kolff: history: geography: 2: 3

kolff family coat of arms

Three skippers on the river Waal - 1600-1740 (3/3)

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These stones must have come from factories along the river Waal or from even further downstream, although they were sometimes described as Yssel-stones. No longer it was about tons, but numbers is what we find: 24.000 stones is the greatest number we find in the registers being the cargo at one voyage. Only sometimes it went upstream with another cargo of Peterkens' "kaege" (I think: type of carvel [Ed.]) such as on July 24, 1637, when it moored at Zaltbommel with a cargo of wheat, soap, sea salt, cheese, brandy, fish, vinegar, "some pedlary" ("wat kramerije"), a droogvat (?) (I am not able to translate this [Ed.], likely to be an empty barrel), and cotton bags. During these years, it seems, one went downstream most often unloaded and so one did not report at the tolls. Profit now came from upstream trade. Gradually Wouter, Peterkens' son, took over the business. After all he was 25 years of age when his father died. Halfway the 1640's the transport of stones seems to end. In this time of peace prosperity grew. As cargo we now see the earlier found materials that Peterken transported, however now and then the ships were replenished with French and Spanish wines, distilled "waters"(upstream) and copper barrels (both up- and downstream) (4). The last details that Mr. Nouwt has found so far date from the year 1648, the year of the peace. Peterken died 1649. Wouter must have stayed skipper till his death in 1654, but his widow, Maria van Heteren, has probably not continued his business. She must have been busy most of the time with her clergycal profession and also with the education of her son, who was to become a minister in church. But this is another story.

"The Merchant and the Minister" is a phrase that outlines the 17th century history of the Kolffs quite well. This contribution has been limited to the first of the two professions.

Dirk Kolff, archivist
(translation to English: Marius Kolff)

4. Report of research by P. Nouwt, MA; Waalre, 21 November 2005.