In the spring of 1999 I started researching the origin of the given names of my paternal grandmother Anna Martha Gonda Sterringa née Winterwerp, after who I've been named. This has led to a truly serious, genealogical research with the following results sofar:
All the Winterwerps in the Netherlands, the U.S.A., Germany, Australia and elsewhere are descendants of Johann Philip Winterwerp and his second wife Anna Metta/Märta Kunegunda Neslau (Nessler, Neßler). He was a Nassau, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany born soldier; she was born in Bremen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. They married in Groningen in 1794 and got five sons, two of who died very young as did the eldest son from his first marriage. The descent goes via the youngest two sons: Pieter Winterwerp 1800-1851 (trade) and Johan Christian Winterwerp 1803-1879 (teaching). The offspring of their older brother Georg Andreas Winterwerp 1796-1834 (army) did run out in the male line in 1892. After their mother's death, 'Andries', Pieter and 'Christiaan' Winterwerp were taken in by the Lutheran orphanage in Groningen. They always remained a close-knit lot, and named sons after each other. They also went to the Registry Office for each other to report a death in the family.
The American branch came into being in 1900 and the (new) German one in 1902. In the 1960s three Winterwerp sisters emigrated to Australia.
Apart from the first wife of Johan Christian 1803 being an aunt of the second, intermarriage hardly occurs.
Johann Philip Winterwerp had probably taken his name from the town of Winterwerb near Nassau. He himself used both spellings, Winterwerp with -p and Winterwerb with -b for signatures. The surname Neslau (Nessler, Neßler) changed in Groningen into Nesselaar and even Snesselaar; the given names Anna Metta/Märta Kunegunda changed into Anna Martha Gondagonda. These names have remained rather popular in the Winterwerp family like those of two other Winterwerp wives, Dolfien Rigter and Christina Margrieta Heikens. The latter was named after both wives of her legendary grandfather and Napoleontic soldier Geert Adriaans Boomgaard 1788-1899. Winterwerp sons do still carry the names Johan Christian, Pieter, Johan Philip and Hendrik Köhler; the names Johan Christian and Hendrik Köhler have especially survived in the teachers' line. The names Hendrik Köhler have come into the family as a result of a promise made by a Winterwerp ancestor to a fellow-soldier (Sgt Johann Rudolph Köhler?).
The relation to a certain Philippe Winterwerp (cousin?) who married in Boxmeer in 1790 and died there in 1810, needs further research, as does that to Johannes Antonius Winterwerp (uncle?) who married in Venlo in 1759 and had children christened in Bergen op Zoom and in Maastricht.
Likewise the relation with Engel Nesla (Nessler, Neßler) from Bremen, Germany, who had children baptised in Amsterdam in 1757 and 1761; she married in Amsterdam in 1766 and in 1774. In 1766 she said she couldn't write; in 1774 she signed 'Enngal Naßler'.
Ancestors in pictures
Ancestors in words
Winterwerb town website
Winterwerp Census 1947
Gondagonda (and namesakes) chart
Winterwerp genealogy text + index , chart + map , tree
Winterwerp-Waalkens pedigree text + index , chart + map
Additions and corrections are welcome