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Hutse letter

Hutse letter
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Hutse letter
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 This is a letter in Dutch written 1753 by Hutse V.S. to his brother Ulpianus, the Dominie, upon the death of their father, Ulbe.

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The following is a translation of the letter very kindly provided by a VanSinderen cousin: rev. Marinus den Dekker of Dordrecht, Holland.


letter d.d. 28 June 1753
from Hotse van Sinderen[1], silversmith at Dokkum, Holland,
to his brother Ulpianus van Sinderen, minister at New Amsterdam (New York),
on account of the death of their father
rev. Ulpianus van Sinderen[2] at Beetsterzwaag, Holland


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Dear brother and sister,[3]

According to his immutable decree he almighty God has been pleased to claim our dear and very beloved father Ulpianus van Sinderen, after a paralysis of his right side and his tongue, and to take him from this earth, which is a vale of tears, and we hope He brought him to his eternal glory. His Reverence was born the 6th of May 1672, became a minister 1715 the 1rst of May, and passed away 1753 the 11th of May. It was also a May-day, at 8 o’clock in the morning. And he was buried the 22nd of the same month. Rev.Nicolaïdes and his wife went first in the funeral procession [4]. We organised a good meal at the funeral, with a large number of people being there, even a lot from the nobility, and the most notable men of the municipality did eat and drink with us themselfes. The mayor offered to our service his servant and maid, and the cook, which was a great relief for us.[5]

His Reverence had that happen to him on Thursday April 26 in the morning. But in the evening his Reverence was rather recovered and had a walk in the garden with a stick. He even smoked a pipe in the presence of mr. B. Teijens. And then at night he has gone to bed. But when his Reverence remained in bed longer as usual, our maid-servant Janke[6]


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went upstairs to see if things were going well with him. She found him totally speechless and his right side paralysed from top to bottom. He did not speak a word anymore, only "ja" (= yes). When we asked him if his Reverence wanted something, he shook his head, or nodded assent, and sometimes he said "ja". I could not notice if his Reverence was still in possession of his sense untill the very last day. I was with him the whole period of two weeks, so we can say: we looked after our father as we could. We pray the Lord He give us to see his Reverence again hereafter in a more perfect condition. And we wish that the Lord may preserve Your Worship and your family from sadness and death for many years.

Further I want to tell Your Worship the court of justice put the house under seal. I do not know when the sealing shall be abolished. And I also do not know if there is a last will. I suppose not, because I heard from our father during the last fall he should do some writing; but now, when he was ill, I asked him again and he


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shook his head. So I think there is no last will. But he did wanted to make clear a lot of things to me, and he spoke, but that was in an unitelligible language. That is the reason why I can not tell you for sure what he meant.

Well, there is something he did say to me, and to some others as well. He told us Your Worship is abundantly provided with your share, and that You should not pretend anything, because God in heaven blessed You so well that Your Worship has got more than You needed. We expect a reaction of Yours as soon as possible, because we will keep the household for another year. So this period all things will remain together.

Anne[7], - Your Worship does know what kind a man he is. He put out his daughter[8] to contract at a sewing-school and he will have to pay 50 guilders for that in the next 2 years. The other 3 children of his, Ulbe[9], Sipke[10] and Hotse[11], are at the house of the deceased.

then following some erasures, in which we can read: he himself went off, do not know

where, and ------ he took away everything -------- so made everything to -------and

nobody did notice ------- so far about Anne and his children.

About our sister Janke[12] and her 3 children, she is doing well in her bread-winning. Japik [13]

is working on a boat and now he is earning already over one hundred guilders. Her son Ulbo[14] is working for a blacksmith and is starting to earn something more than board and lodging. And her third child


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Hindrikien[15] is a nice spinster and in height growing above her mother’s head.

Well, I do not know what to write about our brother Sipke[16]. Maybe he will marry to Janke Hofman[17], we all see they are doing their best together, but time will show. He is a bit slow, as his bees are. He never had so many of them and they never did as well as now. He has plans to buy a horse and a tilbury for pleasure.

About me and my family: by the goodness of the Lord we are doing quite well. I feel my eye-sight and my strength are decreasing. My children are two[18]: Ulbo and Trijntie. Ulbo[19] is 20 years old now and has been at Franeker for a year now[20]. There is no need to tell what profits I have of this, Your Worhip knows as I do. Lots of people speak appreciatingly of him and the results of his study, so we have good hope he will finish it, if I can afford as long as he is supposing to do his study. My daughter[21] is 18 years old now and almost as tall as her mother. She is taller than her brother and is always in a good mood.

The cattle-plague, with a lot of cows dying, is lasting long now. It does no good to the silversmiths and bad to the owners. I suppose even more to the owners than to the farmers themselves. Because the farmers stipulated in their leases the possibility to plough up some some grass-land. And as the cereals had a good price during the las years,

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so the cattle-owners in proportion had more loss than the farmers in general. Time will show how this will proceed. We only can wish with all our heart this will turn out well.

