For younger generations of ancestors who are descended from this family:
|see page on||Van der Voort|
The earliest known members of this family were living in Gorinchem, see map.
There is however a theory that this family originally came from Eastern Europe. There are letters from two official Dutch institutions to our relation Ph. Verhagen Metman, which contain interesting information (or at least a theory) on the early history of the Metman family.
The first letter, dated 19 January 1963, is from dr. A.R. Kleyn of the "Historisch-genealogisch en Heraldisch Archief" in Zeist. It says that our Metman ancestors who were living in the Netherlands around 1800 used a coat of arms which is unique in Western Europe. According to dr. Kleyn, it is remarkably similar to the coats of arms of the German-Polish families Dembienski, Ostrowski, Pruszynski and Regulski. No picture is included in the letter, but dr. Kleyn gives the following description (please excuse my popular translation):
Against a green background, a woman "en-face", wearing golden clothes, holding a long staff in her raised left hand, with both legs hanging down (pointing front), sitting on a silver sheep with a golden collar which she holds with her right hand. The crest of this coat of arms is a gold and green "flight" (wings).
The second letter, dated 23 June 1965, is from H.L. Kruimel of the "Centraal Bureau voor Genealogie" in The Hague. In the archives there is a description of Abraham Metman's coat of arms which is similar to the one above, except that it is not a woman but a shepherd, not sitting on the sheep but standing behind it, not holding a staff in the left hand but in the right hand. (Left and right get easily confused in heraldry.)
Some highly personal impressions and memories of members of the Metman and Van der Voort families - some of which very
unflattering - were written down in an account (Dutch only) by Paulus van den Berg, the son of
Alexandrina Charlotte ("Lot" or "Lotje") Paulowna Metman and her husband Jan Cornelis van den Berg, see
below. Paulus' detailed remarks seem truthful enough, but there is of course no way of knowing whether
he he creates a balanced picture of the people concerned. However, it was too tempting not to include the passages concerning
the Metman and related families in my website.
According to Paulus van den Berg, our great-grandmother Anna Wilhelmina Metman always maintained that she was a descendant of "Johanna of Aragon", which Paulus thought was completely ridiculous and a good example of the sort of unwarranted claims to high social status typical for country-"notarissen" and their families (who apparently still felt not taken seriously enough by the traditional upper class in Dutch society during the 19th and early 20th centuries.) But what Paulus could not have known, and probably not even Anna Wilhelmina herself, is that the Metman family is indeed likely to have had illustrious ancestors. In this website you can follow their line back through the Verhagen, Van Rijswijk (younger branch), Van Rijswijk (old branch), Van Dalem families, the Counts of Bentheim, and the "heren" of Cuijk, Counts of Werl-Arnsberg. The latter two families were descended from the various ruling families in Europe including Emperor Charlemagne and his successors. (However, this would in my opinion still not warrant feeling superior to other people, because almost every European is somehow descended from the medieval nobility, as I have tried to point out in the Introduction.)
(See 10 generations back)
(blood-relationship 0,098 %)
* ? x Maria van Boor + ?
Abraham Metman (?-?)
and Maria van Boor (?-?)
(See 9 generations back)
(blood-relationship 0,195 %)
* ? x Geertrui van der Weteringh (17-2-1664) + 8-5-1712 (Gorinchem)
Lambrecht Metman (?-1712)
and Geertrui van der Weteringh (?-?)
(See 8 generations back)
(blood-relationship 0,39 %)
* 1679 x Catharina van Solingen (Gorinchem 9-6-1697) + 1733
Abraham and Catharina were living in the "Molenstraat" in Gorinchem.
* 30-7-1664 (Gorinchem) x Dirk Int (21-11-1690) + ?
Helene's husband, a widower, was an army sergeant.
(Order of births not known, not known if any other children)
Abraham Metman (1679-1733)
and Catharina van Solingen (1676-1748)
(See 7 generations back)
1. Hercules Metman
* 2-2-1698 (Gorinchem) + ? (before 5-1699)
2. Hercules (Herkeles) Metman
(blood-relationship 0,78 %)
* 22-5-1699 (Gorinchem) x Hillegonda van Dongen (13-4-1723) + 1777
Occupation: "tinnegieter" (pewtersmith) in Gorinchem ("Gorkum"), "ouderling" 1746-1759
3. Willemina Metman
* 23-11-1701 (Kwintsheul) + ?
