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Friday, July 8, 2016

BOISSEVAIN | The van Lenneps

Cornelis van Lennep, the 10th and youngest child of Herman Jozua van
Lennep. He was the father of Hansje van Lennep Hyland.
One name that crops up more than once in the Boissevain family tree is van Lenneps.

Two van Lenneps married two Boissevain cousins. Hilda van Stockum's mother, Olga Emily Boissevain, was one of these cousins.

So Hilda was related to the van Lenneps at least twice, by marriage.

Hansje van Lennep, whom we knew in Washington, D.C., was related to  the Boissevains through the marriages of her Uncle Herman van Lennep and her Aunt Mies van Lennep Boissevain.I n Holland, if a first cousin is much older, one calls the cousin "aunt" or "uncle"–hence the expression "Dutch uncle".

Both the Boissevain and the van Lennep families have historically important names that are protected by Dutch law. One cannot just take one of these names–one must be born with the name, or be adopted by someone with the name or marry someone with it.
Hansje van Lennep and Family.
Matthew Philip (Matt) and Hansje Hyland, at
home in Washington, D.C. It was January
1995, during AEA meetings. Photo by JT Marlin.
Hansje van Lennep wrote to her friend Diane Haddick in January 1999, explaining how she knew her Dutch cousin, Hilda van Stockum.

Diane just sent me Hansje's letter.

Essentially, two van Lenneps married two Boissevain cousins. Hilda's mother (Olga Emily Boissevain) was their cousin.

So Hilda was related by marriage to the van Lenneps at least twice. Hansje van Lennep was related to  the Boissevains through the marriages of her Uncle Herman van Lennep and her Aunt Mies van Lennep Boissevain.

Visiting Hilda van Stockum in 1946

Hansje writes:
My mother [Mrs. Cornelis van Lennep, 10 in the list below] was rather concerned that her daughter [10c] was going far away in 1946, to work in the Netherlands Embassy in Washington, DC, and she said this to Hilda's cousin Olga Boissevain van Lennep [1d]. Olga offered to write to Hilda van Stockum to ask her to put me up for a while. Hilda agreed. 
I stayed several weeks at Hilda's house on Northampton Street near Chevy Chase Circle in Washington, D.C., until Hilda's husband (Spike Marlin) was transferred to Montreal by his employer, the International Civil Aviation Organization, a U.N. agency. During that time Hilda suggested that we would PLAY being real cousins, since both of our families were back in Holland.
Spike went ahead to try to rent a house in Montreal. Not able to find anything right away (it being  summer), he had to settle for a house that was, literally, IN THE WOODS, outside Montreal [in a place called Ste. Marguerite].
So the family moved into this house, with no running water. The smallest of Hilda's six kids was 1 1-1/2 year old Elisabeth. There was no driveable road to the house, so the rented car dropped them off a small distance away. Hilda's widowed mother, Olga ("Aunt Olga" to me) later had to go buy a bathing suit, as did the rest of the family: the "bath" was a lake... As a result, a book was born - Canadian Summer
Thanks to correspondence with Hilda and Aunt Olga, I knew beforehand of some of the adventures later printed in the book. Years later, I spent Christmas with them at Ste. Adele. They had a house near the church and on several occasions the priest (or minister) had to ask the Marlin family to tone down their noise during the church service! That told you a lot about Hilda and her family!! 
Hilda will be 91 on Feb. 9, 1999. She is writing a book about her studies at the State Academy of Arts in Amsterdam and is doing two paintings, RIGHT NOW!"
Details on Links between Boissevains and van Lenneps

Both the Boissevain and the van Lennep families have old names that are protected by Dutch law. One cannot just take one of these names. One must be

  • born with the name, or 
  • be adopted by someone with the name or 
  • marry someone with it. 
In Holland, if a first cousin is much older, one calls the cousin "aunt" or "uncle".

** Herman Jozua van Lennep 1830-1888 &1859 Henriette Wilhelmine Sillem 1836-1907. [Hansje Carla van Lennep's grandparents had ten children, numbered 1 through A on the list below; her father is A and she is Ac.]

