Summary in English of the Website of the Family Snethlage

For those relatives and other interested persons who don’t understand the Dutch language there follows now a summary of the contents of the Website of the Family Snethlage.

First, please understand that the site is divided in two parts, a public one and a part that is, due to privacy legislation, only accessible when you have a code. You can ask for a code at:
That email- address you can use as well when you want to contact us, for questions, information, contributions, a.s.o.

In the public part of the site you will find the heading “geschiedenis”:  history. There a couple of articles can be found: an introduction to the history of the family and some more specific articles about persons, objects, houses a.s.o. We beg your understanding that we can offer not more than a summary of the contents of the website.

Hereunder you can find extracts of the following articles

1. Genealogy
2. German branch
3. History:
-3a. Introduction to the history of the Family Snethlage
-3b. R.A.I. Snethlage in Russia
      -    3c. Voyages of Emilie Snethlage, (German Branch, 1868-1929) in Brasil
      -    3d. An overcrowded Olympic Programme, in the newspaper Trouw of 13 november 
                 2001 [Edu Snethlage at the Olympic games of 1908] 
      -    3e. The Snetlage-Epitaph in the Osnabrück Dom
      -    3f. Het Hof, the Snethlage house in Hengelo (Guelderland)
      -   3g. Mutualité (Receiprocity)

1. Genealogy
For reasons of privacy legislation, here only the first nine generations of the genealogy are published. In the closed part of the website the genealogy goes on until actual times.
A graphic form of the genealogy is in preparation.

2. German branch
The article about the German branch of the Snethlage family was published in the monthly De Nederlandsche Leeuw in 1982. Some years before, in 1977, the Dutch branches of the Snethlages had been rercorded in the Nederland’s Patriciaat and the intention of the article was to complete the genealogical picture of the whole family.

3a. Article “Inleiding bij de geschiedenis van de familie Snethlage (Introduction to the history of the Family Snethlage)”, by Albert Snethlage

The common ancestor of all the actual Snethlages is Wilhelm(us) Snethlage (1565/1650), who became in 1588 the rector of the Latin School in Tecklenburg in the County of Tecklenburg, now part of Westfalen, Germany. He preached there since 1589 and became in 1594 as well the local Protestant church minister (the vicar, which indication will be used from here on) and moved later on as vicar to Cappeln (now Westerkappeln) in the same County. It is not clear who were his parents.

The three branches of the Family
The eldest son of Wilhelm(us), Samuel (1595-1648/49), settled as first of the Snethlages in the Netherlands, at last as rector of the Latin School in Appingedam (Groningen), but had no issue. The following three sons, all vicars, were the founders of the three still existing branches of the family:
the German branch, descending from Wilhelm(us) (1600-1677),
the Drents-Frisian branch, descending from Johannes (1609-1672) and
the Guelders branch, descending from Rudolph(us) Theodor(us) (1613-1679).

Some headlines in the history of the family
The Snethlages are a typical family of vicars. In total 51 Snethlages became vicar. The reason that there was in the 17th and 18th century so much cross-border traffic of the Snethlages between Germany and the Netherlands, is that the German counties near the frontier like Tecklenburg were Calvinistic. The students from those counties came regularly to universities in the Netherlands and vicars were called regularly to a parish on the other side of the frontier.
A further characteristic of the family is that the three branches lose in the 19th century their regional character and spread, first over the countries and later, in the 20th century, also over the continents. Then the vicarship comes as well gradually on the background.

Possible origin
There is in all the three branches the tradition that the family descends from the old noble family Von Snetlage, which appears already in the 13th century and became extinct in 1697. Different reasons as the name, dwelling places and the coat of arms, already used in the time before the noble family became extinct, make it highly proble that there is a connection, maybe by bastardy. However there is no hard proof.
Recent DNA-research indicates that the family belongs to a so called haplo-group which is rather spread in Western Europe, with the strongest concentration in Ireland. That could mean a Celtic origin.

Other Snethlages

There are some (Von) Snet(h)lages who turn up in history who can not be connected to the Snethlage family, but of whom it is clear that they belong to the noble or to he here treated not noble family. That is different with the (Roman-Catholic) family Schnetlage in Germany, who derives her name from the hamlet Schnetlage in South-Oldenburg, north of Osnabrück.
There exists in the Netherlands as well the family Fuhri Snethlage. It is in fact the family Fuhri, which descends in the female line from the Snethlages. One member, emigrated to New Zealand, uses for himself and his family just the name Snethlage.