4. Lambertus Metman
* 12-11-1702 (Gorinchem) + 6-12-1702
5. Lambert Metman
* 7-11-1703 (Gorinchem) + 10-12-1705
6. ? Metman
* 23-1-1705 (Gorinchem) + ?
7. Geertrui Metman
* 14-11-1706 (Gorinchem) x Joris van der Beek + 5-7-1731
Geertrui and her husband were living in Delft
8. Joanna Metman
* 20-11-1709 (Gorinchem) + ?
9. Lambertus Metman
* 22-1-1712 (Gorinchem) + 23-3-1712
(The third Lambert in this family to die very young)
10. Maria ("Marika") Metman
* 10-5-1713 (Gorinchem) + 20-9-1744
11. Lambertus Metman
* 31-1-1716 (Gorinchem) + 6-2-1716
12. Petronella Metman
* 17-1-1719 (Gorinchem) + 14-5-1719
Hercules Metman (1698?-?)
and Hillegonda van Dongen (1702-1737)
(See 6 generations back)
1. Elisabeth Metman
* 3-5-1724 x Jan van Amerongen (23-10-1744) + ?
2. Catharina Metman
* 14-8-1726 + ?
(Catharina was unmarried)
3. Abraham ("Abram") Metman
* 21-4-1728 x Sara van Doorn (1-4-1756) + ?
Occupation: "diaken" in 1754, "ouderling" in 1772, "schepen" in Gorinchem 1780
4. Gijsbertus Metman
* 30-9-1729 + 23-12-1729
5. Gijsbertus Metman
* 8-10-1730 + 4-11-1730
6. Gijsbertus ("Gijsbert") Metman
(blood-relationship 1,56 %)
* 23-10-1731 (Gorinchem?) x Anna Cornelia Verhagen + ?-12-1802 (Gorinchem)
Occupation: gold- and silversmith, Gorinchem; "deken, keurmeester, commissaris van het Gilde; diaken, grootboekhouder, ouderling, schepen, raadslid, regent van het Pesthuis; kapitein van het exercitiegenootschap De Eendracht." Gijsbert was a staunch "Patriot", an opponent to the rule of prince Willem V of Orange, the "Stadhouder" at the time, and he became a "provisioneel representant" in 1795 at the beginning of the period of Napoleon's rule over Holland and much of continental Europe.
7. ? Metman
* ? + 2-9-1733
8. Ida Margrita Metman
* 2-12-1735 + ?
Gijsbertus Metman (1731-1802)
and Anna Cornelia Verhagen (1739-1783)
(See 5 generations back)
1. Hercules Metman
* 9-7-1759 x Aletta de Beer (8-7-1782) + ?
Occupation: pewtersmith in Gorkum, "diaken", 1785
2. Anna Metman
* 14-6-1761 x I. Ewoud Bol II. Dirk Rozenburg (or Roosenburg) (1804) + 22-10-1848 (Gorinchem)
Anna's first husband Ewoud owned a house and a brewery on the Westwagerstraat in Gorinchem. Her nephew, our second great-grandfather Hendrik Willem Metman, see below, started his career working there. Anna's second husband Dirk was gold & silversmith in Gorinchem and member of "the Vroedschap" (the town council). Their descendant J.G. Roosenburg kindly gave me the following information: In 1806 they sold the house and brewery in Gorinchem to Gijsbert Cornelis Metman, her youngest brother, for 7,000 guilders. Dirk, although 3 years Anna's junior and only 45, died after being married for only six years. Anna brought up her two stepchildren, of whom the son Jan became a doctor and he moved back to Schoonhoven, where he was "wethouder" (alderman) and obstetrician.
3. Otto Warnardus Metman
* 19-11-1766 + ? (before 23-4-1768)
4. Hillegonda Metman
* 1764 + 29-7-1764
5. Otto Warnardus Metman
* 23-4-1768 + 31-12-1806?
Otto Warnardus was a naval officer who mysteriously disappeared. An article on this exceptional case was witten by Bas van Beuzekom, who describes Otto's career. In 1788 Otto joined the "Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie" (VOC), the famous old company which was by then long past the peak, and sailed to Batavia (now Jakarta, in Indonesia). In August 1791 he returned to Holland, but the next year he left for Ceylon, an important Dutch colony, now Sri Lanka. In 1794 he returned home again, having been promoted to "onder-luitenant" (sub-lieutenant). In 1795 Prince William V of Orange fled the country when the French Army invaded and occupied Holland. The Revolutionary French-inspired "Bataafse Republiek" was now created, and Otto, probably also a "Patriot" like his father, immediately joined its new Navy. The Republic, first occupied and effectively ruled by the French, and later simply annexed by Emperor Napoleon, was now at war with Britain. On 9-2-1796 Otto was assigned to a ship of the line in rear-admiral Lucas' squadron, which was sent to protect the Dutch East-Indies. Cape Good Hope had fallen to the British, and it had to be retaken first if possible. On 6-8-1796 the fleet finally sailed into a bay close to the Cape, where Lucas received the message that a superior British fleet was approaching. Lucas made the wrong decision to stay where he was. On 16-8-1796 the enemy arrived and ordered the Dutch to surrender. After first having refused, Lucas was faced by the mutiny of his own crew, many of whom were still supporters of Prince William and did not want to give their lives for the Republic. Threatened by his own men, Lucas surrendered the next day, and to make his loss of honour complete, he asked the British to restore order. Otto was made a prisoner of war and was sent to England on 20-8-1796. After having been exchanged in 1801, he rejoined the Republic's navy in 1803 and on 14-5-1804 he got the command of a ship, a schooner-gunboat. On 15/16-5-1804, and between 16-9-1804 and 11-10-1805 his ship was involved in fights with British ships. On 12-10-1805 he arrived at Boulogne harbour, having finished what was his last mission. His admiral, in his assessment, called Otto a good sailor, but added that he would never be up to the standards of a respectable officer corps. It is not known what the admiral was hinting at. Otto left Boulogne on 12-1-1806 and went to The Hague, where he was last seen on 31 December 1806. He certainly did leave The Hague, but from there there no trace of him has ever been found. His brother Abraham did manage to have him officially declared "dead in all probability" on 17-5-1842.
6. Abraham Metman
* 11-7-1770 + 12-1-1844
Occupation: goldsmith in Gorinchem. Abraham was unmarried.
7. Elisabeth Metman
* 5-1-1773 x Simon Cornelis van Appeltere (Gorinchem 1797) + 1828
Elisabeth's husband was the President of the "Arrondissements Rechtbank" (Lawcourt) in Gorinchem.
8. Philippus Verhagen Metman
(blood-relationship 3,125 %)
* 5-11-1775 (Gorinchem) x I. Johanna Adolphina Florentina Eleonora Legou II. Henrietta Wilhelmina Meurs (St. Michelsgestel 24-11-1818) + 1839
Philippus went to study theology at Leiden University on 17-9-1792, and after getting his degree he became "dominee" (clergyman), first (from 1799 to 1807) in Vlijmen and after that in Waalwijk. After giving birth to twins, his second wife Henrietta Wilhelmina died at the age of 29.
9. Gijsbertus Cornelis Metman
* 8-8-1778 + 26-4-1817
Philippus Verhagen Metman (1775-1839)
and Henrietta Wilhelmina Meurs (1790-1819)
(See 4 generations back)
1. Hendrik Willem Metman (See portrait)
(blood-relationship 6,25 %)
* 11-9-1819 (Waalwijk) x Alexandrina Charlotte Paulowna Rauws (Waalwijk 3-5-1842) + 13-5-1890 (Wateringen)
It is interesting to note that this grandson of a staunch "Patriot" married the granddaughter of an equally staunch "Prinsgezinde" (Orangist). Hendrik Willem first worked in the brewery that had belonged to his aunt Anna Metman. In 1843 he went to Baardwijk to become a merchant. Not long afterwards he was appointed "burgemeester" of "Hendrik-Ido Oostendam en Schildmans kinderen Ambacht" (in short Hendrik-Ido Ambacht) and in 1850 of Ridderkerk. In 1861 he became "notaris", "gemeenteraadslid", "president-kerkvoogd van de Nederlands-Hervormde Gemeente", "secretaris en penningmeester van het polderbestuur", all this in the town of Wateringen in the Westland, part of the Province of South-Holand. He had a house built for his family, which he named "Altena". This may have been a reference to the Land van Altena, but it certainly was also a pun, in English it would translate as "all too nigh", because the house was built just too close to a large windmill, and from the start this caused trouble between the neighbours. The miller was afraid that the new house would act as a windbreaker, and had to increase the height of his mill, no doubt at great expense.
Life in "Altena" was very simple, according to his grandson Paulus van den Berg. The family did not go out very often and there were not too many visitors apart from family relations. There were however many festivities within the family, which were famous for the amount and quality of the food and drink at dinners. Once a week, Hendrik Willem visited the "kolfbaan" (a field for "kolf", a traditional ballgame, which also had a cafe.) It is not known whether he played himself, but he did like to have a few glasses of beer, being a former brewer himself, before returning home early. His great pride was his fruit- and vegetable garden, which was very beautiful according to Paulus van den Berg. Hendrik Willem seems to have had an excellent health until his unexpected death, in his sleep, at the age of 81. His wife Lotje had died a year earlier, crippled by a series of strokes.
2. Henriette Wilhelmina Metman
* 11-9-1819 (Waalwijk) + 25-10-1819 (Waalwijk)
The birth of Hendrik Willem's twin sister gave fatal complications, causing the immediate death of their mother Henriette Wilhelmina at the age of 29. The baby girl, called after her mother, died a month later.
Hendrik Willem Metman (1819-1890)
and Alexandrina Charlotte Paulowna Rauws (1816-1889)
(See 3 generations back)
1. Philippus ("Flip") Metman
* 28-3-1843 x Hermina van der Voort (Bloemendaal 30-10-1873) + 1-6-1912 (Bloemendaal)
Occupation: naval officer, later "secretaris" of Bantam, Dutch East Indies. He returned to Holland with his daughter Pauline by a native Indonesian woman. His later wife Hermina was the daughter of our second great-grandparents Asuerus van der Voort and Maria Catharina Stoel, and the sister of our great-grandfather Asuerus van der Voort Azn, who married Philippus Metman's sister Anna Wilhelmina, see below. Paulus van den Berg describes "Mina" van der Voort as a very kindhearted woman, who brought up her husband's daughter Pauline as if it was her own. In fact, Pauline only discovered much later that Hermina was not her biological mother. Flip Metman was a giant of a man, according to Paulus van den Berg. He seems to have been a rough character, who at one time beat up his wife's seamstress because Hermina had complained about her work. When the poor woman's husband appeared next morning, Flip Metman thought he would now suffer revenge, but instead the husband thanked him and asked for these educational beatings to be repeated from time to time! Towards the end of his life, Flip Metman was admitted to "Meerenberg" psychiatrical institution in Boemendaal where he died.
2. Henriette ("Jet") Wilhelmina Metman
* 17-8-1844 x Teunis Scheltema (Wateringen) + 31-12-1927 (Haarlem)
"Jet" Metman was a small woman with a very dark complexion, which according to Paulus van den Berg had caused her to be nicknamed "de bruinvis" (literally "brownfish", porpoise in English). As a young woman she became engaged to a man called Meerdink from Winterswijk, but she broke off the engagement, leaving the rejected lover in a suicidal state, or so the story was told to Paulus. Later in life Jet married her father's assistant Teunis Scheltema, originally from Ameland, who's second wife she became. After his death, Jet moved to Haarlem where she lived a very sober life. There, after many years, she reestablished friendly contacts with her sister Anna Wilhelmina, our great-grandmother.
