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Dr. Mary Ellen Van Camp
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All That Was Between Born and Died

First Families: Our Beginnings in America



Links to other genealogical information at this web site:

The
Clement
Family
The
Dellezene
Family
The
Dillon
Family
The
Patterson
Family
The
Pratt
Family
The
Rush
Family
The
Schermerhorn
Family
The
Schutt
Family
The
Vandervolgan
Family
The
Wilbur
Family

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The Early Settlers Arrive

Jerome Boucquet was one of the many men and women who chose a new course for themselves and their families forever, by deciding in the 1660's to leave their native lands and become immigrants to the New World. Boucquet left Middleburg, a prosperous town in the Netherlands province of Zeeland, and brought his family to the newly flourishing settlements in America. It appears that he, his wife, and their five daughters embarked from Ripen, North Jutland on April 16, 1663 to sail to Nieuw Amsterdam, hoping for a new life in America, or so it is recorded in a book about the Bockee family, written by Martha Bockee Flint in 1897. Other sources also indicate that Jerome Boucquet arrived in America on the ship De Bonte Koe in April 1663.

Flint indicates that Middleburg "was the first incorporated city of the Netherlands, receiving its charter in 1217" (Flint, 1897, p. 11). However, it is very likely, as Flint writes, given Boucquet's French name and the French names of the two women he married, that Jerome Boucquet was not a native of Middleburg, Zeeland, Netherlands. It is more likely that he was a French Huguenot who fled to Holland and then to America to avoid the religious persecution that preceded the revocation of the Edict of Nantes.


We do not know when or where Boucquet was born, who his parents were, or what part of the world he called home. Very likely, home to him had been somewhere in France. What we do know from Flint's account of him, derived from Walloon historical records, is that he came to America, like many other first settlers, and stayed.


Flint further records that Jerome Boucquet was married twice; first, to Anne L'Agache on August 11, 1641, and then to Anne Torion on May 16, 1644. It appears that Boucquet and his first wife, Anne L'Agache, had a son named Abraham Boucquet who remained in Holland for another twenty years after his father's departure before coming to America himself. The five daughters were probably the children of Jerome Boucquet and his second wife, Anne Torion.


We know the names of only four of the daughters: Annetje, Jannetje, Françoise (or Francyntje), and Maria (or Marie). Flint provides information about their marriages and children.

It is thought that Jerome Boucquet took his family to live in the Walloon settlement on Long Island, New York.

For the Clement family, the most significant information about Jerome Boucquet is probably that one of his daughters, Maria Boucquet (or Marie Boquet) married Jan Clement, the man generally credited with being the first member of the Clement family to come to America.

The exact date of Jan Clement's arrival in America is unknown, but it is believed to have been during 1665, and probably under circumstances much like those which led Jerome Boucquet to emigrate.


Merton L. Dillon (1949) has recorded that Jan Clement also was a French Huguenot who had fled from France to Holland to escape the religious persecution of the period.

According to John Sanders in the Centennial Address Relating to the Early History of Schenectady and Its First Settlers, Jan Clement took an oath of allegiance to the British King in 1687 and at that time stated that he had been in America for twenty-two years. That would make the year of his arrival 1665.

Cornelius Clement (1895), one of the early Clement family historians, recorded that Jan Clement settled on Staten Island. Given the fact that the Boucquets, and apparently Jan Clement as well, had traveled thousands of miles to reach America, Long Island and Staten Island were close settlements. One might speculate that the Boucquet and Clement families had been acquainted in France or Holland in earlier years. Such acquaintances and their continued relationships once people had traveled to a new land were not uncommon. There simply is no known evidence either to support or to refute this speculation.


Jan Clement and Marie Boucquet Clement had at least four children, probably five, and possibly more. Flint indicates the following children for them:

Janneke Clement, bp August 26, 1676, Brooklyn
Pieter Clement, bp, July 31, 1681, Nieuw Utrecht
Johannes Clement, bp. April 26, 1685, Vlacklandt [Rf. to Flatland]
Annetje Clement, bp. December 8, 1687, Vlackbosch [Rf. to Flatbush]

Among these we see Pieter (or Peter) Clement, who was baptized July 31, 1681 (or 1687?) in Nieuw Utrecht (probably meaning New Utrecht, Kings County, New York). He is a direct-line ancestor of Mary Elizabeth Vandervolgan. It is interesting to note that Flint lists the baptism date as July 31, 1681 in The Bockee Family 1641-1897, while Merton L. Dillon has listed the date as 1687 in The Clement Family (1949). The similarity in handwriting for these numbers has often led to confusion when ferreting out old records of birth, marriage, and death. A similar case of confusion also exists in the place of birth cited for Pieter Clement. Edwin H. Vedder has written that Pieter Clement was born in N. Utrecht, Netherlands (probably meaning North Utrecht), but this is unlikely, given the other available information.

