Sri LankaBrazilMalaysia
NettizensCoat of ArmsGuestbook

The Bergen op Zoom family

"Bergen op Zoom, houdt U vroom, stut de Spaanse scharen - Bergen op Zoom, be faithful, hold the Spanish troops" 

The lines of this song are still sung in Bergen op Zoom each year during carnival. The song was written during the 80 year war against the Spanish king. This war was an independency war. The provinces of Holland wished to be free from the Spanish government because of the high tax (10 %) and freedom of religion. In order to achieve this goal Prince William of Orange, count of Holland, became Protestant to oppose the king of Spain, who was catholic. Bergen op Zoom was long catholic, compared to other Dutch cities: only in 1680 the city became Protestant. Protestantism became the state religion and the main churches of Bergen op Zoom became Protestant. But when Catholicism was allowed again 20 years later the majority of residents of Bergen op Zoom returned to Catholicism. And certainly after 1742, when the French conquered Bergen op Zoom, but few Protestants were left. 

The family
But not the family van Dort of Bergen op Zoom. They were already Protestant long before 1680. Within a predominantly Catholic city, they married with people from the few Protestant families in Bergen op Zoom: the family Schot, Wittermans, Kroon and Augustijn. Most people of those families worked in professions related to sailing or fishing. The oldest people with the name van Dort found in Bergen op Zoom are Adriaen Jacobsz and Ghoort van Dort. Both of them are members of the skippers guild in 1516 (Source gemeente-archief BoZ). They had a ship build, a "heude". This is an old kind of two-master. The ship sailed for England with a load of hop (source Dirk en Jeanne van Dort). 

 In the St. Gertrudis church or Peperbus under the confessional my forefather Willem Jobse van Dort (1764) is buried. He was married to Johanna la Riviere and Helena Wittermans. Helena was buried in 1770 besides him. According to the funeral books the church bells rang for 2 hours for both of them, meaning that apart from being religious, they also were well to do. Willem Jobse van Dort was a (market) skipper from Bergen op Zoom to Rotterdam. He lived in Rotterdam for a while also. His first wife Johanna la Riviere died in Rotterdam. 

The Sint Gertrudis church in Bergen op Zoom. My forefather Willem Jobse van Dort (1764) was buried here. Photo from Mathijs Jonkers 2) 
In 1594 we find Willem Adriaens van Dort who was a notary. But he was an exeption. Although people from this family had various jobs, most of them where fishermen or seamen, some were also in the military or were carpenters. They lived close to the harbour of Bergen op Zoom, some of their houses still stand. Some of the acts of the notary can be found in the collection of registrations of lawful actions of residents of Bergen op Zoom, the so called Bergse protocollen. The Bergse protocollen were kept between 1433 and 1808. 1). Some members of the Van Dort family had positions in the Stadsbestuur (city council). In 1795 a Marinus van Dort was a member of the Burger Committee, which collaborated with the French! 

 People from Bergen op Zoom moved to Tholen in Zeeland (Netherlands), which was very Protestant, to Rotterdam and the whole country; wherever they could find a job. Some stayed in Bergen op Zoom. Among them are the well known anchovy fisherman and oyster growers of the family van Dort. The "Ansjovisfabriek van Dort" (anchovies factory) canned anchovies and existed from 1900 till 1950. The way they collect the anchovies is unique to Holland. By putting branches and trees in the waters of Oosterschelde, an estuary in the north sea, they make a kind of trap for the fish. Once every day, they move the fish into a net, while wading through the water. The last anchovy fishermen, Cor van Dort and his son Cornee and the family Landa, still fish every year. 

Other more or less well known van Dort's from Bergen op Zoom are Willem van Dort (1875-1949) and his son Willem van Dort Jr. (1905 - 1995). They were both painters of landscapes, portraits and flowers. The father was an impressionist. His son taught at the gold smith school in Schoonhoven, and the art academy in Rotterdam. In '95 there was an exhibition of their paintings in museum the "Markiezenhof" in Bergen op Zoom. 11) 

The seal of Johan Joseph van Dort and Gerret Willem Christiaan van Dort-Kroon
Johan Joseph van Dort, baptised in 1784, was a "gouvernements-solliciteur". He wrote petitons for people, who could not write or read. He probably used a signet ring to mark his letters with een seal stamp. In the collection Musschart (CBG) a certificate can be found that Johan Joseph wore this ring on 2 february 1852 in The Hague. A stamp of his ring can be found in the archives of Arnhem. 
The coat of arms of Johan Joseph. A possible explanation of the origins of this crest is: 
up left: anchor, signifies his grandfather from fathers side, a skipper. up right: dolphin, signifies his grandfather from mothers side, a fisherman. below: wheel topped with a horn, signifies his father, a traveling merchant. 

 Since Johan Joseph had no children, his ring was probably heritated by Gerret Willem Christiaan, the son of his brother Willem Christiaan . Gerret Willem was a chemist in The Hague. Gerret Willem van Dort was granted permission by the king to call himself van Dort-Kroon. Kroon is Dutch for crown. Hence his children are all called van Dort-Kroon. In the collection of Steenkamp-Damstra (CBG) a stamp of his seal (Waddinxveen, 1880) can be found. 

The seal of Gerret Willem Christiaan van Dort-Kroon. Twice the real size. Left the coat of arms of Johan Joseph, right an added coat of arms to signify "Kroon". A man carrying a stick with a bundle on the end.  
I originate from the family from Bergen op Zoom. The family has spread over the whole country, but a lot of people are living in Rotterdam and Bergen op Zoom. There are indications that all people with the name van Dort in Bergen op Zoom belong to ONE family, but it still has to be proven. For more info contact my father: Willem Joseph van Dort, Here you can see his ancestor chart. The name Willem Joseph is very characteristic for our branch of the Bergen op Zoom family. It is introduced by Gijsbertinus Gumperts by combining the names of the child's grandfathers (Willen en Joseph). Gijsbertine Gumperts (18th century) was the daughter in law of Willem Jobse (See above). 
The surname pages contain only a small part of the research he has done the last year. Even in the 17th century, the family van Dort of Bergen op Zoom was quite an extensive family. Note that this is just a part of the genealogy, since the rest still has to be typed in.
[ back | index | next ]
I will add a link to the gedcom or an internet version of the genealogy soon. 
© Copyright 1997, Mascha van Dort, All rights reserved
Last update 13 September 1998