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Dearest Engelberta,

No, I am not one of your descendants, but the "master of ceremonies", who
tries -through this website- to introduce your descendants to you.

I have given much thought whether to write this letter to you in your own time frame (17th century) or living (spiritually) in my era. I have chosen for the first option: a letter, traveling through time, to you in your second youth.

We have a few things in common. For example, we both have a long family tree, my paternal line going back to Daniel van Ossenbruch in 1200.

The van Nijenrodes were my ancestors via a maternal line. They lived in their castle, across the street, where your home in Breukelen was. This painting was painted in your time period.

Both of us also have strict Calvinist, Dutch Reformed, House of Orange loving ancestors.

Your great, great etc. grandson, Hendrik Philip Jacob, and my grandfather, Jan Cornelis, knew each other well and worked together on various projects, during the 8 years that Hendrik was mayor of Harmelen.

Like you, I was born and raised in Utrecht. We both walked the same streets near city hall, where your husband Paul was mayor. And, I have worked near Breukelen for 4 years, a "stone throw" away from your beautiful estate.

For 30 years I have worked for a company (Unilever), where one of your descendants (Ian) was on the board of directors. Once he and I attended the same meeting, but regretfully I have never shaken his hand.

I have frequently traveled for my profession and have lived in various countries. In 1985 we emigrated to America. Close to New Amsterdam and (new) Breukelen, which the English will rename New York and Brooklyn at a later time.

In 1999 I retired and moved to Florida, because of the climate and culture. During the past 12 years I have been a (part-time) docent at an art museum here, where we have a beautiful portrait of you. You might still remember going to Nicolaes Maes in Amsterdam to pose for it. Probably a few months before your wedding. Do you still remember this man?

This website originated because of my love for your portrait. I hope that you read the Welcome page. There you can read my motivation and the developments.

Finally, I would like to compliment you. At this moment in your life you only have 5 grandchildren. You and Paul must be so happy to know that, after 13 generations, there will be more than 300 descendants. And although there has been pain and sorrow, you may be very proud to know that many of your descendants were able to contribute to a better world.

I hope that in the next 300 years as many positive things will happen and that as many people will be inspired by your descendants.

Warm regards,

Willem van Osnabrugge
September, 2012