Saturday, October 22, 2011

Vlamingen in Nieuw Nederland

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I recently gave a talk called "Vlamingen in Nieuw Nederland" [Flemings in New Netherland]. It is too long (150 slides) to reprint here. But I do feel that select bits might be of interest - especially the original research. So below, please kindly find a few snippets from my "Vlamingen in Nieuw Nederland" talk.

The Flemish in New Netherland
As regular readers may be aware, in multiple other posts on this blog I have chronicled the Flemish contribution to the inspiration, financing, discovery and development of New Netherland. Here I would like to offer a bit of color on the Flemish settlement of Nieuw Nederland. By this I mean who some of these Flemings were, where did they come from, and what percentage of the population did they represent?

Unfortunately, surviving records are neither thorough nor complete. However, historians in the past have attempted to give us some sense of the Flemish settlers in Nieuw Nederland. In an article ("How Dutch Were the Dutch of New Netherland?", pp.43-60) in the January, 1981 issue of the New York History Journal, David Steven Cohen studied the records of 904 immigrants who came to Nieuw Nederland between 1624 and 1664. Of the 904, only 31 (e.g., 3%) came from areas we would call part of Flanders. Specifically, his breakdown (Table 2, "Place of Origin of 904 Immigrants to New Netherland") looks like this:

Antwerp: 5
Leuven: 2
Brugge: 4
Ieper: 2
Other: 18

Total: 31

It is unclear which names were included as well as the source for Mr. Cohen's data. Yet it is clear that he missed a number of Flemish immigrants to Nieuw Nederland. Moreover, he neglected to count children of Flemish refugees who had settled in France, Germany, England and elsewhere as anything other than Dutch.

Just to give one example, Gwenn F. Epperson in her book New Netherland Roots (Genealogical Publishing Co., 1994), offers this observation about one of her ancestors. "Regardless of the voluminous material suggesting a Dutch background for the Ten Eyck family of New York, a Dutch acquaintance remarked, 'Ten Eyck is not a Dutch name!'" [p.125]. She then proceeds to show that the Ten Eyck and Boel families had emigrated en masse from Antwerp to Cologne and surrounding villages in the 1589-1590 period (because the Spanish general Duke of Alva required all Protestants to convert or flee). Later these same families emigrated again to Amsterdam (1610-1630s) before again uprooting themselves to Nieuw Nederland (1640s & 1650s).

Below are the places of origin together with the decade and Flemish surnames that I have compiled of select New Netherland settlers.

Aalst 1640-1649: Joosten
Aecken 1640-1649: Vincent; 1650-1659: Van Coster;
Antwerp 1610-1619: Hontom, ‘t Kindt, and Vogel; 1620-1629: Provoost; 1630-1639: Van Antwerpen; 1640-1649: Boel, Ten Eyck & Melijn; 1650-1659: Schoof, Van Antwerpen & Van Cleef ; 1660-1669: de la Warde, Harsingh, Paulussen & Verelle; 1670-1679: Schampf.
Bael/Belle 1630-1639: Van der Linde
Brugge 1620-1629: Van Brugge; 1640-1649: Verbrugge; 1650-1659: Verbrugge Stephenszen, & Tibout; 1660-1669: Aerts & Cocquyt; 1670-1679: Jacobs.
Brussel 1650-1659: Farmont & Vander Linden
Damme 1650-1659: Van Damme
Deinze 1640-1649: Beekman
Dendermonde 1640-1649: Van der Voort
Duynkercken 1660-1669: Journay & Stilteel
Flanders 1620-1629: Bogaert ; 1660-1669: Enjart & Parmentier
Gent 1630-1639: de Pauw ; 1650-1659: de Beauvois & Van Sycklin
Herenthals 1650-1659: Cobus
Hasselt 1650-1659: Follenaer; 1660-1669: Rombout
Hoboken 1620-1629: Van Hoboken; 1660-1669: Van Hoboken
Hulst 1620-1629: Verhulst
Ieper 1650-1659: de Mille & Meynaerts;
Kortrijk 1650-1659: Willays; 1660-1669: Van Kortryk
Leuven 1650-1659: Couverts & Corbesye & Mettermans ; 1660-1669: Van Leuven & Vanschure
Lier 1660-1669: Evertszen;
Limburg 1640-1649: Nagel
Lokeren 1650-1659: Evertsen
Maldegem 1630-1639: Bidloo/Bedlow
Mardyk 1660-1669: Journee
Mechelen 1650-1659: de Sille
Oudenaarde 1620-1629: Thienpont; 1660-1669: Vanderbeke
Overpelt 1660-1669: Van Pelt
Sluys 1660-1669: Pieters
St Laurens 1650-1659: Van Langevelt;
Straboeck 1650-1659: Thomaszen
Tongeren 1660-1669: Doske
Turnhout 1630-1639: Loockermans; 1650-1659: Cobus; 1660-1669: Loockermans, Muller & Van der Baest
Zandvoorde 1660-1669: Abrahamsen
Zele 1670-1679: Croucheron

