Meet our Members: Ludwig Kraayenbrink

+23 votes

500px-Meet_our_Members_Photos.jpgHi WikiTreers!

It's time to meet another wonderful WikiTreer! This week's member is Ludwig Kraayenbrink.

Ludwig became a Wiki Genealogist in September of 2012.  He's one of our friendly Greeters and is especially active in our Netherlands (Dutch Roots) Project.

What are some of the surnames you are researching?

My father’s surname is Kraaijenbrink and mother’s surname is Muller. You may notice that my surname is Kraayenbrink, a mistake made by my father when he registered my birth. He forgot to put the “dots” on the “ij” and hence my name was registered as a “y”. Father didn’t make the same mistake with my five siblings. Therefore I am interested in all the variations of Kraaijenbrink e.g. Kraayenbrink or Krayenbrink (many of these can be found in the US), Kraijenbrink, Krajenbrink, Krainbrink, Kreijenbrink, Kreyenbrinck, Creyenbrink, Kraejenbrink and many other variations (refer to the Kraijenbrink One Name Study page at .

I am more successful researching my father’s ancestry than my mother’s, mainly because Muller is quite a common Dutch surname and both these Kraaijenbrink and Muller branches married either Indonesian or mix-Indonesian women. Still hoping to find these Indonesian branches but any help or assistance is very much appreciated.

Besides researching my own family I also decided to research my wife’s ancestry (McEvoy and Patterson). I was very fortunate that my brother-in-law and several cousins already documented many branches all the way back to England, Scotland, and Ireland.

What are some of the locations you are researching?

This is one area where WikiTree has assisted me tremendously. My father always mentioned that way back his family came from an area in the Netherlands close to the German border. Very quickly I discovered he was talking about the Achterhoek area in the province of Gelderland and in particular a town called Dinxperlo. A small village on the Dutch-German border where one side of the street (Heelweg) is Dutch and the other side is German (Suderwick). 

Some Kraaijenbrink generations then moved to Abbenbroek in Zuid-Holland not far from the port of Rotterdam. Once I had entered several thousands of profiles into WikiTree, various people contacted me about their families and links to mine. In this way I have found Kraaijenbrinks across the world: Netherlands, Canada, United States, Australia, Indonesia, Belgium, Spain, and Aruba in the southern Caribbean Sea and about 30 kilometers north of the coast of Venezuela.

The latest addition came only last month when I received an email from Argentina where a family branch build a successful business in liquid container transport.

When and how did you get interested in genealogy and family history?

I was one of those persons who didn’t really discuss their ancestry with their parents. When dad and mum passed away they left some photo albums and I had no idea who these people were. I came to the realisation that perhaps my own children/grandchildren want to know in the future about their ancestry and decided to document as much as I can. So the research started about 7 years ago. Look around at the various genealogy sites and decided to document what I found in WikiTree. 

Who's your favorite ancestor and why?

Not really do have a specific favorite one but I do know who I admire for what they did. Most Kraaijenbrinks came from the Achterhoek areas around the village of Dinxperlo. Not different from many developments in other countries as most of the work came from working on the land. Families grew and work became more difficult to find, hence some Kraaijenbrink families move from one side of the Netherlands (Gelderland in the East to Zuid-Holland in the West). I am guessing this was the first wave of internal migration. Then work becomes more difficult in Zuid-Holland and a better life was promised overseas, so the second migration international wave of Kraaijenbrink individuals and families move to Canada, United States, and Indonesia. Imagine the hardships these migrants had to endure building a new future in a strange place and a new language for their families. I can see the same struggle for my parents: Indonesia, Dutch New Guinea (now the province West Papua in Indonesia), The Netherlands, and then finally Australia).

Tell us about a brick wall you were able to break down or one you hope to bust through.

This is an easy one for me. Hope to find more connections for the Indonesian family branches. Already collecting stories I received from several Indonesian cousins and hopefully it is not too late to get a better picture for the Muller family branch.

(Interview continues in comments. If you have a comment, please post an answer so it does not get mixed in. Thanks!)

WikiTree profile: Ludwig Kraayenbrink
in The Tree House by Eowyn Walker G2G Astronaut (2.0m points)

If you could pick one person in history to be related to, who would it be and why?

