William Loban (1595–ca. 1647)

William Loban, founder of our Dutch Laban branch.

William Loban (1596–aft. 1637) went to Holland in 1620 as a soldier in the 2nd Company in the Regiment of Col. David Colyear, which settled in to Stavenisse, Tholen, Zeeland to help the protestant Dutch against Spain during the Eighty Years War (Dutch War of Independence) (1568–1648).

Scottish mercenaries in the 1630’s. Scottish mercenaries, assumed to be men of Mackay’s Regiment landing in the Baltic port of Stettin in 1630 or 1631. This print is regarded as the earliest surviving depiction of Highland dress. The original caption states, “They are a strong and hardy people who survive on little food. If they have no bread, they eat roots [turnips may be intended]. When necessary, they can cover more than 20 German miles in a day’s forced march. [1 German mile = 4¾ English miles!] Besides muskets, they carry bows, quivers and long swords.” Source: G Köler – http://warsoflouisxiv.blogspot.com/2009/11/scots-and-irish-in-thirty-years-war.html
William is said to have already been an officer when he arrived, but having risen through the ranks is not listed in Ferguson’s The Scots Brigade…, which listed only the highest officers, i.e., gentry. William married a local girl, Livina Dimmens/Dimmers, in 1621 and his children were recorded under the name Laban, which presumably with Dutch pronunciation sounded the way William pronounced his last name. After Livina died, William married Catalijn Teunen in 1627. Many of his children died young, but Cornelis Willemsen Laban (1625–1682) (mother: Livina; married Leunken Crijns Pippinck) firmly established the family on the island of Tholen, where there are still many of his descendants.

This passage from an article in Eendrachtbode by J.P.B. Zuurdeeg (2000), gives a little insight into William/Willem’s life outside his military duties:

Stavenisse’s oldest preserved judicial record shows that Willem Laban did not always have enough money to pay his debts. For example, part of his property was auctioned in 1628; his ‘saet’ (wheat?) for 15 pennies the bag, two cows for F 8, two pigs and also his best bed. The auction raised E 17 in total. In 1628 the best horse of Reynout Krijnsen stood surety William Loban. That horse sold / auctioned. That same year Willem agreed with the widow Troost the right of way over his court and yard, so that she could easily remove the cultivated crop on her land under the dike from the field. Furthermore, between 1624 and 1630 we regularly find Willem Laban as the tenant and guarantor in the deeds of the leasing of lands in Stavenisse and Oud-Kempenshofstede (Raze 5936). In 1632 he sold his farm with the sown land in the Oud-Kempenshofstedepolder in the 9th block, also known as the Noordveer block, to Pieter Pieterse Vermaes and Cornelis Marinuszn.  This farm probably stood at the place where in 1953 ‘t Oefje at the Kloetsedijk (Oudelands-dijk) stood. The Margaretpolder lies behind the dike. This polder has dikes since 1656. After the sale, Willem went to live in Stavenisse (1633). [My translation via Google Translate, with assistance from Frans Berkelaar, who showed me the article.]

We have not found documentation of which Parish William was born in, but we do have both marriage records that show that he was born in Scotland.  In issue 11 (June 1979) of Clan MacLennan Newsletter, then-editor Chief Ronald G. MacLennan of MacLennan   refered to receiving a letter (dated Dec. 1977) from a Dutch descendant of “William Loban of Drumderfit,” but the Chief and the correspondence are long gone. Other people have concluded that he was from Forres Parish, Elgin.  Some trees suggest that his father was Thomas Loban from Aberdeen. We would love to find solid documentation of William Loban’s birthplace. Wherever it was, he is genetically part of the NE Scotland Lobban haplogroup, JFS0275.

William Loban–Livina Dimmens marriage record.


Page by Christopher S. Lobban, originally published as part of the “Ended up Elsewhere” page.  This page posted 8 Oct. 2019, last revised 25 Dec.