Van Leeuwen – Weenig Wedding

Christiaan Frederik and Everdina Kamphuis Weenig are pleased to announce the marriage of their daughter Elsebina Maria Catharina Weenig to Gerrit van Leeuwen, son of the late Hendrik and late Maria Elizabeth Catharina de Kok van Leeuwen.  Gerrit and Elsebina were married 22 August 1849 in Leiden, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands.

We really do not know a whole lot about this couple.  The only reason I am really writing this entry is not because we have a history, but because we do have photos of these two individuals!  I will give what little we know and make the photos available.

Gerrit likely met his future wife Elsebina through her brother Christiaan Frederik Everdinus Weenig.  Gerrit van Leeuwen and Christiaan Frederik Everdinus Weenig were the same age and had gone into business together as early as 1846 building and selling organs and pianos. Elsebina’s father Christiaan Frederik Weenig was the organist at the Waalse Kerk in Leiden.

Gerrit was a organ builder by trade.  He traveled building and installing large pipe organs in churches and cathedrals in Netherlands and other locations throughout Europe.  Apparently he also played the piano, organ, and accordion.  We really know nothing of their lives, personalities, or characteristics.

Gerrit van Leeuwen was born the 6th of 8 children to Hendrik van Leeuwen and Maria Elizabeth Catharina de Kok on 12 April 1823 in Leiden.  Here is the only picture I am aware that exists of him.  He is obviously quite a bit older and I have no clue what book he is holding, perhaps the Bible?

Elsebina Maria Catharina Weenig was born 4th of 5 children to Christiaan Frederik Weenig and Everdina Kamphuis on 15 November 1826 in Leiden. Elsebina was a seamstress. While living in Leiden in the early years of her marriage she designed, manufactured, and sold hats.  Of interest, Elsebina was the granddaughter of Jacobus Kamphuis, an acclaimed silversmith in Leiden.  Here is a link to some of his pieces that have sold on Christie’s.  Bisquit Boxes, Spoons and Forks, Salt Cellars, Bisquit Box, and Fish Slice.  The family cannot have been hurting too bad for cash with a profession like that.  At any rate, here is the only photo we have of Elsebina.

Gerrit and Elsebina would have 9 children born to them.  Two would die as children and we have records of 6 of those marrying.

Maria Everdina van Leeuwen was born 14 July 1850 in Leiden and died 23 May 1919 in Arnhem, Gelderland, Netherlands.  She married Hendrik Jansen 19 February 1873 in Arnhem.

Christina Elsebina van Leeuwen was born 31 May 1852 in Leiden and died 4 January 1914 probably in Rosario, Santa Fe, Argentina.  She married Frans Homkes 22 August 1874 in Oldenzaal, Overijssel, Netherlands.

Elsebina Jacoba van Leeuwen was born 21 April 1854 in Utrecht, Utrecht, Netherlands and died 17 November 1933 in Arnhem.  She married Dirk Potharst 24 July 1878 in Arnhem.

Gerhardus Hendrik van Leeuwen was born 16 October 1856 in Oldenzaal and died 5 January 1932 in Provo, Utah, Utah.  He married Hermina Janzen 31 March 1880 in Arnhem.  I have written of their family at this link: Van Leewen – Janzen Wedding.

Hendrik Christiaan van Leeuwen was born 1 December 1859 in Oldenzaal and died 4 May 1904 in Arnhem.  We do not have a record of a marriage for him.  He served in the military and appears to have died unmarried.

Everdina van Leeuwen was born 15 May 1862 in Oldenzaal and died 16 February 1863 in Oldenzaal.

Everdina Johanna van Leeuwen was born 27 October 1864 in Oldenzaal.  We do not have a death date or marriage for her.  Apparently she married Jan Hendrik Stros from her father’s probate probate record.  We have more research to do.

Johanna van Leeuwen was born 1 September 1867 in Oldenzaal and died 24 February 1963 in Long Beach, Los Angeles, California.  She was buried 27th February 1963 in Inglewood, Los Angeles, California.  She married Pieter Willem te Groen 5 March 1890 in Arnhem.  This family lived in Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa and then moved to Annapolis, Anne Arundel, Maryland, before eventually moving to California.

The last child, a boy, was not named as far as we can tell.  He was born 1 October 1870 in Oldenzaal and died the same day.

