|Five daughters of Walrave Boissevain (1896), L to R:|
Antonia (Ton), Ellegonda (Gon), Liese, Mia, and Renée.
Thanks to Noah Sisk for photo and permission to post.
Gen 6: Jan Boissevain
Some family members worked together, although much of what occurred has remained a puzzle because so many people died with their secrets inside.
Gen 7: Walrave Boissevain
- Elisabeth Antonia Boissevain married Johannes Hunning.
- Anna Maria married Gideon den Tex, and they became a big part of the Boissevain family. One of Gideon's sons, Jan den Tex, was a good friend of my mother, and in the 1920s she illustrated his book on windmills; he in turn helped her in the 1950s to formulate the wind vs. power plot among the rural Dutch millers that is featured in the closing chapters of The Winged Watchman, which is about the Nazi occupation of Holland.
- Petronella (Nella) Boissevain married Adriaan Floris van Hall, and they produced the man who has been called "The Prime Minister of the Resistance", Wally van Hall, and his brother Gijs, who became Mayor of Amsterdam after WW2.
Gen 7: Walrave's First Wife, Maria
By his first wife, Maria Catharina Johanna Blijdenstein (1876) he had a girl, Theodora.
They had two boys, Jan Gideon and Harry.
Both Jan and Harry emigrated to the United States and one of them owned the Boissevain Ranch in Montana.
I got to know Don well during my years in Washington, D.C. and I attended his funeral in 2015.
Walrave's first wife Maria died in childbirth.
Walrave's second marriage was to Romelia (nicknamed Rommy) Abramina Kalff.
They met in the 1910s at a suffragist meeting in Holland where she played the piano. By this time Eugen Boissevain's wife Inez Milholland was a well- known suffragist in New York City. Also their cousin Maria Pijnappel Boissevain, wife of Charles E. H. Boissevain, was active in the Dutch suffragist movement (she was the first woman elected to the Dutch Parliament).
|L to R: Romelia and Ies Veltman and their mother Gon Boissevain|
Veltman. Thanks to Noah Sisk for photo and permission to post.
Gen 8: Ellegonda
In the first photo, Gon is with her two children. The older baby is Romelia (nicknamed Romée) . The smaller baby is Ida Louise (nicknamed Ies, pronounced Ees), who later married Neil Walker; they live in Amsterdam and were on the walking tour that we undertook earlier in 2016.
|Ellegonda (Gon) on plane.|
Gon discovered she was pregnant with Ies the same day as the Pearl Harbor bombing in 1941, and Ies was later born in an internment camp where she came very close to death. Ies' sister Romelia (Romée) was, coincidentally, born on the same day of the same year (1941) as her cousin Romelia (Rommy), who was with us on the walking tour of Amsterdam.
Ellegonda was married twice, first to Ies' father Eduard Veltman, who was reportedly killed in WWII, and second to Arthur Anton Kunzli.
Gen 8: Matthijs and Helen Boissevain
|Helen Fisk and Thijs Boissevain, c. 1990.|
Matthijs (Thijs) Boissevain married Helen Richmond Fisk. Thijs was actively involved in preparing a catalogue of the descendants of Lucas Bouissavy and the Boissevains in Holland.
Below I have posted a letter he wrote to my mother, Hilda van Stockum, in 1988, when he was in the early stages of his research.
He organized the family reunion in Boissevain, Manitoba, that I attended.
Noah Sisk has kindly sent me a bio of his grandfather Thijs:
Matthijs (Thijs) Gideon Jan Boissevain was born in Amsterdam on April 24, 1916. He expressed a great interest in intellectual pursuits from a very young age, and excelled in his studies. In 1935, Thijs boarded a steamer bound for the United States to attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. During this time, he found employment as a cowboy at his brother Jan's ranch in Montana. He graduated in 1938 with a degree in mechanical engineering. Thijs worked at MIT for several years while pursuing his doctorate, when he was assigned to work on the Manhattan Project. He married Helen Richmond Fisk in 1940 and had six children. Thijs later moved the family to the New London area to take a position at Electric Boat, becoming a chief engineer on the USS Seawolf nuclear submarine. He became active in local civic and social affairs, as a leading figure in numerous clubs and organizations. Throughout his life, he possessed a deep interest in genealogy, categorizing nearly 2,300 members of the Boissevain family via personal computer, which was uncommon in the early 1990s. He died, accomplished and respected, surrounded by his family in 1998.