1800s portrait of Wubbina Engellina Haken

Wubbina Swalve [n. Haken]. I'm not sure when this photo was taken, other than it was during her lifetime. The website Cousin Anje and I were referencing to evaluate fashion to narrow down the decade seems to be down. (Courtesy Willem Vliestra)

Wubbina Swalve [n. Haken]. (Courtesy Willem Vliestra)

I was looking through some old emails recently and realized I haven’t yet posted all the photos Willem Vliestra sent me. This portrait is of Wubbina Engellina Haken. I’ve mentioned or written about her on here a couple times before and there’s not a ton of information on a woman who lived so long ago, so I’ll recap what I do know, mostly from the Peters’ research, here:

Wubbina Engellina Haken was born to Geerd Jans Haken and Jantje Hinderks Fols in Boen, the center of the municipality of Bunde, Ostfriesland, Germany — just near the border of the Netherlands — in between May of 1824 and May of 1825.

Wubbina was 26 when she married Engbertus Freerks Swalve on May 4, 1851, and he was 39. She was living in Boen and he was living in Bovenhuisen at the time, but they moved in together Böhmerwold, Germany, after they wed. She was with child before the end of the year, starting a fertile trend that would last 18 years.

Wubbina bore 11 children, including one set of twins, but one of the twin girls died the day of childbirth. Eight of the children lived to adulthood. They were: Geert Engbertus Swalve [1852], Dajes Geziena Swalve [1853], Freerk Bellinga Swalve [1855], Johann Engbertus Swalve [1859], Engbertus Freerks Swalve [1859], Gepkea Wubbina Swalve [1861], Heinrich Engbertus Swalve [1867], and Aaltje Engbertus Swalve [1870].

Wubbina’s husband, Freerks, who was a master baker, died on April 3, 1873. She passed away many years later on September 7, 1889, in Böhmerwold.

Editor’s note: Wubbina was born in the early 1800s. This was written incorrectly –although hopefully obviously so when compared with the photograph –in an earlier version of this post.

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From left to right, Wubbina Swalvea, unknown ancestor, Freerk Bellinga Swalve, and Dirk de Wit.

MYSTERY PHOTO SERIES: Likely Swalve ancestor appears several times

I’ve been meaning to do this post for a while now, and by “for a while” I mean a couple years. In the following photos, you will see an ancestor I believe to be on the Swalve side of the family. Initially, I thought she was Helena Catrina Koster, who married Freerk Bellinga Swalve and was mother to Wubbina Swalve and A.J. Koster (Swalve).

Not only is she photographed with Freerk and Wubbina, but the years that she lived line up with the photos. Koster was born in 1852 in Amsterdam and died on January 10, 1912 in Beverwijk. However, cousin Willem Vliestra sent me a photo from an old album that actually noted a portrait as Helena Koster-Swalve, which none of these photos do. (Otherwise, they wouldn’t be mysteries!)

Helena Catrina Koster (Willem Vlietstra)

Helena Catrina Koster (Willem Vlietstra)

Sometimes, I think the woman in the portrait could be the same as the woman you see in the following photos, but then I dismiss it because of her dark eyes. This effectively leaves the mystery of who is in these photos (and repeatedly with Freerk). A general consensus could sway me, but in general, I don’t trust my own judgment on this since I don’t want to re-write history all willy nilly like.

In the first photo, the woman’s head appears just behind a wagon driver with supplies for the Swalve bakery in Beverwijk:

A wagon of supplies outside the Swalve family bakery in Beverwijk in 1887. (Willem Vliestra)

A wagon of supplies outside the Swalve family bakery in Beverwijk in 1887. (Willem Vliestra)

The bakery is where Helena Catrina gave birth to her children.

Here is the unknown ancestor’s portrait:

Unknown ancestor.

Unknown ancestor.

Here she is again, with Wubbina, Wubbina’s husband, Dirk de Wit, and father, Freerk.

From left to right, Wubbina Swalvea, unknown ancestor, Freerk Bellinga Swalve, and Dirk de Wit.

From left to right, Wubbina Swalve, unknown ancestor, Freerk Bellinga Swalve, and Dirk de Wit. This photo was initially very washed out, so I did some editing for better or for worse in Photoshop to try to make it view-able.

And, finally, here she is with Freerk and possible Wubbina:

Freerk Bellinga Swalve with unknown ancestors.

Freerk Bellinga Swalve with unknown ancestors. This photo is one of those that gets darker with age.

 

Photo: Freerk Bellinga Swalve out on a drive in 1908

Freerk Bellinga Swalve driving a horse-drawn buggy in 1908.

Freerk Bellinga Swalve driving a horse-drawn buggy in 1908.

