Monday, July 7, 2014

Johannes "John" Van CAUWENBERGE (52 Ancestors - #26)

Researching my husband's Belgian ancestors feels like a challenge to me because of the language barrier and my inexperience with researching ancestors from other countries.  Thankfully some of the mystery became a little clearer with the help of professional genealogist and friend, Liz Barnett.  It would be wonderful to be able to find the Belgian records of Johannes and Adelaid.  Here is what we know about my husband's x2 great grandfather.

Johannes "John" Van CAUWENBERGE
 b. at Belgium

His name and that of his wife were given in the death record of their son, Emil Van Cauwenberg of Boston, MA. Emil's son, Frank Vann, reported that "John Vann" and his wife, Adelaide Vanderhooten were born in Belgium. No other written record was found showing Emil's parents or where they lived. Although the relationship to Emil is not proven, data from another Belgian-born cigar-maker who may be his brother sheds some light on the Van Cauwenberges origins: When he married Mary Ann Webb in London in 1897, Camille Van Cauwenberge, born around 1867, also gave the name Johannes as his father. This Camille, like Emil, was in the Hackney section of London at the 1901 census (mis-indexed as "Pamil Van Conwenberge"). Unlike Emil, this Camille stayed in London, where he died in 1936,although he did travel at least once to the US: at the 1911 UK census his wife, Mary Ann (Webb) Van Cauwenberge, reported that he was "in America". Happily, before doing so, she wrote on the census form all his age, occupation, etc., and his place of birth: Grammont, Belgium. Since this is the same place that Emil's son, Frank, later gave as his own place of birth, it seems very likely that Emil and Camille were brothers, and both from Grammont, nowadays more commonly called by its Flemish name, Geraardsbergen, in East Flanders. Gramont (or Grammont ) was a well known center of the cigar-making industry. London saw an immigration of such highly skilled cigar makers from Belgium and the Netherlands; some later moved on to Boston and Manchester, NH.

When he married in 1897, Camille Van Cauwenberge reported his father was deceased. Further research might reveal proof of the connection of both Emil and Camille, and possibly other Van Cauwenberges in the US and UK.

As you can see, Liz gives me great direction on where to concentrate my research, especially clarifying the relationship between Camille and Emil.  It is on my "to do" list!  


  1. Lots of onfo. Revs cauwenberge,but getting this process organised.Email

  2. My grandfather was Camillus van cauwenberge born in gramont 05 03 1867 married Mary Ann Webb at St Georges in the East.London.Camils parents were Johannes and Adelaide.I have not explored their heritage,but My brother ( paris) and I (adelaide! Australia) visited a couple with the name van c,s( no relation name of a cold hill) they were great on the old family research.I will email my brother to see if he still has their address.
    I did see in London census that Camil had gone to the states,and a U.S.census 1930/40 names Emeil in Boston.

    While there we did obtain registration details of the eleven children.I can let you have copies.Emillius was no 6 ,camillus no 7.
    I vaguely recall my grandmother.She left Camil.She had been a barmaid,C,was a boozer who had rowed across the English Channel.We visited thecigar museum;apparently the tobacco Imported to the U.K.and U.s was of superior quality to that grown in Europe.
    Have fun ; I am not familiar with this form of communication.My email address is