October 30, 2014

Jan Corneliszen Damen In The New World Part 3

Several years ago I wrote an article for publication in New Netherland Connections. it was about my 9th great-grandfather Jan Damen who left Bunnik Netherland for the New World of New Netherland (present day New York state) in the mid 17th century. Jan settled in Long Island New York and married Sophia (Fytie) Martens.


Five Members of the Utrecht Brotherhood of Jerusalem Pilgrims by Jan van Scorel ca 1541
Far right: My 13th great grandfather Jan Damen 1515-1569,
2nd great grandfather of Jan Damen 1638-1707 
Five Members of the Utrecht Brotherhood of Jerusalem Pilgrims
painting by Jan van Scorel ca 1541

I have decided to republish the first 3 pages of my article here on my Olive Tree Genealogy blog.  I hope that descendants of Jan and other genealogists enjoy this story of Jan's life in New York. This is Part 3, continuing on from Part 1 and 2
 
Jan Corneliszen Damen In The New World

by Lorine McGinnis Schulze
 
In 1679 Jan Damen and wife Sophia Martensz., both from Bushwick, were accepted as members of the Reformed Dutch Church in Breuckelen.[1]  On Sept. 1, 1680, less than one month after their daughter Sophia was baptised, her mother Sophia was apparently sick enough to warrant the writing of a will. In the joint will she and Jan made, Sophia's condition was  recorded as "...at present being very sick in bed".[2]

In this will Jan and Sophia left everything to each other with the land in Breuckelen specifically named as well as other lands whose location is not given.[3] Jan's cousin Jan Cornelise Buys was one of the three witnesses to this will.  (Sophia not only recovered, she went on to bear three more children in the next seven years.)



Jan Damen was very active in the Church and community, and on 21 November 1682, at approximately 47 years of age, he was elected Elder of the Breuckelen Church and confirmed there on 24th December.[4]  In a 1683 will for John Smith of Bedford he is named as "Jan Damen, Constable". [5] After serving the usual two-year period as Church Elder, Jan was replaced by Willem Bennet on 19 November 1684.[6]



1686 saw Jan on the move once again - this time purchasing the main portion of the farm of  the deceased Pieter Ceser Alburtis at the Wallabout.[7]  In September 1687 Jan Damen"off Breucklijn" signed the Oath of Allegiance to the King and was recorded as being in the country for a period of 37 years.[8] This confirms his arrival date of 1651.


[1] Translated & Edited by David William Voorhees, Records of the Reformed Protestant Dutch Church of Flatbush, Kings Co. NY Vol. I 1677-1720,  (Published by The Holland Society of New York, 1998) p. 363 (Hereafter called Flat.Voor)
[2] Abstracts of Wills Vol I 1665-1707 p. 426 (Liber 7, p. 332)
[3] ibid: "The survivor is to have the full use of all the estate in Brookland [sic] and elsewhere"
[4] Flat.Voor. Elections of Elders and Deacons 1677-1706: p 205
[5] LISr: Kings Co. Wills. p. 105
[6] Flat.Voor. Elections of Elders and Deacons 1677-1706 p. 209
[7] LISr: Kings County Deeds. P. 76. This land is described as "...lying in Walebought or Marewich where Pieter Monffort at the East side and Michiele Picett at the west side stretching alonge the middow fifty seaven rodd and along the land of Pieter Montford southward into the woods in length 270 rodd and after in the bosch broad seven and fifty rodd and then again to the middow north along Michiele Fransman [Michel the French man, meaning Michel Picett] to the middow 270 rodd amounting 24 morgen 450 rodd.."
[8] The Documentary History of the State of New York 4 vols. E. B. O'Callaghan Vol 1"Roll off Those Who have taken the oath off Allegiance in the Kings County in the Province of New Yorke the 26,27,28, 29 and 30th day of  September in the Third Yeare of His Maytsh [sic] Raigne Annoque Domine 1687" (Hereafter called DHNY)

October 29, 2014

Pennsylvania Death Records Online & Free to PA Residents

The Pennsylvania State Archives and Ancestry.com have collaborated to bring more than seven million Pennsylvania death records online. This collection contains all publicly available death records in the Pennsylvania State Archives from 1906 until 1963. 

Pennsylvania Death Records Online & Free to PA Residents
Screen Shot of Search Box for Pennsylvania Death Certificates
Best of all the collection is free to all Pennsylvania residents. 

