Parenteel Derck Backer (van Roekel) - Inleiding Naamlijst Bronnen

Jan Harmsen van Roekel

Zoon van Barend (Berend) van Roekel en Willempje van de Hoef (Hoeven), geboren 2-7-1818 04:30 NL Bennekom [78], ingekomen van Geertruidenberg 3-8-1839, vertrekt 21-12-1865 naar de USA, overleden 4-1889 USA IA Sioux County

Trouwt 22-10-1847 NL Wageningen [20] Grada Jansen, dochter van Geurt Stevens Jansen - landbouwer en Martina Melissen, geboren 20-11-1823 NL Wageningen [87], overleden 3-9-1861 16:30 NL Bennekom [154]


  1. Willempje (Wilhelmina, Winnie) van Roekel, geboren 5-2-1848 NL Wageningen [14], overleden 22-12-1865
  2. Martina (Martha) van Roekel, geboren 8-6-1849 NL Wageningen [92], overleden 3-6-1924 USA IA Orange City en begraven West Lawn Cemetery
  3. Albertus (Bart) van Roekel, geboren 19-11-1850 NL Wageningen [124], overleden 19-1-1930 USA IA Orange City en begraven West Lawn Cemetery
  4. Geurt van Roekel, geboren 2-12-1852 04:00 NL Bennekom [296], overleden 5-1-1918 USA IA Sioux Center en begraven Memory Gardens
  5. Grada (Geertruida, Gertrude) van Roekel, geboren 15-1-1855 09:00 NL Bennekom [19], overleden 22-2-1912 USA
  6. NN van Roekel, levenloos geboren zoon 29-1-1857 19:00 Bennekom [9]
  7. Abraham van Roekel, geboren 21-3-1859 02:00 NL Bennekom [99], overleden 24-1-1917 USA IA Sheldon en begraven USA IA Sheridan Township Cemetery
  8. NN van Roekel, levenloos geboren zoon 3-9-1861 16:00 NL Bennekom [153]


GvR Opmerkingen:
Jan Harmsen van Roekel verhuist met vrouw en 3 kinderen naar Ede in juni 1852. Na de dood van zijn vrouw emigreerden Jan en zijn 6 kinderen naar Amerika op 21-12-1865. Zijn oudste dochter Willempje overleed gedurende de reis en kreeg een zeemansgraf. De familie streek neer rond Pella in Iowa. In 1873 verhuisde Jan met 4 kinderen (Martina met man en kind, Bart, Geurt en Abraham) terwijl Geertruida en haar gezin achterbleven in Pella. Alle kinderen trouwden en woonden in Sioux County en Pella. Martina en Willem Korver bij Orange City, Bart en Nellie van Peursem in de buurt van Maurice, Geurt en zijn echtgenotes Christina en Matilda Rouwenhorst bij Sioux Center, Geertruida en Marinus van Gorp bij Pella, Abraham en Nancy van de Krol bij Boyden. Jan werd begraven op Hospers Cemetery, er stond een steen op zijn graf maar die is verdwenen. Merkwaardig genoeg komt op dezelfde dag in Amerika aan een zekere Wilhelmine Vanroeckel, housewife, 47, met hetzelfde schip..... Had zij iets van doen met Jan Harmsen ?????
GvR Remarks:
Jan Harmsen van Roekel with wife and three children move to Ede in June 1852. On December 21, 1865, after the death of his wife, Jan an his six children emigrate to America. His oldest daughter Willempje died during the voyage and was buried at sea. The family moved to Pella. All children married and lived around Sioux County and Pella. Martina and Willem Korver at Orange City, Bart and Nellie van Peursem near Maurice, Geurt and his wives Christina and Matilda Rouwenhorst near Sioux Center, Geertruida and Marinus Van Gorp near Pella, Abraham and Nancy Van De Krol at Boyden. Jan was buried at Hospers cemetery, there was a stone on his grave but it has disappeared. Strangely enough on exactly the same day a certain Wilhelmine Van Roeckel, housewife, 47 years old, arrives in America on the same ship ....... Is there a connection with Jan Harmsen ?????
Ede gereconstrueerd bevolkingsregister:
Burgerlijk stand Ede:
Geboorteakte 78 van Jan Harmsen:
Ingekomen met attestatie van Geertruidenberg - Jan Harmsen van Roekel - getekent 3 Augustus 1839 - Overgegeeven den 24 junij 1840 - Vertr met sch naar N. Amerika Aug 1865
Jan vertrok op 21-12-1865 met 5 kinderen naar Pella in Iowa USA. Vertrekt in 1873 naar Sioux Iowa met Martina + man + kind, Bart, Geurt en Abraham
Vanroekel, T(?) H, Landbouwer - farmer, Male, 45, Ned Hervormd, Well to do, Assessed for Taxes Yes, Tax Assessment Classification 10, Women 1, Children 4, Economic Improvement, North America, 1865, Gelderland Ede
IR Ship:
Vanroeckel, Jan H, Husband, Artisan (handworkman), Male, 48, Quebec, Netherlands, Arrival in U.S. 8/10/65, Public archives of Canada, Quebec, Microfilm Number: 4520, Ship Belgian, Steerage, between decks
IR Census 1870:
Vanroekel, John, Iowa Mahaska Richland, Dwelling Nr 282, Family Nr 2771, 52, Male Widower, Children 3, Single parent, Farmer, Real Estate Value: 1000, Personal Possesions Value: 605, Last Residence Holland, netherlands,Citizen Eligible to Vote: 1, Years in the U.S.: 5
IR Ship:
Vanroeckel, Wilhelmine, Wife, Housewife, Female, 47, Quebec, Netherlands, Arrival in U.S. 8/10/65, Public archives of Canada Quebec, Microfilm Number 4520 Ship Belgian, Steerage, between decks
Geb akte 19:
Grada wordt later Geertruida en Gertrude genoemd.
Website Find A Grave
Obituary of Jan Harmsen van Roekel
Came to the USA in 1865.

