Notes for Sijmon Jansz Van Aersdale: SIJMON JANSZ VAN AERSDALE Material researched and/or prepared by Barbara L. Van Norsdall
Sijmon Jansz Van Aersdale was the son of Jan Paulusz Van Haesdaele and Geertje Philips Halters. He was born February 27, 1627 in the village of Nukerke, near Oudenaarde in East Flanders in Belgium. Nukerke is a small village, a few miles south of Ghent. From his birthplace in Flanders he could have been Flemish.
One theory is the the Van Arsdales originally come from the island of Bornholm, Denmark. There is a today a small town named Aarsdale on the island. This community is known for its smokehouses. Charles Vanorsdale in a message to Dutch-Colonies mail list at Rootsweb.com states that it smokes herring and that it is directly on the path of the Hanseatic sea routes to the Baltic countries of Estonia, Latvia and Russia. The Hanseatic League was originally established in Lubeck and then established branches in London, Visby (Sweden), Novgorod (Russia) Bergen (Norway) and Bruges (Flanders). The Bruges site was later changed to Antwerp. Vanorsdale speculates that an early merchant living in Aarsdale, Bornholm may have ventured to Flanders. It is also known that the Dutch were a great influence on the tiny island of Bornholm in the 12th and 13th centuries. So it is possible that a Dutch or Flemish trader ventured on the Hanseatic League to Bornhom, spent considerable time there and then returned to the Homeland as a Van Arsdale (from Aarsdale).
According to Bryce Henderson Stevens at his Familytreemaker site Simon signed his name "Sijmon" although in records it is often listed as Symon, the "ij" being misread as a "y". Charles R. Vanorsdale states in the December 1999 issue of Vanguard, Vol 2, No 2, that the Dutch language does not have a "y". E. Th. R. Unger, "Voorts weet ick niet meer te schriiven' Jaarboek, Van Het, Centraal Bureau voor Genealogie, (Deel 50, 1996, pp 179-198; Den Haag, Netherlands. ISSN 1385-4992), Page 189., Autograph signature on a notarial act, 10 May 1652. Streekarchiefdienst Hollands Midden, notariele, achieven Gouda, inv. no 292, fol. 94, Notary Jacob van der Tocht. (Regional Archive for Central Holland, Notary archives for Gouda.) Signature of letter to Joost Jansz van Arsdale, 9 Sept, Streekarchiefdienst Hollands Midden, archief weeskamer Gouda inv. No. 616 (old archive Gouda)
Sijmon Jansz van Aersdal married in Amsterdam, Netherlands to Marijtje (Maria) Baltus. The banns were published 26 March 1650. Marijtje (Marritie) was from Amsterdam living in Lelystraetje (Leliestreet), aged 20 (born approximately 1630), having no parents (parents deceased). Sijmon was from Niekerck, a potter, aged 22 years, producing a letter of consent from his father, living in potter's path (Pottebackerspadt). The above is from a report prepared by the Centraal Bureau voor Genealogie prepared for several "Vans" dated May 17, 1993. Charles R. Vanorsdale had Dutch Genealogist Dr. Peter Nouwt research their marriage date. Sijmon and Marretje were married on April 19, 1650 at Amsterdam's Oude Kerk ("Old Church") by Rev. Borsius.
Charles R. Vanorsdale expands on Amsterdam in the 1600's, Potter's Path, Sijmon's residence, including maps and pictures in the December 2000 issue of Vanguard, Vol 3, No 2 pp 4-6. He states that because of fire hazards, that many potteries were moved outside the city walls. A number of them were set up near the city gate known as St. Anthoniespoort (St. Anthony's Port). Also near this port was the linen bleaching fields (t'Bleeckvelt). Bleekvelt means bleaching fields where linen was bleached in the sun. So Sijmon lived at potters path near the bleaching fields. He states that a new graveyard was needed, so in 1640, St. Anthony's churchyard was established near St. Anthoniespoort.
