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 https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Space:Kraijenbrink_Name_Study .
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!)