Hooghuys Organ Pages
Part 1: the start
As far as can be traced, the musical side of the Hooghuys family started with Gerrit Simon Hooghuys being baptized at Wormer (NL) on January 1st 1754 (there is no official confirmation on the date of his birth). In 1806, Gerrit moved from Middelburg (NL) to Brugge (B), where he notified in a local newspaper the following (in translation):

GERARDUS HOOGHUYS, Organ builder, has the honour
to inform the public that he has come to live
in this town Brugge in the Vlaemingstreet
near the Vlaemingbridge; he charges himself
with the building of new Organs,
and the repair of old ones, all at moderate prices.

Whom Gerrit Simon learned the trade of organbuilding from, is unknown, perhaps from his father. He died on January 24th 1813.

Simon Gerard Hooghuys, the eldest son of Gerrit Simon, was born at Middelburg on February 14th 1780 and died at Brugge on October 21st 1853.

Louis Benoit Hooghuys, third son of Simon Gerard, was born at Brugge on 21 March 1822. Here we certainly meet the greatest church organ building of this family. In 1854 already, he was established as organ builder. His work shows both great craftsmanship and knowledge: his organ building skills rested upon the gradual simplification of the late Baroque organ to an early Romantic instrument. Examination on the dispositions of his instruments indicates that for Louis Benoit Hooghuys, the merge of soft timbre registers was more important than the contrast between loud expressive ones.

Louis Benoit Hooghuys Porcelain publicity plate of Louis Benoit Hooghuys Church organ in Maldegem, built by Louis Benoit Hooghuys
Church organ in Maldegem, built by Louis Benoit Hooghuys and restored in 2003-2005.
Porcelain publicity plate of Louis Benoit Hooghuys
Louis Benoit Hooghuys
Louis Benoit died in Brugge on 16 April 1885. Many of his instruments can still be seen and heard throughout Flanders and even abroad. It is said that after Louis Benoit the quality of the church organs gradually decayed because of the mechanization of the production process.

François Bernard Hooghuys, Louis Benoit's younger brother, was born in Brugge on November 15th 1830. In 1865, we find him as his brother's assistant. In 1869, he settled at Geraardsbergen (Grammont), and it is supposed that from that time onwards (and later with his eldest son Louis François), he went to work in the prosperous church organ works of Charles Anneessens at Geraardsbergen. He died in this city on November 30th 1888.

    Label by François Bernard Hooghuys in a church organ    
Label by François Bernard in a church organ, reading:
This organ has been repaired with new
stops by François Hooghuys
organ builder at Brugge
in the year 1869.
Part 2: from church to barrel organ »
Page updated on 25.08.2006