Den Helder, 02-01-2012

THE LONG SHADOW OF THE EMPEROR

Two centuries later Ruud Snijtsheuvel is a
living memory of Napoleon

 

At 24th December, Arie Booy, a reporter of our local paper wrote an article about a descendant of Napoleon, Living in Den Helder where the last INS congress was held. To enable you to know the contents of the article I made a quick translation of it.  It was a pity that we did not know this before the congress in Den Helder but all the honour goes to our reporter who found this all. 
 
Happy greetings,

Frans C.Klut, FINS

 



Ruud Snijtsheuvel

 

Ruud is in a direct line a descendant of the fifth generation and 78 years old. He is not very excited about his far relationship with the emperor. “What should I do with it? It is curious to be a descendant of Napoleon. It has been investigated very carefully by genealogists and from the whole world I receive messages about the relationship of our family with Bonaparte. For me it was not a big issue. I have been in Paris but I did not visited the sarcofhagus of Napoleon.”

In the livingroom from Ruud and his wife is nothing to find about his relationship with the emperor but on the walls of the living room there are many pictures proving his relationship with the Netherlands East Indonesia which was a long time ago a colony of the Netherlands.

Rudolf Ferdinand Snijtsheuvel was born in the spring of 1933 in Surabaya in Indonesia. As a young boy he got involved in the war with the invading Japanese forces. His mother was already passed away at a young age and his father was jailed in a Japanese pow camp.

Fortunately he was adopted I a monastery. After the war and a nomadic time he landed in Holland where he started a career in accountancy in the ministry of the Navy in The Hague. Later he became a teacher in high school.

On request of the Navy I moved to Den Helder to set up the financial administration system.

Nephews told me that our family had relationship with Napoleon, but just when I retired from the Jac.P.Thijsse college I got as a present my genealogical tree showing the full sequence of relationship. Ruud pulled out a dark red book he received ten years ago. The genealogist Theo de Weerd had a hard job to chart all family ties from Bonaparte, Deux and Snijtsheuvel.

In the preface of the family tree de Weerd writes: A special name makes me curious and than I ask myself what history is behind this all. When I heard that the ancestor was an illegitimate child of Napoleon, I wanted to know all about the history.

Napoleon had one child from a marriage and certain six  illegitimate children.

In 1797 Napoleon had a relation with Henriëtte Leclerc also named Madame Deux. She gave birth on François Tobias Deux. This means that this child was the oldest child of Napoleon. This child was adopted in the family of a sister of Napoleon and was send to Indonesia in 1804 to disable him to claim his rights on an inheritance.

François was adopted in the family of the sultan and married one of the daughters and made a living in the sugarfabrication.

In my family the name Napoleon is used and my grandfather was also active in the sugarplantage. I have myself worked fifty years for the government and I was still teaching when I was seventy years old and I was never unemployed.

I had four divorces of which two with the same wife. Probably due to the genes of Napoleon. Although I had never an  illegitimate relationship.