The Cauwels family coming from Maldegem in East-Flanders, BelgiumDeze blz in het nederlands

The Cauwels family from Maldegem

Research by Marijn Claeys

The first generation we could find

Petrus Cauwels Married in Maldegem on 1/5/1716 to Joanna Buysse (° Adegem 18/3/1692), dochter van Laurens en Livina Salewijn
He died there on 27/2/1725, 33 years old.

According to Petrus Cauwels’ property inventory (staat van goed) kept in the RAG (RijksArchief Gent) Ghent State Archives, Maldegem resources, folder 155, Petrus was the son of Jan Cauwels and Joanna Buysse (and Joanna was the daughter of Laureyns Buysse).

Joanna remarried in Maldegem on 29/7/1725 with Jan Bril who died in Maldegem on 15/4/1727.  Joanna remarried in Maldegem on 25/7/1728 with Petrus Vanden Driessche, who died there on 8/5/1740.  And Joanna married for the fourth time in Maldegem on 22/4/1755 with Marten Merison who died there on 9/2/1758.  She survived him for 20 more years and died in Maldegem on 21/5/1778 aged 88.  She was originally from Adegem.

(When one of the parents (or both) died and left under-age children, an inventory of all the property of the couple was made and then everything was disposed of in a public sale.  Quite a few of these property lists have been kept and they teach us a lot about our ancestors.  They not only list in detail everything the couple owned but quite often they also state who the parents and grandparents were and they give the names of the children etc.)

The second generation

Joannes Arnoldus Cauwels
° Maldegem 12/12/1719, the son of Petrus Cauwels and Joanna Buysse.
x Maldegem 25/2/1748 Maria Petronella De Brabander (° about 1727)
He died in Maldegem on 8/4/1790.  She was a labourer.  She passed away in Maldegem in the Noordhem quarter on 28/12/1806.
(Please note: all dates are in the dd/mm/yyyy format.)

They had 11 children.

The third generation

Ambrosius Cauwels
° Maldegem 16/4/1759, the son of Joannes Cauwels and Marie De Brabandere
He was a labourer.
x Maldegem 15/7/1782 Rosalia Poupée (° Doornik about 1760 - † Maldegem 28/1/1841) † Maldegem 27/3/1808

Rosalia Poupée was the daughter of Joannes Poupée and Margritte De Vallé.

(The French word for doll is poupée. Doornik, in French Tournai, in those days was a long way from Maldegem and perhaps already largely French speaking.  Today it still is a long way from Maldegem even if the miles separating them no longer mean anything.  Only the good Lord himself knows how come Rosalie turned up in Maldegem.)

There were 9 children.

The fourth generation

Bernardus Cauwels
° Maldegem 4/12/1800 the son of Ambrosius Cauwels and Rosalia Poupée
He was a clog maker.
x Lissewege 22/6/1841 Joanna De Vroe (° Lissewege 22/7/1817 - † Maldegem 18/5/1900) She was the daughter of Marcus and Emeliana Vermeire.
He died in Maldegem on 15/9/1862.  Bernardus was a clog maker.
(Until well into the 1950s many people wore clogs in our regions.  Not, of course to go to church and not inside the house either, but on the fields, in the stables and in the gardens, etc.)

They both died in Maldegem, Bernard on 15/9/1862 and Joanna on 18/5/1900.

(Lissewege, not far from Damme is one of those towns that prospered when sea going vessels passed by there on their way to Bruges.  Next time you come to the country of your forfathers may I suggest you go see Damme, Hoeke, Lissewege and Sluis.  When the port of Damme was silted up, for a while the great ships unloaded at Sluis.  These places, once cities in their own right, now are quiet unpretentious little towns trying to remember their past.)

The fifth generation

1. Hyppoliet Cauwels was born in Maldegem on 9 July 1843, the son of Bernardus Cauwels and Joanna "Wantje" De Vroe.  He was married to Amelie Rabout.  She was born in Middelburg on 5 February 1858, the daughter of Bernardus and Isabella Clara Van Wildemeersch.
Hyppoliet and Amelie had 4 children.
He died in the town of his birth on 26 February 1940 almost 97 years old and she died, also in Maldegem, on 26 January 1941.  Here are their funeral cards.

2. Eduard Cauwels, the brother of Hyppoliet, was born in Maldegem on 14/2/1855.
According to the population registers of 1890-1900 Eduard was a clog maker.  He lived in the Rapenburgstraat, 4.  According to the 1901-1910 registers he was a farm labourer and innkeeper and lived in the Noordstraat (North Road).  In the registers of 1910-1920 his trade of brewer's helper was crossed out and replaced with day labourer; innkeeper remained and finally in the following population register of 1920-1930 he was described as innkeeper and farm labourer.

Click on the image below to see a larger copy of it.
Maldegem in 1909

In the center of the above postcard we see the pub run by Eduard and Leonie.
Many thanks to Mrs. Marie Angelus for sending us this card all the way from California.
She is a descendent of Maria Magdalena Victoria Cauwels and Henry Lucien Nagel.

Eduard Cauwels was married in Maldegem on 25/8/1886 to Leonie Sophie Roels.

Leonie Roels was born in Cleyt (now written Kleit) on 6/6/1865 the daughter of Franciscus Roels, farm labourer (° about 1818) and Blondina Standaert (° about 1823).

