This is the web site of the Backer Dirks family. The purpose of this site is to provide information about our family past & present. If you find any errors or inconsistencies on this site or if you have any additional information which you think may belong on this site then please contact me from the link on the first page or by clicking on the following icon which you will find dotted about the website Thank you.
This web site mainly records the genealogy of two families, the Backer Dirks family and the Elvy family. The Backer Dirks family has its origins with the Backer family and the Dirks family of the Netherlands and Germany. This family is very small (only just over 30 people have been born into the Backer Dirks family to date) and is covered in its entirety on this web site. The Elvy family is huge and has its origins in Great Britain where it comprises many thousands of people most of whom have to traceable links to each other. Only one branch of the Elvy family is covered.
Why these two families? Well, my father, Rudolf Backer Dirks, is the person who did all the research over many years, and he married an Elvy, my mother Barbara Mary Elvy.
As you might expect, many other families were recorded when researching our two families. Currently, the site contains over 400 surnames, 1500 individuals, and 500 marriages. The following surnames are most represented:
We hope this site will contribute to your knowledge of who you are, what your origins are and who is in your wider family. We hope also that this site may lead to new contacts within wider the family.
How to use this site
The blue links right at the top of this page will take you to all main points of this site.
The link to "Detailed family genealogy" takes you to the main centre of information on this site (over 2000 web pages), a complete list of all individuals, their names, dates, professions, etc., and in some cases additional information and pictures. If you are interested in genealogy or you are trying to find someone then this is where to look.
Where we have been able to find information about someone which is of particular interest or makes a nice 'story' we have grouped these stories under the link "Family history and stories of long ago", although most of these stories can also be accessed from the individual's page under the "Detailed family genealogy" link.
Pictures can be found on an individual's page under the "Detailed family genealogy" link, but we also have a picture gallery where many pictures can be found.
- Did you know that prior to 1752 in Great Britain, dates between 1st January and 24th March were recorded as belonging to the previous year?
- Yeoman, husbandmen, cottagers, labourers. What were they?
The Backer Dirks family in a nutshell
Looking at the amount of information and the number of people involved in our family tree, you need a pretty large nutshell to capture the basics of the Backer Dirks family. However, here are some interesting points to start with...
The name Backer Dirks hasn't always existed. In the olden days, before 1813, there was a Backer family and a Dirks family. These families are still thriving today in the Netherlands. The name Backer Dirks first came about in April 1813 after an exciting adventure involving two cousins of these families, a certain Jan Dam Backer and a Jan Dam Dirks, who changed their identities when one of them was called up to enlist in Napoleon's army. Following this adventure, Jan Dam Dirks changed his name to Jan Dam Backer Dirks.
There are just over 20 Backer Dirks' in the World today. We are all related to each other and can trace our ancestry back to the first Backer Dirks, Jan Dam Backer Dirks, and to his great-great-great grandfather Johan Jacobsz Kuchenbecker who was born around 1568. He became a Master Baker in Jever, a town which now lies in North Germany.
There are links from our family to many interesting historical figures such as Joachim Neander, after whom Neanderthal man was named, Arnulf of Metz who lived around 0582 - 0640, and to the great lineage of mediaeval Frankish Kings, including Charlemagne Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire.
Despite our small number the Backer Dirks family has started to take over the World and we currently inhabit several continents.
Family history, stories of long ago, and some ancient pictures
Genealogy: If you are interested in the genealogy of the Backer Dirks, Elvy and related families then please go back to the top of this web site and click on the link called "Detailed family genealogy". This will take you to all the information about births, baptisms, marriages, children, professions, deaths, etc.
Stories and pictures: If you want to read some stories about the Backer Dirks and Elvy ancestors then please click on the links listed below. Alternatively, click on this icon to see a overview of the entire family tree from where you can also click on individuals to read their stories.
How confusing dates can be! Did you know that prior to 1752 in Great Britain, dates between 1st January and 24th March were recorded as belonging to the previous year?
Backer Dirks stories and pictures:
Elvy stories and pictures:
Statistics of the Descendants of Johan Jacobsz Kuchenbecker
This chart shows the growth in population of the descendants of Johan Jacobsz Kuchenbecker, our earliest known direct ancestor. Johan was born around 1570, he married a girl called Anna, and in 1603 they had a son. After a restless but inspirational night, they named him Jacob Johannsen, which means Jacob son of Johan. Young Jacob married a girl of whom we have no details, except that Jacob was obviously extremely fond of her because he wasted no time in siring eleven children. We descend from the ninth child, Dirck Jacobs. Jan Dam Dirks, who in 1813 changed his name to Jan Dam Backer Dirks, was the great-great-great grandson of Dirck Jacobs (see chart lower down).
|total number of men||79|
|total number of women||80|
|average number of children||1.2
|maximum number of children||15
|number of multiple marriages||9|
|maximum number of marriages||3|
|average age for men||59.1 years|
|average age for women||63.1 years|
N.B. The average age includes people still alive, so it is not the average life expectancy!!
Statistics of the Backer Dirks Family
This chart shows the trend in population of people born into the Backer Dirks family. It begins in 1813 when Jan Dam Dirks changed his name to Backer Dirks. He was the first Backer Dirks. We observe an encouraging surge in 1825 as the population doubles from 1 to 2 when Jacobus Johannes is born to Jan Dam.
This is followed by a calamitous 50% drop in population from 2 to 1 when Jan Dam dies in 1844, leaving his 19 year old son as the only surviving Backer Dirks in the world! For the next 37 years the World holds its breath as the Backer Dirks name teeters on the brink of extinction. In the summer of 1880, unable to stand the suspense any longer, the Good Lord leads Anna Maria Clasina Thierens to the now 55 year old Jacobus. Jacobus falls in love with Anna (... who wouldn't! She was almost 20 years younger than him) and they marry. Jacob and Anna have 5 children. Their first child dies in infancy, as does their third. After this precarious start, the Backer Dirks name has steadily grown to its present height. Our branch of the Backer Dirks family descends from the fourth surviving child, Jacobus Johannes Backer Dirks, who was born on a bright mid-Winter's day in 1886. The only other branch of the family descends from Jacobus' elder brother Cornelis Pieter Backer Dirks who was born in 1883.
Backer Dirks Vital Statistics
|total number of men||17|
|total number of women||14|
|average number of chidren||0.9
|maximum number of chidren||5
|number of multiple marriages||1|
|maximum number of marriages||2|
|average age for men||56.7 years|
|average age for women||47.0 years|
N.B. The average age includes people still alive, so it is not the average life expectancy.
Below is an overview of the Backer Dirks family as it currently stands, built mainly from information in the family history book written by my Pap. Click on any box to see a detailed view. Soon I hope to bring a similar family tree of the Elvy family branch.