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Zutphen in the 17d century
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The three first ancestors lived in the 17d century: Thomas-I was born in 1600, Thomas-II was born in 1638 and Willem was born in 1671. They lived in the so-called Golden Century (Gouden Eeuw). The Reformation had taken place from 1517 until 1600 and the war against the Spanish rule was finished. However in the Golden Century it was not all gold that was blinking. Chiefly the west of The Netherlands profit by the prosperity. There was a relative high live standard, but that is in comparison with other lands. Not in comparison with our time.

Ecclesiastic all inhabitants of the land were consider capable of to belong to the people's church, the Dutch Reformed Churh (De Nederlands Hervormde Kerk). But there was room for dissenters like Mennonites and Roman Catholics. About the year 1650 the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands (so-called then) had about 2 million inhabitants (in 1999: 15mill.). One million of them were a member of the Reformed Church (until 1816 called: Gereformeerde Kerk, after 1816 until now: Hervormde Kerk).
A general characteristic of the creed of the 17d-century men is said that he was in broad outlines convinced by the presence of God in this world.

Our first known ancestor Thomas-I became in the year 1653 the civil rights of the city of Zutphen. That was very important, for as long as you were not a citizen you also could not claim the several facilities, like f.e. the care for the poor. And also in finding a job the inhabitants had special rights and privileges. The stranger who was settling down in the city had to prove himself first.

Zutphen, the city where they lived. 

The Winkler-Prins- encyclopedia of the year 1888 gave a clear description of the history of the city of Zutphen:

"The city of Zutphen gathered itself in 1572 to the side of the Prince of Orange (Prins van Oranje = Willem van Oranje), so that the Spanish troops under Frederik van Toledo soon caused there a terrible bloodbath. In 1579 Zutphen came on the side of the 'Staten' (the Dutch government) but in 1583 she was occupied by Tassis and stayed in the power of the Spanish until Maurits conquered her in 1591. In 1672 she had to accept a temporal French occupation; from 1784 until 1787 it was the scene of revolutionary movements; in 1795 already before the coming of the French it had accomplished a complete reorganization and further shared in the fate of the Netherlands, until she in November 1813 was occupied by the Pruisen (=Germany). In the youngest time (=1888!) is especially by the building of the railway the flourish of the city increased considerable."

This gives us a clarifying picture of the time circumstances of our ancestors.

The ecclesiastical books in Zutphen:

In Zutphen the books of birth begin in 1608. They were not always so very accurately keeped up. So it is possible that there have been some more children.

In the Bury books of the Walburgchurch and the Nieuwstadchurch (=Newcitychurch) only the first name and the surname and the date of burying were noted, so without mentioning the name of the husband or the parents. That is why it is not always sure who is the deceased, especially not when the same name is found more often. From de introduction of the Burgher State ("Burgerlijke Stand") in 1811 it was compulsorily to lay down persons in an unambiguous way, that means with age, names of the parents and if possible the name of the spouse.

The Marriages have been keeping up from 1600. But there was no marriage of Thomas' parents found.

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