Wednesday, November 30, 2011

George Norbury MacKenzie

 Who was George N. MacKenzie?

He was the editor of a series of books that was published in the early twentieth century on colonial families of the United States. These volumes contained genealogies of early families. Unfortunately, I found much of the information in these volumes to be full of errors. Most recently, I found a tree that referenced Everardus Bogardus and Anneke Jans.

Everardus Bogardus is called the first minister of the Dutch Reformed Church in New Amsterdam in Colonial Families of the United States of America, Volume I (George Norbury MacKenzie, Editor). This is not correct. In fact, the entire paragraph on Page 224 is full of errors. The paragraph reads:

"Dominie Everardus Bogardus, d. 1647; m. 21st June, 1642, Anneka Jans Roeloff; he was a native of Holland and the first minister of the Dutch Church at New Amsterdam; he obtained a grant of six acres on Manhattan Island, which afterwards became Trinity Church property; his wife Anneka Jans, was a granddaughter of Prince William of Orange, who afteward became King of Holland."

At the time that his book was compiled (1912), in the United States, the Netherlands was often called Holland, This is not really accurate as Holland could refer to one of two provinces, Noord Holland and Zuid Holland. Domine Bogardus was native of Utrecht Province.

Everardus was the second Reformed Dutch minister at New Amsterdam, not the first.

Bogardus did not marry Anneke Jans in 1642. The line in the book following the passage cited above states that Bogardus' son William married August 26, 1659. (See note below.) If Everardus and Anneke married in 1642, Willem would be about 16 or younger when he married.

Looking at the baptismal and marriage records in New Amsterdam in the 1600s, I find it highly unlikely that Willem Bogardus was married at such a young age. Males typically married in their early 20s.The baptismal records begin with the baptism of Jacob Wolpherttz's daughter, Neeltje on September 23, 1639. I found a record of the baptism of Cornelis Bogardus on October 9, 1640, of Jonas Bogardus on January 4, 1643, and of Pieter Bogardus on April 2, 1645.

Anneke Jans and Everardus Bogardus were clearly married before October 9, 1640. Willem Bogardus was their eldest child and was likely born before September, 1639, the date of the first entry in the Doop Book.The records of the city include an entry in which Anneke Jans, wife of Everardus Bogardus sold a hog on October 19, 1638.

It was In 1642 that Anneke Jans' daughter from her first marriage married Hans Kierstede. It was at the celebration of this marriage that Everardus Bogardus was able to garner enough pledges to be able to erect a permanent structure for his church.

The property mentioned in the paragraph did become the property of the Trinity Church in New York City and was the subject of legal battles beginning in the mid-eighteenth century and culminating in the early twentieth century. The descendants never prevailed in their several suits. The reasons are well documented.

Anneka is not the way that Anneke Jans' name was recorded. This is not the way this given name was spelled during this period. Anneke, Annetie, Annetje and Annetjen is the way this name was recorded. She was never Anneka Jans Roeloffs. That would have meant that she was the daughter of Roeloff. And that brings me to the last point.
Anneke Jans was the daughter of Jan. She was not "the granddaughter of Prince William of Orange, who afterward became King of Holland." Willem of Orange, also called Willem the Silent, died in 1584. He was instrumental in uniting the provinces, but he never was a king. Willem I, the first king of the Netherlands, was crowned in 1815.

It is important to keep the Williams straight. Willem the Silent's grandson, Willem, became William III, King of England in 1689. William III ruled jointly with his wife Mary Stuart.

Anneke Jans was the daughter of Tryn Jonas and Jan (patronym not known). She was born in Norway, not in the Netherlands. This story of her parentage appears to have been concocted sometime in the late nineteenth century.

Note: Willem Bogardus was married after October 29, 1659. This is the date on which the marriage banns were posted. "29 Aug. 1659. Willem Bogardus, Van N. Amsterdam, en Wyntje Sybrandts,Van O. Amsterdam."

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