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Ancestors of Roscoe Clinton Myers

      976. Joost* Springsteen118, born Abt. 1638 in Groningen, North Holland, Netherlands119; died 1695 in Boswych, Brooklyn, Kings County, NY. He was the son of 1952. Caspar Springsteen and 1953. Geertje* Janse. He married 977. Catherine* Lothie 10 Jun 1663 in Brooklyn, Kings County, NY120.

      977. Catherine* Lothie, born Abt. 1638 in Dieppe, Picardy, Seine Inferieure, France121; died Abt. 06 Feb 1680/81 in Flatbush, Long Island. She was the daughter of 1954. Abraham*~ Lothie and 1955. Wife*~ Of Abraham Lothie.

Notes for Joost* Springsteen:
His signature was his mark 'K'

Joost Caspar (Casperse) Springsteen, b. ca 1640, Groningen, N. Holland, Netherlands, d. Boswyck, Kings County, New York, was one of the original brothers that came to America with their mother. He married on June 19, 1663, Catherine Lothie, b. ca 1630, Boswick, Brooklyn, Kings County, NY, daughter of Abraham Lothie, b. ca 1609. Their children included a son, Casper Joosten (Joosten) Springsteen, b. ca 1664, Brooklin, Kings County, NY, d. 21 May 1729, who grew up on Long Island, married August 1, 1683, Maria Storm, b. ca 1659, New York City, NY, d. 8 Feb 1839, Newton (Elmhurst ), Queens County, New York, daughter of Derrick (Dirck) Gorris Storm and Maria Peters-Van-Montfoort, at "Castle Philipse", an interesting house in Sleepy Hollow, Terrytown, New York. Casper Joosten and Maria Springsteen lived for a while in Brunswick, Kings County and then in Westchester County, New York. In 1714 they moved to Newton, Long Island, New York. Their son Derrick (David) Casper Springsteen, d. 14 Oct 1763, m. Antie Van Letten. Derrick (David), served in the militia company of Captain Nathaniel Hazard in Queens County, Long Island, New York, where he married a local girl named Geesye. This family migrated to Kent County, Delaware, where the family name became Springs, which was borne by the Southern branch of the family. They lived for a short time at Bombay Hook on Delaware Bay and moved on to Jones Neck, near Dover, Delaware.---"WFT Online Library"

Register of the Early Settlers of Kings County, Long Island New York

Page 271

Joost Casparse, emigrated in 1652 with his mother and brother from Groningen, and in 1661 among the first settlers of Buk. He m. 1st, June 10, 1663, Catharine da. of Abm Lothie and wid. of Pieter Praa; m.2d Magdalena Jans or Joosten; living as late as 1687, in which year he took the oath of allegiance in Buk. Owned land in Brn in 1678; bought Feb. 17, 1677-8, of Minne Johannes wood-lot No. 8 in the New Lotts of Flh, as per p. 25 of Lib. AA of Flh rec., which he sold Oct. 30, 1684, to Jan Dircksen Vander Vliet, as per p. 176 of Lib. C of Flh rec. There was a Casper Springsteen, miller, of Schenectady in 1707, whose descendants reside in that vicinity and in that of Albany. Issue:--(sup.) Casper; Johannes, bp. Mar. 16, 1679, in Flh; Catharine, bp. Feb. 6, 1681, and d. young; Catharine, who m. Oct. 5, 1700, in N. Y., Johannes Texsel; and Jannetje, bp. Apl. 6, 1684--all bp. in Brn. Made his mark "K" to documents. There was a Mellen and a Jury Springsteen among the freeholders of Dutchess Co. in 1714, as per p. 100 of Smith's His. of said co.

The Bergen Family

Page 159

1 Joost Casperse Springsteen and Johannes Casperse Springsteen, with their mother, Geesie Jans, immigrated to this country from Groningen, in the Netherlands, in 1652, and in 1660 settled in Bushwick. Joost m. (1st ), June 10th, 1663, Catharine, daughter of Abraham Lothie, and widow of Pieter Praa, and m. (2d), Magdalena Jansen. He was living as late as 1687, and had issue: Caspar, who died May 21st, 1729; m. Maria, daughter of Derrick Storm; resided at first in Westchester county, and in 1700, removed to Newtown. Casper had issue: Joost, Derick, Abraham, David, and Gertrude.

David m. (1st), Mary, daughter of Jan Alburtus, and (supposed) m. (2d), Antie (???), and had issue: Garret, and probably other children.

Garret's will is dated Sept. 4th, 1766, proved March 21st, 1767, recorded in surrogate's office, New York, in which he names children: Jannetie, Antie, and Maria (see Riker's Newtown, p. 130). Garret resided in Queen's county, New York.

Boswijck (Bushwick)

In 1660, a group of French immigrants applied to Petrus Stuyvesant, director-general of New Netherland, for a patent to start a community. Stuyvesant granted them land between the villages of Breuckelen and Middleburgh. Unlike the first few villages in western Long Island, which grew very slowly, the new community of Boswijck, or Bushwick, quickly filled with residents. By 1663 the population had doubled, and records show that at that date the town counted forty men capable of bearing arms.

Those men needed to be ready to fight, for in that year events were moving to a climax on Long Island. The New Netherland colony was fighting a war with the Indians, and the English colonies to the north were moving close to an all-out takeover of the island. In a last-ditch effort, the residents of Boswijck met with delegates from the other Dutch towns of the area in the city hall in New Amsterdam, and drafted an appeal to the West India Company directors in the Netherlands to have the Dutch government settle, once and for all, permanent boundaries between the Dutch colony and its English neighbors. The appeal failed. A year later, with the English takeover of Long Island, Boswijck began life under its new name of Bushwick.

