The singular case of the two Lammerts

Lammert Jillisz. Grandia was married to Neeltje Cornelisse, said "of 's-Gravendeel". Neeltje died in May 1722. She was buried in 's-Gravendeel on May 20th, 1722, but there is something rather peculiar about the funeral. The entry in the "Dood-boeck van 's-Gravendeel" (the "Death-book of 's-Gravendeel", which is the account-book of the local undertaker), runs as follows:

[1722] "the 20th dito [i.e. May] Neeltie Cornelis, wife of Lammert Jelisse or the mad Lammert because two were dead"

followed by the itemized bill for the funeral. The bill is what might be expected for the funeral of a single person: the "doodt-kleedt" (the shroud): 15 stuivers (A "stuiver" was 5 cents or 1/20th of a guilder - the equivalent of the English shilling), the grave 1 guilder, ringing of the church bells: 3 "poose" ("periods" of time of an unspecified length) with the large bell: 2 guilders and 2 stuivers, 1 "poos" with the small bell: 8 stuivers. Total: 3 guilders and 25 stuivers, but since 25 stuivers is equal to 1 guilder 5 stuivers, the total comes to 4 guilders and 5 stuivers.

So, it doesn't look as if more than one person was buried. But if "two were dead", who, then, was the second person? It is, of course, possible that Neeltje died in childbirth, with the child being either stillborn or having died immediately after the birth, and that the two were buried together. From other entries in the "Dood-boeck" it becomes clear that infants were in any case separately listed, and there was a fee for the funeral. And what to make of "mad Lammert"? Was he totally distraught with grief at the deaths of his wife and child?

There is another possible explanation, though. The entry in the "Dood-boeck" reads "om datter twee ware doodt" ("because two were dead"). Immediately after the word "doodt" it says " - 15 - ", that is, 15 stuivers - which is the charge for the shroud. The word "doodt-kleedt", however, did not fit in the space left over at the end of the line. It is possible that the undertaker, discovering that he had run out of space on the line, just entered the amount due for the shroud after the word "doodt". If that is the case, the word "doodt" is not part of the rest of the entry, which then acquires a completely different meaning: "... Lammert Jelisse, or mad Lammert, because there were two". In other words: there were two "Lammert Jelisse's" in the village - one of whom was apparently slightly eccentric.

At this time, there actually were two Lammert Jillisz.'s. They were:

One of them died in 's-Gravendeel abt. March 20th, 1741/42, the other aft. March 27th, 1756.

From available data, it is hard to tell these two Lammerts apart. Marriage dates are not known for either of them. I have checked the indexes for the DTB ("Doop-, Trouw- en Begrafenis-boeken": Baptismal, Wedding and Burial-records) for this area of Zuid-Holland over the period 1695-1811, but the only Lambert Jillisz. Grandia mentioned is a son of Jillis Lambertus Grandia and Maijken Janse Sassenburg, born in July 1757. Some more information is available from the files of the Regional Museum Hoekse Waard in Heinenoord. This cardfile, alphabetically ordered by family name, has been compiled by a number of unsung volunteers who have collected, and copied out on file-cards, an enormous amount of data from a number of local archives. It mentions the funerals of "Lammert Grandia's wife", "a child of Lammert Grandia", and, finally, of "van Grandia (sic!), Lammert, buried April 13th, 1741". But ... from the archives of the local Assizes of 's-Gravendeel we learn that one Lammert Grandia paid the "quotisatie" (a property tax) on his house for the years 1741-1745 on March 27th, 1756. In other words: there must have been a second Lammert living in 's-Gravendeel, and apparently he was already living there when Neeltje Cornelisse died in 1722.

The original research about this part of the family was done by the late Arie Ruijmgaart; it appears that he came to a number of provisional conclusions regarding the family in the Hoekse Waard. So far, I have not been able to shed more light on the situation. A complicating factor is that a considerable amount of material from 's-Gravendeel was destroyed by a fire which reduced much of the village to ashes on July 20th, 1825.

Lammert, son of Jillis Claesz. Grandia is the more important of the two as far as the family history is concerned. His descendants remained in the area, and became the ancestors of both my branch of the family and of Jacob Jillisz. Grandia ('s-Gravendeel 1822 - Pella, Iowa 1868), who is the ancestor of the branch of the Grandia family living in the American mid-West.

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