by Cornelis van Wessel, B.Sc. (Edin.),
BA (Hons., Open) — early draft, more to follow!
In the 'Hervormde Kerkbode' (a parish newspaper) published
in Harderwijk (NL; 23 Augustus, 1973) an article appeared entitled
'GARDEREN'. In the article reference is made to a Baron van
Wessel (13/14th C.?) who is associated with an 'estate' near
Barneveld. It reads: "The village of Garderen is much older
than Barneveld. So in fact Barneveld is a part of Garderen.
In 1275 the village Garderen is mentioned in the literature.
The inhabitants were that year required to give 1/10 (tithe)
of their income towards the Crusades. The area of Wessel received
it's name from a certain Baron van Wessel, a huntsman (a man
in charge of the hunting dogs) or gamekeeper."
What do we know about this Wessel? The first references to Wessel
are from 1146, then known as Wehsle (Sl. 282)
and 1183 when we see it as Wesle (ib. 257).
In the 15th century we read about the "Erve ende gued te
Wassel" located "in den kerspele
van Barnevelt" (approx. 1430's; v. Rk. Engel, 50). It is
also known as Wijssel and later (in 1572) as
Wessel (?) (H.G. Mk. II. 390,1). These are
listed on the excellent website of Barneveld
See also the historic
about Wessel extracted from the Barneveld Archives and available
on this website.
We may have to considder family names such as van Wehsle
(nothing relevant found on-line); VAN WESLE
(one reference found to a heer Gerard VAN WESLE
(14 December, 1682) on the website of the Regionaal
Historisch Centrum Tilburg
(Schepenbank Hilvarenbeek, archiefnummer 700, inventarisnummer
207 (1)), VAN WASSEL (references to Ulrich von Wassel can be
ignored) and VAN WIJSSEL (found twice, there is a Jurianna VAN
WIJSSEL marries Evert MOL on 5 July, 1708 in Arnhem, she is
also known as Juriaen van WIJSSEN or Juriana Derkx and there
is an Egbert Gerrits VAN WIJSSEL who gets engaged on 7 April,
1695 in Oene with Mechteltien Theunis).
Wessel was listed in the 1964 alfabethic placename register
as a 'Buurtschap' (a hamlet or perhaps more literally a 'neighbourhood')
in the parish of Barneveld in the province of Gelderland, the
Netherlands (Source: Heger, E. (1964)) Alfabetische Plaatsnamenlijst
van Nederland (pag. 174)). Wessel lies only a few kilometers
East of Barneveld and not far from Kootwijkerbroek. An area
of approx. 2 square kilometers (but it could be less) is still
marked on the Dutch topographic map as 'Wesselsche Veld'
(Field of Wessel). It lies between the 'Puureveensche Veld (Field
of Puureveen) to the east and the 'Esveld' (Field of Es) to
the west and is roughly bound by the 'Wesselse Weg',
the 'Esvelderweg', the 'Puureveense Weg' and the road north
of the Esveld. Wessel was still marked in 1972 on a roadsign
for cyclists (paddestoel number 1010, along the Wesselse Weg),
indicating Wessel 2.7 km in a SE direction, but no signs were
found in 1991. A farm in or near the Wesselsche Veld bares the
name 'Wesselsche Hof' (litt. the Garden of
Wessel, but probably better translated as 'Farm of Wessel' or
Farmstead of Wessel' = 'Hoeve'). There's also reference to the
farms of 'Klein Wessel' and 'Groot
Wessel' (one of these is probaly the 'Wesselse Hof').
Other geographical names listed on the Barneveld website are
'Wesselsche beek', 'Wesselse omloop',
'Wesselse hof', 'Wesseler Maelsc(h)ap',
'Café Wessel', 'Wesselse Hoef',
'Maelscap va[n] Wessell', 'Wesselse
allee', 'Wesselseheide', 'Wesselseveld'
and 'Wesselse Voetpad'.
The Barneveld website also carries the following note which
roughly translated reads as follows: "Much older than Kootwijkerbroek
is the settlement of Wessel, located between the aforementioned
village and Barneveld. It is possible that the precursor of
the Odulphuskerk (Church of Odulphus) of Barneveld was situated
here. One of the oldest farms in this area dating, in its later
form, from the 17th C. was named "Blauw Kapel" (Blue
Chapel) and was demolished in 1980. It is possible that here
Bronijs, priest of Wessel in 1530, said Mass for the believing
farmers in the area.".