See here for their children.

Leonie died in Maldegem on 19 March 1937 and Eduard died in St.-Amandsberg (near Ghent) on 20 September 1950.  Here are the funeral cards of Eduard and Leonie.

The sixth generation

The children of Hyppoliet Cauwels and Amelie Rabout:

  1. Hector Francies Eduard Cauwels
    ° Maldegem 2/9/1887
    He lost both legs in an accident with a tram when he was 3 years old.  He had a newspaper shop in the center of Maldegem.  He died childless.
    He was married in Maldegem on 21/8/1924 to Pharailde Bourgonjon.
    He died childless in Maldegem on 18/6/1969.
  2. Cyriel Alfons Cauwels
    ° Maldegem 10/2/1889
    x 28/5/1919 Euphrasie De Smet (° 24/4/1892 – † 5/10/1970)
    She was the daughter of Eduardus De Smet and Julie De Coninck.
    He was a clog maker, but also shopkeeper, postman and innkeeper of a pub called Little Mill Square in Maldegem.
    † 20/5/1984
    They had 5 children.  We have information on four of them:
    • Margriet Cauwels
      ° 1923
      x Frans De Vlieger.
      They have one daughter.
    • Hulin Cauwels
      ° 1925
      x Roza Verbeke
      He was a commercial traveler.
    • Gisèle Cauwels
      ° 28/1/1930
    • Berthil Cauwels
      ° Maldegem 21/9/1931
      He was "kantonier" for the town: he maintained the town's roads and public places.
      He was also a very enthusiastic pigeon fancier.
      Maldegem 6/3/2012
  3. Emma Rosalia Cauwels
    ° Maldegem 3/1/1891
    † Ghent 13/3/1981
  4. Andreas Jozef Cauwels
    ° Maldegem 20/12/1891
    † Maldegem 31/7/1892
  5. Celesta Cauwels
    ° Maldegem 24/5/1893
    † Maldegem 21/7/1893
  6. Magdalena Maria Cauwels
    ° Maldegem 6/10/1894
    † Maldegem 30/11/1894
  7. Alice Elodie Cauwels
    ° Maldegem 3/7/1896
    She was married to Omer De Smet
    She died in Wetter on 13/3/1997 at the age of 101.

Eduard Cauwels and Leonie Roels had 12 children.  We found the following 10, all born in Maldegem:

  1. Octavie Marie Cauwels
    ° 12/2/1887
    Married in Maldegem on 18/8/1909 with A. Roan and moved to De Klinge.
  2. Magdalena Maria Cauwels
    ° 27/10/1888
    Married on 22/6/1910 with Medard De Rocker and left for the USA.  Thanks to Mr. Nicholas Schroetter we have more information on this branch.  Read all about it here.
  3. Celesta Maria Celestina Cauwels
    ° 10/1/1891
    + Maldegem 4/1/1900
  4. Medard Lodewijk Cauwels
    ° 16/12/1892
    He was a tobacco worker and in 1920 he left for Kortrijk (Courtrai).
  5. Maria Magdalena Victoria Cauwels
    ° 9/3/1895
    Married in Maldegem on 22/5/1926 with Henri Lucien Nagel and left for the USA.
    She died at Moline, Illinois on 2/2/1973.*
    See here for her prayer card.
  6. Alfons Bernard Cauwels
    ° 24/9/1896
    Married in Maldegem on 25/6/1926 with Ester Malvina Marie Willems.
  7. Georgius Jozef Cauwels
    ° 31/3/1899.
    Mr Armand Buysse showed us Georges's funeral card where it says: Georges Cauwels husband of Mrs. Pelagie Hoste born in Maldegem on 31 March 1899 and there piously deceased on 22 October 1956 strenghtened with the last Holy Sacraments and the Papal Benediction.  I think the maiden name of Pelagie's mum was Van Audenaerde.  Here is Georges's funeral card.
  8. Celesta Augusta Cauwels
    ° 1/11/1901
    Embroiderer (Borduurster in Dutch)
    + Maldegem 8/4/1926
  9. Laura Joanna Cauwels
    ° 22/3/1904
    Embroiderer, married in Maldegem on 29/4/1926 with Andre De Bree, engineer, the 5th of a family of 10 children and born in Maldegem on 22/2/1903.
  10. Jeanette Leontina Cauwels
    ° 14/9/1907
    She married Armand Buysse.  Armand was the son of August Buysse and Emma Van Houwenhuyse.  August was born in Maldegem on 6 October 1867 and died there suddenly on 2 December 1947.  Emma was born in Maldegem on 28 May 1873 and died there on 21 April 1948.  Here are the funeral cards of August and Emma.
    Armand and Jeanette had 3 sons and 1 daughter.  Here we have 4 wedding photographs of Armand Buysse and Jeanette Cauwels.  And here is Jeanette's funeral card.

We were told Eduard and Leonie had 12 children.  Perhaps the 2 children missing from the above list died very young.

To go back deeper into the past is not at all an easy matter: as far as we could find out no earlier Cauwels were born in Maldegem, Sint-Laureins or Adegem.  Perhaps some might be found in Lembeke, the Cauwels cradle.

MC, 28/9/2005

* Many thanks to Ms. Elaine Shelly for Maria Magdalena's date and place of death.

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