From Pearson’s Early Records of Albany, Vols. I-IV

I’m putting this page online prematurely, with no further explanation or notes, just to have the information accessible. More specifics will follow as soon as I get a chance. (See bottom of page for contact info.) For more excitement you may want to visit my Tjerck Claessen DeWitt page or my list of interesting Manhattan baptisms from the same period. (Or drop by my genealogy home page, linked below.)

A few more details, before I get a chance to fill in a proper, thorough discussion of what lies below: In 1869 Jonathan Pearson, a professor at Union College, published a first volume of translations of early Dutch records from the Albany area. He continued his translation work for several years but never published the results. Nearly 50 years later, three further volumes of Pearson translations were finally published, revised and edited by A.J.F. Van Laer, Archivist in the New York State Library. Each entry below is marked with the date of the original document and its location in the Pearson translations, indexed by volume and page number (II:456, for example, being Volume II, Page 456). To bring out the historical procession of events, I have rearranged these entries in chronological order.

These entries are ones I felt would be useful in my research into the history of Tjerck Claessen DeWitt, both in America and in Europe. I’ve been trying to figure out where in Europe he came from, and closely examining his story in the early New Netherlands, together with the documents pertaining to those around him, seems to be the only way to determine positively where he was from. The research continues. But there’s much more in the Pearson translations for those interested in other early families in the Dutch colony, or who want to learn more about the history of commerce and daily life there. I also highly recommend many of these early documents for entertaining reading. Some are prosaic and legalistic, but more than a few spring alive with the light of ordinary life, showing the personality and often humor of the early colonists on these shores.

The following entries are taken from the volumes listed below. As I get a chance, I may augment them with records from other sources as well. My eventual goal is to make the timeline of documentation on Tjerck Claessen DeWitt as complete and intelligible as possible. I welcome comment, both praise and criticism, as well as questions about anything I haven’t managed to make clear here. Later on I also hope to add the informative introductions to these books. In a perfect world, I’ll get around to typing out the exact wording of many of the translations, but for now the following summaries will have to suffice.

Sources (all obtained on microfilm at the New York Public Library):

  1. Early Records of the City and County of Albany, and Colony of Rensselaerswyck, (1656-1675.) Translated from the original Dutch, with notes, by Jonathan Pearson. Published by J. Munsell, State Street, Albany, New York, 1869. Volume I: Deeds, Volumes A and B.
  2. Early Records of the City and County of Albany and Colony of Rensselaerswyck, Volume 2 (Deeds 3 and 4, 1678-1704). Translated from the original Dutch by Jonathan Pearson; revised and edited by A.J.F. Van Laer. Published by the University of the State of New York (as History Bulletin 9 of the New York State Library), Albany, New York, 1916.
  3. Early Records of the City and County of Albany and Colony of Rensselaerswyck, Volume 3 (Notarial Papers 1 and 2, 1660-1696). Translated from the original Dutch by Jonathan Pearson; revised and edited by A.J.F. Van Laer. Published by the University of the State of New York (as History Bulletin 10 of the New York State Library), Albany, New York, 1918.
  4. Early Records of the City and County of Albany and Colony of Rensselaerswyck, Volume 4 (Mortgages I, 1658-1660, and Wills 1-2, 1681-1765). Translated from the original Dutch by Jonathan Pearson; revised and edited by A.J.F. Van Laer. Published by the University of the State of New York (as History Bulletin 11 of the New York State Library), Albany, New York, 1919.

The translation of the original Dutch records continues to draw great interest. Right now Dr. Charles Gehring is working in the state archives at Albany, doing a fresh translation and extended publication of many of these same records. Other, similar volumes have appeared from minutes of the court in Kingston (a.k.a. Wiltwyck); I believe the court minutes from Albany were also published eventually, in a separate series.

The Albany records are especially valuable in tracing the lives and names of the area’s early European and African settlers because, unlike in Kingston and Manhattan, the oldest church documents detailing marriages and baptisms (up to 1682) have been lost.

00000 Rhineland rod = 12.36 English feet
Pearson I:6

19 Jan 1657 Jan Andriessen of Dublin buys liquor excise from William Frederickse Bout for 150 guilders.
Pearson I:15

25 June 1657 TCDW pays 180 guilders in beavers for a stallion, to Carsten Claessen Timmerman (carpenter) and Jan Barensen Wemp.
Pearson I:34

11 Jan 1658 Willem Fredericksen of Beverwyck sells to Goose Gerritsen a house and lot on the hill, just south of Hendrick Andriessen’s house.

N.B. In the same week Pieter Bronck, just south of Goose Gerritsen, announced he was selling his house. May 1 seems to have been the standard date for transfer of dwellings.

Pearson IV:11-12

20 Nov 1658 TCDW leases house in Beverwyck to Arent Isackz of Amsterdam, 1 May 1659 to 1660, for 200 beavers, on condition that TCDW raises ground behind house and makes stoop in front.
Pearson IV:86

25 Nov. 1658 TCDW proposes to sell horse, cart and harness at auction. Canceled in the record.
Pearson IV:90

24 Mar-10 Apr 1659 Jeronimus Ebbink, husband and guardian of Johanna de Laet, late widow of Johan de Hulter, proposes to sell to highest bidder four lots in “the Great Esopus,” separately:
  1. 47 morgens, 215 rods, on hill
  2. 48 morgens, 72 rods, on hill
  3. 35 morgens, 110 rods
  4. 35 morgens, 150 rods, on kill
Pearson IV:101-3

10 April 1659 Jan Anderiesen from Dublingh sells to Jan Dircksen van Bremen a piece of land in Katskil, 6 morgens, given to Andriessen by New Netherlands council 16 Nov 1653, signed Johannes Dyckman and P. Stuyvesant.
Pearson IV:103-4

23 Aug 1660 Jan Albertsz (van Steenwyck—d. shortly before 14 Nov 1663—see Dutch Records of Kingston, rev. tr. Samuel Oppenheim, p. 104), master shoemaker, witnesses someone’s power of attorney. Note: see p. [86] (Pearson III:69) for more.
Pearson III:33-4

1 Sept 1660 Johanna de Laedt and husband Jeronimus Ebbinck grant TCDW two pieces of land in Esopus NW of binne kil and lying beyond same. North field 35 morgens 155 rods, other adjoining west side 35 morgens 110 rods. Tjerck in exchange gives them house in Beverwyck 20 feet long and passage 30 feet wide, and lot 10 rods and 29 feet long. North of TCDW house is house of Lambert van Neck; west is garden of Hendrick Andriessen and Lambert van Neck; south is house of Hendrick de Backer; east is street.
Pearson I:285-6

Hendrick Andriesen HA van Doesborch; in Beverwyck 1653; dec. 1664, sometime before 29 May 1663. Wife: Marritie Damens, widow of Dirck van Eps. Daughter: Jannetje, marries Martinus Cregier, son of Capt. MC of New Amsterdam. Widow in 1664 marries Cornelis Van Nes.
Pearson I:6

2 Sept 1660 Philip Henderickse (Brouwer) owes Henderick Andriessen (van Doesburg) 3144 guilders, payable in beaver skins at 8 guilders a pop. Debt results from purchase of house and brewery, which he mortgages to Andriessen.
Pearson I:284

10 Sept 1660 Hendryck Andriessen (van Doesburgh) gives power of attorney to Abel Wolff of Amsterdam to collect 5,691.15 guilders from Gerrit Barentsen Koers.
Pearson I:285

17 Sept 1660 Johanna De Laet sells Aert Jacobsen land in the Esopus. Northeast is land of Jan Schoon and Aert Pieterse Tack; northeast is TCDW; southwest is “the hill.” 600 guilders, half beavers and half wheat, market price.
Pearson I:286-7

31 March 1661 TCDW leases two horses to be used in the Esopus, commencing 1 May 1661, from Folckert Jansz, for two years, for 64 guilders, at 8 guilders per beaver. Offspring are to be split fifty-fifty between TCDW and FJ; if horses die, TCDW pays FJ 200 guilders for the stallion and 300 guilders for the mare.

Extensive note here on TCDW. (See Olde Ulster; Honig 1889; Schoonmaker; J.B. Holgate p. 103, ref. to Martin Hoffman power of attorney in re land inherited by TCDW at “Ezen in Ostbenzie.”)

Pearson III:61-2

1 April 1661 TCDW leases a stallion and a gelding from Teunis Dircksen to use in the Esopus for 1 year, beginning 1 May 1661, for 64 skipples of wheat F.O.B. Esopus. If horses die, TCDW pays 25 beavers for stallion, 20 beavers for gelding.
Pearson III:62

9 June 1661 TCDW, “husbandman,” gives Jan Albertsz, master shoemaker and brother-in-law, power of attorney to collect rents from Pieter Jansz, other brother-in-law, living at Oosterbemus in Oost Vrieslant. Rent is for land inherited by TCDW from late father. JA also empowered to use rent to cover debts, also to lease land, preferably to Pieter Jansz.
Pearson III:69-70 (original p. 86)

10 June 1661 TCDW, “husbandman,” buys a gray gelding from Phillip Pietersz Schuyler for 256 guilders (32 beavers), to be paid in 50 skipples of good winter wheat at good beaver’s price, April 1662, remainder April 1663, also in wheat, delivered in Beverwyck.

Note Pearson III:261-2, 6 Dec 1663, in which Schuyler gives Paulus Cornelisz power of attorney to finally collect debt from TCDW. Schuyler was magistrate of Fort Orange; see 9 Nov 1661 (Pearson III:136-7).

Pearson III:71

15 Aug 1661 Cristoffel Davidts sells to Geertuy Andriessen, widow of Jacob Jansen Stoll (marriage not on record in either Kingston or Manhattan), land in Esopus. On north is Madame Ebbingh; on south is Jurriaen Westvael. Two parcels, about 36 morgens, plus about 20 morgens of pasture land, extending to woods. Price: 1400 guilders, of which Davidts has been paid all but 600, per agreement with Stoll, 13 July 1657; rest of debt is transferred to Jeremias van Rensselaer.

(This Geertruyd Andriessen marries Aert Martensen Doorn in Kingston 18 Dec 1661; she dies before 1682. Other Geertruyd Andriessen married Jan Thomase von Witbeck 10 June 1648 in Manhattan; registers will 21 Oct 1679, with Jan Andries a witness; see Pearson III:483-5.)

Pearson I:377

22 Aug 1661 Jan Albertszyn still planning trip to Holland “this year.” Pieter Jansz van Hoorn, in Beverwyck, “owes him 250 Carolus guilders (40 groats ea.), Holland money, for wheat and beavers; instructs Pieter Folckertsz, schoolmaster in Hoorn, to pay Albertsz.
Pearson III:94-5

23 Aug 1661 Note: Jan Joosten and Lucas Andriessen co-owned yacht The Flower of Gelder, sold in or before 1663 to Thomas Jansen Mingael. Probably this Jan Joosten was J.J. van Haerlem, who married Tryntje Jans van Haerlem in New Amsterdam 1660.
Pearson III:95-96 (note)

9 Nov 1661 Jan Joosten and Lucas Andriessen buy Jacob Flodder’s sloop Eendracht (Union), at anchor in Beverwyck, from Jeremias van Rensselaer (director of colony of Rensselaerwyck) and Philip Pietersz Schuyler (magistrate of Fort Orange), for 2800 guilders.
Pearson III:136-7

19 Jan 1662 Jan Lambertsen (van Bremen) sells house in which Martin Hoffman is living. Note: See Deeds I, 350; Hoffman is still living in Albany in 1678. (Cf. note by van Laer at later date, saying not so.)
Pearson I:299

5 Oct 1662
  1. Fob Barentsen (of Wiltwyck?) signs over to Martin Hoffman money owed FB by gov’t of New Netherlands for building house of minister (Blom?) in the Esopus, as payment for MH’s service helping cure a wound received while building the house.
  2. Barentsen gives MH power of attorney to collect same.
Pearson III:192-3

28 May 1663 Harmen Tomassen (Hun, van Amersfort), husband and guardian of Cataryna Berckx, widow of Dirck Bensingh,
  1. Sells to TCDW a lot in Beverwyck, which Bensingh received from Michiel Ryckertsen 29 Apr 1656
  2. Sells to Lambert Albertse van Neck a lot which is part of patent granted by heer director general and council of New Netherland to Daniel Rinckhout, 25 Oct 1653.
  3. Buys a corner lot in Beverwyck from Gillis Pietersen

Street bounds all properties on west side. Northernmost is Hans Coenratse Backer; next is TCDW; next is Lambert van Neck; next is Frans Barentsen (Pastoor). Hans Coenratse Backer’s lot backs up on Harmen Tomassen to east; TCDW’s lot backs up on Maritien Damens to east (widow of Hendrick Andriessen; see transaction next day).

TCDW lot is 10 rods long, 2 rods 3 feet wide (border with Maritien Damens is 3 rods). Lambert Van Neck’s lot is 10 rods long, 25-26 feet wide. Maritien Damens lot is 7 rods 8 feet on north border (with Harmen Tomassen), 9 rods 9 feet 6 inches on south, 3 rods on street front to east.

Pearson I:322-3

29 May 1663 Harmen Tomassen sells to Maritien Damens, widow of Hendrick Andriessen, a lot in Beverwyck, part of patent granted by h.d.g & c of New Neth. 19 Apr 1654. For details, see transaction previous day.
Pearson I:323

23 Nov 1663 Jan Classen (Backer von Osanen), husband and guardian of Lysbet Donneur (D’Honneur), widow of Pieter Jacobsen, renounces estate for 300 guilders in heavy money, to be received in merchandise from Mr. Johannes Withart, less 100 guilders light money, loaned by company to Pieter Jacobsen on his sick bed.
Pearson I:340-41

6 Dec 1663 Phillip Pietersz Schuyler gives power of attorney to Paulus Cornelisz, “proposing to depart for the Esopus,” to collect 256 guilders or 32 beavers due him from sale of gray gelding 10 June 1661 (see Pearson III:71), plus 18 guilders in beavers for purchase and delivery of a kettle.
Pearson III:261-2

14/24 July 1666 TCDW travels to Albany to declare grant to Ebbingh & De Laedt is final—he bought lot from Dirck Bensingh; he built house himself—see 11 Sept 1660. (Note: See Deeds II, 236; Dutch manuscripts XV, 48. TCDW was, per note here, citizen of Beverwyck 1657 til 1663, when he was at Esopus.)
Pearson I:400-401

27 June 1670 Jan Andriesz Kuyper, “aged about 30 years,” attests to abusive language used by Ludovicus Cobes (in Albany?).
Pearson III:315-6

13 April 1671 Jan Andriese:
  1. witnesses a power of attorney in Albany, and
  2. sells Joachim Ketelheun a mare in Albany for 13 beavers.
Pearson III:378-9

3 June 1672 Jan Conneel sells Martin Hoffman house and lot bought from Jacob Joosten (van Covelens).
Pearson I:495-6

12 Aug 1672
  1. Johanna de Hulter, “attorney” for her vaeder (husband?) Jeronimus Ebbinck, sells TCDW’s old house to Paulus Martense (van Benthuysen).
  2. Paulus Martense (v.B.) sells same to Arnhout Cornelisse (Viele; Indian interpreter; see Pearson III:95 note).

See transaction next day.

Pearson I:496-7

13 Aug 1672 Arnhout Cornelisse Vielen (who just bought a house the day before; see previous transaction) sells his old house.
Pearson I:497-8

6 May 1676 Martin Hoffman has land on hill in Albany, north of Timothy Cooper, who is north of Jan Tomase (bounded east and west by streets; 55 feet deep, with bigger front on one side than on the other).
Pearson I:127

30 Dec 1676 Martin Hoffman sells house and lot in Albany. He bought it from Jan Conell, 3 June 1672; Conell bought it from Jacob Joostens. Hoffman sells it to Cornelis Cornelise van der Hoeve. Land is “hard by William Loveridge, hatter.”
Pearson I:148

21 Oct 1679 Jan Thomasz from Witbeck (or Ostenfeld), ailing, and Geertruydt “Andries’s daughter,” born at New York (m. New Amsterdam 10 Jne 1648), both dwelling at Paepsackane, about an hour’s journey from New Albany, make a will.

Jan Andriesen witnesses.

See other Geertruyd Andriessen 15 Aug 1661, Pearson I:377.

Pearson III:483-5

3 July 1682
  1. Jan Van Eps, son and heir of Maritie Damen (widow of Hendrick Andriesen), sells one of her gardens outside Albany (originally granted to Hendrick Andriesen, 25 Oct 1653).
  2. Harmanus Bogerse resells same.

See Pearson II:362-3, 5 Aug 1686, for further settlement of estate.

Pearson II:159-60

? Sept 1684 Harme Gansevoort sets up sale of farm to Jan Conell (not executed).

Farm, at Catskill, was originally deeded to Pieter Teunise van Bronswyk, 25 Oct and 16 Nov 1653, in two parcels. Jan Andriessen the “Yersman” (Irishman) married the widow of Pieter Teunise van Bronswyk. Gansevoort and Elbert Gerbertse Cruyff bought farm from him in 1660; Gansevoort bought out Cruyff’s half; Richard Nicolls confirmed his ownership 16 May 1667. See also Pearson I:180-1 for other transaction between Gansevoort and Conell, 20 April 1678.

Note: J.A. died between 12 Mar and 28 Nov 1684.

Pearson II:239-240

19 Apr 1686 Harmen Gansevoort sells farm to William Loveridge. Long explanation.
Pearson II:301-3

5 Aug 1686 Agreement among heirs of Marrietje Damen:
  1. Jannetje (dau. of Damen and Hendrick Andriessen) and her husband Marten Cregier own the house, in which Jeronemues Wendel now dwells
  2. Hendrick Andriessen left 3500 guilders in the hands of Abel d’Wolf, merchant at Amsterdam, for his heirs. Jannetje and Cregier get half of that, and give up the rest of it to the other heirs of Marrietje Damen.
  3. Rest of estate is divided equally among 3 heirs—Van Eps, Jannetje/Cregier, and Elisabeth, married to Gerrit Banker.

See also Pearson II:159-60, 3 July 1682; Pearson I:285, 10 Sept 1660.

Pearson II:362-3

Last Modified: Tuesday, April 11, 2000

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