Vaassen, December 15, 1995


Dear member of the Somsen family,


The family name "Somsen" isn't a quite usual one in the Netherlands. Still, in history and until now, over 3,000 persons were directly connected with this family-name (Somsen, married with a Somsen or having a mother with the name Somsen). At this very moment, there are about 500 Somsens living in the Netherlands. Outside the Netherlands, there are more than 100 Somsens living in the USA and a handful in Canada, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, Italy, Greece, Spain, Portugal, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand the Philippines and Japan.


Are they all related to each other? Where did they come from? How did they live? What was their religion? Why did they emigrate to the USA? What were their experiences over there? So many questions, so many answers you should like to know.


The Family Book


If you are interested in these kind of questions (and their answers), something is going to happen, for we are intending to publish a book about the history of the Somsen family. We means 2 members of the Dutch Somsen family: Derk J. Somsen of Zwolle and Theo D. F. Somsen of Vaassen. This family book will be published mid-1997 and shall be in two languages: English and Dutch.


We already have at our disposal very, very much data and are able to construct a family tree which starts about 1600. But, we are not familiar with all our relatives, their family knowledge, their own family-line history, their stories and their circumstances. Than's the reason why we invite you to help us and to provide us with the data a.s.o. to enrich the Family Book. Very concretely, we invite you to place at our disposal (temporary):
1. Original photos of your ancestors, their farms, houses, a.s.o.
2. Original documents, interesting in your opinion.
3. Family stories, in your possession or worth telling.
4. Everything which seems important to you for publishing in the Family Book.


Please send these contributions before March 1, 1996, to:
Derk J. Somsen
Monteverdilaan 175
8031 DL Zwolle
the Netherlands
Phone: 011 31 38 4542360


The Great Reunion


But there is more:
On August 14, 1847, the first member of the Somsen family emigrated to the USA. Her name: Aaltjen Somsen (married to Dirk Jan Rikkers) of Aslten. She was followed in 1851 by Hendrik Jan Somsen (married to Johanna Rensink) and in 1881 by Jan Hendrik Somsen (married to Johanna Rauwerdink). And nowadays, more than a hundred Somsens are living in the USA! We are in contact with many of them and they are not only very interested in their roots and our project, but also in an ensounter with their Dutch namesakes and relatives. Therefore, we also intend to organize a reunion in our native village, Aalten (hamlet IJzerlo), in August, 1997.


If you are interested in our project: the Family Book and/or the Great Reunion, please let us know and return the form below as soon as possible. About the results and our progress, we will keep you informed by our next general mailing mid-1996.


With good Christmas, best family wishes for 1996 and warmest regards, also on behalf of Derk Somsen.


Theo Somsen



Family Form


Your answers are important to us, especially to get and idea for the imprint of the Family Book and for organizing the Reunion. And.... you don't oblige yourself by answering!!







Zip Code:



The Family Book

(At this moment the price is still unknown, but will not be less than $50.00)

1. Are you interested in buying one or more Family Books(Y/N)?

2. How many books are you intending to purchase?


The Great Reunion

At this moment little is known, but we are thinking of 2 or 3 days with activities in mid-August)

3. Are you intending to join the reunion(Y/N)?

4. With how many persons?

5. Would you like to use the hospitality from a Dutch Somsen family(Y/N)?

6. Would you like to stay in a hotel(Y/N)?
(So we can inform you about hotel
arrangements and prices)


Please print and send this form as soon as possible to Derk Somsen at the address above.