The report dated May 17, 1993 lists Sijmon and Marritje two children: Sijlijnteje Simons), baptised in Amsterdam 26 Feb 1651, Grietje Philips sponser, (Sijmon 23, Marritje 21) Jan Simonsz, baptised in Amsterdam 19 Nov 1652, Vroutje Jansdr sponser, (Sijmon 24, Marritje 22)
Did our ancestor, Sijmon, know the artist Rembrandt van Rijn? Charles R. Vanorsdale in the July 2000 issue of Vanguard, Vol 3 N 1 page 2 states "Rembrandt sketched a view of the Amstel looking in the direction from the Blauw Brug in about 1650 ... As it turns out, Rembrandt lived up the street on the other side of the canal from Sijmon! Rembrandt used to walk along the Amstel in the 1650s during his landscape sketching period and probably walked past Sijmon's house from time to time. Did they ever converse? One can only wonder!!"
Why was Sijmon in the new world and why did he stay? There have been various stories floating around. Charles R. Vanorsdale explains what is known in Vol 2 No 2 December 1999 issue of Vanguard, the newsletter of the Van Aersdalen Family Association. He quotes Ralph Ege's 1908 book "Pioneers of Old Hopewell, with Sketches of Her Revoluionary Heroes" and A. Van Doren Honeyman's article in the Somerset County Historical Quarterly, vol 8 no 1 pp 96-119 in January 1919 titled "The Van Arsdale Family - Pluckemin Line." He also lists the Marya Van Arsdalen 1741 Bible (she was a Van Nuys who was married to Abraham Van Arsdalen). Entries from this Bible first appeared in The Register of the Kentucky Historical Society, vol 31, no 97, p 348 of October 1933. He states statistics from Jonathan Israel's book "The Dutch Republic: Its Rise, Greatness, and Fall 1477-1806", Oxford University Press, Inc., NY 1995. He quotes statistics about plague epidemics. He says Amsterdam was free of plague in 1652, 1653, and 1654, but was then hit with a vengeance in 1655, whereby 16,727 people or about 12.5% of the populace were killed (pp 624-625). The following is a compilation form the sources.
Sijmon Jansen Van Aerts Daalen was in the new world in New Amsterdam, New Netherlands in 1653. He came aboard the ship "Dynasty". He was on a mission from the government or private company to investigate the practicability of setting up a pottery business to manufacture chinaware (possibly looking at clay sources). He had finished his task and was waiting to return to his homeland when he got word from his family in Holland that his wife and children died in a plague epidemic in Holland (Netherlands). Marrijtje, wife of Simon Jans van Asdal in Bleeckvelt, was buried in Amsterdam at St. Anthony's churchyard 26 Nov 1655. On 18 Nov 1655 a child of Seymen Jansen the potter in Bleeckvelt was buried at St. Anthony's churchyard. Charles R. Vanorsdale states in Vanguard, Vol 3, No 2, p 6, that in 1682 that the Hortus Botanicus Gardens were built next to the graveyard and that in 1878 they annexed the cemetery land. The remains of Sijmon's first wife and two children are likely beneath the botanical gardens or the park adjacent to it. With his family gone he decided to stay. His first family died in November of 1655. It took about five months to get to the new world, so his decision to stay in New Amsterdam was probably made no ealier than May of 1656. Sijmon had been away from home in Amsterdam about three years.