To place the same data in a slightly different format, notice the influx by decade from the various cities across today's Flemish region:

1610-1629: Hontom, ‘t Kindt, and Vogel (all Antwerp) + others…
1620-1629: Van Brugge (Brugge), Van Hoboken (Hoboken), Provoost (Turnhout), and Bogaert (unknown Flanders), Thienpont (Oudenaarde), & Verhulst (Hulst);
1630-1639: Van Antwerpen (Antwerp), Van der Linde (Belle/Bael), de Pauw (Gent), Bidloo/Bedlow (Maldegem), Loockermans (Turnhout)
1640-1649: Joosten (Aalst), Vincent (Aecken), Boel, Ten Eyck & Melijn (Antwerp), Verbrugge (Brugge), Beekman (Deinze), Van der Voort ( Dendermonde), Nagel (Limburg)
1650-1659: Van Coster (Aecken), Schoof, Van Antwerpen & Van Cleef (Antwerp), Verbrugge Stephenszen, & Tibout (Brugge), Farmont & Vander Linden, (Brussel), Van Damme
(Damme), de Beauvois & Van Sycklin (Gent), Follenaer (Hasselt), Cobus (Herenthals), de Mille
& Meynaerts (Ieper), Willays (Kortrijk), Couverts & Corbesye & Mettermans (Leuven),
Evertsen (Lokeren), de Sille (Mechelen), Bedlow/Bidloo (Maldegem), Van Langevelt (St. Laurens), Thomaszen (Straboeck).
1660-1669: de la Warde, Harsingh, Paulussen & Verelle (Antwerp), Aerts & Cocquyt (Brugge), Journay & Stilteel (Duynkercken), Rombout (Hasselt), Van Hoboken (Hoboken), Kortryk (Kortrijk), Van Leuven & Vanschure (Leuven), Evertszen (Lier), Journee (Mardyk) Vanderbeke (Oudenaarde), Van Pelt (Overpelt), Pieters (Sluys), Doske, (Tongeren), Loockermans, Muller & Van der Baest (Turnhout), Abrahamsen (Zandvoorde), Enjart & Parmentier (Flanders);
1670-1679: Schampf (Antwerp), Jacobs (Brugge), Croucheron (Zele)

As one can see, the origins of these Flemish immigrants to Nieuw Nederland spans the entire range of the modern-day Flemish region, as well as areas that were Flemish then but since 1689 occupied by France. the important point here is that my list is not exhaustive but it does suggest that a broad swathe of New Netherland had Flemish roots.

If one digs deeper into the origins of New Netherland settlers, one finds that a substantial number came from cities that in 1622 had a heavy composition of "Zuidnederlanders": immigrants from Flanders and Wallonia. These first generation Dutchmen still considered themselves Flemings. Consider the Hondius family. Judocus Hondius - Flemish Father of America and the man who acted as the interpreter for Henry Hudson in preparation for the famous voyage to 'discover' the Hudson River valley - was born in Wakken, near Gent (Ghent). While a young man, he fled (in 1584) for London and lived there at least 16 years. His son Henricus Hondius was likely born in England (in 1593) but raised in Amsterdam and may not have ever set foot in Flanders. Yet, in 1630, long after his father's death, pointedly included the title "Flandriae" above his father's likeness in a famous world map (see above, lower right corner of the map or click here).

