The van Der Hoeven family lived in Beesd before their migration to America and records in the local Court of Aldermen show that a couple named Cornelis Gijsbertsen van der Hoeven and Geertje[van Vulpen] owned property there in the 1650's.
Beesd is a small town in the province of Gelderland, Netherlands, about 18 miles south of Utrecht. It lies in a loop of the River Linge in the area known as the 'Betuwe' - a fertile farming area between the large branches of the Rhine, the rivers Lek and Waal.
Nearby towns are Leerdam, Culemborg and Geldermalsen and the main north/south A2 road runs close to the town.
The site was possibly occupied in Roman times and a small settlement had been founded around a central 'hof' or farmstead by the twelfth century.
Its position on the navigable river Linge, the proximity of the Abbey of Marienwaerdt and the presence of the large houses of local gentry encouraged development during the middle ages and, despite some difficult times, it grew from a small cluster of farms to a prosperous community by early modern times. By the 1500's it had three streets, a substantial church, some civic buildings - including an alderman's court, and a small quay on the Linge. Most of the inhabitants were farmers whose land lay to the north and east of the town.
The town is based around these three streets, Achterstraat, Middenstraat and Voorstraat The Voorstraat is the main street and it is here that the Dutch Reformed Church is to be found. The Voorstrat is also known as Steenstraat - stone street - cause it was the first street in the town to be paved. At the Oosteind (East end) of the Voorstraat, close to the river, lay the house and yard occupied by the van der Hoeven family in the 1650's
Cornelis Gijsbertsen van der Hoeven, husband and representative of Guertgen Cornelis van Velpen, and Gerrit Cornelissen van Velpen, together transfer to Jan Aertsen Spaen their share in 4 morgen of meadow-land, situated in Beesd, in the Nijland.
(RA Beesd Number 201, fol. 49 10 April 1651)
Cornelis Gijsbertsen van der Hoeven transfers to Dirck Anthonissen Castelijn a house and yard, situated in Beesd, at the Oosteind (adjacent above Cornelis Willemsen Schipper and below Evert Ceelis).
(RA Beesd Number 201, fol. 68 25 September 1651)
Unfortunately, many of the records of the Reformed Church of Beesd for the period when our van der Hoeven family were in the town in have been lost.
A useful guide to the history of the town is the book 'Langs velden en Wegen' written by Gert De Kruijff. (Kroezen BV 1998)