Charles R. Vanorsdale states in Vol 1 No. 2 of Vanguard, the newsletter of the Van Aersdalen Family Association, that during this time period, the Dutch were often at odds with the English, the Indians, and with the Swedes. New Sweden, located primarily along the west bank of the Delaware River, had built Fort Christina, Fort Goteborg, and Fort Elfsborg to defend Swedish interests from the Dutch. In 1651, Pieter Stuyvesant, after realizing that the Swedes controlled the river inlet, decided to erect Fort Casimir between Christina and Elfsborg, near present-day New Castle, Delaware. The Swedes attacked and the poorly manned Fort Casimir yielded. Amsterdam retaliated and sent a warship, the De Waegh (The Balance) and 200 soldier to New Netherlands. Stuyvesant conscripted an additional army of up to 400 men and six more ships. Between September 5, 1655 and September 23, 1655, the Dutch blockaded the Forts. New Sweden gave up and their territory was absorbed by the Dutch as the Dutch would be by the English nine years later. Was Sijmon Jansen among the troops mustered by Pieter Stuyvesant? There are no records listing the Dutchmen who served in that war. But considering that the population of New Netherlands was about 5,000 in 1650, that Sijmon was about 28, healthy and with no family, that out of 5,000 population, after eliminating older people and children and those living away from the community that there were about 1480 able bodied men to choose from. Charles R. Vanorsdale states that "it is highly likely that Symon was one of them."
Vanorsdale continues in Vol 2, No 2 of Vanguard with a long article concerning the politics in New York in the 1680's and 1690's and the unrest developing from the overthrow of England's Roman Catholic King, James II in favor of Protestants William and Mary. Jacob Leisler, a German immigrant who arrived in 1660 and became very wealthy, had very close ties with the Dutch, and served as the agent representing Suffolk County to the provincial government. On May 31, 1689, a group of rebels seized the fort of New York City and Jacob Leisler was selected to serve as the Captain of the fort. Leisler was chosen to be the commander-in-chief of the province of New York. On December 11, 1689 Leisler named himself Lt. Governor of the province with the support of a ready militia. The English eventually retook the fort in 1691, Leisler was executed and his property was confiscated. The English parliament reversed their decision and returned the property to the rightful heirs. Leisler remains were exhumed from their burial site beneath the gallows and very ceremoniously buried before a crowd of up to 1500 at a Dutch churchyard in 1698.
Vanorsdale states that in E. B. O'Callaghan's "Documentary History of the State of New York" there is a section entitled "Administration of Lieut. Gov. Leisler" that is a listing of commisions issued by the Lt. Governor, and number 115 on that list was a "Symon Janse" who held the office of Lieutenant in "Flackbush" commencing December 27, 1689. Vanorsdale asks "Was this "our" Symon Janse? If so, he would have been almost 62 years old; is that likely?" Vanorsdale states that there were other Dutchmen of a similar age who were given commissions. He says according to historian Michael Kammen "Colonial New York, A History", pp120-127, that all of Leisler's close associates were Dutch. Vanorsdale believes this "Symon Janse" is ours and not Sijmon Jansz Romeyn, with whom he is often confused in the New Netherland literature. He states that Romeyn was living in New York City at the time and not Flatbush. Charles R. Vanorsdale doubts that Symon Janse Van Aersdalen saw any military action from this appointment.
The earliest known record of Symon Janzen Van Aersdale in Nieu Amersfoort in dated October 12, 1655. On that Tuesday morning, Director-General Pieter Stuyvesant and his Burgomasters and Schepens began collection of a "voluntary contribution and taxation" of the citizens to erect a wall to safeguard the town from Indians. Symon gave 10 florins and was listed as dwelling at Clyn Aerts. Considering that most of the citizens taxed paid anywhere from three to ten times as much, Symon was just getting on his feet and did not yet own a house. Where this wall once stood is now known as Wall Street. This is from Charles R. Vanorsdale, Vol 1, No. 1 issue of Vanguard and is quoted from "Six Hundred Years of Van Arsdale Family History" by Charles R. Vanorsdale.
He remained a widower for five years before he married Pieterje Claessen Cornelisz Van Shouwen in about 1658.