The name Snethlage

We may assume that the Snethlages derived their name from the noble Snetlages. That family on its turn derived either its name from the already mentioned hamlet Schnetlage, or gave its name to that place. A “lage” indicates an open spot, for instance in woodland, and can mean as well an intersection, for instance by a beach, to which also refers the word-element “snet” (in German “schneiden” = to cut).
In old times the spelling of the name showed a great variety: Von Snetlage, Von Schnetlage, and Von Snettlage(n) for the noble family;  Snetlage(n), Sneetlage (n), Schnetlage(n), Schnethlage, Schnitlag, Snethlagius a.s.o. for the family here dealt with. However, already in the 17th century the actual spelling Snethlage was used and this spelling became since the 18th Century the generally used one in all the tree branches of the family.

The coat of arms

The coat of arms of the family Snethlage is in gold a red griffin; crest: the griffin, coming out from the shield,  and the covers: gold and red. The coat of arms is used already in the 17th century, whereas all the three branches beared (and still bear) the same coat of arms, although the German branch beared in the beginning an eagle wing as crest.
The coat of arms is the same as that of the noble family Von Snetlage and appears for the first time on the ceilingbows of  the church of Quakenbrück (South-Oldenburg), about 1250.


For the Dutch branches the most recent publication until now was: Nederland’s Patriciaat nr. 63, 1977 (with some additions in nrs. 64 and 65). For the German branch there is the article in De Nederlandsche Leeuw,  99th file, 1982 (see this website).

For more detailed article about the ancestor and the three branches CLICK HERE

3b. Article “R.A.I. Snethlage in Rusland (R.A.I. Snethlage in Russia)” by Rudolf J. Snethlage
This article gives the story of Rudolph Abraham Iduard Snethlage (1889-1980), who went, after his studies in forestry, in 1912 to Russia for the Hollandsch Indische Boskap Maatschappij. He stayed there first at the offices in Moskou and St. Petersburg and got after that a position in Wologda in Western Russia.
He wrote every week a letter to his mother in Holland, which letters are kept and later transcribed and  - in a small edition - published by his youngest son Rudolf and his wife Constance. From these letters an example is published in this website article.
In it Rudolph A.I. (further: R.A.I.) describes that he was responsable for the exploitation of 10.000 hectares of woodland and how the chopped wood was thrown during the winter on the ice. When the ice melted in spring, the wood and timber floated down the river, was assorted and connected by cables. That work was done by raftsmen. Part of the wood and timber was destined to be sold in Russia and part was brought to Archangel for export. R.A.I. had the responsability and travelled with the raftsmen. To break the monotony, they fished, hunted  ducks and drunk wodka, under the sound of harmonica-music. Having reached the destiny, R.A.I. said farewell to the raftsmen and returned to Wologa.

3c. Article “Ontdekkingsreizen van Emilie Snethlage (Duitse tak, 1868-1929) in Brazilië (Voyages of Emilie Snethlage, (German Branch, 1868-1929) in Brasil)” by Rudolf J. Snethlage
Emilie Snethlage was born in the German province of Brandenburg, where here father was vicar in Kraatz. She got a PhD, HC in natural history and went to Brasil where she worked first at the Goeldi Museum in Belem, Para. There she became the head of the zoological division. Since 1922 she worked for the National Museum in Rio de Janeiro and made expeditions on behalf of zoological field research.
In 1912, Emilie went with only some local indian inhabitants to the North East of Brasil (a region which is nowadays in the news again, because of hydraulic projects) in order to map out the region between the Xingu and Tapajos rivers, to catalogue the flora and fauna and to find out whether a connection was possible. She reached her destination after many weeks of climbing and conquering waterfalls and valleys and during all of that the canoes,  provisions, tents a.s.o. had to be taken with her. 

