Crommelin Family Reunion 2007

The 2007 Crommelin Family Reunion took place on Saturday September 15th 2007.

Location: The event took place in the fabulous home and garden of Gulian and Trix Crommelin-de Jonge in Joppe (a small village near Gorssel, province of Gelderland, Netherlands). It started at about 11am and continued until about 5pm.

Visitors/guests: There were about 60 guests: about one third were born Crommelin and two thirds are related by marriage as either partner or child. There were eight guests from abroad: 2 from Australia, 2 from England, and 1 each from the USA, France, Switzerland and Germany. There were 9 children under 12 years of age.

Group Photo - about 60 participants
(Click to enlarge)


We had a sunny day with temperatures of about 20 degrees Centigrade (lower 70s F.), a little cloudy at times, but no rain! So, most activities took place on the lawn in the large garden. Two of the lectures took place inside the house, using computers and beamers for the presentations. Children and dogs could play and run around in the afternoon. The swimming pool became the main meeting point for the Crommelin children (although the water was quite cold!).


The host, Gulian Crommelin, welcomed the guests, explaining some background of this unique location for the family gathering. The house and garden used to be part of a larger property (about 16 acres), of an estate called “Huis te Werken” (“House to Work”). The “Huis te Werken” was bought by the Van Nieukerken family in 1908 as a small (sic!) holiday home where the The Hague based architects firm - a father and two sons - liked to relax during summer time. They also planted trees on what was then mainly heath land. Their eldest son Marie Adrianus van Nieukerken was the unmarried heir; he carried out major expansion works to the estate and lived there permanently from WW II onwards.

His eldest niece Laurine van Nieukerken was married to Jaap Crommelin, the parents of 7 children. Three of these children attended today’s reunion: Gulian, Mariad and their youngest sister Otteline Jansen-Crommelin.

The original estate was then split into four parts. The house where the reunion took place was constructed in 1978 on one of these parts (about two acres) by Trix’ parents, Mr. and Mrs. de Jonge-van Lonkhuizen. Gulian and Trix settled here in 2001 to take care of her (now late) mother.

The chairman of the board of the Crommelin foundation, Robert, gave a special warm welcome to the eldest family members (83-92 years) present: Aunt Liet Koppen-de Kanter, Aunt Totie Deketh-Crommelin, Aunt May Crommelin-Huyssen van Kattendyke, Aunt Renee Crommelin-van de Poll and Uncle Henk de Kanter (the latter from California).

Robert also announced the appointment of May van Oordt-Crommelin as foundation secretary, as Lous Crommelin-van Genderen Stort stood down from this post after six years. He thanked her for both her great efforts and dedication.

Govert Deketh (Geneva, Switzerland) was honoured for the team effort, coordinating with Miff Crommelin and Patrick Serné (both in Canada) in setting up, developing data, and maintaining the Crommelin-family website.

Anne Marie Sillem-Crommelin and Liesbeth Crommelin during the archive discussion
(Left: Henk de Kanter, on the right: Reinhard & Adriana Crommelin, Alexander Crommelin)

Crommelin Archives Project

Anne Marie Sillem-Crommelin and Liesbeth Crommelin were honoured for their efforts in researching a suitable location for the Crommelin family archives. Anne Marie explained why they selected the historical archives of the city of Amsterdam. The next step will be an international fund raising programme to make this valuable Crommelin family archive accessible for family and other genealogical research efforts. An important part of the needed funds (€ 6’000) had so far been raised, but much more is needed.

We are asking all Crommelin family members, around the world, to please donate more to reach the required €15,000 to get started. Every contribution helps!

Donations can be sent to:

Rabobank in Bussum
Account number
Swift number nl71 rabo 0383 7910 14
in the name of the Crommelin Archives Project.

Lous Crommelin, Sophie Donker and Elske Crommelin (left: Totie Deketh, right: Henk Visser)

To thank them for their efforts in organizing the family reunion, flowers were presented to Lous Crommelin-van Genderen Stort, Elske Crommelin-van Dijken and Sophie Donker-Crommelin. Their efforts in organising this event (not to forget the perfect catering) were greatly appreciated by all.

Lecture 1: presented by Govert Deketh from Geneva, Switzerland. He gave an overview of the planning and execution of the Crommelin Family Website, which started 2006. This project has as basic objective to keep the family history alive (and lively) for current and future Crommelin generations. The site contains the family tree and profiles on family members, historical data (such as biographies, family crest information and information about ancestors), it has a ‘news’ section highlighting newly found family information (births and death announcements) a section concerning the family foundation, etc. – work in progress at all times….

Recent studies have also uncovered many new (or old) Crommelin branches in Australia, the USA and Switzerland. These are not currently present in the so far “official” family base as presented in the Nederland’s Patriciaat (“blue book), but will be introduced on the website (and also in the Crommelin Journal).

Govert Deketh on the Crommelin website

During the delicious lunch on the garden lawn a great juggler surprised us with fascinating conjuring tricks for both children and adults.

Lecture 2: presented by the Curator of the City of Delft's Museums. He gave information about an exhibition on Ir. Hugo Tutein Nolthenius (1863-1944). Hugo was a chemist and became a director of the “Oliefabrieken Calvé-Delft” in 1898, but had many other hobbies and interests. He loved skating and driving cars and was a skilful art lover and expert. He was an amateur artist in areas such as photography and making ceramics. Hugo was in frequent contact with Johan Thorn-Prikker (a Dutch painter, designer, and decorator in the Art Nouveau style), perhaps best known for his use of symbolism in stained-glass windows. Hugo had Johan Thorn-Prikker make stained-glass windows for his house in Delft and several portraits of himself and his sister and brother. Together with his cousin, H.H. (Harm) Kamerlingh Onnes, Hugo experimented also with glass painting, which Kamerlingh Onnes used for his ceramics art.

His sister Aunt Julie Tutein Nolthenius was married to Robert Daniel Crommelin. Some of their descendants were present at the reunion today: Aunt Liet Koppen-de Kanter, Liesbeth Crommelin, Robert Crommelin (Velp), Anne Marie Sillem born Crommelin and Christine van Marle born Crommelin.

Lecture 3: presented by Bernard van Wickevoort Crommelin from Osnabrück, Germany. Bernard had found the name of Walter Crommelin in some medieval literature relating to the Erembald clan in the early 12th century in West- Flandres (now Belgium). The name Walter Crommelin was mentioned in relation to this clan that played a role in the bloody murder of Count Charles of Flandres in 1177/1178 near an altar in a chapel in the hamlet Lisseweghe between Bruges and Oostend.

So, the first now known vestiges of the Crommelin family probably date back to this Flanders region as early as the 12th century being chaplains, etc. Of course, there is still much research needed to fill the gaps in our pedigree that more solidly link these early Crommelins to Armand Pierrezn Crommelin (16th century) who lived in Ingelmunster.

Bernard van Wickevoort Crommelin, with on the left Tijo van Marle and Gisela Crommelin and on the right Aunt Liet Koppen-de Kanter

We all felt happy to meet, sorry to part and are looking forward to happily meeting again!

Mariad Crommelin
Gay Crommelin
Govert Deketh

Photographs courtesy of Freek Crommelin