Was married to Grada Jansen in the Netherlands. She was born 20 November 1823 in Wageningen and died in Bennekom 3 September 1861. Jan Harmsen Van Roekel was married to Grada Jansen on October 22, 1847 in Wageningen, Gelderland, Netherlands.

Jan Harmsen and Grada had eight children: Willempje (Winnie) Van Roekel 1848, Martina Van Roekel 1849, Albertus Van Roekel 1850, Geurt Van Roekel 1852, Grada Van Roekel 1855, No Name Van Roekel 1857, Abraham Van Roekel 1859 and No Name Van Roekel 1861.

On December 21, 1865, after the death of his wife, Jan and six children emigrate to America. His oldest daughter Willempje died during the voyage and was buried at sea. The family moved to Pella, Marion County, Iowa.

Merritje (Maartje) van Roekel 1816-1891 d. Netherlands
Bart van Roekel 1821- 1842 d. Netherlands
Geertruida van Roekel 1824- d.
Geertje van Roekel 1827-1909 d.Netherlands
Rut van Roekel 1829-1895 d. Pella, Iowa, USA
Willem van Roekel 1830-1908 d. Iowa, USA Memorial ID 94185399
Hendrik van Roekel 1835-1924 d. Iowa, USA Memorial ID 120190764
Jannis (Jannes) van Roekel 1838-1838 d. Netherlands

Email Denny Ver Mulm 10-10-2023
Questions the burial of Willempje at sea:

I am searching for some additional background on Willempje van Roekel who supposedly died during the familyís trip to America in 1865. Willempje was the eldest child of my great great grandfather Jan Harmsen van Roekel. I have heard rumors from several sources that she died during the voyage and was buried at sea. However, I believe this to be in error as her immigration records are also found in the Castle Garden immigration files in New York City.

My wife and I recently returned from a vacation, part of which was spent in Quebec City, Canada, which was the arrival port for the van Roekels in 1865. While there, we toured the Grosse Ile immigration and quarantine station just 50 km downriver from Quebec City. The van Roekel family would have been required to stop there for a medical inspection, and if anyone on the ship was found to be ill, all passengers would have been required to disembark and quarantine - perhaps for as long as 21 days. Conditions there were both gruesome and unsanitary in 1865. I know that Willempje did not survive the trip to Iowa. I am theorizing that she contracted some illness at Grosse Ile, which caused her death sometime during the trip from Quebec to Iowa. However, I am wondering if you can give me some more information on the source of the reports that she died and was buried at sea. Could this just be an undocumented rumor?


It seems that Willempje was mot buried at see but I had no means to proof this.
Email Denny Ver Mulm 11-10-2023
Further comments on Willempje:
[...] The island (Grosse Ile) has an Irish Memorial, and near the memorial is a set of glass panels with the names of all those who died on Grosse Ile. Willempjeís name is not found there, although there are a large number of deaths recorded as "Unknown". Our tour guide explained that until about 1870 the quarantine stationís doctor was so uncertain of their effectiveness that he believed that for every case of illness they identified, two more cases went unidentified. Those cases would have gone on to become ill later in time.

I have the passenger record for the ship the van Roekels traveled on. It was owned by the Allan shipping line of Liverpool and was named the SS Belgian. Iíve attached the page with the van Roekel listing at the top [see next fragment]:

It clearly identifies Jan and his children and lists their occupations. You will note that there are two columns totaling the passengers. The first column lists name, age, and sex at the embarkation point of Liverpool. The first column is totaled at the bottom. The right hand column lists the passengers at the disembarkation point of Quebec City. That column is also totaled and matches the total from Column 1. This suggests to me that Willempje was alive when the family disembarked at Quebec City. Iíve also seen the immigration records for the family at the Castle Garden immigration station in New York City when they arrived in America. Unfortunately, that database is not currently available so I canít send you the records. However, here is what Iíve noted about the records available at the two locations:

At Quebec:

Jan is listed as Jan H.V. Roekel with the occupation of artisan
Willempje is listed as a spinster
Martina and Albertus are listed as tailors
At Castle Garden:
Jan is listed as Jan H. Van Roekel with the occupation of artist
Willempje is listed as Wilhelmina with the occupation of housewife
Martina is listed as a dressmaker
Albertus is listed as a tailor
From these two passenger records, I can only assume that Willempje was alive upon her arrival in New York City. As you suggest, she may had an undiagnosed illness at Grosse Ile (or perhaps she contracted something there) and later died from that illness somewhere between New York City and Mahaska County, Iowa. There do no seem to be any records to indicate that she was alive at any time after the familyís arrival in Iowa.


This email of Denny contains enough evidence to state that Willempje indeed did not die at sea but after disembarkment at Grosse Ile. This also resolves the remaining question under the first note! The question of exactly where Willempje died remains open ...

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