In the beginning there was … Matthijs
Matthijs Simonis was, as I already stated, a "chirurgijn" (chirurgeon)
who might have been born in 1623 as Mathieu Simon in the Belgian town of Liège
(the enquiries haven't been completed yet).
Chirurgeons in those days were not real doctors, but they were certainly NO
quacks. They knew a lot about medicinal herbs and most of the time they had
their own pharmacy. Matthijs came to Holland in 1649 and took
up residence in The Hague where he married Maria van der Maers(ch) in 1651. They
had two daughters and two sons, who almost all of them had something to do with
the medical profession: one daughter married a doctor, the other a chirurgijn.
One son became a doctor himself, he graduated in 1690 from the then
well-known University of Harderwijk.
The other son, Andreas, became a
wine merchant. In 1687 he married Cornelia Maria Cramers, born in the German
town of Emmerich. Of their six children three died very young, about one son,
Mattheus, is little to be found (he rented a house in The Hague in 1729), but of the other son, Henricus
Lambertus, the course of his life can be followed quite easily. He brought some
royal blood into the family. Ah well, royal .... it all went through some births
out of wedlock and through the female line.
In 1720 Henricus married
Hendrina Wijnants, daughter of Jan Wijnants and Alida van Nassau. This Alida was
a daughter of William, squire of Nassau, an illegitimate son of William, bastard
of Nassau, lord of the Lek (also called 'Nassau-La Lecq'). He in turn (the word
bastard already says it all) was an illegitimate son of Maurits, count of Nassau,
prince of Orange.
has never been married, but he had children from several relationships. Those
of his favourite mistress Margaretha van Mechelen were acknowledged, were raised at the court and were allowed to use the
name Van Nassau.
Maurits (1567 - 1625)
count of Nassau, prince of Oranje
son of William
of Orange & Anna of Saxony
Willem of Nassau, lord of the Lek
son of Maurits & Margaretha van Mechelen
North-Netherlands school, ± 1608
(Amsterdam, Institute Collection Holland)
Henricus and Hendrina had four children, of which only
one procreated. But this Philippus Joannes did well: he had ten children ! As
was normal in those times, alas, some of them died at a very young age. Four
sons stayed alive and they all had offspring. From them originated (in the
beginning mostly in The Hague and surroundings) four branches of the same
'tree', the same Simonis family.
So if you belong to this family you can
Jacobus Adrianus Henricus Simonis (baptized 1765),
Antonius Simonis (baptized 1768),
like me from Joannes Henricus Simonis
or from Christianus Simonis (baptized 1778).
From whoever of those
four you are a descendant, you are family !