On the photo Louise and Johannes in the front garden of the house in Werrington in 1962.
In Utrecht I studied biology, my major being cell biology. In 1981 I married Isabelle Caroline Le Poole
, born in Delft in 1960, daughter of Prof. Dr. Jan Bart Le Poole
and Maria Alida Croiset van Uchelen
(genealogy of the Le Poole family in: Nederland's Patriciaat, 80th edition, 1997, published by Centraal Bureau voor Genealogie
in The Hague). After two years our daughter Emilie Geertruida
) was born in Utrecht in the Lange Smeestraat in 1983. Exactly two years later again we divorced technically. And after a two year break from Summer 1985 till Summer 1987 I resumed my studies. I studied history of science as a second major and got my master's in May 1988. In October 1988 I moved to Amsterdam, where I still live, earning a living as webdesigner.
Australian Van Gorkoms
Up till now, we were able to identify three Van Gorkom families who became Australian immigrants. All three belong to the Rutger branch, meaning that all these family members are (remotely) related. One of the three is the family of Jack van Gorkom, mentioned above, which consisted of 7 people. The second is the family of Albertus Hendrikus van Gorkom
who had at least two children. The third is the family of Jan van Gorkom
and his wife, who had seven children. Therefore, there have been at least some 20 Australian Van Gorkoms. A curious little detail is the fact that these three families produced three Johns. One is mentioned above and the other two are father and son Jan, whose names turn into John in English. To add to the confusion there are also two Alberts, as Jan van Gorkom had a son called Albert, while the other Albert was one of the three founding fathers.
However, more traces of information about other Van Gorkoms can be found, especially in the database of the National Archives of Australia
. On board of the same Dutch immigrant ship Johan van Oldenbarnevelt
, on which founding father Jan and his wife and seven children sailed to Melbourne in 1955, there was also a Mrs Ruitenberg, whose maiden name was Maria Johanna van Gorkom. On a previous trip of the same ship Gerardus Josephus van Gorkom and Nelly van Gorkom sailed to Australia. They landed in Melbourne on 18 October 1954, but left the country again on 13 June 1955. Whether Gerardus and Nelly were a married couple is unclear, as no maiden name is given. On 29 November 1950 a Mrs Van der Bel arrived in Sydney on the immigrant ship Volendam
; her maiden name was Petronella Maartje van Gorkom. Somehow she managed to land in Australia a second time, arriving in Melbourne on 14 September 1954 on the immigrant ship Waterman
. And finally there was an Arie van Gorkom who arrived in Sydney by plane on 10 December 1954 and departed on 21 June 1956. It should be added that these records of the Australian National Archives are certainly not complete, as there is no mentioning at all of Albert van Gorkom who arrived in Sydney on the Ranchi
on 5 August 1950.
Neither the records of Jack van Gorkom and family, who arrived in Sydney on the Zuiderkruis
on 23 November 1959, show up, but they do surface when searching for Van Gorkum wit a "u".
Research on family history
I started researching family history in September 1983. It was mere coincidence that my mother just had told me that my father's father was supposed to have come from Utrecht. As my daughter Emy had just been born, in Utrecht, I went to the city archive to look up the details. I was absolutely very lucky to find out that our family lived in Utrecht for some nine generations, going all the way back to approximately 1600. It meant that I could get all the research done without ever having to leave the city. As a matter of fact, at the time I lived one block away from the Geertekerk, the church in which Thomas Rutgerse, probably the first Van Gorkom in Utrecht, married Elisabeth de Leeu in 1617. After a few years, I abandoned family history research for more than 15 years. Only after the birth of my granddaughter Jana
(picture above) in 2002, I started constructing this website, which went into the air in March 2003.
A few months later third cousin Johan van Gorkom
joined in, who provided the site with much more and better data. While we had never met before, it turned out that Johan had also studied biology in Utrecht, just like me, had also studied the family's genealogy twenty years before and had also recently picked up the subject again. By now (this is an update, written in April 2011) he has contributed at least 80 percent of the website content.
The picture below shows the future of my grandchildren and all the others of their age. On 21 June 2004 the first commercial space ship came home from its very first trip; a hundred years after the first serious flights with an airplane by the Wright brothers. Picture by Richard Seaman