Elsebina died 22 March 1884 in Arnhem.  Someone in the family made a ‘hair art’ portrait of her tombstone wherever it is/was located.  Here is a photograph taken in 1960’s of the portrait (I am hoping to get an updated photograph of it from its present owner).

The family must not have been hurting too badly to be able to afford a tombstone such as the one in the picture.

Gerrit passed away 19 February 1906 in Arnhem.

Unfortunately, the story ends there.  Maybe someday we will know more about this family or some of the other Weenig, Kamphuis, or Van Leeuwen cousins.

Van Leeuwen – Janzen Wedding

Harmanus and Johanna Janzen are pleased to announce the marriage of their daughter Hermina to Gerhardus Hendrik Van Leeuwen, son of Gerrit and Elsebina Van Leeuwen. Gerhardus and Hermina were married in Arnhem, Gelderland, Netherlands on 31 March 1880.

Gerhardus is a carpenter and the family will make their home in Arnhem.

That might be somewhat how the wedding announcement might have been like for the couple, except in Dutch.  When referring to individuals in the United States, I have kept the English capitalization of Van and Der, while the Dutch individuals I have maintained the Dutch preference.

Gerhardus Hendrik Van Leeuwen (who went by George Henry in English) was born the fourth of nine children to Gerrit van Leeuwen and Elsebina Maria Catharina Weenig on 16 October 1856 in Oldenzaal, Overijssel, Netherlands.  I have written of them at this link: Van Leeuwen-Weenig Wedding.  He was a carpenter by trade, on the finishing side.  He would also tune and service organs.  After moving to the United States, he worked as a finishing carpenter.

We do not know anything about how they met, the courtship, or the marriage in 1880.

Hermina Janzen (who went by Minnie) was born the fourth of nine children to Harmanus Janzen and Johanna van der Meij on 19 August 1860 in Gorssel, Gelderland, Netherlands.

George and Minnie would eventually have 12 children born to their marriage (Here are some pictures of the children).  Nine of these would live to adulthood and marry.

Gerhardus Hermanus Van Leeuwen was born 22 February 1881 in Arnhem and died 19 November 1883 in Amsterdam, North Holland, Netherlands.

Shortly after Gerhardus’ birth, the family moved to Amsterdam.  The family moved around quite regularly, sometimes only living in one place for a couple of weeks.  This may show the family was struggling financially.

Elsebina Johanna Van Leeuwen was born 5 January 1883 in Amsterdam and died 18 Mar 1883 in Amsterdam.

Johanna Hermiena Van Leeuwen (known as Annie) was born 30 January 1884 in Amsterdam and died 20 July 1958 in Ogden, Weber, Utah.  She married Ibele Idsenga (known as Emil Edsinga) 3 February 1905 in Ogden.

It is assumed that around this time (1885-1886) is when George incurred a head injury.  My Great Grandmother, his daughter Dena, indicated he fell from a ladder.  Other siblings reported to descendants that he was struck in the head with a board.  This is believed to be the reason why the family moved back to Arnhem, that due to his inability to work, this may be the reason they returned to Arnhem to be near family and rely on them for help.

Elsebina Maria Catharina Van Leeuwen (known as Elsie) was born 7 March 1886 in Arnhem and died 2 March 1927 in Ogden.  She married Elmer Leroy Staker 2 May 1906 in Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah in the LDS temple.

The family then moved back to Amsterdam perhaps in pursuit of employment again.  It was in Amsterdam that the Van Leeuwens met with missionaries of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  George and Minnie were both baptized 4 June 1887.

Gerhardus Hermanus Van Leeuwen (reuse of the older sibling’s name, known as George) was born 29 August 1887 in Amsterdam and died 21 January 1937 in Ogden.  He married Maria Timmers 17 September 1908 in Salt Lake City.

According to George’s 1932 death certificate, he suffered from epilepsy with psychosis for 45 years. That would predate his immigration to the United States. His mental health could have become an issue when immigrating, and it may have been easier if Minnie and the children had gone first and established their new home. That may have enabled George to follow the next spring without risk of having the family turned back. With family already in Utah, immigration officials would hopefully admit him into the country.  Epilepsy had a stigma of illness that the family had to deal with, everything from wickedness to a contagious disease.  This way, only he would be turned away, and hopefully with the family already there, the officials would admit him to the country.  George arrived 21 March 1889 in New York City, New York on the S.S. Veendam having left Rotterdam.

