Although the task doesn't sound incredibly difficult, there are a number of questions you might have to ask in order to actually do it:
- What are we gathering up?
- Are the things heavy (do you need to get help?)
- And how am I defining the groups? Age, smell, what criteria?
- And why do groups need to be small? aren't there economies of scale involved?
- And do things go back into the same groups they were in before? in which case why can't you just keep them together to begin with?
Bollen's statement suggests that there may have been a rapprochement – voluntary or forced – between the two of them. It may be telling (or not) that there are no records that have been found indicating that the two of them had any children, and while divorce was uncommon, separations were less infrequent.
So there you have it. My argument for liberally peppering my family history with context as a backdrop against which I plan on unfolding a riveting tale, of murder and mayhem (yes, we have some of both), of marriage and divorce, of war and peace, of love and laughter and of a culture and that while similar, is so very different from what my children and grandchildren experience today.
Where am I in my progress? Right now, I am beginning to pull together the first volume (Back in the Old Neighborhood: Our Family in Nieuw Amsterdam - see my Writing Wednesdays #1). This particular volume currently has:
- Nine fairly polished chapters. These chapters are awaiting:
- a final re-verification that facts given are correct & dilemmas so noted
- verification that references are correct
- Are they still in the right place (the citations) - editing moves text and endnotes can become attached - romantically or otherwise - to new phrases that roll off my silver tongue...
- Make sure there are no typos in the references that could result in dead ends
- Check the family tree provided at the end of the chapter
- Generate the family's personal timeline (key events) against the historical timeline
- Final polishing
- Give it to a couple of people to read and then
- Second final polishing
- Fourteen chapters that are in, well, how should I say it? A mess... thus far
Documents Relating to the Colonial History of the State of New Jersey 1664 - 1703, Calendar of Records in the Office of the Secretary of State, Volume XXI (1917), edited by William Nelson [EAST JERSEY DEEDS, ETC., LIBER NO. 3. 29].
 Divorce and separation could be initiated by either spouse under Dutch law, but that didn't make it easy. Actual dissolutions were rare, but did happen when spouses were VERY persistent. Social pressures and other factors frequently had an affect on the couple's decision to stay in dysfunctional marriages. Perhaps sadly, with what we know today, magistrates had very little concern even when there was compelling evidence of abuse in the marriage. The magistrates often insisted on reconciliation, which may have happened in the case of Claas and Grietie, given the margin notes. [Michael E. Gherke Dissertation submitted to the College of Arts and Sciences at West Virginia University in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in History, 2001].