3 May 1660 Simon Jansz was chosen a Schepen (Magistrate) of Amerfsoort, Kings Co., NY 19 Nov 1660 Simon Jansz signed a declaration as to the land of Pietter Claessen, Flatland, Kings Co., NY 3 Apr 1662 Simon Jansz signed petition of Peter Stuyvesant to determine the boundaries of Amersfoort and Midwout, Kings, Co, NY 3 Jul 1663 Simon Jansz selected to represent Amersfoort, Kings Co, NY to engage several towns to keep an armed force. (The register of New Netherland, page 143) 28 Aug 1663 Symon Janzen sues carpenter Jan Teunizen to release a house for which Symon had paid, the Court rules in favor of Symon. 19 Feb 1664 Simon Jansz and Claes Cornelissen caused a convention to be held at Midwout, Kings, Co, NY 8 Sep 1664 Dutch rule falls. New Netherlands had a population of close to 10,000 but 20-40% were non-Dutch. 27 Mar 1665 Simon Jansz purchased land in Amerfoort, Kings Co, NY. 19 Jun 1665 Simon Jansz signed a petition to dispense with the service of Com. Polhemus. 18 Jun 1674 Simon Jansz bought lots on the island, Kings Co, NY. 30 Dec 1675 Simon Jansz purchased land on the flats of Amsfort, Kings Co, NY. 1667 Simon Jansz and wife listed in Decons' account as old members of the Dutch Ref Church, Amsfort. 11 May 1677 Simon Jansz served on commission to settle boundary dispute between the towns of Amersfoot and Flatbush. 22 Mar 1680 Simon Jansz was a constable when he signed records in Flatlands, Kings CO, NY 31 Mar 1680 Simon Jansz purchased house and lot, Flatlands, Kings CO, NY Sep 1687 Simon Jansz took oath of allegiance.
Signed his name "Sijmon Jansen Van Arsdalen."
Franklin Frick wrote in his treatise on Symon Janse "The fact that Symon became a Dutch judge only seven years after he arrived in America is proof that he had a good Dutch background...The biography of Symon Janse Van Arsdalen by the genealogist Charles Hoppin in the book Washington Ancestry describes him as "one of the chief public men of Amersfoort" Symon served as judge, constable, and overseer. Symon is best remembered for his unsuccessful efforts during 1663 and 1664 to persuade the Dutch government to strengthen the military forces of the colony. The Society of Colonial Dames of America recognizes these services by making him a qualifying ancestor of membership in their organization. Symon served as an elder in the Dutch church. He owned property. He died in 1710, at the age of eighty-one years. In 1658 Symon married Pierte Claes. She was the first of our ancestors to be born in America. She was baptized in New Amsterdam (New York City) in 1640"
Letter dated September 9, 1698 from Sijmon Jansen van Arsdalen to his brother Joost in Amsterdam. Letter and translation provided by Joann Ramseyer. Address to "The respectable and very modest Joost Jansen van Aerdsdalen living in the Egelantierstraat next to "De Gekroonde Roomalen" (name of a house) in Amsterdam.
Praise the Lord above all, in the bay on September 9th, 1698. My kindest regards be written to my so much beloved brother and sister; I let you know I received your letter from Aendries Wandelaer and that I understand the contents of it. I am pleased to say, however, the accident your daughter has met with causes us sorrow, however, it is the work of God, that we ought to bear patiently; farther I let you know, that I, your brother, and my wife and children are in good health yet thank God for His grace and we hope to learn from you the same in due time; I wonder you didn't write about our niece; farther I let you know all my children are married and each of them is living in a farmhouse that earns their livelihood.
I sold my farm to my eldest son Cornelis, 33 years of age, has got five children, three sons, two daughter; my son Jan, 22 years of age, has got two sons; my daughter Geertje has got eight children; Janneken has got five children; Mettegen has got three children; they are comfortably off but they have to work which God comanded Adam; as for me your brother, I stopped working since I am 71 years old now my wife is 58 years of age and you, my brother, are, if I remember rightly, 60 years of age.
