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The Eck family between 1873 and 1943

The Eck-Chermin couple and their children

The text below has been emailed to me by a relative. See sender below. This is a preliminary version, which may still contain errors. If you find one, please report it using the contact page
If there is a character standing before a name, it refers to this person in the family tree.

The brother of Gerhard Eck and the sister of his wife Maria Helene Chermin also married one year later:
Heinrich Joseph Eck × Maria Josepha Chermin ∞ 07-02-1874 in Kerkrade. They settled on the German side of the border in Kohlscheid (source: my mother. A.Schunck), while Gerhard and Maria Helene lived in Kerkrade. This is a typical EuRode story. The place name Heyden no longer exists. But the ruins of the moated castle Haus Heyden and in the immediate vicinity the village of Pannesheide. On the Dutch side there is Bleierheide which is a part of Kerkrade. We may therefore assume that the Eck brothers came from what is now Pannesheide.

On 25 April 1873 the 27-year-old ♠ married Gerhard Eck (∗ 1846 zu Kohlscheid-Heyden) and the 20-year-old ♠ Maria Helene Chermin (∗ 31-3-1853 Kerkrade). They lived in Kerkrade and had 10 children. Helene died at the age of 50 on 13.08.1903 and Gerhard at the age of 59 on 01.01.1905, both in Kerkrade. The 5 youngest children still lived at home or were still studying. Catharina Eck, the oldest of these five, took care of them. In a valkenburg newspaper article from March 1939 about the double jubilee of Willy Eck (see below) it says that he came from a teacher’s family. In fact this is true as far as his generation is concerned, but we do not know whether Gerhard or Helene also taught. We call his generation for simplicity’s sake the teacher generation. Am 25. April 1873 heirateten der 27-jährige ♠ Gerhard Eck (∗ 1846 zu Kohlscheid-Heyden) und die 20-jährige ♠ Maria Helene Chermin (∗ 31-3-1853 Kerkrade). Sie wohnten in Kerkrade und bekamen 10 Kinder. Helene starb schon im Alter von 50 years oldn am 13.08.1903 en Gerhard 59-jährig am 01.01.1905, beide in Kerkrade. Die 5 jüngsten Kinder wohnten da noch zu Hause oder studierten noch. Catharina Eck, die älteste dieser fünf, versorgte sie. In einem valkenburger Zeitungsartikel vom März 1939 über das doppelte Jubileum von Willy Eck (siehe unten) steht dass er aus einer Lehrerfamilie stammt. Tatsächlich stimmt das was seine Generation betrifft, aber wir wissen nicht ob auch Gerhard oder Helene unterrichteten. Wir nennen seine Generation einfachkeitshalber die Lehrergeneration.

313
 1924. Willy Eck at his silver priest / rector anniversary, among his sisters and brother.
  1. Wilhelmus Joseph Eck
  2. Maria Theresia Eck
  3. Maria Gertrudis Eck
  4. Maria Eck
  5. Pieter Joseph Eck
  6. Anna Catharina Eck
  7. Maria Clara Eck
  8. Paul Joseph Ambrosius Eck
  9. Maria Ellen Eck
  10. Johanna Maria Eck
  1. The oldest was ♠ Wilhelmus Joseph Eck, nicknamed Willy (∗ february 3rd, 1874 in Kerkrade and † april 24th, 1943 in Valkenburg, aged 69). Grammar school and Philosophicum in Rolduc. He was very intelligent and won many prizes (most interested in history and natural sciences). One story says that he could not help correcting his teachers when they did not explain something correctly. For me (C. Schunck) this is a family trait. Theology at the major seminar Roermond. Ordination to the priesthood on March 18th, 1899. On September 30th, 1899 he became Rector of the St. Joseph Institute in Valkenburg, at that time still a boarding school for boys, later for girls. His niece ♠ Jetty Cremers was one of the students there.
    313
    In addition to his rectorate he also gave religious lessons at various schools in Valkenburg; later also at the Normaalschool (teacher training college) in Heerlen-Bekkerveld. He also became assessor for the religious examinations at 2 Normaalschools in Maastricht. Specialized in educational law. In my archives are 2 photos (I was his godchild) of highlights of his career: The photo from 1924 of the silver priest / rector jubilee gives a wonderful picture of the reverend brother in the midst of his self-confident siblings.
    313
    The second photo was taken in April 1939 on the occasion of the double anniversary of his 40th priesthood (March) and rectorate (September) (according to the text on the back of the photo). The celebration for the local Valkenburgers was only in September (according to a newspaper article). As a reverend brother and uncle (at that time in the Catholic part of the Netherlands such a person was called "Heerbroer" or "Heeroom") Wilhelmus was the ruler of his siblings and their children.
    Some examples: ♠ Gerda Cremers was not allowed to enter the Liège Conservatory (too dangerous) Her brother ♠ Joseph was encouraged to enter the studies for priesthood after graduating from high school, but when he left there in 1935 at the age of 20, he was reintegrated in the family circle on the advice of Heeroom, reverend uncle, and sent to university within 14 days: Boys should have a career, girls should help in the household! His other nephew ♠ Jos Kreyen (Kreijen) (ad 4.3) became a priest indeed, but Heeroom died 4 months before his nephew was ordained. During the war Rector Eck had appealed for the support of Pierre Schunck to the Jesuits of Valkenburg to hide their precious collection of books, chalices and chasubles, when the “Jesuit monastery” was confiscated by the German SS (see Resistance in Valkenburg, Chalices and Chasubles). Wilhelmus was buried in April 1943 in the cemetery of the Joseph Institute.

  2. ♠ Maria Theresia Eck, called Tresa (∗ 13-6-1876 Kerkrade and † 3-1-1952 Kerkrade, 76 years old). She married Hubert Joseph Lückers (∗ 31/10/1866 Heerlen and † 9/29/1930 Kerkrade (67) at the age of 20 on 10/30/1896. She then married, at the age of over 50, the widower Theodoor Ackermans (∗ 9/18/1870 in Hoensbroek and † 9/14/1936 in Kerkrade). She was therefore already widowed twice in 1939. She had 4 children from her first husband: Gerhard, Barbara, Claire, Elly.

  3. ♠ Maria Gertrudis Eck, nickname Gerda (∗ 14-11-1877 Kerkrade and † 1947, 70 years old) Sie heiratete am 22.4.1898 Nicolaas Joseph Schrijen als 20-Jährige (∗ 3-7-1870 Merkelbeek and † 10-2-1944 Kerkrade 74 years old). Er war Oberlehrer bei ULO Kerkrade. Er wurde bereits 1938 in den Ruhestand versetzt; Sie lebten dann am Rolduckerweg 32 in Kerkrade (laut Festschrift 40-jährige Hochzeit). Sie hatten 4 Kinder: Gerhard, Leni, Fientje, Treesje.>

  4. ♠ Maria Eck (∗ 4-3-1879 Kerkrade and † 31-5-1930 Kerkrade Chèvremont Grab 585, siehe www.graftombe.nl. 51 Jhr). Sie heiratete 1899 Hubert Kreijen (∗ 25-8-1874 Herzogenrath and † 21-6-1946 Kerkrade Chèvremont, Grab 585, 70 years old). Er war Schmied in der St. Pieterstraat in Kerkrade (Archiv Kerkrade, Straßennamen). Sie hatten mehrere Kinder, von denen 3 am Leben blieben: Lenchen, Gerd und Nachkind Jozef. Maria starb nicht bei der Geburt Josephs, sondern im Alter von 51 years oldn. Witwer Hubert heiratete erneut, mit seiner Schwägerin Ellen (siehe 9), damit sich um den 10-jährigen Sohn Jozef gekümmert würde.

  5. ♠ Pieter Joseph Eck (∗ 3-6-1880, † 5-10-1880 Kerkrade, 4 Monate „alt“).

  6. ♠ Anna Catharina Eck: nicknamen Catrinchen und Trienchen (Siehe unten: nicknamen. (∗ 3-2-1882 Kerkrade, † 2-6-1950 Valkenburg, 68 Jhr.). Weil sie sich nach dem Tod ihrer Mutter um ihren jüngeren Bruder und ihre jüngeren Schwestern kümmern musste, heiratete sie Johannes Josephus Cremers erst im Alter von 26 years oldn am 28.4.1908 in Chèvremont (Villa Lückerheide): nickname Jean (∗ 28-12) -1878 Voerendaal and † 2-5-1947 Valkenburg, 68 years old). Die Ehe wurde von ihrem hochwürdigen Bruder in der Kirche St. Pietersrade eingesegnet. Sie hatten 4 Kinder: Wielke, Gerda, Joop und Nachkömmling Jetty. Jean und Catharina lernten sich durch Catharinas Schwester Clara (siehe Nr. 7) kennen, die an derselben Schule unterrichtete wie Jean. Jean war sehr intelligent und fleißig und erreichte alle Lehrbefugnisse für Französisch, Deutsch und Englisch und unterrichtete dann an der ULO in Valkenburg, wo ihr Heerbroer Eck bereits Religion unterrichtete. Zwischen der Geburt von Gerda und Joop zog das Paar nach Valkenburg. Jean hatte ein breites kulturelles Interesse und wurde aktives Mitglied von Kulturorganisationen, unter anderem nach der Eröffnung des Openluchttheaters (Freilichttheaters) im Jahr 1916 > (erbaut vom Architekten Cuypers) langjähriges Vorstandsmitglied der N.V. Valkenburg Omhoog (Openluchttheater und Rotspark). Nach dem Ersten Weltkrieg erhielt Jean einen belgischen Orden für seine Hilfe an belgische Flüchtlinge. Jean wurde Opfer der Pandemie der spanischen Grippe und wurde schließlich wegen dauerhafter Restsymptome vorzeitig in den Ruhestand versetzt.