From the (1939) WPA Guide to New York City:

Bushwick and Ridgewood, old-fashioned and respectable, are German-American communities spreading northeast of Broadway. Comfortable brownstones with neat stoops and polished brass give the district an atmosphere of calm quite unlike that of the usual strident Brooklyn neighborhood.

In 1661 Governor Peter Stuyvesant mapped out the area in the vicinity of what is now Conselyea Street and Bushwick Avenue and named it "Boswijck" (Town of the Woods). The name was later corrupted to Bushwick. After the Battle of Long Island Hessian mercenaries were billeted here; although friction developed between the townsfolk and the troops, some of the soldiers returned at the end of the war and established homes. In 1854 Bushwick became part of the city of Brooklyn

South Bushwick Reformed Church, Bushwick Avenue and Himrod Street, better known as the "White Church," was organized in 1851 by members of the old Bushwick Reformed Church which dates back to 1654. The white frame building in the Dutch Colonial style, with its solid but graceful spire and green shutters, was completed in 1853 and is a reminder of the older community.

Dutch-Colonies-L Archives

From: "Joseph W. Dooley" <>
Subject: Looking for SPRINGSTEENs
Date: Thu, 10 Jul 1997 23:09:23 -0400


I'm looking for descendants of Casper SPRINGSTEEN.

Casper SPRINGSTEEN did not make it to the New World, but his three sons and their widowed mother did. The three sons were Johannes (or Jan) Casperse, Joost Casperse and Melchior Casperse. In 1660, the three were among twenty-two men selected by Director General Stuyvesant to establish the new settlement on Long Island which would become known as Bushwick. Prior attempts at colonization had been destroyed by the Indians in 1643 and 1655.

At the end of this message is all I know of Casper SPRINGSTEEN's
descendants. Except for the line descending to me, this family tree
doesn't have many leaves. But I know those leaves must be out there.

All right, I know genealogy purists assert we shouldn't focus on
documenting our blood connection to famous people. It's not just that I
would like to be able to document the relationship between me and Bruce SPRINGSTEEN (which I certainly would!), but also that I'm having a dickens of a time tracking down ANY SPRINGSTEENs beyond the third generation after Casper. (I suspect the Boss Bruce SPRINGSTEEN and I are about eighth or ninth cousins. But then, he probably has a hundred thousand eighth or ninth cousins.)

I can trace many lateral lines of my other Dutch ancestors (Bertholf,
Terhune, Westervelt) but I hit a brick wall with the SPRINGSTEENs. The
SPRINGSTEENs, unlike many other old Dutch families, were not the subject of any published genealogy within the last hundred years or so, at least not so far as I know.

If you know anything about SPRINGSTEEN genealogy, or if you are a
descendant of Casper SPRINGSTEEN, please let me know. Thanks.

Joe Dooley
Arlington, VA

OK, here are all of Casper SPRINGSTEEN=92s descendants that I have.=20
Please let me know if you can trace other SPRINGSTEEN lines.



He married Geertje JANS. Children of Casper SPRINGSTEEN and Geertje JANS are:

i. Johannes (Jan) CASPERSE SPRINGSTEEN, b. Abt 1640, Groeningen, Holland; d. Abt 1693, Brooklyn, NY. (See 2 below.)
ii. Joost Casperse SPRINGSTEEN, b. Groeningen, Holland; d. Bef October 19, 1695. (See 3 below.)
iii. Melchior Casperse SPRINGSTEEN, b. Groeningen, Holland. (See 4
iv. Barbara Casperse SPRINGSTEEN, m. DEGROOT.



was born Abt 1640 in Groeningen, Holland, and died Abt 1693 in Brooklyn, NY. He married Maria Johannes THEUNIS Abt 1660, daughter of Johannes TEUNIS. Children of Johannes SPRINGSTEEN and Maria THEUNIS are:

i. Casper Johannes SPRINGSTEEN (or SMIDT), b. Abt 1660; m. Maria Foos (or FOOTS).
ii. Jannetje Johannes SPRINGSTEEN, b. Bef January 5, 1666/67, New York City, NY; m. Jacob KOLYER (OR KOLF), June 1, 1684, Flatbush, NY.
iii. Barbara Johannes SPRINGSTEEN.
iv. Mettje Jans (or Johannes) SPRINGSTEEN, b. 1670, Bergen, NJ; d.
October 22, 1706, Bergen, NJ. (See 5 below.)
v. Theunis Johannes SPRINGSTEEN, b. Bef May 6, 1674.
vi. Anna Maria Johannes SPRINGSTEEN, b. Bef October 4, 1676; m. Jacob KERSHOW, September 28, 1695.

3. Joost Casperse SPRINGSTEEN

was born in Groeningen, Holland, and died Bef October 19, 1695. He married (1) Catharina LETHIE June 10, 1663.=20
He married (2) Magdalena JANSEN Bef February 1681. (There may have been a wife before Catharina LETHIE.) Children of Joost SPRINGSTEEN and an unnamed wife are:

i.Casper SPRINGSTEEN, d. May 21, 1729, Newtown, NY. (See 6 below.)
ii. Johannes SPRINGSTEEN, b. Bef March 16, 1678/79, Flatbush, NY.

