Aletta van Gorkom
Generation X  -  Rutger Branch

Aletta was born in Utrecht on 30 March 1851 at five o'clock in the morning as daughter of Izak van Gorkom and Louisa Roä (generation IX-i18). According to the birth record her father was a barber, living in the Pelmolenstraat. His witness when reporting the birth to the register was his own father Isaak, old 59 years and a tailor (generation VIII-i91). Aletta was probably named after her aunt, the eldest sister of her father. When she was nearly 24 years old her father died, in January 1875. One month later she lost her sister Christina, who was nearly her age. Some time afterwards she left Utrecht to marry Philip Phoel in Amsterdam on 19 October 1876. Her mother and her brother Izak, a cigar maker, were witnesses at the wedding. Her brother was the eldest son, so head of the family after his father had died. It should be noted that the marriage record mentions that she lived in Maarssen for some time, before moving to Amsterdam. Maarssen is a little village north of Utrecht.

Aletta took her youngest brother Evert Dirk (generation X-e62) with her to Amsterdam. At the time of her marriage he was 14 and had no father anymore. We also know this because Louisa Johanna, who was going to be his daughter later on in life, told this story herself. Fact is that Aletta and Evert Dirk were officially registered as citizens of Amsterdam in January 1877. Aletta's mother Louisa followed her daughter and son. When Aletta's brother Izak married on 14 February 1877 his mother was living in Amsterdam, according to his marriage record.

Philip, at the time of the wedding a fireman, was born in Amsterdam on 17 March 1840 at four o'clock in the afternoon. This made him eleven years older than Aletta. Philip was the son of Coenraad Phoel and Gerritje Gesina Bosch who lived in the Reguliersdwarsstraat at no. 124 at the time of his birth. Philip's father was an onderwijzer (teacher), presumably at an elementary school. According to his marriage record father Coenraad was born in 's-Graveland, a village near Hilversum, and son of Gebhard Phoel, a gardener living in Baarn, also close to Hilversum. The mother of Coenraad, so grandmother of Philip, was Anna Meijer. At the time of his wedding in Amsterdam on 28 April 1830 Coenraad Phoel was 23 years old and his wife Gerritje Gesina Bosch was 27 years old. According to birth records found by the Hesselink family Gebhard Phoel was called Gebhard Fredrik Phoel and was baptized in Utrecht on 5 August 1759. Anna Meijer was his second wife. Her full name was Anna Maria Sophia Meyer and was baptized in Amsterdam on 2 November 1766. More about this family can be found on the Hesselink site.

The name Phoel is a quite unusual name from a Dutch perspective. It does not even exist anymore in Holland, while in 1947 there was only one person left with this family name. In the US descendants pronounce the "Ph" as an F, which would make sense in Holland as well if the name has a German origin. As a matter of fact, if you spell the name the old-fashioned German way, that is Phöl, you will find it with Google as a German and Austrian family name. There is also a little German village called Phöl, a bit north of the city of Plauen in an area called Vogtland, not far from the Czech border. (At the moment of writing this, Google Maps is only willing to show it if you search for "Pöhl, Germany".) Around a nearby lake you will find more references to Phöl.

Philips mother Gerritje Gesina Bosch was the daughter of Willem Bosch and Catharina Elisabeth Westerman. This is remarkable because Catharina Elisabeth Westerman, grandmother of Philip Phoel, is an aunt of Gerardus Frederik Westerman, according to the Westerman genealogy. Gerardus Frederik Westerman married Maria Eleonora van der Schroeff (generation IX-m12), who was a cousin of Aletta's father, the father-in-law of Philip. In other words: Philip Phoel's mother Gerritje Bosch was a cousin of Gerardus Frederik Westerman, and Aletta's father Izak van Gorkom was a cousin of Maria Eleonora van der Schroeff. It might explain how Aletta met Philip in Amsterdam. The relationship is also visualized in a chart about the Amsterdam connection of this branch of the Van Gorkom family.

When Philip married Aletta in 1876 both his parents didn't live anymore. When Aletta's mother Louisa Roä died in 1889, Philip was the one who made the report to the register of Amsterdam. He was still a fireman, now living at the address Nieuwmarkt 4. Nowadays the Nieuwmarkt is a wellknown square in Amsterdam, famous for its sidewalk café's and all kinds of open-air events.
Nieuwmarkt Weighhouse and Square
View of Nieuwmarkt square and the Weighhouse.