    1927/28 – Pension Cremers
    Catharina startete in den Sommermonaten in ihrem Haus in der Muntstraat 7 in Valkenburg ein Gästehaus, welches gut gelaufen ist. Gerda und Joop hatten eine Dunkelkammer hinter der Terrasse des Gästehauses in der Kalksteinhöhle unterhalb der Ruine (Der Zugang ist auf diesem Foto von 1927/28 zu sehen). Pfingsten 1930 eröffnete Catharina im Alter von 48 years oldn ein großes Hotel mit 50 Zimmern in der Wilhelminalaan, das vom Architekten Wielders (Stijlgroep) aus Sittard entworfen wurde.
    ... Het hotel is helaas in de oorlog genaast door de Duitsers en na de oorlog verkocht, omdat er geen opvolger was. Tijdens het overlijden van Jean woonden ze op Grotestraat 30, terwijl in de tuin van Wasserij Schunck op Plenkertstraat 92 een huis in aanbouw was, ontworpen door Peutz. Weduwe Cremers-Eck verhuisde in het najaar 1947 naar dat huis met haar 2 ongehuwde dochters Wielke en Jetty. Na het huwelijk van Jetty zijn Catharina en Wielke in september 1949 verhuisd naar de Bogaardlaan, waar ze tot hun dood (resp. juni en aug.1950) gewoond hebben. Het was in het centrum van Valkenburg naast de meisjesschool. Mijn zus Marie-José en ik gingen iedere morgen na de Mis bij oma ontbijten. Ik herinner me dat oma altijd naar operettes luisterde op de radio. Op haar bidprentje staat, dat zij een sterke vrouw was. Zij heeft eerst haar broer en jongere zussen verzorgd en carrièrebewust gemaakt: voor die tijd uitzonderlijk voor een vrouw. Daarna had ze naast haar gezin en zieke man ook nog een goed lopend hotel: ze heeft zelfs haar kleinkinderen voorgehouden dat je alleen met zuinigheid en vlijt iets kunt bereiken in het leven (‘Zuinigheid met vlijt bouwt huizen als kastelen’ was haar gevleugelde gezegde); ook onze tafelmanieren moesten onberispelijk zijn. Zij was een voorbeeld voor alle hardwerkende Eck-vrouwen, die wisten hoe ze zich moesten presenteren. Meer informatie over Catharina Eck

  7. ♠ Maria Clara Eck, nickname Clara (∗ 24-2-1884 Kerkrade and † 21-8-1952 Kerkrade Holz, 68 years old). She was the only sister who never married, but she was very active as a teacher and in several social clubs. According to the archives of the municipality of Kerkrade, she was an active member of the Mary Legion, secretary of the catholic Girls Protection, member of the catholic Probation and former prefect of the Mary Congregation. According to a festive poem for her sixtieth birthday in 1944, made by her brother Jozef in the local language of Kerkrade (in my archive) she went to live with her sister Johanna and brother-in-law Heijltjes after her retirement. She also had contact with several Franciscans, who were teachers too, such as Renatus Ritzen ofm (in 1927 teacher Bernardinuscollege) and missionary Pöttgens ofm, who worked in Karachi after the war. My mother continued some of these contacts.

