister Hachirō Arita on June 29, 1940. Then on September 27, 1940, Japan, Germany, and Italy signed the Tripartite Pact. It was a defense alliance intended to discourage the United States from entering the conflicts. These events are only the high-level indicators of what was brewing. As the war continued to rage in Europe, the Koninklijk Nederlands-Indisch Leger (KNIL) or Royal Netherlands East Indies Army frantically prepared for a possible invasion in the Pacific.

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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.