Genealogical Oddities (VI): Vlaams Blok, er, Blog

Some references to Flemish soldiers in 18th century Zaragoza, in belated tribute to Belgium having at last established a new government.

The diocesan register of marriage licence applications for the year 1730 includes a well-travelled scrap of paper pertaining to a well-travelled man-at-arms. Headed ‘Extractum ex Registro Baptismali Exemptae Cathedralis Ecclesiae Sancti Bavonis’ it transcribes the record of the following baptism from Ghent:

9 Oct 1691 Joannes, filio Christian Pijn militis et Joanna Feistens conj.

By August 1730 this record’s owner, referred to as Juan Pijn, had seen service in Flanders, Germany, France, Castille, Aragon, Valencia and Catalonia since his enlistment in 1709; he had been a Sergeant in the Carlos de Gueldres company of the Regimiento de Malta, until being discharged on 30th June 1730. He had, according to his request, resided in Zaragoza for 6 days and wished to marry Bernarda Rubira, native of Villanueva de Gállego and widow of José Rubio; it is unclear if the two had known each other before or if the widow’s charms were so irresistible as to leave this Flemish veteran besotted in under a week. In any event, the request went forward, the groom’s witnesses (Joseph de Combals, a musician in the Granada regiment, aged 33 and native of Prague, resident of Zaragoza for 20 days; and Adam Vimor, Sergeant in the Regimiento de Infantería Irlanda, aged 34, and a resident of Zaragoza for 10 days) attesting to having served with him and so being confident that he was neither married nor engaged; and so, licence was duly granted.

Perhaps in Zaragoza Juan Pijn came across one of his countrymen who’d married there a decade previously. On 17 May 1721 Guillermo Bogaerts, soldier in the Regimiento de Artesia, son of Pedro Bogaerts and Isabel Anceng, and a native of Brussels, married one Dominga de Musaurrieta, daughter of Juan de Musaurrieta and María Goicuria and a native of Bilbao (or ‘Vilbau’, as the priest wrote it, which makes me suspicious of his spelling of Anceng….) A bit of searching reveals that Dominga was baptised at Bilbao’s parish of Señor Santiago in July 1695, so this couple could certainly have left descendants, though as yet no Bogaerts Musaurrieta baptism record has fallen into my hands.

SOURCES: Registro de Matrimonios, 1730, Archivo Diocesano de Zaragoza · Marriages, 1690-1738, Parish of San Felipe, Zaragoza · Baptisms 1690-1718, Parish of Señor Santiago, Bilbao.