  8. ♠ Paul Joseph Ambrosius Eck, nickname Jozef (∗ 7-12-1885 Kerkrade and † buried 30-12-1956 in Kerkrade Bleijerheide, 71 years old). Around 1920 he married Cordula Grüterich, nickname Cordy (∗ January 28th, 1898 in Hückelswagen (D) and † August 19th, 1999 in Kerkrade, 101 yr old!). They had 6 children: Bert, Marianne, Annemie, Helm, Kit and Paul. Jozef studied German at the University of Groningen and became a teacher of German at the gymnasium of Rolduc in 1910 until his retirement in 1953. He was also a teacher at the boys Kweekschool (teachers school) Heerlen and at the Hotelvakschool Maastricht. He also taught German at the girls HBS and was the 1st director of the Secondary Girls' School (MMS) in Kerkrade. In 1928 he was a member of the exam committee for the L.O. German certificate. Skilled teacher by thorough knowledge and great pedagogical gifts (see archive Kerkrade, street names). Also member of the Board of the Poor; culturally and sportingly active. From 1953 until death member of the KVP-fraction in the municipal council of Kerkrade. In 1964 the Jozef Eckstraat in this city was named after him. After his death Cordy was active for many years for the Council for the Child Protection, the St. Vincent Society, the Lent Action and mission committee of the parish. For that work she was decorated with the the papal Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice at the age of 99 (March 1997). The couple Eck-Grüterich is buried in grave 044 in Bleijerheide. My sisters Ineke and Marie-José lived with Uncle Joseph and Aunt Cordy during the school year 1953/54, when my parents and their 4 youngest children lived on Bonaire for 1 year.

  9. ♠ Maria Ellen Eck, nickname Ellen (∗ May 18th, 1887 Kerkrade and † May 3rd, 1970 in Kerkrade Chèvremont, buried in grave 585 together with her sister Maria and husband Hubert). After the death of her sister Maria in 1930 Ellen married the widower Hubert Kreijen when she was more than forty years old to take care of the youngest child Joseph of her deceased sister. After his retirement Ellen and Hubert settled in Valkenburg next to the church. After the death of Hubert in 1946 Ellen moved to the Parallelweg in Meerssen. In that period she came to look after us, when my parents were traveling. I found her a strange aunt: always praying, but as a child I saw that perhaps a bit too exaggerated. At the end of her life she lived in the monastery Maria-oord in Kerkrade. She died at the age of 82 years.

  10. ♠ Johanna Maria Eck, nickname Johanna (∗ 21-5-1891 Kerkrade and † 20-8-1962 Kerkrade Holz, 71 jr). About 1920 she married Arnold Wilhelm Heijltjes (∗ 6-1-1898 Oberhausen Dld and † 28-7-1976 Kerkrade Holz. According to his mortuary card he was 80 years old when he died, but there 1898 is the year of his birth.). So he was 4 to 5 years younger than Johanna. They had tree children: Arno, Wim en Marie-José.

Christine Schunck, with the help of Cor Cremers en Arnold Schunck.
(Omdat het hier om een familiesite gaat, zijn academische titels weggelaten)
Wordt vervolgd.


Nicknames On this website you will find not only the surnames and first names of the registered persons, but also their nicknames. This category includes all names with which this person is addressed by his relatives and friends. So also Nico for Nicolas. Nicknames are by definition something verbal and therefore often difficult to trace. A good example is the nickname of Catharina Cremers, born Eck. I asked my mother for grandma’s nickname and she said Trienchen. This is confirmed by older people in our family. But on the invitation to a communion celebration in Kerkrade we can read: “Aunt Catrinchen and Wielke“ (i.e. without an e behind the i, which also results in a slightly different pronunciation). When she moved to Valkenburg, she came into a foreign environment and was called therefore “Ms (Catharina) Cremers“. Mainly because she wanted to appear more elegant as a hotel owner. Furthermore, Trienchen was/is a German name (before the German occupation during the 2nd World War this was still standard in Kerkrade, Bocholtz and Vaals), and she had noticed that people in Valkenburg did not understand her local language of Kerkrade. So she started to speak Dutch only after moving to Valkenburg. But within her family, of course, everything remained the same. Their language, their nicknames. So what is right? Most probably it’s all correct: different groups often use different nicknames for the same person. But I am especially interested in the names used within the family. And these are often variable and of course do not have a “correct” spelling, because they are spoken language. So in this case the first name is both Trienchen and Catrinchen. The latter sounds a bit more distinguished, so it looks better on an invitation. In Dutch it would be (Ka)-Trijntje.
Another interesting point is the use of the “official” first names. We often see that Christians have different names in the baptismal registers than in the files of the registry office. Example: Johannes Josephus versus Jan Joseph. Wilhelmus versus Willem, while the nickname was Willy. Apparently nobody found this strange. Wilhelmus, Wilhelm or Willem or Willi, in fact they all were the same name. Consequently, this even went so far that the same person often had a different name variant in the birth certificate than in the marriage or death certificate. This is unimaginable in our digitalized world.

Arnold Schunck

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