Always excited about Marco Polo’s adventures late 1200’s from Venice to Asia, within China, and to South-East Asia (Burma, Indonesia, Vietnam). As a teenager I loved reading “The Travels of Marco Polo” and wondering if everything he saw is the truth. Nevertheless, he must have been extremely clever to survive dealing with so many cultures in Asia and coming back to Venice.

What are some of your interests outside of genealogy?

Run my own Local Government ICT Consultancy business after I semi-retired in 2013. Loved to assist Councils getting the best corporate applications for their business requirements. Moderate and manage a LinkedIn Australian Local Government ICT group. Collect old/historic pubs, churches, and council buildings photos in Pinterest. Participate in other volunteering activities such as the maintenance of church holiday beach shacks. Like reading all sort of books. Follows the local soccer and football team and generally likes watching major sports such as tennis, swimming and the Olympics. Most of all I love to be with my immediate and extended family and looking after my 3-year grandson. Must say he is the most tiring interest I have.

How long have you been on WikiTree and what do you spend the most time doing?

Started in March 2012 after an extensive review of several genealogy sites. Generally spend short bursts of time on WikiTree doing either correction work, my regular Greeter project Friday session, and making connections. The latter are great challenges as people provide me with new information, question details in existing profiles, or provide me with further sources. I have been known to work on WikiTree whilst waiting at the airport for a plane when doing interstate local government projects. Family say “I am obsessed”, I say “WikiTree relaxes me”. This means I am a member of the Greeters, Data Doctors, Connectors, Dutch Roots, and Indonesian projects. 

What brought you to WikiTree?

Did try the free versions of several Genealogy sites before finding in a Google search WikiTree. Basically like WikiTree mission to grow one accurate family tree with only one profile for each person and the collaboration approach for all the members to participate. Being a member of the Greeter project since 2013/14 I have seen the improvements that has been made in the ‘New Guest” greeting process and my hat off for all the Project Coordinators/Leaders volunteers particularly the Greeter Team Leaders.

What is your favorite thing about WikiTree?

No doubt the one person, one profile philosophy, followed by connecting people across the world. This week I received an email from a person (not a WikiTree member) in US querying a profile I created in 2012 regarding whether one of 2 persons in the 1700’s in his family tree can be the same person. Did some research and found this wasn’t the case. Then he asked me if I can find any connections as the family tree was handed over from a relative created 30 years ago. A new challenge and new connections to be made. Finally, I do like the Source-A-Thon and Clean-A-Thon challenges and have participated in these since their inceptions.

If you could improve one thing about WikiTree, what would it be?

One issue I do encountered on a regular Greeter basis is that for some people the WikiTree user interface seems to be overwhelming and therefore creates the perception it is too difficult to use or don’t understand what all the text means. Although I do like the latest page format, some further research should be made to make the profile page simple and easy to understand. Another improvement for the new members would be a simple 1-page guide about some of the field standards e.g. when using the place names what do the years between brackets mean, or some basic rules for entering data into the profile based on the country e.g. in The Netherlands there is no middle name as the concept of a middle name doesn’t exist. I was ignorant on this detail and now have to correct 1000’s of profiles. My guess is that there are many of these including a basis profile text template and a simple data entry guide would be the way to go, so new guests don’t make simple data entry mistakes that have to be corrected in the future.

What is an example of how WikiTree has helped you with your genealogy or how you’ve helped genealogy with WikiTree?

Already mentioned that through WikiTree and the availability of the profiles using common public search engines many people across the world have contacted me providing more information to expand mine and the global family tree. Obtaining connected family trees containing in some cases hundreds of people and adding them to WikiTree does provide the objective on becoming one big family tree.

Any tips for someone just starting out on WikiTree?

  • Start slowly and get use to the WikiTree format and standards using the Help pages and in the future perhaps using a simple data entry instruction page (more than 1 page I personally switch off) 

  • Be aware there are many specific country, country areas, and subject projects; project members are able to assist you when required

  • The Honor code mentions to be courteous to other members and understand that there are many different cultures across the world participating in making the WikiTree global tree; what is normal in your culture may not be in another

  • Remember that WikiTree is a collaborative effort and therefore older profiles are available to other members to be improved; be courteous when making changes to other profile manager’s profiles

  • Don’t hesitate to use the G2G forum when you have question especially with road blocks; someone out there in WikiTree land may able to assist

Dear Ludwig,

I have come across your name many times as our trees are connected through [[Krajenbrink-255|Annette Jeanette Henriëtte Winkelaar]] as she is the first wife of my great grandfather [[Dagevos-1|Petrus Johannes Dagevos]].

