1620 - 1663
||Aft 18 May 1663
||14 Apr 2007 |
||Maritie Myndertse, b. Abt 1625, Iveren, Holland , d. Bef 09 Feb 1691, Schenectady, NY |
| ||1. Aeltie Wemple, b. Abt 1647, Albany, NY , d. Bef 17 Jan 1734, Beverwyck, NY |
| ||2. Myndert Wemple, b. 1649, Albany, NY , d. Bef 09 Feb 1690|
| ||3. Grietje Wemple, b. 1651, d. 1665|
| ||4. Antje Wemple, b. 1653, Albany, NY , d. Bef 1699|
|>||5. Barent Janse Wemple, b. 1656, Albany, NY , d. Aft 1743, Schenectady, NY |
- As of this date nothing is known about Jan Barentse Wemp before his migration to the Rensselaer Dutch colony in the new world, other than his father's name was Barent. This colony was located near the present town of Albany, NY. There are some indications that he may have sailed on the Dutch ship den Houttuyn, which arrived in at Schuyler Flatts on the Hudson River on in 1640, but no records verifying this can be found. There are other ships that sailed from Holland to the new world during this time period on which he could have sailed. There are also some indications that Jan may have served as an indentured servant for Killean Van Rensselaer on his farm as a herder of livestock from 1640 to 1645. This is partially based on his nickname of Poest, which had a variety of meanings in the Dutch language, including noisy-herder. Of course, Jan could have worked for wages during these years of working for Killean Van Rensselaer. In any event our forefather was from a humble beginning.
The first recordation of Jan Wemp a record called the Van Rensselaer Manuscripts. This record is discussed in an article written by William C. Wemple, and originally published in the MOHAWK VALLEY DEMOCTAT in 1938. This article says that the immigrant was placed in charge of the farm at Rensselaerwyck on April 10, 1645 for L300 a year. The article continues that on June 11. 1646, Jan was relieved of his duties because of, as stated in the Dutch language, sportlingh met de Wilden or translated into English trouble with the Indians. William C. Wemple s article does not clearly say why Jan Wemp was relived on his duties, and his article does not go into any detail of what the trouble with the Indians exactly was. In speculation, it could have been his lack of ability to get along with the local natives, or it could have been that the natives simply could not get along with Jan Wemp. In any event, Killean Van Rensselaer felt it was to his interest that Jan be relieved of his duties.
Records of Jan Wemp s life are available for research in the New York State Library and elsewhere in New York and continue on to past his death in 1663 as his widow remarries and continues on with her life.
A sad, side note: In all my research have I been able to find that the Wemple name is connected in any way with van or von. Nowhere in Holland or Germany is there a village, town, city or province by the name of Wemple, so the wish that we are somehow named Van Wemple is incongruous. It is simply not possible, so we ll just have to content ourselves with being plain old Wemps/Wemples.
The following is from the work of William Barent Wemple, the original compiler of the family s genealogy who worked on the family tree from about 1885 to 1913. The main subject of what immediately follows is about the two names that Jan went by, Wemp and Poest, and that Jan is in fact both Wemp and Poest:
Of the large number of public records on file in the office of the County Clerk, Albany, N.Y., in the New York State Library, Albany, N.Y., and in possession of the Van Rensselaer family, Albany, N.Y., relating to Jan Barentsen Wemple, they all, with three or four exceptions, give his name as Wemp. The very few and unimportant exceptions give his name as Poest. While it has always been assumed and stated by such historians as Pearson, Munsell, and those following them, that Wemp and Poest were the same person, there has never been any actual proof of this fact until the compiler discovered among the Rensselaerwyck papers, owned by Mr. William Bayard Van Rensselaer, Albany, N.Y., the following original bill (written in Dutch and translated):
Jan Barentsz Wemp is indebted this day, April 19, 1659, at Amsterdam: hired for him a boy, named Christiaen Christiaensz, to whom I have advanced (the following) which shall be deducted from his wages in New Netherlands,
First a suit of clothes, at: f 4 10
also bought and paid for him a straw-bed, a blanket, a pillow, and a red cap, together: f 2 16
also, 3 pairs of shoes at 30 stivers a pair, and 3 shirts at 28 st. a piece, together: f 8 14
also, 2 pairs of stockings at 14 st. a pair, a chest at 32 st., also 14 st. worth of thread and lacing-strings: f 3 14
Total: f19 14
(here) follow the expenses advanced by me and which must not be deducted from the boy's (wages) for the contract: f1 4
for the passport and bringing on board of his chest and straw-bed: f1 0
expenses in hunting up the boy and the labors who returned the handmoney, or godspenny and, (for) my trouble: f5 0
Total: f26 18
Please pay this sum of f 26 18 with one percent (advance) to my brother, Jeremias in N(ew) Netherland.
