Biography of Eduard Walg
Eduard Walg was born on november 26, 1847 in Leerdam; a little city in the province of South Holland. He was the second child of Jacob Walg and Mietje Denekamp
Eduard grew up with 3 brothers (Machiel Walg, Machiel Mozes Walg and Abraham Walg) and 3 sisters (Sara Walg, Heintje Walg and Henriette Martina Roka Walg). Two of them, Machiel and Henriette Martina Roka died when they were young. A little more than a year after the birth of his youngest sister, also his mother died at the age of 45.
Eduard grew up living in Leerdam at "the Kerkstraat" (Church Street). First at No. 92 and later on, as a result of a conversion at No. 102.
The little house at "the Kerkstraat had
been in the Walg family for generations. It also offered shelter to teachers and cantors of the Jewish Congregation of Leerdam
In the mid 1800's the Jewish Congregation in Leerdam was very small. Therefore, it often was forced to hire people from the outside for fulfilling important roles and functions in their congregation.
There is not much to tell about Eduard's childhood.
Between 1850-1860 he was registered as a student in the population register. So, one can assume that Eduard went to the primary school in Leerdam. In addition, he would have attended Jewish lessons.
Higher education was only open for those who could afford it. And the Walg family wasn't one of them. Eduard had to work to provide for his family and the following decade he was registered as a merchant in drapery. He probably went door-to-door selling his goods.
Then, around 1870, most of the Walg sibblings moved out. Eduard's sister Heintje married and moved to te village Meerkerk. And also his brother Machiel Mozes moved out of the house to get a job in Kampen. Eduard also moved out of the house. He went to Ouderkerk aan den IJssel to marry his first cousin Klaartje Blok. Eduard knew Klaartje his entire life. Both his mother as her mother were sisters.
Officially, a marriage between niece and nephew was prohibited in th 19th century. If they still intended to marry, they had to seek consent of the then king William III.
And so Eduard and Klaartje did. Eduard got approval and married Klaartje on May 4th, 1874 in Ouderkerk. And a few days later, the religious ceremony took place in Schoonhoven.
A little article in the "Israelitic Weekly" said that the collection that was taken up on their marriage celebration fetched Fl. 13,75. That's the equivalent of 287 dollar in 2019.
The newlyweds stayed in Ouderkerk aan den IJssel and ran a joint household with Andries Abraham Blok (father of Klaartje), Hertog Blok (brother of Klaartje) and Betje Blok (sister of Klaartje) with her child Lena Trijbits. Andries had a little, kosher cheeseshop and would , undoubtedly, have teached Eduard the tricks of the trade. And in addition he also had his own trade.
On March 3, 1875 Eduard's and Klaartje's first child or should I say children? Because they were twins!! Two daughters and their names were Hester and Mietje. Eighteen months later the first son was born, named Jacob. Around 1877 the family moved to Lekkerkerk and another 3 children were born. The presence of a house synagogue might be a reason for the move. The village of Lekkerkerk was situated 5 miles from Ouderkerk and had a small Jewish congregration.
In 1886 the family was complete. The family consisted of Eduard, Klaartje and their childeren; Twin Hester and Mietje (1875), Jacob (1876), Andries (1877), Henri (1881), Elizabeth (1883) and Sara (1886)
Eduard was a hard worker. From the newspaper ads we can see that Eduard fulfilled a variety of jobs and tasks. He advertised as a "gold valuer" and he also promoted " a invention with a great future"; a rotation-sewing machine.
I will write a piece on Eduard's shops another time, but it can be said that he would become a succesful entrepeneur. The Walg shop was a phenomenon among "Jewish Rotterdam". It had a very good reputation, especially because of the high quality of his wares.
Business was so good that he even could open another store in The Hague
In 1907 Klaartje passed away. She was 65 years old when she died. It must have been a great loss for the close-knit family. Eduard seemed to fill the void, both literally and figuratively speakin. After the death of Klaartje he was never home alone. His house was alway packed with other family members. Only around 1918 his house seemed a little bit less packed. When all the children founded a family of their own and also the other family members left the house, "bachelor son" Henri moved in with his father.
As Eduard got older, Henri and Jacob handled his business more and more. The other son, Andries opened a cheeseshop of his own in Rotterdam. And also other children and grandchildren found a job within the company. The family was settled!
After a long and active live, Eduard died on Novembre 26, 1931. He was 81 years old. He is burried in the Jewish Cemetary in Rotterdam.
*This version of the Biography is of temporary nature. As more data is found, this biography will be rewritten.