I was googling my mother’s family name “Bergen” and found this website because I seemed to have made a typo: I type Burgeron instead of Bergen.
I saw these old photos and the word “Holland” on the picture of the woman towing a canal boat caught my attention immediately.
The Burgerons came to the Netherlands during the French occupation in the early decades of the 19th century. Due to errors made by county council clerks, the name Burgeron changed in some parts of the family into Bergen.
Now it happens to be known in the Bergen-family that after some strong discussions, long time ago, part of the Bergen-family left Holland and went to America. The story goes that they were so angry with the rest of the family, that they changed their last name back into the original family name Burgeron.
My grandfather used to tell old stories about the wife of his second cousin’s grandfather.
“That woman was as strong as a horse”, he used to say. The whole family had heard the story millions of times, the story about how strong aunty Cornelia was.
So this picture of the woman towing a canal boat, could just be a picture of aunty Cornelia at work. Though it’s a complete mystery to me how this picture ended up in your home.