Several years ago I wrote an article for publication in New Netherland Connections. it was about my 9th great-grandfather Jan Damen who left Bunnik Netherland for the New World of New Netherland (present day New York state) in the mid 17th century. Jan settled in Long Island New York and married Sophia (Fytie) Martens.
|Far right: My 13th great grandfather Jan Damen 1515-1569,|
2nd great grandfather of Jan Damen 1638-1707
Five Members of the Utrecht Brotherhood of Jerusalem Pilgrims
painting by Jan van Scorel ca 1541
I have decided to republish the first 3 pages of my article here on my Olive Tree Genealogy blog. I hope that descendants of Jan and other genealogists enjoy this story of Jan's life in New York. This is Part 3, continuing on from Part 1 and 2
Jan Corneliszen Damen In The New World
by Lorine McGinnis Schulze
In 1679 Jan Damen and wife Sophia Martensz., both from Bushwick, were accepted as members of the Reformed Dutch Church in Breuckelen. On Sept. 1, 1680, less than one month after their daughter Sophia was baptised, her mother Sophia was apparently sick enough to warrant the writing of a will. In the joint will she and Jan made, Sophia's condition was recorded as "...at present being very sick in bed".
In this will Jan and Sophia left everything to each other with the land in Breuckelen specifically named as well as other lands whose location is not given. Jan's cousin Jan Cornelise Buys was one of the three witnesses to this will. (Sophia not only recovered, she went on to bear three more children in the next seven years.)
Jan Damen was very active in the Church and community, and on 21 November 1682, at approximately 47 years of age, he was elected Elder of the Breuckelen Church and confirmed there on 24th December. In a 1683 will for John Smith of Bedford he is named as "Jan Damen, Constable".  After serving the usual two-year period as Church Elder, Jan was replaced by Willem Bennet on 19 November 1684.
1686 saw Jan on the move once again - this time purchasing the main portion of the farm of the deceased Pieter Ceser Alburtis at the Wallabout. In September 1687 Jan Damen"off Breucklijn" signed the Oath of Allegiance to the King and was recorded as being in the country for a period of 37 years. This confirms his arrival date of 1651.
 Translated & Edited by David William Voorhees, Records of the Reformed Protestant Dutch Church of Flatbush, Kings Co. NY Vol. I 1677-1720, (Published by The Holland Society of New York, 1998) p. 363 (Hereafter called Flat.Voor)
 Abstracts of Wills Vol I 1665-1707 p. 426 (Liber 7, p. 332)
 ibid: "The survivor is to have the full use of all the estate in Brookland [sic] and elsewhere"
 Flat.Voor. Elections of Elders and Deacons 1677-1706: p 205
 LISr: Kings Co. Wills. p. 105
 Flat.Voor. Elections of Elders and Deacons 1677-1706 p. 209
 LISr: Kings County Deeds. P. 76. This land is described as "...lying in Walebought or Marewich where Pieter Monffort at the East side and Michiele Picett at the west side stretching alonge the middow fifty seaven rodd and along the land of Pieter Montford southward into the woods in length 270 rodd and after in the bosch broad seven and fifty rodd and then again to the middow north along Michiele Fransman [Michel the French man, meaning Michel Picett] to the middow 270 rodd amounting 24 morgen 450 rodd.."
 The Documentary History of the State of New York 4 vols. E. B. O'Callaghan Vol 1"Roll off Those Who have taken the oath off Allegiance in the Kings County in the Province of New Yorke the 26,27,28, 29 and 30th day of September in the Third Yeare of His Maytsh [sic] Raigne Annoque Domine 1687" (Hereafter called DHNY)