This is one of those classic photos that will come in handy when my sister and I try to convince my niece that, yes, people did use to sit in big wood and metal contraptions and make horses pull them around — that’s where we get the term “horsepower.”

In the photo (dated August, 1908), my great-great-grandfather Freerk Belling Swalve (born in Bohmerwald, Prussia, in 1855) is driving a horse-drawn carriage with at least one passenger aboard. He would have been 53 years old, and this photo likely would have been taken in the Netherlands.

As with most of the photos I post here, I did some retouching in Photoshop (that’s a disclaimer for the purists). This one was riddled with scratches, dirt, and tears, but it didn’t turn out too bad. I felt that this was a good time to post the photo, given that I confirmed the other day that the man was, indeed, Freerk.

I hope you enjoyed seeing how people got around about 100 years go!

MYSTERY PHOTO SERIES: Ancestor identified as Freerk Bellinga Swalve!

Freerk Bellinga Swalve (Willem Vlietstra/Contributed)

Freerk Bellinga Swalve, was born in Bohmerwald, Prussia, in 1855. He would have been about 35 years old in this photo, estimated to have been taken around 1880. (Willem Vlietstra/Contributed)

This is an exciting moment — the first photo mystery that has been solved on this blog! And it’s all thanks to Willem Vlietstra, who sent me some late-1800s photos of the Swalves last week. Among the photos was the one above of Freerk Bellinga Swalve (taken around 1880), as well as one of Helena Catrina Koster in the thumbnail to the right.

Helena Catrina Koster (Willem Vlietstra)

Helena Catrina Koster (Willem Vlietstra)

If you remember in our second Mystery Photo Series post, I was thinking that the older gentleman in the group photo was Freerk and that the woman next to him might have been his wife Helena. However, since receiving the photos from Willem, I now have the answers to both those speculations. As it turns out, I was half right, and also half wrong.

The gentleman is most certainly Freerk, but the woman (unknown ancestor No. 2 in the photo below) is definitely not Helena. So possibly a sister instead, since she does have those light-colored eyes? Well, she is one of my new mysteries, as she is in many photos with Freerk, but remains unidentified. As with most answers I find in my genealogy research, more questions always arise. You can expect the next Mystery Photo Series post to be all about her.

From left to right, Dirk de Wit (1878), unknown ancestor, Hendrika Goudsblom, Dirk de Wit (185X), unknown child, Helena Fredrika de Wit, Wubbina Engellina Johanna  Petronella Swalve, and unknown woman in Beverwijk, 1910.

From left to right, Dirk de Wit (1873), unknown ancestor No. 1,unknown ancestor No. 2, Freerk Bellinga Swalve, unknown child, Helena Fredrika de Wit, Wubbina Engellina Johanna Petronella Swalve, and unknown woman in Beverwijk, 1910.

 

Photo: Anthonie Johannes Swalve

Anthonie Joahnnes Swalve (Willem Vlietstra/Contributed)

Anthonie Joahnnes Swalve (Willem Vlietstra/Contributed)

Anthonie Johannes Swalve, shown above in a photo contributed by Willem Vlietstra, was born Anthonie Johannes Koster on Nov. 8, 1876, to Helena Catrina Koster. A little more than two years later, Anthonie took the last name Swalve when Freerk Bellinga Swalve married Helena. This was noted on their marriage certificate, which I found on the now-nonexistent Genlias.nl site.

Some believe this may mean Anthonie was the son of Helena and Freerk, and some believe this may mean he was the son of Helena and another man. I have been unable to confirm via digital research and so would be interested to know if anyone has more information on Anthonie, who also went by the name A.J. It’s also probably worth noting that, despite traditional Dutch naming conventions wherein the first born son takes the name of the father’s father, in this case A.J. was named after his maternal grandfather, Anthonie (or Anthonij) Johannes Koster.

As for the photo itself, I find it to be a bit perplexing. A.J. is clearly has an anchor on his shirt and is posing with cooper props. If anyone can elaborate on that, I would be interested as well! He looks to me to be 15 or younger, which would date this photo sometime before 1891.

Early 1900s postcards from Freerk Swalve to daughter Wubbina (in Dutch)

UPDATED SEPT. 20, 2012: These are postcards sent from my great-great-great-grandfather Freerk Bellinga Swalve to his only daughter, Wubbina, in the early 1900s. Originally, there was one more in this collection, but it was removed after my cousin, Anje Belmon read over them (she know Dutch) and determined that one was actually from an aunt. As for the rest, Anje says, “Most of what is written is about small illnesses, and wishes that things will be better soon, so they can visit each other.” Which, of course, sounds exactly like something a father would write to his daughter.

Hint: Click on the images to make them bigger.