I fully agree with you on the middle name issue in The Netherlands and I hope this will change in the near future.

Last but not least, I would like to thank you for your enormous effort on WikiTree.

It is much appreciated and I am sure not only by me.

With kindest regards from Spain,

Carolina Dagevos Millin
Hi Ludwig you have very interesting family history, i found it good to read,and  thankyou for you help over the years, .with

Carson family history, and any help i needed with Wiki Tree

Merrilyn Hunter


14 Answers

+15 votes
Ludwig! It's nice to get to know you a little better. I always appreciated your attention to detail when I was leading the Greeter project.

The story about your surname spelling is fascinating!
by Julie Ricketts G2G6 Pilot (430k points)
+12 votes
Ludwig, very nice to meet you.  This was an interesting read.
by Michelle Enke G2G6 Pilot (337k points)
+14 votes
Ludwig, great interview and I enjoyed reading all of your answers. So glad to have you as a Greeter and thank you for your contributions to all of WikiTree!!
by Virginia Fields G2G Astronaut (1.0m points)
+12 votes
Wonderful to read your story Ludwig!  Thank you for letting us know about you!  So glad you picked up the genealogy torch for your kids.
by SJ Baty G2G Astronaut (1.1m points)
+10 votes
Thank you Ludwig! Nice to read more about you and how I recognize myself: "WikiTree relaxes me", I can say that to the people near me :)

Yours, from Amsterdam and 14 degrees away from you
by B. W. J. Molier G2G6 Mach 7 (75.6k points)
+10 votes
Thanks for sharing your story Ludwig!   We seem to share similar ideas about WikiTree.
by Peggy McReynolds G2G6 Pilot (450k points)
+11 votes

So awesome to read about Ludwig!smiley

by Maggie N. G2G Astronaut (1.0m points)
+8 votes
Hi Ludwig!

I see you on the Greeters schedule, but now I know a bit more about you. :)

Good luck with the Indonesian branch of your family!

by Claire Nava G2G6 Mach 2 (20.5k points)
+8 votes

Nice to read about you on the Featured WikiTreer.

Only 17 degrees of separation! No wonder I keep bumping into you on WikiTree. Jan Kraijenbrink 1692 and his brother Gerrit Krajenbrink 1681 from Dinxperloo. One of my uncles married a Kraaijenbrink. My mother's side of the family is from the Aalten, Ijzerlo, Dinxperloo, Suderwick area.

It is always interesting as I build out the extended WikiTree family, to bump into one of your profiles. The roots always seem to lead back to the same part of the Achterhoek.
by John te Raa G2G1 (1.0k points)
+7 votes
Nice to read a bit more about how you are involved with WikiTree Ludwig.

It is amazing how Greeters seem to find time to be involved with other things on the tree as well as welcoming our new members.
by Hilary Gadsby G2G6 Pilot (254k points)
+5 votes

Ludwig, nice to read your story. And I see we are connected 35 degrees around the world. Fascinating.
by Lothar Wolf G2G6 Pilot (104k points)
+6 votes
Hi Ludwig, Really enjoyed your story, feel I know you better now.  I enjoy your support and working with you in the greatest gang, the greeters are a great bunch.

A fascinating read, So many name variations
by Janet Wild G2G6 Pilot (268k points)
+6 votes

I enjoyed reading your narrative, Ludwig.

And when I looked at my 20-step connection path to you (unusually short considering our disparate geographies), I noted that it was extremely similar to my connection path to last week's Member of the Week, B. W. J. Molier. And now I know that you are the member who deserves principal credit for connecting some emigrants from Gelderland to their descendants in Michigan, one of whom married my father's second cousin. Thanks for your role in building linkages within our interconnected WikiTree. heart

by Ellen Smith G2G Astronaut (1.3m points)
+4 votes

What a great interview, Ludwig! I really enjoy working with you and it is nice to get to know a little more about your interests. laugh

by Mindy Silva G2G6 Pilot (921k points)

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