Below is the facade Netherlands Reformed Church in the very Centre of the village of Maasdam.
The oldest chapel in Maasdam dates from 1427, but was demolished in 1871 to be replaced on the same spot by the still existing Netherlands Reformed Church. This is why the grave of our ancestor Arien Lenertszn from 1644 could be found under the floor of the "new" church during the restauration of 1971. From the fact that he was burried in the church, it may be concluded that he was an elderman as were many Maasdams after him. On the map above house 6 (the so called "Schouthuis" = house of the sheriff, see next page) where some of the Maasdams lived during more than 200 years, is shown just behind the church.
The back of the church with graveyard where many family members are buried
Grave tomb of Arien Lenertszn (1565-1644) in the Netherlands Reformed Church of Maasdam.
The Family "Van der Duyn van Maasdam"
In 1426, just after the Elisabeth floodings, King Philips of Burgundy gave Jan Nemerij, first landlord (in the original sense of this word) of the area, the right to rebuild the village of Maasdam. After several succesions, the land came in hands of the family Van der Duyn in 1726. Adam Adriaan van der Duyn, lord of Maasdam, was already mentioned in the chronicles of the village in 1720 when the lord was present during the baptismal ceremony of Adriana Maria Maasdam, named after the lord and lady Maria Van der Duyn. Adriana was the daughter of Adriaan Maasdam Gillisz, the deputy mayor of the town. It is therefore very likely that there were close relations between the Van der Duyn and the Maasdam family. Since 1580 the family Van der Duyn was residing in The Hague. The members of this family were barons, one was chamberlain to Prince William V of Orange and Generals in the army of the Republic of the Seven Provinces of Holland (see note below) . In 1813, in the chaotic period preceding the battle of Waterloo, a "triumvirat", consisting of the noblemen Van Hoogendorp, Van der Duyn van Maasdam and Van Limburg Stirum governed the Provinces. In 1956 one of the last descendants of the family Van der Duyn van Maasdam died and bequeathed all his properties to the town of Maasdam. The fruits of this legacy are donated to the poor during Christmas each year.
The Princes of Orange
Note that the Dutch Royal Family has a Republican background. The Princes of Orange were Governors of the Republic and became Kings only in 1830 after the Napoleonic period.
"Maas en Veldlust" in Maasdam also called "The House of the Lords De Witt" or "Resenburgh". It is not exactly known how and when this seigniorial domain came into the Maasdam family, but in 1788 Machalina Maasdam, married to Johannes Holle and living in Rotterdam (she is the daughter of Cornelis Maasdam), sells several properties in Maasdam including the manor house "Maas en Veldlust" before a notary in Dordrecht. Unfortunatedly the Mansion was demolished and the grounds turned into agricultural land in 1825. After 1960 a new residential area was built on these grounds in the after war expansion of the village.
Map of the village Maasdam from the second half of the 17th century.
3. Manor house "Resenburg" later called "Maas en Veldlust" (One could translate this name as: "Meuse and Country delight").
6. The "Schouthouse" (House of the Sheriff) of the family Maasdam. In the centre of this map one can see the lake with the compass rose. This lake was the connection between The Maas river and several smaller streams, canals and ditches like De Vliet going to the north of the map. The surrounding polders, like the "Nieuw-Bonaventura" that play such an important role in the lives of our ancestors, are clearly visible.
This handwritten text is an announcement of a sale of Apples & Pears from the Mansion "Maas en Veldlust" in July 1737.
Map of the "gorzen" of Bonaventura by Symon and Corn. Jansz. copy of 1592. The village of Maasdam right under. The East is on top, the North left.