Chapter 1

Frederik Wilhelm Giesendanner

1889 - 1966


Like I told you before, the search for my ancestors began on
an afternoon, when I was in the archives of Amsterdam for my
The only thing I did, with the help (and lots of it) from the
archivist, was to write down who the father of my grandfather
was, then his father and so on. One piece of paper contained
our Amsterdam history from son to father back to my
oldgrandfather born May 11, 1759, seven generations back,
found in no time, but time was up and I had to leave.

The next time I went there, I had been reading about genealogy
and I was a little bit better at it. By now I knew it was
important to write down as much information as there is and to
include the source where you found it.

There were more Giesendanners than I had imagined and slowly a
profile could be made of the Giesendanner family in Amsterdam.
I was still under the impression that I would be the last of
the Mohicans. Being the only son of my parents, without any
nephews with the Giesendanner name, the family was to  become

My father was born as the fourth child and first son of Frederik
(Frits) Wilhelm Giesendanner (*1889) and Johanna (Annie)
Wilhelmina Lowies (*1897). They married in Amsterdam, when he
was 26 and she was 18 years old on Wednesday, December 15,

Their first children were twins, Frederika and  Wilhelmina
(Mien), born August 31, 1916.  Frederika died as a one year
old baby on Tuesday January 15, 1918, Wilhelmina  Giezendanner
Geertruida Giesendanner was their third child and died on
Sunday, January 20, 1918, as a 83 day old baby in the same
week as her oldest sister.
All the children had whooping-cough and developed pneumonia.
Only my Aunt Mien was strong enough to survive this in the
hospital and the family lost two children in one week.
My Grandmother carried her grief in silence and never talked
about it very much, certainly not to her own children. 
Aunt Mien is still carrying the family name Giezendanner, 
because of a mistake when registrated at birth.
Then my father arrived, Frederik (Frits) Wilhelm Giesendanner,
carpenter, warehouse-clerk and police officer, born on October
17, 1923 in Amsterdam. When young he and
his sister were alone a lot, because Granny  had to work.

My aunt Mien (*1916)  remembers:
" It must have been in 1924, that one of the younger sisters
of my mother used to take care of us, when we were living in
the Palmstraat. The aunt was called Gootje and although my
mother had a wonderful sense of humour, she was very mad
at her younger sister, when finding out that she had
persuaded my brother and me to put one end of a
bicycle-pump in our ear, while she was pumping
the other end."

In 1940, Aunt Mien (*1916) was married, just before 
the very beginning of World War II to 
Willem van Broekhuijsen and had two sons,
called Henk and Frits.

My father entered his notice of marriage in Amsterdam and
married there on March 12, 1947, at the age of 23 to Maria
(Rie) Hendrika Hoedeman (aged 21 years), shopgirl and after
marriage a housewife and mother, born on May 2, 1925 in 
Amsterdam, daughter of Hendrik (Henk) Theodoor 
Hoedeman (driver and postoffice worker) and Maria
(Marie) Hendrika van Veelen (maid and later housewife).
My parents lived in with my mother's parents on the
fourth floor of the Ferdinand Bolstraat 96.

From this marriage:
Johannes (Joop) Wilhelmus Giesendanner, born on December 1,
1948 in Amsterdams.

When I was six years old, we moved to our first own home in
the Albert Cuypstraat 104 (demolished now) and lived there
during the period that I went to elementary school. The last
few months I cycled from our new home in Amsterdam-Osdorp
to and fro my old school to finish the last form.

My father had a younger brother Johannes (Joop) Wilhelmus,
after whom I was named, he was born on January 6, 1926.

Johannes Wilhelmus Giesendanner (1948) latest (=8th)
generation in the Netherlands.
So far my expectations were coming true, I was the last in
line of the Giesendanners. But what about the past, what
would a journey in ancient times bring us.
So far the facts were known from stories in the
family and from my own experience. Further back would
depend on what was to be found in the archives,
let's go back to the paperwork.

The marriage of my grandfather (age 26) was announced in
Amsterdam and  he married Johanna Wilhelmina Lowies
December 15, 1915. I had the privilege to know them both.
Unfortunately my grandmother died when I was 7 years
of age, but I can still remember her warmth and cheerful
character as we marched through her house
in the Gerard Doustraat 3b.

