The van Raaphorsts (now more often spelled Van Raaphorst) are Anna’s father’s paternal ancestors. The oldest van Raaphorst ancestor on Anna’s family tree is Jan Cornelisz, born 1525. Most of the known Old World van Raaphorsts were born in the province of either North Holland (in or near Amsterdam) or South Holland (in or near Rotterdam).
Many of the van Raaphorsts first lived in South Holland (in or around Sassenheim) and then moved north to Haarlem and Amsterdam.
Both of Anna’s grandparents (Christiaan Frederik van Raaphorst and Elisabeth Johanna Maria Metsch) and all of their children were born in Amsterdam.
The children were all born in the family home at 17 van Oldenbarneveldt Street in the Westerpark neighborhood of Amsterdam.
Chris, Elisabeth, and all of their existing descendants and their families immigrated to the New World over a period of about 15 years, beginning in 1905 with oldest son Christiaan Gottfried. The earlier immigrants first went to Sarnia, Ontario, Canada, and the later ones went directly to Detroit or Port Huron, Michigan.
Anna’s father, Johan (John), her uncle Hendricus (Harry), and her grandparents arrived in New York on their way to Sarnia on June 22, 1910. At the time he migrated, John was only 13, and he immediately went to work to help support the family.
During their first years in the New World, many family members (including John) traveled back to Holland to visit friends and relatives.
John married his first wife, Johanna (also a Dutch immigrant) in 1917. John and Jo had one son, William (Bill).
Jo died in 1937, and John remarried (to Nettie (Nan) Riedel) in 1939. John and Nan had one daughter, Anna, and a stillborn son, Theodore (Teddy).
- Kuijper (Kuyper)
- van Beijeren (van Beieren)
- van der Schilde
- van Noortveen
- van Raaphorst (Van Raaphorst)
- van Tongeren
Unanswered questions about the van Raaphorsts
The most mysterious of Anna’s van Raaphorst ancestors was her great-grandfather, Theodorus Leonardus van Raaphorst. In about 1867 he abandoned his wife and two living children (Christiaan and Antonius) and simply disappeared. He reappeared about 30 years later (after his wife’s death) and asked son Chris and his family to take him in. They did for awhile, but apparently the arrangements didn’t work out, and he disappeared again.
Anna recently discovered that Theodorus remarried (a widow some years his junior, Jannetje Maria van der Reijden) in 1899.
- Where was Theodorus during the 30 years he was “missing”?
- When and where did he die?
- What is the history of his second wife, before and after their marriage?
- When and where did Chris’s brother Antonius die?
- Are descendants of Antonius still living in the Netherlands?
For more information
- van Raaphorst-Metsch family history (2014) (history of the van Raaphorst and Metsch families)