Children of Joost SPRINGSTEEN and Magdalena Jansen are:

iii. Catharine SPRINGSTEEN, b. Bef February 6, 1681, Brooklyn, NY; d.
Bef January 10, 1684, Flatbush, NY.
iv. Catharine SPRINGSTEEN, b. Bef April 6, 1684, Brooklyn, NY.
v. Jannetje SPRINGSTEEN, b. Bef April 6, 1684, Brooklyn, NY.

4. Melchior Casperse SPRINGSTEEN

was born in Groeningen, Holland. I can=92t find the name of his wife.
Child of Melchior SPRINGSTEEN is:

i. Casper Melchiors SPRINGSTEEN.


5. Mettje Jans (or Johannes) SPRINGSTEEN

was born 1670 in Bergen, NJ, and died October 22, 1706 in Bergen, NJ. She married Johannes Janse VAN BLARCOM July 16, 1693 in Bergen, NJ, son of Jan Lubbertsen and Magdaleentje THEUNIS. Child of Mettje SPRINGSTEEN and Johannes VAN BLARCOM is:

i. Lea VAN BLARCOM, b. near Hackensack, NJ; d. Abt 1744, Hackensack, NJ. (See 7 below.)


died May 21, 1729 in Newtown, NY. He married Maria STORM. Children of Casper SPRINGSTEEN and Maria STORM are:

i. Joost SPRINGSTEEN, b. Jamaica, NY.
ii. David SPRINGSTEEN, b. Jamaica, NY.
iii. Abraham SPRINGSTEEN, b. Jamaica, NY.
iv. David SPRINGSTEEN, b. Jamaica, NY.
v. Geertruyt SPRINGSTEEN, b. Bef April 21, 1697, Tarrytown, NY; m.
William MILLER.



was born in near Hackensack, NJ, and died Abt 1744 in Hackensack, NJ. She married Hendricus BOSCH October 27, 1727 in
Hackensack, NJ, son of Hendricus BOSCH and Maria VANDERBEEK.
Child of Lea VAN BLARCOM and Hendricus BOSCH is:

i. Metje BOSCH, b. October 8, 1732, Hackensack, NJ.

(EXCEPT for the line descending from Metje BOSCH, I have no more
information on any SPRINGSTEEN descendants. I have lots of information on the line descending from Metje BOSCH to myself.)


"Early Settlers of Bushwick, Long Island, New York and Their
Descendants" compiled by Andrew J. Provost, Jr. 4 Volumes, 1949-1963.

"Long Island Source Records," excerpted and reprinted from the New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, 1987.

"Genealogies of Long Island Families" Volume II, excerpted and reprinted from the New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, 1987.


More About Joost* Springsteen:
Historical: 1652, Among the 1st settlers of Brooklyn
Immigrant Ancestor: 1652, Netherlands to NY
Migration: 1652, Netherlands to Long Island, New York122
Oath of Allegiance: 1687, Buk, Brooklyn, Long Island, NY123,124
Property: 1678, Owned land in Brooklyn, NY
Settled: 1661, Buk, Brooklyn, Long Island, NY, among the 1st settlers

  Notes for Catherine* Lothie:

Register of the Early Settlers of Kings County, Long Island New York
Page 229

PRAA or PRAT, PIETER, (or PIERRE PRAT,) a Huguenot from Dieppe in Franc e, as per Brn ch. rec.; emigrated in 1659 with w. and family, residi ng at first in N. A. and afterwards settling in Buk. He m. Catharine d au of Abm Lothie, who after his death m. June 10, 1663, Joost Casparse Spr ingsteen. He d. Mar. 6, 1663, at Cripplebush, Brn. See p. 322 of Vo l. 2 of Stiles's Brn. Aug. 26, 1659, Derick Janse agreed to convey to "Pie rre Prat" for 300 gl. a bouwery with house and barn at Gowanus, between t he lands of Teunis Nyssen (Denyse) and Jan Pietersen Staats, as p er p. 6 of Lib. B of Flh rec. No evidence of this agreement being consumma ted. Issue:--Peter Junr; Adam, bp. Feb. 6, 1660, in Brn, d. Feb. 8, 166 0; Abraham, bp. Mar. 5, 1662, in Brn; and Annatie, who m. Jan Jansen. Sign ed his name "Pierre Prat."
[] 928.Flatbush.html

Brooklyn Standard Union
August 27, 1928

Flatbush avenue, at Church, is one of the liveliest spots in the city. Cl ean, up-to-date, hustling, any city would be proud to point it out as o ne of its attractive corners. Two important street car lines intersect
there; a few blocks away is an important station on the BMT, and in the op posite direction is an important station of the IRT subway.

On one side of the street, on Church avenue west from Flatbush, a fine n ew theatre is being built, while across the way, on the east side of Flatb ush avenue, another theatre has been in operation for fourteen years. Opp osite the older theatre is one of the best known and most popular restaura nts, not
only in Brooklyn but in New York. Along Church avenue, for several bloc ks [ea]st of Flatbush, are attractive shops and restaurants, including [ne ]at little tea rooms, while on the side streets are some of the most attra ctive apartment houses in the city.

Altogether a bright, lively, hustling city scene any time of the year a nd any time of the day or night. Especially attractive is the scene duri ng the school year when the thousands of boys and girls who go to Erasm us Hall High School crowd the streets, a picture of eager modernity.

