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4.2. the hamlet of wessel ...

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 council (archives ). See also the historic references 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.".

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