Leiden and 's-Gravenhage

Leiden is located on the Old Rhine river, at a distance of some 20 kilometres (12 miles) from The Hague to its south and some 40 km (25 mi) from Amsterdam to its north.

In 1572, the city sided with the Dutch revolt against Spanish rule and played an important role in the Eighty Years' War. Besieged from May until October 1574 by the Spanish, Leiden was relieved by the cutting of the dikes by Dutch rebels, thus enabling flat-bottom boats to carry provisions to the inhabitants of the town. As a reward for the heroic defence of the previous year, the University of Leiden was founded by William I of Orange in 1575. Yearly on 3 October, the end of the siege is still celebrated as "Leiden Liberated". The siege is notable also for being the first instance in Europe of the issuance of paper money, with paper taken from prayer books being stamped using coin dies when silver ran out.

Leiden is also known as the place where the Pilgrims lived (and operated a printing press) for some 20 years before their departure in 1620 to Massachusetts in the New World.
Read an article about that and the origin of the U.S. Thanksgiving dinner.

Year Popul.
1514 14,250
1574 12,456
1581 12,144
1622 44,745
1732 70,000
1795 30,955

In the 17th century, Leiden prospered, in part because of the impetus to the textile industry by refugees from Flanders and several other areas. While the city had lost about a third of its 15,000 citizens during the siege of 1574, it quickly recovered to 45,000 inhabitants in 1622, and may have come near to 70,000 circa 1670.
During the Dutch Golden Era, Leiden was the second largest city of Holland, after Amsterdam.
From the late 17th century onwards Leiden slumped, mainly due to the decline of the cloth industries. In the beginning of the 19th century the baize manufacture was altogether given up, although industry remained central to Leiden economy. This decline is painted vividly by the fall in population. The population of Leiden had sunk to 30,000 in 1800.

van O-s in Leiden
A very large group of van Osnabrugges (with all the various spellings) developed in and from Leiden in the mid 1600s. Most of these descendants do not seem to be related to the (van) O-s originating in the Cleves, Arnhem or Rijswijk regions.

The first van O. registered in Leiden is Jan Jansz van Osenbrug (cloth weaver). In 1603 he registered to marry Maeycken Lantmeters in the Dutch Reformed church. We have not been able to identify any children. Is Harmen Jans (below) their son?

But then some 50 years later (at least) 3 van O-s register in Leiden and develop large families and descendants, of which at least 1 to the present.


Most of the information on the Leiden and den Haag (van) O-s comes from 3 sources, which we have woven together:

  • herrewijnenweb.nl. A great piece of research with a descendancy list of over 300 people, spanning from 1600 - present.
  • mijnstambomen.nl/leiden/osnabrugge.htm. A similar piece and size of research with considerable overlap with the herrewijnen list in the first hundred years or so. The listings end at ~1800.
    An interesting find on this site is the change of the van Osnabrugge name to van Es(bruggen) in one branch of the family.
  • Because the above two sites did not exactly agree on the patriarchs of the Leiden van O-s, we further researched erfgoedleiden.nl. This now includes Regionaal Archief Leiden, with data on births, weddings and deaths since 1574.
    Since several of the van O-s names were so similar (e.g. Jan Jansz van Osenbrugge) in the mid 1600s, we researched families by specific church registrations and now believe that we have identified the true patriarchs of the Leiden and Den Haag descendants.

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