Francies Quagebuur and Maria van Damme

Franciscus Quagebuur;
Son of M. Quagebuur and L. van Loock

Born in Groede
on 25 August 1805
7 fructidor an XIII
(French Republican Calendar)

Died in IJzendijke
on 17 January 1844

'geboorteakte' Franciscus Quagebuur Overlijdensakte Franciscus Wagenbuur

Married in IJzendijke
on 10 November 1842

Huwelijksakte Francies Kwaadgebuur & Maria Theresia van Damme Huwelijksakte Franciscus Kwaadgebuur & Maria Th. van Damme

Maria Theresia van Damme; daughter of J.J. van Damme and A. Descamp

Born in Oostburg
on 11 September 1810

Died in Schoondijke
on 4 January 1848

geboorteakte Maria Theresia van Damme overlijdensakte Maria Theresia van Damme


  1. Son: J.F. Wagenbuur (1839-1918)
  2. Son: J.F. Wagenbuur (1840-1868)


The life of Francies Quagebuur

Francies Quagebuur is the person with whom the family name  Wagenbuur started. Although that was never his name and he was most likely never called that way either (only in some certificates of the civil registry he is called Wagenbuur), he is the reason there is a family name Wagenbuur. Something that shouldn't have happened at all because his fathers' name was Van Loock. The name Van Loock should have been Francies' family name, as well as that of all his descendants.

The village of Groede (in 2002) Francies Quagebuur was born here in 1805.

Birth of Francies Quagebuur

Francies' birth was never registered in the civil registers. That is stated in his marriage certificate and that is correct. All birth records of the village of Groede from 1800 to 1806 were checked to be sure. Non of the children in the records could have been Francies. So we need to reconstruct his birth date from secondary sources. But those secondary sources are contradicting! His birth place is always stated as Groede, but the dates differ a lot. Sometimes a date is clearly wrong. Like on the certificate of his military service that states 1806 for his birth year: one year after his mother's death. Sometimes a date is unlikely, such as the date mentioned in the population registry that shows 1802, when his mother had just turned 16. Most certificates of the civil registry point to the year 1802, but that is also unlikely. The most important source for his birth is the death certificate of Maria Quagebuur, his mother. She dies at the age of just 21 years old in the village of Groede on the 27th of August 1805. At the time under the French Republican Calendar it was 9th of the month of fructidor of the 13th year after the French Revolution. All sources mention Groede as the birth place of Francies. His mother died there in the house of Jannis Adriaansen, a reformed farmer that most likely was her employer. (Most catholic farm hands were in service of the richer reformed farmers.)

The population register of 1834 shows that Jannis Adriaansen, in who's house Francies was likely born, still lived in Groede at that time. Only his daughter Neeltje already lived in 1805. It is remarkable that the first daughter born after the death of Maria in his house in 1805, was named Maria too. 

An important cause of death of young women was giving birth. It is very likely that this is indeed her cause of death, one source even states that Francis was born on the 25th of August of 1805, two days before the death of his mother and so most probably he was born in that same house of Jannis Adriaansen. He might even have remained there, since he later calls his firstborn son Jannis.

From the death certificate of Maria Quagebuur, 
Francies Quagebuur's mother.
 'the 9th Fructidor 13th Year'

Although the death certificate of Maria Quagebuur clearly states she was the wife of "Lucas van Locq", nowhere in the area where they lived a marriage could be found. It was not uncommon at the time to first have children and marry afterwards. Especially among the Catholics in that mostly protestant area. This was the case for Maria herself too. Her parents married after her birth. But because of the untimely death of Maria in this case that marriage could not take place anymore. Lucas van Loock (as he is mostly called) apparently did not choose to take the role of the father. Records show that he later married twice, the second marriage after his first marriage ended in a divorce, very exceptional at the time! He got three other children (of which only one survived childhood). It is striking that his first daughter who was born in 1806 was called Maria. To honour his first partner? Because Lucas van Loock married shortly after Francies' birth it is clear that he was never raised by his father and it is more logic that Francies was known under his mother's name.

Childhood of Francies Quagebuur

Now we have determined that it is most likely that Francies was born on the 25th August 1805 in Groede, we want to know more about him. But that is hard to find out. What we can say is that he was an orphan born from a catholic mother in a mainly protestant area and without ay money. His probable father has never looked after him. His aunt and grandmother, (sister and mother of his mother) lived already in 1805 in the neighbouring village of Schoondijke, according to later records (period 1824-1834), but there were no population registers in 1805 yet. Nor was there a poverty board that might have kept records of him. There is one list of inhabitants of 1813, but that shows only inhabitants of over 12 years old and Francies is younger in 1813. But it is likely that he didn't live in Groede at that time anymore.

