From Gentry to Cavalry (van Ridders naar Ruiters)
In the 15th century, as towns grew and new social structures and guilds emerged, the power of nobility and clergy diminished. Cities created their own autonomy and judicial privileges and appointed magistrates and important council positions, which the nobles had always kept for themselves. This was the beginning of the end of feudalism and the power of knights.

Already in 1481 (Guelders) nobles were not really recognized by the Burgundian rulers and their regular biannual meetings (Landdagen in Arnhem) were now forbidden. To protect themselves from the new influence of nobles from other regions (e.g. Cleves), the Guelders nobles decreed that one could only be written into the Guelders nobles charters if one was born there. After Karel van Gelre-Zutphen died in 1538 Guelders became part of Wilhelm of Cleves little empire until 1543, when he lost his power war against Charles V. From then on the Guelders (and Dutch) nobility was doomed and virtually expired.

During all those following years of war with Spain, England and France, there was naturally a high demand for officers to lead the troops. Soldiers were generally not enlisted but often volunteered from other countries for a fair pay. Most officers came from well to do patricians, who used to be noblemen. Gentry became Cavalry (Ridders werden Ruiters). We will highlight some of the more prominent van O-s below.

The Last Knights in Arnhem.
We have not been able to find any records of (van) O-s in Arnhem before 1500.

Lady (Vrouwe) Lubberta van Ossenbroek (~1510-1546) was married to Wijnand van Salland, who was one of the last knights in Arnhem.

The Commandery (Lodge) of Saint John (Knights of Jerusalem) was an important part of the Arnhem's social and medical care. It was established by German knights and the Arnhem commandery was one of the most important ones in Holland. Please read some very interesting articles about this organization (all in Dutch):

In the extensive documentation on the Commandery there are several charters, mentioning the children of the late Gerartz van Osenbrugh. In 1538 - 1540 there were some legal problems relating to the purchase of a house called "The Parrot" (de Papegaey), which had been promised to the children of Gerart by a priest, named Andries Andriesz, who was a cousin to the children.
Read the legal documents here and explanations, who these people are.

Since Huissen is so close to Arnhem, we'll include this small town on this page.
It is in the marriage contract of Genefeva van Ossenbroick, the daughter of knight Johan van O. and his wife Perpetua Stael von Holstein. Johan had passed away in 1532 and his son Henrick is now in charge of the family estates.
1550 November 21
Marriage contract between Degenhartt Hoese, Alderman at Linne, and Genevefa van Ossenbroick.
Genevefa van Ossenbroick soll zu ihrem eingebrachten Gut und zur Aussteuer an Herrn Degenhartt bringen das Gut bei Huessen gelegen.
Henrigh van Ossenbroick (also a knight) verpflichtet sich mit Handschlag (hantglobte), die Briefe und Siegel auf dieses Gut sprechend dem genannten Herrn Degenhartt zu überliefern.

Arnhem 1600 - 1700
The earliest existing church records on baptism, marriage and death in Arnhem start at 1608.
View a copy of the earliest (van) O. index church records here.

The period of 1600-1700 included the end of the 80 years' war of independance against Spain, and the height of the Golden Age; a period in Dutch history, roughly spanning from 1609 - 1672, in which Dutch trade, science, military, and art were among the most acclaimed in the world.

The Eighty Years' War

The 80 Years' War or Dutch War of Independence (1568-1648) was a revolt of the Seventeen Provinces against the political and religious hegemony of Philip II of Spain, the sovereign of the Habsburg Netherlands.
After the initial stages, Philip II deployed his armies and regained control over most of the rebelling provinces. However, under the leadership of the exiled William of Orange, the northern provinces continued their resistance. They were eventually able to oust the Habsburg armies, and in 1581 they established the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands.
The war continued in other areas, although the heartland of the republic was no longer threatened.
After a 12-year truce, hostilities broke out again around 1619 which can be said to coincide with the Thirty Years' War. An end was reached in 1648 with the Peace of Münster (a treaty part of the Peace of Westphalia), when the Dutch Republic was recognized as an independent country.

The Golden Age came to a crashing halt in 1672, when the armies of French Louis IVX invaded the Netherlands.

From Arnhem to Finland
Nicolaes van Osenbrugh (b.1656 in Arnhem), was the grandson of Dirck van Osenbrugh (b. ~1580) & his wife Janneke van Middachten (famous noble family). He married Gunilda (Zelda) the Frisian (de Vriesin) and moved to Ingria (now Finland, but then part of Sweden). He adapted his name to the local language into Ossenbrygg, which later became Åsenbrygg.

