On this painting above, by Jan van Gooyen, the view is 17e century Dordrecht seen from the river Meuse. I was born here in 1949 and in 1998 I moved back to Dordrecht. I live just near the “Grote Kerk” (the Big Church) in de old historic part of the city. I knew that the name Kloosterman originated in Zeeland and as time flies by and I (who doesn’t) grew older, I became more and more interested in the family history.

My father was born in Vlissingen in the province of Zeeland, in the south west part of Holland, and his father, my grandfather was born in Heinkenszand, Zeeland. My father Adriaan (18-12-1917), found an old photograph of the 50e wedding anniversary of my great grandparents Jan Kloosterman, born 1859 at Heinkenszand and his wife Jannetje Slabbekoorn. On the back there were the dates of the marriage and their births. That was the starting point for me and I started tracing back the Kloosterman genealogy.

I went with my father to the central archives in Middelburg, Zeeland. By chance I met an older, quite distinguished gentleman bent over his notes in the archives of Middelburg. He overheard me talking to my father about the Kloosterman name and brought to my attention the fact that a considerable lot of data about the Kloosterman already existed and could be found in the archives. So I owe a special thanks to Mr. M.J. Karman, from Middelburg, who was a great help by setting me on the right track and providing me with a lot of information on the Kloosterman genealogy in Zeeland.

Map of Dordrecht from the atlas of Bleau, 1652.

The Maas at Dordrecht, circa 160. Aelbert Cuyp (1620-1691)

Jacob van Deventer (1505-1575) Zelandicarum Insularum exactissima et nova descriptio, Auctore D. Jacobo a Daventria. Publisher: Abraham Ortelius? Coloured engraving. Map of Zeeland and neighbouring Dutch Flanders, West Brabant, South Holland up to Delft, Schoonhoven, Gorinchem, 's Gravenmoer etc.

It turned out that by going back from my great grandparents I could find the data of his father Jan Kloosterman (27-04-1859) en his father Leendert Kloosterman (29-03-1824) and at that point I could connect to the already known genealogy line of the Kloosterman family. The Kloosterman Genealogy was also printed and the 2e edition can be found in the Zeeland Archives in Middelburg, in the collection of Zeeland Genealogies, number 745. After the first print, I published the Kloosterman Genealogy on the web. Afterwards I received an email from mr. Cees Kaiser, who lived in Schoonhoven. It turned out that a large part of the genealogy of the Kloosterman family originally came from him. He allowed me to publish the information on the internet and was so kind to send me even more additional information.

So I owe him also a lot of thanks for a job well done. Through Cees Kaiser I contacted mrs. S.H.P. Hofman-Bos from Goes, because a lot of the information he had received from her, especially on the emigration of members of the Kloosterman family to America, was originally hers. I talked quiet a few times on the phone with mrs. S.H.P. Hofman-Bos and she also permitted me to publish her data on the internet. Thanks to her information I was able to extend the webpage on “the emigration to America” extensively. Through the website I received (and still do!) a lot of email from members of the Kloosterman family from America and Canada. Without the cooperation and the generous contributions of mr. M.J. Karman, mr. Jos Kiser, mr. Cees Kaijser and mrs. S.H.P. Hofman-Bos it would not have been possible to publish all the now available information on the internet.

My great-grandfather was called Jan Kloosterman and was born in Heinkenszand 26 April 1859, on 31-05-1878 he married Jannetje Slabbekoren, born 7 march 1859 and worked all his life as a signal station watchman for the Dutch railroads. On the left you see a picture of my great grandparents at their 50e wedding anniversary. My great grandmother Jannetje Slabbekoorn is wearing the traditional Zeeland costume. She is wearing the traditional Zuid-Beveland costume, with the distinctive large, stiffly starched hat, including large gold square kissers worn at the temples. Jannetje died 26 march 1931 en Jan died 13 April 1944 in what was called the “hunger winter”, during the German occupation of Holland in the second world war. My great grandfather Jan, had 4 sons: Jan, Cornelis, Hendrik, Leendert and 2 daughters Marie and Anna.

My grandfather was the second son Cornelis (born 09-02-1893 at Vlissingen, died 01-08-1972 Dordrecht). Cornelis married Johanna Bosselaar (born 08-08-1892 at Souburg, died 06-07-1992 Dordrecht). They had two sons Jan (born 21-08-1913, died 1999) and my father Adriaan (born 18-12-1918) both born in Vlissingen. On the left you see a picture of my grandfather Kees, my fathers older brother Jan, my grandmother and my father Adriaan. The picture was taken around 1929. The family moved during the depression years to Dordrecht.

My great-grandfather Jan Kloosterman and his wife Jannetje Slabbekoorn at their 50e wedding anniversary 31-05-1938. My great-grandmother is still wearing the traditional Zuid-Beveland costume, with its large, stiffly starched hat and the large gold square

My grandfather (Kees) and grandmother (Anna) and their sons Jan (left) and Adriaan (my father) on the right. The picture was taken around 1927.

Jannetje Slabbekoorn, born March 7 1857 in Heinkenszand. Jannetje is my great-grandmother and is wearing the traditional Zuid-Beveland costume, with the distinctive large, stiffly starched hat, including large gold square kissers worn at the temples. Jannetje died 26 march 1931.

I was born in Dordrecht 19-09-1949 and was named after my grandfather Cornelis (Cees is short for Cornelis). It is interesting to see that the name Cornelis keeps coming up during the centuries and even goes back to he first Cornelis “Cornelis Janszoon Op ’t Clooster” in 1571. So I am proud to have a name that goes back such a long way.

So if you are interested, take a look at the history of the Kloosterman family name on the next pages. Even today the land where the cloister once was, is still possible to locate. In the ground you will still find the stones where the nunnery was build from. These stones are recognized by their colour and surface. The stones have a green glaze surface.

At the location in Zeeland you will still find a farm with the name “Kloosterhoeve”. This farm was occupied by the Kloosterman family for longer times though not constantly. During the 16th and 17th-century the land where the nunnery once was, kept called “Den Houck daer ’t Clooster in staet”. This means more or less: “The Land Where The Cloister is” Later it was called “Cloosterland” and because of this name, the people living on it where called Cloosterman.

There where more nunneries(cloisters) in Holland due to which families are named Kloosterman today. You don’t necessarily have to have your roots in the region Zeeland if your name is Kloosterman. The name of the land (Kloosterland) disappeared in 1625 but the family name Kloosterman was founded by that time en still lives on, as it does in me.

If you have any further information about the Kloosterman family name, I would be grateful if you could send me your findings.

Thanks ! Cees

** If you would like to see some more old family pictures, click here.