Typical Village Church

But in the very heart of this scene of bustling, eager modern life stan ds a monument to the past. On the southwest corner of Flatbush and Chur ch is a neat little church, quite in the style of village churches everywh ere in this country, surrounded by the inevitable graveyard. The chur ch is manifestly an old building, but neat, clean and strong. It is the w ork of the sturdy Dutchmen who were the pioneers of Brooklyn. As it stan ds it was built in 1796 and the first sermon preached in it was in the Dut ch language by Domini Schoonmaker.

But the building of the Reformed Protestant Dutch Church as it stands tod ay is not the first church on that spot. It is the successor to a chur ch that was built in 1702 and which in turn is successor to one that was b uilt in 1654 by special order of Gov. Peter Stuyvesant. The Reformed Prot estant Dutch Church
is still in active operation after a long and illustrious history going ba ck to the very dawn of white settlement on Long Island. It is the pare nt church on all Long Island and for many years was the only one.

Built in 1654

In 1633 a church had been established in New Amsterdam and the residen ts of Long Island had to make a long, tedious and often dangerous journ ey for divine worship. In 1651 what is now Flatbush began to be settled a nd in 1654 the peppery Governor ordered that a church be established ther e. For a long time
it was the only house of worship for the men and women of Midwout, Breuckl en and Amersfoort. Lest you wonder whether the communities as named a re in the province of ??ornrecht, Maasrecht or Dronin??n, let us hast en to add that they are better known as Flatbush, Brooklyn and Flatlands.

The second church building played na illustrious part in the Revolution, t he church bell often being rung to herald the approach of the British troo ps before the capture of the town in August, 1776.

As recently as twenty and even ??teen years ago the Reformed Protestant Du tch Church seemed to be quite in place. Surrounded by the busy life of t he city, there were about it nevertheless plenty of comfortable, leisurely -looking houses with fine lawns and shaded with trees, principally in Chur ch avenue. But all that has changed. The church now stands alone amid t he hurry of the city, a memory of the past.

Pioneers Buried There

The graveyard is particularly interesting. Kept in immaculate order, as w ould be expected from the orderly Dutchmen who established it and have ke pt it, not a stone has fallen. But most of the inscriptions are indeciphe rable, after centuries of buffeting by storm and wind. Almost illegibl e, the fine old Dutch names are occasionally visible. A few of the inscri ptions, still vaguely legible, are in Dutch.

The lawn is laid out beautifully. There are no more mounds over the coffi ns of the long-dead Dutch pioneers, but the grass is green and well kep t, and signs warn one not to trespass. It is so quite and peaceful th at it is hard to imagine that one is standing in a community of the dead s urrounded by the clamor of a very live city.

Off to the side is the new church house, completed in 1924, a fine old bri ck and limestone building, looking for all the world like a college hal l. In the basement you can hear the shouts of youth playing games in t he gym, and you more than half expect to see boys and girls in trick colle ge clothes stroll from the doors laughing and ??ging.

Across the street, on Flatbush avenue, is the splendid building of Erasm us Hall High School, built in 1904. Fronting Flatbush avenue, it looks ou twardly like any one of the magnificent school buildings the city suppli es to its youth, but stroll through the great doors and into the yard, a nd you are again transported into another world.

Ivy-Covered Buildings

In the courtyard and completely surrounded by the great modern structure a re the older frame structures of the old Academy. For, unlike the other B rooklyn high schools - or most of them, at least - Erasmus has a histor y. The courtyard of the school is a lovely place, with grass plots, el ms and oaks and poplars, and with the walls of the new building covered wi th ivy. There is a flavor of an old college in
the Erasmus yard, more like a real campus than many of our colleges.

A step from Flatbush avenue, and you are in the old Dutch past of Flatbus h, in the churchyard. Another step, and you are in the ivy-clad, cloister ed halls of Erasmus.

The history of Erasmus Hall dates back to 1786, when the first wooden buil ding was erected. The school, named after the great Dutch scholar Desider ius Erasmus, was founded by a number of Dutch clergymen of Flatbush. It c ontinued as a distinguished institution of learning until about 1899, wh en it was taken over by the city and incorporated into the school syst em as Erasmus Hall High School.

It is a fact forgotten by most Brooklynites that as recent as 1896 Flatbu sh was a separate city, and only in that year did the towns of Flatbush a nd Flatlands become incorporated into the city of Brooklyn, which then f or the first time included all of Kings County. Even today Flatbush is se rved by a water system of its own, artesian wells operated by the Flatbu sh Water Works serving water of a flavor and a hardness
unknown in any other part of the city.

First Inland Settlement

Midwout or Vlacke Bas was the first inland settlement in what is now the t erritory of Brooklyn. It was the fifth settlement in Kings [paper left o ut a line or two] been built in a densely wooded region between 1630 and 1 634. In 1651 Governor Stuyvesant granted a patent to the "indwellers a nd inhabitants of Midwout for a parcel of meadow-land, or valley, lyi ng on the east northeast of the Canarsie Indian planting grounds." The or iginal patentees were Jan SNEDECOR, Arent VAN HATTEN and Johannes MEGAPOLE NSIS.

The early history of Flatbush was filled with boundary disputes with the t own of Amersfoort (Flatlands) and the Rockaway Indians. In 1670, for exam ple, Eskemoppas, Sachem of Rockaway, with his brothers, Kinnarimas and Aha waham, claimed the land on the ground that the Canarsie Indians had no rig ht to grant it. The Flatbush burghers, in order to avoid trouble, paid t he Rockaways again for the land they
were occupying.

