Sunday, February 10, 2013

De Oude Kerk, Amsterdam

Today I visited De Oude Kerk (The Old Church) in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.  The building was constructed around 1300 and is still in use as a church, among other pursuits.  Currently the Church houses an art exhibit from the Gerrit Rietveld Art Academy.

The floor is comprised of gravestones.  Wealthy people paid to be buried inside the Church.  A computer database exists of the burials for your use within the church or online.  Stones and records can be found for burials from the 1500s through the 1800s.

Floor of gravestones, with the buried underneath.
Backer Family side by side for centuries.

You can look up graves by their location within the Church.

You can also browse or search names.  Keep in mind that spellings were not uniform.

Gravestones could be used again by scratching off someone's name.

Close-up of removed inscription of a prior occupant.

The room of the Graeff grave is occupied by this piece of artwork.

Art display:  an unmade bed.

Partial gravestone.

Dangling art.

More art.

Note written on napkin on side of kiddie pool.
I do not know if this is part of the art.

Art display.

Art display of dirt, not a fresh burial.

Me on the stairs inside the Church.  No heat.

Copper plaques from coffins.

Plaque from coffin.
Ida Cornelia Deutz, wife of
Robbert Jan Neel
died 4 March 1807


  1. Thank you for posting the article and pix of the Oude Kerk located in Amsterdam, Nord-Holland, Nederland; I found it/them very interesting as I will explain below.
    But first, I was drawn to your blog because of your mention of the Woodland Cemetery located in Newark, NJ. I have found many of my mother’s family members buried there; Ochsners and Kradells. Right now I am trying to determine if an Ochsner-descendant, George Wilhelm Turner (1882-) is buried there also. His mother was Amelia Louisa Kradell nee Ochsner, my gmother, who is also buried in Woodland. I’ve asked Mary Lish for a look-up assist, but haven’t hrd back yet.
    Now back to the Oude Kerk of Amsterdam. I’m an 11th gen descendant of Jacobus Schellinks (1625-1693) ( aka Schellinx when the family lived in the Flemish province of Limburg). Upon Jacobus' arrival in the Americas, his name was Anglicized to Schellinger, and then, much later, to Skellenger, and other spelling variations too numerous to mention. As far as I can determine, Jacobus was the first immigrant to bring this surname to the Americas; he arrived at the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam ca 1643. The point of presenting this history is that Jacobus was baptized in the Oude Kerk on 16 Oct 1625 according to church records. The actual date of his birth has never been recovered that I’m aware of. Jacobus’ younger brother, Daniel (1627-1701), was also baptized in the Oude Kerk, but five other sibs were all baptized in the Nieuwe Kerk
    Are you aware the Oude Kerk and other Amsterdam records are available on-line? Here’s the link if you need to access this d/b:
    It was nice to see pix of the inside of the church, where approx 388 years ago, my 9th ggfather was baptized; this provides a sense of historic connection to the past, at least to me. Thanks for your efforts to facilitate that feeling.
    br, Mike Skelenger

  2. You are welcome, Michael!
    I have heard from several people thrilled to see pictures of places their ancestors traveled. I am grateful that I was able to make such a trip.

  3. wow! It was great to stumble on your site! Jacobus Schellinger was my 8th great grandfather! Thank you so much for sharing your photos!
    Gail Ford

    1. Glad that your ancestor was one of the pictures I took by chance.