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August 13, 2016

Our Immigrant Ancestors - Willem Van Slyke aka Neef

There is a lot of discussion about immigration in America right now. Tempers have flared, and different groups hold various strong opinions. There is also Brexit, where immigration was a large focus of the recent vote which resulted in the U.K. leaving the E.U.

I've been following this for several months and it occurs to me that those of us in Canada, America, and Australia have immigrant ancestors. Have you researched yours? Do you know who they were, why they came to your country and when? Do you know how they fared once settled in their new land? Were they welcomed? Were they shunned? Was their discrimination based on their religion or ethnic origin? These are all questions that are important, and interesting to discover. With that in mind, I'm the dedicating Saturdays (as many as needed) as the day to join me in discussing your immigrant ancestors.

You will be able to read any you are interested in by using the keyword Immigrant Ancestors. I'm going to share each week what I know of my immigrant ancestors to North America (whether that is USA or Canada).

One of my early immigrant ancestors is Cornelis Antonissen Van Slyke. I am also descended from Cornelis' nephew Willem Pietersen Van Slyke

Willem Pietersen Van Slyke's arrival in the New World is generally considered to be in 1660 on board De Trouw.  Willem, who was also known as Willem Neef (Neef being the Dutch word for nephew) was the nephew of Cornelis Antonissen Van Slyke, who arrived earlier in the Colony of Rensselaerswcyk in May 1634 on board de Eendracht.

The first record found for Willem is on 22 February 1661, probably not long after his arrival in the colony. In the Deacon’s Account books of Beverwyck and Albany, Willem is noted as having been given 160 guilders.  Here we find the first reference to Willem as the nephew of Cornelis Van Slyke.

Willem probably met, and married his wife, Baertie, in the Albany or Kinderhook area shortly after arrival in the colony. Her last name remains uknown, but together she and Willem had at least six children, probably between 1660 and 1674. Church records for the Albany area have not survived before  1684, but we can determine their children by other means. 

To honour Willem and his story, I wrote a book about the family called "New Netherland Settlers: Willem Pieterse Van Slyke aka Neef - A genealogy to five generations of the descendants of Willem Pieterse Van Slyke who settled in New Netherland (New York) in 1660" by Lorine McGinnis Schulze

You may download an Order Form for this book or use Paypal

Review of New Netherland Settlers: Willem Pieterse Van Slyke aka Neef in July 2005 New York Genealogical & Biographical Record volume 136, Number 3, page 223

"Willem Pieterse Van Slyke of Albany and Rensselaerwyck was known as Neef or nephew, as his uncle Cornelis Antonissen Van Slyke was also a settler in the area. Lorine Schulze, who published the genealogy of Cornelis' family in 1996, has now produced an extensive account of Willem's descendants.

Initial narrative chapters cover historical background on New Netherland and the Dutch; new research on the family in the Netherlands which shows how uncle and nephew were related; and the lives of Willem Pieterse and his children, including the identities of their spouses, with resolution of several genealogical questions carefully explained.

The remainder of the book contains a traditional genealogy of Willem and his descendants, documented with 753 endnotes mostly referencing primary sources. Ms. Schulze plans more volumes in the series, including a supplement to the Cornelis Atonissen book with more detail on the Netherlands ancestry."

Image of ship inside compass copyright Brian L. Massey
Image of Willem Pieterse Van Slyke book cover copyright Lorine M. Schulze

1 comment:

John Boeren said...

Interesting to read about your Dutch ancestors. I am sure a lot of Americans, Canadians, Australians and New Zealanders have ancestors from the Netherlands too. That is why I like to work as a professional genealogist in the Netherlands!