God be pleased to give us a blessed end; I am in receipt of your son Jan's drawing which pleases me very much. I gather from your letter your daughter's [size?] causes you sorrow and I can well believe it and if I knew you would be pleased I would come to your assisantance; please let me know. I do not know anything more to write; I will send this letter along with Pieter Berrij, he is our son Jan's nephew/cousin, who knows us very well; you can send your reply along with him as for Dries Wandelaer; he is not acquainted with us and for this reason he cannot inform of us. God be with you and be saluted heartily by me. Sijmon Jansen van Arsdalen, your brother."
The information regarding the inheritance is from E. Th. R. Unger. Some years ago, one of Sijmon's descendants asked the Central Bureau of Genealogy to undertake a thorough research project. Their records revealed that the name Van Arsdale (or variation) occasionally showed up in the early 17th century in the city of Leiden. As this was the only connection it seemed reasonable to start the project there in the municpal archives. From Leiden the trail led to Gouda where finally the papers (including the letters) were discovered pertaining to the legacy of 1,000 flourens to Sijmon or his issue under the will of March 1, 1707. It turned out later (after the research was completed) that someone already had written an article on the distribuiton of Geertruijt's estate (D. J. Knoops 1950). Sijmon Jansz van Aersdale is named in this paper, but the fact that he lived in New Netherlands was not mentioned. As a result the importance of the article for the American van Arsdal family was not recognized.
Sijmon's neice, Geertruijt van Haesdaele married Pieter Verveen. On March 1, 1707 Pieter and Geertruijt, living in Gouda, made their last will and testament. The surviving partner will have full control over the estate. Thereafter, after deduction of legacies (1,000 guilders a year plus 1,000 guilders in cash to Phillippina Joosten van Haesdaelen and an amount of 500 guilders for Lijsbeth Hensbeeck) the remainder shall be divided one half amongst the closest relatives of Pieter, the other half for those of Geertruijt. Furthermore an amount of 1,000 guilders shall be set aside as a legacy, instead of distribution of Geertruijt's uncle Sijmon Jansz Van Haesdaelen, living in New Netherland, or his heirs. However if this sum is not claimed with six years after the death of the longest living spouse, then that amount shall be distributed amongst the other heirs. (Will executed before Johan van Middelant, Notary in Gouda.)
Letter dated September 22, 1731 from the four surviving children of Simon and Pieterje to a cousin in Holland regarding an inheritance. The letter was located in the Gouda City archives (file registration number 616), among records of the Gouda Orphans Court, and deal with the estate of Geertruijt van Haesdale. Her will, made with her first husband Pieter Verveen, bequested one thousand guilders to "her uncle Symon Janse van Haesdale, living in Nieuw - Nederland" or to his children. The research and translation was performed by E. Th. R. Unger, of the Centraal Bureau voor Genealogie, Den Haag, and reported to Mr. G. van Arsdale of California, August 1991.
Address to "Mister Harmanus van Hombergen, candle - maker at Gouda Nieuw Amersfoort, September 22, 1731 Dear Cousin, Your letter of May 10th, 1731 has been delivered to us by Mr. Hagoort. You wrote us our cousin Geertruij van Aersdal died and that she willed her uncle, Simon Janse Aersdal or in case he predeceased his surviving children one thousand guilders.
There are four of us yet, we, the undersigned, Cornelis Simonsz van Aersdal and Jan Simonsz van Aersdal, and our sisters Jannetje and Mettie van Aersdal. We (Cornelis and Jan) have been appointed as executors of the last will of our father and administrators of his estate. We understand the money should be collected in 1733 and we will empower you to act for us in good time but please let us know which Orphan's Court it should be addressed to. We thank you for informing us of the legacy and hope this letter may find you and the family in good health.
In case you would write again please direct your letter to Cornelijs Sijmenijs van Aersdale at Nieuw - Amersfoort in the isle of Nassau. Cornelijs Sijmenijse van Aersdal Ian Sijmense van Aersdal"
The following letter is from the Van Arsdale Genealogy Site. There is no indication who submitted it. The URL is (www.macatawa.org/~brianter/vanarsdaledocuments.htm)
Letter dated March 22, 1733, signed by Cornelis Simonsz van Aersdalen, his brother Jan Simonsz, and the husband of their sister Metje Simonse, at that time the surviving children of Sijmon Jansz.
