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Family History Connection16/10/2012 - 5:46 PM
A few months ago I visited the smallest 'city' in the Netherlands: Bronckhorst, in the province of Gelderland. It's only a few streets with a handful of houses, but it has city rights, and is therefore officially a city. (Ironically, although in houses and population it's the smallest city of the country, it covers so much ground that it's also the country's largest countryside borough.)
Several generations of my ancestors on my father's side came from Bronckhorst, and so a visit to this almost unspoilt little city, which dates back to the sixth century (with city rights since 1371), was most interesting.
Outside the city was a windmill for longer than is traceable in written history - at the end of the fifteenth century mention is made in a document of a windmill that was no longer there at the time, but a new one was built in the same place. In 1844 it burnt down, but that one, too, was replaced with a new one.
In the 20th century it wasn't in very good shape anymore, but it was renovated, and it's now a working windmill again, doing one of the things windmills do best: making flour.
Strange idea, that my ancestors of centuries ago must have gone here to get flour for their bread, probably on foot, or with horse and cart. And here I am, whizzing by in a 21st century car, stopping only to take a snap with my iPhone to put on the Internet later for the whole world to see. Makes you think, doesn't it.
I thought an 'old' look was suitable for this image: