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Ben Oostdam's Parents and Grandparents


My Father and Grandparents


My father, Bernard Laurentius Oostdam, was born on January 3, 1909 in Amsterdam. His father and mother (left) came from Zeeuws Vlaanderen after they converted from Roman Catholic to Reformed ("Gereformeerd"); at that time, it took two days of travel to pass through the province of Zeeland and reach Holland. He had two brothers who died as teenagers, and four sisters: one of them, Netty - shown in the picture on the wall - was my favorite after she and her family returned from the Netherlands East Indies in the 1930's.

My father worked very hard as a teacher and school principal. He contracted malaria in the 1930's, smoked a lot and suffered from emphysema, so that he was put on disability pension in 1965. I cannot think of anyone who was a better father and teacher than my father.
He died in 1985 at the age of 76, and kept up his broad interests in family and world till his last day.


At the right, I am the smallest in a four-
generation photograph taken in 1932.
My father is holding me while my maternal grandfather - pictured as a 17 year old on the preceding page and my great-grandfather are proudly posing for posterity (and you).
My "overgrootvader", whose last name was Muller, was born in 1856, lived in Amsterdam and was the father of my maternal grandmother (wow!) We had to do some 'fernagling' to come up with four generations, since the direct line did not work.


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