Barbara Elias de Meij

Other name: 
Barber, Berber
Birth or Baptism date: 
December 20, 1629
Death or Burial date: 
July 11, 1666

Daughter of Delft serge merchant Elias de Meij, Barbara grew up on the Oosteinde in Delft, a couple hundred yards away from her future husband. She was three years older and even though Antony was away at school after age eight, it's plausible that they knew each other as children.

In the baptism and burial records, she is Barbara. As a bride, she was Berber. As a mother, Barber for the first child and Barbara for the second and for this document.

She had an older sister, Maria, who was born on 1626 09/27 and died on 1676 01/26.

In the summer of 1654 when Antony returned from his apprenticeship in Amsterdam, he and Barbara married. However, Antony did not buy the house on the Hippolytusbuurt until February 1655, and on the marriage record, Antony is noted as living on the Verwersdijk. The newlyweds may have lived at B0546 now Verwersdijk 97 A in the house cousin Geertruijt Huijchs Leeuwenhoeck, who was unmarried and childless, inherited from their grandfather Thonis Philips. If so, Antony and Barbara were living around 250 yards from the gunpowder magazine that exploded in October 1654, well within the range where people died. His youngest sister Catherina is listed as living there, also, when she married Claes Jans van Leeuwen on March 17, 1655.

Barbara bore five children, only one of whom survived infancy. Maria, born in 1656, lived until 1745. However, Philips, born in 1655, was buried six weeks after he was baptized. Margriete, born in 1658, was buried one week after she was baptized. The second Philips, born in 1663, was buried three weeks after he was baptized.

In the summer of 1666, Barbara died three weeks after her fifth child (and third Philips) died, not yet two years old. Maria, her only surviving child, was 10, and Antony was 34.

Keeping with the family tradition, they named all three boys after Antony's father. Commonly, the first child was named after the father's father or the mother's mother. The second child was named after its mother's family if the first-born was male, and after its father's family if the first born was female. If a child died, the next-born child received the same name. Thus all three sons were named Philips.

Other than the baptisms of her children and being a witness at the baptisms of children in the family, Barbara has little presence in the Delft city records. In 1655, she and Antony inherited D0028 now Oosteinde 248, and it eventually passed to their daughter Maria.