January 15, 2005

Tips for Searching Dutch lines in New Netherland (New York)

Question from Nancy Moffit:

"Looking for information On Volkie or Folkie VanAlstyne married on 1-29-1757 to John Crannell, Albany, NY.at the Dutch Ref. Church. Children: William H, Issaac, Martin, Robert, Marie, Margarita, and Robert."

Lorine's answer:

Always look to the baptismal sponsors for help. The Dutch lines generally used family members, so look at the children's baptisms and write out all the sponsors names.

Start with the easy ones - those with the surname you are looking for (Van Alstyne in this case). See how they are related to the mother, Folkie. Are they siblings? Parents? Cousins?

Look at the other sponsors too - are any of the female sponsors Folkie's sisters, or aunts?

Also look at the naming pattern of the couple's children - in your case my first instinctive theory would be that the first 2 sons are named after grandfathers, making Folkie's father either WIlliam or Isaac. The first two daughters may
be named after grandmothers, making Folkie's mother either Maria or Margarita.

Let's take a look --

Little Isaac had as one of his sponsors Wynant V. Aelstyn,

Little Maritie had Willem V. Aalstein as one of her sponsors.

Those are the only two obvious Van Alstyne sponsors, which makes me think that baby Isaac and Maria were named in honor of Folkie's parents.

I'd look for a child Folkie bpt to Isaac and Maria, with brothers Wynant and Willem.

So let's move on and see if we can find that --

A search of the Albany DRC shows this marriage which I really like as candidates for your Folkie's parents

1728, Jan. 23. B. Isaac Van Aalsteyn and Maria V. D.Bergh.

Can we find bpt for this couple for a Folkie, Wyant and Willem?
Here they are:

1733 Apr. 22. Folkie, of Isaack and Maria V. Aalsteyn. Wit.: Wyn. and Folkie V. D. Bergh.
1738 Apr. 23. Wynand, of Isaac and Marytje Van Aalsteyn.
1742 July 21. Willem, of Isaac and Maria Van Aalsteyn

I left in the witness/sponsor Folkie Van Den Bergh because my money is on her being your Folkie's grandmother on her mother's side. In fact, I checked, and found a baptism in 1710 to Maria, of Wynant Van den Berg and Folkje Van Hoese.

Remember that those sponsors for baby Folkie in 1733 were Wynant and Folkie Van Den Bergh? No doubt they were the maternal grandparents! Again, my money is on Wynant and Folkje being the parents of Maria who married Isaac Van Alstyne who were in turn the parents of your Folkie Van Alstyne.

So now you have several more family lines you can start working on - Van Den Bergh and Van Hoesen....

All you need do is start going back through those Albany RDC records and checking who fits where.

In this case everything fits, the age of Folkie at marriage, parents names, bpt sponsors -- but I'd double check, make sure all the facts fit!

For help with New Netherland Genealogy see my Olive Tree Genealogy New Netherland New York section


The Albany DRC records are online, see CHURCH RECORDS OF NEW NETHERLAND for a list of available free records.

Be sure to check out my Van Alstyne pages

I think Isaac, the father of your Folkie was the s/o Martin Van Alstyne. Here's the bpt I think is his

1703 Isaac, of Marten Van Aalstein and Jannetje Cornelisse. Wit.: Cornelis and Maria Bogaart.

And now you have the fun of working on the rest of your lines!