The Van Raalte family

Centraal Bureau voor Genealogie
H.J. van Baalen-Joods Leven Deventer en Omstreken

The oldest known forefather of the Van Raalte family was probably Salomon Jacob (born about 1715), called "de Jode van Raalte", who was married to Judith Jacobs.
It seems that already in 1722 he lived in Raalte. He came from Germany or Poland. Raalte is located in Overijssel, to the South-East of Zwolle and to the North-East of Deventer.

He had three sons: Joel Salomon (1740? - 1770), married to Lea Jacobs, who probably also lived in Raalte, Jacob Salomon van Raalte (1745? – 1833), married to Abigail de Marcas, and Hartog Salomon van Raalte, who was a parnas in Zwolle and who was married to Hendrina Bendix Cosmar.

Two sons of Joel Salomon van Raalte, Joseph Joel and Jacob Joel, played an important part in the creation of the Jewish Community of Deventer, at the end of the 18th and at the start of the 19th century.

Joseph Joel, born in Raalte in 1769, was married to Breina-Bruintje Isaacs from Coevorden (1774-1849). In 1796 he moved to Deventer, were he traded in leather and sheep hides. He also functioned as one of the parnassim of the ring synagogue in Deventer. He died in 1835.

Jacob Joel (1765-1835) moved from Raalte to Deventer in 1797. He was married to Johanna Hartog Abrahams. The two brothers van Raalte, were probably the first ones to adopt the "van Raalte" family name.

On 19 January 1809 the Jews of Deventer dispatched a letter of thanks to King Lodewijk Napoleon (1806-1810), signed by Jacob Joel van Raalte. This proves that the family name was then already in use, even before the official family names act had been issued.
The family name also appears in another document sent to the Upper Consistory on 7 February 1809, confirming the names of the church officials. The parnas appears at the top of the list.
The relations between the two brothers van Raalte and the other parnassim were obviously quite tense. Following the royal visit of Lodewijk Napoleon in Deventer in 1809, these two gentlemen were received by the king, without informing the other parnassim that the audition had taken place. Both treasurers of the Jewish community immediately asked to be relieved. They were however persuaded to hold on to their position, after Jacob Joel expressed his regret.

On 7 November 1797 new parnassim were appointed. Jacob Joel, the son of Joel Segal was one of them. The Hebrew name סג"ל proves that the family van Raalte were Levites; סג"ל is an abbreviation of "סגן לויה".
It seems that the two van Raalte brothers were presidents of the community, holding this position in turns, although Jacob Joel played the main part.
In 1797 Joseph Joel was chairman and from 1798 till 1817 Jacob Joel was the second chairman. Then Joseph Joel from 1817 till 1828 and after several years Jacob Joel was chairman from 1832 till 1835.

The register of the Jewish community of Deventer from 1811, mentions that both brothers were traders in leather and shaved sheep hides. They probably were partners.
Jacob Joel was married to Johanna Hartog Abrahams. They had seven children. Joseph Joel was married to Breine (Bruintje) Isaacs van Coevorden. They had ten children. In 1835 both brothers died in Deventer.
They had their own place in the first synagogue of Deventer from 1798, for which they donated 125 guilders to the building fund of the synagogue.

There were two more brothers: Abraham Joel van Raalte (1767-1843?) married to Grietje de Marcas and Isaak Joel van Raalte(1769-1856), married to Hendrientje de Marcas in 1796.

Abraham Joel van Raalte lived at the Nieuwe Markt in Zwolle. He was the first parnas of the Jewish community there and later on he became a member of the Consistory in Zwolle. He and his wife died in Amsterdam.
He died in 1843 and his wife one year earlier.
He had four sons: Izak Joseph (Deventer 1802- Rotterdam 1881), married to Grietje de Sterke (1801-1886), Salomon Abraham (1803-Zwolle), married to Hester Goudsmit (1810) from Deventer, David Joseph (1807-1885), married to Lucie Elias and Ephraim Joseph (1811-1851) married to Th. Levy.

Izak van Raalte
Izak van Raalte settled in Rotterdam probably before 1825. He managed a hat shop. At the time living conditions were cramped and difficult.
In 1836 he became one of the parnassim of the community, which proves that he was well off. He also held other functions. He was a regent of the home for the old, a member of the church board, a member of the poor governance and later president of the burial society and the beth hamidrash. He also was a member of the society which provided food to the poor.
He probably founded the firm J. van Raalte, which traded in cloth.
He had eight brothers and one sister. Two of his brothers were David Joseph and Ephraim Joseph. David Joseph was an attorney and a member of the High Council in The Hague. He had two children, Eduard Ellis and Anna Josephina.
About Ephraim Joseph (1811-1851) we have no knowledge at all. He was married to Th. Levy and passed away at a young age.

Joseph van Raalte
Joseph van Raalte (1844-1926) was Ephraim's son. He was able to finish grammar school only, because he had to help his mother, who was a widow with five more children. At the age of fifteen he started working at a factory. After a short time he became the agent of the factory nationwide. He specialized in the building of bridges, railways, and other steel constructions. In 1875 he received several job offers, and chose the management of the new shipping company "the Schelde" in Vlissingen, where he worked for 44 years.
From 1880 till 1919 he also was a member of the local council and a member of the Chamber of Commerce, which he chaired from 1901. He also was a member of other committees, like the poor governance, the management of the Jewish school in Vlissingen and chairman of the church council. Quite often he supported the kehilla financially. He was known as very helpful and by nature a good person.
He married his cousin Anna Josephina van Raalte, who was his uncle's daughter. Both were buried in the Jewish cemetery of Vlissingen.

