For many years I had wanted to find out more about my descendants and whether we might have had relatives still in Holland. I had no idea where to start and thought that the language barrier might prove formidable. I became aware that my Uncle Joseph had written to Holland and made some initial findings in the 1970's. Unfortunately nearly all of the research that Joseph had done along with many early photographs were lost or destroyed by Joseph's second wife. However a copy of a letter to Joseph from an unknown source gave some information about Jans siblings. This proved invaluable in helping to locate Jan Kroezens forbears and as a result other members of the family related worldwide. I would like to acknowledge the debt to my Uncle Joseph in getting this initial research done.
Up until early 2004 all of the people who are named Kroezen in Australia were descendants of Jan Kroezen.
In 1981 I read in the papers of a terrorist attack in Italy where terrorists attacked the vehicle of an American General stationed with NATO. He was General Kroezen. His vehicle was attacked with a Rocket Propelled Grenade and was severely damaged, but evidently General Kroezen escaped serious injury. From that moment I knew that there were Kroezen's in other parts of the world. I resolved then to one day try and locate any other Kroezens who may be related.
When I started the search I soon realised that I did not know all of my own relatives here in Australia, so the search then became threefold to :-
trace the family ancestry,
On March 25 2001, a reunion of the Descendants of Jan and Agnes Kroezen was held at Gumbayah Park some 55 km from Melbourne Victoria. This was organised by Barbara Boulter-Stone the daughter of Gertrude. Barbara had contacted all the known descendants believed to number about 120 of which about 80 attended. The day was a great success with many of the family members meeting each other for the first time. Barbara had circulated to all family members a request to provide updated information on their family. This will be used to compile an up to date and comprehensive family tree for the entire family.
So far I have traced our ancestry back to Hendrik (Klaas) Kroese born in Hoogeveen, Holland about 1697. I have discovered that the family name has been spelt as Kroese, Kroesen and Kroezen, just in our lineage.I have located descendants of Jan's brother Geert in Canada.
I have managed to locate General Kroesen in the USA and I have located a Kroezen Family in South Africa.
I also have information that there are Kroezen's in Great Britain.
And I am slowly putting more of the information together to complete the Family Tree of the descendants of Jan Kroezen and Agnes Fergusen.
During the last few years I have become aware of other variants of the name K(C)roe(s)(z)e(n) here in Australia. I have found the name Kroesen in Brisbane and am aware of other similar spellings in other states. To date I have not been able to contact any of these people to find out if we have any ancestors in common.
Early in 2004 Theuns and Marleen Kroezen migrated from South Africa and are now living in Queensland. They became Australian Citizens on 25 September 2007.