The Hondius family was likely not alone in this attachment to their Flemish roots. As a point of reference, see the following table. What it shows is the % of immigrants (overwhelmingly although not exclusivelky from the Southern Netherlands) in 1622. The source is J.G.C. Briels, Zuidnederlanders in de Republiek, 1572-1630.

Note that in Leiden and Middleburg Zuidnederlanders constituted more than 60% of the population. In Haarlem, the 50%+ Flemish immigration had such a powerful impact that the local dialect pronunciations changed to conform to Flemish usage (de schlachte 'g'). Even Amsterdam counted about a third of the population as Zuidnederlander.

Nor were these Flemings simple farmers, soldiers, and tradesmen. Of course, there were plenty of these solid citizens (I offer brief vignettes on somne of the Gentenaars in Nieuw Nederland here). But a disproportionate number of the Flemings in Nieuw Nederland actually ran things. For example, the advisory governing councils (variously, "Twelve Men", "Eight Men", or "Nine Men"), the Schepens (aldermen/mayors), Schout (sheriffs), Notaris (notaries), Schoolmasters and Predikanten (preachers) were of Flemish origin.

1641-1642 : “Twelve Men” – includes 2 from Antwerp & 1 from VL
1643-1645 : “Eight Men” – 2 Antwerpenaars & 1 married to Turnhouter
1645-1653 : “Nine Men” Bruggeling, Turnhouter & 1 married to a Turnhouter, descendants of Deinze, Antwerp
1653-1674 : ”Mayors” – descendants of Bruggelings, Gentenaars, Deinze, and 1 married to a Turnhouter
1656-1674 : Schepen Turnhouter, descendants of Antwerpenaar, Bruggeling, Gentenaar, Deinze, and 1 married to a Turnhouter
1623-1674 : Schout-Fiscaal Fleming, Mechelenaar, descendants of Antwerpenaar, Deinze, and 2 married to Antwerpenaar/Turnhouter
1633-1674 : Notaris Herenthals
1633-1674 : ”Schoolmasters” 2 Antwerpenaars, & descendant of
1628-1674 - Predikanten– descendants of Genetenaar, and 1 married to Antweerpenaar

Still, although Flemings in Nieuw Nederland were clearly both present and influential, they were not numerous. Perhaps, as in the northern Netherlands, they numbered 10% of the total population. Or maybe David Steven Cohen's assessment is accurate and the Flemish share of New Netherland's population hovered closer to 3% of the total. Regardless of the percentage (and no one knows for sure), the Flemish were present in Nieuw Nederland and played a significant role in the development of this "Dutch" colony.

Permit me then to take one final stab at the Flemish population of Nieuw Nederland. It is little better than my educated guess. But it sets the stage for future posts where I hope to offer bios of some of the prominent Flemings in Nieuw Nederland.

All Colonies Later Part of the United States

of Which in Nieuw Nederland

of Which Flemings

Year Population
1625 1,980 ca 150? ca 20?
1628 ------ ca 270 ca 30?
1630 ------ ca 300 ca 35?
1640 ------ ca 500 ca 60?
1641 50,000 -------- --------
1650 ------ ca 800-1000 ca 100?
1664 ------ ca 9,000* ca 500?
1688 200,000 (* “of which 3,000 were English"
1702 270,000 - Dillen, Van Rijckdom, p173)
1715 435,000 -------- --------
1749 1,000,000 -------- --------
1754 1,500,000 -------- --------
1765 2,200,000 -------- --------
1775 2,400,000 By 1775 the “Dutch” poputation of America was ca 80,000

Copyright 2011 by David Baeckelandt. No reproduction without my express, written consent.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Establishment of Nieuw Nederland

This post will be a brief one. Last night I gave a presentation at De Orde van den Prince in New York City called "Vlamingen in Nieuw Nederland". It is a superb group that deserves sponsorship.

My presentation is in powerpoint and for those of you interested in it, please contact me and I will send it to you.

That said, I am posting today because it is the anniversary of the granting of the right to trade in North America to group of Northern and Southern Netherlanders (i.e., Flemings) based in Amsterdam. These adventurers, who even before Emanuel Van Meteren's publication of Hudson's voyage in 1611, swarmed the Hudson River estuary trading and fighting for animal (especially beaver) pelts, were the creators of the name "Nieuw Nederland" (New Netherlands). Below I post the English translation of the document by E.B. O'Callaghan. The names in bold are Zuidnederlanders (Flemings).