Minnie’s membership records appear in Ogden 1st Ward and Wilson Ward of the LDS Church by October 1888.  The family settled in the area around Wall and 32nd in Ogden.  A number of other Dutch emigrants were also in the area.

Hermiena Van Leeuwen (known as Minnie) was born 26 January 1890 in Ogden and died 21 August 1971 in Ogden.  She married George Berglund 22 September 1915 in Ogden.

Jantjen Van Leeuwen (known as Jane and Jennie) was born 30 December 1891 in Ogden and died 27 July 1942 in Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California.  She married Frederick William Bremer 10 December 1913 in Salt Lake City at the LDS temple.

Maria Van Leeuwen (known as Mary) was born 15 November 1893 in Ogden and died 16 August 1977 in Ogden.  She married Andrew George Hewitt (known as Andy) 22 September 1915 in Salt Lake City at the LDS temple.

Hermanus Van Leeuwen (known as Herman) was born 10 July 1896 in Ogden and died 26 November 1973 in Ogden.  He married Cora Edna Biddulph (or Lowe) 21 July 1916 in Ogden.

Berendena Van Leeuwen (known as Dena) was born 28 December 1898 in Ogden and died 5 March 1959 in Ogden.  She married David Delos Donaldson (known as Dave) and I have written of their marriage at this link: Donaldson-Van Leeuwen Wedding.

Christiena Van Leeuwen was born 16 March 1901 in Ogden and died 20 March 1901.

Catharina Johanna Van Leeuwen (known as Kate) was born 2 December 1902 in Ogden and died 27 November 1975 in Ogden.  She married Richard Leslie Collins (known as Les) 17 March 1920 in Ogden.

All the individuals who knew the family mention first how close the family was.  The family was known that once a visitor was around, the food came out.  Apparently Minnie was a master cook and all loved her food.  She apparently made loaves and loaves of bread at a time.  The neighbors knew what days she made bread and would regularly buy loaves from her.  Friends of the children knew what day to come and eat some of Minnie’s bread.  After she passed, her daughters had all learned well and continued the tradition and into their own families after marrying.

The family was also known for the practical jokes they would play on one another and the constant play quarreling.  Even throughout life, some of the siblings would make up stories about other siblings that would make the sibling mad and things turned hot for a while and then the favor would return.  All throughout the rest of their lives, the siblings met together oft and enjoyed meals together.

Five children in back (l-r): Minnie, Annie, Elsie, George and Jane. Second row: George, Dena, Hermina. Front: Mary and Herman.

The above photo placements are as follows.  You can tell George and Minnie Van Leeuwen.  Dena is sitting on the stool between the parents.  The five children behind from left to right are Minnie, Annie, Elsie, George, and Jane.  The two in front of George are Mary and Herman.  Kate was not born yet when this picture was taken roughly in 1902.

George’s head and mental injuries continued to worsen as the years passed.  The family either had to keep him safe during a fit and keep him calm to keep from inducing a fit.  By the time 1911 rolled around, the family could no longer deal with his mental condition on their own.  Dena referred to her “Daddy” as tender and sweet and then at the switch he would become angry and threatening.  He had made enough threats and raised enough raucous that neighbors called the police.  George was committed to the Utah State Mental Hospital in Provo, Utah, Utah in 1911.  The family tried to get him out and succeeded.  Unfortunately, he lost control again and ended up spending the rest of his life in the mental hospital.  The family would drive down nearly every weekend to pick up “Daddy” and keep him for the weekend before taking him back.  By the mid 1920’s, they could not even take him home on the weekends his condition was that poor and uncontrollable.

Photo from George’s Utah State Hospital file

“Momma Minnie,” as she was known to friends, died 9 June 1921 in Ogden.  She was buried 3 days later in the Ogden City Cemetery.  When Hermina died in 1921 she left a will specifying $1 to Gerhardus who was in state care and otherwise her estate was divided among her surviving children.  Hermina died at Elsie’s home.  George died 5 January 1932 in Provo, Utah, Utah.  He was buried 3 days later beside his wife.