Francesca van Hamel is a cousin to the Marlins via the van Stockums. Her grandmother Clara Maria van Stockum was the sister of Bram van Stockum, who married Olga Boissevain, mother of Hilda van Stockum Marlin. They were both children of Dirk Johannes van Stockum. Clara Maria married Anton Gerard van Hamel, who was a professor of Romance Languages at Gronigen University in the north of Holland.
She was born in 1936 in Potsnan, Poland. Her father Georges Maurice van Hamel was working with the Banque Franco-Polonaise. Her mother, Alice (Alex) Sander, came from Sweden. John Tepper Marlin stayed with Georges and Alex in Amsterdam for a few days in the summer of 1959.
Francesca studied history of art at the University of Leiden and later studied French in Amsterdam, where she met Sheila Marlin and they became good friends. She has worked as a piano accompanist for eurhythmics at the Rudolf Steiner in Amsterdam and also has been a creator and teacher of ceramics.
Her daughter Sonja van Hamel is a graphic designer. Her hobby is singing with her band. The band recently performed in New York City in the "Living Room", which is what brought Francesca to visit New York for the first time.