Since it is generally believed among present-day Clement family descendants that Pieter Clement had a brother named Joseph Clement, it is very likely that Maria and Jan Clement had at least one other child. There are various records, including those left by Jonathan Pearson (1873), to support the relationship, but to date, no one in the Clement family seems to have found any records about either the death of Jan Clement or the birth of Pieter's brother, Joseph. Later records tell about events of their lives, but the most basic biographical data remains a mystery. Perhaps, a resourceful genealogist can find that information in the future.


Claas Lourense Van Der Volgen was another of the colonial settlers whose origins are unknown, but who left a significant record in the local history of Schenectady, New York. He was an early settler of Schenectady. He married Marytje Swart (or Maritie Swart), daughter of Teunise Cornelise Swart and Elizabeth Lendt (or Elizabeth Van der Linde). Edwin H. Vedder records that Claas and Marytje Van Der Volgen had nine children (VFH, p. 233). Claas is listed prominently among the members of the First Reformed Church of Schenectady and as one who was paid for work he did for the church on at least one occasion (SDRC). Jonathan Pearson (1873) records the following information about Claas Lourense Van Der Volgen:

Claas Lourense is the earliest known ancestor of the Vandervolgan family in America and it is to him and his wife, Maritie Swart, that we trace our ancestral history. However, given the Dutch customs in the seventeen and eighteenth centuries for regularly (almost invariably) naming their children after parents and grandparents, it is very likely that he was named after his father and that his father's name was Louren or Lourens and, perhaps one day, more information can be found on this branch of the family.


Jacob Janse Schermerhorn was among the first settlers of Beverwyck (later, Albany), New York. Edwin H. Vedder, author of The Vedder Family in America: 1657-1973 tells the following story of him:

Jacob Janse Schermerhorn is the earliest known ancestor in this branch of the family. As with Claas Lourense Van der Volgen, it is reasonable to speculate that his name reflects who his father was. It is very likely that Jacob's father was named Jan Schermerhorn and, perhaps, a resourceful genealogist can find records concerning his life in some future research. The Vedder entry provides clues regarding where one might begin the search.


The First Settlers of the Patent and City of Schenectady

Schenectady, New York was founded by a group of fifteen colonists from Beverwyck who worked to create a new village in 1662 (SDRC, p. 57). For our family, the founding of Schenectady, New York was a milestone. Of those fifteen American colonists to whom the founding of Schenectady is generally credited, we can trace our lines of ancestry to at least four of them. In The History of the First Dutch Reformed Church of Schenectady: 1680-1880, Jonathan Pearson has recorded that the founders of Schenectady were the following people (p. 57):

The list of Schenectady's original settlers includes four direct-line ancestors of Mary Elizabeth Vandervolgan Dillon:

It is remarkable that the list includes a woman, but historical records provide testimony that Catalyntje De Vos was indeed a remarkable woman. She and her husband, Arent Andriese Bratt, figure prominently in the histories of the Vandervolgen, Clement, and Schermerhorn families. Three of her children can be traced as direct-line ancestors through one or more of these families. Her son, Samuel Bratt was the father of Samuel A. Bratt and the grandfather of Jane Bratt, who married John Clement, the great-great grandfather of Mary Elizabeth Vandervolgan. Catalyntje's daughter, Aeffie Bratt, was Jane Bratt's maternal great-grandmother. Jane Bratt or Bradt was Aaron Clement's mother. (See Ancestral Charts in Appendix J.) Another daughter, Ariaantje Bratt, married Reyer Schermerhorn, the great-great grandfather of Freeman Schermerhorn Vandervolgen, who was the grandfather of Mary Elizabeth Vandervolgan. It should be noted that although each of these three children of Catalyntje De Vos Bratt married into separate families, it was in later years that various intermarriages of cousins took place which created the close, and sometimes unusual family relationships, as they are perceived today.

