Gerontology Wiki
Catharina van Dam-Groeneveld
Catharina van Dam-Groeneveld
Birth: 20 November 1887
Leiden, The Netherlands
Death: 16 February 2001
Leiden, The Netherlands
Age: 113 years, 88 days
Country: NetherlandsNED

Catharina "Kaatje" van Dam-Groeneveld (20 November 1887 – 16 February 2001) was a Dutch supercentenarian, who was the first Dutch person to celebrate her 112th and 113th birthdays, thereby extending the Dutch longevity record from 111 to 113 years. Later, her longevity record would be surpassed by Hendrikje van Andel-Schipper in 2003.


Catharina Van Dam-Groeneveld was born to parents Bartholomeus Groeneveld and Maria Elisabeth Molenaar as Catharina Angenita Groeneveld in Leiden, a city in the coastal area of The Netherlands, on 20 November 1887.[1] She grew up at the Koolgracht in Leiden in a poor family, but at the time of her 109th birthday in 1996 remembered being happy with what the family had; on top of that, people would help each other out when in need. [2]

In 1911, Van Dam-Groeneveld married her husband Jacob van Dam,[3] a gardener, with whom she would have 10 children. Later, she would describe her marriage as the most beautiful moment in her life; she could vividly recollect being ridden to church in a coach and taking note of the rare and occasional T-Ford. Money for a honeymoon was not available.[2] Van Dam-Groeneveld's husband would die in 1958, described by her as one of the saddest moments in her life (as well as having outlived four of her 10 children at the time of her 109th birthday in 1996).

In later life, Van Dam-Groeneveld remained very healthy and strong for her age. At the age of 91, she survived an intracranial bleeding and went to the hospital for the first time at the age of 105, after she broke her hip. At the age of 112, it was said that her mind was still intact. She also was a religious lady, as she loved to read the Bible and singing different psalms.[4] She admitted to liking all of the media attention, but also expressed the wish not to live too long. She was taken care of by her son Cor, who admitted on her 113th birthday in 2000 that mentally she was growing weaker. The press wasn't welcome that year, which explains why there are no pictures of Van Dam-Groeneveld on her 113th birthday.[5]

About three months later, Van Dam-Groeneveld would die on 16 February 2001 at the age of 113 years, 88 days, the cause of her death reportedly being pneumonia.[6] She was outlived by four surviving children, as well as 18 grandchildren, 26 great-grandchildren, and 10 great-great-grandchildren.

She is currently the fourth-oldest validated person ever from the Netherlands, behind Hendrikje van Andel-Schipper, Geertje Kuijntjes, and Anne Brasz-Later.



Netherlands' Oldest Living Person Titleholders (V • TE)

Geert Adriaans Boomgaard• Unknown• Christina Karnebeek-Backs • Wilhelminus Kostering • Hendrikje Smit-Meijering • Maria Hund-Smit • Kiet Portier-Tan • Marianna Kors-Dikker • Johanna de Bree-Meijer • Johanna Pouwaart-Ratelband • Betje Comijs-Cicero • Reinskjen Pruiksma-Bakker • Henri van Dooren • Cornelis Bredijk • Elisabeth Weddige-Tedsen • Elisabeth van der Burg-Leusveld • Johanna Leeuwenburg-HordijkCornelia la Fors-van Geel • Gerarda Hurenkamp-Bosgoed • Wilhelmina CammelPetronella Ribbens-Verstallen • Frederika van Asselt-Benkemper • Margaretha Eijken • Christina van Druten-Hoogakker • Jan Machiel Reyskens • Trijntje Jansma-BoskmaJohanna Zandstra-Giezen • Ann Flower • Johanna van Dommelen-Hamer • Cornelia Hendrikse-Maas • Geertje Roelinga-de Groot • Catharina van Dam-GroeneveldHendrikje van Andel-Schipper • Alexandrina van Donkelaar-Vink • Grietje Jansen-Anker • Bertha van Hasselt • Wijtske van Dijk-Meindersma • Geertruida DraaismaCornelis Geurtz • Egbertje Leutscher-de Vries • Nelly de Vries-Lammerts • Geertje Kuijntjes • Anne Brasz-Later • Maria Luisa Benjamin • Ebeltje Boekema-Hut • Unknown