The Nieuwmarkt is especially famous for the Weighhouse in the middle of the square. Actually it is the medieval Sint Antoniespoort (Saint Anthony's Gate), build in 1488, which used to be a city gate. After the adjoining city walls were demolished between 1603 and 1613, the building was changed into a weighhouse. The house of Philip and Aletta is situated just behind the middle tower of De Waag (The Weighhouse). Click for more views on: nieuwmarkt2.jpg, niewmarkt3.jpg or nieuwmarkt4.jpg. The nieuwmarkt4.jpg is a postcard from 1900, showing the neighbouring fish market as well. This fish market doesn't exist anymore.


  

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Children of Aletta van Gorkom and Philip Phoel

Coenraad Philip
Coenraad Philip Phoel, born in Amsterdam on 8 July 1877, was clearly named after grandfather Coenraad and father Philip. He married Willemyntje Uding. Willemyntje was born in Amersfoort on 13 March 1879, with whom he emigrated to the United States. Coenraad became an interior designer and accountant. He died in Los Angeles County on 5 May 1953, 75 years old. His wife had died a short time before, in Los Angeles County on 21 December 1951, 72 years old. (
Source: Uding genealogy)

Digging in the archives of Amsterdam learned that Aletta and Philip Phoel had six children in total, the eldest being Coenraad Philip. Coenraad was born at seven o'clock in the evening in the Nieuwe Leliestraat at no. 56. The Nieuwe Leliestraat (New Lilly Street) is in the middle of an old part of Amsterdam called de Jordaan, a working-class district that is probably the most famous area of Amsterdam. If you like to look up addresses in Amsterdam yourself, go to the remarkably precise map on www.amsterdam.nl. Straat means street and huisnr. means house no. Be aware that some house numbers don't exist anymore, for instance because small houses have been joined together. Try another number in that case. There is also an option luchtfoto met kaart, meaning aerial view with map; luchtfoto zonder kaart means aerial view without map.

The archives in Amsterdam also keep the marriage record of Coenraad Philip and Willemyntje Uding. They married on 18 August 1904. Willemyntje was a daughter of Hermanus Uding and Elisabeth Cornelia Kraan. At the time of his marriage Coenraad was a wall decorator. Official witnesses of the wedding were Louis Gerrit Phoel, a brother of Coenraad and wall decorator too, Evert Dirk, another brother of Coenraad and upholsterer, Ludwig Theodor Muller, an uncle of Coenraad, and Joseph Uding, a brother of Willemyntje and shoemaker. All came from Amsterdam, except for Joseph who lived in Amersfoort.

Coenraad and Willemyntje had two daughters. The first was Aletta, born on 30 March 1905 and the second one was Elisabeth Cornelia, born on 15 December 1906. The archives show that both girls were born in Amsterdam. The Amsterdam records also mention the emigration to the United States. The family left for Rocky Beach (Long Island) on 18 May 1911. According to the online records of the American Family Immigration History Center (AFIHC) of The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation (EllisIsland.org) Coenraad lived at 31 1st Street in Newdorp, Staten Island. His address was given to the immigration officer by his brother Louis when entering the country in May 1920. Four months earlier, in January 1920, the youngest brother Philip had traveled to the US with his family. The ship manifest reveals that Philip was "returning home 31 1st Street, New Dorp, NY". So it seems that Coenraad and his brother Philip were living at the same address. As a matter of fact, when Louis and his family went to brother Coenraad, Sytje Tjemkes, the seventy year old mother-in-law of brother Philip came with them.

Louis Gerrit
The second son was Louis Gerrit Phoel. He was born in Amsterdam on 2 May 1879, also at seven o'clock in the evening. By the time the family lived at Prinsengracht no. 237. His first and middle name seem to be a combination of the names of the grandmothers. Aletta's mother was called Louisa and Philip's mother was called Gerritje (the je at the end is a diminutive turning a man's name into a woman's name). Louis is not the only one in the family with this name. The brothers Izak and Abraham of mother Aletta both had sons called Louis, also named after their grandmother
Louisa Roä as it appears. There were three cousins called Louis therefore.

Louis Gerrit married Maria Magdalena Kramer in Amsterdam on 5 August 1903. She was born in Amsterdam on 9 January 1883 as a daughter of Christoffel Engel Kramer and Maria Magdalena Ditz. All four witnesses at the wedding were civil servants from town hall, which seems to indicate a disagreement in the family. They had three children. The oldest one was Philip, born on 18 July 1904. The second was called Maria Magdalena and was born on 2 December 1905. Unfortunately she died after three months on 27 February 1906. The third child was called Maria Magdalena as well and was born on 31 May 1909.

