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Family Names
                  - "van Waterschoot van der Gracht"


At some point in time, and possibly more than once, the joint "van Waterschoot van der Gracht" name came in to being.  The more definitive of these occurred in the 1700s, though there has been reference as early as the 1580s, but confirming information has not been obtained to authenticate this.

On 07-Aug-1746, Joannes van Waterschoot (1725-1782) married Judoca van der Gracht (b: 1726).  Judoca died on 17-Sep-1748.  They had a single child, Joannes, who died at the age of one year (b: 28-May-1748; d: 22-Jun-1749).

Joannes then married Elisabeth Verschragen on 01-Mar-1749.

Records indicate their sixth child, Jacobus (b:05-Dec-1759; d: 12-May-1853) obtained the right the call himself "van Waterschoot van der Gracht" AGAIN in 1817.  Jacobus was a Medical Doctor, and also a Member of the City Council of Schiedam.

It is his descendants that continued the "van Waterschoot van der Gracht" family name.

Interestingly, and complicating matters, is that more recent descendants have either amended the name or sought its re-assignment.

Some generation later, for example, Joseph Maria Nicholas Theodorus van Waterschoot van der Gracht (b: 04-Nov-1880; d: 1953) eventually "dropped" the "van Waterschoot" by official means.  This occurred after he settled in the North Americas - reason - simplification ... and that Americans had difficulty with the long name.

Contrarily, others have sought to re-institute the full double name.  Unconfirmed information indicates an Eduard van Waterschoot restored the full name by a judgement of the Court of Justice in Roermonde in 1994.


It is unclear exactly how the “van Waterschoot van der Gracht” double name exactly originated. The first possible reference could be a marriage between a Jan van der Gracht and an Amelberge van Waterschoot in the 1575. But no continuation is detailed though old information indicates a son Francis who in turn married a (?) Wespeler, but the year is not correct.

Later, the double name appears again when the sixth child (fifth son) of Joannes van Waterschoot and Elisabeth Verschragen (married 01-Mar-1749) obtained the “right” to call himself “van Waterschoot van der Gracht” in 1817. This person, Jacobus van Waterschoot van der Gracht was born on 05-Dec-1759 in Groenendijk, and died on 12-May-1853 in Brussel. He was a medical doctor by occupation, and also at one time a member of the City Council in Schiedam. With more recent record keeping, a number of his great-grandchildren were highly instrumental in their chosen vocations – even to the extent of published biographies.

Most likely though is through marriage, likely to a descendant of the famous Baron van der Gracht de Vremde.

Some family members have proved, requested and obtained the right to re-instate the double name.

While the double name still exists in some places, for “ease of use” it has been shortened elsewhere. From family advice, it is understood that one Joseph Maria Nicolaas Theodorus van Waterschoot van der Gracht (here for personal information) opted to drop the “van Waterschoot” portion. The reason given was that is was too complicated for North Americans. Hence, there now exists a modern day “van der Gracht” branch that is derived from the double name.


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Compiled by:  John van Waterschoot  Version: 4.0  Created: 02-January-2011
John van Waterschoot (Canberra, Australia) 2002-2017