Jan Baptist Van Rensselaer.
Account of Jan barentsz poest
(His mark) X
I hereby certify that the above is a true and correct translation of the original and was made by me.
(signed) Arnold J.F. van Laer
Archivist, N.Y. State Library. Albany, N.Y., June 29, 1904
William Barent Wemple continues his account of how, in his opinion, the immigrant came by his name of Wemp:
The above original account is proof positive that Wemp and Poest were one and the same person, because the face of it was made out in Amsterdam, Holland, at the home-office and headquarters of the Rensselaerwyck Colony, and there they would be very careful to write the name as nearly correct as possible and it is borne out by the records in the Colony itself that it was so done. The account was sent over to the Colony at Albany, from Holland, for collection against Wemp's account. When received at the Colony, it was folded for filing away, and on the back of the account was endorsed its number (7) and the name of the debtor. Instead of endorsing the debtor's correct name of the back, the clerk endorsed the nickname by which Wemp was sometimes known, being that of Poest. From the evidence of the records, it is apparent he was not called that to the exclusion of his correct name, as was the case in many instances. It was customary at that period in our history, when patronymics were comparatively rare excepting among the more prominent families, to give a man a name that derived its significance from his occupation, place of residence in the mother country or here, prominence or defect of some mental or physical characteristic, and in fact, jokes and unusual situations have contributed to fasten names upon men that have descended to the present generation. In other cases men have borne a regular family name and have been given an additional one derived from some of the above-mentioned sources.
Others have different observations. As an example, a Nancy M. Zeller, who was Assistant to the Translator in the New Netherland Project had the following to say in some papers she sent to David R. Wemple on February 18, 1987. One genealogy says he came from Peest in Drethe, (Holland), but poest is an old Dutch word meaning stable boy. Wemp or wemple (wimple) has something to do with cloth; he (the immigrant) probably took the surname after migrating to distinguish from other Barentszs (that were in the colony.)
Let us continue with the writing of William Barent Wemple:
Another record which indicated that he was from Holland is one on file in Albany, (N.Y.) County Clerk's office in a book labeled Mortgages, No. 1, 1652-1660, on page 158 thereof dated July 15, 1659, wherein is recorded a suit brought by Wemp against Adrian Symonson for the recovery of 15 beavers which the deft. has taken with him to Holland to deliver to plaintiff's wife but which she has not received. This shows that Wemp's wife was on a visit to Holland in 1659 and presumptive evidence that they were Netherlanders.
Although in the records relating to the first ancestor of this family in America the name is universally written Wemp there is good reason for believing that the correct form was Wemple as used at the present day by the majority of the family. Commencing with the grandchildren of the immigrant, the records sometimes speak of the same person as Wemp and at others as Wemple. With the next generation the name is almost always written Wemple. A more convincing proof, however, is a very old silver cup which belonged to the immigrant and now in the possession of Mrs. B. Lansing Wagner, Baltimore, Md., which bears the date 1657 and his name in full Jan Baerensen Wimpel: . . .
While it is thought by many in the family that Jan Barentse Wemp was Dutch and came from Holland, there is no proof of this. There is some evidence that he came from one of the German proveniences, such as Bavaria. One thing that happened to the latest compiler is years ago he had contact with a German immigrant who exclaimed when he found his last name was Wemple, Oh, you are German. I served in World War I under a Lieutenant Wemple. Today in looking through phone books of Germany one will find Wemples and Wemps listed. However, the name Wempe seems to be from a different root than ours.
The following are Excerpts from THE MOHAWK VALLEY: ITS LEGENDS AND ITS HISTORY, 1608-1780, author W. May Reid, pg. 298 sent to the compiler by Michael Lee Wemple of Bay City, MI on September 5, 1996:
One of the most noteworthy of those sturdy Dutchmen, next to Van Curler (or Van Corlear), was Jan Barentse Wemp, who arrived in this country and located in Beverwyck, in 1643 or 1645. . . The suffix, SE, to the name Barent, indicates that he was the son of Barent. . . .