3d. Article “Een overvol Olympisch Programma, uit Trouw 13 november 2001 [Edu Snethlage op de Olympische Spelen van 1908] (An overcrowded Olympic Programme, in the newspaper Trouw of 13 november 2001 [Edu Snethlage at the Olympic games of 1908] 
The only Snethlage who has won a (bronze) Olympic medal was Edu (Everardus) Snetyhlage (1886-1940).  He won the medal on the Olympic Games (OG) of 1908 in London. In that time he was a student in medicines.
The article gives a witty impression of the progamme and course of things at OG in that time, quite different from nowadays.
The team had to play a first match on Thursday the 22nd of May and arrived Wednesday the 21st with the night-boat, after not much sleep sleeping in the (close) second class, where different teammembers became sea-sick. Nevertheless, the team visted in the afternoon of the day of arriving a local football-match, continued by a dinner in the hotel and a visit to the World Exhibition. The proposal of the trainer to have some training was rejected: that had been done sufficiently in Holland ! Next day there was first some shopping in town, a lunch  and then the match against Great-Brittain, by far the best football- country in that time. It resulted in a defeat of 0-4, which was considered as a good result. After the match a four courses dinner, again a visit to the World Exhibition, followed by some glasses in town.
Then on Friday the semi-final against Sweden, in the afternoon. So time in the morning for visiting London again. Instruction of the trainer: be at least at two o’clock in the stadium, the match would start at three. However at two o’clock no Edu Snethlage. When the others have already changed their clothes and are on the field and the trainer is considering who has to replace Edu, he arrives in a hurry. The trainer very angry, Edu begging pardon and promising to do hist utmost best. Well, that he does and he makes the second and decisive goal: 2-0.
After the match of course a lot of pleasure again, a great dinner and a visist to the operetta. Next day, Saturday the 23rd a visist to a Lacrosse match. And to the final between Great-Brittain and Denmark and then the formal distribution of the prizes. After dinner a surprise: the team can travel home in first class huts. Quite welcome, because another match aganst (again) Seden has to be played five hours after arrival.
A year later Edu became the captain of the Dutch football team.

3e. Article “Het Snethlage-Epitaph in de Domlerk te Osnabrück (The Snethlage-Epitaph in the Dome of Osnabrück)” by Rudolph A.I. Snethlage
In a chapel of the Dome in Osnabrück the Snethlage-Epitaph can be found. The founder of he epitaph is Lambertus von Snetlage (about 1450-1526), lord of Wulfen castle and provost of the dome chapter in Osnabrück. First he founded the chapel of the Holy Cross, which was built in 1483. There he did erect a cross altar with above it a stonen plastic art with two wooden wings. The altar was hallowed on the 1st February 1529. The altar does not contain relics of a saint and so the stonen plastic with the wooden wings has not to be considered as the middlepart of an altar retabel, but as an epitaph. An epitaph has its origin in an upright headstone. Gravestones were, when graves in the church were removed, placed straight ahead to the wall of the church and functioned as a memorial stabbing for the deceased. These monuments were gradually disconnected from the place of burial.
Lambertus von Snetlage is depicted with all his signs of dignity, and the red headgear falls on. He is depicted as well on the left wooden wing. Remarkable is that he is depicted on the epitaph as a young man and on the wooden wing as an old man. Possibly because of his resonsabilities and maybe as well because of a process about his position, which he won in 1520.
The coat of arms, depicted under the cross, is the same as that of the not noble family of church ministers Snethlage who turn up in history in the end of the 16th century. Therefore, relationship of both families is plausible. 
The “Master of Osnabrück”, whose name is unknown, is the maker, as comparative investigation has learned. He was probably a pupil of the famous sculptor Riemenschneider.

3f. Article “Het Hof te Hengelo-Gld., het Snethlage-huis”(het Hof in Hengelo-Guelderland., the  Snethlage house) by Albert  Snethlage
In Hengelo in the Province of Guelderland the house “het Hof”(the court) can be found. Formerly ist was called as well “the Snethlage house” by the inhabitants of Hengelo. Why those names “court”and “Snethlage house”?
The article gives a descripition of the history of the house and its occupants.

Het Hof, the family Exalto d’Almaras
Already in olden times the court (curtis, hof) in Hengelo is mentioned, the place where the jurisdiction took place. From 1702 to 1752 the “richter”(sherriff) of Hengelo was Aäron Exalto d’Almaras (1679-1757) and he will have lived on “Het Hof”. However, this will have been not the original Hof, but probably a farmstead which had been rebuilt into a gentleman’s house. A daughter of Aäron married as his second wife the local vicar,  Philip Jacob Snethlage (1682-1762) but died already after some years. About 1797 Aäron’s (grand) daughter Miss J.G.A.J. Exalto d’Almaras sells the house to Samuel Johan Snethlage, the son of Philip Jacob Snethlage by his third wife.