The first written mention of Francies Quagebuur can indeed be found in that neighbouring village of Schoondijke in one of the first population registers of 1834, but which was kept much longer. At that time he is 29 years old.

Population register Schoondijke 1834
Quagebuur first name: François occupation: Farmhand religion: Roman Catholic marital state: single born: Groede Aug. 1800  last living in: Groede
October 1800 Remarks: departed 16 Nov. 1835 to De Wilde

In this book he is mentioned as living with Roman Catholic farmer J.B. de Bruijckere, as “farmhand”. He was supposed to have been born in Groede in August 1800 and came to live in the community of Schoondijke in October 1800. It is likely that we should read 1805 in stead, his birth year, and he was brought to his aunt and grandmother in Schoondijke as two month old infant. There are many mistakes in this register. It was a novelty and many of the data that was asked from the people were facts they didn't even know themselves. They had never been important.

That Francies indeed had contact with his aunt is evident from the same register in the departure remark. It says that he left on November 16th for "De Wilde". Which was the last name of his mothers sister after her marriage. So he went to Catharina De Wilde-Quaegebuer who had married Arnout de Wilde. Unfortunately the record doesn't show him with that family. So he gets out of sight again.

Three and a half years later, on Saturday 11th May 1839, Francies Quagebuur shows up with the major of the city of IJzendijke (about 10 kilometres from Schoondijke) to report the birth of his first born son. In the population register of IJzendijke he is not entered at the time, neither does his partner and mother of the child: Maria van Damme. Just like his mother and grandparents before him, Francies was not married at the time his child was born. He probably doesn't have any means of identification at that moment. His birth was not entered in the civil registers and because he was not entered in the population registers of the town of IJzendijke either the major had nothing to go on. He had to rely on what he heard, when Francies told him his name. In stead of "Francies Quagebuur" he wrote down "Franciscus Wagenbuur" shifting the K-sound that should have been at the beginning of his last name to an extra last syllable of his first name. Although it looks like a major difference in writing, in Dutch pronunciation it is really a small mistake but with major consequences for all his descendants. Francies could not see the mistake himself, as at the end of the certificate is stated that he "declared not to be able to read, for having never learned such". Witness Bartel Verspulle, a shoemaker, who did sign, does not notice anything irregular either. Not surprising, when you hear both names spoken in the Zeeuws-Flemish tongue there is almost no distinction: Franciscus Wagenbuur or Francies Quagebuur are almost identical then.

The former Town hall of IJzendijke in 1992.
On 11 May 1839, in the presence of Francies Quagebuur, the name Wagenbuur was written down here for the first time.

On Thursday 18th June 1840 Francies Quagebuur and Maria van Damme are both entered in the population register of the village of Schoondijke. The arrive from the town of IJzendijke and live with the reformed farmer Joos Craaijmes. Correctly stated is the fact they are unmarried, but there is no mention about their son, who is officially called Johannes Franciscus Wagenbuur, at all. But that son is only a little over a year old and the  keepers of the early registers of the population didn't have much interest in children under the age of 12. Here too, Francies is called Franciscus now.

name first names occupation religion
Quagebuur Franciscus worker Roman Catholic
Damme Maria Theresia worker ditto

born last
lived in
arrived departed from/to
single Groede 25 Aug 1802 IJzendijke 18 June 1840 12 June 1842 IJzendijke
ditto Oostburg 16 Sept 1809 ditto 18 June 1840 12 June 1842

On Friday 4th December of that same year 1840 Francies comes to the building that is in use as town hall of Schoondijke. A second son was born. He probably brought a extract of the birth certificate of his first son, how else can be explained that the major of Schoondijke also writes down Wagenbuur as last name. Odd, because in Schoondijke the family is listed in the population register under the name of Quagebuur, but apparently that is not cross referenced. The exact same mistake twice would be too much of a coincidence. It is more likely that the name was taken from the certificate of 1839. Although this time Francies' first name is correctly stated as Francies.

The landscape in Zeeuws-Flanders between Schoondijke and IJzendijke

Until Sunday 12 June 1842 the family stays in in Schoondijke with now two sons. On that day they leave, according to the books of the year 1834(!) from Schoondijke back to IJzendijke again. The entries in the population registers became more accurate by this time. And they indeed show up in the registers of IJzendijke that same day. Arrived on 12th June 1842: the family Kwaadgebuur(!). They seem a little better off financially. They are living in a one-family home now. In neighbourhood A, house number 4. Both sons also appear under the last name Kwaadgebuur in this register. But not only that is wrong. The birth dates of the four are a little off here and there, but it is obvious that Francies pronounced his last name with that K-sound at the beginning, it would have said Wagenbuur here otherwise, considering that name was already in the books of this town somewhere. "Franciscus Kwaadgebuur" and Maria van Damme are now called married too. But that wasn't true just yet. They only got married in November of the year they arrived, 1842, but apparently they already considered themselves married.

