View of Delfzijl and Ems rivier, 1679
Methodology Spotlight

Baptism of Jacobus Haijkes

Today, we are looking at the baptismal entry of Jacobus, son of Haijke Jacobus (1798).

baptism entry for Jacobus, son of Haijke Jacobus
Dutch Reformed church (Delfzijl, Groningen, Netherlands), baptisms 1718-1811, page 337 (penciled), Jacobus, son of Haijke Jacobus (17 May 1798); “Zoeken op naam,” database with images, AlleGroningers ( viewed 16 May 2020), search results for Jacobus Delfzijl 1798.


On the 17th [of May 1798] a son of Haijke Jacobus and Christina Allardij, born on [blank] May and called Jacobus.

old map of the fortress Delfzijl (Groningen, Netherlands) by Hendrik Hofsnider in 1743
Map of the fortress of Delfzijl, Hendrik Hofsnider, 1743 (photo credits: Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam)


Delfzijl was an important town in the province of Groningen. Thanks to its geographical situation the town had control over the entrance of the Eems river (and therefore the port of Emden in Germany) and of the port and city of Groningen. During the Eighty Year’s War – when the Dutch provinces fought against Spain for independence – the town was fortified with five bastions. Visitors of the town can still recognize the old structure of the former fortress.

Haijke Jacobus lived in this northern town. He married Christina Allardij in 1797. A search for Haijke Jacobus in the database AlleGroningers does not yield any other results. It looks as if Haijke and his family only existed in the years 1797 and 1798. Why is that?

Name adoption

We often see that people cannot find family members before 1800. Their first idea is that the family existed of immigrants, who came from a different town, province or even country. In most cases that is not the reason. Many families in the northern provinces, like Groningen and Friesland, used patronymic names for a long time. When civil registration was introduced in 1811 they had to adopt a (fixed) family name. Some municipalities have special name adoption registers. If you cannot find your family name before 1811, it may be worth looking for your ancestor in one of these registers.

It is probably for this reason that Haijke (or Heike) was later called Hagedoorn. We find him with this name in marriage records of his children. These records also show that the family lived for a couple of years in Emden. Heike was a tailor and died in this German city.

What happened to Jacobus, who was baptized in Delfzijl in 1798? We did not find him (yet). Did he die young or did he move to Emden and died in this place? If you know more about Jacobus Haijkes (Hagedoorn), then please tell us!

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