Theo J. Stomps was born in Amsterdam the 26th of april 1885, as the eldest son of a teacher. His father was befriended with his colleagues H. V. S. Jaspers, E. Heimans and Jac. P. Thijsse, who around the turn of the century successfully started a movement for the study and preservation of nature. The influence of their personalities, their writings and activities is still felt in our days. As a schoolboy Theo got acquainted with those inspiring naturalists and he became their devoted disciple. When Thijsse gave him a copy of the first edition of the well known Heimans and Thijsse flora as a present, the world of vegetation was disclosed to him and at a very young age, he became a passionate searcher of plants. So it is no wonder that after secondary school and matriculation examination, in 1903 he entered the University of Amsterdam as a student of botany.