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

Dorp Wognum
The Town of Wognum

coat of arms

The coat of arms of the town of Wognum

Archeological discoveries show that the history of Wognum began about 1700 B. C. The first Bronze Age settlers made their homes between the Oude Gouw and the Kleine Zomerdijk. There may have been a settlement between A. C. de Graafweg and the Westeinderweg at the top of the Tramweg. A rise in sea level and the water table severely flooded the region, and habitation probably ceased sometime between 700 and 650 B.C.

location of Wognum

The town of Woglum is located in the Municipality of Wognum
in the West-Friesland region of North Holland in the Netherlands.

Then, for about 1000 years, the entire area of West-Friesland, including Wognum, was permanently flooded and became marshland. Almost all of the province of North Holland, where West-Friesland is located, is currently below sea level.The organic soil in the fens (Anglo Saxon: fen, fenn, marsh, mud, dirt) collected to a depth of two to three meters. During this period the Kromme Leek was one of the most important natural drainage streams.

Around 850 A. D., Friesian people crossed the Zuider Zee to settle the Wognum area. About 1000 A. D. there was a small formal community bearing the family name Wog or Wok. The place name Wognum probably derives from this family name, with the addition of the suffix heim or hem, and ultimately um. The oldest recorded evidence for Wognum is Wokgunge, discovered in the archives of the Abbot of Echternach, in Luxembourg. Documents in the archives suggest that when Christianity was introduced around 1000 A. D., a small chapel was built by the Wognum community. Thus it is that Wognum is probably the oldest inhabited area of the westerly region of West-Friesland, and consequently Wognum is the oldest village with the longest formally established church history.

Wognum today

The town of Wognum as shown on a modern postcard.

Wognum today

A house in Wognum shown on a modern postcard.

The basis of the land division in West-Friesland was laid down in this period. Our forefathers must have done a fair bit of sploshing about in those fens, particularly at the time of the general draining away of the waters. The drainage of the fens led to their gradual disappearance.

Today there are only a few small areas within Wognum where fens such as Lekermeer survive. Our forefathers made desperate efforts to render the land suitable for farming through means of natural composting and the dredging of the land in the marshes. As a result there are still potholes throughout the countryside, as in the fields to the north of A. C. de Graafweg. These potholes were known as daliegaten, literaly dropholes.

Drainage caused more and more of the fens to disappear, resulting in the general lowering of the level of the land necessary to build dikes and windmills. Dikes such as Grote Zomerdijk, Kleine Zomerdijk and Oude Gouw were constructed. And Wognum came to appear more or less as we see of it today.


Wognum on a portion of Janssonius’ 1658 map of the Netherlands.
West Friesland is marked "Frisia Occ."


A portion of a 1583 navigation chart by Lucas Jansz Aurigarius
shows Woggelum northwest of Hoorn. North is at the left.

Old names for Wognum

Woggunghen (1063)
Wognem (1083, 1120)
Woggenom (1513)
Wognem (1544)
Woggenum (1544)
Wognum (1658) Janssonius, map of the Netherlands
Woggenum (1680) Jan Jansz Dou, polder map
Woggelum (1583) Lucas Jansz Aurigarius, navigation chart


Johannes Pannekeet

Authorities in this field generally agree that the first part of the place name Wognum must be seen in connection with the Friesian man's name Wogen. Johannes (Jan) Pannekeet, an expert in Dutch and Friesian place names, writes that Wog(g)inghem is probably a combination of the family name Wog(g)ing, meaning Wogen and his offspring, and hem, meaning abode or residential area. Thus the meaning of the place name Wognum is The place of residence of Wogen and his offspring.

1. Almost all the text is from Peter Wognum of the United Kingdom, who collected it with the help of a friendly clerk at the town hall of Wognum, North Holland in the Netherlands, in 1977.

2. Peter Wognum translated most of the text used in this article from various Dutch sources in 1997, and it is reproduced here with his permission.

3. The coat of arms of the town of Wognum was found at the web site International Civic Arms.

4. A navigation chart by Lucas Jansz Aurigarius (also called Lucas Jansz Waghenaer), dated 1583, is from an atlas named The Enchuyser Zeecaertboeck, with editions in 1598, 1601, and 1605.This map clearly showing the town of Woggelum was provided by Jan C. Van Woggelum, who owns the website De Rusteloze Van Woggelums.

5. Jansonius' Map of the Netherlands, 1658, a fairly low resolution image of the whole map.

6. Pannekeet, Jan. Westfries woordenboek. Wormerveer : Stichting Uitgeverij Noord-Holland, 1984. 420 p. 21 cm. ISBN: 9071123014. Note: An analysis of Dutch and Frisian words and place names.

7. Dou, Jan Jansz. Kaart van het Hoogheemraadschap van de Uitwaterende Sluizen van Kennemerland en West-Friesland, eenbladskaart uit ca. 1680. Bibliotheek van de Universiteit van Amsterdam.

Related Links