400 years of Labans in Tholen

This newspaper article “Stamreeks van M.J. Laban,” by  J.P.B. Zuurdeeg traces the Jacob Laban=Maria Gunst branch of the Labans of Tholen. Translation below.

Article was published in the Tholen newspaper, Eendrachtbode, 11 May 2000, p. 11.


Looking for ancestors through the Tholen municipal archive

Family of M.J. Laban

[editorial introduction:]

Willem Laban, the ancestor of this family, married in 1621 in Stavenisse. This young fellow from Scotland already lived before his marriage in the still young Stavenisse that was dyked in 1599. His bride lived in Kempenshofstede, a part of what is now Stavenisse, which had already been flooded.

The surname Loban, already bastardized to Laban in the 17th century, is associated by Sir Thomas Innes of Learney in The Scottish Tartans (page 80) with the Clan Maclennan or Logan. This clan lived in a small area opposite Inverness across the Moray Firth (North Sea inlet). According to George F. Bleck [Black] in The Surnames of Scotland, the name also comes from Moray (Black Isle).[1]  Connection with the Scottish family Laban or Logan was not found during superficial research. Data from around 1600 are also scarce there.


By J.P.B. Zuurdeeg

We will never know how this Scot born around 1595 ended up in Stavenisse. We can only point to the many Scottish soldiers who fought against Spain in rental armies for the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands in the Eighty Years’ War (1568-1648). Shortly after the capture of Den Briel on April 1, 1572, Scottish soldiers came to the Netherlands. In September of that year, Captain Henry Belfour, commander of around 200 Scottish soldiers, was allowed to serve the Prince of Orange. Between 1573 and 1655 there were always between one and three Scottish regiments in the Netherlands. The limited opportunities for living in their native country was often the reason for the Scots to go into military service. A number of them settled in the Netherlands after their completed service. J. Maclean states in The marriage drawings of Scottish soldiers in the Netherlands that 70% of the Scottish families established in the Netherlands came here via the Scottish brigade. However, Scottish merchants and sailors have also established themselves in the Netherlands. It should be noted in this connection that the Scot family, which has many descendants in Tholen, probably has a German ancestor.[2]

1. Willem Laban was born in Scotland around 1595 (in 1621 he was a young companion, so not married before). He married first in Stavenisse May 31, 1621 (notice of marriage there, May 2, 1621) to Levina Dimmens, born in Sint-Maartensdijk, died (in Stavenisse) before November 3, 1627. He married second in Stavenisse, notice of marriage there, November 3, 1627, to Catelijn Tenne, born Kalmthout. She was a daughter of Tonis Gabriels and Catelina Davids (Judicial Archive of Zeeland Islands No. 5898, fol. 77v).

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 for William Loban. That horse sold or was 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 dyke 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. Brother. This farm probably stood at the place where in 1953 ‘t Oefje at the Kloetsedijk (Oudelands-dijk) stood. The Margaretpolder lies behind the dyke. This polder has dykes since 1656. After the sale, Willem went to live in Stavenisse (1633).

2. Cornelis Willemse Laban born in Stavenisse circa 1624, died (in Sint-Maartensdijk) before April 15, 1682. He married first, notice of Sint-Maartensdijk October 9, 1655, with Leunken Crijns (Pippinck), born in Sint-Maartensdijk 1621 / 22, died in childbirth shortly before 24 June 1663. She was a daughter of Crijn Cornelissen Pippinck and Maeyken Pieters. He married second between 6 February and 27 May 1664 with Digna Cornelis (Oviels?), widow of Willem Claesse, member of the Dutch Reformed Church in Sint-Maartensdijk, 13 July 1665, received with certificate from Oud-Vossemeer, who died (in Sint-Maartensdijk) before 23 March 1669. He married third, in Sint-Maartensdijk 7 May 1669 (notice of marriage there 23 March 1669) to Janneken Cornelissen Schoppenboer, widow of Pieter Hubrechtsen, previously widow of Gabriel Leuniss, born Colijnsplaat or Catshoek of Noord-Beveland circa 1625, died (presumably Sint-Annaland) between 1683 and 16 February 1686. According to the genealogist A.W. Kloet, Cornelis was landman in Sint-Maartensdijk on the farm ‘t Ulekot, later called Broedershof, in the Uiterst Nieuwlandpolder (Groeneweg 2).

From the first marriage was born:

3. Leunis Cornelissen Laban christened in Sint-Maartensdijk June 24, 1663, landman in the Noordpolder, died there April 1737. He married first in Sint-Maartensdijk April 9, 1688 (notice of marriage March 20, 1688) to Tanneken Mattheussen van der Daf, christened in Sint-Maartensdijk 30 June 1669, died between 9 February 1698 and 11 November 1699, daughter of Mattheus Jacobsen van der Daf and Cornelia Roelands Sierveld. He married second in Sint-Maartensdijk April 12, 1700 (notice of marriage there March 17, 1700) to Jacomina Lucasse Swancke, christened in Sint-Maartensdijk December 25, 1678, died there May 1737. She was a daughter of Lucas Jacobsen Swancke and Martijnken Jacobs. Leunis Laban owned several outside places in Sint-Maartensdijk in 1729; one in the Noordpolder and one homestead and a small outside place in the Uiterst Nieuwlandpolder. The latter homestead was inhabited by Leendert Puye.

