Our research of the families Van Grondelle (also written as Van Grondel or Grondel) has shown that virtually all people with that surname descend of the fishermen family Van Grondelle who lived at Geertruidenberg in the 17th and 18th century.
For centuries fishing was one of the important means of living at Geertruidenberg. After the severe so-called "St. Elisabeth's Flood" in 1421 an area called the "Groote of Zuidhollandse Waard" was inundated by seawater. The resulting marshes (nowadays called the Biesbosch) became famous for its abundance of fish. Subsequently a booming fishing industry developed, thriving on salmon and sturgeon. The fish was sold at the fish market of the town of Geertruidenberg.
The oldest known member of the Van Grondelle family
is Jan Bastiaense. He was born at the village of Drimmelen near
Geertruidenberg in about 1610. He did not yet
use a surname, as was the case with most
of his contemporaries. Not until 1690 did his sons start to use a
surname, viz. Van Grondelle. But we could nevertheless establish the family
relation by old documents like wills and deeds of
the purchase of real estate.
From the 8th generation onwards a lot of Van Grondelle's left Geertruidenberg. This coincided with a period of economic decline of Geertruidenberg and with the rise of new industrial centres like the city of Rotterdam. The dispersion of the Van Grondelle family across the country shows some clusters at the towns of Heusden, Rotterdam, The Hague and Zeist, among other places.