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September 10, 2016

Our Immigrant Ancestors - Adriaen Crijnen Post of New Netherland & New Jersey

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)

Recife Brazil Early Settlement
My 9th great-grandfather, Adriaen Crijnen Post was most likely from The Hague, Netherlands. He and his wife Claartje Moockers, resided in Brazil in the West India Company's colony.

From 1630 to 1654 (24 years!) Recife, a Northeastern city in the Atlantic coast of Brazil, was held by the WIC (West India Company). Adriaen's daughter Maria (my 8th great-grandmother) was baptised in Recife Brazil in June 1649. By the time Brazil fell to the Portuguese in 1654, the family had left for the Netherlands. On 30 June 1650 the ship "New Netherland's Fortune" sailed, arriving in New Netherland on 19 December 1650 and it likely that Adriaen and his family were on this ship.

Adriaen and his family were on Staten Island by 1655. Adriaen was a representative of Baron Hendrick van der Capellen, the owner of one-third of Staten Island. As the superintendent of a group of twenty people who were to farm Staten Island, Adriaen set up a colony which flourished.

In the summer of 1655 the Peach Tree War began over Hendrick Van Dyke's shooting of a Native woman stealing peaches from his trees in his orchard in Manhatten. As a result, the settlements on the lower Hudson River and around New York were destroyed by Iroquois attackers. On 15 Sept. 1655, the colony on Staten Island was burned to the ground by the Natives from Hackensack. Twenty-three people were killed and sixty-seven taken prisoner, among them Adrien, his wife, five children, and two servants.

In Oct. 1655, Adriaen was released by the Hackensack chief Penneckeck to bargain with Petrus Stuyvessant for the release of prisoners. Adriaen made the journey between Manhattan and the Native headquarters at Paulus Hook, New Jersey several times before an agreement was reached. Fifty-six captives were released in exchange for powder, lead, guns, blankets and wampum. Among those freed were Adrian's wife and children.

Returning to Staten Island Adrian was ordered by Van der Capellan to gather survivors and erect a fort. Trying to keep the group fed, he found a few cattle that the Natives had overlooked roaming in the woods  That winter Adrian and his family camped in the company of some soldiers  in the burnt-out settlement.  They butchered some of the cattle they had found and obtained milk from others. Stuyvessant recommended to Post that he and "his people" and cattle move to the stockade on Long Island but Adrian stayed.

By Spring of 1656 Adrian was ill and unable to perform his duties, so Clara Moockers Post requested that someone else be appointed as van der Capellen's agent. In April of 1656 Clara petitioned Stuyvessant asking that the soldiers be allowed to stay, but Stuyvessant decided that since there were only 6 or 7 people on the island, a garrison was not required and they should all move to Long Island.

Adrian regained his health and between 1657 and 1663 he had three children baptized at the Reformed Church. He was in the New Amsterdam courts often, suing on behalf of his employer. He eventually left Staten Island and settled on the mainland of present-day Bergen, New Jersey.


Unknown said...

Lorine - thanks for the wonderful narrative. Adriaen and Clara are my 8th great-grandparents. I'm descended from Maria's sister, Margarita!

Olive Tree Genealogy said...

Wendy - nice to hear from a "cousin" It seems we share the Bradt surname too through Margarita's mother in law (who was the sister of my ancestor Jan Bradt who married Adriaen Posts' daughter Maria - your Margarita's sister. PHEW!)

Margaret Dougherty said...

I've followed your lead, Lorine, and every Saturday write about my different immigrant ancestors. See my latest today here:

Olive Tree Genealogy said...

Margaret - I'm very happy to see you doing this! Love your story of David and Priscilla. I don't have any New England ancestors and am fascinated by the time period.

I'm wondering how you feel about mentioning that others can join in on my Immigrant Ancestors Meme? You could link to the first one A New Meme: Our Immigrant Ancestors at