de Halve Maen Journal of The Holland Society of New York Vol. 92, No. 1 2019
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The Holland Society of New York 1345 SIXTH AVENUE, NEW YORK, NY 10105 President Andrew S. Terhune Vice President Col. Adrian T. Bogart III Treasurer R. Dean Vanderwarker III
Magazine of the Dutch Colonial Period in America Secretary James J. Middaugh Domine Rev. Paul D. Lent
Advisory Council of Past Presidents Kenneth L. Demarest Jr. W. Wells Van Pelt Jr. Robert Schenck Walton Van Winkle III Peter Van Dyke William Van Winkle Charles Zabriskie Jr. Trustees Laurie Bogart Andrew A. Hendricks Bradley D. Cole Sarah E. Lefferts D. David Conklin David D. Nostrand Christopher M. Cortright Gregory M. Outwater Eric E. DeLamarter Richard Van Deusen David W. Ditmars Kenneth G. Winans Philips Correll Durling Stuart W. Van Winkle Trustees Emeriti Adrian T. Bogart Kent L. Stratt John O. Delamater David William Voorhees Robert G. Goelet Ferdinand L. Wyckoff Jr. Robert Gardiner Goelet Stephen S. Wyckoff David M. Riker Donald Westervelt Rev. Everett Zabriskie Burgher Guard Captain Sarah Bogart Vice-Presidents Connecticut-Westchester R. Dean Vanderwarker III Dutchess and Ulster County D. David Conklin Florida James S. Lansing International Lt. Col. Robert W. Banta Jr. (Ret) Jersey Shore Stuart W. Van Winkle Long Island Eric E. DeLamarter Mid-West David Ditmars New Amsterdam Eric E. DeLamarter New England Niagara David S. Quackenbush Old Bergen-Central New Jersey Gregory M. Outwater Old South Pacific Northwest Edwin Outwater III Pacific Southwest (North) Kenneth G. Winans Pacific Southwest (South) Paul H. Davis Patroons Robert E. Van Vranken Potomac Christopher M. Cortright Rocky Mountain Adrian T. Bogart IV South River Walton Van Winkle III Texas James J. Middaugh Virginia and the Carolinas James R. Van Blarcom United States Air Force United States Army Col. Adrian T. Bogart III United States Coast Guard Capt. Louis K. Bragaw Jr. (Ret) United States Marines Lt. Col. Robert W. Banta Jr., USMC (Ret) United States Navy LCDR James N. Vandenberg, CEC, USN Editor David William Voorhees Production Manager Sarah Bogart Editorial Committee Peter Van Dyke, Chair Christopher Cortright John Lansing
Copy Editor Rudy VanVeghten
IN THIS ISSUE: 2
Finding Fort Orange
by Paul Huey
Finding New Netherland’s Frisians
by Troy Dow Van Zandt
Here and There in New Netherland Studies
The Holland Society of New York was organized in 1885 to collect and preserve information respecting the history and settlement of New Netherland by the Dutch, to perpetuate the memory, foster and promote the principles and virtues of the Dutch ancestors of its members, to maintain a library relating to the Dutch in America, and to prepare papers, essays, books, etc., in regard to the history and genealogy of the Dutch in America. The Society is principally organized of descendants in the direct male line of residents of the Dutch colonies in the present-day United States prior to or during the year 1675. Inquiries respecting the several criteria for membership are invited. De Halve Maen (ISSN 0017-6834) is published quarterly by The Holland Society. Subscriptions are $28.50 per year; international, $35.00. Back issues are available at $7.50 plus postage/handling or through PayPaltm. POSTMASTER: send all address changes to The Holland Society of New York, 1345 Sixth Ave., 33rd Floor, New York, NY 10105. Telephone: (212) 758-1675. Fax: (212) 758-2232. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.hollandsociety.org Copyright © 2019 The Holland Society of New York. All rights reserved.
David M. Riker Rudy VanVeghten
Cover: Peter de Hooch, A Woman with a Child in a Pantry (1658), Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam. From Wikimedia Commons.
Editor’s Corner HE STUDY OF the past contains many disciplines examining human society and culture. Anthropology, archeology, linguistics, literature, philosophy, narratives of events or history, human geography, law, politics, religion, and performing and visual arts all provide us a window into past cultures as well as insight into that of our own today. “History is for human self-knowledge,” R. G. Collingwood wrote. “The only clue to what man can do is what man has done. The value of history, then, is that it teaches us what man has done and thus what man is.” This issue of de Halve Maen looks at two essays using very different disciplines to understand the seventeenth-century Dutch and their North American colony. In his essay, Paul Huey takes us on an exciting tour of an important archeological site within the modern Hudson River Valley city of Albany, while Troy Van Zandt looks at linguistics to uncover the importance of Frisian migration to New Netherland. In 1970, Huey relates, New York State began construction on a Hudson River arterial highway, Interstate 787. In the process the State Transportation Department arranged for a backhoe to dig a test hole at a selected site for historic remains. Eighteenth- and nineteenth-century deeds and maps had identified the site as an area where a Dutch fort had stood from 1624 to 1676. When the backhoe broke into intact soil layers and seventeenth-century Dutch artifacts began to appear, Huey writes, “It was a very exciting moment.” Mountains and rivers shaped the site, Huey tells us. In 1614 the Dutch had constructed Fort Nassau on a Hudson River island conveniently located to capture the Mohawk Valley Indian trade. River floods forced evacuation of this fort four years later. In 1624 the newly formed Dutch West India Company established a larger fort, named Fort Orange, on the west river bank north of the abandoned fort. Abandoned by the English for a larger one in 1676, Fort Orange slowly deteriorated. As Huey relates, urban expansion, fires, floods, and railroad and highway construction over the next three centuries further obliterated the site. Yet, excavations by the New York State Historic Trust throughout the winter of 1970 and 1971 yielded a wealth of material artifacts. “There is much to be learned from the Fort Orange artifacts,” Huey relates. They reveal how New Netherland differed from Patria in the seventeenth century and reshape our thinking about the Dutch settlement of the upper Hudson River Valley. In the process, he notes, we need to address “whether in New Netherland, of all the other Dutch colonies worldwide, the Dutch were able to reestablish a way of life that most closely resembled that of the home country.” Troy Van Zandt uses linguistics to help us gain a deeper understanding of one of the numerous ethnic groups that comprised New Netherland’s settlers. Among these were the Frisians, who formed almost 2 percent of New Netherland’s immigrants, yet remain a poorly understood group. In
Europe, Van Zandt explains, Frisians as an ethnic culture extend from the northern Netherlands to Germany’s East Frisian Peninsula, with an exclave on the barrier islands and adjacent coastal mainland near Germany’s western border with Denmark. This region, he tell us, is further subdivided into three areas known today as West, East, and North Frisia. According to Van Zandt, the Dutch are an amalgam of two cultural elements: Frisian and Frankish. Linguistic proof, he asserts, is readily apparent on every language map of the Netherlands. Standard Dutch, he notes, is a form of Low Franconian, the old Frankish language. In contrast, one of the modern Frisian languages (in various varieties) is spoken in the province of Friesland. (“Frisian,” Van Zandt notes, “is the closest relative of English.”) To make the situation more complex, a form of Low Saxon, an older form of Frisian, is spoken in the city of Groningen and the surrounding area and is mutually intelligible with a neighboring Low Saxon dialect in Germany. This linguistic plurality, according toVan Zandt, leads one to the interesting conclusion that the Frisians in the Netherlands are “an ethnicity within an ethnicity.” In his essay Van Zandt fleshes out the intersection of linguistics and genealogy to define and understand New Netherland’s Frisian migrants. Linguistics here focuses on toponomy, the study of place names, and onomastics, the study of personal names. Drawing on a 1600 map of the East Frisian Peninsula and a Tribute Register of 1618, Van Zandt sheds light on the toponomy common to all three Frisias, revealing a part of the Frisian world starting to undergo tremendous linguistic change in a shift from Frisian to Low Saxon. Then turning to WikiTree, a genealogical website database containing detailed information on hundreds of New Netherland settlers and exactly where they came from, he determines how the Frisian migrants fit into the larger world of New Netherland. Both Huey’s and Van Zandt’s essays have relevance for present-day Americans as we struggle to define what constitutes being American. As Van Zandt notes, determining who is Frisian is “a problem that modern Frisians wrestle with to some extent.” Many Frisian immigrants were undoubtedly inspired, he notes, by a desire for economic betterment. Yet, Huey suggests we need to rethink how these various ethnicities blended together to form a New York-Jersey Dutch culture. A culture, by the way, that shaped the pluralism of modern America. For this, we can be justly proud.
David William Voorhees Editor
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FINDING FORT ORANGE by Paul R. Huey
MAP THAT was published in 1763 in Livorno, Italy, in Il Gazettiere Americano happens to provide one of the best illustrations of why the Dutch in the seventeenth century established New Netherland and why they built Fort Orange at the present location of Albany, New York. This map emphasized the mountains that dominated northeastern North America (Figure 1).1 These mountains, part of the Appalachian Mountain chain, extend all the way from Labrador in Canada to the State of Alabama. With one exception, these mountains formed an endless westward barrier and obstacle to any Europeans who settled on the eastern coast. That exception was the Hudson and Mohawk River system, which provided easy access westward through these mountains into the entire interior of North America, as far west as the Rocky Mountains. The St. Lawrence River, much farther north, in contrast was blocked with ice a longer period each year than the Hudson. When Henry Hudson sailed up the Hudson River in 1609, establishing the Dutch claim, the Dutch could not have found a better location in which to pursue their primary interest, which was trade. Moreover, the Dutch were soon able to establish favorable trade relations with the Iroquois Indians, who controlled the Mohawk River corridor connecting the Hudson River with the west. In 1614 the Dutch constructed Fort Nassau on an island in the Hudson at a convenient location for direct communication with the Iroquois in Paul Huey received a B.A. in history from Hartwick College in 1964, an M.A. in the Cooperstown museum program in 1965, and a Ph.D. in American Civilization from the University of Pennsylvania in 1969. From 1969 to 2010 he worked for the Bureau of Historic Sites in the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation, where he developed and directed New York State’s first program in historical archaeology.
Figure 1. “Carta della Nuova Inghilterra, Nuova Iork e Pensilvania,” published in Il Gazzettiere Americano, Volume II (Livorno: Marco Coltellini all‘ Insegna della Verita,’ 1763), opposite page 166. the distant Mohawk Valley, but Hudson River floods forced the evacuation of this fort in 1618.2 A new trading company, the West India Company, was formed in 1621 with a trading monopoly, and in 1624 a new, larger fort, Fort Orange, was built on the river bank north of Fort Nassau (Figure 2).3 In 1629 the West India Company allowed
Kiliaen van Rensselaer to establish the colony of Rensselaerswijck in a large area 1
“Carta della Nuova Inghilterra Nuova Iorke Pensilvania,” Il Gazzettiere Americano, Vol. II (Livorno: Marco Coltellini all‘ Insegna della Verita,’ 1763), opp. 166.
J. Franklin Jameson, ed., Narratives of New Netherland: 1609–1664 (New York., 1967), 48, 67–68.
A. J. F. van Laer, trans. and ed., Van Rensselaer Bowier Manuscripts (Albany 1908), 89, 91, 109, 111.
Figure 2. Detail from the map of Rensselaerswijck drawn about 1630 (New York State Library). North is to the right. Fort Orange is on the west bank of the Hudson River. Fort Nassau was on the north point of Castle Island, to the south of Fort Orange, probably in the farm that later became Welys Burg.
on both sides of the river surrounding Fort Orange.4 Rensselaerswijck was inhabited by Van Rensselaer tenant farmers who cultivated the rich lands along the upper Hudson River. Then, in 1652 Company Director-General Petrus Stuyvesant established a village located on the west side of the Hudson River a short distance north of and separate from Fort Orange. This was the village of Beverwijck.5 The English seized Fort Orange in 1664, renaming both the fort and the village as Albany. In 1676, the English abandoned the old fort, and they built a new Fort Albany high on the hill, in present State Street above North Pearl Street.6 So how does one find the site of a fort occupied from 1624 to 1676 within the large modern city which Albany has become? The only known Dutch map of Fort Orange is a small detail from the large map of Rensselaerswijck drawn about 1630. The fort was built close to the river bank in a distinctive bend of the shore line (Figure 2). A British map drawn about 1756 shows that remains of the fort, marked X, were still visible in the open pasture south of the city wall that surrounded Albany (Figure 3). The map shows the same distinctive bend of the river bank, and British engineers in the 1760s actually measured and recorded the distance to the fort ruins from the city wall.7 The city began to expand southward in the 1790s. Streets and blocks were surveyed, and the map of Albany drawn in 1790 by Simeon De Witt shows Broadway
Figure 3. Detail from the “Plan of the City of Albany, in the Province of New York” drawn in 1756 by Thomas Sowers, Engineer, showing the remains of Fort Orange marked “X” (The British Museum, CXXI:41). The site was in the open pasture south of the wall surrounding Albany, visible to the right, with one of the gates into the city marked “E.” partly as a straight north-south street that covered the east curtain wall and eastern bastions of Fort Orange (Figure 4). The ruins were still plainly visible just south of the bend in Broadway. Simeon De Witt, surveyor general of New York State and with an interest in history, in the 1790s chose to build his new brick house exactly on the site of Fort Orange. A deep cellar was excavated, which of course destroyed much of the site. The front east wall of his new house faced Broadway, while under the
paving of Broadway in front of his house remains of the east curtain wall and eastern bastions of Fort Orange still existed. Simeon De Witt’s house eventually became the Fort Orange Hotel. A map surveyed in 1848 shows the large lot where De Witt’s house was built facing Broadway and where the Fort Orange Hotel stood (Figure 5). The lot was more than fifty feet wide along Broadway. The Fort Orange Hotel burned in May 1848, and it had been rebuilt when, on August 17, 1848, a massive fire again swept through the area. Rebuilding on the lot commenced once again, and a new hotel building on the lot rose from the ashes. It was called the Phoenix Hotel, and the owner of the new hotel was Vermont-born Royal Cowell.8 His name appears on the 1848 map, drawn after the fire, as owner of the lot formerly owned by Simeon De Witt. 4
Ibid., 157, 159, 166–67.
A. J. F. van Laer, trans, and ed., Minutes of the Court of Rensselaerswyck: 1648–1652 (Albany, 1922), 18–19, 200. 6
Colonial Records: General Entries V. I: 1664-65, State Library Bulletin: History No. 2 (Albany, 1899), 97; A. J. F. van Laer, trans. and ed., Correspondence of Jeremias van Rensselaer: 1651–1674 (Albany, 1932), 468.
7 G. D. Scull, ed., The Montresor Journals, Collections of the New-York Historical Society for the Year 1881 (New York, 1882), 394, 396–97.
Figure 4. Detail from the Albany City Map of 1790 by Simeon De Witt. The map shows the visible outline of the “Site of Fort Orange” with its two eastern bastions and eastern curtain wall covered by Court Street (later Broadway), copied from the original (Office of the Albany City Engineer, File Number 077).
“Another Fire in Albany,” The Evening Post, New York, May 17, 1848, page 2; “Appalling Conflagration! Five Hundred Buildings Burned! $3,000,000 Property Lost,” The Evening Post, New York, August 19, 1848, page 2; Thomas P. Hughes, American Ancestry, Vol. I, The City of Albany (Baltimore, 1968), 18; William Barnes, The Settlement and Early History of Albany (Albany, 1864), 33.
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Figure 5. Detail from a “Map for Widening Broadway on the West Side” made from a survey in November 1848 by George W. Carpenter, City Surveyor (Albany County Clerk’s Office, Maps Drawer 17, Book 17, No. 304).
It remained well known and often repeated among historians into the twentiethth century that the Fort Orange Hotel had stood on the site of Fort Orange.9 The 1848 map also shows that an entire block of land had been created by filling in the Hudson River east of Broadway. The new shore line was at Quay Street. The buildings that were built there also burned. After the fire, the area of Broadway that still covered remains of part of Fort Orange in front of the Phoenix Hotel became part of a larger open space called Steamboat Square. The steamboats that traveled between New York City and Albany landed along the new
river bank there. Floods were frequent not only when Fort Orange stood there but also through the nineteenth century and into the twentieth century. A photograph taken in 1913 is a view southward down Broadway (Figure 6). A coal elevator then stood where De Witt’s house and the Phoenix Hotel were built. The remains of the two eastern bastions and east curtain wall of Fort Orange at that time still existed under the pavement of Broadway, just where the horse is seen standing in the street. Everything changed again in 1932. The new Dunn Memorial Bridge was constructed over the river south of the Fort Orange
site, but Broadway was widened to provide access for traffic to and from the bridge ramps. All the buildings between Church Street and Broadway north of Madison Avenue were demolished, and the east curb of Church Street was moved eastward to form a widened Broadway. This portion of Church Street merged with Broadway (Figure 7). The worst thing that happened was the very deep construction of a concrete 9
John Romeyn Brodhead, History of the State of New York, First Period, 1609–1664 (New York, 1853), 152n.; John Fiske, The Dutch and Quaker Colonies in America, Volume I (Boston and New York, 1902), 135; Arthur C. Perry, Jr., and Gertrude A. Price, American History, First Book (1492–1783) (New York, 1914), 168.
Figure 6. Detail from a photograph taken about 1913 of the Albany waterfront looking southward down Broadway, across the buried site of Fort Orange. To the left of Broadway is Steamboat Square. A horse stands in the street above the buried remains of the east curtain wall and bastions of Fort Orange (Delaware and Hudson Railroad Company photograph).
Figure 7. Detail from a 1932 plan showing the widening of Church Street, relocation of Broadway, and curving location of the railroad crash wall.
crash wall for the D&H Railroad tracks which entirely destroyed the east curtain wall and bastions of Fort Orange. All that remained was a narrow open triangle between the 1932 crash wall and the location of the front foundation wall of Simeon De Witt’s house at the original west curb line of Broadway. In 1970, the new waterfront arterial highway, Interstate 787, was under construction, and it would cross over this triangle. Deep pilings would be driven directly through this area to construct a new railroad crash wall near the 1932 crash wall. In October 1970, the State Transportation Department arranged for a backhoe to dig a test hole at the site. Very careful measurements based on distances and dimensions in eighteenth- and nineteenthcentury deeds and on maps identified an exact area that would have been the site of De Witt’s house and the original curb line of Broadway. When the backhoe broke through the original east foundation wall of the De Witt house and into the soils that had remained below the pavement of the original Broadway, intact soil layers with seventeenth-century Dutch artifacts immediately began to appear. It was a very exciting moment. Excavations by the New York State Historic Trust continued at the site through the cold winter of 1970 and 1971. Between the 1932 crash wall and the front foundation wall of the De Witt house cellar, numerous later disturbances had occurred from the late eighteenth to the early twentieth centuries below the original pavement of Broadway. The soil layers had to be very carefully excavated to keep artifacts from undisturbed seventeenth-century layers separate from the artifacts in the filled trenches for water pipes, sewer lines, telephone lines, and other utilities. When those intrusions were originally backfilled, artifacts from all periods were mixed together in them. At the south end of the excavation area, close to Madison Avenue, a large square pile of red bricks, Dutch yellow bricks, and Dutch red clay pan tile fragments was uncovered. This pile of bricks was above the remains of a cellar that had a wooden plank floor and walls also built with planks instead of stone or brick. Along the south side of this cellar was found the location of the south curtain wall and upper edge of the south moat of Fort Orange. North of this cellar, along the inside of what was the east curtain wall of the fort, the excavations also
Figure 8. Conjectural plan of Fort Orange based on documents and on evidence from excavations.
revealed remains of three other structures and the packed surface of the pathway that led to the east entrance of the fort. Two of the structures also had wooden cellars, and these were traders’ structures which were allowed to be built within the fort beginning in 1647.10 Using dimensions and descriptions in original Dutch deeds, it was possible to identify part of a wooden cellar north of the entrance pathway as that of the house of Abraham Staats built in 1648.11 The house next to the south moat was the easternmost house built against the south curtain wall of the fort. It was the house of Hendrick Andriessen van Doesburgh.12 With the locations of the south moat and south curtain wall, the entrance pathway, and the dimensions of the Staats house which was built originally against the east curtain wall of Fort Orange, a map of Dutch Fort Amsterdam on Manhattan was overlaid on the plan of the excavations to recreate a possible original plan of Fort Orange. From deeds and descriptions, it is also possible to hypothesize the locations of other buildings and houses in the fort (Figure 8). Portions of wooden cellars of three separate structures were found. Cornelis van Tienhoven, Secretary of the Province, in 1650 described the construction of cellars with wood plank walls and floors in his “information relative to taking up land in New Netherland, in the form of colonies or private bouweries.” Citing examples of the “first dwelling houses” that were built with wood cellars initially by the “wealthy and principal men in New England,” Van Tienhoven explained that such houses built
in New England were occupied three or four years until “handsome houses” could be built.13 The most intact feature was the partial cellar of the Van Doesburgh house. The excavations continued through November and into December, and the Transportation Department erected a heated shelter over the house site to enable careful excavation to continue all winter. The next day it snowed. The Van Doesburgh house was built possibly as early as 1649, but by 1660 it was rapidly falling into ruin. Van Doesburgh died between 1661 and 1664.14 The house evidently collapsed very soon after the English occupation of 1664. Some of the most significant artifacts were recovered from the Van Doesburgh 10 Joel Munsell, The Annals of Albany, Volume IV (Albany, 1853), 55–56. 11 B. Fernow, trans., Documents Relating to the History of the Early Colonial Settlements Principally on Long Island (Albany, 1883), 106; Joel Munsell, Collections on the History of Albany, Volume III (Albany, 1870), 39; Charles T. Gehring, trans. and ed., Fort Orange Records, 1656–1678 (Syracuse, 2000), 64. Note that in the 2000 edition of Fort Orange Records, 1656–1678 on page 64 the translation of the deed for the Abraham Staats house gives the wrong length for this building. Dr. Gehring informs this writer that it was forty-four feet long as stated in the original document, not twenty-four feet. 12
Charles T. Gehring and Janny Venema, trans. and ed., Fort Orange Records, 1654–1679 (Syracuse, 2009), 102.
13 E. B. O’Callaghan, ed., The Documentary History of the State of New-York, Volume IV (Albany, 1851), 31–32. 14 Van Laer, Minutes, 72, 109, 134, 160–61; A.J.F. van Laer, ed., Early Records of the City and County of Albany and Colony of Rensselaerswyck, Volume IIII (Albany, 1918), 99–100, 271; Petition of Hendrick Andriessen van Doesburgh, September 18, 1660, translation by Charles T. Gehring, New York Colonial Mss., Volume IX, page 426, New York State Archives.