Catalyntje De Vos apparently came from a notable family because her father, Andries De Vos had been Deputy Director of Rensselaerswyk. Her first husband, Arent Andriese Bratt (Bradt, Brat) had been an early settler of Albany, NY. After the death of her first husband, Arent Andriese Bratt, (about 1662), ". . . the grants of land allotted to him, were confirmed to her" (Pearson, p. 19). Pearson offers the following information about Catalyntje De Vos:

Two of Catalyntje's sons, who are mentioned in the passage above, married daughters of Jacques Cornelise Van Slyck. Andries Arentse Bratt married Margareta Van Slyck, and Samuel Bratt married Susanna Van Slyck. Susanna Van Slyck enters into this family history as a great-grandmother of Aaron Clement. Aeffie married Claas Frederickse Van Petten. She died January 23, 1728, at the age of 78 (CGDS, p. 231). This information, along with that in the foregoing quoted passage, would confirm the year of Aeffie's birth as 1649. Ariaantje would have been born in 1651; Andries Arentse would have been born in 1653. The various records of the life of Catalyntje De Vos found in CGDS reveal not only that she recognized more than three hundred years ago the value of a prenuptial agreement for protecting her children's inheritance, but also that she had a rather tragic life. On February 8, 1690, when the French and their Indian allies carried out the Massacre of Schenectady, Catalyntje lost her husband, Barent Janse Van Ditmars, her daughter and son-in-law, Cornelia and Jan Pootman, and her son Andries, and a grandchild (one of Andries' children). I have no information at this time about where Catalyntje was at the time of the Massacre or how she came to survive it. One can only speculate how the terrible event may have affected her during the last twenty-two years of her life until her death in 1712.


Teunise Cornelise Swart was another of the original patentees (or proprietors) of Schenectady (SDRC, p. 57). He and fourteen other colonists founded the village, which became Schenectady, in the Spring of 1662 . They were able to gain control of this land because of a title agreement that one of the colonists, Arent Van Curler, had made with the Mohawk Indians the year before. Teunise and his wife, Elizabeth Lendt (or Elizabeth Van der Linde) had seven children, among them Marytje (or Maritie) Swart who married Claas Lourense Van Der Volgen. (Pearson, 1873, pgs. 179-180) Jonathan Pearson (1873) records the following information about the Swart family:


Jacques Cornelise Van Slyck, as one of the original settlers of Schenectady, established his place in history. As the father of Susanna Van Slyck, he established his place in this family history. Edwin H. Vedder records that Jacques Cornelise Van Slyck was born about 1640 at Canajoharie, NY and was the son of Cornelis Van Slyck. He married Grietje Ryckman, daughter of Harmen Ryckman of Albany. He had nine children. His daughter, Susanna Van Slyck, married Samuel Arentse Bratt. Susanna and Samuel were the parents of Samuel Bratt (or Bradt), who was Aaron Clement's maternal grandfather.


Harmen Albertse Vedder, grandfather of Antje Vedder, also was one of the original settlers of Beverwyck. It is known that he lived there in 1657, and probably before that, because historical records indicate that in 1657 he sold his house and lot for 2,325 guilders. He had several children, among them Arent Vedder, who was born about 1674, and who was the father of Antje Vedder. Antje Vedder's birthdate is unknown, but on July 28, 1721, she married Pieter Clement (VFH, p.24 and CGDS, p.37 and p. 255). The Vedder Family in America 1657-1973 by Edwin H. Vedder presents extensive and highly detailed genealogical information about Harmen Albertse Vedder and his descendants. Because of Harmen Albertse Vedder's relationship as Antje Vedder's grandfather, he becomes one of the original ancestors in America of Mary Elizabeth Vandervolgan and her descendants.

Links

Jan Clement

Catalyntje De Vos

Jacob Janse Schermerhorn

Claas Lourense Van Der Volgen

Antonis Teunis Van Slicht

Jacques Cornelise Van Slyke

Susanna Van Slyck


Links to other genealogical information at this web site:

The
Clement
Family
The
Dellezene
Family
The
Dillon
Family
The
Patterson
Family
The
Pratt
Family
The
Rush
Family
The
Schermerhorn
Family
The
Schutt
Family
The
Vandervolgan
Family
The
Wilbur
Family

Some of these sites are under construction and the others will have information added when time permits. Please try again soon.

This page last revised on April 5, 2000\3.



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