The Ophorst Family

The Ophorst name has an important place in the genealogy of the Callenbach family: as two sons of the Rev Callenbach married two Ophorst sisters. The eldest son, Cornelis Carel (who was called Corneel) (1) married Johanna (commonly referred to as Antje). His brother George Frans (5) married Antje’s sister Dina Roelanda Constantia (Dina) Ophorst. It is therefore interesting to know a bit more about this family.

The ancestors of the Ophorst family have been traced back for seven generations to Jan Ophorst, who originated from Kleef, just across the border in Germany. Jan settles in Nijmegen and on 14 November 1621 is made a registered citizen of this town. One year later he marries Lamerken Joosten. He was a roof tiler. It is possible that he was the victim of an accident because he died young. The reason we know that is because his wife already remarries on 2nd November 1625. It is likely that Jan and Lamerken are the parents of Johannes Willem (Jan) Ophorts but we can’t be entirely sure. It is only after Johannes Willem that the genealogy of the Ophorts family can be established with reasonable accuracy.

It was a family of school teachers. The 2nd, 3rd, and 4th generation Ophorsts viz; Johannes Willem (Jan), Johannes Jan and Govert were all school teachers, as were several cousins. The school education fell, at that time, under the supervision of the official State Church, the Nederduits¹ Reformed Church as the church was called at the time of the Republic. Even though the majority of the people in the area of Staats-Brabant, as it was called at the time, were Roman Catholic, the teachers were protestant. School teachers were therefore a class apart. It is unlikely that the teaching profession was well paid as many had additional part-time employment as a verger or even a grave digger.

Johannes Jan Ophorst (1654 – 1729), apart from being a school teacher was also a tax collector. At the time of the Republic (1648 – 1795) it was still customary that the task of tax collecting was farmed out. Generally speaking tax collecting was leased out to the highest bidder for a period of six months. It usually involved tax on fixed assets. The custom of leasing out the collection of tax was only abandoned in 1748, after the tax riots in Amsterdam.

It is clear that tax collectors did not rate well in the popularity stakes, particularly in this case when they were protestants in a Catholic community. The lessors were frequently the target of disturbances. As far as Jan Ophorst is concerned things go completely awry in 1688. A bunch of drunken louts fired rifles at the house of Jan and his wife Marike. It was only a simple house of some beams with straw and mud and it afforded the residents hardly any protection at all. Marike was, at that time, seven months pregnant with her fourth child. That night one of the bullets hit her while she was lying in her bed. The consequences were fatal. After the death of Marike, Jan remarries in 1692 with Geertruy Groenendael, a Catholic. There were no children from this marriage.

Jan and Marike had a set of twins, two boys, Govert and Wouter, who both survived their childhood, which was quite remarkable for a set of twins in those days, particularly as their mother died when the they were hardly 14 months old. We don’t know anything about Wouter. The family tree goes on via Govert. Govert becomes a school teacher and verger in Nieuwkuijk. He marries Maria de Greef and they have 9 children.

The second youngest son of Govert and Maria, Jacobus, leaves the Catholic province of Brabant and settles in the city of Heusden. In the time of the Republic, Heusden belonged to the province of Holland and Heusden is therefore originally Protestant. After three generations of school teachers there now follow three generations of pastry cooks. Jacobus is recorded as being a cook of "pepper cakes". His grandson, Jacobus Richard, is recorded as being a pastry cook. Grandfather Jacobus (5th generation), son Govert (6th Generation) and grandson Jacobus Richard (7th Generation) all lived in Heusden. It is likely that the bakery was started by grandfather Jacobus and son Govert and grandson Jacobus Richard. By the way, Jacobus Richard was only 16 years old when his father died.

At the wedding of Jacobus Richard with Anna Cornelia Jacoba Boll both sets of parents were absent. The parents of the groom had already died. The father of the bride, Adriaan Boll, was probably seriously ill at the time of the wedding. He died two months later. The parents of the bride gave their permission for the marriage by a notarial act

Jacobus Richard and Anna Jacoba Cornelia had eight children. Jacobus Richard died rather young. His oldest son Johannes Adriaan was only sixteen when he died. None of children of Jacobus Richard continued with the pastry shop.

A few years after the death of her husband, after 1852, Anna Cornelia Jacoba Boll, the widow of Jacobus Richard Ophorst moves her family to Nijkerk. She is recorded as being a rentier, (living off the interests of her money) As a member of a middle class family she was financially independent. Her father, Adriaan Boll was a Notary, Her grandfather was a burgomaster, and her maternal grandfather was a senior merchant with the Dutch East Indien Company and a resident (commissioner) of Padang Sumatra, Indonesia.

