Prepared by Steve Mabie
Last Revised: 09/03/2009
COPYRIGHT ©2009 Stephen W. Mabie. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
All we really know about the parentage of Pieter Casparszen van Naerden is that his father was named Caspar (Casparszen means "son of Caspar"), and that he was born in a place that was either called or sounded like Naerden (because he was known as "van Naerden" which means "from Naerden"). There are no records of Pieter Casparszen ever using any surname. In fact the first use of the Mabie surname in any form by proven members of his family occurred in the marriage record of Metje Pieterse Mabie in November 1680. The second use of the Mabie surname occurred in Albany, New York, on September 2, 1684, when Jan Pieterse Mebe was sued by Hendrick Van Ness over the possession of a horse. (On October 7, the case was resolved in Jan's favor. See "Minutes of the Court of Albany, Rensselaerswyck and Schenectady 1680-1685," Volume III, pp 477-482.) A search of the records for the Dutch Reformed Church in Naarden, Noord Holland, has proved fruitless.
It has long been speculated that Pieter was of French extraction (a Huguenot), with the name Mabie having been derived from the French name Mabille. This story originated in an unpublished work by E. C. Marshall in the 1890s. In his paper, Marshall merely speculated that this was a possibility, and never made a claim of any factual support. However, almost every succeeding published genealogy has claimed this as a fact. While it is possibly true, it is wholly without any substantiation.
The one location in Europe that did have people with the Mabie surname prior to 1650, as demonstrated in various records, was Scotland. The Mabie surname appears to have surfaced in Scotland shortly after the Norman invasion. So, perhaps the name is originally from France after all. However, there may have been a few detours en route to New Amsterdam.
The name of Pieter Casparszen van Naerden appears in a few records that have survived the years. From the baptismal records of the New Amsterdam Reformed Dutch Church, we know that Pieter was in New Amsterdam by February 1647. The last definitive record of Pieter is on August 23, 1662, when he witnessed a statement made by a Jaccob Mensen, a master tailor from Embden, before the notary Saloman Lachaire. It is conjectured that Pieter was still alive in December 1662, when on the 17th he was recorded as the father in the baptism record of daughter Tryntie (Catherine); however, as is seen in other records, a deceased parent would still be recorded and their death might not be otherwise indicated in the record. A census of New Amsterdam conducted in June 1665, lists Aechtje Jans, the widow of Pieter Casparszen van Naerden, so we know he was deceased by that time.
The first time that Pieter Casparszen van Naerdenís name appears in any New Amsterdam records is in 1647. On February 17th of that year, he was a witness at the baptism of Hendrick, a son of Abraham Ryck.
In 1652, Pieter was sued by a Jacob Stoffelsen, although the details of the suit have not survived. In 1653, he was named as one "of the most influential citizens and inhabitants of this city" in the council minutes. Also, in 1653, he was a corporal in the Burgher Corps of New Amsterdam. On May 4, 1654, Pieter, along with Barent Jacobsen Cool, was provisionally chosen, appointed and accepted for one year as Wine and Beer Carriers for New Amsterdam. This, combined with testimony in a civil suit in 1658, reveals that Pieterís occupation was that of a "Car Man", more or less an ancient version of a modern day trucker. In October 1654, he was sued by Anthony Jansen van Vaes for non-payment of a debt and one month later Pieter sued Teunis Tomassen Quick. In 1655, Pieter was a witness to a secret land transaction in which the West India Company purchased land from the Native Americans on the west bank of the "South River" (now the Delaware). This land had already been settled by the Swedes, and this transaction was used to justify an attack on their settlements. In 1657, Pieter was listed as a "Small Burgher", a status which conveyed certain rights to the individual. Finally, Pieter is listed in a 1660 list of inhabitants of New Amsterdam.
In passing, it is also known that a Pierre Gaspar signed the so-called Leyden Petition in 1621. In this document certain Walloons and French petitioned, in 1621, the "Lord Ambassador of the Most Serene King of Great Britain" to allow them to settle in Virginia. The answer was to approve such a settlement in Virginia, providing that the settlers would take an oath of allegiance to the English king. However, if this is the same person as Pieter Casparszen van Naerden, then the questions arise as to why he apparently waited approximately 25 years to go, and why he did not go to an English colony as planned. Once again, there is no substantive evidence that Pieter Casparszen van Naerden and this Pierre Gaspar are the same person.
