December 21, 2015

Invite an Ancestor for Christmas Dinner: #7 Hendrick Vrooman, Killed at Schenectady

1664 Letter from Hendrick Vrooman
I invite all of you to join me in coming up with an ancestor guest list for your Christmas Dinner. If you don't celebrate Christmas, feel free to choose a different holiday. 

Each day between now and December 25 I am going to invite one of my ancestors to join our family to celebrate with a traditional Turkey Dinner. 

Please think about who you want to invite and tell us why you want to have them at your table. Would you have a gift for them under the tree? What would it be? 

Hendrick Meesen Vrooman is another ancestor I'd like to meet. Hendrick Bartholomeus (Meesen)  and five children ages 15, 13, 11, 7 and 5 years old are on the passenger list of D'Eendracht (The Concord) arriving in New Amsterdam New York in April 1664. 

In the total of 60 people killed at the Schenectady Massacre in 1690 were Hendrick, his son Bartholomew aka Bartol, and two black slaves who were killed by Indians. Hendrick's grandsons Barent and Wouter were taken captive to Canada but later recovered. Hendrick's son Adam escaped with his three children Peter, Christina and Hendrick.

The report of the investigating party sent out from Albany states:

Hend. Meese Vrooman and Bartholomeus Vrooman kild & burnt....Item 2 Negroes of Hend Meese ye same death....Engel the wife of Adam Vrooman shot & burnt, her childe the brains dashed out against ye wall....
It's pretty gruesome but I want to hear what happened that frigid snowy night. Maybe he knows where my ancestor Jacques Van Slyke was that night. He should have been in Schenectady but he wasn't. Did he know ahead of time that an attack was imminent? 

The October 1664 letter Hendrick wrote to his brother Jacob shortly after arriving in the Colony is fascinating and I'd like to chat more about his impressions and experiences.

I can't give Hendrick a modern gun to protect himself and others, as that would change the timeline and too many future lives would be affected.  It was a harsh environment for my early Dutch settlers in New Netherland (present day New York) and I know from the records of another ancestor that candles and other essential items were in short supply. I'm going to give Hendrick a box of candles, several bars of soap and chocolates as a treat. 

Image credit:[word%3D%22%28%3Fi%29vrooman%22]

1 comment:

Kiwigirl said...

Loraine, this is a wonderful idea and has got me thinking and started too.