Wilhelmus Johannes Roosen (b 1879)

Peterus Theodorus Roosen & Geertruida Philippina Paulina Mulder

6 June 1879 Amsterdam, North Holland, NL[1]
26 November 1932 Amsterdam, North Holland, NL[9]
buried: 30 November 1932 Catholic Cemetery, St Barbara, Amsterdam, NL[18,20]

23 August 1905 Amsterdam, North Holland, NL[3]
Antonette Johanna Post
8 July 1879 Amsterdam, North Holland, NL[4]
24 October 1934 Amsterdam, North Holland, NL[13]
buried: 29 October 1934 Catholic Cemetery, St Barbara, Amsterdam, NL[20]

Theodora Antoinette Johanna Maria Johanna Geertruida Mathilda Maria

Jacobus Antonius Wilhelmus Maria Afra Josephina Antoinette Maria

Wilhelmus Johannes Antonius Maria


When Wilhelmus Johannes was born, his family was living at Bloemstraat 86 in the colourful Jordaan district just to the west of central Amsterdam.

From Willhelmus Johannes' birth certificate

They were still living there in 1881 when his brother, Theodorus Wilhelmus Carolus, was born[2].

Bloemstraat 86, Amsterdam

Wilhelmus’ two brothers, Josephus Theodorus and Theodorus Wilhelmus Carolus were witnesses to his marriage to Antonette Johanna Post[3] in 1905. Other witnesses were Antonette’s brother, Johannes Matthijs (Johan) Post and Wilhelmus’ brother-in-law, Jacobus Johannes Lambertus Rault. Wilhelmus’ occupation was stated as Tailor.

From Wilhelmus and Antonette's marriage certificate

Antonette’s parents were Anthonius Post and Johanna Catharina Klaver[3,4]. When Antonette and Wilhelmus were married Anthonius Post was living but Johanna Catharina Klaver had already died[3]. Antonette was 26 years of age when she was married but had no occupation[3].

Wilhelmus Johannes Roosen

Antonette Johanna Post

Places They Lived
Wilhelmus and Antonette lived in Amsterdam all of their lives[5].

In 1906, shortly after their marriage, Wilhelmus and Antonette lived at Groen van Prinstererstraat 25. Where he probably worked as a Tailor[16].  In November 1906, he was a witness at the second marriage of his father-in-law and stated his occupation as Tailor[23].

Groen van Prinstererstraat 25 (on the corner)

By early May 1908 they had moved to Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal 37[5]. It is likely that their first three children were born here.

The houses at Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal 35, 37 and 39 no longer exist. The site is covered by a modern office block.

The Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal  was previously a canal and was filled in in 1884.

Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal in ca 1870

In July 1913, the family moved to Korte Lijnbaansteeg 4 and stayed for almost three years[5]. Their second child, Johanna Geertruida Mathilda Maria died there on 1 October 1913 aged less than 2 years[6].  Wilhelmus was still working as a Tailor[6].

Korte Lijnbaansteeg 4 and Spuistraat 49 locations

Extracts from Wilhelmus Johannes' Amsterdam Gezinskaart

In February 1916, the family moved to a house at Spuistraat 49[5], from which Wilhelmus operated a tobacconist retail shop.  This house backs up against their previous house at Korte Lijnbaansteeg 4.

Wilhelmus’ father, Petrus Theodorus, died in 1913.  His death certificate states his occupation was a Shopkeeper selling Cigars[7].  Did Wilhelmus Johannes take over this  shop in Spuistraat 49 in early 1913 when he was living just around the corner in the adjoining property?  Was this when he changed from being a Tailor to operating a cigar shop?

Korte Lijnbaansteeg 4 (Oct 2003)

Korte Lijnbaansteeg ca 1920s

Spuistraat 49  (ca 1981)

In front – Jacobus Antonius Wilhelmus Maria Roosen and Theodora Antoinette Johanna Maria Roosen – children of Wilhelmus and Antonette

With backs to camera (L to R) - Michiel Jansz (husband of Theodora), Geoffrey Norman Roosen (son of Jacobus) and Deirdre Ann Young (wife of Geoffrey)

Old photo of Spuistraat showing number 49 (hand-drawn cart in front) and the Korte Lijnbaansteeg.

The Spuistraat 49 house is classic 19th century Amsterdam. Two steps led the customers to the shop level. Below was a basement, almost all of it below street level. The basement was approximately 5 metres by 5 metres and contained – a coal store, toilet, kitchen stove and wash basin with one tap for cold running water. There was also an meals table and chairs. Above the shop was the main living room which functioned as the parents' bedroom as well as a living room for the family. The uppermost floor was a single room divided by curtains to make bedrooms for the four children. Despite the less than salubrious living conditions (at least by today’s standards) this was a happy, healthy family environment[8].

Wilhemus Johannes’ name (while living at Spuistraat 49) appears on the list of eligible Electors for the 1919 Amsterdam city government elections.

He is also found in the Amsterdam telephone book in 1927.

The Spuistraat 49 house is located in the very heart of old Amsterdam, just  km north-west of the Royal Palace (on The Dam, the central square of Amsterdam).

