A newspaper message from the past


Some time ago I posted a blog I wrote about the life of my great-grandmother Geertje in a Facebook group about genealogy.  I happens more often that readers and genealogists give me information and advice, they are mostly very helpfull people. Yesterday I got a reaction on my post, from a Sieger Witvoet. He wrote that he had read that a daughter of my great-grandmother died at the age of four and that I suspected that she had drowned or died in some sort of accident. He had found a newspaper message. It is the message you see in the header and below. A message from a newspaper, messages from Abcoude in the newspaper of September 1st, 1920. It is in Dutch, so maybe you cannot understand what it says, so this is a translation: the four year old daughter of A.M., in the Kerkstraat in Abcoude, had been unattended for a moment last Saturday afternoon and fell into the water. She was raised lifeless. The Kerkstraat in Abcoude, one and a half years ago I visited it for the first time, because the two churches of Abcoude are there as well as the cemetery where my great-grandmother must have been buried and my great-grandfather wtill is buried. (Kerk means church, so Kerkstraat is Churchstreet). My father told me his grandfather had lived in Kerkstraat for a long time, on two different addresses. Behind the houses there is the small river the Angstel, I know the situation. 

Back to the newspaper. A few lines that say it all. The four year old daughter (Anna Adriana) of A.M. (Anthonius Meijer, my great-grandfather), in the Kerkstraat, she escaped the supervision of her parents on Saturday afternoon (August 28th, 1920) and fell into the water. She was raised from the water, lifeless... goose bumps... What sadness in those few lines. Raised from the water is a translation that comes nearest to the Dutch sentence, old language, but meaning put up, raised, lifted from out of the water Lifeless...

On the website www.delpher.nl you can find lots of newspaper messages. I had heard of the site, but never looked at it. I will probably look at it more often now. But why did I think she was drowned or died in an accident? That is mentioned in her death certificate, see below. It says she died in the town of Abcoude on the 28th of August, in the afternoon at four o'clock, than there is a text: 'in the house at this place' and that is  crossed out. That is why I thought something happened outside of the house. Little Anna Adriana, she was buried on the catholic cemetery down the street. My grandmother was at the time three years old, for a while I thought she was twins with this girl, but they were probably born not more than one year apart, I still haven't found Anna Adriana's exact date of birth. Her mother was pregnant when she drowned, in February she would deliver a girl that was also named Anna Adriana. Two weeks after the birth of this girl my great-grandmother would die in child bed at the age of 35 years old.