The Snethlages in Hengelo

As told, Philip Jacob Snethlage was the vicar of Hengelo, from 1724 to 1756. In that year he was succeeded by his son Samuel Johan (1733-1801), who kept the function until 1794, when he was succeeded on his turn by his son, Rutger Tobias (1761-1823), who kept the function until his death. So the Snethlages were during about hundred years the vicars of Hengelo. Inmitially they lived in the vicarage, but that house became dilapidated and that will have been the reason that Samuel Johan bought Het Hof when he retired. He and his wife will have lived there together with their son and his family. In 1822 is mentioned that a commission was installed prepare the buidling of a new vicarage. It will have been clear that Rutger Tobias wouldn’t stay much longer in function. When he died in 1823, his widow and the three unmarried daughters stayed in Het Hof, and the son, member of the Court of Justice, died there as well. When the last of the daughters died, in 1894, there came an end to 170 years Snethlage in Hengelo, and 100 years on Het Hof.
That is the reason that there is a Snethlage-weg (road) in Hengelo and that Het Hof was called for a long time the Snethlage house.
And it is also the reason that Hengelo was chosen as the place of establishment.of the foundation of the Snethlage family.

The occupants of het Hof and their rebuildings

As indicated already Het Hof at Hengelo is mentioned (incidentally) since the middle ages , but the actual house dates from later times. Anyhow it exists since the 18th centrury, for there are inscriptions on rafters with “1767” and “1792”. The way of construction is old as well.
In the time of the Snethlages much of the surrounding land belonged to the house. At the opposite side of the street there was a small farmhouse where the garderner lived. On the roof  was a construction for ma bell and on top of it there was a weather-vane with the Snethlage coat of arms. Later the vane was given to a Snethlage, whose decendants still use it.
After the death of the last Snethlage at Het Hof, Miss Hermina, the house was sold and rented to various people, from 1907 to 1912 to the landscape-painter Jan Adam Zandleven.
In 1913 the house was sold to the new mayor of Hengelo, Jhr. Reynst. He embellished the house by stucco ceilings in the hall and the principal rooms and in the gardenroom even with designs of leaves. Furthermore tiles of Bentheim stone came in the corridors and a big fireplace with wrought iron in the dreawing room. Smaller rooms were combined, the cellar enlarged and cntral heating installed. The garden was reshaped as well.
When Jhr. Reynst died in 1936, his successor as mayor Mr. Van Hoogstraten bought the house. He had five children and the adjacent house, which belonged to Het Hof and where the stall and room for staff were, was destructed and rebuild with a garage and sleepingrooms and with a connecting corridor to the mainhouse. During the war he had to dive for the German occupator and his family had to leave the house for Nazis, but in 1945 the Van Hoogstraten family returned.
Whn mayor Van Hoogstraten retired in 1956, the hous was sold to Jhr and mrs. Van den Brandeler. They had the roof renewed, in order te be not dependant from inhabitants to clear he roof in case of snow. In their time the grounds on the opposite of the street were sold and a part of the garden in front of the house shortened for broadening the street. When the Van den Brandelers died, in 1970 and 1971, the house came to their daughter Agnes, a painter, and her husband (and second cousin) Jhr. Andries Van den Brandeler. In their time a restauration took place under supersvision of the National Monument Service and old masonry and pottery were found. In the time of this second generation Van den Brandeler two studio’s were installed, one for the worldly works and one for the icons Agnes made.
The couple had no children and therefore they established a foundation, to guard the work of Agnes and make it better known. The house should come as well to the foundation as a small local arts center. When Agnes, as the last of the couple, died in 2002, the arts centre appeared to be not achievable. So, after inventarisation of the works of Agnes, a part was given in free loan to the museum in Zutphen and the house offered for sale.
(N.B.: the contents of this article are for the greater part based on the kind information of the late Mrs. Agnes van den Brandeler.)

3g Article “Mutualité” (Reciprocity), by Rudolph A.I. Snethlage (Almelo)
In the beginning of the 20th century two members of our family held high positions at the Dutch Royal Navy, Jacobus Gijsbertus Snethlage (1852-1914) as vice-admiral, and his brother Jan Bernard Snethlage (1856-1929), as rear-admiral.
It was Jan Bernard who came with his ship, the protected cruiser “Friesland”on the 25th of July 1906 to the aid of the Isle de France, a french passenger ship that had stranded near Spitsbergen.
The Friesland succeeded in setting afloat the Isle de France, as can be read in the report Jan Bernard wrote about this event.
The french shipowner was highly grateful and presented Jan Bernard with a bronze statue, called Mutulalité (Reciprocity), made by the sculptor Mathieu Moreau.
Aftre the death of Jan Bernard, his daughter Engelina (Lientje) Petronella (1900-1958) inherited the statue. She was married to Emile Mahler and lived in the Netherlands Indies. When during the war she was interned in a Japanese camp, she took the statue with her. And when there the Japanese were coming close, she prayed for the statue and burnt incense, so the Japanese thought it was an ikon and left it to her. After the war she returned to the Netherlands and donated the statue to the Royal Navy.
Nowadays it still is in their headquarters in Den Helder.