His son Nicolaus (b. 1683) and his mother Gunilda moved from Inkeri to Vieremä to escape Russian domanation. There he bought the estate of Nikulan, which had nearly a thousand hectares (2,500 acres) at that time. His descendants are very many and several Åsenbrygg families still live in Vieremä. There is also an Åsenbrygg museum. Go here for details:

Van O. military during this time. Some could very well be related to each other.

Huwelijksdatum: 7 Jan 1625. Huwelijksplaats: Arnhem
Kerkelijke gezindte: Nederduits Gereformeerd
Evert van Osenbrugge, van den Deerenwerdt (=van Dorenweerd=de plaats Doorwerth, west van Arnhem). Ruijter onder capitein Storum, Capitein van den Hooghgeboren Vorst Christiaen, gehuwd met Jans, Elisabeth, de dochter van de Cornet (=Vaandrig) van Marquet.
Gelders Archief. Toegangsnummer: 0176 Inventarisnummer: 128

Huwelijksdatum: 16 Apr. 1626. Huwelijksplaats: Arnhem
Kerkelijke gezindte: Nederduits Gereformeerd
Joost Goossens, Ruijter onder Vorst Christiaen, gehuwd met Barents, Anneken, J.D. (jonge dochter) van Barendt van Osnabrugghe. cop. mei 1626
Gelders Archief. Toegangsnummer: 0176 Inventarisnummer: 128

Arnhem Nederduits Gereformeerd huwelijk. 2 Dec. 1643
Hendric Hendrixen van Osenbrugge, j.g.
Trouwen in Rhenen
ondertrouw/trouw/proclamatie: 3 Dec. 1643; Hendrick Hendricksz van Osenbrugge, jonge man wonende Garnizoen Arnhem, Ruiter in de compagnie van de Hr. Marlot,en Janneken van Ewijck, wonende te Rhenen.
Is this the same Hendrick van O.?.; an Ensign (Vaandrig), who promised to deliver 15 soldiers to the Dutch army in 1645?
N.B. Could he (also) be the son of the Rijswijk Hendrik Aertsz van Osenbrugge, since he lived in Arnhem and is therefore not in the Rijswijk church birthrecords, which start at 1639 ??

Ernst van Osenbrugge was a captain in the Dutch army. In 1661, when he was young he eloped with and married the (pregnant) daughter of the burgomaster of Arnhem.
He did his military duty in Arnhem, Den Haag and Vianen. His wife's ancestors were related to Johan van Wylich and Gerberich van Ossenbroeck.

Hendrick van Osenbrugh. In a letter, dated 28 October 1667, to Johan de Witt, Grand Pensionary of the Dutch Republic, it was stated that prisoner Hendrick van Osenbrugh (and Gerrit Wiligh) and 13 others, under the command of Vice-Admiral Bankert, were released in London. They had been captured during a seabattle during the second Anglo-Dutch war. Read his story here. We do not know where this Hendrick came from. Is he one of the Hendricks above?

Matthijs van Osenbrugge was a captain in Willem of Orange Nassau's army. He was stationed in Arnhem.
He signed his letters with a seal showing a tree on the shield and a rose as crest. Click images on the right to enlarge and view his actual stamped seal and a clearer worked-out graphic.

In 1672 Matthijs gained notoriety in the bloody battle at Lobith (S.E. of Arnhem, across the river Rhine from Emmerich) against the army of Louis XIV. Read three detailed articles on this battle where Matthijs is mentioned as a hero :

Read more about him here.

Matthijs is the patriarch of a.o. all the van Oostenbruggens descending from Dirksland. His descendants initially married well to do patricians; e.g. his great-grandson Matthijs' maternal grandmother was Neeltje of the very well to do Westrhenen family.
Read more about that under the 1600-present --> Towns --> Flakkee & Zeeland tab.

Wolther (Wouter) van Osenbrugge, the son of Matthijs (above), was lieutenant in the Dutch army. He died fairly young (before 1679). He married Raechel Quaet from Alkmaar, whose father Daniel was a militairy captain. Wouter and his daughter Anna are buried in the St Jan's cathedral in Den Bosch. Read more about that on the bottom of this page.

W.T.P. van Osenbruggen was a captain in the Dutch army in 1732.