The Spuistraat was formerly a canal, the Nieuwezijds Achterburgwal which was dug in 1380.  The canal was filled in 1867.

Spuistraat as a canal

Children of Wilhelmus and Antonette
ca 1930:-

(L to R) – Theodora, Wilhelmus,
Afra, Jacobus

Wilhelmus Johannes wanted his eldest son, Jacobus, to take over the shop but Jacobus was not interested. He wanted to be a Carpenter and wanted to work with his uncle Theo (Theodorus Wilhelmus Carolus, Wilhelmus' brother) who lived a little further down the street. Wilhelmus would not agree to this and they fought. At one point, Jacobus tried to join the Army as an escape, but he had severe acne and was rejected[11].

Passing On
Wilhelmus died on 26 November 1932 aged only 53 years.  He was severely diabetic and had ulcers on his feet and legs which would not heal.  It has also been said that he tried to cut a corn from his foot and in doing so, caused himself such severe bleeding that he died before medical help could arrive[10].

From Wilhelmus Johannes' death certificate

His son, Wilhelmus, remembered him to be very determined and independent[8].  He may also have been very stubborn to have not sought sufficient medical treatment to prolong his own life.

Apparently, Wilhelmus was so fat that his coffin could not be carried down the narrow stairs and had to be lowered to ground level from his second floor window using the usual hook at the top of most Amsterdam houses[10].

Part of Wilhelmus Johannes' funeral card                        click here for the full card

Wilhelmus Johannes' death notice also carried a number of biblical verses.  It seems that he was a very religious man.  He attended De Dominicuskerk (the Dominican Church) located at Spuistraat 15 for many years[21].  We also know that his eldest son, Jacobus, sang in the church choir as a young teenager.

De Dominicuskerk[22]

Wilhelmus Johannes was buried at the Catholic Cemetery of St Barbara in Amsterdam on 30 November[18,20].

Antonette Johanna Post

After Wilhelmus’ death, Antonette, and the children continued to live in the Spuistraat 49 house but the business was managed by Antonette’s brother Johan (Johannes Matthijs Post).

In September 1934, Antoinette and the children moved to Jan Pieter Heijestraat 170 (ground floor). Johan Post and his wife Marie were living in the same building two floors up[5,11,12].

Suddenly, Antonette died on 24 October 1934[13].  She was also buried at the Catholic Cemetery of St Barbara in Amsterdam on 30 November[20].

From Antonette Post's death certificat

Part of Antonette's funeral card
                                      click here for the full card

Her eldest child, Theodora, received her own Gezinskaart in Oct 1934[14].  It shows the Jan Pieter Heijerstraat 170 address. Later, the children could not continue to pay the rent and all four moved upstairs to the 3rd floor and lived with Johan Post and aunt Marie[11].

In November 1934, The Post family with the Roosen children moved to Zocherstraat 7.

Zocherstraat 7

The Roosen Children Move On
The youngest son, Wim, was not happy living with the Post family and he left in March 1935 to live with the Croin family at Jan van Galenstraat 68[14].  The family called Mrs Croin – Aunt Truuce.

Jacobus was also not happy and did not get along with his uncle Johan and left to join the Royal Netherlands Navy in May 1935[14].

In March 1936, the two Roosen daughters, Theodora and Afra, moved to another house at Admiralengracht 150[14].

Footnote 1:  Johan and Marie Post were still living at Zocherstraat 7 in November 1945.  Johan was suffering from throat cancer and had undergone many radiotherapy sessions, but he was not in good health[17].

Footnote 2:  Both Wilhelmus and Antoinette were buried in "common graves" in which 4 persons are buried together.  According to modern Dutch custom these graves are emptied and re-used every 10 years[20].

Click here to view my Post family tree.

Wilhelmus Johannes Roosen birth certificate
Theodorus Wilhelmus Carolus Roosen birth certificate
Wilhemus Johannes Roosen & Antonette Johanna Post marriage certificate
Antonette Johanna Post birth certificate
Wilhelmus Johannes Roosen Amsterdam Gezinskaart
Johanna Geertruida Mathilda Maria Roosen death certificate
Peterus Theodorus Roosen death certificate
Wilhelmus Johannes Antonius Maria Roosen – personal communication
Wilhelmus Johannes Roosen death certificate
Theodorus Maria Roosen – personal communication, Oct 2003
Afra Josephina Antoinette Maria Roosen – personal communication, Oct 2003
Johannes Matthijs Post Amsterdam Gezinskaart
Antonette Johanna Post death certificate
Theodora Antoinette Johanna Maria Roosen Amsterdam Gezinskaart
Amsterdam street map sections – Wegener Falkplan BV
Josephus Theodorus Roosen & Aafje Tulp marriage certificate
Letter from Michiel Jansz to Jacobus AWM Roosen 16 Nov 1945  
18 Wilhelmus Johannes Roosen death notice
19 Sint Barbara Kerkhof Catholic Cemetery website.
20 Personal communication, email, J Degenkamp, 12 Dec 2008.
21 Personal communcation, Rene Roosen, email 17 Dec 2008.
22 De Dominicuskerk website, Dec 2008.
Anthonius Post and Catharina Maria Johanna Krijger marriage certificate