The Petersen family


This family originates from the Western part of the Betuwe (central Holland), to be precise the area between Beusichem, Zoelen and Tiel. It is a small-scale bucolic landscape dotted with tiny villages, where time stood still. When searching we visited Beusichem, Zoelmond, Ravenswaaij and Tiel.
The personnel at the regional archive  Regionaal Archief Rivierenland   at Tiel and Buren have been very cooperative and friendly.

The Betuwe region between Beusichem and Buren

The Zoel brookThe villages Zoelen en Zoelmond are named after the small brook Zoel, which is hard to find (see picture left).

The oldest known ancestor is Michiel Petersen, who was married 1752 in Utrecht to  Liesbeth van Muiswinkel. They lived "on the Opstal" in the Ravenswaaij community. This place was quite near the Zoelmond church however, so they went to church there. This explains why they needed a consent from Rev. Keer of Ravenswaaij everytime a child of their's was christened.
A path next to the Zoelmond church led to their dwelling. The brother and sisters Muijswinkel certainly had possessions, but sold these to their mother and step-father Willem van Schaik. This was a.o. a semi-detached house in the Donkerstraat, now the place of the church yard. 
The Muiswinkel ancestors were farmers in Zoelmond and Beusichem, who often had official functions as alderman (source: Robert van Maaswinkel).

The Muiswinkel farmstead between Ravenswaaij and ZoelmondBecause of his wife's name we assume that they came from the Muizenwinkel farm, already visible on maps from 1860 and still existing, as can be seen on the map above and on the picture left. 
In "Van der Aa Geographical Lexicon" (1847) I found this description:
"Nowadays there is still ... a large farmstead, called Muiswinkel, in possession of the gentleman A.W. Baron van Brienen, which appears to have been a castle in former days and must have been shot at considerably, as proven by the marks, still visible".

From their original region the Petersens spread to places like Doorn, Zeist, Amsterdam, Den Haag and Rotterdam.
The  genealogy  of these descendants is called Petersen Family - General , we welcome comments and additions on them via email: 

 Around Harderwijk another Petersen family exists, which however is not directly related.

Via the regional archivist at Wijk bij Duurstede we came into contact with Jan and Henny Petersen in Doorn, who had already done quite a lot of investigations. Their branch of the family is mainly around Doorn and Zeist. We call this family the "Doorn branch" and the result of their efforts can be found here:  Petersen family - Doorn 
For further information please contact via email:

3 Petersens from Doorn and 1 from The Hague Left you see a bunch of Petersens in Doorn (Jan Bernhard Juliaan, son Michiel and brother Michiel Adriaan) together with my wife Louise Helene (Loes) Petersen, who originates from The Hague.
Geertje van Gelder  Johannes Karel Petersen The family of my wife moved via Amerongen to Amsterdam. Karel Petersen was a coach driver and took his young bride Geertje van Gelder there. Alas, both died young, and the youngest of their children was even at an orphanage, though later she became nanny to the children of the respected Quarles van Ufford family.
His son Johannes Karel moved to Rotterdam as an apprentice stone mason. After his marriage they moved to The Hague where he started a stone mason's shop.
At great speed he crossed through The Hague streets on his Harley Davidson. One could also expect him at the annual TT racing in Assen (below left). On the picture below right he is accompanied by photographer Lunow on the back seat.
At the TT motorraces in Assen Johannes Karel Petersen on his Harley Davidson
Look at this genealogy via:   Familie Petersen     Home