Why this research?

As probably many people have, I also wondered from time to time about my ancestral roots, until august 2002, I never got to research and document this.


Flexible yet Strong

just before World War II broke out in Europe, my father who lived together with his family in the Dutch East IndiŽs, arrived in Holland, together with my Grandfather, Grandmother and his brothers and sisters.  My Grandfather returned to the Dutch East IndiŽs earlier then the rest of the family.  The rest of the family planned to return later (as far as I know), however this never happened, as on the day that the family would board the ship back to the Dutch East IndiŽs, The War broke out in Holland.  During the 'European leave' period (that my grandfather earned as a governemental employee at the central office of statistics -CKS- in a place then known as Weltevreden) lived in The Hague in the Egelantierstraat.  Once back in the Dutch East IndiŽs my Grandfather was made prisoner and put to work as a prisoner on the Burma railroad project by the Japanese occupationers, he unfortunately died in a camp as many others did, and he was buried there on a cemetery of honor.

Father never talked much about his youth, before his illness back in 1999, we told me some things but it was never in much detail.  however what he told me aroused my curiosity and interest how he and his family lived in the Dutch East IndiŽs, and also interest to my ancestral history.  

In Juli 2002 I started to begin my ancestral research. 

The family surname van der Smitte is not a wide spread name as far as I know at this moment.  The name itself must have a European origin, most likely Belgian or the Southern Netherlands in the 17th century.  At a certain time in history (18th-19th century) one or more persons of the van der smitte family went on an adventure and travelled in the direction of the Dutch East IndiŽs (which is know known as the republic of Indonesia, after becoming independend from the Colonial governement of the Netherlands)


The Royal Dutch Library (Koninklijke Nederlandse Bibliotheek) has put a number of nice maps and pictures on the internet which date back to the VOC (Verenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie -United East-IndiŽs trading institution).  The originally appear in the Atlas van der Haegen and Atlas Beudeker.

from the city of Delft to the East IndiŽs http://collectie.delft.nl/asp/page.asp?id=i000223&alias=ded.voc