Before her marriage to Pieter Casparszen van Naerden, Aechtje Jans was previously married. The following records from the New Amsterdam Reformed Dutch Church (RDC) record her marriage and the baptisms of her two children by her first husband:
Marriage: (01) Abraham Willemszen, j. m. Van Amsterd, en Aechtje Jans, j. d. Van Norden.
Abraham Willemsz, from Amsterdam, requests by petition to be dismissed from his service as seaman, which is granted him by the honorable director general and council with permission to earn his living here as other subjects.
Abraham Willemsz, carpenter, appeared in court and declared on his manly troth, with offer of an oath, that he bought from Cornelius and Claes Jansz, sailors of the ship St. Beninjo, at New Haven toward the north, two kegs of powder, weighing about 70 lbs., for himself and Egbert van Borsum, jointly, which powder was resold here at the Manhatans to Jacob Reynsen. He declares further that he bought no guns or lead.
8/1/1648 Egbert van Borsum, being heard in council, declares and acknowledges that in the year 1647, at New Haven, to the North, he bought and received from the chief boatswain of the Klinckert and the cook of the ship Beninjo 50 guns at fl. 26 each, and that at the time there were still nine cases with guns in the hold of the said Beninjo; also, that no one in the world was associated with him, except Abraham Willemsz, at that time a sailor. He also says that he bought from the same four kegs of powder at one guilders, and three kegs of shot of 50 lb. each at 12 stivers a pound.
Baptism: (01) Willem, parents: Abraham Willemszen, no mother listed;
witnesses: Jan Willemszen Van Amsterd., Jan Dirckszen Van Amsterdam, Grietie Hermans, and Mary Geeraer
NOTE: This child, Willem Abrahamszen, later used the surname Tietsoort.
Baptism: (01) Abraham, parents: Abraham Willemszen, Aechtie Jans;
witnesses: Arie Dirckszen, Pieter Casparszen, Mary Claes, Janneken Jans
NOTE: There are no further records of this child Abraham, indicating that he died young.
From a newly published book, New Netherland: A Dutch Colony in Seventeenth Century America, by Jaap Jacobs, it is now learned (page 59) that on 11/12/1649, Abraham Willemszen was seriously injured in a duel, and died the next day.
On 11/13/1663, Aechtje Jans sued Cornelius Jansen van Hoorn, on behalf of her unnamed son (Willem). According to the suit, Aechtje's son had shot a bear on an island and while he was attempting to load the dead bear in his boat, van Hoorn came by and claimed that he had been chasing the bear and was entitled to half the meat. Moreover, van Hoorn forced him to "toss up" to determine who would get the skin, and van Hoorn won. The Court ruled that the boy was entitled to the skin, and ordered van Hoorn to deliver it to Aechtje.
The last time that Aechtje Jans was a witness to a baptism was in December 1689 (for Casparís son Pieter). Because of this, it had been accepted that she died shortly after this date. However, New York City tax records demonstrate that she was still alive and living with the family of her daughter Metje, on 8/21/1697. Her name is not in the tax list from 2/1/1698. Therefore, she appears to have died in that time frame.
There is no record of a marriage between Pieter Casparszen van Naerden and Aechtje Jans, which would have taken place in late 1650 or 1651. It must be noted, however, that the record of marriages for the New Amsterdam RDC does not appear complete, since only 3 marriages, all from December, are recorded for the entirety of 1651, the most likely year of their marriage.
With regard to this first generation and the traditional Mabie genealogy, there is one last baptism of note: a baptism on 11/6/1650 in which the name of one witness is "Casper Sergeant".
While this is the only New Amsterdam RDC baptismal record of a "Casper the Sergeant", it is not the only such record of a person by that name. Every indication is that "Casper the Sergeant" is none other than Casper Stienmetz (Casper the Stone Mason), whose name appears frequently in the records, and who was also in the Militia, first as a corporal, then as a sergeant. Casper Stienmetz is not at all related to the Mabie family. Thus, the story that the ancestor of Pieter Casparszen was Casper the Sergeant, which had been based primarily on this record and the fact that the father of Pieter Casparszen had to have been named Caspar, appears to be false. At the very least this record provides no support for that story.