GRIEP from Hansweert
For more than two centuries the Griep's have Hansweert as their base of operation

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  As early as 1474, records mention the right to operate a ferry from Kruiningen on the River Scheldt. The ferry-boats landed at Hannekijnswaard: a small polder, made dry in 1325. When a ferry-house was build, with some surrounding houses, the name of the place became shortened into Hansweert.

Around 1770, 33 year old Cornelis Griep moved with his family from Hoedekenskerke to Hansweert. From the lord of the manor of Kruiningen he leased the right to operate the ferry service on the Scheldt and the regular market boat from Kruiningen to Middelburg.

The descendants of Kornelis stayed to live at Hansweert for more then two centuries. In the beginning, all of them earned their living as skippers. Later on a lot of them had to move elsewhere to earn a living. In 1987, when most Griep's had already left, the last one died at Hansweert. Here is their story.



  Skipper Kornelis Griep (1737-1797) is the first Griep that lived at Hansweert. He was born at Hoedekenskerke. His father, Abram Janszoon Griep was a skipper and his mother a shopkeeper, a combination that often occurred: the wife sold the goods that her husband transported.

Kornelis and his family moved to Hansweert around 1770. At that time Hansweert was no more than a landing-place, a ferry house and a few small houses. From the Lord of the Manor of Kruiningen he leased the right to operate the ferry to Walsoorden. Kornelis Griep paid 22 pounds a year for that. Later he also became operator of the regular market boat to Middelburg.

In 1793 the family suffered a hard blow, when their son Janus, 24 years of age, died. When in 1797 also his wife died, this was apparently to much for him to bear, because shortly after that he drowned himself.
More about him on:
Kornelis Griep (1737-1797).

"April 13, Cornelis Griep took his own life, leaving behind 3 children"



  In 1795 the French conquered the Netherlands. In 1810 Napoleon even made it a part of his empire and introduced conscription for his army. In that same year a heavy flood drowned the polder of Kruiningen.
All this cannot deter the second generation of Griep's at Hansweert, the four sons of Kornelis (
Abraham, Marinus, Janus and Jacob), from continuing and enlarging the shipping business of their father.
  • Oldest son Abraham Griep (1764-1833) and his wife Maria Goosen from Oudelande, had seven children. Abraham worked for his father as a barge-hand, and after his death he operated his own barge. He also was a tradesman in grains. After the death of his wife he remarried in 1813 to Helena Stevense and two years later they moved to Waarde.

  • The second son, Marinus Griep (1765-1800) married to the widow Elisabeth Daniëlsdochter and was a bargeman just like his father and his brothers. In the year 1800, after a heavy November storm, this annotation is made in the Book of the Deaths of Kruiningen:
    "9 Nov.1800, Marinus Griep is drowned in the Waarse Kay, leaving behind his wife Elisabeth Daniëlse from Kruiningen. And her two children. And is buried here on November 15."

  • About son number three, Janus Griep (1769-1793), little is known, except for the fact that he died at the age of 24.

  • Youngest son Jacob Griep (1771-1855) (Job) married Tannetje Snoep and had eight children. According to the records of the Lord of the Manor of Kruiningen he started to lease the right to operate the ferry to Walsoorden in 1807, and paid f 48,- a year for it. The lease, at first for seven years, was prolonged until 1855, when he died, 84 years of age. His son Johannes took over the lease.




The third generation of Griep's at Hansweert included the children of oldest son Abraham and youngest son Jacob. Their brothers Marinus and Janus both died without having children.

Oldest son Abraham is ferry-skipper at Hansweert, but around 1815 he moved to Waarde, where his descendants continued the shipping business at Fort Bath and Rilland. Only his daughter Krijna and son Jan stayed to live at Hanweert:

  • Krijna Griep (1791-1853) married the bargehand Joannes van Saarloos. When Kruiningen was drowned by the floods of 1808 this Van Saarloos saved with his ship the lives of several people. They had three daughters.

  • Jan Griep (1793-1863) stayed at Hansweert and worked as a bargehand. After a few generations his branch of the family died out.


From every harbor in Zeeland there was a regular market boat service to Rotterdam. They sailed once every week and on Wednesdays they made their journey back home. In Rotterdam every market boat service had his own dedicated terminal. For the ones from Zeeland this was the Haringvliet.

The Haringvliet at Rotterdam, where the market boats from Zeeland had their terminal (1883)

The sons of Jacob Griep are the ones that continued the shipping business of the Grieps at Hansweert. They even enlarged their field of operation: three of them started to operate regular market boat services to Rotterdam:

  • Cornelis Griep (1795-1892), working as a barge hand, married in 1819 to Pieternella Griep from Yerseke. His wife died two years later while giving birth to their second child. In 1823 Cornelis remarried the widow Anna Driesprong from Kapelle. With her he had four more children.

  • Jacob Griep (1798-1876) married at Yerseke to Apolonia Sinke. At Yerseke he became the skipper of the regular market boat to Rotterdam and his wife was a shopkeeper.Jacob and his descendants are on page: <GRIEP FROM YERSEKE>.

