Families & Beyond: Origins, History and Research



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Dutch Town & Locality Maps


the netherlands

where is zele - birthplace of "van waterschoot"?

zeeland province


towns and villages


The Netherlands

The Kingdom of The Netherlands (for a satellite view of the country, click here or on the illustration to the right) as it is known today is vastly different to that of centuries ago. 

The oldest reference to "van Waterschoot" is to the village of Zele.  In the 1500s and 1600s, from where our original ancestestors originate, it was in The Netherlands.  Today, Zele is located in Belguim.  Of course, Belguim as a country did not exist until the 1830s.  (The "pin" on the map right, is just north of Zele.)

Many of the locations from the original references exist today.

The original "van Waterschoot" lived in close proximity to the family's origin of Zele from 1540 for a century, then appeared to have moved slowly north into today's Zeeland Province.  Towns and villages for which references exist through the 1600s and 1700s (covering the first eight generations) include:  Sinaai,  Lamswaarde, Zandepolder (in Hulsterambacht, Hontenisse), Hengstdijk, Hontenisse, Groenendijk, Ossenisse, and Kruispolder.

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Where is Zele ... Birth Place of "van Waterschoot"?

Today, it is located in the Oost-Vlaanderen Province of Belguim

As the crow flies, it is approx 35km due south of Kloosterzande NLD, and a similar distance north-west of Brussels.  Take Junction 12 from the A14 Motorway and head south.

In the days of Petrus & Jan, our ancestors, it would have been part of the Greater Netherlands.  And through those times until now, chopped and changed in terms of control with even French influence in Napoleonic times.

Huivelde is located on the eastern outskirts of Zele.

Nearby to the east is Hamme.

Sinaai (first referenced at Generation 6 of the main Family Tree) is approx 10km due north, still in modern day Belguim.

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Zeeland Province

The Zeeland Province lies in the south west corner of modern day Netherlands.  The southern most section, which includes the red highlight left and is mostly isolated from mainland Netherlands by the Westerschelde waterway which flows through to Antwerp in Belguim.  Essentially, Zeeland is a number of land masses and islands, all north of the Westerschelde being connected by bridges, dams or dykes.

Today's Belguim exists below the lower red section, and the space to the immediate right of that section.

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Old town and village maps in this region have been located through “Kuyper’s Atlas” and can be accessed from the following links as tabularised below in Towns and Villages.

[The actual Kuyper maps as located are in Acrobat pdf format, but those offered here have been converted to standard jpg/gif format, the quality varies.]

To view the respective maps, click on the name below, recalling these are from the mid 1850s.
The maps will open in their own window, simply close that window.

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Towns and Villages

The table below details a collection of (now) Dutch towns and villages referenced in the various Family Tree files of our ancestors.  These localities and their positioning in relation to each other can be seen from the modern day maps (with motorways etc).  Note:  These maps date from around the mid-1850s.


Graauw en Langendijk  
Middleburg #1  
Middleburg #2  
Sas van Gent  

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"Fortiter" = "Bravely" ... The Family Motto ...

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