Words To Remember

"The truth is this--genealogy is our living, and we are busy every minute, [and we] could use more hours." --Jane Wethy Foley, 1942

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Intermarriages Among Harlem Pioneer Families

At the beginning of the 18th century, the little isolated community of Harlem consisted of half a hundred homes. The small two-story Dutch homes generally sheltered each a half-score or more of sturdy youngsters. "Intermarriage," says Riker, "among the resident families was the rule, and he was thought a bold swain truly who ventured beyond the pale of the community to woo a mate."

This simple, natural practice of marrying among neighbors was fraught with consequences not to be foreseen by the 30 families who constituted the village of Harlem two centuries ago. As a matter of fact, all--or very nearly all--of those who today bear the names of the 23 original patentees of Harlem and the 700-800 hundred others of different surnames who later married into these families are knit together by ties of kinship of which few are aware.

The wish tree is originally a Dutch wedding tradition. Guests wrote a message or wish on a note and hung it on the tree, which was then to bring the wishes to life.

The children and grandchildren of the patentees were nearly all cousins. Some 250-300 children and grandchildren of the original settlers were all closely bound by ties of blood relationship. Fifty years after the village was settled, or about the end of the first quarter of the 18th century, there was scarcely one of the families of the patentees who was not related to every other of the 25 or 30 families who first settled the village and they were not further removed than the fourth degree.

The following list of intermarriages of the children of the patentees may interest some of their descendants:

Of the Waldron family, Resolved Waldron had four daughters. Aeltje married Johannes Vermilye; Rebecca married first Jan Nagel and afterwards Jan Dyckman; Ruth married first Jan Delamater and afterwards Hendrick Bogert; Cornelia married Peter Oblinus. Their brother Johannes married Anna Van Dalsen. These marriages resulted in ties of close kinship between the seven families of Waldron, Nagel, Dyckman, Vermilye, Oblinus, Delamater and Bogert.

Of the Bussing family, Arent Harmanse Bussing, the patentee, married Susan, the daughter of Jan Delamater. His son Peter married Rebecca, daughter of Johannes and Aeltje Waldron Vermilye. John and Margaret Bussing married, respectively, a daughter and son of Cornelis Jansen Kortright. Elizabeth Bussing married Matthew Benson and Engeltje married Abraham Meyer. Of Peter Bussing and Rebecca Vermilye's four children, two married Bensons and two Meyers/Myers.

Of the Dyckman family, Jan Dyckman married first, Madeleine, the daughter of Daniel Tourneur, and after her death, as already mentioned, Rebecca Waldron, who was at the time of her second marriage the widow of Jan Nagel.  Jan Dyckman's son Jan married his cousin Deborah Nagel, while his sister Magdalena married Deborah Nagel's brother, Jan Nagel II. Jacob Dyckman married Jannetje Kiersen; Sarah married {text missing here}; sister Rebecca married Joseph Hadley, and their daughter Mehitabel Hadley married her cousin Isaac Vermilye.

Of the Meyer/Myer family, Adolph Myer married Maria, the daughter of Johannes Verveelen, and their children married respectively into the Van Dalsen, Benson, Bussing, Waldron, Lent and Haringh/Haring families; while their grandchildren married into the Dyckman, Waldron, Bussing, Delamater and Kortright families.

Of the Vermilye family, Johannes Vermilye's daughters--besides Rebecca, who married Peter Bussing--Maria married Peter Kiersen; Sarah married Teunis Van Dalsen; and Hannah married Jonathan Odell, the great-great-grandfather of one of New York's governors.  And in the two following generations of the Odell and Vermilye families and the Dyckman family, there were no less than ten intermarriages of cousins belonging to the three families. Aeltje Vermilye, a granddaughter of Johannes and Aeltje Waldron, married John Kortright.

Maria Vermilye, sister of Capt. Johannes, the patentee, became the second wife of Jean de la Montagne and her children married into the Bogert, Bussing and Kortright families. Nicasius de la Montagne, the son of Jean de la Montagne by his first wife Rachel De Forest, married Christina Roosevelt.

A Dutch trouwbeker, or wedding cup, from which the bride and groom drank

Of the Tourneur family, Daniel Tourneur's children married into the Kortright, Oblinus, Dyckman and DeVoe families, while his grandson Jacobus married a granddaughter of Laurens Jansen Low.

Of the Verveleen family, in addition to the connection by marriage between the Verveelen and Meyer families, already noted, there is that established by the two grandchildren of the old ferryman, Johannes Verveelen. Bernardus and Jacobus married, the one a Delamater and the other a Nagel.

Of the Bogert family, Jan Louwe Bogert's two daughters, Margaret and Cornelia, married a Haring and a Quackenbos {Quackenbush} respectively, while his granddaughter Jannetje became a Waldron and his great-grand-daughter Anna married Jacobus Roosevelt.

Of the Nagel family, Jan Nagel and Rebecca Waldron had a son Jan, who married his cousin, Magdalena Dyckman.  Another son, Barent, married Jannetje Kiersen and a daughter, Johannes {sic: Johanna} became the wife of William Waldron.  Sarah, their granddaughter, married Peter Oblinus, and her sister Deborah married Benjamin Waldron.

Of the Brevoort family, Jan Hendricus Brevoort's grandson Hendricus married a Delamater; William Haldron's grandson Cornells married Anetje Meyer and Jan Kiersen's daughter Jannetje married Jacob Dyckman.

Of the Oblinus family, Joost Oblinus' daughter married Isaac Vermilye and his grandchildren married respectively into the Nagel, Tourneur and DeVoe families. The children and grandchildren of Laurens Jansen Low intermarried with the Bogert, Delamater, Tourneur, Oblinus and Meyer families; and those of Cornelis Jan Kortright into the Dyckman, Benson, Bussing, Quackenbos {Quackenbush}, Delamater, Meyer and Vermilye families.

Dutch wedding wooden shoes


{edited slightly by Madehlinne}

Pierce, Carl Horton, William Pennington Toler and Harmon De Pau Nutting, New Harlem past and present: the story of an amazing civic wrong, now at last to be righted (New Harlem Printing Co., 1903)

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