It was in 1685 that the boundaries of what was variously called Midwout, V lacke Bos or Flatbush, were definitely fixed by a charter granted by Gover nor Thomas Dengan. Among the fine old Dutch names on the charter are tho se of

Aries Jansen VANDERBILT,
Arien RYERS,
Ditimus Lewis JANSEN.

Names Changed Later

The names of the town - Midwout and Vlacke Bos - mean, in Dutch, the middl e-woods, and the flatlands covered with tresses, or bush. Both names we re used indiscriminately until the beginning of the Eighteenth century, wh en the more English form of Flatbush finally prevailed over Vlackebos or V lacke Bos.

Local government began in 1646 with the selection of a "schout" or "Crime- righter," the first one being Jan TEUNISSEN. There were also local court s, performing minor magisterial functions. With British rule the forms ch anged, but there still were overseers, all of whom had Dutch names.

Flatbush was the scene of some heavy fighting during the Battle of Long Is land in August, 1776, but it was in the British hands from the Independen ce year until 1783, when the war came to a close.

Following the Revolution the town of Flatbush grew slowly and quietly in to a lovely country town, with shaded streets, beautiful homes, schools, c hurches, fire companies, and even local newspapers. It was isolated fr om the main part of Brooklyn, but there were certain problems that h ad to be met, such as the boundaries of Prospect part, some of which enter ed the limits of Flatbush, but all of which was claimed by Brooklyn.

Flatbush was cut off from Brooklyn by long stretches of open country, by t he hill running the entire length of the south side of Eastern parkway, a nd by imperfect transportation. The hill, now one of the most attracti ve residence sections in the Greater City occupied by apartments on Presid ent, Union and Montgomery streets, up to a very few years ago was a desola te wilderness covered by squatters' shacks and inhabited by grazing goats.

Joined Brooklyn in 1896

Only in 1896 did Flatbush, then a lovely country village, incorporate itse lf into the city of Brooklyn, there to remain two years, until the organiz ation of Greater New York. For years Flatbush meant shaded
streets and fine homes: such thoroughfares as Beverly and Cortelyou roa ds being studded with frame mansions of exquisite beauty.

The Brighton Line was a suburban railroad, at first drawn by locomotives f rom Fulton street and Franklin avenue through quiet and seething country s cenery to the open country beyond about Avenue H.

Of course, there are few traces of Flatbush left as it used to be years ag o. Even the old boundaries are forgotten. Today Flatbush, in the popul ar mind, means that section of Brooklyn approximately from Ocean parkw ay to about Schenectady avenue, and from the park to Sheepshead Bay, a mo st unscientific conception. The fine old homes still exist on Beverly ro ad and Cortelyou road, and on Newkirk avenue, as they did thirty years ag o, and the Church avenue car, running from Rockaway avenue to Flatbush, st ill runs through some unoccupied territory.

Landmarks Are Gone

But nearly all the landmarks have gone. The Flatbush Gas Company has lo ng been merged into the Brooklyn Edison, which, in turn, is now merged in to the new billion-dollar city-wide consolidated company.

The Flatbush Water Works maintains its office in a store at Lenox road a nd Flatbush avenue, but it had been taken over by the city. The Bright on Line is an important link in the city-wide transportation
system, with only a shuttle making the delightful trip between the pa rk & Franklin avenue.

All in all, Flatbush is like everything else in New York and Brooklyn, a h ustling, eagerly active, city community, with attractive shops and theatre s, with restaurants, schools and churches, with banks and
libraries, and with a certain mellowness that the old history of the to wn sheds even over the towering apartment houses on Ocean avenue.

- end -
Transcriber :Mimi Stevens

14 Generations
New Yorkers since 1624, the Rapeljes are on a mission to keep their histo ry alive

By Steve Wick
Staff Writer

The name of the baby was Sarah.

She was born on June 9, 1625, in a log settlement called Ft. Orange, along side the river named after Henry Hudson. Her birth was a momentous eve nt -- she was the first baby born in the fort, and the first additi on to a tiny Dutch community that went by the ambitious name of New Nether land.

Her parents were Joris Jansen de Rapelje and Catalyntje Trico. The year be fore, the couple had sailed across the Atlantic Ocean from the Netherlan ds on board a ship called the Eendracht -- the Unity. After arrivi ng in a great harbor, they had slowly tacked north up the river more th an 130 miles before dropping anchor at the site of the fort.

There, with only a handful of settlers to keep her company, surround ed by an unimaginably vast wilderness inhabited by thousands of Indians, S arah was born.

Years later, when she lived on a farm on Long Island, she was hailed as t he first European child born in the colony that would become New York Stat e. She was given a land grant by Dutch authorities in honor of her pla ce in the colony's history.

"I'm sure she knew all her life she was special," said Peter Rapelje (pron ounced Rap-el-YAY), a 12th generation descendant of Sarah's. "The Unity w as the first ship of Dutch settlers to arrive. There were ships before, b ut they were for explorers and fur traders. Now, families were coming ove r. Joris and Catalyntje had gotten married just before they left the Nethe rlands. In the beginning, they may have had to stay on the ship while F t. Orange was being built."

