Brandina’s divorce (part 2)

Last we week we wrote about Brandina Hendriks, who went to court in 1901 to divorce her husband Cornelis Wouterus Schimmel. According to her story he had left her in 1894. One of our reads wondered if more information is available in the population registers of Ede and / or Barneveld. So we looked for it.

Civil registration (Ede, Gelderland, Netherlands), reconstructed population register, Brandina Hendriks; “Zoeken,” database with images, ArchieVal ( : accessed 12 October 2020)


Before looking at the contents of this card, let us explain why the actual records no longer exist. This card is part of the ‘reconstructed population register’.

On a cold February morning, in the year 1942 – in the middle of World War II – a fire broke out in the town hall of Ede. Stories contradict each other, so that it is not clear what exactly happened. Some say it was an accident, others say the local resistance caused the fire to thwart the German occupiers. Nevertheless, the result of this fire was that the town hall burned down. And with it, also the population registers and other documents were destroyed. [source]

After the war the municipality made a reconstruction of the population registers. This resulted in a large amount of cards, with details of persons who lived in Ede before World War II. [source] One card shows the details of Brandina Hendriks.

Personal details

Brandina’s card shows the following personal details.

  • first name, surname
  • date and place of birth, nationality
  • religion
  • occupation
  • the names of her parents and their dates and places of birth
  • her husband’s name, date and place of birth
  • date and place of their marriage
  • their divorce, date and place
  • addresses or place of residence

On the back side of the card we find the names and dates of three of her children: Brandina, Maria and Gijsje. The two older boys are not on this card.


We also found Cornelis Wouterus Schimmel’s card and we compared the information about his whereabouts with that on Brandina’s card.

In here teens Brandina moved frequently from Ede to Barneveld, and back. At the time of her marriage in March 1892 she lived in Ede. On 16 December 1892 she and her husband moved to Barneveld. Then something happened…

Brandina’s card shows that she moved back to Ede on 2 October 1893. According to his card, her husband stayed in Barneveld. He moved back to Ede on 9 February 1894 (address: Maanen 309). Brandina moved again to Barneveld on 18 May 1896, but her husband did not. He stayed in Ede a few months longer, until he moved to Leusden on 18 August 1896. Brandina never lived in Leusden. She moved back to Ede on 26 February 1900 (address: Maanen 309). In 1901 she relocated to Barneveld, and back to Ede on 7 January 1908. The card does not show more (recent) addresses or places of residence.

When we compare the dates on both cards, we see that Brandina and her husband have different dates for their moves since October 1893. From August 1896 on they clearly did not live together anymore: Brandina lived in Barneveld from 1896 to 1900, while her husband was in Leusden.

The neighborhood Maanen near Ede, drawing by Wybrand Hendriks, 1783 (photo credits: Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, document no. RP-T-1894-A-2873)


Based on the details on these two cards, we can only speculate wat truly happened.

  • Was October 1893 the start of their marriage problems?
  • Did they decide to live together again in February 1894, when Brandina was pregnant of her second child?
  • Had the situation become worse in May 1896 when Brandina left her husband and moved to Barneveld?

As genealogists, we must remain critical and not allow ourselves to be carried away by speculations. Besides that, can we trust the dates on these cards? The dates show the official moment when either Brandina or her husband changed place of residence. But what if they actually left before? For instance, her card says that Brandina lived in Barneveld since 18 May 1896. However, she already delivered her baby in Barneveld on the 9th of that month.

The (reconstructed) population registers of Ede provide additional details about Brandina and her married life. Still, there are open ends.