Eduard Ellis van Raalte
Eduard Ellis van Raalte (1841-1921), the son of David Joseph van Raalte and Lucie Elias, was one of the most gifted members of this family.
He studied law in Leiden and was promoted there in 1864. He settled in Rotterdam as an attorney at law.
He started as a teacher, teaching commercial law and in 1873 he was appointed as state attorney. In 1877 he became a member of the local council and after a short time he was appointed as an alderman.
In 1897 he became a member of the Lower House,where he held his seat till 1905. He was an astute jurist and an excellent speaker.

His most important successes were the successful conversion of the municipal debt and the introduction of income tax. In 1894 he had to overcome fierce resistance to his proposal to connect tax to income. Finally his proposal was approved with a small majority.

In 1869 he was one of the founders of the "Israelite School Fund", assisting gifted Jewish children by paying their tuition. In 1870 he was promoted to first lieutenant of the "Schutterij."

He was a minister of justice till 1908. As minister he defended several law-proposals, like "het Arbeidscontract," which became law in 1907, and laws protecting children. He also instituted a state commission revising Dutch Sea-law.
In 1907 he barely escaped an assassination attempt!
Between 1887 and 1893 he was chairman of the Liberal Union.
He was married to Rachel Regina van Nirop (Amsterdam 1849 - The Hague 1936). Till 1905 he lived with his family in Rotterdam. He moved to The Hague when he became a minister.
He passed away on 23 March 1921 and was buried in a non-Jewish cemetery in The Hague, in the presence of many prominent dignitaries, university teachers and important figures from trade and industry.

Joel van Raalte
Joel van Raalte, the son of Izak van Raalte was born in 1828. He was a rich banker and and acted favourably for the benefit of the Jewish community of Rotterdam. In 1858 he was appointed as a member of the Religious Israelite School Commission. In 1872 he and E.E. van Raalte resigned from the Israelite School fund, but were immediately re-elected. In 1857 he became a member of the management of the Israelite Orphanage, and held this function till he died in 1893. For many years he also functioned as a member of the Synagogue Management board. In 1872 a committee was founded with regard to the religious persecution in Romania, of which he was also a member. In 1884 he became a board member of the beit hamidrash, as successor of Isaak, who passed away in 1881.
His wife Rosa van Raalte-Hermann was also active in community life. For many years she managed the commission which taught the girls sewing and knitting and which also distributed clothing to the poor. From 1857 till 1887 she was a governess of the Israelite orphanage.
Towards the end of the 19th century the Rotterdamse Israelitische Kiezersvereniging expressed dissatisfaction, because the meetings of the synagogue council were not made public.
Joel van Raalte defended this policy, but declared that he would be willing to publicize part of the proceedings. Joel van Raalte passed away in 1893.

Jacob, David and Mozes van Raalte
We know that Jacob settled in Glasgow.
David van Raalte, Isaac'sson, was born in Rotterdam in 1839 and died there in 1892. He was married to Antje de Jongh. It should be noted that there were two Jewish wholesalers in Rotterdam dealing in textiles, van Raalte and de Jongh. Obviously good relations existed between both firms, and members of both families were married to each other. A daughter of Mozes, David's brother, married Joseph Mozes de Jongh.
Mozes van Raalte (1834-1909) was a board member of the Rotterdam branch of the Israelitische Leenfonds (Loanfund). This fund was erected by the Maatschappij tot Nut der Israelieten in Nederland.
Mozes van Raalte was married to Bertha Hermann, the sister of Joel's wife.

Isidore and Gerald van Raalte
The two sons of David van Raalte, Isidore and Gerard, were both partners in the firm. They remained single and lived with their mother in Rotterdam, till her death in 1916.

Isidore was born in Rotterdam in 1865. For six years, from 1922 till 1928, he was a governor of the Gesticht voor Israelitische Oude Lieden and also of the Nederlands Israelitisch Armbestuur. He was also a board member of the Israelitisch Weldadigheidfonds.

Gerard was born in 1867. He was a governor of the Israelitisch Weeshuis from 1909 till 1928. He was a board member of the Centrale Vereniging, improving the care for the poor in the Jewish community of Rotterdam. In 1928 both moved to The Hague. In 1944 they were deported by the Germans.

Salomon Abraham van Raalte
Salomon Abraham van Raalte was born in Zwolle in1803.He married Hester Goudsmit from Deventer in 1834. He lived in Amsterdam, where he was a tradesman.
At the marriage of his son Lion he was a "tobacconist,"at the marriage of his son Joel he was a "gentleman," and when he passed away in London in 1885 he was "of independent means."
He was the founder of the firm S. van Raalte and Sons, Picadilly Circus, London.
He probably was the first of the family to settle in the U.K, where the family line was continued.
Many of the van Raalte family members lived in Rotterdam, The Hague, Amsterdam and many other places in the Netherlands. Other branches of the family may be found today not only in England and Scotland, but also in Belgium, France, Denmark, Canada, Israel, the US, Australia and New Zealand.

Composed from the sources:Yael Benlev-de Jong
Translated from Dutch:Mechel Jamenfeld
Editing:Ben Noach
Final editing:Hanneke Noach

Eduart Ellis van Raalte
Minister van justie Mr. Eduart Ellis van Raalte

Van Raalte Co Atlantic-City