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cellar, however. In a corner of the Van Doesburgh cellar, for example, a string of eight white wampum beads was uncovered in an occupation deposit, still in the position in which they were strung (Figure 9). Wampum, made from clam shells, was highly valued by the Iroquois, and served in New Netherland as currency since coins were very scarce. Because making wampum was a way of making money, inflation became a serious problem. The valuation of wampum was set in 1650 at eight beads per stiver, but by 1660 the West India Company began taking wampum at ten beads per stiver. In 1664 in New Netherland, the value had dropped to twelve white beads per stiver.15 Thus, these beads in the cellar were worth one stiver precisely within the ca. 1649 to 1664 period of the Van Doesburgh house occupation. While the Van Doesburgh house was built with a cellar of wooden boards which soon rotted, above ground the house was apparently well furnished and typically Dutch, perhaps “handsome” in appearance. It had a roof covered with Dutch pantiles, and it had leaded casement windows. Two especially noteworthy fragments of window glass still had traces of enameled patterns and some writing painted on them (Figure 10). They are parts of circular roundels that were set within leaded casement windows. Colorful enameled roundels can be seen in many Dutch paintings and drawings of the 1650s and 1660s. Sometimes they were in single windows. Others were in very large and fancy windows. Roundels also appear
in the windows of taverns and less affluent houses, but those roundels are usually clear glass and not decorated. The enameling of the windows in the Van Doesburgh house probably was done by two artists from New Amsterdam, Roelandt Savery and Evert Duyckingh. They came to Rensselaerswijck between 1648 and 1650, and they painted coats of arms or other designs on leaded glass windows. Roelandt Savery boarded in Fort Orange at the house of Van Doesburgh’s nearby neighbor, Jan Labatie, and Savery was there for ten months, “running up a bill of two hundred guilders” for his lodging.16 Examples of windows with roundels enameled possibly by Duyckingh, if not by Savery, have survived and were rescued from a house in New York City (Figure 11). Other windows, from the Albany Dutch Reformed Church, do not have roundels but were enameled with family coats of arms by Evert Duyckingh and are dated 1656. Roelandt Savery had died by 1654. The walls of the Van Doesburgh house were decorated with delft tiles depicting various animals. The floors or fireplace hearths had glazed tiles that were both red- and green-glazed. The green-glazed tiles were made of red-fired brick clay and were coated with a white slip which was then glazed green. Many Dutch paintings of the seventeenth century depict interiors with floors paved with these glazed tiles in a checkered pattern. One example in the Rijksmuseum is De Hooch’s painting A Woman with a Child in a Pantry of about
Figure 9. Wampum beads in situ, December 20, 1970. 1658 or 1660. Another De Hooch painting of the same period, A Woman Nursing an Infant with a Child and a Dog, depicts a well-worn red earthen tile floor, with the 15 A. J. F. van Laer, trans. and ed., “Letters of Nicasius de Sille, 1654,” The Quarterly Journal of the New York State Historical Association, Volume I, Number 3, April 1920, 102; I. N. Phelps Stokes, comp., The Iconography of Manhattan Island: 1498–1909, Volume IV (New York, 1922), 174–75, 182, 192, 201, 205, 207, 208, 212, 215; Dingman Versteeg, trans., Kingston Papers, Volume 1. Kingston Court Records 1661–1667, Peter R. Christoph, Kenneth Scott, and Kenn Stryker-Rodda, eds., (Baltimore, 1976), 160; Berthold Fernow, ed., The Records of New Amsterdam from 1653 to 1674 Anno Domini, Volume V (New York, 1897), 30. 16 Stokes, Iconography, 956; Van Laer, Minutes, 207; Munsell, Collections, 198–99; Charles T. Gehring and Janny Venema, transl. and ed., Fort Orange Records, 1654–1679 (Syracuse, 2009), 21. 17 R. W. G. Vail, “ ‘Storied Windows Richly Dight,’ ” The New-York Historical Society Quarterly, Volume XXXVI, Number two, April 1952, 153–57.
Figure 10. Fragment of a glass window roundel, originally 9 inches in diameter, with traces of an enameled design (cat. no. A.FOR.1971.316).
Figure 11. Three windows with enameled roundels rescued from an old house on Eighth Street in New York City (courtesy of the NewYork Historical Society, gift of Mrs. Howard C. Robbins, cat. nos.51.414a,b,c).
Above: Figure 12. Tin-glazed Dutch faience plate (cat. no. A.FOR.1971.889). Above right: Figure 13. Delft plate dated 1664 with a coat of arms, excavated in the Netherlands (courtesy of Edwin van Drecht). Right: Figure 14. Tin-glazed Dutch faience plate with stilllife fruit design, excavated in the Netherlands, diameter 8⅛ inches (private collection).
green glaze worn away from most of the floor tiles.18 Two well-known paintings of a girl with a glass of wine by Vermeer, again of the same date, also show a floor paved with alternating red and green tiles.19 Eating utensils from the Van Doesburgh house are represented by many fragments of tin-glazed delft (Dutch faience) and Dutch majolica as well as glassware. In fact, at Fort Orange there was much more delft and majolica than is usually found at sites of this period in the Netherlands or elsewhere in northern Europe. A delft plate from the house is of a type typical of the 1650s and 1660s, having a plain, wide, undecorated white rim (Figure 12). Bordered with two concentric rings, the center of the plate has a very crudely painted Chinese landscape. Examples of these plates with plain white rims have been excavated in the Netherlands, and some are beautifully painted by the artist Frederick van Frytom.20 Most examples have more simply decorated centers with landscapes, still lifes with fruit, inscriptions, portraits, or coats of arms (Figure 13). The earliest dated examples of delft plates of this style from the Netherlands bear dates such as 1655, 1659, 1661, and
1664 (Figure 14).21 The popularity of this new plate style soon spread to England, where Dutch examples also have been excavated.22 It is possible that some English delft makers also began producing them, but it is also possible the Dutch made plates with English inscriptions for the English market.23 The dating of the delft plate from the Van Doesburgh house again falls exactly within the period of its occupation, and it also suggests that Van Doesburgh was able quickly to acquire the latest Dutch fashion in tableware. There is much more to be learned from the Fort Orange artifacts, not only those from the Van Doesburgh house but also those from elsewhere in the site. Many scholars have noted the differences between the Netherlands and New Netherland in the seventeenth century: new and different food sources, the reliance on African slaves, the use of wampum as currency, construction of houses with wooden cellars, to name a few. Nevertheless, a hypothesis that needs to be addressed is whether in New Netherland, of all the other Dutch colonies worldwide, the Dutch were able to re-establish a way of life that most closely resembled that of the home country in the seventeenth
century. Not only do the artifacts suggest relative comfort and refinement, but the larger than usual amount of delft and majolica is noteworthy. These tin-glazed wares were expensive compared to most other commonly used ceramics, and they can be classified as among the “luxury goods” of the seventeenth century. Historian Jan de Vries has noted that in northern Europe through the seventeenth century the broad, innovative consumption of new luxury goods, such as tin-glazed Dutch majolica and faience, is first observed in the Dutch Republic. Here, for the first time, there was a society in which the potential to purchase luxuries and novelties extended well beyond the small, traditional elite level of society.24 Historians have debated the definition of mercantilism, but some have argued that the Dutch before 1660 implemented an effective mercantilist strategy.25 With a degree of use and consumption of luxury goods at Fort Orange and perhaps elsewhere in New Netherland considerably greater than in the Netherlands, consumer behavior in New Netherland perhaps represents an especially early example of the success of seventeenth-century Dutch mercantilism. 18
Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, San Francisco.
Gemäldegalerie, Berlin; the Herzog Anton UlrichMuseum, Brunswick. 20
Robert J. Charleston, ed., World Ceramics: An Illustrated History (New York, 1968), 169; A. Vecht, Frederik van Frytom, 1632–1702: Life and Work of a Delft Pottery Decorator (Amsterdam, 1968), 64–70, 78–82.
21 Frits T. Scholten, The Edwin van Drecht Collection: Dutch Majolica & Delftware, 1550–1700 (Amsterdam, 1993), 158–65, 172–87, 196–201, 214–15, 218–19, 224–25, 228–45, 250–51, 256–57, 260–61. 22 Jacqueline Pearce, “An Assemblage of seventeenthCentury Pottery from Bombay Wharf, Rotherhithe, London SE16,” Post-Medieval Archaeology, 2007, Volume 41, Part I, 87–88. 23 The Museum of London has a delft example excavated from a London sewer, decorated in blue with the date 1661 and the inscription "You & i are Earth." 24 Jan de Vries, “Luxury and Calvinism/Luxury and Capitalism: Supply and Demand for Luxury Goods in the Seventeenth-Century Dutch Republic.” The Journal of the Walters Art Gallery, Volume 57, 1999, 84; Jan de Vries, The Industrious Revolution: Consumer Behavior and the Household Economy, 1650 to the Present (New York, 2009), 50, 52, 54, 131–32, 157. 25
David Ormrod, The Rise of Commercial Empires: England and the Netherlands in the Age of Mercantilism, 1650–1770 (Cambridge, 2008), 6, 18, 20–21, 25–27, 34, 39–40; Peter J. Taylor, “Ten Years That Shook the World? The United Provinces as First Hegemonic State,” Sociological Perspectives, Volume 36, Number 1, Spring 1994, 38, 40–41; Gijs Rommelse, “The Role of Mercantilism in Anglo-Dutch Political Relations, 1650–74,” The Economic History Review, New Series, Volume 63, Number 3, August 2010, 592, 598, 608.
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Finding New Netherland’s Frisians by Troy Dow Van Zandt
Radbod retracts his foot from the baptismal font. On the right Anglo-Saxon Christian missionary Willibrord. Detail from an early sixteenth-century orphrey (Source: Museum Catherijneconvent in Utrecht, https://www.catharijneconvent .nl/adlib/41334/)
RISIANS—the people who gave us the black-and-white dairy cow, a beautiful and highly athletic black horse, the most productive dairy sheep, and West India Company Director-General Petrus Stuyvesant—formed almost two percent of New Netherland’s immigrant population.1 Yet they remain a poorly understood group. The intention of this analysis is to flesh out the intersection of linguistics and genealogy as the two fields apply to defining and understanding the Frisians who migrated to New Netherland. The linguistics of this article concentrates on toponomy and onomastics (the studies of place and personal names, respectively).
merican ignorance of the Frisians is due to a variety of factors, not the least of which is a relative dearth of scholarly writings in English (most being in Dutch and German). To make investigative matters worse, much of this research (especially the cuttingTroy Van Zandt is a descendant of New Netherland immigrant Christoffel Harmens, who was born in Kleverens by Jever in 1618. Mr. Van Zandt received a doctorate in law and an MBA, but holds an undergraduate degree in linguistics that primed him for his study of Frisian languages. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, he worked in Germany as an English teacher, where he became interested in both Germanistik (the study of things Germanic) and in Frisistik (the study of things Frisian).
edge material) is written by Frisians for Frisians, and does not readily circulate in broader academic circles. Few, after all, have heard of such topics as ontfriesing and Frisian chieftains. With this lack of general understanding, it should be no surprise that researchers like genealogists have been laboring under some very basic misapprehensions regarding Frisian place and personal names. To understand the linguistics of this analysis, the Frisians must first be put into an ethnic and historical context. Once this is accomplished, the origins and names of New Netherland’s Frisian immigrants are examined using one-of-akind source material—viz., a very unique map and a very unique census. The last part of this analysis focuses on New Netherland’s Frisian immigrants as they
appear in an extensive online database. An Ethnicity Within an Ethnicity (or Two). The Dutch are an amalgam of two cultural elements: the Frisian and the Frankish. Bold assertions demand unequivocal proof, and the proof relative to this assertion is both historical and linguistic. An interesting artifact hangs in the Museum Catherijneconvent in Utrecht. The tapestry depicts a naked man with one foot in a baptismal font. According to the associated tale, the man is Radbod, the last of the great heathen Frisian kings.2 His foot is reportedly as far as he got before 1 The sample population referenced below may be, because of its size, very close to the actual immigrant population. 2
Radbod’s successor Poppo is technically the last Frisian “king” (insofar as the term applies to Frisian leaders of the Early Medieval Period), but he was a minor figure who ruled only briefly.
