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Location: Andijk, West-Friesland, Noord-Holland, Nederlandmap
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Andijk is a small town on a dike beside the IJsselmeer (used to be called the Zuider Zee) in West-Friesland, right next to Enkhuizen.

Andijk was given town status in 1812, during French rule. But of course it’s been around a lot longer than that. The name Andijk means “on the dike”, which was also called the “Noorderdijk” (north dike). The first mention of dikes in the area is in 1287 when the sea dikes in West Vrieslandt were burst. This, it turns out, was the Zuiderdijk (south dike). The Noorderdijk is first mentioned in a letter in 1319. These dikes did start bursting a lot more often in the 1500’s. Several polders were drained for land, one of the first being “de groote Nesse” in 1513. Mostly these polders made good grassland as water would break through or blow over occasionally, making a little “sluis”. The earliest records we have of Andijk being mentioned are from 1250, when Count Willem 11 mentioned “Aendick en houdt daar enige rust” (peace in Andijk). So someone must have been living there then. Next, in 1483 it’s mentioned that Allard Jansz., son of Jan the first count of Egmond and Josina Waervers, daughter of Waerver, lord of Wervershoof, was born in Andijk. There was a small group of people living and moving to this area just on the old dike, mostly farmers.

Certain areas had their own names such as De Bangaerdt, Krimpen, de Geusebuert, Broekoort. But their churches and stores were in the towns around, such as Streek, Lutjebroek, Grootebroek and Bovenkarspel. That is, until December 21, 1666. At that point, 42 adults were going to the church in Grootebroek and 58 to Lutjebroek. The small handful around the Kathoek who went to Bovenkarspel and a few on the west to Wervershoof are included in the first 2 churches’ records. They decided to build the church on the west side of the village as that was where most of the people lived. The Classis of Enkhuysen helped finance its building and pay its first pastor. Their first pastor was Abraham Hovius, just out of seminary, whose father Jacobus was the pastor in Enkhuizen since 1652. He arrived January 30, 1667.

On 18 September 1667, young dominee Hovius held the first worship service in the new church. His scripture passage was 2 Corinthians 6:16 – you are the temple of God. It lasted 2 hours! Back then people didn’t mind so much – they came back that afternoon for a sermon on Psalm 122:1 and 2 – I was glad when they said to me, let us go up to the house of the Lord. From this point on, Andijk was considered a village.

There were 100 charter members of the church: 42 from Grootebroek and 58 from Lutjebroek. At this point in Dutch history, a person’s last name was his/her father’s name with a form of “son” on the end. However, in the Andijk records we find “beroepsnamen” (names connected with their jobs) from the very first year. This has helped us to identify who was who a lot better. The following occupation names are included from the beginning (some the families kept while others they dropped): brouwer, breeuwer, bullooper, meulen, kruyer, swiep, spicker, coyman, quast, booyer. There were also some that specifically dealt with the sea: buysman, kaagman, dol, boeyer, capiteyn, blocker, hoyschip. There were fishermen and boatmen among them, which made sense as they were living so close to Enkhuizen, a major port where owners of the East and West Indian Companies lived and the church was founded during the Golden Age of the Netherlands. In 1723, 56 years later, Ds. (Dominee) Johannes van Heyck made a new list of church members, according to the area of Andijk they lived in.In de Bangert 2, in Krimpen 14, in de Velthuysen 13, in Munnekey 18 and in het Buurtje 25, totalling 72 in the west. In Geusenbuurt 31, in Broek oord 36 and in beoosten Broekoort 19, 86 in the east. That makes 158 people, meaning the church didn’t grow too much – about 1 person a year! These records, of course, don’t include anyone under the age of 18, when they made profession of faith. Between 1667 and 1705, 617 children were baptized. Of course, many of them died young as did many mothers in childbirth.

So why wasn’t a church built in Andijk by 1580? Because Andijk didn’t exist yet! Some towns, such as Wervershoof and Lutjebroek, had very few Reformed followers, but the Catholic buildings became Reformed because they were in towns. On the other hand, the farmers of the small communities in the Andijk area mostly joined the Reformed Church. They were assigned a town church, and they probably tried to attend them when they could, but because these churches were so far away they did their baptisms and marriages in the one next door: the church in Wervershoof. Until 1667, the area was made up of communities of 3 – 15 families, usually there for one purpose (draining water from the sea; tenants of a monastery, etc.) They, together, became one community while divided into many after the Buurtjeskerk was established.

In 1667 Andijk was made up of several different communities. Krimpen, Bangert, Driehuizen, Buurtje and Munnikij make up the western portion along the coast. Veldhuizen (“field houses”) would have been the farmland further inland, just to the east. Even though they were almost in the Wervershoof church’s back yard, they were expected to go some distance to the Lutjebroek church. To the north and east Geuzebuurt, Broekoort and Boede were clumped together, the first two apparently bigger communities. They belonged to the Grootebroek church, some distance to the south. Kathoek, which apparently joined the Andijk communities sometime after 1667, stood further east the coast some distance from its church in Bovenkarspel. Bangert, Krimpen, Munnikij, Kerkbuurt (Buurtje), Geuzebuurt, Boede and Broekoord. Smaller communities within these areas, it seems, included Kasttenburg, Hoogelandje, Molenhoek, Horn, de Weet, and Fluithoek. Now for more detail on these places:

Geuzenbuurt means Beggars community. They were probably not as wealthy here. Boede would have stood nearby on the other side of Broekoort. Broekoort means “swamp area”. There used to be windmills here to drain the land.

