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Namesakes of 17th century De Witt brothers gather at museum

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

DORDRECHT - Hundreds of people with the names of Johan or Cornelis de Witt, including spelling variations, recently converged on a local museum, which organized the gathering. The Dordrecht Museum is holding a successful and well-attended exhibit on the two brothers, who played an important political role in 17th century the Netherlands. None of the De Wit(t) visitors however was a direct descendant of the brothers who were slain by an angry mob in 1672. Over the centuries, many of the namesakes specifically were named after one of the brothers, as happened also with newborn girls. Since the 17th century as well, the spelling of the brothers first and family names varied, even in official documents. ‘De Witt’ became ‘De With’ or ‘De Witte,’ while the first names had a whole range of different spellings.