balking and exclaiming that he would rather spend eternity in hell with his ancestors than eternity in heaven with his enemies the Franks. The story is obviously allegorical, but it nonetheless accurately describes the rancor behind a conflict that shaped the history of early medieval Europe. In the end, the Franks won, but the Frisians somehow fell through the feudal cracks, and eventually established a representative democracy that endured centuries before collapsing in the 1300s. The linguistic proof stands out on every language map of the Netherlands. Linguists consider Standard Dutch a form of Low Franconian. As the name implies, Dutch is a descendant of the old Frankish language. In contrast, one of the modern Frisian languages (in various varieties) is spoken in the province of Friesland, especially among people in the countryside. To make matters even more complicated (and interesting), a form of Low Saxon is spoken in the city of Groningen and the surrounding Ommelanden. This regional language has as a substrate an older form of Frisian, and is mutually intelligible with a neighboring Low Saxon dialect in Germany. This linguistic plurality leads one to an interesting conclusion: the Frisians in
the Netherlands are an ethnicity within an ethnicity. As if this is not interesting enough, this ethnicity is not exclusive to the Netherlands. Territory and History. As an ethnic group, the Frisians extend from the northern Netherlands to and across Germany’s East Frisian Peninsula, with an exclave on the barrier islands and adjacent coastal mainland near Germany’s western border with Denmark. This was certainly their situation in the 1600s as well. These three areas are referred to modernly as West, East, and North Frisia. In the Middle Ages, West and East Frisia comprised Greater Frisia, with the exclave of North Frisia sometimes referred to as Lesser Frisia. The Frisian polity extended across what is now the northern Netherlands and the East Frisian Peninsula. The extent to which (if at all) the North Frisians participated in the political whole is unknown. Greater Frisia was comprised of a series of districts or sea lands memorialized in the pompeblêden (stylized water lily leaves) on the modern provincial flag of Friesland in the Netherlands. The names of these sea lands often ended in go (akin to modern Dutch gouw and modern German Gau), the Old Frisian
word for district. Westergo, Hunsigo, and Fivelgo are examples. During their democratic period, the Frisians sent representatives called redjeven from the local level to participate in a legislative assembly. The Frisian Thing was normally held near what is now the German village of Aurich, more or less the geographical center of Greater Frisia. During this time, the Frisians acquired one of the defining characteristics of their identity—that is, their freedom vis-à-vis the rest of a very feudal Europe. The motto of Germany’s Ostfriesland, “Eala frya Fresena” (Hail, free Frisians), is a modern manifestation of this self-identification in Old Frisian. The reason behind the collapse of Frisian democracy in the 1300s is complicated. Around 1350, Greater Frisia fell into economic decline. The most plausible explanation for this is the plague. Trade by land and sea plummeted. Communal and monastic institutions began to disintegrate. Social unrest spread throughout the region.3 During this period, two political forces arose that would define Frisian politics for more than a century: the chieftains and wide3 Oebele Vries, Medieval Germany, An Encyclopedia, s.v. “Friesland.” (New York, 2001).
Map of Magna Frisia at the time of Radbod. The coast line appears as it did in the eighth century and the names are written in Latin. Source: Wikimedia Commons..
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The Frisian Flag. Seven red water lily leaves on the white stripes represent the independent medieval Frisian “sea countries” along the coast from Alkmaar to the Weser who allied against the Vikings.
spread violence. One often sees in print the term “East Frisian chieftains.” This is misleading because the institution was certainly not exclusive to East Frisia. The houses of Siarda and Harinxma, inter alios, were prominent in the west. In East Frisia, the powerful houses included at various times the tom Brok, Ukena, Manninga, and Cirksena, among others. The chieftains were a kind of de facto nobility, but quite unlike the nobility of the outside feudal world. The redjeven of the democratic period were often chosen from the leading families of a given area. When the legislative mechanism broke down, these families asserted their dominance by doing things previously unthinkable in Frisia: building houses of stone and maintaining men at arms. As feudal as this seems, there was a highly important difference with their feudal counterparts: Frisian chieftains had no serfs. The average inhabitant remained free. If one did not like how the local chieftain was calling the shots, one was free to leave. The other political current that drowned all strata of society was incessant feuding. In his memoirs, the early sixteenth-century Frisian chronicler Jancko Douwama tries to make sense of the violence in his Boeck der Partijen. The parties in question are the Schieringers and the Vetkopers. According to the usual interpretation of Douwama’s work, the Schieringers were the party of the poor, and the Vetkopers the party of the rich. This take seems, however, to be either gross oversimplification or confabulation. Many modern Frisian scholars are of the opinion that nothing of real substance can be attached to the dichotomy. That is, neither policy differences, sectionalism, nor class conflict can be considered a cause.4 In short, the two parties were simply a way of picking sides and keeping score. The origins of this violence—like the demise of
Frisian democracy—once again seem to lie in the highly complex social and economic changes that took place in the late 1300s— not just the rise of the chieftains, but also institutional decline on a broad scale. The fact that chieftain families belonged to both parties militates against a strict classconflict interpretation. Douwama was from a Vetkoper family, while the West Frisian houses of Siarda, Harinxma, and others belonged to the Schieringers. While the fine details of the conflict remain open to debate; the overall effect was a kind of civil war that lasted through the 1400s and into the 1500s. Dutch historian Petrus Johannes Blok gives some idea of its brutality:
For almost two centuries society in Friesland suffered from these quarrels. Castles and cloisters were besieged and burnt, estates ruined, farmhouses laid in ashes and plundered, cattle driven off and slaughtered . . . . Treachery and ambuscade were frequent methods of contest. Sluices were opened or destroyed to ruin an enemy’s territory. Churches and cloisters became fortresses; villages and cites, castles and farms, were turned into strong camps and robber nests for the region.5 The end of Greater Frisian unity and independence began in the late 1400s when the Schieringers of West Frisia requested help from Albert III, Duke of Saxony, who gladly occupied West Frisia. Pier Gerlofs, known as Grutte Pier in West Frisian and Grote Pier in Dutch, waged a short but intense guerilla war of such brutality that it earned the opprobrium of the great Dutch human4
Johan Frieswijk et al., eds., Fryslân, staat en macht 14501650: Bijdragen aan het historisch congres te Leeuwarden van 3 tot 5 juni 1998 (Leeuwarden, 1999), 56.
Petrus Johannes Blok, History of the People of the Netherlands: From the Beginning of the Fifteenth Century to 1559, trans. Ruth Putnam (New York, 1899), 106.
An image made over one hundred years after Grote Pier died, so its historically accuracy might be questioned. Pierius Winsemius, Chronique ofte Historische geschiedenisse van Vrieslant (1622), Collectie Fries Museum. Source: Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain.
ist Erasmus.6 When foreign mercenaries raped and murdered his wife (before burning his farm to the ground), Gerlofs went on a rampage. After five years of fighting on land and sea, and unable to make real headway, Great Pier died peacefully and utterly disillusioned in 1520, aged forty. Whereas West Frisia became part of the Hapsburg Empire and eventually the Dutch Republic, most the east remained under the control of the Cirksena dynasty. Starting out as chieftains in the 1400s, the Cirksenas eventually attained the status of imperial counts in the 1460s. The Cirksenas. however, failed to take control of the entire East Frisian Peninsula. The Jeverland on the eastern coast of the peninsula remained under the control of a series of chieftains, the penultimate of whom was Edo Wiemken the Younger, who died in 1511. Edo’s son Christoph assumed the chieftainship, but died mysteriously at age eighteen, ostensibly poisoned by the Cirksenas. His sister Maria became ruler. Their mother, Heilwig, was not a Frisian, but a member of the House of Oldenburg. After a siege of her Jever palace, Maria worked tirelessly to ensure that the Jeverland never fell into Cirksena hands. Upon her death in 1575, she had the legal mechanisms in place to ensure the Jeverland’s transfer to Oldenburg. North Frisia continued to do its own thing, first as part of Denmark and then Germany.7 This short primer on Frisian history sets an important onomastic context. The aforementioned surnames that end in A are the exception that prove the general rule. The A creates a genitive (possessive) construction that, although patronymic in nature, is markedly different in a sociolinguistic sense from the more prevalent patronyms that utilized the endings -s and -en. The A surnames passed from one generation to the next without change. There also seems to be a very high correlation between the A names and the chieftain class, which may explain their scarcity.7 But before Frisian patronyms receive further treatment, another class of names merits examination. Frisian Toponomy. As stated, toponomy is the study of place names. A researcher like a genealogist could doubtless pursue a long and fruitful vocation or avocation without studying this arcane subfield of linguists. A sprinkling of Frisian toponomy, however, can make any study involving Frisians more interesting simply because the place names are just about as quirky as
the personal names. In an age when travel is becoming increasingly more expensive and onerous, a trip on Google Maps or Google Earth can satisfy one’s curiosity just as would a real trip with all its jetlag, lines, and touching. Using one of these services, one can zoom in on any of the West, East or North Frisian areas, and see that the place names are all remarkably similar. For example, in the Dutch province of Friesland there is the prominent city of Leeuwarden. There is a small village on the eastern half of the East Frisian Peninsula called Sengwarden. To the west of Groningen is the municipality of Marum. North Frisia has its famous town of Husum. In the fields of genealogy and history, one occasionally comes across a document that genuinely deserves gem status. One such document is a 1600 map of the East Frisian Peninsula created by the East Frisian scholar Ubbo Emmius, who was professing in Groningen at the time. Interestingly, the aforementioned ancient village of Sengwarden is curiously absent on this map. Was Emmius careless in his cartography? No, and now is the time to discuss endonyms and exonyms. Endonyms are native names. Exonyms are external names, or names that outsiders have for a place. On the 1600 Emmius map, Sengwarden appears as Sengwert. Remember that Emmius was
a Frisian. He may have spoken Gronings and Latin at work. At home, however, he doubtless spoke Frisian. Sengwert is the original endonym for the village. Leeuwarden is also an exonym. Upon entering the city limits of Leeuwarden, one sees a blue sign with white lettering. The name on top in large letters is the exonym Leeuwarden. The bottom name in smaller letters is the endonym Ljouwert. The 1600 Emmius map is a snapshot in time that sheds light on the toponomy common to all three Frisias. When looking at it, the English speaker is struck with a certain familiarity. Frisian is the closest relative of English, and this is readily apparent in Old dorp (sic), a place shown in the Wangerland. Dorp is a cognate of the 6
P. S. Allen,The age of Erasmus: lectures delivered in the universities of Oxford and London (Oxford, 1914), 171–73. https://archive.org/details/ageoferasmuslect00alleuoft/page/172.
In order to secure outside alliances in their squabbles with their peers, some Frisian chieftains, such as Edo Wiemken the Younger, married noble women of neighboring powers. One of the Cirksenas did this as well. After the apparent murder of her brother and a humiliating siege of her palace by the Cirksenas, Maria broke the back of the local chieftains and fired her Frisian staff (to replace them with Oldenburgers). This marks the beginning of the ontfriesing of the Jeverland. The assumption that Frisian was still spoken among the common folk of the Jeverland in the early seventeenth-century is based on names and naming conventions and assumes that a largely rural uneducated population retains the linguistic traditions of the community.
Maria of Jever, known in the Jeverland as Fräulein Maria (1500–1575), the last Wiemken family ruler of the Lordship of Jever. She was the third child of East Frisian chieftain Edo Wiemken the Younger and his second wife, Heilwig of Oldenburg.
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Above: Ubbo Emmius, map of the East Frisian Peninsula (1600). Source: Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain.
Right: Bernardus Schotanus, Plan of Leeuwarden in the Lordship of Friesland (1664). Source: Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain. English toponymic suffix -thorpe. Both mean village, but the Frisian version has a very distinct connotation due to a particularity of Frisian physical culture. Long before the advent of dikes, the Frisians lived on artificial mounds. The North Sea coast has always been vulnerable to extratropical cyclones. These great wind storms pile water up against the coast, and formerly pushed it
the 1600 Emmius map, the village appears as Kleverens. The -ens suffix translates roughly to “the place of.” Unlike most place names of its ilk, Kleverens is readily translatable as “the place of clover.” Klever is the Old Frisian word. Like Sengwarden (Sengwert), the endonym has been replaced with an exonym. The town appears on modern maps as Cleverns.
Frisian text from 1345. Source: Wikimedia Commons. far inland. The term dorp eventually came to mean both the village and the mound upon which it stood. The endonymic wert and the exonymic warden refer to a naturally raised area that provides protection against flooding. The toponymic suffix -um is perhaps the one most readily associated with Frisian place names simply because it appears all over the three Frisias with great frequency. If this suffix seems faintly familiar, this is because it has a cognate in both English and German: -ham and -heim, respectively. The Frisian version is pronounced with the unstressed central vowel that often appears in English -ham (the schwa sound phonetically represented as /ə/ in the International Phonetic Alphabet). The English place and surname Dunham is a good example. The -um suffix roughly translates to “home” or “home of.” Divining the exact meaning of these -um names can be rather difficult because what the suffix refers to has of-
ten been lost to time, and can be either a person, a thing, or a collection of things. When they can be translated, the result is often unsatisfyingly ambiguous, as is the case with Husum, which literally means “House Home.” In the case of Husum, the name seems to refer to a collection of houses. Another common toponymic suffix is -ens. In a 1645 marriage declaration made in Amsterdam, the New Netherland immigrant Christoffel Harmens, an East Frisian from the Jeverland, gives his place of birth as “Kleverins.” The functionary taking down his particulars was obviously not familiar with Frisian place names, hence the -ins. The illiterate Christoffel (as evidenced by his roughly hewn H) was hardly in a position to make a correction. This document brings up an important point, however: Frisians names, both place and personal, are often distorted through the lens of Dutch bureaucracy. On
The Huldigungsregister and Frisian Onomastics. Not long after Emmius created the map referenced herein, the data for another singular document started to be compiled. The German genealogist Walter Schaub (1937‒1995) put these data into a document titled Die Bevölkerung der Herrschaft Jever nach dem Huldigungsregister von 1618, which translates to The Seignory of Jever’s Population According to the Tribute Register of 1618.8 The previously mentioned Maria of Jever devised the Jeverland to Oldenburg upon her death in 1575. When the devisee, Count Johann von Oldenburg, died in 1603, his twentyyear-old son Anton Günther took charge of both Oldenburg and the Jeverland. Noblemen have certain ego-driven needs. Bureaucrats have theirs. The result was an effort to have all men of majority in the territory swear their allegiance to the young count. The officials, who seem to have been native themselves, not only kept tally of the oath takers, but also gathered detailed demographic information. These include the following: (1) the oath taker’s name; (2) residence; (3) occupation: (4) marital status; (5) spouse’s name; (6) father’s name; (7) father’s residence; (8) father-in-law; and (9) father-in-law’s residence. In short, the register is a de facto census, and its value cannot be overstated, as it provides pretty much one-of-a-kind social, economic, and sociolinguistic information on a part of the Frisian world starting to undergo tremendous linguistic change (a shift from Frisian to Low Saxon). The most fundamental logical error is to argue from the particular to the general. Consequently, one must ask how applicable this information is to Frisians in general. The register contains information on a total of 1720 individuals. The area surveyed stretches from the border with Oldenburg 8
Walter Schaub, “Die Bevölkerung der Herrschaft Jever nach dem Huldigungsregister von 1618,” Oldenburger Landesverein für Geschichte, Natur- und Heimatkunde e.V. Abteilung: Oldenburgische Gesellschaft für Familienkunde, accessed May 25, 2019, https://www. familienkunde-oldenburg.de/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/ jever_huldigung_1618.pdf.
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Christoffel Harmens’s marriage banns made in Amsterdam in 1645. New Netherland Settlers Project, https:// www.wikitree.com/ wiki/Harmenszen-1.
in the south up to the East Frisian Island of Wangerooge in the north. Both the sample population and survey area are of respectable size, which should allow researchers to draw reasonable inferences for the entirety of the East Frisian Peninsula. As for Frisians in general, the register should allow genealogists, historians, and linguists to make some interesting comparisons with those Frisians living in the Dutch Republic and in North Frisia with respect to onomastics. The first thing one notices about the register is the odd names. Most of these fall into two general categories: (1) hypocorisms (hypocoristicons) based on ancient Germanic dithemics of a distinctly Frisian character; and (2) more modern names of a distinctly Frisian interpretation. In general terms, a hypocorism is a name variant that can be a diminutive, nickname, etc. For example, Dick is a hypocorism of Richard. A dithemic is a name that—as the term suggests—consists of two parts. Those old enough to recall the television show Gilligan’s Island doubtless recall the character Thurston Howell III, played by Jim Backus. Mr. Howell’s first name is a Germanic dithemic that consists of Thor and stone. Examples of Old Frisian masculine dithemics include such dainty monikers as Thiadulf (People Wolf) and Aldgillis (Old Whip). During the course of the Middle Ages, these dithemics were transformed into equally distinctive masculine hypocorisms ending in O. These occur on the register with great frequency, and at first strike the reader as bizarre before taking on a raw, powerful and ultimately very masculine quality: Haio, Immo, Ahto, Tammo, Umo, Ico, Memmo, Hero.9 This hypocoristic strategy was not exclusive to the East Frisians, as evidenced by Jancko Douwama and modern West Frisian name
lists for those who wish to give their baby a very Frisian handle (Tako is the author’s favorite). One can, however, ascribe a very regional character to the strategy, for the East Frisians seemed to have used it far more than the other two groups. Interestingly, none of these -o hypocorisms appears among the given names of any Frisian immigrant to New Netherland. Ascribing a familial conservativism to type -o that somehow militated against emigration is impishly tempting, but the absence is most likely the product of pure chance. The second name category includes such quaint variations of more familiar names as Harmen (Herman), Tiark (Diedrich), Christoffer, and Edzerdt (Eckhart). Still other names are so wonderfully weird that they deserve special mention: Ißke, Addek, Eile, and Gummel, just to name a few. Speakers of German may wonder if Eile was in a hurry. Like men’s names, female given names fall into two categories: (1) the very old and very Germanic; and (2) names of a more modern character. The former consists of such names as Icke (Ycke), Reinuwe, Armgorth, Frouke. The latter consists of the familiar: Cathrin, Elisabet, Anna, Maria, etc. In the seventeenth century, the average Frisian of any variety could easily have gone from cradle to grave without a hereditary surname. The operative word here is average. By the 1600s, the institution of chieftainship was but a faint shadow of its former self, but these families seem to have maintained stable surnames, whereas most rank-and-file Frisians relied on simple patronyms. As mentioned, the former are quite easy to spot, as they invariably end with A (e.g., Attena, Cirksena, Abdena, Siarda, etc.). An interesting example of this surname category may be represented
in the name of the Thomas Laurenszen Popinga, a New Netherland immigrant born in Groningen around 1640, whose father also had the surname Popinga. In ascribing such a possibility to this example, a modicum of caution is due because, as will be examined, Groningen is a special case. Another possible example of this category is the surname Banta. One name category that is utterly absent among New Netherland Frisians of all varieties is one readily associated with today’s Dutch Frisians—viz., names ending in the suffixes -ma and -stra. Examples of these appear in association with the Holland Society of New York, such as Hofstra, but the genealogical link is in almost all certainty to a New Netherland ancestor who had a patronym. The reason for this is that these -ma and -stra names are for the most part of relatively recent adoption. Before the occupation of the Netherlands by the French under Napoleon, the Dutch Frisians were getting along fine with their patronymic system. Ever-changing surnames were more than the French bureaucracy could bear, and Dutch Frisians were forced to adopt stable surnames. Frisian ethnocentricity was such the Frisians in the Netherlands turned to the mechanics of their own language to form last names (a Dutch Frisian with a van toponym is a fairly rare creature). The suffix -ma is ancient, and the Dutch poet and philologist Obe Potsma considers it a short form of “man.”10 In accordance with its antiquity, it appears well before the colonial period (such as Douwama and Harinxma), but it is not particularly common. The suffix -stra denotes association
Tammena discusses these names at length in his book Namengebung in Ostfriesland: Personennamen, patronymische Namen: Ursprung, Entwicklung, Niedergang, (Norden, 2008).
Obe Potsma, Veld, huis en bedrijf: Landbouwhistorische opstellen (Hilversum, 2010), 224.
with a certain place or thing (for example, Dykstra denotes association with a dike), and is by all appearances utterly absent in the deep historical record. What one sees in the register is an ancient patronymic system of a relatively complicated character. If the father’s name ended in a consonant, -s was added to make the son’s patronym. For example, if the father’s name was Harmen Gebbeken, and the son’s given name was Wilhelm, the son’s full name would be Wilhelm Harmens. Things get somewhat more complicated when the father’s given name ends in an O or other vowel. If the father’s name is Haio Eden, and the son’s given name is Oike, the son would be Oike Haien. The suffix -en replaces the O. The -en suffix is also a failsafe when the addition of an S would be phonologically uncomfortable. For example, if the father’s name is Enst, the patronym would be Ensten. Alternatively, a problematic final T can be dropped such that Hillert becomes the patronym Hillers. Of the hundreds and hundreds of patronyms that appear in the register, only a fairly small number make use of -sen. Rare also are apparently stable surnames and surnames associated with trades (e.g., Goltschmits). Is the patronymic system presented in the register accurate? As previously mentioned, locals seem to have compiled the data. This contention is based on a fairly tight orthographic consistency relative to the odd given names as well as the patronyms. When the register’s patronyms are compared to historical examples on the East Frisian Peninsula, the same rules seem to be in play. For example, the non-Latinized form of Ubbo Emmius is Ubbo Emmen (son of Emmo Dieken and Elske Lyse Egberts Tjarda). Is the system accurate relative to Frisian patronyms in general? Yes and no. The names of seventeenth-century West Frisians come to us through the filter of Dutch bureaucracy. In some cases, the Frisian patronymic system is easy to discern through Dutch orthography and the Dutch patronymic suffixes of -se, -sen and -szen. The West Frisian immigrant Douwe Harmensz is an example. Whereas the voicing of the S was understood in East Frisia, the Dutch felt compelled to add the Z. The West and East Frisian names that appear in lists of Frisian immigrants to New Netherland often include several variations—such as, Andries Jochemsz (a.k.a. Jochemszen, Jochemsen, or Jochems). Of these, the last appears to be the endonymic patronym as
spoken and written. For the North Frisians (for whom information is so hard to find), the system is probably applicable, too, as evidenced by the North Frisian immigrant Pieter Carstensen (a.k.a. Carstens) from Noordstant (Nordstrand). One has to wonder, considering North Frisia’s geographic and historical association with Denmark, the extent to which -sen worked its way into the native patronymic system. There are, of course, a small number of atypical surnames that occur both in the register and among New Netherland Frisians. In the register, one sees names like the aforementioned Goltschmits as well as Zimmerman, and Schmitt. As is the case with Schmitt, some of these seem to be the result of immigration into the area. Elmer Schmitt is listed as a smith whose father Arendt Schmitt resides in Horsten (presumably the modern Hörsten in Schleswig-Holstein). The younger Schmitt may have been a Wandergeselle (an itinerant journeyman). The most recognizable atypical Frisian name belongs to New Netherland’s Director-General. Stuyvesant is a stable surname that appears as far back as the mid-1500s. Petrus Stuyvesant’s father Balthasar was born in the West Frisian village of Dokkum around 1587. Petrus’s grandfather Joannis Balthasar Stuyvesant was born about 1540 in parts unknown. The singular nature of the surname in terms of its immutability and lack of the usual patronyms seems to indicate immigration into West Frisia. The New Netherland Settlers Project. WikiTree is a genealogical website based on social networking. The mission of its New Netherland Settlers Project is “to identify and improve the profiles of the New Netherland settlers, their ancestors [and] descendants . . . .”11 The project is a wonderful database that provides detailed information on hundreds of New Netherland settlers and exactly where they came from, often providing images of period documents. The project consists of approximately 5,000 individuals, most of whom immigrated to the colony (as opposed to those born there during the period between 1609 and 1674). A casual statistical analysis of this population group yields some interesting insights. Of this 5,000, approximately ninety-four of the immigrants are ostensibly Frisian (1.88 percent). The adverb approximately seems to intimate that the author has not yet mastered counting. The problem lies
in determining exactly who is Frisian—a problem that modern Frisians wrestle with to some extent. If someone on the list lived in the Province of Friesland or on the East Frisian Peninsula or in the area historically recognized as North Frisia, and had a Frisian name, then that individual can be ascribed Frisian ethnicity with reasonable certainty. The sine quo non of “Frisian-ness” among Frisians in the Netherlands has been until quite recently speaking Frisian. But what linguistically constitutes Frisian? At the time of their political fragmentation, the Frisians spoke a language known as Middle Frisian. As with the various modern Frisian languages (West Frisian or Westerlauwersk Frysk in the Netherlands, Saterfrisian or Seeltersk and North Frisian in Germany, the last known as Frasch, Fresch, Freesk, or Friisk depending on the dialect), the Frisian language of the 1600s was under intense pressure from other languages—namely, Dutch and Low Saxon. This pressure was not new. For example, Eggerik Beninga, a noted East Frisian chronicler of the 1500s, wrote in either Dutch or Low Saxon because there was no real audience in his native Frisian. In using a language component to assign Frisian ethnicity to certain New Netherland settlers, one must use what linguists term a synchronic approach—that is, an approach that considers the language at a certain point in time. Alas, even this is not without its difficulties because of language shift (the shift from one language to another) in uncertain stages. For those listed in the project who came from the Province of Friesland or North Frisia, the synchronic approach works well because Frisian was unequivocally spoken in these areas. For the East Frisian Peninsula, the synchronic approach is still quite satisfactory. By the early 1600s, Low Saxon seems to have had Frisian on the ropes, at least in the Jeverland, but the original language was not yet on the canvas, as evidenced by the names. The wrench in the works of a purely synchronic analysis in the service of defining Frisian ethnicity is the City of Groningen and the surrounding Ommelanden. The Dutch ontfriesing and German Entfriesung both refer to the shift from Frisian to another language. The scholarly consensus is that this process started in Groningen and the Ommelanden in the early 1400s. 11 “Project: New Netherland Settlers,” WikiTree, accessed May 25, 2019, https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/ Project:New_Netherland_Settlers.
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No one, however, is sure exactly when this process of degree became a result of kind that produced an overt loss of the Frisian language and the Frisian identity. This consideration is important because a good number of New Netherland settlers came from Groningen and the Ommelanden. Can we consider these immigrants Frisian? This, of course, begs another question: Can we consider the inhabitants of today’s East Frisian Peninsula Frisian? In the case of the latter, most would find this question somewhat silly. Even though Frisian is no longer spoken on the peninsula, the area is historically Frisian and identifies as Frisian. Moreover, the regional dialect is a form of Low Saxon heavily influenced by the region’s original language. (Interestingly, East Frisian Low Saxon retains many old Frisian words subsequently lost in West Frisian due to pressure from standard Dutch.) These seem to be precisely the same conditions that obtained in Groningen in the early 1600s. Even today, the area is quite cognizant of its Frisian heritage. The only difference between the pompeblêden on Groningen’s provincial coat of arms and those on Friesland’s provincial flag is that the former are decidedly more pointy. The real issue here is whether a researcher like a genealogist can consider a seventeenthcentury inhabitant of Groningen or the
Ommelanden a Frisian. The answer is an unequivocal yes based on two things: toponomy and onomastics. The place names around Groningen are decidedly Frisian (Marum, Winsum, Kantens, etc.). During the early Dutch colonial period, the inhabitants of the region have decidedly Frisian names (Jans, Popinga, etc.). In the end, a more inclusive and historically more expansive definition of Frisian ethnicity seems more useful for genealogists and historians. Therefore, in the present analysis, those immigrants from West, East, and North Frisia, as well as those from Groningen and the Ommelanden, are “Frisians.” Consequently, a general historical experience and a somewhat similar set of attitudes and economic circumstances can be imputed to all Frisian groups in the early 1600s. The Demographics. Using the project’s data, Frisians of all stripes account for a little under two percent of New Netherland’s immigrant population. A little less than two percent of New Netherland’s population may not sound like much, but when one considers this percentage relative to groups other than the non-Frisian Dutch, an interesting insight arises. The French, for example, comprise 1.94 percent of the immigrant population—only slightly more than the Frisian total. However, when
one compares the size of France (then pretty much its present size) at 248,573 mi 2 to the total area of all the Frisias at 5,517 mi 2, the Frisians have a very robust representation (keeping in mind that there is usually a positive correlation between area and population). Of course, most of the Frisian immigrants originate from the Dutch Republic (forty-two from the Province of Friesland and fourteen from Groningen and the Ommelanden), but these at fifty-six do not constitute a vast majority. Immigrants from East and North Frisia number nineteen and fifteen, respectively. This total of thirty-four is interesting in that the East and North Frisians seem almost overrepresented when one considers (1) that they were not citizens of the Dutch Republic and (2) the relatively small area of the two areas compared to other sources of immigration. How did so many East and North Frisians end up in New Netherland? The Dutch Connection. If one were magically transported (destination unknown) to a town like Greetsiel on the East Frisian Peninsula at 3:00 a.m., one would be hard pressed to figure out the location. The waterways, windmills, and the old red-brick buildings in the Dutch Renaissance style scream the Netherlands. Of course, the time of day is important. At such an early
Petrus Kaerius (Van den Keere) Frisae Orientalis, map of Groningen with an inset view of the town of Groningen. From Petri Kaerii Germania Inferior id est, XVII provinciarum ejus novae et exactae Tabulae Geographicae, cum Luculentis Singularum descriptionibus additis. À Petro Montano (Amsterdam, 1617).
hour, the streets would be mostly deserted. Otherwise, hearing someone speak German would be an immediate giveaway—unless the first words heard were in East Frisian Low Saxon (which sounds a lot like Gronings). Why such a striking similarity in physical culture? There is, of course, the ancient Frisian connection between the two areas. One must also consider the close cultural, economic, and military ties between East Frisia and the Seventeen Provinces and later Dutch Republic throughout the 1500s and into the 1600s. As noted, Dutch was a literary language among East Frisian intellectuals of this period. Dutch was also the liturgical language in Mennonite churches founded on the western coast of the peninsula as early as the 1520s. During the Spanish occupation of the Low Countries, the East Frisians and the Dutch had similar interests: the former wanted to keep the Spanish out; the latter wanted to get the Spanish out. In furtherance of these aims, the East Frisians allowed Dutch troops on East Frisian soil. The lands to the west also ended up developing a thriving economy— something the East Frisian Peninsula has never really had. Conclusion. Considering the close connection between the United Provinces and East and North Frisia, relatively sizeable immigration to New Netherland should be no surprise. The non-Dutch Frisians were in a good position to know exactly what was going on in the Dutch Republic and its colonies. This knowledge combined with a reasonably imputed desire for eco-
nomic betterment easily account for East and North Frisian immigration to New Netherland. Far beyond the scope of this analysis is the extent to which the ethnic character of the Frisians affected the general character of New Netherland. As alluded to earlier, central to Frisian identity is the concept of freedom. The West Frisian writer Andrys Onsman has extensively examined the lens through which the Frisians have for so very long seen themselves: Throughout history the Frisians have been portrayed as a race apart; from the Roman description of the Frisii as unconquerable to the murder of St. Boniface when he tried to bring Christianity to the area; from the rebelliousness of Grutte Pier to the gentle insistence of the Mennonites. But none defines the Frisian character more clearly than Gemme van Burmania does. When in 1555 all the nobles of the Low Countries knelt during the coronation of Phillip II in Brussels, he remained standing. When questioned, he replied, “We Frisians kneel only before God!”12 One wonders whether the Frisians who immigrated to New Netherland could indulge to any appreciable degree in this aspect of their self-identification. After all, Greater Frisia had irrevocably disintegrated more than a century before. By the Dutch colonial period, the West Frisians were part of a greater republican whole. The East
Frisians were governed by counts (in the case of the Jeverland, by a foreign count). The North Frisians were getting along in relative obscurity as part of the Kingdom of Denmark. As for the last group, the founder of Ferring Pharmaceuticals, Dr. Frederick Paulsen, makes an interesting contention in a 1976 Frisian Round Table article— viz., that those who Jonas Bronck brought to New Netherland were primarily North Frisians seeking to escape the aftermath of the horrific Burchardi Flood of 1634 (see page 13). Paulsen also points out that these North Frisians brought their political traditions to the colony, and that their democratic tendencies acted as a counterbalance to patrician authoritarianism.13 These are indeed interesting contentions. Unfortunately, Dr. Paulsen failed to include any citations in his article. Contacting him is now impossible, as he passed away in the North Frisian village of Alkersum in 1997. Once again, the North Frisians remain the most enigmatic of an enigmatic people. Nonetheless, one cannot help but ponder the plausibility of his democratic claim. The North Frisians never seem to have had a dog in the Schieringer-Vetkoper fight, and very well may have continued to be democratic at the local level right into the seventeenth century. 12 Andrys Onsman, Defining Indigeneity in the Twenty-First Century: A Case Study of the Free Frisians, (Lewiston, New York, 2004), 83. 13 Frederick Paulsen Sr., “Frisians in the History of the United States,” RootsWeb, accessed May 25, 2019, http:// freepages.rootsweb.com/~ccho/genealogy/Cards/history/ usfrisians.htm.
Hans Blanker, “Die erschreckliche Wasser-Fluth” [terrible water flood](1634), depicts the Burchardi flood that devastated North Frisia in that year.
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Here and There in New Netherland Studies New Netherland Institute’s 32nd Annual Meeting
HE NEW NETHERLAND Institute’s thirty-second annual meeting took place on May 10, 2019, at the University Club in Albany, New York. Members and friends attended the reception, business meeting, and program. The meeting consisted of reports from board members, New Netherland Research Center Director Dr. Charles Gehring, Institute Secretary E. James Schermerhorn, and Institute Director Stephen McErleane. With the conclusion of the business meeting, the Institute’s Alice P. Kenney Memorial Award was presented to archaeologists Anne-Marie Cantwell and Diana diZerega Wall for their contribution to understanding the material culture of New Netherland. Keynote and 2019 Peter Gansevoort Ten Eyck Lecture Series speaker Dr. Wim Klooster, one of the Institute’s scholarly advisors, gave a fascinating presentation. Dr. Klooster spoke on a 1667 petition asking the Dutch States General to demand English restoration of New Netherland to the Dutch. The petition was signed by seventy Amsterdam merchants. Klooster placed the petition in the context of the Dutch in the Atlantic World in the 1660s. He then examined four groups of the petition’s signatures: (1) Amsterdam merchants with commercial ties to New Netherland, (2) merchants who traded with Arkhangelsk (Russia), (3) merchants who were deacons of Amsterdam’s Reformed congregation, and (4) merchants with a background in Dutch Brazil. The result of Dr. Klooster’s analysis provided the audience with new insight into the negotiations over the transfer of New Netherland to English rule. A dynamic question-and-answer period followed.
Keynote and 2019 Peter Gansevoort Ten Eyck Lecture Series speaker Dr. Wim Klooster addresses the New Netherland Institute’s 32nd Annual Meeting at the University Club in Albany. Registration fees are still being determined. Lunch is included with registration. The New Netherland Institute’s annual dinner will follow the conference at Coppola’s Italian-American Bistro in Hyde Park. For further information, go to the New Netherland Institute website at wwww. newnetherlandinstitute.org.
Institute at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York on October 5, 2019. Registration will open in early August. The conference program will feature six presentations by New Netherland scholars. Speakers will be Ian Stewart of New Netherland Timber Framing on “Buildings as Belongings: Netherlandish Architecture as Seen through a Material Culture Lens”; Julie van den Hout of San Francisco State University on “Voyages of New Netherland, A Digital Humanities Project”; Chelsea L. Teale of Humboldt State University on “Dutch Colonial Agriculture: A New Consideration”; Shaun Sayres of Clark University, “Masters of the Mid-Atlantic: The Susquehannocks and Anglo-Dutch Relations on the Periphery of Susquehanna”; Jaap Jacobs, of the University of St Andrews, “Competing Claims: International Law, Diplomacy, and Anglo-Dutch Rivalry in 17th-Century North America”; and Michael J. Douma of Georgetown University on “Dutch-Speaking Runaway Slaves.”
HE THIRD CO-AUTHORED book in the Mapping Slavery Project was officially presented on April 5, 2019, at the National Archives [Nationaal Archief] in The Hague. Mapping Slavery NL together with LM Publishers launched the work, titled Gids Slavernijverleden Nederland Guide/The Netherlands Slavery Heritage
New Netherland Institute’s 42nd Annual Conference
HE FORTY-SECONDAnnual Conference of the New Netherland Institute will be hosted by the Hudson River Valley
Mapping Dutch Slavery Project Book Launch
Guide. This bilingual guide in Dutch and English offers information on Dutch slavery heritage in one hundred locations spread out across eighteen cities and provinces. In addition, a number of thematic subjects are broached. Among these are the position of descendants of the originally enslaved, the role of the churches in the debate on slavery and slave trade, the burial sites of formerly enslaved people in the Netherlands, the relation between the wealth originating in slavery and the slave trade and the emergence of country houses in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and lastly the role of Dutch law (and lawmakers) in the justification of slavery and slave trade. The brief, clearly written contributions are based on the work of researchers across The Netherlands and aimed at increasing the depth of knowledge on this section of history. The Guide is well illustrated and accompanied by a variety of maps providing an overview of the various locations and thematic information. The publication of the Guide has become possible in cooperation with the Mondriaan Foundation and the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds. The Verenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie (VOC; Dutch East India Company) and the West-Indische Compagnie (WIC; Dutch West India Company), multinational European enterprises with fortresses on the African, American, and Asiatic coasts, sent sailing vessels from Dutch harbors laden with products destined for trade on the African Coast. Slavery was one segment of this trade. Decisions regarding military escorts for slave ships and the daily running of the WIC and VOC were made by governors in Dutch cities. Products such as sugar, coffee, and tobacco, cultivated by slave hands, were processed and traded in the Netherlands. Merchants, regents, and governors built country houses with slave profits. Investors in the colonial economy— and thereby directly or indirectly in the trade and exploitation of slaves conducted there—came from all over the country. This means that cities in the Netherlands are linked to slavery. The existence of slavery was barely visible in the Netherlands, as it took place in the distant Dutch colonies while slavery was officially outlawed in patria. The enslaved only rarely came to the Netherlands. Only a small number of the men and women deported from Africa and Asia, including their progeny, ever visited the Netherlands or lived there during the slave period, but they certainly were present. We know this because, among other
reasons, Rembrandt painted a number of them. Research in local archives increasingly found related traces and connections. Inspired by the British research project “The Legacy of British Slave-ownership” at the University College London, Mappingslavery.org reveals transnational links made by the Dutch in past centuries carrying evidence of slavery and trading. MappingSlavery.nl provides a broader audience access to the traces of Dutch slavery. The project lends the slavery heritage more immediacy through the description of places in the direct environment of contemporary Dutch citizens by collating data pertaining to slavery and translating it into digital maps and walking tours, bringing Dutch slavery history literally closer to home. A firm connection to slavery in cities such as Amsterdam, Hoorn, Rotterdam, Middelburg, and Vlissingen does exist, as much as it does in other cities where chambers of the VOC and the WIC were seated. In 2015 an exploratory project on Dutch slavery in New Netherland and New Amsterdam and, later, New York was undertaken. Projects in Suriname and Indonesia are currently being prepared. For further information see https:// mappingslavery.nl/en/.
New Amsterdam Cultural Heritage Day
HE FIRST-EVER New Amsterdam Cultural Heritage Day was celebrated on April 8, 2019, at the New York City Municipal Archives in lower Manhattan. The event presented the latest effort in a collaborative project between the NYC Municipal Archives and the Stadsarchief Amsterdam that uses primary-source documents from both institutions to tell a series of “New Amsterdam Stories.” The latest addition introduces the story of New Amsterdam’s “Burgher Right,” an early form of city citizenship, using newly translated documents from the New York State Archives, never-before published documents from the Stadsarchief Amsterdam, and originals from the New Amsterdam court records. The event also marked a significant milestone in popularizing New Netherland history in the colony’s former capital, combining a formal recognition by NYC’s mayor with the NYCMA’s commitment to an annual commemoration and a commitment from Amsterdam’s mayor to support these efforts.
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Society Activities Annual Meeting
N SATURDAY, April 6, 2019, The Holland Society of New York held its 134th Annual Meeting and Dinner at the Lotos Club in Manhattan. President Andrew Terhune called the meeting to order in the Club’s Tennyson Room at 4:30 p.m. Those gathered offered the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, followed by an invocation given by Trustee Christopher Cortright in Domine Paul Lent’s absence. President Terhune welcomed those present at the meeting and specifically acknowledged those branch presidents in attendance. He then called for a motion to approve and waive the reading of the minutes of the 2018 Annual Meeting. Society treasurer Dean Vanderwarker then presented the secretary’s report. He noted that since the last annual meeting the Society had elected twenty-three new members and four new friends. He then read the necrology followed by the poem “Gone from My Sight,” written by Dr. Henry Van Dyke (the Holland Societyʼs first Domine in 1920). The main portion of the meeting was the election of the president and trustees for the coming year. Stuart Van Winkle, Nominating Committee chair, gave a few brief remarks on new trustees to be elected. President Terhune asked Dean Vanderwarker to act as chairman of the election. Mr. Vanderwarker read the slate and announced the number of proxies received in favor and number against. The slate of the president and trustees as presented was approved. The Society reelected Andrew Terhune as president for a third one-year term. Trustees reelected at the meeting were Eric DeLamarter and Andrew Hendricks to a three-year term, and for terms ending in 2023, Trustees and Branch Presidents Christopher Cortright and David Ditmars. Newly elected to the same term are Richard Van Deusen and Sarah Lefferts. Dean Vanderwarker continued as Society treasurer. Treasurer Vanderwarker followed with his report, noting the endowment stands at approximately $6.1 million, the budget was trimmed by approximately $100,000 in expenses, and the Society’s financial position is much firmer now than a year ago.
The Holland Society’s 2018 Gold Medalist General H. R. McMaster speaking at the Society’s Annual Dinner at the Lotos Club in Manhattan.
The highlight of the annual meeting was President Andrew Terhune’s address. President Terhune remarked on the Society’s activities during the past year. He also offered options for consideration about the future course of the Society, and requested those in attendance to lend their time and thoughts to the Society. President Terhune
then called for a motion to adjourn, and the meeting adjourned at 6:25 p.m.
HE 134th Annual Dinner of The Holland Society of New York followed the annual meeting. Society members,
Holland Society President Andrew Terhune presenting a rosette to new Hollamd Society Member Nancy Quakenbush Rubsam.
their families and guests gathered for hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar in the library at the Lotos Club. The dinner started at 6:45 p.m. in the Lotos Club’s banquet room. It began with a brief invocation. Toasts were given to the President of the United States, to King Willem Alexander of the Netherlands, to The Holland Society, and to the late Frank H. Vedder and James E. Quackenbush, hosts in absentia. The gathering then sat down to a delicious dinner of salmon and steak. The main highlight of the dinner was the presentation by the Holland Society’s 2018 Gold Medalist, retired General Herbert Raymond McMaster. General McMaster was chosen as the Society’s medalist for his significant contributions to the nation’s security and his roles in the Gulf War, Operation Enduring Freedom, and Operation Iraqi Freedom. The General gave a rousing speech about the state of affairs in our nation, terrorism, and how we can learn from the past. Following the completion of the festivities, members and guests continued to mingle and enjoy each other’s company.
Above left: Katie McMaster and General H. R. McMaster. Above right: 2nd Lieutenant Adrian Thomas Bogart IV, Katie McMaster, Gen. H. R. McMaster, President Andrew Terhune, and Executive Director Sarah Bogart Cooney. Right: 2nd Lieutenant Adrian Thomas Bogart IV, Katie McMaster, General H. R. McMaster, and President Andrew Terhune.
Dr. Charles Gehring Birthday Dinner
N WEDNESDAY EVENING, April 3, 2019, about a dozen members of the Holland Society of New York joined other guests at the Hampton Inn in downtown Albany to celebrate the eightieth birthday of Dr. Charles Gehring and honor Charly’s Angels. Speakers at the joyous
event included author Russell Shorto, New Netherland Institute Vice President Marilyn Douglas, and New Netherland Institute director Stephen McErleane. Dr. David William Voorhees spoke on behalf of the members of The Holland Society. The evening’s highlight was Dr. Gehring’s heartfelt and often humorous address thank-
ing those in attendance for helping celebrate his birthday.
Holland Society members attending Dr. Charles Gehring’s 80th Birthday Celebration. From left to right: Jim Schermerhorn, Douglass Timothy Mabee, William DeWitt, Dr. Charles Gehring, Peter Ten Eyck, Holland Society President Andrew Terhune, Courtney Haff, Dr. David William Voorhees, Kenneth H. Chase, and Rev. Everett L. Zabriskie III.
