Meet our Members: Joan Hollander

+22 votes

Hi WikiTreers!

500px-Meet_our_Members_Photos-81.jpgIt's time to get to know another one of our wonderful WikiTreers. This week's member is Joan Hollander. She is a Project Coordinator for our Netherlands Project.

Joan became a Wiki Genealogist in October of 2015.

What are some of the surnames you are researching?

Over time I got involved in a lot of different names, but my main research has the following names:

Paternal side: Hollander, Scholten, van Staverden, van den Ber

Maternal side: van Dijk, van Dyk, Smit, Schipper, van de Beek

On my husband's side: Dubbelboer, de Vries, Dijkstra, Scheper

Currently I’m only researching vertically, but my goal is to complete my 10th generation and then I’m going horizontally as well. I always try to document as many children as I can find, with at least one source. So once I’m ready to expand my research I’ve got something to start with.

What are some of the locations you are researching?

Main areas are the provinces of Overijssel and Gelderland (The Netherlands). My ancestors from both sides basically come from the same region, a triangle that goes from Kampen, Overijssel to Oldebroek, Gelderland, to Doornspijk, Elburg and Oosterwolde (Gelderland). But recently my research also brought me to Germany. That was really surprising. It is however interesting that I haven’t found any ancestors from both sides marrying. Looking at the time and the region it is very likely that I will find an earlier connection between my paternal and maternal side.

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

For me, the passing of my grandmother in 2013 got me interested: I learned she was married before she married my grandfather in 1950, which I didn’t know about. I became really curious to learn more about her.

I also learned her full name. For me she was always Oma Hollander or Oma Lies, but her full name is so beautiful, Elisabeth Allegonda. This made me wonder who else was using a different (nick) name. My grandpa for sure not, he was simply Klaas.

Who's your favorite ancestor and why?

I don’t really have a favorite, but I feel a lot of sympathy for my fourth great grandfather from father's side, Jan Reins Pap. On the night of February 3 to 4, 1825, there was a huge storm surge that flooded large areas of the Zuiderzee coast. Jan lost both his parents and 5 of his siblings (between 4 and 24 years) that night. His father's body took a few days to be found. It must have been heartbreaking to go through this and to go to the municipality to report all this loss. But he also makes me curious. Why and how did he survive? Their home was on the dyk protecting the inlands from the sea. Wasn’t he at home? Could he swim or was he able to get himself into safety, did a tree save his life? Was he found in time? I will never know the answer, but I’m happy he survived. If not for him, I would not have been here today telling part of his story.

Tell us about a brick wall you hope to bust through.

Until now I ran into one brick wall that I can’t tear down. My second great grandfather from mother's side was born out of wedlock. In that period it was common that a mother would marry the child’s father later on in life, but his mother died when he was about a year old. He was raised by his grandmother and her second husband. Until now I have been unable to find anything to break this wall down. My last resort would be a DNA test, I have one uncle left that is a direct male descendant. I really hope he is willing to do the test. 

(interview continues in comments)

WikiTree profile: Joan Hollander
in The Tree House by Eowyn Walker G2G Astronaut (1.9m points)
retagged by Eef van Hout

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

Christopher Columbus because of his urge to explore and discover. I’m a “restless” soul myself and love to discover and travel and there is not really one place that I would call home. I feel comfortable almost everywhere, as long as I have my loved ones around me and nature, the option to breathe freely. 

What are some of your interests outside of genealogy?

Spending time with my own family, especially outdoors. In August 2020 I became a mother for the first time and I hope to teach my son to love the outdoors as much as we do. I also love to read. Already at a young age I would read a lot and everything, even the back of a milk carton. These days I go for easy books, Young Fantasy etc.. I’m not really into “heavy” books. I like to keep it airy. And in the quiet hours of the evening I like to binge watch. All kinds of series and topics have my interest, currently I’m (trying to) watching “The Last Kingdom”, and wonder if I might have some Viking ancestors as well.

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

I joined WikiTree in October 2015. Most of the time I spend on correcting my own Gedcom profiles. How naive I was when I uploaded that one. Taking me a lot of time. Lately I’ve started to add new ancestors. Working my way generation through generation. At the moment I’m working on my 7th generation.
From the beginning I joined the Netherlands Project (formerly known as the Dutch Roots Project), after all, this is where my roots are. Recently I became a coordinator within the Netherlands Project. I’m going to coordinate the transition for all project documentation. But I’m sure I’ll end up doing more than just that.

What brought you to WikiTree?

I’m not sure, but I believe I was looking for a good way of keeping track of my family tree. So I assume Google was my best friend here.

What is your favorite thing about WikiTree?

The collaboration. Others are so friendly and willing to help you. We all are here with the same goal. To grow and improve our tree. I love the Fanchart especially as this gives me a quick overview, per generation, telling me where to continue my research. And it’s wonderful to see more and more empty spaces being filled. The connection finder and featuring members is also great, I’m curious to see if I have any relatives on WikiTree, somebody with a shared interest, as within my direct family there is nobody to share this with.

I also like to participate in the Marathons and Challenges. It’s a good opportunity to get to know your team a bit better, to stay motivated to keep working on WikiTree.

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

Navigating through all the documentation. As a newbie I found it really hard to find guidance on how to do certain things, which rules or styles to adhere to. That is one of the reasons I took on the role of project coordinator. To help develop, restructure and organize the available information.

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

Tips in researching methods, help deciphering old handwritings, suggestions on where to continue a search.

I was once contacted by somebody that found a profile I created on WikiTree, Bartus Hollander. We are third cousins three times removed. He was looking for more information on Bartus and his family. A friend of his was directly related to Bartus and his mother was hoping to find some living descendants and was curious to find out more about her uncle. This question led me on a quest and I found out about “my” first resistance fighter. Sadly he passed away in GrossRosen (currently Poland) as POW, but I was also able to find a living descendant and they got re-connected. Bartus his profile is also one of my profiles that gives me great pride. I was able to tell a story and not just state facts.

Any tips for someone just starting out on WikiTree?

Check if there is a project for the area you are working on or interested in. They can help you get started and provide you with the correct guidelines for WikiTree and the project.

Wow Joan! Nice to meet you WT-wise. And what great stories you found at WT about your family.

Thank you for sharing and I hope you will be here for a long time as you re a fantastic add not only to the Netherlands project but also to WikiTree!

4 Answers

+9 votes
Congratulations on being nominated as member of the week, Joan.

If you need help with your german ancestors don't hesitate asking me. Good look with your further research.
by Dieter Lewerenz G2G Astronaut (1.9m points)
+8 votes
Congratulations, Joan, and thank you for all you do for our tree.  It's great to hear about the work of researchers in the Netherlands.
by Mark Weinheimer G2G6 Pilot (712k points)
+7 votes
Hi Joan,

What a fantastic interview! So much fun reading it and getting to know you much better. I'm so glad you accepted being a part of our team and proud to have you on board..
by Margreet Beers G2G6 Pilot (104k points)
+3 votes
Hi Joan, I have DNA connections to people names deVries and Hollander.  I know there are other Genis profiles here but I can't find any connections to my family.  We do appear to have a YDNA connection to a family from Spain that might have emigrated to the Netherlands to escape the Inquisition.  Would love to find a Genis from there to Y test. Any suggestions for finding someone?
by June Genis G2G Crew (590 points)

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