Neeltje Jans Hogenhouck

maternal great-grandmother
Death or Burial date: 
July 31, 1627

Antony's great-grandmother Neeltje Jans Hogenhouck came from one of Delft's most prominent families, called regents. She was married twenty-five years before the Dutch Republic was even founded in 1581. Yet she lived into her nineties, dying in 1627, only five years before Antony was born.

Neeltje was the person who united the two sides of Leeuwenhoek's mother's family. For a century, her Hogenhouck relatives served on the Veertigraad and as mayor, magistrate, treasurer, and orphan master: her father Jan Jacobs, her brother Maerten Jans, Maerten's four sons, and two of their sons, her grand nephews. She was married to Sebastiaan Cornelis van den Berch, who served on the Veertigraad from 1579 to 1605, as magistrate in 1584 and 1603. Two of their sons also took the family's place on the Veertigraad. Her siblings Maerten Jans and Margaretha Jans married Catharina Adriaens and Jacob Adriaens van der Dussen, also brother and sister. These were the Protestant van der Dussens. Not only that, Maerten Jans' first wife, Margriete Sasbouts van der Dussen, was a Catholic van der Dussen.

Neeltge lived for more than seventy years in de Bel (D0399, D0400 now Koornmarkt 72).  She raised eleven children to adulthood, eight boys and three girls. They became businessmen and married into other regent families. One of them, Aeltje Sebastiaans van den Berch, never married, but she inherited de Bel, where she lived for another two decades until her death in 1649. At that time, Antony was seventeen and had just started his apprenticeship in Amsterdam. It was Aeltje's bequest that Antony's mother lived on at the end of her life and a share of which came to Antony in 1664.

Neeltje Jans, as a widow, and her son Johan were called clothsellers in various documents, although her son Jacob, Antony's grandfather, was a brewer.