  • Johannes Griep (1802-1881), called Janus, married Tannetje van der Plasse from Biezelinge. They had seven children. Janus Griep operated the regular market boat from Kruiningen and Schore to Rotterdam, and he also operated the ferry on the River Westerschelde from Hansweert to Walsoorden. In that quality he inhabited the ferry-house at Hansweert, until he died in 1881.

  • Jan Griep (1807-1858) married Josina van de Vrede from Yerseke. He operated the regular market boat from Kruiningen to Rotterdam and also inhabited the ferry-house at Hansweert. He died in 1858, 49 years of age, at Kruiningen. None of his nine children stayed to live at Hansweert.



  When the fourth generation of Griep's took over control, the times were hard. On the half the 19th century there even was a famine, caused by the failure of several potato harvests.
Besides that, the ferry service suffered growing competition from steamboat services. These services became possible because if the opening, in 1866, of the new canal through Zuid-Beveland.

Members of this fourth generation were in fact the children of Cornelis (1795-1862) and Johannes (1802-1880). Brother Jacob did leave Hansweert for Yerseke and the children of Jan also left Hansweert. And, ultimately, the descendants of the oldest son Cornelis didn't stay either:

  • Jacob Griep (1819-1906) married in 1841 to Johanna de Bak from Kruiningen and got two children. He is a bargehand, later on skipper, at Hansweert. In 1906 he died, 87 years old and widower, at Rotterdam. Both his children also left Hansweert for Rotterdam.
  • Adriaan Griep (1828-1898), a labourer, married three times after twice becoming a widower, and had six children. In 1862 he moved with his family to Yerseke. There he died at the age of 70. More about him on page: Adriaan Griep (1828-1898).
  When, in 1839, Belgium became an independent nation, the Netherlands took the obligation to maintain a proper waterway between Antwerp and Holland. As a result, a canal had to be excavated from Wemeldinge to Hansweert. On October 1, 1866, it was opened and it brought growth to Hansweert.  Personal to operate the locks, shipping-offices, shops and cafés, they all came to the once small village. In the middle of the heavily conservative region of Zuid-Beveland, Hansweert became known as Wild West.

The opening of the canal also had another consequence: now steamboats could moor in the newly made harbor.  Stimulated by the provincial government, a steam ferry started to operate and it became a deadly competitor for the Grieps with their sailing ships.   Around 1880, the sons of Johannes had to look for other ways to earn their living:

  • Jacob Griep (1822-1886) succeeded his father as operator of the market boat service from Kruiningen to Rotterdam. He and his falily lived at Schore and all of his children left Hansweert.
  • Jacobus Griep (1829-1909) worked as a barge hand on the ferry service. He married Leuntje Westveer, lived at Hansweert and, after 1870 at Schore; they had nine children. When the competition of the steam ferries became to strong, he started to operate a market boat service between Hansweert and Rotterdam.
  • Cornelis Griep (1831-1905) married Neeltje Lamper from Yerseke. They had five children. At first, together with his brother Jan, he operated the ferry   Hansweert-Walsoorden. When the ferry was abolished, he worked at the Hansweert locks.
  • Jan Griep (1835-1908) married Janna Schouwenaar, daughter of a tailor. They had seven children. Together with his brother Cornelis he operated the ferry Hansweert-Walsoorden. After that was abolished he became shipping agent.

The Hansweert locks, around 1910



  The fifth generation now included three branches: the children of Jacobus, those of Cornelis and those of Jan.

The flourishing time of the market boats were already vanishing. New laws had ended their protected position and the steamboats and the railway took over all the traffic.

For the first time, other professions appear among the  Griep family members, like a fishmonger and a teacher:

  • Johannes Griep (1862-1928) married Adriana Helena Janse, daughter of a teacher. They lived at Yerseke and had twelf children. He worked as a skipper and a oyster-farmer.
  • Matthijs Griep (1863-1932) also was a skipper. When he married Lucia de Roos from Ossenisse he adopted her catholic faith They lived at Hansweert and had four children.
  • Jacob Griep (1867-1535) married Wilhelmina Polderman, daughter of an innkeeper. They had five children. Only one of them, Johannes Willem, stayed to live at Hansweert. Jacob earned his living as a fisher and a fishmonger.
  • Marinus Griep (1868-1946) was a teacher at Burgh, on the island of Schouwen. There he married the bakers daughter Grietje Geelhoed. They had two children.
  • Jan Griep (1871-1949) worked as a barge hand and married Jannetje Cornelia van der Berge, daughter of a skipper from Oosterland. They had six children; none of them stayed to live at. After his wife died, in 1945, he went to live with his daughter at Anna Paulowna in the Noth of Holland.
  The children of Cornelis Griep (*1831), who stopped being a skipper and worked at the Hansweert locks, also stayed 'ashore':
  • The sisters Tannetje Griep (1861-1930) and Jannetje Griep (1865-1941) had a small grocery shop at the Nieuwstraat at Hansweert. Tannetje kept the shop and Jannetje was the one that took her coster's barrow (see picture below) to the locks to sell diary products to the skippers.