Krimpen stood in a corner right on the border of Wervershoof. It was a community of windmills. Four were placed there in 1545 to drain the Zuiderzee (the Silver Sea) off the land. It seems to be one of the oldest communities in the Andijk area. The word Krimpen may come from an old Dutch word that means “to shrink” or “to bend”. It literally stood in a bend in the land, which is how it may have gotten its name.

Bangert is short for “Bange Hart” (fearful heart), the name of the nunnery that stood there. It was destroyed in the wars between the churches in the early 1600’s. The Bangert was its own community distinct from Andijk for quite some time. 1430 people lived in Bangert in 2007. There is another community called Bangert nearby which lies between Blokker, Hoogkarspel and Westwoud. Just to the south of Bangert was Driehuizen which means “three houses”. Both of these communities were very small. It seems most people here remained Catholic; they attended Catholic services in neighboring Wervershoof.

Buurtje, or “neighborhood”, stood in the center of the western clump of communities. To its north was Munnikij where there once was a monastery; to its south was Bangert where there once was a convent. This would have been the community where many people working for them lived. It’s very likely they both had chapels that the tenants, dike protectors and peasants in the area attended. Then in 1572 most of them joined the Reformed movement and drove the monks and nuns away. It was renamed Kerkbuurt in 1667, meaning “church neighborhood”, since the new Reformed church was built here in the center of the previous religious communities.

Muncky (Munnekai) used to have a monastery of Franciscan monks (thus the Munne, or monk), associated with the monastery of Francis of Assissi in Grotebroek. The monks were required to provide themselves with at least some of their own food. One thing they had was a wharf (kade, or kai) where they kept their boats for fishing. For a long time the Molensloot (windmill canal) went from Grootebroek to Munnekei, where it ended by the Zuiderzee. The count of Holland said that people from both ends of the footpath beside it must fix and build it up. Some monks moved to Munnikei to do that repair work. This monastery was destroyed in the early 1600’s. There is also a Munnikij in Schellinkhout. It means “the quay of the monks,” where they kept ships. Originally built on a terp, Frisian monks used to own much of the land in the area.


People have lived in the West-Friesland area just west of the city of Enkhuizen for thousands of years. The remains of villages and burial sites have been found in the area, but none specifically in Andijk. Probably somewhere around 1200 a Franciscan monastery was founded on the coast (now called Munnikij) and a convent called Bange Hart just south of it (now called Bangert), both less than 3 miles (4 kilometers) from the village of Wervershoof. We don’t know if they brought their own servants and farmers or if there were already people working the land in the area. Either way these people, ancestors of ours lost in the mists of time, would have attended their religious services.

The biggest danger of living on the Dutch coast was the constant encroaching of the sea on their land. Much land disappeared and many lives were lost as the dikes the people built were broken during storms and the water flooded the land. In 1537 a Molenakte (windmill act) was passed that specified windmills be set up to drain the sea out of the area land. Over the next century windmills, sluices and storehouses to repair the dikes were built in the area: Krimpen (between the convent and Wervershoof), Broekoort (further north and east) and Kathoek (further east, closer to northern Enkhuizen). Communities were built up around them that probably also depended on the monastery and convent for religious exercises.

In the mid 1500’s, many of the people in the area abandoned Catholicism and in 1572 Enkhuizen and the area surrounding it officially embraced Calvinism. All the churches and other religious buildings were “cleansed” of anything Catholic and claimed by the newly established Reformed Church. Our unknown ancestors, the people of Munnikij and Bangert, and the community of Buurtje which stood between them, would probably have encouraged the monks and nuns who remained Catholic to flee elsewhere. At any rate the old Catholic buildings soon disappeared, although the monastery’s wharf remained in use.

In reality there were 3 groups of people in a religious sense at this time. First there were those whose convictions were decidedly Reformed. These were the people who took over the church buildings, redecorated them to Reformed taste and became members. Secondly there were those who remained faithful to the pope and the Roman Catholic Church. These people were chased out of their buildings by their Reformed siblings and cousins and probably worshiped in homes for several years. In 1627 they dedicated a new building in Wervershoof, the only nearby town to keep a large Catholic population. While probably receiving some persecution for their faith, it wouldn’t have been strong since the Netherlands allowed both faiths to practice. The third group were those who simply didn’t care. This group may have been bigger in the cities; people in the towns seemed to join one or the other. They became Reformed in outward appearance, having their children baptized in the established church building, but would have kept many Catholic beliefs and practices at home.

Now, the people of this area would have worshiped at the church buildings in the monastery and convent, joining the religious orders in their services. They were now gone. There seem to have been about 60 Reformed families living in this area around 1620 when we first find actual names listed in baptism & marriage records in Wervershoof. By now there were three distinct groups of communities that interacted with each other along this part of the dike: Wervershoof with the communities of Onderdijk, Sint Anna and Zwaagdijk-Oost, the old religious order communities of Bangert, Buurtje and Munnikij with nearby Krimpen, Veldhuizen (farms in the inland forest) and Driehuizen about 3 km to the east, and the communities of Geusebuurt, Broekoort and Boede about 4 km to the northeast of that. Wervershoof had its own church; Buurtje and area residents were expected to go to the Lutjebroek church 7 km to the south, and Geusebuurt and area residents were expected to go to the Grootebroek church 8 km to their south. Most of these people did their baptisms and marriages in the Wervershoof church since it was so much closer than their own churches. Thus the tiny Wervershoof church’s records are swollen to over twice their normal size by the other two communities for several decades.

In 1667, 95 years after the Reformation took the area by storm, the two areas east of Wervershoof dedicated a new church building, having been given permission to do so a few years beforehand. It was built in Buurtje, halfway between the two now defunct religious communities, possibly to give the church the largest amount of credence. One hundred people are listed as charter members.

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