*1 Ernst van Lennep 1860-1922 [son of Herman Jozua van Lennep] &1888 Johanna Louisa van Eeghen 1865-1957
 1a Johanna Louise van Lennep 1890-1950
 1c Anna Caecilia van Lennep 1896-1980 &1919 Leonard van den Honert 1891-1957
 1d Herman Josua van Lennep 1899-1979 &1927 Olga Emily Boissevain [first cousin of Hilda van Stockum] 1902-1993
 1e Anne Willem van Lennep 1905-1977
 o Louise van Lennep 1895-1980 &1918 Jan Daniel Mulder 1890-1932
*3 Robbert van Lennep 1863-1921 &1891 Adrienne Minette Lucassen 1867-1940
 o Minette Adrienne van Lennep 1892-1975 &1930 Alphert Schimmelpenninck 1880-1943
 o Henriette van Lennep 1894-1972
 o Henriëtte Wilhelmina van Lennep 1906-1969 &1937 Jacob Emmer 1901-1958
 o Henriëtte Wilhelmina van Lennep 1906-1969 &1950 Rudolph Theodor Meurer 1898-1979
 o Aernout van Lennep 1898-1974 &1925 Joanna Maria Loeff 1897-1962
 o Anna Maria van Lennep 1901-1999
*5 Karel van Lennep 1866-1923 [Son of Herman Jozua] &1892 Anna Elize Homans 1871-1943
 5a Anna Petronella van Lennep 1894-1984 &1921 Henri Rijnier Boeree 1873-1949
 5b Cornelia Sylvia van Lennep 1895-1986 &1926 Pierre Joseph Eyma 1875-1934

 5c Adrienne Minette van Lennep 1896-1965 [daughter of Karel] & 1919  Jan "Canada" Boissevain 1895-1945  [Jan was first cousin of Olga Boissevain; their fathers Jan and Charles were brothers]

 o Sara van Lennep 1897-1970 &1920 Hylke Halbertsma 1895-1972
 o Karel van Lennep 1901-1949
 o Ernst van Lennep 1908-1908
*6 Henriette van Lennep 1868-1942
*7 Herman van Lennep 1869-1903
*8 Louise van Lennep 1871-1950
*9 Sylvia van Lennep 1873-1945
*A Cornelis van Lennep 1875-1948 &1908 Hyke Albertine Hinrichs 1885-1940
 Aa Hyke van Lennep 1909-1983 &1946 Eliasz Wajnztein 1903-1985
 Ab Sylvia van Lennep 1909-2001
* Cornelis van Lennep 1875-1948 &1918 Jacoba Johanna van Hell 1898-1970
 Ac Hansje Carla van Lennep [daughter of Cornelis] & Matthew Philip Hyland                      
 o Cornelius Sylvius van Lennep & Cordula Wilhelmina Coops

The Jan ("Canada") Boissevain Family in World War II

Hansje's letter continues:
During World War II, one of Hilda's brothers [Willem van Stockum] died overseas; he was shot down. 
The Krauts, who had occupied Holland, first imprisoned the husband of Adrian Minette (Mies) van Lennep [5c above], Jan ["Canada"] Boissevain, then let him free (he was a banker and was accused of lending money to Jews, which was trumped up, as Holland never differentiated among its citizens), then arrested him again and sent him and Mies to two different concentration camps. 
Also taken were their two oldest sons: Jan Karel [Janka] and Gideon [Gi], who were part of an underground resistance group, all in their early 20s. In 1943 they and others were killed by a firing squad in the dunes. 
Their younger brother, Francois Boissevain and the kid's nanny, Jane, were sent to a concentration camp in Germany. They survived the war. Alas, Jan did not - he died one month before Holland's liberation, in April 1945 in a camp near Berlin.    
Mies had been sent to Ravensbrueck in Southern Germany. She was part of a group liberated by Sweden's Count Bernadotte and was sent to Sweden. When she heard that her husband and her two eldest sons had died, she did not want to live any more. But then she looked out of the window of the plane that was bringing them all to Sweden. They broke through the clouds and the sun shone on a quilt of farms and towns below. She decided there was still a lot for her to do on earth.   
When she eventually returned to Holland, she started a movement where people would make quilted skirts out of remnants of cloth left over from the war. Friends and family would donate the pieces of cloth. The called the skirt the "feast rok" (festival dress), to celebrate the liberation of Holland. 
Because of her heroic behavior in the concentration camp, where she would save her fellow prisoners from despair with talk and deeds, Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt invited her to come to America as she wanted to thank her and meet her personally. 
Diane Haddick Note

The letter makes Diane wonder if Mies van Lennep Boissevain ever did come to America at Mrs. Roosevelt's invitation, "and if she did, what happened after that?"

Postscript

I have evidence that Mies did go on such a tour. I am looking for details.