Year of publication 1996, issue 7
How often do people ask you if you are from France or if you are related to that famous general editor? And do you sometimes hear from people, that they came from The Indies with the "Boissevain"? Well, I think that we all will be confronted with our family history sometimes and I assume that we save our faces in those situations.
How nice is working at your own family or with family history in general? Is it useful? Specially this last question was the main concern on the Day of the Family Archives that has been organised in Amsterdam last January. To relate the actions of a family to its environment adds to our knowledge of a certain historical period. At the same time it learns us much about the family itself, of which we can explain its social continuity during centuries. And with these arguments family history contributes to our "being there" in our days, adds to it and helps to explain it. But also it it nice to practise. A centuries old tradition in Boissevain history forges a special tie, that is different from the ties based on interests or friendships.
The Boissevain-Foundation wants to preserve data concerning our family in the Amsterdam Municipal Archives and to keep the knowledge alive through publications, reunions and by other means. The many positive reactions that we received, support us in these aims and stimulate us to continue this work. However our foundation takes a certain financial risk, we thought it would be good to organize a couple of activities this year. In that way we respond with tangible results on your support (in words or actions). In turn we hope that you honours our efforts with the purchase of one or more of our neckties in September and with a great attendance of our family reunion on November 2. Then we know for sure, that you also find the work of the family foundation useful and nice!
Charles F.C.G. Boissevain,
chairman Boissevain - Foundation
Inventory Boissevain archive published
Family archives are not only important for the family itself. Sometimes they contain information of great importance for the social, cultural or economical historiography. For sure this is the case with the archives of the families of Boissevain (concerning the period 1556 - 1992) and Van Lennep (1666 - 1992), that are kept in the Amsterdam Municipal Archives. Inventories of both archives were recently published. For this reason the Amsterdam Municipal Archives (Record Office) organized the Day of the Family Archives last January 20. This day aimed to be a meeting of historians and depositors or owners (like our foundation) of family archives. Some historians, that often work with data out of family archives, told about their research. About 100 participants, under which about 10 members of the Boissevain family, attended the meeting and experienced a very successful day.
Dr R.M. Dekker of the Erasmus University of Rotterdam is working on the retrieval, publishing and studying of so-called egodocuments. Examples of these are personal depositions like dairies and autobiographies, that are mainly found in family archives. Besides that these documents contain much information, they are very interesting for the way they are originated. The texts are written in an edifying or religious educational way, sometimes put into rhyme, they portray their own social environment or they serve as a aid to memory. In every case about 80 % of these kind of scriptures are made for the own posterity.
The lecture of Dr L. Kooijmans was titled Friendship and 18th century family archives. Kooijmans took his doctors degree with a study on the regency in the town of Hoorn in the 18th century. He is working now for the University of Amsterdam and researches the friendship relations between 17th and 18th century patricians. In dairies, f.i. those of the Huidecoper family, he collected data on the received and given presents, services and patronages. In those days people were very much aware of this "social capital".
The third speaker on this day was the sociologist Dr C. Schmidt, who is working for the faculty of geographical sciences of the University of Amsterdam. He got his degree on his thesis titled For the honor of the family: the family Teding van Berkhout 1500 - 1950. He studied the whole archive of this family and learned a lot about it and its relation to the social events in certain periods. He related the way of life of the family to what happened in its environment and explained much about the social continuity of the family Teding van Berkhout in the course of the centuries.
On my request Dr Schmidt offered to be an intermediate for researchers and authors relating the Boissevain archives. Finally my ideal is a publication with the whole family history in it (but I'm not yet retired in the near future).
At the end Drs S.A.C. Dudok van Heel, who is working for the Amsterdam Municipal Archives, gave his view on the Amsterdam regency families and their archives. With this we were approaching the very important moment in the historiography of the Boissevains. The lectures of the high graded persons, the importance of our family in the financial world of 19th century Amsterdam and the praisings related to our Boissevain archive gave us a good feeling. At the end of the day, after having received the first copy of the printed inventory, I could express my feelings with a word of thanks, a financial donation to the Amsterdam Archives Fund (to promote writing family history) on behalf of the Boissevain-Foundation and by handing over the first copy of the publication of Tice Boissevain for the library of the Municipal Archives. This day stressed, that keeping up a family archive makes sense and that it's an honor for all the Boissevains to contribute to it with further additions.
Charles Boissevain (NP Xx)
Boissevain family reunion
Amsterdam, Saturday 2 November 1996
Besides keeping and researching family data and writing about Boissevain history it is also just nice and cosy to meet each other again. In the past years we have build up a good tradition with "family reunions". You may remember our earlier meetings that were visited by young and old in 1982 and 1985 in Maison Descartes, in 1989 in the Nieuwe Kerk and in 1992 in de Walenkerk. All in Amsterdam, the town that is most associated with our family. But we also should take into account the large group of American and Canadian Boissevains, that build up its own tradition and that celebrated a reunion in 1992 in the Canadian town of Boissevain. And of course we should not forget the expedition to Bergerac in 1995; although small in number of participants, but great as a homage to our earliest ancestors. We found it a good idea to meet again at the end of this year and we are happy to invite you and your relatives to join us in:
Municipal Archives of Amsterdam
on this Saturday 2 November
between 13.00 - 16.45 h p.m.
The program has time enough for being together with small talk and drinks, while there also is an opportunity to see our family archive and historical films.
Anne Marie Verbeek - Boissevain (NP VIIIz)
Tice and his book
Already in earlier Bulletins Tice's name has been mentioned many times. Matthijs Gideon Jan Boissevain is described in our family tree in the blue booklet Nederlands Patriciaat of 1988 (NP IXe). He organized the family reunion of 1992 in The States, he keeps the data of our family and the changes in it. And not only that! Everything goes in the computer and is sent to many relatives all over the world to check them. Important work of which we in The Netherlands also have a lot of profit. Tice and his computer made a survey of all the descendants of Lucas Boissevain, whose name is the first in our family tree in the Nederlands Patriciaat.
The Nederlands Patriciaat does not work out the female line, so it does not work out the children of a Boissevain girl that married with a mister X. And that's what you will find in Tice's book, so you will find a couple of thousand Boissevain descendants with the same genes as we have but with another family name. Names like Kruseman, Den Tex, Van Hall and Van Eeghen will sound familiar to you. All data are arranged in different way and a separate part offers biographies.