  • Johannes Griep (1872-1941) was a teacher at the Hansweert primary school. He married Cornelia Borgman from Molenbeek-Saint-Jean in Belgium. They had two daughters.
When the ferry service was abolished and skipper Jan Griep was working at the locks, his son Johannes started to use the former ferry boat -- a  'hoogaars'  type -- for his own living.

He used to buy agricultural products, like potatoes, from the farmers in Zeeland, transported them with his ship to Antwerp, and sold them directly to the city-dwellers:

  • Johannes Griep (1862-1940 married in 1883 to Johanna Paulina Barbier from Schore. They had six sons and a daughter. Johannes his profession was skipper/tradesman.



  The generation that was born around the turn of the former century and lived through two world wars, also was the generation that witnessed Hansweert when it really flourished. In its biggest year 1973 they see nearly 300 ships a day pass through the locks, and a lot of them were in some way involved in helping them do so. In those years, Hansweert is a very lively and bustling community.
  This sixth generation of Griep's at Hansweert included three family branches: the children of Jacob and Johannes and the 'catholic branch' of Matthijs:
  • Jacobus Augustinus Griep (1900-1938) (Ko) married to Charlotte Antoinette de Jong from Antwerp, the daughter of a tug boat captain. He worked at a shipping-agency near the locks (see picture at right), owned by his nephew Jan Griep . At the age of 37 year, he was hit by a passing moped in front of the office, and died because of thrombosis. They had no children.
  • Augustinus Pieter Griep (Guust) worked for the National Waterways Agency, stayed single and lived at Hansweert
  • Leuntje Pieternella Griep married to a commission-agent in potatoes, Dankert Janse Rijk and her youngest sister Pieternella Tannetje Griep married to Petrus Huisman from 's-Hertogenbosch. They lived at Vlissingen, Rilland-Bath, Vlissingen, Kruiningen and ultimately at Vlissingen again.
  From the five children of the fishmonger Jacob Griep, only one stayed to live at Hansweert:
  • Johannes Willem Griep and his wife Maatje van Eenenaam had one son. He was employed at a contractors office and lived at Kruiningen, Vlissingen and Middelburg.

  The last bargemen among the Grieps of Hansweerts were the five sons of Johannes (1862-1940). One of them drowned while pursuing his profession, three of them succesivily choose for a living at shore and one of them retired as captain of a tugboat. After them, 'Griep from Hansweert' stopped to be a family of skippers:
  • Jan Griep (1884-1970) and his wife Elisabeth Bruggeman got five children. After successively being skipper and owner of a sailing boat and a towed vessel, he settled around 1925 at Hansweert to operate a shipping and customs agency.
  • Hendrik Griep (1887-1978) and Maria Theresia van der Wege had two daughters and a son. Hendrik worked a while as a bargeman and was after that employed at the Hansweert shipyard. Most of her life his wife lived in a mental home at Bergen op Zoom.
  • Jacob Griep (1888-1985) and Paulina van de Kreeke had two sons, and a daughter that only lived for three days. He earned his living at the Hansweert locks. His wife died in 1933 and Jacob Griep, at 97 years of age, in 1985.
  • Marinus Griep (1892-1953) and Janna Cornelia van Poelje had one son. After having worked as a bargehand for a few years, he became disabled for the rest of his life.
  • Johannes Griep (1894-1932) and his wife both drowned on November 1932 when their ship was wrecked in a storm near Hoedekenskerke. His wife Katharina Verfürden was saved by a coaster.
  • The only daughter Elisabeth Johanna Griep (1895-1984) stayed to live with her mother, nursed her, and died single in 1985 in an elderly home at Goes.
  • Pieter Jacobus Griep (1900-1974) and Tannetje Cornelia Zoeteweij had two children. In 1929 they moved to Dordrecht, where Pieter became the captain of a tugboat.



  The seventh generation of Grieps at Hansweert do not include anymore skippers or bargemen. Three sons of Jan Griep (1884-1970) had taken over his shipping-agency, and a son of Jacob Griep (1888-1985) was the last one who worked oat the locks. Most of them lived at the eastern part of the village, the part that had to be demolished when the canal was widened.

1980: There are still ships in the locks, but the demolition of Hansweert-Oost (left) has already started

  In 1978 it all ends for Hansweert-East. The last Griep's leave Hansweert, with two exceptions: Jacob Griep (1888-1985) who spends his last years in the home for the elderly, and his distant nephew Augustinus Griep (1901-1987) who died in the old part of Hansweert in 1987. Hansweert itself is also dying a bit in those days. The harbor and the old locks are filled with sand and there are no ships anymore to moor at Hansweert. It means the end of most of the shops, the cafés and the busy atmosphere.

Do you have more information about this Griep family, or are you one of them yourself? Please look on the page 'how to participate' how you can contribute to this project
or send an email to

Start -- Sitemap -- Introduction -- How to paticipate? -- Index of Griep names
Griep from Hoedekenskerke -- Griep at Yerseke -- Griep at Waarde and Krabbendijke -- Griep at Rilland
Genealogy Jan Adriaenszoon Griep -- The ferry service Hansweert-Walsoorden
Last update of this page (
on October 27, 2005 by ©
Jan Griep, Katwijk aan Zee, The Netherlands.