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Map Shows De Backer Windmill in 1770′s

December 2nd, 2011

A few years ago a correspondent in Belgium sent me an image of a map of Ronse, Belgium made in the mid-18th century. He wrote that the structure depicted in the lower center of the map was of a windmill owned by my ancestor (ggggg-grandfather) Judocus (Joos) De Backer (1723 – 1797) and that the windmill stood in what is now a city park in Ronse known as the Bruul (see here for that image). Last night I came across a very detailed map of Belgium made by the Austrian cartographer, Joseph Jean François, count de Ferrari, in the 1770’s. The Ferrari Cabinet map, made between 1771 and 1778, was commissioned by the Empress Maria Theresa of Austria and her son Emp. Joseph II to detail their Austrian Netherlands, as Belgium was known in those years. A page of that map shows the city of Ronse (Renaix) in the 1770’s and upon close inspection one can see that two windmills are depicted in this sector. In the second image below the windmill in the lower left corner corresponds to the windmill drawn in the earlier map from the early 18th century.


The Ferrari map can be seen in detail by going to Ferraris Cabinet KBR Map Viewer.

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