To mister Harmanus van Homberg, candle maker at Gouda: Dear cousin Van Homberg, Reverend Hagoort handed us your letter of July 2, 1732. We are enclosing a proxy to you drawn up with the assistance of our ministers and our judges in accordance with your instructions and we hope it is complying with the Orphan's Court's regulations.
Our sister Jannetje Simons van Aarsdal who was married to a certain Bogaert died round about Christmas last year. She had been paralyzed and was confined to her bed for several years. So was our sister Geertje, who died about two years ago.
You were writing you are interesed in knowing to what number our family tree has expanded: we are over two hundred now. Cornelis Simonsz van Aarsdal has got eleven children eight of whom are married and has over forty descendants; Jan Simonsz van Aarsdal has got eleven children and Geertje, Jannetje and Metje have got many children and grandchilden. You will understand it is just impossible to enumerate them!, however, I can inform you they are all living on plantations of their own breeding cattle and growing corn, maize etc. We thank our Lord for leading our father to this country.
Please hand Levinus Clarkson, a merchant in Amstedam, the money. He will deliver it to our minister Barnardus Freemen, who gave us an IOU for it. With kindest regards. Cornelis Simonsen van Aersdal Jan Sijmonsen van Aersdalen Mettie Sijmonsen van Aersdalen (proxy)
We the undersigned Cornelis Simons van Aersdal, Jan Simons van Aersdal and Philip Volkers, husband of Metie Simons van Aersdal, being the surviving children of the late Simon Janse van Aersdal, living in the province of New York (formerly Nieuw Nederland), situated in North - America in the isle of Nassau in King's County empower Mr. Harmanus van Hombergen at Gouda in Holland to demand from the Gouda Orphan Court the amount of money (plus interest) bequethed to us by the late Geertruy van Aersdal, who died in Gouda June 1727. Signed at Midwoud, King's County, March 22, 1733: V. Antonides (minister, witness) Crelis Sijmoen van A... B. Freeman (minister, witness) Jan Sijmonsen van Aersdale P(h)ilip Volkers, husband of Mettie Sijmonsen van Aersdale
We undersigned ministers of the Dutch reformed church at Midwoud, King's County in the isle of Nassau testify that we witnessed the signing of the proxy to Mr. Harmanus van Hombergen by Cornelis Simonsz van Aersdal, Jan Simons van Aersdal and Philip Volkers, husband of Metie Simons van Aersdal. Moreoever we testify they are the surviving children of the late Simon Jansse van Aersdal who we were acquainted with. Two children of his, Geertje and Jannetje died in the mean time. Signed: V. Antonides, minister Barnardus Freeman, minister
Samuel Gerritsen and Coert Voorhees, judges of peace of King's County testify that Cornelis, Jan and Metie van Aersdal signed and sealed the proxy to Mr. Harmanus van Hombergen with their own hands and that they are the genuine children of Simon Jansesn van Aersdal. Signed: S. Gerritsen, judge of peace Coert Voorhees, judge of peace.
Georgia O'Keeffe, American Painter, is a descendant of Sijmon Jansz Van Aersdale through his daughter Geertje Simonse Van Aersdale and her husband Cornelis Wyckoff, son and Pieter Claesen Wyckoff. This from a message posted to Dutch Colonies mail list, Rootsweb.com, 25 April, 2002, by Jean Boutcher.
More About Sijmon Jansz Van Aersdale and Pieterje Claessen Van Schouwen: Marriage: 1658
Children of Sijmon Jansz Van Aersdale and Pieterje Claessen Van Schouwen are:
+Cornelis Simonsz Van Aersdale, b. 01 May 1662, Amersfoort Flatlands, Kings County, Long Island, New York, d. 19 Apr 1745, Flatlands, Kings County, Long Island, New York.