The family emigrated to America, just like brother Coenraad and his family, and left Amsterdam on 16 June 1920, according to the Amsterdam records. The immigration records of Ellis Island however state that Louis, his wife and two children arrived in New York on 23 May 1920 with the M.S. Nieuw Amsterdam, one of the ships of the Holland America Line from Rotterdam to New York. Their destination was the elder brother Coenraad Phoel, living at 31 1st Street in Newdorp, Staten Island. They traveled together with Sytje Tjemkes, the mother-in-law of brother Philip Phoel, who was living at the same address as Coenraad.

Philip, son of Louis Gerrit, married in New York Mildred Kemper, who was of German descent. They had one child, called Philip Phoel too. This grandson of Louis Gerrit married Patricia Gannon. They have two children: Peggy Phoel and Richard Joseph Phoel.

Evert Dirk
The third son was Evert Dirk Phoel. He was born in Amsterdam on 7 April 1880 at half past four in the morning at Lindengracht no. 219. Lindengracht could be translated as "lime trees canal". This is in de Jordaan too. Evert Dirk was named after family of the mother as well. Probably after an uncle of Aletta who was called Evert Dirk (
generation IX-w23). As a matter of fact Evert Dirk Phoel had three first cousins called Evert Dirk, as all three brothers of mother Aletta had sons with this name.

Evert Dirk Phoel married Helena Maria Kok in Amsterdam on 21 April 1904. She was born in Amsterdam on 3 April 1883 as a daughter of Hendrik Daniël Kok and Anna Margaretha Bruys. The marriage record says that Evert Dirk was a decorator. Official witnesses were uncle Ludwig Theodor Muller again and the brothers Coenraad and Louis of Evert Dirk. The couple had four children. The eldest one was called Philip, born on 1 August 1904, just two weeks after his cousin, son of Louis, who was called Philip as well. The second child was Anna Margaretha, born on 15 September 1905. The third one was Helena Maria, born on 22 September 1906 and the fourth child was Maria Elisabeth, born on 24 May 1908. In 1910 Evert Dirk was the one who made the report of the death of mother Aletta to the register. On her death record the profession of her son is upholsterer.

Several years later something strange happened. According to the records Evert Dirk moved to New York on 30 January 1912. His wife and children however moved to Hilversum on 7 August 1913. Hilversum is in the Netherlands, some forty kilometres south east of Amsterdam.

Ludwig Theodoor
The fourth son was Ludwig Theodoor Phoel. He was born in Amsterdam on 5 February 1882 at half past eleven in the evening at the Haarlemmerplein no. 24. He was clearly named after his uncle Ludwig Theodor Muller, who was later on a witness at the weddings of Coenraad and Evert Dirk Phoel. Unfortunately young Ludwig died after three months on 28 May 1882.


Philip with wife and son Philip
The fifth child was a boy too, called Philip Phoel, just like his father. He was born in Amsterdam on 7 April 1886 at five in the afternoon in the Buiten Dommersstraat no. 7. The date of birth is not a typo. Evert Dirk and Philip were both born on 7 April according to the birth records. After moving to Hilversum with his parents in December 1906, he emigrated to Noord-Amerika on 20 September 1907, 21 years old. At the time his profession was diamond setter, just like his uncle Evert Dirk van Gorkom (
generation X-e62). As a matter of fact he might be on a picture with his uncle Evert Dirk on this site. Please click here to have a look at it.

According to the immigration records of Ellis Island Philip arrived alone on 1 October 1907 with the M.S. Rijndam, one of the ships of the Holland America Line. His destination was a friend in New York, called J. de Roos. It was clearly not his intention to stay alone. On 2 January 1908 Sytje Tjemkes arrived with the M.S. Statendam. The immigration record states that her trip was paid by her future husband Philip Phoel. His address at 193, 7th Ave in Brooklyn was her destination. They married on 9 May 1908, according to the Tjemkes genealogy which is mentioned below.

The picture shows Philip with his wife Sytje and the eldest son, called Philip as well. Underneath is written De dag van Trouwen, meaning "The day of the Wedding". It refers to the wedding of son Philip to 21 years old Marie Frances Roeser in Brooklyn on 7 October 1934. Philip is 25 on the picture, both his parents are 48 (picture courtesy of Stella Tjemkes).

Probably Philip already knew her before moving to Hilversum, as she was coming from Amsterdam. The immigration records mentions her place of birth as well, being Broek in Waterland, which is very close to Amsterdam. On 30 September 1912 the 62 years old mother of Sytje arrived in New York with the M.S. Noordam. She was called Sytje Tjemkes, just like her daughter, and came from Amsterdam. Her destination was 68 Nassau Street, N.Y., the address of her son-in-law Philip at that time.

