It was December 1981 when the author decided to start a genealogical search for the surname or family name of Verboort, the origin of the ancestors and eventually important additional information. Initially I did not expect, that my efforts would help develop an entire family history. We also underestimated the quantity and intensity of work and hours involved.
In the beginning I had enough rough material to start with. The tree, I descend from, in the province of Limburg had multiplied to such an extend that the first months were filled with checking their names and dates. All the family members cooperated spontaneously. By scanning through telephone guides, yellow pages, oral transmitted stories, I soon wished to enlarge my investigations to other parts of Holland. Genealogical fever caught me, many telephone calls and correspondence followed. Also with non-family members or even not related persons in The Hague, St.Oedenrode and so on. A vague contact about a possible emigrated ancestor surfaced too at that time.
Rather soon I found out, that the search would become more difficult than anticipated because of the geographical distance between the branches. This hunch was confirmed after a visit to Uden ( parsonage), the National Record Office in ‘s Hertogenbosch and the Town Hall in Beuningen. The centre of the information was and still is the province of Noord-Brabant.
An interesting and instructive day. Apart from the fact, that this trip broadened my search, numerous questions arose. Questions about connections, kinship and documents for instance. For these purposes many more visits would be necessary. During a deadlock (also caused by a lack of time) in the searching period I tried to link or connect another Dutch similar surname, Verboord. Not knowing, if there were any links at all, I scored accidentally. Blood relationship indeed did exist. Someone of the Verboord tree had been doing the same thing in a way, and so we exchanged information and data. The second half of November 1982 things began to move again. With the assistance of the following people, Sluyters (professional keeper of the records in Uden), Van Stekelenburg (history teacher and obsessed by the emigration pattern of North-Brabant farmers in mid 19th century) and Van de Geijn (my brother in law, working as librarian in The Hague) we were able to add lots of new facts and certificates. The National Record Office provided us (December and January following) with additional information as well. These last two visits, with the aid of my spouse too, also opened up some new opinions in the genealogical matter of speaking. As I indicated earlier, we had been taken steps in the initial search to track eventual relatives in North America. Originally we did not succeed in achieving that goal, because of the “distance”, but mainly for bureaucratic reasons.
Thanks to Jan Verboord and Alfred Verboort I collected enough information to risk sending a letter. Excitement all over, when we received a letter back from Mrs. Janet Verboort – Evers, postage stamp from Verboort, Oregon, USA. Contacts were laid and made after an estrangement of 135 years. A true miracle! Further on we located Verboorts in Wisconsin (USA), Ontario (Canada) and Australia. So we can actually say, we are a pretty international family. The enthusiasm in the United States was enormous and correspondence soon extended, also of non-related people.
In February 1983 I started working with so-called contact persons, in order to guarantee the process of the tree search and not neglecting the general survey. This appeared to be necessary, because personal information of people, born in between 1902 and 1984 is not available for public purposes (privacy reasons).
In the same month and April too, we visited the National Record Office again. A dream in life and even beyond that, was fulfilled Wednesday July 20 in 1983. Being invited by an American Tv company called NBC, we were to be reunited with our relatives in front of the camera and millions of spectators in the United States. Till August 10 we stayed in the community of Verboort. We made numerous friends and our visit will presumably lead to closer ties of friendship and mutual visits in the near future.
In October and November 1983 we went to the record office again. In view of the fact, that we had few results – due to decayed, lost, burned, illegible and incorrect baptism-, marriage- and burial archives - , the chance of finding new aspects or starting points is almost zero.
In December and January following all the data were gathered and drafting papers were being typed out. The branch of The Hague fell into place and could be linked as well in our search, thanks to two professional record keepers in Schiedam and Delft.
The contact persons took care of the distribution of the so called exemplary books in February and March of 1984. Every relative received such a book, meant to warm up the total edition on the Verboorts. Only one tree was elaborated in this example. The special reason for publishing the example was foremost the coming of Kathy and Ralph Verboort from Verboort Oregon to Holland. They visited “the old country” in April and May of 1984 and the Verboort reunion on Friday 27 was undoubtedly one of the highlights.
Information and data could be sent in till July 1 of 1984. Right after this date we started to typ everything, in order to complete it and take to the publisher. I will point out that this final result is a product of cooperation and united efforts. Perhaps you do not like some aspects, for instance shape and way of presentation in the book. We do not pretend to offer you a perfect genealogical work, far from it. We also cannot alter the impression, that some branches of the family gathered more pages than others, but the reasons are obvious and already commented.
Till November 1 of 1984, you could subscribe to the book. Besides the usual ways of tracing down information, we also tried to secure other documents. In contrast to some record offices in Holland, the army files are in ‘s Hertogenbosch are missing. The documents displayed in the book have accidentally been found and enclosed in marriage certificates. We paid attention and looked up notary and judicial deeds, without success (although we did not check every period). The death duties were also not accessible in the capital of North-Brabant, for that purpose one should the trouble to go to Schaarsbergen.