She once gave me a drum and two sticks, she herself rolled a
Radio Times and played the trumpet, together we were the
brassband going around the house. Her little dog, which had an
envious character, completed the act and used to try and bite
me in the legs as we were marching around. She had a hard
working life, because my grandfather was a obstinate man. He
had so many jobs as an engineer or factory-worker, but
always lost them because he could not accept a bossy boss.

They used to run a little shop in several houses where they
lived. There they sold ice-cream during the summer and coal
during winter time, or vegetables, even cats and dogs were
sold. He also worked for the Coca Cola company and just
before the war he sold fruit on the street near the ferry
which ran from the north part of Amsterdam
to Central Station.
Grandma was the steady factor and always earned money by
cleaning houses and delivering newspapers. All the hardship
never took away her happy nature. After Grandma died,
Grandfather lived in the same house for 11 more years.  
As long as I can remember there was always a dog
in the house with him, he knew how to handle them very well.
Once he met somebody with a very nasty dog, who said
that he could never handle his dog. Within a few minutes
the dog was following my Grandfather instead of his owner.
Maybe he had a better way with dogs than he had with people.
As  a  child I had to go pass my Grandpa's house when I came
from school. So I went there quite often to see him. He was
always sitting in front of the window, smoking his big cigars.
Aunt Mien lived in the same street and the dog was a kind of
messenger between their houses. Grandpa did not particularly
like walking and when he needed my Aunt, he used to send the
dog out, saying: " Go fetch Mien" and the dog would run to her
house and start barking at the door, so my Aunt knew that she
was needed at Grandpa's. Another thing I remember very
strongly was the time that I had given him a fairly
expensive box of cigars. He told me to go back to
the tobacconist and exchange them for cheaper ones, 
he preferred cigars over the beautiful box. 
I tell all these events to characterize my Grandfather,
not to judge him.

Now being much older, I wished I could have had the 
opportunity to speak with him about his feelings 
and thoughts. Why had he always been so stubborn, 
right is right and wrong is wrong, no way in between.
Could this run in the family? Self-opinionated certainly is!

Maybe this was also the reason why Aunt Mien, age 7 and my
father, as a baby, were baptized in the Reformed 
Oranjekerk in the Westerstraat.

My father told us:
Once Grandpa was elder of the Evangelical Lutheran Church.
Aunt Mien remembers that a break was caused after 
Grandpa was unemployed. He went to his Parish for help 
in finding work, but they would not help him, unless he 
would do more for the church. These kind of choices were 
unacceptable for him, in his mind this was a kind of blackmail. 
He never went back to his church, later his children were 
baptized in a Reformed church.

Before and during World War II I found many addresses 
where they had lived and asking about that I learned that:

In those days the house-owners had trouble finding tenants.
Therefore they promised new renters new wallpaper or a 
few weeks free of rent if they would occupy their house. 
So it could happen that when my Grandfather came home 
in the evening the neighbours told him that my Grandmother 
had moved to another house, where they could enjoy a rent 
free time. After the war there was a shortage of houses 
and this was no longer possible.

 Subject: family 1889                                                 
Frederik Wilhelm Giesendanner, born in Amsterdam 
Nov 27, 1889,  died there Nov 29, 1966, son of 
Frederik Wilhelm Giesendanner and  
Maartje Zonderland.
He entered a notice of marriage in Amsterdam and 
was married  there Dec 15, 1915 to
Johanna Wilhelmina Lowies, born in Amsterdam 
Apr 16, 1897,  died there Dec 14, 1955, buried in 
Amsterdam, daughter of Johannes Jacobus Wilhelmus 
Josephus Lowies and Geertrui Elfrink.
From this marriage:

  1 Frederika, born in Amsterdam Aug 31, 1916, 
    died there Jan 15, 1918.
  2 Wilhelmina 
  3 Geertruida, born Amsterdam Oct 29, 1917, 
     died there Jan 20, 1918.
  4 Frederik Wilhelm, born in Amsterdam Oct 17, 1923.
  5 Johannes Wilhelmus, born in Amsterdam Jan 06, 1926.


subject: family 1923
Frederik Wilhelm Giesendanner, born in Amsterdam,
Oct 17, 1923, son of Frederik Wilhelm Giesendanner and 
Johanna Wilhelmina Lowies.
He was married in Amsterdam Mar 12, 1947
Maria Hendrika Hoedeman, born in Amsterdam 
May 02, 1925, daughter of Hendrik Theodoor Hoedeman 
and Maria Hendrika van Veelen.
From this marriage:

  1 Johannes Wilhelmus, born in Amsterdam Dec 01, 1948.

Chapter 2