In May I wrote about my Great Uncle Bobby and how he had tried to escape Nazi-occupied Netherlands with his friend Bertram Polak. As far as I can tell, Bobby and Bertram probably met through their work, as they were both involved in the leather industry. However, thanks to modern technology, I have figured out that they were actually distantly related. It is not a direct blood line and involves more than one marriage, but there is a connection.
It looks like this:
Bobby →Louis Spier (his father) → Sabine Hirsch (his mother) → Jetta Meyer
(her mother) → Maximilian Meyer (her father) → Helene Cain (his mother) → Rosa Hackenbrock (her sister) → Joseph Hackenbrock (her son) → Helena Hartog (his daughter) → Meijer Hartog (her husband) → Matje Hartog (his wife) → Rozette Frank (her sister) → Barend Polak (her son) → Max Polak (his son) → Bertram Polak
The key to this relationship is Meijer Hartog (born 1803). It seems Meijer was quite a catch in his day. He was married to Helena Hackenbrock, and together they had six children before her death in 1849. A year after burying his 1st wife, Meijer (age 47) married Sara. Sara was Helena’s younger sister and had never been married. Unfortunately, Sara died six years later. We then wait another seven years and Meijer marries a third time. This time the lucky woman is Matje Frank de Haas. Matje had been widowed five years earlier and was 56 years old.
It turns out that Helena (Meijer’s first wife) was Bobby’s great-grandmother’s second cousin and that Matje (Meijer’s third wife) was Bertram’s great-grandmother’s sister.
I doubt either Bobby or Bertram knew about their relationship to Meijer and how he had married women in both of their families, but then again, maybe they both had heard stories about Old Meijer and how he wooed the women.