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Death Finds a Way: A Janie Riley Mystery by Lorine McGinnis Schulze

Janie Riley is an avid genealogist with a habit of stumbling on to dead bodies. She and her husband head to Salt Lake City Utah to research Janie's elusive 4th great-grandmother. But her search into the past leads her to a dark secret. Can she solve the mysteries of the past and the present before disaster strikes? Available now on Amazon.com and the CreateSpace eStore
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Death Finds a Way: A Janie Riley Mystery
by Lorine McGinnis Schulze

Janie Riley is an avid genealogist with a habit of stumbling on to dead bodies. She and her husband head to Salt Lake City Utah to research Janie's elusive 4th great-grandmother. But her search into the past leads her to a dark secret. Can she solve the mysteries of the past and the present before disaster strikes? Available now on Amazon.com and Amazon.ca

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MARINE MUSEUM

The following series was translated from the original Dutch by Willem Rabbelier and Cor Snabel of the Netherlands. It is published with their permission on The Olive Tree Genealogy pages.

The Isle of Texel

In the days of the WIC Amsterdam was the most important harbour of the world. But it was not directly situated at the North Sea, but at the Zuiderzee (Southern Sea). Nowadays most of it is reclaimed and turned into land again and what is left of it is an inland sea or lake, called IJsselmeer. But is those days it was open sea, with tides, in the north somewhat protected from open sea by a row of islands. A ship leaving Amsterdam harbour had to sail about 100 km north, ending up at one of these islands called Texel and through a sea-lane it would reach the North Sea. This island Texel was in more than one way crucial for Amsterdam.

First of all it was the place where ships, leaving for any destination, were supplied with fresh water. The village Oudeschild on Texel was in those days more important than it is now. The quality of the water was far better than in Amsterdam; for that reason many fresh-water wells were dug on the island. In the museum in Oudeschild a painting shows how the water was pumped up before it was transported to the harbour. The profits of this water-trade was for the Orphanage on the island, that’s why the wells were called the “orphan-wells”

The second important function of Texel was shelter for all those ships. In the harbour of Texel, behind the island, ships would wait for better weather conditions; until the storm was over or the wind direction improved. The famous Dutch admirals Michiel de Ruyter and Maarten Tromp visited the island a number of times and each of them donated a chandelier to the little white church in Oudeschild, where those can still be seen. Those two admirals stayed in the only estate Texel had, called Huize Brakestein. There they planned their attacks on the English enemy. At one time during the English War the harbour of Texel was filled with 84 ships with a total of about 20,000 men on board. All those ships must have been a wonderful sight.

Ships returning home always anchored near Texel. First of all because many ships had to stop anyway; overloaded ships could not sail in the shallow waters of the Zuiderzee, so part of their cargo had to be reloaded in smaller vessels. Another reason for anchoring at Texel was the fact, the ships did not only bring merchandise to the homeland, but also strange and dangerous diseases.

Before the ship entered the Texel harbour or set sail for Amsterdam, Hoorn or Enkhuizen the men were checked for disease. If a contagious disease was discovered on board, the crew had to stay in a quarantine-center on the island Wieringen near Texel. (now Wieringen is part of the mainland). If they were really sick, they were transported to the Gasthuis (hospital) in Den Oever on the same island. The west part of Wieringen still has an area called “de Quarantaine” and although the hospital is long gone, the village Den Oever still has a road called “Gasthuisweg”

Last but not least; the shallow waters between these islands were a natural protection against hostile attacks over water for the whole “Zuiderzee”-region, including Amsterdam.

So, researchers, if you find the words “from Texel”, don’t always presume they lived there, maybe someone asked them: “Where do you come from”.

Choose from the Marine Museum Series
Introduction to Marine Museum Series
List of all ships sailing from Netherlands to the New World 1609 - 1674
List of all ships sailing from the New World to the Netherlands 1609 - 1674
#1: Dutch First Presence in the Atlantic Area
#2: The Isle of Texel
#3: The West Indies Company/West-Indische Compagnie (WIC)
#4: The Crossing: Routes and Duration
#5: Colonist Arrivals in the New World Between 1624-1640
#6: Colonist Arrivals in the New World Between 1641-1657
#7: Colonist Arrivals in the New World Between 1658-1660
#8: Colonist Arrivals in the New World Between 1661-1664
#9: Privateering Under W.I.C. Command
#10: Food on Board Ship
#11: Harbour Procedures in New Amsterdam


 
 

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