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In Memoriam Wesley Elsworth Lent Holland Society Member Wesley Elsworth Lent died peacefully in Trumbull, Connecticut, on December 10, 2017, at the age of eighty-four. Mr. Lent was born on October 3, 1933, in the Bronx, New York City, a son of Victor LeRoy Frederick Lent and Ida Amelia Rehfield. He claimed descent from Abraham Rycken, who migrated from Lent, Gelderland, to New Netherland in 1638. Mr. Lent joined the Holland Society in 2013. Mr. Lent graduated from Cornell University in 1955 with a Bachelor of Science in landscape architecture. He was a registered landscape architect in Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. He was a designer and landscape architect with Pound Ridge (New York) Nurseries in 1956–1965, Lawrence LaBriola, Inc., in Eastchester, New York, in 1966–1969, executive vice president of Site-Con Industries Inc., Greenwich, Connecticut, in1969– 1974, landscape architect and principal of Ridgevield Associations, Inc., Stamford, Connecticut, 1974–1981, and principal, Wesley Elsworth Lent, American Society of Landscape Architects, Connecticut, since 1981. His landscape architectural work was featured in many magazines and publications. His greatest professional achievements were designing and building the landscapes for the GTE, Olin-Matheson, and GE Credit Headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut, in addition to winning the AILA Grand Award in residential design. Mr. Lent married Judith Andersen. The couple had two sons, Derek van Lent, born on October 3, 1955, and Douglas Rehfield van Lent, born in 1958 in Mt. Kisco, New York. Mr. Lent divorced and married for his second wife Mary Josephine Franey, September 27, 1969. Joshua H. Lent, born on May 7, 1970, and Rebecca Lent, born on June, 30, 1972. Mr. Lent divorced his seond wife and married third, Marcia Ann Winn, August 10, 1996. His son Douglas preceded him in death on January 20, 2006. Mr. Lent was a member of the Housatonic Valley Association, Connecticut, the Architectural Review Board of Ridgefield, and served on the board of directors of Woodlake, Woodbury, Connecticut, from 1988 to 1996. He also served as president of the Woodlake Tax District, Woodbury, 1990–1993. He was a member of the American Society of Landscape Architects’
residential committee, 1983–1992. Mr. Lent enjoyed fishing, clamming, boating, gardening, camping, creative cuisine, and, most of all, driving in competitive events with sports cars. He also loved to read and was dedicated to the New York Times crossword puzzle for decades. Mr. Lent is survived by his brother Roy Frederick van Lent of Somers, New York, a member of The Holland Society, sons Derek A. van Lent of Block Island, Rhode Island, and Joshua H. Lent of Shelton, Connecticut, both members of The Holland Society, daughter Rebecca S. Kaplan of Trumbull, Connecticut, and six grandchildren. Private services and burial were held at the convenience of the family.
comprehensive family genealogy, adding an addendum volume in 2005. Mr. Rynearson is survived by his son Arthur John Rynearson of Arlington, Virginia. Funeral arrangements were made by Demaine Funeral Home of Fairfax, Virginia. A memorial service was held on June 2, 2018, in the chapel of the Westminster at Lake Ridge Retirement Community, Woodbridge, Virginia.
John Demarest Van Wagoner
Holland Society Member Arthur Preston Rynearson passed away on May 5, 2018, at the Westminster at Lake Ridge Retirement Community in Woodbridge, Virginia, at the age of 101. Mr. Rynearson was born in Flemington, New Jersey, on May 27, 1916, son of Alvin Rynearson and Stella May Eick. He claimed descent from Arent Theuniszen van Hengel, who emigrated in 1653 from Hengel, Gelderland, to New Amsterdam. Mr. Rynearson joined the Holland Society in 1981. Mr. Rynearson was raised in Flemington, New Jersey, where he was active in the children’s choir and concert band and played on his high school’s basketball team. He began his career as an electrician on the Pennsylvania Railroad before taking training as an air conditioning engineer at New York University’s Evening Division. An air conditioning engineer and international businessman, he had lived in Bogota, Colombia; Caracas, Venezuela; and Yonkers and DeWitt, New York, before moving to Woodbridge in 2006. Mr. Rynearson married Kathryn Loraine Langley in 1946. The couple had a son Arthur John Rynearson. His wife predeceased him on November 18, 2008. Mr. Rynearson was an avid sports fan and fisherman. His hobbies included photography, and collecting railroad memorabilia. He was a firm believer in the value to the United States of high-speed rail. Family genealogy, however, became his passion. In 1997, he co-authored with Peter M. Rinearson A Genealogy of the Reyniersen Family, a
Holland Society of New York Honorary Member and former Potomac Branch President John Demarest Van Wagoner II died on August 25, 2018, at his home in McLean, Virginia, at the age of eighty-nine. Mr. Van Wagoner was born on July 21, 1929, in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, son of John Demarest Van Wagoner. He claimed descent from Gerrit Gerritszen, who emigrated from Wageningen, Gelderland, to New Netherland in 1661. Mr. Van Wagoner became a member of The Holland Society in 1958. Mr. Van Wagoner was raised on a tobacco farm in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, moving to Northern Virginia with his family as a teen. From that humble beginning he rose to become a leader in construction and manufacturing industries for over forty-five years. Mr. Van Wagoner was one of two founders of the Prospect group of commercial roofing and waterproofing companies. Through Prospect, he introduced several innovations to the roofing and waterproofing markets in the United States. Prospect worked on many notable buildings in the Washington metropolitan area, such as the National Gallery of Art, East Wing, the National Geographic Society, and the John F. Kennedy Center. Mr. Van Wagoner also co-founded Insulated Building Systems (IBS), a manufacturer of expanded polystyrene insulation. IBS was a market leader in the Mid-Atlantic with a number of products based on polystyrene. IBS manufactured the structural insulated panels used in the construction of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation Headquarters building in Annapolis, Maryland, which received the first Platinum LEEDS rating issued by the U.S. Green Building Council. Another of his companies, GeoTech Systems Corporation, produced the first below-grade prefabricated drainage system for foundation and retaining walls in the United States. Mr. Van Wagoner published numerous technical papers, gave scores of technical
Arthur Preston Rynearson
presentations, and had been issued six U.S. patents and one Canadian patent relating to improvements in his field. He was a member of the American Society for Testing Materials, National Roofing Contractors Association, Washington Building Congress, and Construction Specifications Institute. Mr. Van Wagoner married Dariel Delis in McLean, Virginia, in 1952. The couple had a son David Van Wagoner, born January 25, 1957, and two daughters Vaughn Van Wagoner, and Beth Ann Van Wagoner. His wife, Dariel, predeceased him in 2017. A lifelong Episcopalian, Mr. Van Wagoner was drawn to the majesty of the Washington National Cathedral, where he served on the Cathedral Foundation Chapter as chairman of the Building and Grounds Committee, and on numerous other committees. During his tenure the National Cathedral became the largest Gothic Cathedral in the world to be fully air conditioned. He was also instrumental in the construction of an underground field house and underground parking garage on the cathedral grounds. As a member St. John’s Episcopal Church, Georgetown Parish, for over fifty years, he served as senior warden, vestry member, and chairman of many committees. He and his wife donated a choir room when the church was under reconstruction in 1996, and in 2012, he and his family donated a Casavant Frères pipe organ to the church. He served the Episcopal Diocese of Washington as a member of the Standing Committee and as an alternate deputy to the 1976 General Convention. He served as the treasurer for the Washington Area Refugee Committee in the 1970s, during which time he and his wife became a foster family to two Cambodian refugees. Mr. Van Wagoner was a member of the Order of St. John and was invested as a Knight of Grace by Queen Elizabeth II. The order is a humanitarian charity that furthers the cause of peace in the Middle East, a cause to which he was devoted. Proud of his Dutch heritage, he served as a director of the Netherlands-American Amity Trust and as president of the Potomac Branch of the Holland Society of New York. He also served on the advisory board of the Fairfax County, Virginia, Salvation Army. Mr. Van Wagoner is survived by his son, David Van Wagoner of Davidson, Maryland, a member of the Holland Society, daughters Vaughn Van Wagoner Terpak of Herndon, Virginia, and Beth Ann Lewis of Arlington, Virginia; seven grandchildren; and one great-grandchild. A memorial service was held on September 22, 2018, at St.
John’s Episcopal Church in Georgetown.
Frederick DeBow Fulkerson IV Holland Society of New York Life Member Frederick DeBow Fulkerson IV passed away in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on January 30, 2019, at the age of ninety-five. Mr. Fulkerson was born on September 27, 1923, in St. Joseph, Missouri, son of Frederick DeBouw Fulkerson III and Gertrude Emily Kimmel. He claimed descent from Dirck Volckertzen, who emigrated to New Netherland from Norway in 1632. Mr. Fulkerson joined the Holland Society in 1988. Mr. Fulkerson attended NorthWest Missouri State prior to Japan’s assault on Pearl Harbor, after which he served in the 302nd Training Wing of the Army Air Corp in 1942–1943. Following his discharge, he attended the University of Arizona. After changing majors, he attended the University of Tulsa, from which he received a degree in Petroleum Engineering in 1950. Mr. Fulkerson worked as a logging engineer at Schlumberger Well Services and later in sales and management. He would later work for the Birdwell Division of Seismograph Services, a Raytheon Company, in a management capacity. He retired in 1984. Mr.Fulkerson was a Legion of Honor member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers, Senior Member of the Society of Professional Well Log Analysts, and of Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity. He served on the Alumi Board of University of Tulsa, volunteered at the Boston Ave Helping Hands where he also served as a counselor and pantry manager. Mr. Fulkerson married Myrtle Virginia Banister in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on August 19, 1948. The couple had a son, Frederick DeBoogh Fulkerson, born in Snyder, Texas, on April 19, 1952, and a daughter, Karen Viginia Fulkerson, born in Roswell, New Mexico, on June 7, 1955. He married for his second wife Virginia Lee Baker in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on June 14, 1979. His wife, Virginia, pedeceased him on November 20, 2010. Mr. Fulkerson was a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Tulsa, where he was a deacon and active in the First Pres Retired Men’s Luncheon. In addition to his membership in The Holland Society, he was a member of the Society of the Cincinnati, Sons of the American Revolution where he was a past president of the Tulsa chapter, and the Oklahoma State Society and a
National Trustee, the Order of the Crown of Charlemagne, the Huguenot Society, the Magna Carta Barons, along with other patriotic and historical societies. Mr. Fulkerson is survived by his son Frederick D. Fulkerson of West Fork, Arkansas; daughter Karen Virginia Gower; three grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren. Moore Funeral Homes oversaw funeral arrangements. A memorial service was held on February 7, 2019, at First Presbyterian Church of Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Dean Chapman Durling Jr. Holland Society Member Dean Chapman Durling Jr. passed away from complications of a past injury on February 22, 2019, at his home in Whitehouse Station, New Jersey, at the age of thirty-six. He was born on March 24,1982, son of Dean Chapman Durling and Donna Dufek. He claimed descent from Jan Gerritse Dorlandt, who arrived in New Netherlamd in 1652. Mr. Durling joined the Holland Society in 2003. Mr. Durling was raised on his family’s farm, “Buttonwood.” He was a graduate of Blair Academy, Blairstown, New Jersey, and Far Hills Country Day School, Far Hills, New Jersey. He attended Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida, where he received a Bachelor of Arts in hospitality. A skilled carpenter, he worked in the construction and store maintenance division of the family-owned business, QuickChek. As a child, Mr. Chapman was a skilled horseback rider, hunting with the Essex Fox Hounds. He also was an accomplished ski-racer, competing on the varsity ski team during his years at Blair, earning numerous awards. He spent winters as a ski instructor at Stratton, Vermont, where his family had a second home. In addition to skiing, Mr. Chapman’s exceled at ice hockey, waterskiing, and surfing. He played tennis, loved a good game of golf, and enjoyed skeet shooting. He was a member of the Essex Hunt Club, the Bay Head Yacht Club, and Somerset Hills Country Club. He also loved to cook and entertain. Mr. Chapman is survived by his father, Dean Chapman Durling, a member of The Holland Society, mother, Donna, stepmother, Liz Durling, and siblings Jonathan Durling, a member of The Holland Society, Ngaere Durling, Oliver Durling, and Margaret Durling, all of Whitehouse Station. Services were held on February 28, 2019, at the Rockaway Reformed Church in Whitehouse Station, New Jersey.
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