Discover your inside story with AncestryDNA®

November 19, 2016

Meme: Immigrant Ancestor Lucas Dircksen Vanderburgh

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 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 (in both USA and Canada)

Lucas Dircksen Vanderburgh first appeared in New Amsterdam (in New Netherland) about 1652 and soon after his arrival he married Annetjie Cornelis, the daughter of Cornelis and Adriantje (Wallings) Shubber of Durgerdam, North Holland. He was one of the signers of the Lutheran petition1 in Oct 1657, so his origins may have been German rather than Dutch.  

Lucas was a Sergeant in the service of the Dutch West India Company as early as
1652. While still a member of the Company, he applied in 1654 at the New Amsterdam City Hall to become a tavern keeper.

That same year, Lucas was given a patent for land at Mespat, Long Island,  but never settled there. In 1655, he paid 60 guilders for Lucas Hendrickson, a drummer, to take his place in an expedition against the Swedes at Delaware.  In 1656 he submitted the following petition asking for his discharge from the Dutch West India Company:

"To the Noble, Very Worshipful, Honorable Director-General and High Council of New-Netherland. Shows with humble reverence Luycas Dircksen, Sergeant inthe service of the Honble Company here, that he, petitioner has served the said Honble Company for a period of about four years and that he would like now to transport himself with his family to the Southriver of New-Netherland, to settle there, where he has bought a house.  He requests therefore, that your Noble Worships will kindly please to discharge him from the service and consent to his removal thither, which doing etc."
[signed] Luycas Dircksen

Lucasí petition was approved.  He left for the South River Delaware, where he was granted a patent for land on 10 Feb 1657 near Fort Casmir.  However he was soon back in Manhattan where he remained. Lucas became a well known tavern keeper in New Amsterdam.  He initially operated his tavern from his home on 21 Broadway, but by the mid 1660s he kept a tavern called "The Signe of the Fort Orange" in Manhattan.

He was often being sued in court for debts owed and there are many court documents involving him throughout his lifetime. 

Lucas and 92 others appealed to their leaders of New Netherland in September 1664 to negotiate a peaceful agreement with the English. Their petition, in part, read 

"Right Honorable.  We ... cannot conscientiously foresee that anything else is to be expected for this fort and city of Manhattans (as your Honors must be convinced), than misery, sorrow, conflagration, the dishonor of women, murder of children in their cradles, and, in a word, the absolute ruin and destruction of about fifteen hundred innocent souls, only two hundred and fifty of whom are capable of bearing arms, unless you be pleased to adjust matters according to the conjecture of the time.

Your honors are ... better aware than we, that four of the English Kingís frigates are now lying in the road at Nyack, with six hundred soldiers, ... for the purpose of reducing New Netherland to his Majestyís obedience.  In compliance with that commission, the English General hath sent divers letters to your Honors, summoning this city and Fort Manhattan, promising, in case we voluntarily submit, that we shall not experience the least loss or damage ... ."

The English reached a peaceful accord with the Dutch and in Oct 1664, Lucas and many other New Amsterdam residents swore allegiance to the King of Great Britain. Lucas died in 1669. His long and turbulent life of struggle and debt was over. 

No comments: