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.

No comments:

Post a Comment