Methodology Spotlight

Andries Boogaart, hospitalized in Middelburg

Exactly threehundred years ago, on 19 August 1720, Andries Boogaart became ill. We do not know what he suffered from, but he was admitted to hospital in Middelburg, Zeeland. Eight nights later the hospital released him.

Almshouses (Middelburg, Zeeland, Netherlands), call no. 24, register of hospital patients 1715-1747, no page numbers, chronological order, Andries Boogaart, 19 August 1720; Zeeuws Archief ( : viewed 19 August 2020), image 42 of 192.


We give a translation of all four entries, not only the one that pertains to Andries Boogaart.

15 Aagtie Cranevelt, of Vlissingen, released on 21 August
19 Andries Boogaart, of Housburg, released on 27 August
20 Elisebet van Haen, of Reinschet, released on 13 September
20 Jan Jansen, of Amsterdam, died on 7 September

The number on the left is the day of admittance. In this case days of the month August 1720. Next is the name of the patient, and his or her place of origin. To the right a date tell us when the patient was released, or died.

With the help of these two dates, we can calculate how many days patients stayed in the hospital. In Andries’ case it was eight nights.

“Gasthuys en Gasthuis Kerk tot Middelburgh”, the Middelburg hospital and its church, copper engraving, 1690-1696 (photo credits: Zeeuw Archief, Middelburg)

Poor residents and strangers

According to the description of this register in the finding aid, the hospital mainly treated poor people and ‘strangers’, or foreigners. If we look at the two open pages with Andries Boogaart’s entry, we see patients from:

  • Paris, France
  • Nieuwstadt, Limburg, Netherlands
  • Evergem, Belgium
  • Mechelen, Belgium
  • Bern, Switzerland
  • Zwolle, Overijssel, Netherlands
  • Velzen, Noord-Holland, Netherlands
  • Aartselaar near Antwerp, Belgium
  • Amsterdam, Netherlands

Some of the places are difficult to locate. Is “Bordeeus” perhaps Bordeaux, in France? Could “Reinschet” perhaps be Remscheid in Germany? Is “Franckenlant” referring to a German region? Or did the clerk write down the names of these places incorrectly, because they were pronounced with a strong accent, or in a typical dialect?

According to his entry Andries Boogaart came from Housburg. There is no place name like that. We can only guess. Was it Souburg, not too far from Middelburg? Or perhaps Hulsberg, in the Dutch province of Limburg? Was it Huisberge, currently Hausberge in Germany? Perhaps we can find out where Andries came from if we study other documents.


When you are struggling with place names that are difficult to read or to locate, we recommend you use the pdf file, called herkomstonderzoek. A former archivist at the Amsterdam City Archives compiled this list of place names from entries in 17th and 18th century documents. Although these were all Amsterdam documents, the results of his study are a great help for everybody.

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