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March 9, 2011

Debunking The Post Family Genealogy Myth

Let me DEBUNK THE MYTH of the POST family, and the completely erroneous 'lineage' published in The Genealogical Magazine of New Jersey, Vol. X, No. 1. January 1935, under the title "The Post Families of New Jersey" by Dirk P. De Young.

This article sets forth a completely unsourced and non-viable lineage for Adriaen Crijnen Post. To his credit Mr. Young gave more than one disclaimer in his article:
"it [the lineage presented] must be accepted with the usual reservations until documentary proof of the connection is forthcoming"
However, this disclaimer is widely overlooked by researchers, and the suggested lineage has been repeated and sent forth into the genealogical community for so many years that many Post researchers accept it without question.

Let's take a critical look at Mr. Young's theory:

He suggests that Adriaen Crijnen Post was the son of Pieter Adrian's [sic] Post who died in The Hague in 1637. The major flaw in this proposed father for Adriaen is the patronymic of Crijnen which is attached to Adriaen. If he were indeed the son of Peter his patronymic would be Pietersz. (or variations such as Pietersen, Pieterse).

The second flaw is that the author presents no baptismal source to substantiate his proposal. I suspect Young simply found some promising POST names in The Hague area and tried to slot Adriaen into the family.

What we do know is that Adriaen Post, who may have been from The Hague, Netherlands, resided in Brazil in the West India Company's colony with his wife Clara (Claartje) Moockers. Their names are found in the baptism record for Adriaen's daughter Maria who was baptised in Recife Brazil in June 1649. [Source: Doopregister der Hollanders in Brazilie 1633 - 1654] At this baptism Adriaen's patronymic of Crijnen is recorded.

The author of the incorrect lineage, does, in his favour, state very clearly
"That Capt. Adrian Post was a son of Peter Adrian's [sic] Post who died in the Hague in 1637 is inferred only, from circumstances"
This disclaimer is unfortunately overlooked by many Post descendants who continue to use this flawed lineage as if it were fact.

If we look at the author's 'circumstances' for inferring the fatherhood, there are 3 extremely weak arguments:
  1. "Capt. Adrian Post must have been born about 1600"[My question: "What is his source and/or reasoning???"]
  2. ".. and he came to America from The Hague" My comment: That is like saying that all people with the name of xxx who lived in any_city, Netherlands are related].
  3. "Moreover according to Dutch custom he was probably named after his grandfather"[My comment: Adriaen is a very common name]
The most glaring flaw in Young's proposed genealogy is that of his suggested grandfather for Adriaen Crijnen Post. Young gives the line as:
"Adrian Pieter's son [sic] Post b. about 1500 as father of Pieter Adrian's son [sic] Post who died in The Hague 1637"
Some mental math will reveal that a man born in 1500 would be pushing the limits to have a son who died in 1637. Assuming an age of 50 for the birth of Adrian Pieter's son, that would make the supposed son, Pieter Adrianse 87 at his death. Yes it is possible (unlikely in my mind) - but Young gives no baptismal records to substantiate his claim.

The most revealing flaw (and this in itself should be enough to make the entire proposed genealogy suspect!) is Young's outline of Pieter Post, son of Gerrit, b. ca 1300. The next generation is given as
"__ Post. A generation *assumed*, particulars unknown" (starred word is mine and given for emphasis).
Then Young continues with a Pieter Post born about 1360-75 who he gives as the son of  ____ Post. 

Without sources, it is all guesswork. It is mythology. Without sources it is simply bad genealogy and should be discarded as quickly as possible. 

Please continue reading my article on the Post family, which is fully sourced.  I hope descendants will read and search the records for themselves before jumping to conclusions. I hope descendants will use the critical skills of analysis and evaluation to think about *any* family trees they find online or in books before they eagerly merge the data into their own lineage.


Mary said...

Interesting...thanks for the info. My maiden name is Post, I've never done much research on my POST side of the family mainly because my 'grandfather' was such a scondrel. I never knew him. I will keep all of this in mind IF I ever do any research on them.

Kathy Reed said...

Congratulations on having your blog recognized once again.

Wandering Mountaineers said...

I think this was published once before at another site. I seem to remember reading it early on in my search for Post antecedents and decided then and there to stop at the Jersey Shore with that side of the family. There are more than enough Posts in the USA who owe their name to Captain Adrian that going to Europe in the early 1600s isn't a need for me. Thanks to Lorine for all her inspiration for taking a journey down through the years of our families.

Genealogy Blogger said...

Hi Wandering Mountaineer - I hope you only saw this published on MY site at I wrote and published it years ago, but decided it could bear repeating on my blog. If you saw it anywhere else it was published without my permission

wooglin56 said...

GB: I and my wife, personally viewed records in the Amsterdam Maritime Museum, showing that Capt Adrien Post, wife, 2 children sailed 15 May 1650 aboard the schip "Nieu Neerlandtsche Fortuyn". Schipper: Daniel Michaelsen. "Schip en laden confisquerd" in Rhode Island, at an Island now known as "Dutch Island". They gained release of the the ship and cargo, and arrived on Staten Island, NY in December of 1650. On March 17, 1659 their son Francois (Frans) was baptized in the Dutch Reformed church in NY. I'm directly descended from Francois. BTW: Your research in the colony in Brazil should show you that there was a Francois Post there, as well as another Post, married to a woman whose maiden name was also Moockers (pronounced 'Mockers', according to an acquaintance in the NY Dutch Embassy).

Genealogy Blogger said...

Wooglin56: That's a very interesting find. Do you have a source citation for that, or copies of the documents? I would love to see them! Lorine

Anonymous said...

There is a Mattheus Post in 1651 and a Gertruy Moocker marr. to Pieter Lenorge.Lenouge having children Wilhelmyna in 1651 and Daniel in 1652. Gertruy is also witness to unrelated person in 1651.
They are not mutual witnesses to baptisms as Adriaen left early 1650, however I have not seen original documentation for being on the ship New Netherland Fortune, the found records show only 4 unmarried men (rootseb, ship's transcribers guild..)