Apparently you can obtain your free Ancestry.com Pennsylvania account by starting your search at the Pennsylvania Death Certificates search box and entering your Pennsylvania zip code when prompted to sign up for a free account.

October 28, 2014

Gregorius Wildbore: Now That's a Name!

Gregorius Wildbore. It has a certain strength when you say it out loud. I imagine the man who had this name bestowed on him - strong, tall, a brave warrior...... but in all likelihood he was short, thin and stoop-shouldered from years of toil. 

Gregorius was my 11th Great-grandfather on my maternal side, and he was born ca 1550 in Kent England, probably in Thanet. I suspect he was a farmer, struggling to grow a few crops in the tiny parish town of St. Mary Minster, for that is where he married, raised his 7 known children, and died in 1606.

Gregorius Wildbore: Now That's a Name!
1571 Marriage Georgig (Gregorius) Wildbore & Alice Pamphlett (bottom line)

Gregorius Wildbore: Now That's a Name!
1606 Burial of Gregorius Wildbore (bottom line)
I am lucky to have found a copy of Gregorius' will but it is not easy reading. In the will he is named as George Wildbore which is a bit of a letdown from the romantic notion of a strong and regal Gregorius. But reality is reality and I know that Gregorius was just the Latin rendition of his very ordinary name.

Gregorius Wildbore: Now That's a Name!
1606 Will of George Wildbore
Larger PDF file is available for anyone wanting to give reading his will a try. The bottom section of the will is  here
In his will, which I have struggled with for many years, I have only been able so far to read "Alice my wife and Edward Wildbore my son" (Edward, who was baptised in 1580, is my 10th great-grandfather) and "Joan [Colly?] the wife of Thomas [Colly?]" and "Jerome Wildbore my son". 

Perhaps one day I will be able see the original again instead of the print I made from the original microfilm where I first found the will.

I spent time last week searching online church and parish records for Thanet Kent and have had fun and success (a good combination!) with my mother's British roots. Her family lineage goes back to 1500s Ramsgate Kent area for the most part and I have not done a lot of research on them before. It's a good feeling to organize my notes from years past and acquire copies of original cerificates to add to a book I am putting together for my children. 

It is fascinating to me to learn that Minster in Thanet originally started as a monastic settlement in 670AD. The parish church of St. Mary-the-Virgin was built during Norman times. It is quite possible that my ancestors go back to this time. I have literally dozens of surnames of ancestors who lived and died in this small area from at least the early 1500s to mid 1800s.

Not much housework or mundane chores are getting done this week in our household as I am treating myself to a week of genealogy research right here at home! If you have not done this I urge you to set aside a few days or a week and devote yourself to organizing your previous research and looking for new items to add to your tree.

October 27, 2014

The 1870 Facey Hymn Book Goes to a New Home

A tiny prayer and hymn book has been passed down in my husband's family since 1870. A few weeks ago it came to my husband. It was given by his 3rd great grandfather Edmund (Edwin) Facey to his wife Mary Little in West Nissouri Ontario on January 25, 1870.

The 1870 Facey Hymn Book Goes to a New Home
We are not sure of the significance of the date or what event it might have celebrated. Edmund Facey was born in September 1813 in St. Winnow, Cornwall England and married Mary Little in February 1841 in Stoke Damerol, Devon England. 

Mary's date of birth was May 1814 in St. Pinnock, Cornwall England. In 1852 the family left England for Ingersoll Ontario Canada. 

By December 1865 they had settled in W. Nissouri Tp. Middlesex Co. Ontario. It was just 4 years later when Edmund gave Mary this tiny book. It has been well-used and well-loved over the years!





The 1870 Facey Hymn Book Goes to a New Home
Mary Facey, West Nissouri, Ont. from Edwin Jan. 25, 1870
 The line of descent is from Edmund & Mary (Little Facey) to their grandaughter Mary Louisa Facey who was born in 1882 in W. Nissouri. Mary Louisa married William Elgie in 1904. 

The book then passed to either  their daughter Florence or Verda Luella, my husband's grandmother. My husband's mother was the next to receive the book and now it is my husband's turn to treasure it and pass it on to the next generation.


October 26, 2014

No. 2 of My Top Ten Genealogy Mysteries

My Top 10 Genealogy Mysteries
A Facebook friend recently posted her top 10 Genealogy Mysteries.  They aren't brick walls because there is probably an answer somewhere, just waiting to be found. 

 I thought this was a great idea and I am following suit with my Top 10 Genealogy Mysteries. Of course any help or suggestions for further research are welcome. 

Here is my Number 2 of 10 Genealogy Mysteries:

Maria Bradt 1713 - ?  

Maria Bradt is my 6th great grandmother. I know very little about her. She was baptised on 24 May 1713 in Albany New York to parents Storm Bradt and Sophia Uziele

In 1732 Maria bore an illegitimate child.  A son Isaac was baptised on 17 December 1732 in Schoharie New York. He was recorded in the Dutch Reformed Church records as Falkenburg [sic], after his father Isaac Van Valkenburg. Little Isaac's paternal grandparents were the sponsors at his baptism. 

The record reads:

Dec. 17 1732. Mother Maria Bradden [sic] daughter of Storm. Child Isaac Falkenburg. Sponsors: Isaac Falkenburg and his wife Lydia [this is Lydia Van Slyke]


The mystery: What happened to Isaac's mother Maria Bradt? I have found nothing further on her after this baptism in 1732. 

Her son Isaac Van Valkenburg fled to Canada as a Loyalist during the American Revolution and his surname, as well as those of his children, changed to Vollick (aka Follick) 

October 25, 2014

Nursing Sister Phillips WW1 Photo Album 2V 1

This Photo Archive consists of a small autograph album (6.5" by 5.25") kept by Constance (Connie) Philips as a memento of her time serving as a nurse during World War One.  

The majority of the photos and items are from 1915, when she served as a nurse in France and Britain. 

The album and all photographs, postcards, and other ephemera contained in the album belong to Karin Armstrong and may not be copied or republished without her written permission. The images will be published on Olive Tree Genealogy with permission. 

Each image has been designated an "R" for Recto or a "V" for Verso plus an album page number. Recto is the right-hand side page of a bound book while Verso is the left-hand side page. 

I will be posting the entire album and my additional research on the individuals identified in Connie's album over the coming months so please check back frequently to view these historic photos. The easiest way to see what has been published is to click on the topic "Nursing Sister WW1 Photos" in the vertical menu bar on the right side of your screen. You can also click on that phrase at the bottom of this post.

Nursing Sister Phillips WW1 Photo Album 2V 1
 Group of soldiers and nurses


There are no names with this group photo of nurses and patients in WW1

October 24, 2014

Jan Corneliszen Damen In The New World Part 2

Several years ago I wrote an article for publication in New Netherland Connections. it was about my ancestor and 9th great-grandfather Jan Damen who left Bunnik Netherland for the New World of New Netherland (present day New York state) in the mid 17th century. Jan settled in Long Island New York and married Sophia (Fytie) Martens.


Five Members of the Utrecht Brotherhood of Jerusalem Pilgrims by Jan van Scorel ca 1541
Far right: My 13th great grandfather Jan Damen 1515-1569,
2nd great grandfather of Jan Damen 1638-1707 
Five Members of the Utrecht Brotherhood of Jerusalem Pilgrims
painting by Jan van Scorel ca 1541

My article Jan Corneliszen Damen In The New World was published on pages 47-56 of Volume 4, number 2 (May 1999) as a companion piece to another article called The Nephews of Jan Jansz Damen by Dorothy Koenig and Pim Nieuwenhuis in Volume 4, Number 2 May 1999 pages 36-39. The two nephews discussed were Jan Cornelisz Buys (aka Damen) who had three wives, 1) Eybe Lubberts, 2) Phebe Sales, and 3) Willemptje Thyssen; and his first cousin (my ancestor), Jan Cornelisz Damen, who married Fytje Martens. 

I have decided to republish the first 3 pages of my article here on my Olive Tree Genealogy blog.  I hope that descendants of Jan and other genealogists enjoy this story of Jan's life in New York. This is Part 2, continuing on from Part 1
 
Jan Corneliszen Damen In The New World

by Lorine McGinnis Schulze

The first child we have a baptismal record for is Marte, baptised in 1661, and his growing family may have prompted Jan's purchase of a farm in August 1662. The farm, formerly that of Cornelis Hendrickse Van Eens, was on the west side of the road in Flatbush.[1]

Three of Jan and Sophia's children were baptised in the Reformed Dutch Church in Breuckelen between July 1661 and February 1663. One month later, in March, Jan and twenty-eight other inhabitants of Breuckelen presented a petition to the Council of New Netherland, requesting land for a new village to be situated nearby[2].  The following year, in August 1664, Jan sold the farm in Flatbush to Claes Melles Baes.[3] He and Sophia now had four young children under the age of 5, and Sophia may have been pregnant with Cornelia who was probably born next in 1665 or 1666.  By 1667 he had a tavern in Brooklyn.[4]



            In 1674, Sophia Martens stood as a sponsor at the baptism of Jan Damen's cousin Jan Cornelise Buys' son Thys (by his third wife Willemtie Thyssen). Thys was baptised 14 January in New York Reformed Dutch Church.[5] The sponsors' names were recorded as Jan Corneliszen Ryck and Sytke Martens. Totten provides a footnote that this is Jan Cornelise Damen and his wife Sophia but there is no evidence to support the notion that Jan ever used the name "Ryck".[6]



Jan was recorded as a member of the Reformed Dutch Church of Breuckelen, and living at the Wallabout, in 1677.[7] His name appears on a patent of Breuckelen this same year.[8] Sophia stood again as a baptismal sponsor in 1678 in New York at the baptism of Harmen, son of Harmen Reynierszen and his wife Jannetie.[9]


[1] Register, in Alphabetical Order, of the Early Settlers of Kings County, Long Island NY From its First Settlement by Europeans to 1700 by Teunis G. Bergen (Hereafter called KCo.) p. 83. See p. 143 Lib B  Flatbush records
[2] A History of the City of Brooklyn; including the Old Town and Village of Brooklyn, the Town of Bushwick and the Village and City of Williamsburgh by Stiles, 1867, V. I pp 119-120.
[3] KCo. p 83. See p. 7 Lib D  Flatbush records
[4] Long Island Source Records excerpted from the NYGBR by Henry B. Hoff. 1987 (Hereafter called LISr) Genealogical Gleanings from Book No. 2 of Conveyances, Brooklyn, Kings Co. NY. P. 58 "Jan Cornelise Buys aged 38 years" acknowledges he heard "in the house of John Damon, tavern keeper in Brooklyn"
[5] RDCNY. 1877 V8:2 p 80. 1674 14 Jan; Jan Corn. Buys, Willemtie Thyssen; Matthys; Jan Corneliszen Ryck, Sytie Martens
[6] Jan Cornelisz. (de) Ryk and Marittje Gerritse baptised children in the New York Reformed Dutch Church between 1658 and 1666. Jan Cornelisz. Damen and Sophia Martens baptised children in the same time period.
[7] KCo. p 83
[8] ibid
[9] RDCNY. 1877 V8:4 p. 170 1678: 30 Jan;  Harmen Retnierszen, Jannetie Cortois; Harmen; Hendrick Claeszen, Fytie Martens

October 23, 2014

Tricks to Deciphering Old Handwriting

This question came from Allison


Are you able to decipher this Place of Residence from an Army Record?

 Olive Tree Genealogy response: Without seeing the entire page or pages to compare letter formations and without knowing the country of origin of the original record, I can only give my best "guess". I believe the entry might be "Chelsea and Essex" 

This is a good time and place to explain that when you are trying to decipher challenging handwriting there are a few simple methods you should use.

1. Compare other words and letters in the record. For example in this case, how does the scribe make an upper case "C" - is it the same as the word I believe is Chelsea? What about upper case "E"? How does he write a double "s" (ss) Does it look like the word I think is Essex? You may have to look a few pages ahead or before to get a good overall comparison of letter formations used.

2. Print the challenging bit. Put a blank paper over it and trace it (do this several times) Then look at your tracing. Often the words or letters become clear. 

3. Consider the record source. What country is it for? That will help you figure out possibilities for locations. Even better if you know a more specific area. For example if I know a record is for the County of Simcoe in Ontario Canada and not for Kent County in England or New York State in USA I can narrow the possible location names in the record.  Also different countries wrote their letters in different ways. German writing for example is very different from American or British.

4. It helps to know the date of the record. Handwriting changed over centuries and thus a word written a certain way in for example 1630 will not be written the same way in 1730 or 1830 and so on. 

If Allison wants to send me the complete page I'd be glad to take another look but for now I have to go with "Chelsea and Essex" So my assumption is that this is a U.K. record of some sort but it would help to know the source of the record

UPDATE: I love that my readers are way better than me at reading old handwriting! Chelmsford Essex was given by many and I believe they are correct. Thanks everyone