IN TERMS of European settlement, the Rapeljes are the first family of N ew York. A retired Grumman engineer, 64-year-old Peter Rapelje lives in Gl en Cove and is the keeper of a trove of family records dating to coloni al days that chart the family's history. These records show that with in a year of her birth, Sarah moved with her family to a log fort at the s outhern tip of Manhattan island and, shortly after, to a farm across the h arbor on Long Island. This meant that the Rapeljes were in the first gro up of whites to live on Manhattan, and in the first group to buy land fr om the Indians and move to the settlement that would be called Brooklyn.

Not only are the Rapeljes one of the very first families of Long Island, t hey are one of Brooklyn's last farm families. Hundreds of family record s, plus a collection of glass plate negatives taken in the 1890s by Pet er Rapelje's grandfather, an engineer and amateur photographer, document t he last days of the family's farm in Brooklyn.

"The photographs show the farmhouse, and the barns, and it all looks ve ry rural," Rapelje said. "Yet in some of the pictures you can see tenemen ts and buildings in the background as well as the arrival of the first sub way line. The family farm shrank until there was little left of what it h ad been. The house and the last section were finally sold in 1925 and imme diately built on."

From Sarah's birth at Ft. Orange, to the family's purchase of farmla nd on Long Island in the 1630s, to her brother Jacob's death at the han ds of Indians on Manhattan island during the genocidal Kieft War,through t he American Revolution when a Rapelje was taken prisoner by the Britis h, to Peter Rapelje's work at Grumman during the glory years of the moon l anding -- the generations of the family serve as mileposts in the long ro ad of our history.

New York and its origins.
Legend and Reality.

According to the legend, New York was founded in 1626 by the Dutch in t he southern part of Manhattan Island. Some schoolbooks, history books, te levision broadcasts - and down to cigarettes makers - even say that the f ounder of New York was named Peter Stuyvesant.

The reality is somewhat different...

It is in May 1624 that the "Nieu Nederlandt", a ship chartered by the We st India Company, arrived in sight of Manhattan Island. The vessel carri ed about thirty Belgian families: most of them were Walloons accompani ed by a few Flemings.

The passengers were soon dispersed: eight men were left at the lower pa rt of Manhattan and erected there a fort - on the site of the present Bat tery Park. Four couples and eight men were sent to the Delaware River, whe re they also built a fort (near the present town of Gloucester, New Jersey ). Two families and six men were sent to the Fresh River (now Connecticut ), where a small fort was built, on the site of the present city of Hartfo rd. About eighteen families remained on the "Nieu Nederlandt" and proceed ed up the Hudson. They finally landed near the present city of Albany (cap ital of the State of New York).

Those first steps in the colonization of this territory were actually t he follow up of a process that started a century earlier.

It is indeed in 1524 that the French expedition led by the Florentine Giov anni Da Verrazzano discovered the New York bay for the first time. King Fr ancis I being at war with Spain, the information was sent to the Record Of fice. During the next tens of years, the Spaniards were almost the only on es who showed interest for the New World and exploited its resources.

Willem Usselinx

In 1555, Charles V abdicated in favor of his son Philip II. His intoleran ce soon brought the Netherlands in the chaos. The Duke of Alba, sent by t he King of Spain, imposed a merciless repression towards the protestant s, in rebellion against the misuses of the Catholic Church.

The excesses of the Inquisition leaded to a massive emigration of Walloo ns and Flemings to the North of the Netherlands, Sweden, England and Germa ny, to the "Gueux" (beggars) rebellion, and to the secession of the Northe rn Provinces, which took the name of United-Provinces. The southern Provin ces stayed under the yoke of the Spaniards and continued to undergo the p angs of war.

In order to avoid any confusion, it is important to know that in the sixte enth century, the Netherlands covered a part of North of France and Lorra ine, Belgium, Luxembourg and the present Netherlands. Its inhabitants we re called the Belgians, and the maps represented the country in the sha pe of a lion: the "Leo Belgicus".

During the same difficult period, in Antwerp, was born Willem Usselinx. S on of a family active in the spices trading, he was later sent in Spain, P ortugal and the Azores Island for his education. On his return from the Az ores in 1591, Usselinx decided to leave Antwerp for Holland. Knowing how m uch Spain's wealth was coming from the American colonies, he wouldn’t re st until he convinced the Dutchmen to settle colonies in the New Worl d, in order to fight the Spaniards.

Nearly thirty years of stubbornness and efforts were necessary from Will em Usselinx before the West India Company was finally founded in 162 1. It is the one who chartered the "Nieu Nederlandt"...

Henri Hudson

In 1609, an English sailor named Henri Hudson discovered a great bay wi th a big river flowing into it from the mountains, at a latitude of forty- one degrees north and a longitude of seventy-four degrees west.

Hudson had been entrusted by the Flemings Emmanuel Van Meteren, Judocus Ho ndius and Petrus Plancius to discover a new passage to the land of Tarta rs and to China, on behalf of the East-Indies Company.

While he was exploring the coasts of America on his ship, luck would ha ve him discover, 85 years after Verrazzano, the territory of the future N ew York, together with the river who was going to be called after hi

Jessé de Forest

Jessé de Forest was one of those Walloons who fled the religious persecuti ons. Born in Hainault in 1576, he left his native land and settled in Leyd e, Holland. From that time, he moved heaven and earth to obtain the rig ht to emigrate with his own and other Walloon families to the New World. D uring his stay, he also met English Pilgrims, future passengers of the May flower.

