William Henry Roll

Welcome to the new and improved Roll Family Windmill website! We have upgraded our authoring tools to design and create content and present it to you with style. We will be better able to maintain content and share information about the genealogy of the Roll and allied families.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old: Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning, We will remember them. --Laurence Binyon,"Ode of Remembrance"

I have gathered a posie of other men's flowers, and nothing but the string that binds them is mine own. --Michel Eyquem de Montaigne

Documenting your family history is a lifelong pursuit, a task of pleasure and research that is never completely finished.

Not to know one's ancestors, is to be a tree without roots, a stream without a source. --Kung-fut-se

The wind whispers through the trees, recalling words and dreams and memories of those who left us long ago. --Unknown

St. Basil of Caesarea, born about 330 A.D., said, "A tree is known by its fruit; a man by his deeds. A good deed is never lost; he who sows courtesy reaps friendship, and he who plants kindness gathers love."


This website was created the old-fashioned way; it has been hand coded.

keep calm

The Geestmolen
or Ghost Windmill

The Geestmolen, Alkmaar

The Geestmolen on the Haut Vaart, Alkmaar, about 1950
Source: Regionaal Archief, Alkmaar

The Geestmolen

The 450 year-old Geestmolen (Ghost Windmill) is about 1 kilometer south-west along the Haut Vaart (Lumber Canal) from the Wognumsebuurt (Wognumse neighborhood or Woglums Burg), where the Roll family progenitor Jan Mangelsen and his spouse Tryntje Pieters Van Woggelum lived before emigrating to New Netherland.

The windmill is located in the modern day Hoefplan neighborhood of Alkmaar, North Holland. The 170 acre Geestmolen polder, part of a shallow inland freshwater lake named the Egmondermeer, was drained in 1562-1565 by three windmills that had to pump constantly to keep the new polder above water. One of them was the Geestmolen, a polder mill built in 1565 with an oak octagonal body on a low base. This type of mill is called a ground sailor and is located at Hoeverpad 13 in Alkmaar.

Woglums Burg, 1574

Woglums Burg on the Haut Vaart, 1574,
The Bergerweg leads to the Geestport of the medieval walled city of Alkmaar at the bottom.
Caarte vande Egmondermeer Also de zelve bedijkt is An.o 1555 ende gemeten door Gerrit Dirksz. Langedijk Ano 1574. Regionaal Archief Alkmaar, Beeld collectie.