"On October 11, 1614 ”The united company by whom they had been employed, lost no time in taking the steps necessary to secure to themselves the exclusive trade of the countries thus explored, which was guarantied to them by the ordnance of the 27th of March [1614]. They sent deputies immediately to the Hague, who laid before the States General a report of their discoveries, as required by law, with a figurative map of the newly explored countries, which now, for the first time, obtained the name of ‘New Netherland.’ A special grant in favor of the interested parties was forthwith accorded by their High Mightinesses, in the following terms:

'The States General of the United Netherlands to all to whom these presents shall come, greeting. Whereas Gerrit Jacob Witsen, former burgomaster of the city of Amsterdam, Jonas Witsen and Simon Morissen, owners of the ship called the Little Fox (het vosje), Captain Jan de Witt, master; Hans Hongers, Paul Pelgrom, and Lambrecht van Tweenhuysen, owners of the two ships called the Tiger and the Fortune, Captains Adriaen Block and Hendrick Christiaensen, masters; Arnoudt van Lybergen, Wessel Schenk, Hans Claessen, and Barent Sweetsen, owners of the ship Nightengale, (Nochtegael), Capt. Thuys Volckertsen, merchant in the city of Amsterdam, master; and Pieter Clementsen Brouwer, Jan Clementsen Kies, and Cornelis Volckertsen, merchants in the city of Hoorn, owners of the ship the Fortune, Capt. Cornelis Jacobsen Mey, master, have united into one company, and have shown to Us, by their petition, that after great expenses and damages, by loss of ships and other perils, during the present year, they, with the abovenamed five ships, have discovered certain new lands, situated in America, between New France and Virginia, being the seacoasts between 40 and 45 degrees of latitude, and now called New Netherland:'

'And whereas, they further represent that We did, in the month of March, publish, for the promotion and augmentation of commerce, a certain consent and grant, setting forth that whosoever should discover new havens, lands, places, or passages, should be permitted exclusively to visit and navigate the same for four voyages, without permitting any other persons out of the United Netherlands to visit or frequent such newly discovered places, until the said discoverers shall have performed four voyages, within the space of time prescribed to them for that purpose, under the penalties therein expressed, &c., and request that We should be pleased to accord to them due testimony of the aforesaid grant in the usually prescribed form: '

'Wherefore, the premises having been considered, and We, in our Assembly, having communication of the pertinent report of the petitioners relative to the discoveries and finding of the said new countries between the abovenamed limits and degrees, and also of their adventures, have consented and granted, and by these presents do consent and grant, to the said petitioners, now united into one company, that they shall be permitted exclusively to visit and navigate the above described lands, situate[d] in America, between New France and Virginia, the seacoasts of which lie between the 40th and 45th degrees of latitude, and which are now named New Netherland, as is to be seen on the figurative maps by them prepared; and to navigate, or caise to be navigated, the same four voyages, within the period of three years, to commence from the first day of January, 1615, or sooner, without it being permitted, directly or indirectly, to any one else to sail, to frequent, or to navigate, out of the United Netherlands, those newly discovered lands, havens, or places, within the space of three years, as above, on penalty of the confiscation of the vessel and cargo, besides a fine of fifty thousand Netherlands ducats, for the benefit of said discoverers.

'Provided, however, that by these presents We do not intend to prejudice or diminish any of our former grants and concession; and it is also our intentionthat if any disputes or differences should arise from these concessions, that they shall be decided by ourselves. '

'We, therefore, expressly command all governors, justices, officers, magistrates, and inhabitants, of the aforesaid United Netherlands, that they allow said company peacefully and quietly to enjoy the whole benefit of this our grant, and to interpose no difficulties or obstacles to the welfare of the same. Given at the Hague, under our seal, paraph, and the signature of our Secretary, on the 11th day of October, 1614.'”

- E.B. O’Callaghan, History of New Netherland, pp.74-76

Copyright 2011 by David Baeckelandt. All rights reserved. No reproduction without my explicit, written consent.