On 23 January 1920 Philip arrived in New York for a second time, this time with his wife Sytje and two sons: Philip Phoel, aged 10, born in New York, and William C. Phoel, aged 9, born in Jemaica, U.S.A., "Jemaica" spelled in the immigration record with an "e". On the record is written "left in July 1919". It's exactly the same for Sytje's mother, who returned four months later. So it looks like the family tried to move back to Holland, but gave up after half a year for whatever reason.

Sytje's mother, called Sytje too Philip's wife Sytje had a brother Daniel Tjemkes. He was the grandfather of Stella Tjemkes (klaas.wybo @ keyaccess.nl) who has been so kind to provide additional information. According to a family tree made by Stella's father, Sytje was born in Holysloot, near Amsterdam, on 20 May 1886. She died in New York in 1980. She had five grandchildren by then. A sister of Sytje, Geertje Tjemkes, and her husband Gerardus Bouwmans emigrated to New York as well, arriving with the M.S. Rijndam on 7 October 1921, according to the Ellis Island records. The mother of Sytje, Daniel and Geertje, Sytje Tjemkes-Honingh, was born in Holysloot on 15 February 1850 as a daughter of Simon Honingh and Lijsje Bruyn. She died in New York in 1927. Her husband Willem Tjemkes, whom she married on 18 April 1875, was born in Zuiderwoude on 10 April 1849. He had died in Holland on 19 June 1892 at the age of 43.

Aletta Helena
The sixth child was a girl finally, called Aletta Helena Phoel, born in Amsterdam on 3 July 1887 at five o'clock in the afternoon at the Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal no. 29. She married in Amsterdam on 27 May 1915 Jacobus Brandt, born in Amsterdam on 7 February 1886. He was a bench fitter, son of Jacobus Brandt, born in Amsterdam on 30 October 1850, and Christina Cornelia Kehlenbrink, born in Amsterdam on 22 June 1850. Official witnesses of the wedding were Louis, brother of Aletta and interior decorator now, and Friedrich Wilhelm Brandt, a brother of the groom. Aletta's brothers Coenraad and Evert Dirk were clearly not able to come to the wedding as they had emigrated to the US in 1911 and 1912. Jacobus' brother Friedrich was born on 16 December 1887. Jacobus had two sisters as well: Geesje Cornelia Brandt, born on 26 May 1880, and Wilhelmina Johanna Maria Brandt, born on Christmas Day, 25 December 1881. The Amsterdam records reveal that Jacobus moved in with his wife and father-in-law after the wedding. They got four children in Amsterdam: Christina Brandt, born on 17 March 1916, Aletta Brandt, born on 15 December 1917, Jacobus Brandt, born on 19 September 1919, and Geesje Wilhelmina Brandt on 4 October 1922.

The New York
Ellis Island records show that Aletta and Jacobus too emigrated to the United States. They arrived with the M.S. Nieuw Amsterdam on 17 November 1923, two years after the death of Aletta's father which is mentioned below. Their destination was "brother-in-law P.H.C. Phoel", living at 14 Summit Ave in New Dorp, New York. The name of the brother probably stands for Ph. C. Phoel, meaning that Philip had adopted a middle name in the mean time.

From a Dutch point of view it is curious to notice that the members of the Phoel family lived in New York at places with Dutch names. New Dorp for instance clearly comes from Nieuw Dorp, meaning new village. "Staten" in Staten Island is the plural of staat, meaning state. "Nassau" in Nassau Street refers to the Dutch royal family. If you like to see for yourself, then visit the excellent website EllisIsland.org.


  
Epilogue
Father Philip and mother Aletta moved to Hilversum on 17 December 1906, some forty kilometres south east of Amsterdam. Their youngest son Philip and their daughter Aletta moved to Hilversum with them. Mother Aletta died on 11 October 1910, 59 years old, at the address Rozenstraat no. 15. Her death was reported to the register of Hilversum by her son Evert Dirk. A few months later father Philip and his daughter went back to where they came from and registered as citizens of Amsterdam on 17 January 1911. Son Philip had already emigrated to the US by then. Sons Coenraad, Louis and Evert Dirk would follow their brother in 1911, 1920 and 1912 respectively. Father Philip Phoel died at the age of 81 on 20 June 1921. His daughter Aletta had a fourth child approximately one year later, and she too emigrated to the US when this youngest child was a year old.

This was the story of Aletta van Gorkom, her husband and her children. Seen from another point of view it is the Dutch story of the Phoel family as well. If you are a descendant of this family, we would really like to hear from you, whether you have questions, comments, additions or whatever. Please write to info @ vangorkom.net. For Dutch visitors of this page: reacties in het Nederlands zijn natuurlijk ook van harte welkom!

Click here for a chart of the genealogical connections between this American branch and two other American branches.



  
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