October 5, 2008

Membership Lists New Amsterdam (New York City) Dutch Reformed Church, Question & Answer

Question: Here's the entry from the "New York Membership lists" exactly as it appears in New York Genealogical Biographical Record, Vol 9, p. 168.

den 29 Novemb. (1682)

Claes Janszen Stavast, en Obyt tot N. Albany
Eva Gerrits, Syn huysvr. [den 6 Aug. 1687

I feel more confused now that I have seen the entry because the way I read it:

Claes Janszen Stavast, and died N.Albany 6 Aug 1687 Eva Gerrits, his housewife.

Would this be Eva that died????


My Answer: The membership lists of the New Amsterdam (New York City) Dutch Reformed Church are searchable online. The names are in the left column. Comments are in the right column and were made (sometimes years later) after the names were entered.

This means that the notation below is read as

Claes Janszen Stavast, and Eva Gerrits, his wife

The extra notation "died N. Albany 6 Aug 1687" refers to whatever name it is beside. If it is beside Claes, it refers to him.

When you read the other names in the earlier registers you can see that various names have an entry which begins on the same line as their name. If it extends to a second line it is indented but kept in the samn column - presumably so there is no confusion as to whom the notation refers.

In the years you are looking at, you can see that if the entry extends to a second line, sometimes it is indented, and sometimes a [ has been added to the beginning of the second line in the right hand column. Sometimes it is indented *and* has the addition of a [

I am presuming this is to reinforce the separation of the entry from the name on that line, and to indicate the entry refers to the name *above* (which is also where the entry started) The entry you show below has the separating bracket [ and is indented in the NYGBR publication.

Several names have a little } beside both of them - and one notation on the first line of the right hand column. This means, as far as I am aware, that the notation refers to both parties.

If you look at the name one down from Claes Jansen Stavast and Eva Gerrits you will see the { being used and the right column notation extending down two lines with no indentation and no separating bracket [ --- thus indicating that this notation, unlike the one for Claes, refers to both parties.

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