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RELEASE DATE: FEBRUARY 20, 2011



KINSEARCHING

by

Marleta Childs
P. O. Box 6825
LUBBOCK, TX 79493-6825
kinsearching@gmail.com
 

     When most people think about the history of the thirteen American colonies, they remember the English involvement in settling the area that became the United States. Because of the close association with the British, people tend to forget that some early pioneers came from The Netherlands. This aspect is clarified in the new reprint of NEW YORK HISTORICAL MANUSCRIPTS: DUTCH KINGSTON PAPERS, VOLUME 1 – KINGSTON COURT RECORDS, 1661-1667 and NEW YORK MANUSCRIPTS: DUTCH KINGSTON PAPERS, VOLUME 2 – KINGSTON COURT RECORDS, 1668 – 1675, AND SECRETARY’S PAPERS, 1664 – 1675. Originally translated by Dingman Versteeg in the late 1890s, the first 171 pages were later revised (mainly in style) by Samuel Oppenheim who published them as THE DUTCH RECORDS OF KINGSTON. The rest of the information in these volumes continues the material from the point where his revision ends.

     Fundamental to the study of Dutch settlement in pre-Revolutionary America, the Kingston Papers, as they are commonly known, form the basis for data concerning the local administration of the region of the Esopus. In 1661, the famous Dutch leader, Peter Stuyvesant, named the village Wildwych. After the English seized New Amsterdam, which they renamed New York City, Wildwych’s name also underwent changes. Referred to as the town of Esopus, it eventually took an English name--Kingston.

     More than half of the two-volume set contains court minutes which provide details on legal transactions during the years 1661 - 1675. Actions frequently involved suits for the recovery of money due for wages, goods sold, and loans as well as litigation concerning assault, slander, and theft. Other court business pertained to the regulation of municipal affairs--primarily land use, security and trade.

     The second part of Volume 2 concerns the “Secretary Papers” for the years 1664-1675. Among the legal transactions appearing in these documents are agreements, bonds, contracts, declarations, powers of attorney, wills, and transfers of real estate, including conveyances, bills of sale, and leases.

     Although the Dutch usually did not have fixed surnames when they came to the New World in the seventeenth century, they soon adopted them out of necessity. Some recurring surnames, many of which have several variant spellings, in this work are ANDRISSEN, BROERSEN, CLAESSEN, DE WITT, DORN, EBBING, FREERE, GERRETSEN, HARMENSEN, HENDRICKS, HEYMANS, JACOBSEN, JANSEN, KIP, MATTHISEN, PETERS, ROOSE, SLECHT, STEENWYCK, STOLL, SWARTWOUT, TACK, VAN ALLEN, VAN IMBROCH, and WESTPHAEL.

     NEW YORK HISTORICAL MANUSCRIPTS: DUTCH KINGSTON PAPERS, VOLUME 1 – KINGSTON COURT RECORDS, 1661-1667 and NEW YORK MANUSCRIPTS: DUTCH KINGSTON PAPERS, VOLUME 2 – KINGSTON COURT RECORDS, 1668 – 1675, AND SECRETARY’S PAPERS, 1664 – 1675 furnish an extensive amount of historical data pertaining to the early Mid-Atlantic region. In addition, they also supply a wealth of genealogical information such as details on family relationships, places of residence, and occupations. Libraries that do not have a copy of this set will want to add it to their collection.

     The two-volume set has soft covers, illustrations, a map, and a total of 849 pages. The first volume includes a twelve-page introduction which gives useful facts about the history of the Esopus area, the Dutch records, the translations of the documents, and the research value of the material. The second volume contains endnotes; appendices, including one on Dutch naming practices; a glossary of Dutch, Indian, and archaic English terms; and a comprehensive index.

     To the set's price of $75.00, buyers should add the cost for postage and handling charges. For U. S. postal mail, the cost is $5.50 for one book and $2.50 for the second book; for FedEx ground service, the cost is $7.50 for one book and $2.50 for the second book. The set (item order #6040) may be purchased by check, money order, MasterCard, or Visa from Clearfield Company, 3600 Clipper Mill Rd., Suite 260, Baltimore, Maryland 21211-1953. For phone orders, call toll free 1-800-296-6687; fax 1-410-752-8492; website www.genealogical.com.


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