3. Pieter Karel ("Charles") Sebastiaan Metman
* 9-11-1845 + 29-9-1915
Charles Metman became a naval officer. According to Paulus van den Berg, Charles was a somewhat excentric man who never got married and did absolutely nothing after his early retirement. Although he behaved like a rough sailor, using swearwords in every sentence, he had a kind nature. His made his brother Flip's daughter Pauline, see above, one of his heirs. For some reason, relations between Charles and Jet on the one hand and their younger sisters Lotje and Anna were disrupted after the death of their father. (One could of course speculate that this had something to do with their father's last will.) Paulus van den Berg did meet his uncle Charles on a few occasions. He describes a scene where he and his mother Lotje entered a fully occupied restaurant in The Hague where they were offered a seat by a gentleman who was just leaving. After he had left, Paulus noticed that his mother had not even recognised her own brother Charles anymore after twenty years. But Charles would have guessed that the lady who accompanied his nephew Paulus was his own sister Lotje.
4. Leonard Metman
* 13-8-1846 + 3-9-1866
5. Alexandrina Charlotte ("Lot" or "Lotje") Paulowna Metman
* 9-11-1848 x Jan Cornelis van den Berg (Delft 24-7-1872) + ?
When "Lotje" was engaged to her future husband Jan, who was living in his parents' house, visible across the fields three kilometers away in the village of 't Woudt, they maintained contact by a secret signalling system, using various coloured pieces of cloth (They did of course not have a telephone). Lotje's husband became a teacher at a secundary school in The Hague, and later they moved to Winterswijk. Their son Paulus van den Berg, who became a "notaris" like his grandfather, left a very interesting account on the members of his family whom he had known as a boy. According to Paulus, his grandparents Metman were at first rather disappointed with their son-in-law, who was "only" a schoolteacher and the son of a clergyman. (This is remarkable, because Hendrik Willem Metman himself was the son of a clergyman) Still, they may have hoped for a son-in-law with a higher social status. Their relationship was cool at first, but later it seems to have become very good. According to Paulus, his mother Lotje had a dark complexion, like her brothers and sisters, and was very beautiful. She was apparently known as "pearl of the Westland". Paulus describes the relationship between his parents and the family of his aunt Anna Wilhelmina and her husband Asuerus van der Voort as most cordial.
6. Hendrik Willem Metman
* 13-8-1850 + 1853
7. Helena ("Lena") Aletta Metman
* 26-6-1851 x Jacob van Ek (Wateringen 16-7-1881) + 1940 (Haarlem)
Paulus van den Berg reserves extremely unflattering remarks for his aunt Lena and her family. Paulus says he always had his doubts about Lena's mental capabilities. She married a carpenter, and according to Paulus van den Berg this was a much greater disappointment to Lena's parents than Lotje's husband had been. They went to live above the carpenter's shop in Haarlem. Her husband Jacob developed a drinking problem and went bankrupt, after which he did not live for long anymore. Lena, however, reached the age of 89, living in poor circumstances, being supported by her relations, while her son - according to Paulus - was always trying to get at his mother's allowance.
8. Anna Wilhelmina Metman (See portrait), (See family portrait)
(blood-relationship 12,5 %)
* 31-7-1853 (Ridderkerk) x Asuerus van der Voort Azn. (Wateringen, 20-12-1876) + 7-11-1927 (Haarlem)
Paulus van den Berg writes that Anna had a somewhat lighter complexion than the rest of the family, who all had very dark hair. She was a well-organised housewife, who with her husband created a pleasant atmosphere for their own children and those of her sister Lotje, who often came to stay with them, and for their frequent guests. Still, Paulus thought his aunt Anna had a sharp tongue and a quick judgement on people, whereas his mother Lotje had a gentler character and was in his view more beautiful.
The well-known painter Jan Toorop (1858-1928) made portraits of our great-grandparents Metman in 1902, which are still in the family. As a boy, Toorop lived in in the house of Lotje Metman and her husband Jan Cornelis van den Berg in The Hague, not far from where our great-grandparents Anna Wilhelmina Metman and Asuerus van der Voort Azn. lived. Apparently, young Toorop often stayed with them as well. Our great-grandmother Anna used to help young Toorop with his homework for school.
For her descendants see the page on Van der Voort.
9. Hendrik Willem Metman
* 1855 + 1855
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