From the second marriage was born:

4. Laban Laban christened Sint-Maartensdijk December 11, 1707, died there November 15, 1762. He married first in Sint-Maartensdijk August 4, 1739 (notice of marriage there July 16, 1739) to Jacomina Braam, christened Sint-Annaland November 16, 1710, buried Sint-Maartensdijk July 1742. She was a daughter of Leendert Janse Braam and Cornelia Abels. He married second in Sint-Maartensdijk December 3, 1743 (notice of marriage there November 15, 1743) to Martha Ellewit, baptized Sint-Annaland September 8, 1720, confession there April 9, 1739, buried Poortvliet June 16, 1777. She was a daughter of François Ellewit and Elisabeth van der Weele. Laban must have felt his end approaching when he made his will lying sick in bed on 3 November 1762 in his homestead in the Noordpolder. Laban and his wife designated each other as the universal heir and guardian of the children. Supervising guardian became Cornelis Voorhek who was married to Tanneke Ellewit (Raze 5352/85).

From the second marriage was born:

5.  Leunis Laban, born in Sint-Maartensdijk circa 1760, died in Kruiningen June 5, 1805. He married in Sint-Maartensdijk January 20, 1789 (notice of marriage January 2, 1789) to Maria Geluk, christened in Sint-Maartensdijk November 1, 1767, died in Kruiningen January 11, 1815. She was a daughter of Pieter Geluk and Elisabeth Sturmesant.

6.  Jacob Laban born Kruiningen October 16, 1803, farmhand, later shopkeeper in the Brugstraat in Tholen, died Tholen December 3, 1878. He married in Tholen March 17, 1830 to Maria Gunst, born in Oud-Vossemeer June 12, 1807, midwife, died in Tholen December 9, 1880. She was a daughter of Anthonie Gunst, shopkeeper, and Hendrika Quist.

7.  Leunis Laban born in Tholen March 3, 1834, gardener, farmer and flour grinder, living at the Bebouwdendam (no. 35), died there November 2, 1917. He married first in Tholen March 27, 1867 to Elizabeth van Strien, born Westkapelle September 15, 1842, died Tholen December 28, 1867. She was a daughter of Hendrik van Strien, grain miller, and Martina Lous. He married second in Oud-Vossemeer August 26, 1869 to Elizabeth Thomina Beaufort, born Oud-Vossemeer November 20, 1839, died Tholen May 13, 1910. She was a daughter of Kornelis Beaufort, bricklayer, and Arendje Kievit.

From the second marriage was born:

8.  Marinus Laban born Tholen 17 January 1881, farmer, later grower in the Dalemsestraat, left for Rotterdam in 1938, died there 26 August 1960. He married in Tholen on 12 May 1904 to Adriana Hendrika Wilhelmina Zachariasse, born Tholen 4 September 1881, left for Rotterdam in 1938, died there on 19 November 1962. She was a daughter of Jacobus Marinusse Zachariasse and Gerarda Coers. Between 1810 and 1904, the grocery in Dalemsestraat was owned by the Willemse family. In 1858 Leendert Willemse became the owner of the grocery. He was the great-grandfather of Marike Willemse, the wife of Willem de Klerk, who became president of South Africa in 1989. Leendert sold his grocery store in 1904 to flour store Marinus Laban, who in 1924 sold the early 16th century building. The monumental building that stood on the north side of the primary school was demolished in 1938.

9.  Jacobus Marinus Laban born Tholen January 17, 1917, died there December 15, 1980. He married in Tholen January 27, 1944 to Cornelia Overbeeke, born Tholen September 8, 1917. She was a daughter of Johannes Overbeeke and Tannetje Maria Kegge.

10.  Marinus Johannes Laban born in Tholen May 28, 1946. District supervisor in Sint-Philipsland and after the municipal reorganization (1994) technical officer of the municipality of Tholen. He is chairman of an over-arching Provincial carrier pigeon association Zeeland ’96 (1700 members). He married in Tholen December 23, 1970 to Jentje Schotkamp, born Avereest. She is a daughter of Lucas Schotkamp and Hendrikje Pol.

From this marriage were born:

1. Hendrikje Cornelia Laban (Corellen), born in Tholen July 8, 1974. She married in Tholen August 9, 1996 with Mattheus Verkamman, born Sint-Philipsland June 26, 1970, barge skipper, sailing on motor ship Lena Johanna (600 tons). Domicile Sint-Philipsland. After marriage both sailing on the Lena Johanna.

2. Jacobus Marinus Laban (Maurice), born Tholen 14 September 1976, [as of 2000] a business administration student at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam.


Sources: A.J. Giljam. Ten surnames on Tholen and Sint-Philipsland, dl. 1, 1992.
Civil status and population registers in the municipality of Tholen.


Photo caption:

The grocer’s shop of Marinus Laban (no. 8 of this line series) in the Dalemsestraat stood at the place where are now houses 27 and 29. In the doorway is [his wife] Adriana Zachariasse. The 16th century building was demolished shortly after the photo was taken in 1938.


Webmaster’s footnotes:

[1] In fact, Black Isle (Highland) and Moray (Lowland) Lobbans have recently been shown to be separate tribes, as first postulated in a different book by Sir Thomas Innes of Learney, The Tartans of the Clans and Families of Scotland (1952). William Loban was of the latter.– CSL.

[2] Interesting to see this suggestion (I wonder what basis?); we now hypothesize that the Lowland Lobbans had a Flemish ancestor.


Translation by Christopher S. Lobban with the aid of Google Translate and corrections by Frans Berkelaar, to whom I owe thanks for sending this article.

Posted 1 Jan. 2020.