Entry Population Register IJzendijke 1842-1844
the "Kwaadgebuur" family

Francies Quagebuur and Maria van Damme marry in the same town hall in which the name Wagenbuur was first used. But in the marriage certificate of Thursday 10th November 1842, also drawn up by major J. Brevet, as last name he now writes Kwaadgebuur. Even Francies' mother is now called Maria Kwaadgebuur. It is also clearly stated that the birth of Francies was not entered in the civil registers and that he cannot produce witnesses who can verify his identity. That is odd because his aunt Catharina Quaegebuer is still living in Schoondijke, nearby. The annexes to the marriage certificate reveal two other things. First the true financial state of the family. There is a deed with the statement that they "live under such confined financial  circumstances, that (...) they therefore should, in the matter of their intended marriage, be served free of charge and without having to pay for stamp duties and legal fees" this at the intercession of among others Bartel Verspulle, the shoemaker, who apparently was an acquaintance of Francies, as he was the witness in the birth certificate of his eldest son too.  Secondly it is clear that the last name really didn't matter much. Not only doesn't witness Bartel Verspulle pay much attention, neither did the major of IJzendijke. In the aforementioned financial deed he uses the name Francies Quagebuur, in the marriage certificate he writes Franciscus Kwaadgebuur and both major Brevet and witness Bartel Verspulle had before seen the name Franciscus Wagenbuur in the 1839 birth certificate!

Because Francies Quagebuur and Maria van Damme had lived in Schoondijke shortly before, their intended marriage had to be announced in that village too. And although they had always been known as the Quagebuur family there, the major of Schoondijke now reports in writing that the announcement had not brought up any objections against the intended marriage “Franciscus Kwaadgebuur”.

It was to be expected that they were still very poor. They had to earn their living as catholic day labourers with the protestant farmers. Maria van Damme came from a very poor family too. In this marriage certificate it is stated that her mother died in "The Ommerschans". This was a penal camp for convicted beggars far away at the other side of the country. Officially people were there to be re-educate them but in fact it was more like a prison.

Appearance of Francies Quagebuur

We can get a glimpse of what Francies Quagebuur looked like from one of the other annexes to the marriage certificate. A certificate of the "National Army" in which is stated that the bridegroom fulfilled his duty to the state, has his description. Francies did not have to enlist because he was given lot number 13, that was not drawn.


height: 1 El(bow) (meter)
6 Palm (decimetre)
1 Thumb (centimetre)
3 Stripe (millimetre)

In total that is: 1 meter 61.3 centimetres
(5Ft 3.5 inches)
Face round
Forehead ditto
Eyes grey
Nose scharp
Mouth ordinary
Chin round
Hair brown
Eye brows ditto
Noteworthy characteristics Children's disease (probably small pocks)

On Monday 15th May 1843, barely a year after the marriage, the family already leaves IJzendijke for Schoondijke yet again. But the population register there doesn't show them this time. The books over the period 1830-1861 do mention Jannis Quagebuur and Jacob Quagebuur as inhabitants. Those are their sons, who according to their birth certificates are actually called Johannes Franciscus Wagenbuur and Jacobus Frederik Wagenbuur, this has to be an entry from after 1840, when both boys became orphans and they were alone.

The next written mention of Francies Quagebuur is namely one half year after his marriage, on Thursday 11th January 1844, when his death is reported on that day in the village of Schoondijke in his death certificate. This time it correctly says Francies Quagebuur again. So he was only married to his Maria van Damme for a little over a year. She also dies very soon, just four years later, also in Schoondijke. On 4th January 1848 to be precise. Her death certificate too states the correct name of Francies as she is called "wife of Francies Quagebuur". Their still very young two sons, Johannes Franciscus Wagenbuur, aged 8, and Jacobus Frederik Wagenbuur, aged 7 years old stay behind, as was mentioned before, as orphans.

Schoondijke (foto uit 1929)

Schoondijke with windmill and horse and carriage in 1929.
(This windmill did not exist in the time of Francies, at that time there was another mill, but it was demolished in 1959)




This page was printed from the website of the Wagenbuur Family
's-Hertogenbosch - Utrecht
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