Christiaan F van Raaphorst family in Canada, about 1913

van Raaphorst family page

Other posts about van Raaphorst family members

Materfamilias of the van Raaphorst clan (Aunt Betty)

My paternal grandfather, Chris van Raaphorst

Happy 198th birthday to my oldest great-grandmother! (Agatha Bisson)

About the van Raaphorst family

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).

Anna's paternal line: van Raaphorst
Anna’s paternal line: van Raaphorst

Many of the van Raaphorsts first lived in South Holland (in or around Sassenheim) and then moved north to Haarlem and Amsterdam.

Sassenheim, Netherlands
Sassenheim, Netherlands
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Amsterdam, Netherlands

Both of Anna’s grandparents (Christiaan Frederik van Raaphorst and Elisabeth Johanna Maria Metsch) and all of their children were born in Amsterdam.

Chris van Raaphorst's birth certificate
Chris van Raaphorst’s birth certificate

The children were all born in the family home at 17 van Oldenbarneveldt Street in the Westerpark neighborhood of Amsterdam.

17 van Oldenbarneveldtstraat, Amsterdam
17 van Oldenbarneveldtstraat, Amsterdam
Elisabeth and Chris van Raaphorst, about 1910
Elisabeth and Chris van Raaphorst, about 1910
Willem, Hendricus, and Johan, about 1900
Willem, Hendricus, and Johan van Raaphorst, about 1900

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.

Sarnia, Ontario
Sarnia, Ontario
Detroit, Michigan
Detroit, 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.

Johan (John) van Raaphorst, age about 12
Johan (John) van Raaphorst, age about 12

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).

John and Jo van Raaphorst, about 1917
John and Jo van Raaphorst, about 1917

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).

Nan and John van Raaphorst, about 1963
Nan and John van Raaphorst, about 1963

Ancestor surnames

  • Arkshoek
  • Biesenaar
  • Bisson
  • Ebbing
  • Fluiter
  • Hinkes
  • Kuijper (Kuyper)
  • Nik
  • Rutgers
  • Soetermeer
  • van Beijeren (van Beieren)
  • van der Schilde
  • van Noortveen
  • van Raaphorst (Van Raaphorst)
  • van Tongeren
  • Vergunst

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