Photographic report

This page contains a few more pictures to go with the story about my "heretical" ancestry ;-)

Kampen, where the Thönen family settled on arrival in Holland, and where my grandmother was born, is a beautiful historical city at the mouth of the IJssel river. It's definitely worth a stroll on a sunny afternoon.

The town still has several old city gates. Here's one of them.

And the old town hall.

Next stop, the small village of Westeremden, in the province of Groningen, where my grandmother lived from her 8th to her 18th year (roughly 1912-1922). The inset shows the sign at the entrance of the village.

An old drawing of the village from around 1840. Note that there is a 'b' in the spelling of the name: Westerembden.

The old church in Westeremden, originally built around 1200 as a Catholic church. Later it was rebuilt and then used by the Dutch reformed church. Among others, they removed the "side arms" that are typical of the cross-like design of Catholic churches.

An image of a plaque inside the church with a list of ministers from 1606 to 1946. Rev. Johannes Beks (1914-1917) was largely responsible for getting my grandmother Hennie Teune to attend the teacher training college in Groningen.

The "Oude Boor", the little street in Westeremden where my grandmother lived.

The house at number 5, where my grandmother lived as a foster child with the Herenius family.

A page from a book about Westeremden, with a story (in Dutch) about the family that lived in the house at Oude Boor 5 for four generations. It mentions the Herenius family, who bought the house in 1900, and their supposed connection with the Mennonite church.

The old Christian village school in Westeremden, which my grandmother attended as a child, but which was torn down in the mid 80's.

The barn on the left and the house on the right are still there, but there is a big empty space where the school once was! The house is where the headmaster of the school used to live. Now it is owned and occupied (already for more than 30 years) by the Westerhof family, who kindly invited me in and showed me several books about Westeremden with many old photos, some of which are reproduced here.

On to the city of Groningen. Here's the building on the H. W. Mesdagstraat, where the "Onderwijzerskweekschool met den Bijbel" was located (the teacher training college my grandmother attended). The college does not exist anymore, but the name is still present on the panel above the door!

A picture of the college from 1930. Source: Beeldbank Groningen

The "concerthuis" (former concert hall, now a bar) on the Poelestraat, where my grandmother did her final exam to graduate from the teacher training college. The original name is still visible at the top of the building (and the bar has kept the name as well).

And finally back to the roots in Switzerland. My dad, myself, and my mom (Hermien, daughter of Hennie Teune) in front of the Hotel Waldhaus in the Gasterntal, near Frutigen, Switzerland. This hotel was originally built by Walter Thönen's grandfather during the 1910's. But alas, it is not a family possession anymore...

The Waldhaus in 1920. Source: Wikipedia.

Thanks to Genealogie Online and Wie Was Wie, I was able to trace the genealogy from my grandmother Hennie (Hendrikje) Teune back to Hans Thönen. Everyone was born in Kampen, except Hans and his son Peter, who were born in Reutigen and Frutigen, respectively. The four Peters in a row actually made it a bit tricky to reconstruct this genealogy correctly! There were of course many more Teunes, but I've only listed the ones here that form a direct line of descent from Hans to my grandmother.

Hans Thönen (1661-1717) x Catharina Rychen
Peter Teune (1691-1744) x Elisabeth Gasser
Peter Teune (1723-1795) x Elsien Boer
Peter Teune (1771-1832) x Elsjen Teune
Peter Teune (1814-1873) x Hermpjen Boer
Lubbert Teune (1862-1934) x Evertje Siebrand
Hendrikje Teune (1903-1994) x Jan Boekestijn

With many thanks to the Westerhof family for their spontaneous hospitality and all the information about Westeremden they kindly provided.

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