On February 5, 1621, Jessé de Forest sent a petition, written in Frenc h, to Sir Dudley Carleton, ambassador of his Majesty the King of Engla nd in The Hague. It applied for permission to settle in Virginia about fi fty Walloons and French families. Jessé asked to dispose over a territo ry of eight English miles radius. Known as the Round Robin, this docume nt is now preserved in the British Public Record Office.

On August 11, 1621, the Virginia Company gave an agreement in principle, b ut raised some restrictions. The worse one was her refusal to have the set tlers dwell together in one autonomous colony. Jessé declined the proposit ion.

The foundation of the West India Company gave rise to the most clever pl an in the Walloon’s mind.

Proposing his services and those of his fellow countrymen to the Dutch Com pany, Jessé informed her that a group of families practicing various trad es had the opportunity to emigrate to America, on behalf on the Englis h. Arguing that those colonist should rather be secured for the West Ind ia Company, he wished a quick response, adding that it was a take it or l eave it offer.

The States of Holland, realizing the importance of such an opening for fut ure colonization, immediately consulted the “Bewindhebbers” (Director s) of the Company, who were meeting in The Hague.

On August 27, 1622, after years of efforts delivered by Willem Usselinx a nd Jessé de Forest, the latter finally received the authorization to emigr ate with other families to the West-Indies.

Left on reconnaissance for the coasts of Guyana in 1623, Jessé de Forest d ied on the Oyapok River bank (present borderline between Brazil and Fren ch Guyana), on October 22, 1624.

His daughter Rachel and his sons Isaac and Henri joined New-Belgium ten ye ars later.


From 1615, the region between Virginia and New-England was equally named N ew-Belgium (Novum Belgium, Novo Belgio, Nova Belgica, Novi Belgii) or New- Netherlands.

The name of Belgium refered to the ancient Netherlands, which covered a go od part of the North of France and Lorraine, Belgium, Luxembourg and t he present Netherlands. Its inhabitants were called the Belgians.

Besides, numerous maps from the sixteenth century showed this territory un der the name of Belgium. The latter falled into disuse for the benef it of the Netherlands, and only reappeared in 1789 on the occasion of t he first Belgian revolution.

Several seals of this period remind us that the territories surrounding t he future New York were called New-Belgium. A first seal from 1623, bea rs a beaver - at the time, the trappers were almost the only ones to explo it the country -, encircled by the words "Sigillum Novi Belgii". The se al of the New-Amsterdam from 1654 mention "Sigillum Amstellodamensis in No vo Belgio".

Pierre Minuit

In 1626, Pierre Minuit, governor of New-Belgium, became famous by the purc hase of Manhattan Island. He bought it from the Manhattes Indians in excha nge for glittering beads and other trinkets. The total value was about six ty guilders or $ 24.
Pierre Minuit was a Walloon, born in Ohain, Brabant, who had fled the reli gious persecutions with his family.

Willing to defend the colonists interests, he also distinguished himse lf by the respect shown to those of the Indians. In his opinion, the harmo nious mix and integration of two cultures - even apparently opposed - w as preferable to the pure and simple throwing out of the weakest or so-cal led less civilized one.

Besides, tolerance was not particularly the strong point of the West Ind ia Company. Feudal organization, the latter enforced a series of strict ru les for all colonists wishing to emigrate to New-Belgium: apart from publ ic worship of the reformed religion, the settlers were required to make ex clusive use of the Low-German - the language from which Flemish and Dut ch are originated - in every public act of the colony.

A lot of family names got a Dutch “camouflage”, like Rapalje for Rapail le or Minnewit for Minuit. Other colonists were simply called by the na me of the Dutch city they just left. The American historian Charles W. Bai rd, in his book “History of the Huguenot Emigration to America”, qualifi ed this type of abuse as "Batavian disguise".

The settlers were also forbidden to weave wool or linen, make cloth or a ny other textile, at the risk of being banished or prosecuted as perjurer s. The secret aim was to protect the monopoly for the imports from Hollan d.

The kindly and protective attitude of Pierre Minuit towards the settler s, and the covetousness of a Director from the Dutch company who want ed to impose his nephew as a governor, made that he was called back in 163 2.

The trails of the Walloons and Flemish people in New York are numerous a nd often unknown: the Gowanus Bay for instance, west of Brooklyn, is nam ed after Owanus, latin translation of Ohain, the native village of Pier re Minuit. The Wallabout Bay, north of Brooklyn, is a deformation of the D utch "Waal bocht" (Walloon Bay)

The name Hoboken, well known district of New York, comes from a municipali ty near Antwerp, Flanders. Communipaw, in Jersey City, is the contracti on of Community of Pauw. Michel De Pauw, native of Ghent in Flanders, h ad also bought Staten Island from the Indians in 1630.

As to Peter Stuyvesant, to whom some people absolutely wish to attribute t he paternity of the founding of New York, he only arrived in 1647, th at is twenty-three years after the landing of the first settlers.

American gratitude

On May 20, 1924, for the tercentenary of the founding of New York, a monum ent was erected in honor of the Walloon settlers, on the site of Battery P ark, in the southern part of Manhattan.

A 50 cents silver coin, commemorating the tercentenary of the arrival of t he Walloons was also put into circulation at the same time.

The government of the United States paid also homage to the first settle rs with the issuing of 1, 2 and 5 cents postage stamps.