Docter[22] is passed away as well. He had to pay over three years rent. I suppose we will not get all this money. More news: first that our cousin Outkerk will be married next Sunday to his maid-servant, who served him for 24 years, and that the rev. Halbetsma will do the ceremony. The daughter of the major at Franeker, - you lived at his house - , was married some weeks ago. Ulbo and Trijntie visited the festivities. The rev. Sickama[23] at Wijnjeterp received a call from Oudkerk; the rev.Schieve at Hindelopen from Franeker; the rev. Felsen, well known to father, at Waaxens from Harlingen; the candidate Foeij received a call from Damwoude; the rev. Alta at Beers from Offingawier; the rev. Braunius at Molkwerum from Sloten; the candidate Nauta received a call from Burum; the candidate Fenema from Oosterwolde. There were some more calls, I do not know if Your Worship got message about those. These are all of this year, as far as I know. Some ministers passed away:

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the rev. Posmus, the rev. Reen, and the rev. Cuperus. Their places are still vacant, as far as I know. Further: I do not know if they are all known to Your Worship, but some people are passed away. First of all the alderman Van Assen[24], the one who gave my son a silver sword as a present, when he went to university. Also Herst Koekebakker and his wife, their children are in the orphan-house now. Our cousin Van Werven and his wife. And our uncle Jan[25] and his wife. The brother of the chemist Fisser bought the house and the rebuilding of it cost over 20 thousand guilders, I suppose. He made a large cabinet in it to put in all orders, for men and for women, their names on it, - it is all very good looking. The mayor Snip also lost his wife and also his mother. The writer Wigger van Kalwegen also passed away, and both his daughters were married here, one to the alderman De Bok, and the other one to the mayor Bransma. The smallpox and the measles are prevalent here and in the province of Groningen


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and lots of people are taken away to eternity. The rev. Nicolaïdes’ wife [26] is also suffering from the smallpox these days. I do not have much more news which will be of interest to Your Worship. Several people died from the smallpox, but they are not known to Your Worship, so there is no need to mention them. As a daughter of the secretary at Wommels, and the lawyer Manus Botma, and some students too. The son of the mayor Alva at Holwerd almost died but pulled through. One of his sons also is a mayor now. And the secretary Hulsius sold his office to a person called Reidema, a grandson of the assessor Arp Vrijbes at Drachten. The rev. Abrahami’s son, who was a student at Franeker, drowned there some night at 11 o’clock. This father got this message at the time he just was busy to send away his other son to Eastern Indien, because he had a bad behaviour. Now he grant a delay to this journey, hoping for better behaviour.

And the last news: last week we had a terrible thunderstorm, not only with hail, but with


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pieces of ice, larger than big marbles, flat, round and square ones, and with protuberances, of 4 and 5, and 6 untill 8 lood[27] each. Thousands of window-glasses were broken. I have my own part of this and shall have to repair about a hundred. Almost no house has been spared of this. The squall came from the south-west, and started at the high bridge, and then went over Dokkum to Metslawier, Niawier and Morra, and went on to the north-east. A great part of the harvest, especially grain, wheat and rapeseed was damaged so much, that gathering it has no sense anymore. The region south-east of Dokkum was totally spared of it. You can imagine, it was horrible to hear and to see. It happened in the afternoon and the pieces of ice and the window-glasses were flying through the house. People were hiding everywhere and they were afraid everything should fly away. It was not seen like this within living memory. I remain yours truly, with friendly greetings Your Worship and brother[28]

Dokkum, Hú van Sinderen

the 28 of June 1753

                            written by Ulpianus Van Sinderen jr:
                            received the 28 of July 1754

1 Hotse (sometimes written as Hotso or Hutso) was the oldest son of the rev. Ulpianus van Sinderen sr., born Beetsterzwaag 12 Febr. 1702 and died before 16 Oct. 1773 probably at Dokkum; he married 11 Nov. 1731 Geertje, daughter of Pytter Ritskes Jilderda, silversmith at Dokkum; he was an apprentice of this Pytter, and later on a silversmith at Dokkum himself

2 he was baptised at Dokkum, 12 May 1672, son of Hotze van Sinderen and Janke Ulbes, and then called Ulbe, an old Frisian name; later on he took the Latin form of this name and made it Ulpianus, which often was been done by ministers or lawyers etc. in this period; Ulpianus was married 14 Apr. 1700 to Hendrikien Halbetsma, daughter of Scipio (Latin again; in Frisian he was called Sipke) Halbetsma, lawyer, and Catharina Stinstra; she was baptised Dokkum 20 Aug. 1676, still alive in 1749, according to the census of thit year, but deceased before 1753: she is not mentioned at all in this letter

3 possibly this letter was not only addressed to his brother Ulpianus, but also to their sister Trijntje van Sinderen; I suppose she emigrated together with her brother and was his housekeeper

4 Nicolaïdes was a minister of the Reformed Church as well; as usual in this time the funeral procession was in two parts: first there were the men, leaded by the vicar, and after them, second the women, leaded by the vicar’s wife

5 Ulpianus worked as a "pedagogue of the house" for the most noble family of Augustinus Lycklama à Nijeholt, mayor and landlord at Beetsterzwaag, from 1700 untill 1715; in the year 1715 he has been ordained as a minister of the Dutch Reformed Church for all the people in the villages of Beetsterzwaag and Olterterp, in Friesland, a northern province of Holland; as you can see at his funeral he had good relations to the noble families during his whole life