Next to the above mentioned assistants, whom we are very obliged for helping us achieve this edition, we can add numerous people whom we owe many thanks.
Everybody who contributed in any way to make our pedigree more complete, should know, our gratitude for him or her is huge! Nevertheless we wish to make a few exceptions for people, who helped us finish the book in a respectable way. The contact persons (for distribution and advertisement), mrs. T.Janssen-Vaassen (art cover), mister N.Hamers and A.Broersma (printers) and mister H. Verboort (handyman and typing)
The exact number of labour hours is very difficult to figure out, not even approximately.
No more than the expenses consequently. Dour perseverance at some moments and the passion for this great hobby enabled us to feel the joy and happiness, in offering you this book right now. On the other hand it is a pity, to say goodbye to the “cherished” numbers, dates, certificates, etcetera.
Elsloo, September 1984
Van Boort changed into Verboort
Books – dealing with thirteenth and fourteenth century families – mention a family called Van Boert. This – at that time – noble family resided in the province of North Brabant. A triptych (Kievits – Van Boert) dates from the same period too. In the “Armorial General” we encounter a coat of arms, belonging to a family Van Boert. They reside in the Meyerij (county) of ‘s Hertogenbosch.
A descendant of this family (Christina van Boort) produced a painting, which is on view in the town of Uden (cloister of the Kruisheren). From around 1600 BC on we can speak about structural relationships. Before this time we end up in guessing. However, after consulting an archive, we are allowed to bear this coat of arms. The indication “hamlet or village of Boort” (located near Nuenen, North Brabant) is strong evidence in the matter.
Please do not set value on different spelling or certificates which show diversions of the word –Verboort-. Civil servants and priests paid hardly any attention to this in these early days.
Don’t forget that it was an obligation to have a birth or sale registered. The intention of being helpful to genealogical search was not included. Most of the people in the seventeenth, eighteenth and the beginning of the nineteenth century were not able to read and write, but pronounced their surnames nevertheless.
Thus we find various ways of spelling the names in those days. My ultimate wish of tracing back the Verboorts to one ancestor is not fulfilled entirely. We should be satisfied with the two ancestors as we know right now, originated from Boekel and Erp (North-Brabant).
There is a big difference in time and first names (respectively 1600 and 1680) to link these two branches and jump to conclusions. Boekel and Erp are located within a stone’s throw of each other and the fact that one ancestor in Erp buys a piece of land in 1666 in the village of Boekel, gives us no false hope. I’m intending to look up the ancient marriage books of Erp and other sources in the near future.
Surnames versus similar names
The Verboort name did not form an exception to the rule, that there have been many errors in spelling and little adjustments of the name in the past.
The eldest appearing name however is Verboort, around 1600. Till the year 1780 there has been a period of sporadic appearance of surnames in the church files.
From the introduction of the registration service on, during French occupation, we come across three different ways of spelling. Although all branches are reducible to one trunk (Verboort – Verboord – Verboorten). The –en ending disappears around 1840 everywhere, except for Veghel, where it lasts till around 1880. At present time there are only two varieties in the spelling of the name in Holland, namely –Verboort- and –Verboord-.
In the United States of America one branch maintained to write and pronounce the name similarly since the emigration in 1848. That goes for all the descendants in Oregon.
In the State of Wisconsin they altered the name around 1900 into VerBoort.
For the rest we met (prior to 1820) incidentally the following ways of wrong spelling:
Verboordt, Verboorte and Verbort.
Similar names like Verpoorten, Van Voort, Vervoort, Verboom, Verboon, Van Boort (meaning the present generation) show indeed a striking resemblance but they are certainly no errors in spelling and also no existence of blood relationship what so ever.
Explanation of the name
It seems to be more interesting, to proof, that our generations published in this book originally descend from the family Van Boort (or Van Boert).
This family of North-Brabant resided under ‘s Hertogenbosch in the fifteenth and sixteenth century and was entitled to a coat of arms.
Information on this matter was quoted from the “Armorial General” , written by J.B.Rietstap.
Some signs point out, we are talking about the same pedigree, but too many chains are missing for conclusive evidence or confirmation. In this connection the term “highly likely” is more adequate. Next we hand you five suggestions we encountered during our search about the explanation of the name (in order of importance).
- Linked to the earlier mentioned family Van Boort it sounds rather plausible, that people who left the hamlet Boort(d) near Nuenen (province North-Brabant) were called thus when they were registered in another place.
- The name could be allied with a seafaring profession in ancient times (boord meaning on board a ship).
- The origin could be at a shore or bank of a river or lake (boord) or even just a collar or border of a dress, shirt.
- Verboorten could be a reduce from: being confiscated, forfeited (in Dutch).
- The Centennial book , published in 1975 in Verboort Oregon, prescribed the name “boort” as being “from the neighbourhood".