Monday, February 27, 2012

Willem Juriaensz

What is in a Name

Off the coast of Schleswig, in the North Sea, lay the island of Nordstrand. Here, in 1618, was born to Wilhelm Jurianse a daughter, Volkie. Then in 1634, Nordstrand was destroyed by a devastating flood, and Volkie and her sister Annetje Juriaens survived and were taken to the coastal town of Husum. Their parents were killed in the storm.

Yet, in the records of New Amsterdam there are several references to Willem Juriaensz?

As I will relate below, Willem number two, late in his life, lived with Jan Van Husum and Volkie Jurriens in Claverack, offering to teach them how to bake. The difference in name spelling can be attributed to language. The German language uses the letter ẞ/ß (called eszett (sz) or scharfes S, sharp s. Dutch has no such letter. As we will see below, the name was also spelled Jurrianse and Jurriaanse.

I did find one tie in that seemingly connects both Willem and Volkie. But before we get to that, let's hear the story.

The Story

Willem Jurianesz settled in the colony of Kiliaen van Rensselaer, arriving in the fall of 1638 (Jan and Volkjie arrived in the summer of 1639). Willem's occupation was given as Captain. But he also earned a living as a baker, and, at least once, for providing lumber from a saw mill in which he may have had an interest. Beginning as early as 1644, he was in trouble with his neighbors for various misdeeds.

Read online from the New York State Library the Van Rensselaer Bowier manuscripts: being the letters of Kiliaen Van Rensselaer.Page 820 concerns Willem Juriaensz, alias Backer, alias Capitaijn. On the following pages at 821 and 822 are seven passengers on Den Harinck, which arrived in New Amsterdam the following summer. Missing are the names of Jan and Volkie.

This short biographical sketch of Willem is given in O'Callaghan, History of New Netherland, 1:437-38, and online at's list of Rensselaerswyck Settlers 1630-1658.  (The listings are chronological and Willem Jurianensz is three quarters of the way down.) This is a reprint of the New York State site.

A more complete account of Willem is given in Beverwijck: a Dutch village on the American frontier, 1652-1664, by Janny Venem.

The biographical sketch notes that Willem was often at odds with other settlers and frequently hauled before the authorities. He was twice ordered to be banished from the colony, but the sentence seems not to have been carried out.

Willem was getting up in age and Jan and Volkie agreed to take him in. In exchange for his keep, Willem would agree to teach Volkie and Jan how to bake. Willem apparently refused to keep up his end of the contract as he would hide the baking utensils. A final entry contains this note:
Nov. 30, 1651, Willem Juriaensz declared that he refused to fulfil his contract with Jan van Hoesen, dated Jan. 30, 1650, and Jan. 18, 1652, the court gave Jan van Hoesen permission to occupy the erf (lot, or bakery) of Willem Juriaensz, on condition that the latter be allowed to dwell in his house as long as he lived ofte de gelegenheijt presenteert (or an opportunity for removing to another place presented itself).
Jan and Volkie would continue with their bakery after Willem died. Indeed, Volkie would continue the trade after her husband's death. And the bakery would serve for yet another legal squabble, but that is a different story.

A Connection? 

Was there a family connection between Willem Juriaensz and Volkje Jurriens. If so, there is no mention of it in the biographical sketch.

The bio reports that Willem sailed on the ship de Liefde [the Charity] from the Texel September 25, 1638, arriving at New Amsterdam, December 27, 1638. Joyce Lindstrom reports that Jan and Volkje, after marrying in the Dutch Reformed Church in Amsterdam, set sail on the ship "Den Harlinck" [usually spelled Den Harinck]in May of 1639, arriving in New Amsterdam on July 7, 1639.

The connection is finally found in another source.  If you go to and do a search of the name Jurriaens you get a connection:
18. Volkje JURRIAANSE - Ancestral File Gender: F Birth/Christening: Abt 1618 Noorstrand Islan, , Schleswig-Holste, Germany
19. Wilhelm JURRIANSE (VAN NOORDSTRANT) - Ancestral File Gender: M Birth/Christening: Abt 1592 , , Netherlands
Volkie ties into Jan Van Husum (Van Hoesn) and the island of Nordstrand. Willem ties into the island of Nordstrand as well and is the correct age. This might suggest that Willem and Volkie were uncle and niece.

No comments:

Post a Comment