6 she was a niece of the rev. Ulpianus sr., a daughter of his sister Trijntje and her husband Jacob Jans Hofman; she was baptised Beetsterzwaag 16 May 1716, and her uncle the rev.Ulpianus mentioned her in the church-books of Beetsterzwaag as "my niece" of "my maid-servant"; further on in this letter she is mentioned again

7 meant is: Anne Freerks, born about 1710, died before 1759; he was a boatman, and maried to Hendrikien van Sinderen, daughter of the rev.Ulpianus sr., baptised Beetsterzwaag 1 Jan. 1712 and died after 17 Apr. 1767; so he is a brother-in-law to Hotse and Ulpianus jr.; Anne and Hendrikien were living at Beetsterzwaag, but Hendrikien was mentioned there alone very often, so obviously he has been absent very much; from this couple descent the Van Sinderen family in northern Friesland, because their children were called Van Sinderen after their mother

8 must be Hiltie, baptised 20 Febr. 1738, so she is 15 years old then; further unknown

9 baptised 18 Febr. 1742, married at Amsterdam 17 Apr. 1767; then he was a silversmith at Amsterdam, possibly he was an apprentice of his uncle Hotse

10 baptised 7 Febr. 1749, died 23 Febr. 1816; he was a blacksmith in the village of Holwerd, in the northern part of Friesland, married there 21 Apr. 1771, and had lots of descendants

11 baptised 8 March 1744, died before 1796; he was a boatman, as his father; he was maried 1 Jan. 1769, had got 4 children (he is the only one who called a son by the name Anne after his father) with descendants of his son Lukas (a boatman as well) untill our time, living in Rotterdam

12 Janke, sister of Hotse and Ulpianus jr., was born about 1710 and about 1733 married to Rindert Jacobs, cooper at the village of Dronrijp; he already died before 20 Febr. 1743, and she moved then to Drachten, not far from Beetsterzwaag; so she is a widow in 1753; her son Ulbe was called Van Zinderen after his mother, and he is the progenitor ot the Van Zinderen family (with Z)

13 baptised as Jacob 21 Febr. 1734; further unknown

14 born about 1740, buried 3 Febr. 1807; he was a blacksmith at the village of Gorredijk and was married twice, in 1762 and in 1773; children and descendants from both marriages were called by the name Van Zinderen

15 this daughter was baptised 31 Jan. 1739; further unknown

16 born Oct. 1715; he was married to NN, who died before 1749, according to the census of this year; they had one son, Ulbo, baptised 2 Dec. 1742, and also died before 1749; he was a shoemaker and a bee-keeper; so in 1753 he is a widower, living alone

17 she is the maid-servant, and the niece, of the rev.Ulpianus sr.; Sipke will not marry to her, but he does to another woman, Sjoukjen Kornelis, in the same year: 2 Nov. 1753; they are mentioned together at the village of Lippenhuizen, near to Beetsterzwaag, in 1756; further unknown; no issue

18 Hotse is 51 years old then; he and his wife Geertje had 7 children baptised at Dokkum between 1733 and 1749, so 5 died in infancy; in the other families too there was infant mortality: as far as we know Janke lost 1 little daughter, Hendrikien 2 children, and Sipke 1 little son.

19 baptised Dokkum 4 Jan. 1733; as far as we know he never was married

20 he was a student in theology at the university of the Frisian town Franeker (this university does not exist anymore, but was there from 1585 untill 1811; his grandfather the rev. Ulpianus sr. and his uncle the rev. Ulpianus jr. were students at Franker too); he was ordained as a minister of the Dutch Reformed Church in 1758 at Amsterdam, and sent out as a missionary to the so called Eastern Indiens (now Indonesia, then a colony of Holland), where he died 7 May 1772 at the isle of Banda


22 do not know if this is a title: doctor, also the word in dutch for physician, or a name: a person called Docter

23 now following a lot of mutations in church-life of Friesland, concerning ministers, so colleagues of Ulpianus sr. and also of Ulpianus jr.; some of them must have been well known to him

24 Hotse’s daughter Trijntje was married 10 years later to Harmanus van Assen; I suppose he was a son of this alderman Van Assen; later on Harmanus himself will be an alderman at Dokkum

25 this must be Jan Ritskes Jilderda, an uncle of Geertje, Hotse’s wife; Jan Jilderda lived in the house next to the house of Hotse and Geertje, at the Groote Breedstraat in Dokkum; following now a report of the rebuilding of the house: Hotse could observe this very easily nextdoor

26 Nicolaïdes and his wife were mentioned in the first part of the letter, leading the funeral procession of the rev. Ulpianus sr.

27 a lood is aan old Dutch unit of weight, of about 50 grams; so these pieces of ice were 200 and 250, and 300 untill 400 grams each

28 translation June 2000, by the rev. Marinus den Dekker, at Dordrecht, Holland, son of Dirk C. den Dekker and Margaretha van Sinderen