Belgian oblivion

People may ask oneself why the real circumstances wrapping the foundati on of New York remain, even today, almost unknown in the present Belgiu

The schoolbooks and history books are dumb about the subject. Recently, "G énies en herbe" (Green genious), a game organized by the RTBF (Belgian Fre nch-speaking Radio and Television) between different schools, asked to t he candidates who was the founder of New York. The supposedly good answ er was... Peter Stuyvesant. An answer who teaches a lot about the oblivi on into which the ancestors of the participants... and organizers are fall en!

This oblivion can be explained in different ways. There is one who seems p lausible: the founders of New York being Walloons and Flemish protestant s, Belgium being catholic, and the teaching having been for a long time in fluenced by the Catholic Church, one may assume that the latter deliberate ly occulted this period of our history.

After three hundred and seventy-five years, the Walloon and Flemish settle rs doesn’t seem to have gained the forgiveness of the Catholic Church.

Ill feelings are sometimes persistent...

• Description de la Nouvelle Belgique (by Johannes De Laet - 1640)
• Les Belges et la fondation de New York (by Antoine De Smet - from the Ro yal Library of Belgium)
• Les Wallons, fondateurs de New York (by Robert Goffin, Institut Jules De strée)
• Historique de la colonisation de New York par les Belges (by G. Gomme)
• The Belgians, first settlers in New York (by Bayer)
• History of the Huguenot immigration to America (by Charles W. Baird)
• History of the United States of America (by George Bancroft)
• History of the city of New York (by Martha Lamb)
• Narratives of New Netherland (by Franklin Jameson)
• History of the State of New York (by Dr. John Romeyn Brodhead)
• Memorial History of the City of New York (by General James Grant Wilson)
• La part des Belges dans la fondation de l'Etat de New York (by the Du ke of Borchgrave)
• Willem Usselinx (by Michel Huisman, professor at the "Université lib re de Bruxelles")


More About Catherine* Lothie:
Immigrant Ancestor: 25 Apr 1659, Netherlands, Leyden, to New Amsterdam aboard the Market Gardener (De Moesman)
Migration: 25 Apr 1659, Netherlands, Leyden, to New Amsterdam aboard the Market Gardener (De Moesman)
Religion: Huguenot
Surname Variant: Lothie, Lethie

Marriage Notes for Joost* Springsteen and Catherine* Lothie:

Old Dutch Church

Courtesy of Will Pflaum's Willliamsburg walking tour

The Keskaechquerem, or Canarsie, Indians of the Algonquin language fami ly sell a swampy bog called Cripplebush (today Bushwick, Greenpoint and Wi lliamsburg) to the Dutch West India Company.

Unregulated squatting by farmers from Norway, France, Italy, Sweden, and b oth free and enslaved Africans. Indian attack leads to development of fir st town: Boswijch (meaning "Town of Woods") with 23 families

British gain official political control of Cripplebush, although Dutch rem ains the predominant language. Kiekout formed on Old Meserole Farm (East R iver at South 4th Street - first town in Williamsburg) - Later called H et Strand.

At the time of the American Revolution, there were four predominantly Dut ch towns in Cripplebush, including: Het Drop in what is today Bushwick; Ch erry-point, in what is now Greenpoint; and Het Strand. British troops c ut thickets and scrub oaks for fire during war.


From: Pat Wardell <>
Subject: [NJBERGEN-L] Cripplebush
Date: Sun, 27 Dec 1998 15:06:42 -0400

Ruth Piwonka wrote (in part) on the Dutch-Colonies List:

There is another term -- 'kreuple bosch' -- that turns up in a number of d eeds and descriptions in the Hudson Valley. And has ended up being a pla ce name in Marbletown and I think one other place ('Kripplebush'). It mea ns 'cripple' or 'broken' woods / forest .. and refers to a condition whe re water / wetland has overtaken a woods or forest causing the trees to di e.

Thanks so much for your explanation of some Dutch place names!

Like Vlacka, Cripplebush, and its spelling variants seems to have been a l ocale name in several geographic areas -- here's one in Bergen County, N J, which was so called by this name as early as 1686:

Groote Kruepel Bosch
A locality in the Chestnut Ridge section of Bergen County, N.J., near Met towee Farms in Upper Saddle River. The meaning of the name is "Great Thic ket." There is a spring at this location, which was a camping place for re negade Tories and outlaw bands (called "Cow-Boys") during the Revolutio n, particularly Claudius Smith's outlaw gang of Cow-boys. Also: Long Crup elbush.
* [1686], "Creeple Bush"-1686 patent from Thomas Dongan to Cornelius Coop er and 15 others, quoted in Green, Frank B., The History of Rockland Count y. New York: A. S. Barnes & Co., 1886, p. 15.
* 26 January 1739/40, "Long Crupelbush" - Bergen County Road Return Bo ok A (Budke Collection, New York Public Library), " the Long Crupelbu sh..."


Pat Wardell in Englewood, FL

Children of Joost* Springsteen and Catherine* Lothie are:
  488 i.   Caspar Joosten Springsteen, born 1664 in Boswych, Brooklyn, Kings County, NY; died 21 May 1729 in Newtown, Queens County, NY; married Maria* Storm 09 Aug 1683 in Castle Philipse, Sleepy Hollow, Tarrytown, Weschester County, NY.
  ii.   Abraham Springsteen, born Abt. 1666 in Brooklyn, King County, NY; died Bet. 1667 - 1756; married Abigail.
  More About Abigail:
Religion: 1731, Presbyterian125

  iii.   David Springsteen, born Abt. 1668 in Brooklyn, King County, NY; died Bet. 1669 - 1758; married Mary Alburtus.

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