Anna Cornelia Jacoba Boll, pastelportrait
in possession of Jan de Vries (

The eldest daughter, Constantia Maria (Stans) was a partner in coal and hardware business CC Callenbach and Co, where Cornelis Carel (Corneel) (1) was the manager. She lived in Nijkerk in the Veene Street opposite the printing works and next door to the Milkman Weiland. Later in life she lived together with the unmarried daughter of her sister Antje; Anna Cornelia Jacoba (Keetje) Callenbach (1.2).

Johanna (Antje) marries the eldest son of the "prophet", Cornelis Carel (Corneel) (1) in 1857. Dina Roelanda Constantia marries George Frans (5) in 1860.

Johannes Adriaan became a publisher, bookbinder and owner of a bookshop in Wageningen. This way he had the same career path as his brother in law, George Frans Callenbach

Frans de Wolff (

¹ Nederduits = literary Lower Germany ie Netherlands or Low Countries.

This article was translated into English by CC (Kees) Callenbach ( He was particularly interested in this article as he is in the possession of a Dutch grandfather clock, which dates back to the period 1790 -1804, and which reputedly came from the estate of Adriaan Boll.


Descendants of Jan OPHORST

I.1 Jan OPHORST, roofer, born Kleve (Germany), died Nov 1625. Citizen of Nijmegen Nov.14, 1621.
Married Nijmegen April 1622 to Lamerken JOOSTEN.
From this marriage:

1. Johannes Willem (Jan) (see also II.1).

II.1 Johannes Willem (Jan) OPHORST, from 1669 till his death schoolteacher in Udenhout, born Nijmegen 1622-1625, died June 11, 1676.
Married Nijmegen April 16, 1650 to Gertrudis BOECKENS, christened Nijmegen March 4, 1628.
From this marriage:

1. Johannes Jan (see also III.1).

III.1 Johannes Jan OPHORST, schoolteacher and sexton in Udenhout, christened Nijmegen October 10, 1654, buried Udenhout June 22, 1729.
Married Son to Marike VOGELSANG, born Son about 1656, died Udenhout April 6, 1688.
From this marriage:

1. Govert (see also IV.1).

IV.1 Govert OPHORST, schoolteacher and sexton in Nieuwkuijk, born Udenhout, christened Loon op Zand February 12, 1687.
Married Besoijen August 2, 1716 to Maria de GREEFF, born Besoijen October 9, 1695.
From this marriage:

1. Jacobus (see also V.1).

V.1 Jacobus OPHORST, gingerbreadbaker, deacon, born Nieuwkuijk Sep. 1735, christened Drunen
September 11, 1735, died Heusden December 11, 1804, buried Heusden December 13, 1804.
Married to Richarda de BLIJ, born Gorinchem about 1741, died Heusden February 1, 1806.
From this marriage:

1. Govert Jacobuszoon (see also VI.1).

VI.1 Govert Jacobuszoon OPHORST, christened Heusden June 7, 1769, died Heusden August 5, 1817.
Publication of the banns Heusden August 11, 1797, married Heusden August 29, 1797 to Johanna
ROOMER, born Heusden March 19, 1769.
From this marriage:

1. Jacobus Richard (see also VII.1).

VII.1 Jacobus Richard OPHORST, confectioner, born Heusden June 8, 1801, christened Heusden June 10, 1801, died Heusden January 18, 1843.
Married Eethen March 24, 1825 to Anna Cornelia Jacoba BOLL, born Dinther March 26, 1797, christened Dinther April 9, 1797, died Nijkerk July 14, 1874.
From this marriage:

1. Johannes Adriaan, born Heusden July 10, 1826.

2. Govert, shop-assistant, born Heusden August 11, 1827, died Nijkerk August 12, 1866.

3. Constantina Maria (Stans), born Heusden August 30, 1828, died Nijkerk August 12, 1922.

4. Johanna (Antje), born Heusden July 28, 1830, died Nijkerk May 3, 1891.

Married Nijkerk July 15, 1857 to Cornelis Carel (Corneel) CALLENBACH, born Kortenhoef January 10, 1827, died Nijkerk June 2, 1878, son of Cornelis Carel CALLENBACH and Catharina Hendrika MEERBURG.

5. Dina Roelanda Constantia, born Heusden January 13, 1832, died Nijkerk February 25, 1901.

Married Nijkerk May 23, 1860 to George Frans CALLENBACH, born Nijkerk January 10, 1833, died Nijkerk April 21, 1916, son of Cornelis Carel CALLENBACH and Catharina Hendrika MEERBURG.

6. Adriaan, bookseller in Wageningen, born Heusden August 13, 1833, died Wageningen February 13, 1901.

7. Jacobus Richardus, born Heusden July 9, 1836, died Heusden July 27, 1836.

8. Cornelis Jacobus, born Heusden July 9, 1836, died Heusden July 27, 1836.