Page 299 of the same article continues:
Jan Barentse Wemp, the elder, was one of the original fourteen pioneers who settled in Schenectady in 1662. It is said that Governor Stuyvesant granted the first patent of land (an island at the town of Schenectady) in 1662, to Jan Barentse Wemp and Jacques Cornelise Van Slyck, a half-breed. This island was sometimes called Wemp's Island, and is now known as Van Slyck's Island. Jan's name is connected very closely with the early history among many of the prominent families of the whole Mohawk Valley.
Michael Lee Wemple also submitted the following paper to the compiler on the same date:
THE WEMPLE FAMILY
Manuscript furnished by William C. Wemple, Amsterdam, NY and originally published in the MOHAWK VALLEY DEMOCRAT newspaper. 1938-1939
. . . It has been stated by such historians as Pearson and Munsell, that Jan Barentse Wemp and Poest were one and the same person.
This, however, does not prove that Poest was the surname, for a large number of records on file in the office of the County Clerk at Albany, in the New York State Library, and in the possession of the Van Rensselaer family, relating to Jan Barentse Wemp, they all with three or four exceptions give the name as Wemp, Wimp. Wempel, Wymple or Wemple.
In a few unimportant cases it is given as Poest and after some study, Mr. A.J. F. Van Laer (archivist of the New York State Library) says he believes it to have been used as a nickname only, . . . He does not think poest was the town from which he came as it never written van poest.
From April 10, 1645 to June 11, 1646, he had charge of the patroons farm called de Vlackte and during that period is credited with wages at the rate of three hundred pounds a year for the service of himself and his wife.
He left de Vlackte June 11, 1646 on account of some sportlingh met de Wilden (trouble with the Indians) and August 13, 1646 agreed to take charge of the saw and gristmill on the fifth creek for the term of 5 years at wages of thirteen pounds a month and one hundred pounds a year for board. . . .
March 20, 1647, with Andries Herbertaz, he took a lease of land south of Jan Dircksz from Brennen and east of Albert Andriesz along the creek of Castle Island and the Mill (Normanskill) for six years at an annual rate of 275 pounds.
Andries Herbertsz changed his plans and Jan Barentsz agreed to carry out the terms of the contract alone. He remained in possession of this farm till November 1, 1654, when he took over the farm of Thomas Chambers, situated on the east side of the river on what later was known as the Poesten Kill, as far as records show the farm of Thomas Chambers was the first to be established on the east side of the river, north of the present day city of Rensselaer while the tract on which it was located way probably the first to be purchased from the Indians in that vicinity. . . . In 1661 he owned a house which was leased by Jeremian van Rensselaer for the use of the schout, Gerard Swart.
Jan Barentsz obtained a lot adjoining the stockade (Albany) and north of Thomas Jansz February 1, 1653. (Van Rensselaer Manuscripts.)
The following is from a manuscript sent to the compiler on September 28, 2000 by Michael Lee Wemple of Bay City, MI. This manuscript was written by William Barent Wemple, compiler of the first part if this genealogy from 1885-1913. The manuscript was never before published:
As near as it is possible to determine from the evidence now in existence, Jan Barentsen Wemp was born about the year 1620. He emigrated to America previous to 1645, for in that year he was established in this country in Rensselaerwyck Colony, as is evidenced by the original accounts with him in the papers of the Colony now in possession of Mr. William Van Rensselaer, Albany, NY. These papers are written in Dutch and several have been translated for this work.
Document No.1 is the oldest record mentioning his name so far discovered and while this account was commenced in the year 1646, it contains a credit of 97 pounds of bacon, furnished to ME in 1645 and debits him with a transfer from Ledger F, page 73 the first showing conclusively his presence in the colony in 1645 and the latter that he had an earlier account in Leger F, but this book unfortunately cannot now be found.
Note: Document No.1, referred to above, as well as other documents hereafter referred to can be found in the printed version of the Forth Edition of the family book titled THE DESCENDANTS OF JAM BARENTSE WEMP, dated March 9, 2001. The documents are not available in the computer file maintained by Alan Salls at web site www.wemple.org. Continuing with the work of William Barent Wemple:
The accounts between him and the Van Rensselaers run continuously down to the time of his death, and after that event, with his widow, until 1675, when they cease, but as they mostly charge him with rent of land and credit him with grain and various field products, etc., they are not of importance and would needlessly encumber this work, so it was deemed advisable to translate and exhibit only the first and last accounts (see documents Nos. 1. 2)
It will be observed that the last account shows his widow to be the wife of Sweer Theunissen (Van Velson); the reason, no doubt, for no more accounts appearing, is owning to the fact of all the family interests having been transferred by this time to Schenectady, to which place they had removed a few years before.
Documents Nos. 3, 4, and 5 are translations of the original bills against Jan Barentsen Wemp, which were made out in Amsterdam, Holland, and transmitted to the Director of the Colony for collection. They are interesting as showing the business customs of those days and the first (No. 3) is of great importance for another object, viz:
Many of the early settlers were called by other than their proper names and it was not unusual for these nicknames to be used so extensively that the real name was eventually lost.
Jan Barentsen Wemp was also called Jan Barentsen POEST (pronounced POOST) and document No. 3 proves this fact. In Holland, where care would naturally be taken to make a bill out in a person's proper and legal name, it is written on the face, in the body, Wemp, but after it came over here and was folded up to file away for future reference. The person doing this inscribed on the back of the bill the number and the name Poest by which the debtor was frequently called in the colony.
In 1659, he bought from the Indian proprietors a farm lying about seven miles in a northeasterly direction from Albany. The farm was located within the present limits of the city of Troy and is the first purchase of land in that city or vicinity of which where is any recorded mention (see document No. 25). This farm was traversed by a steam called the Poestenkil and the name derived its origin from Jan Barentsen Wemp's nickname of Poest; it literally means Poest's creek. Through all the changing time since them, the name of Poestenkil has clung to this creek and on its banks a village has sprung up which bears the very same name, as does also the township in which the village of situated.
Wemp built a sawmill on the Poestenkil, which was known as the Poesten mill, and he was about to launch forth on quite an extensive enterprise just at the time of his death, in 1663. After that occurrence, his heirs sold this property (see documents Nos. 32, 33).
. . . April 29, 1653, he sues Marten de Brouwer for the payment of 2000 bricks and the court record of May 13, 1653 shows that the parties satisfactorily settled it out of Court (see document No. 6).
March 16, 1655, he sues Claes Garritsz for breaking a wagon (see document No. 6). Cornelis Cornelisse and Thomas Powell, on July 24, 1658, deed a lot in the village of Beverwyck to him and as it is bounded on the north by his own property. It evidently is not his first purchase, although the record of a former one is not now in existence (see document No. 7).
April 21, 1661, he enters into a contract with Cornelis Woutersz, whereby the latter agrees to repair and lengthen the barn used by Wemp, located and the Patroon's farm (see document No. 8).
Cornelis Bogaert rents a house and lot, situated in the Colony of Rensselaerwyck, of Wemp s on April 22,1661 (see document No. 9).
A bond was executed in Wemp's favor June 13, 1661, by Aert Peetersz Jack of Esopus (Kingston), to secure the payment of 106 schepels of wheat and a new hat for Wemp's son, for a horse Wemp had sold to Jack (see document No. 10).
The same day, Aert Peetrsz Jack also empowers Wemp to purchase two mares for him (see document No. 11), which in due course of time was done, so that on September 7, 1661 a bill of sale, with stipulation, is recorded (see document No. 12).
Evert Pels deeds to Wemp a house and garden, on February 4, 1662, which was situated in Fort Orange and constituted a portion of the eastern curtain of the fort (see document No. 13).
Jan Barentsen Wemp and Marten Mauwerensz hire Hendrick Arentse, the sugar-baker, to work their farm at Schenectady for one year from September 16, 1662 (see document No. 14).
Governor Stuyvesant grants to Jan Barentsen Wemp and Jacques Cornelisse (Van Slyck) the great island, lying immediately west of Schenectady, in the Mohawk river, on November 12, 1662 (see document No. 15).
. . . Before the Dutch government would grant a title to any Indian lands, those desiring the lands was obliged to first pay the Indians and secure an Indian deed to the property; after that was accomplished the governor would then issue a grant. Pearson says that in 1661, Arent Van Curler had extinguished the Indian title to a great deal of land at Schenectady and the following spring, with little company of pioneers, commenced the first settlement. Two years later the lands were surveyed, allotted and patented to fifteen persons, a portion of whom being non-residents, sold out their rights to permanent settlers. (preface to GENEALOGIES OF THE FIRST SETTLERS OF SCHENECTADY, Jonathan Pearson).
In document No. 14, where Arentse agrees to work for Wemp and Mauwerensz on their farm at Schenectady, the date of the contract is only two months prior to the grant of the island in document No.15, hence the Indian title to the island must have been extinguished before September 16, 1662. About that time also, Marten Mauwerensz must have died, for when the formal grant (document No.15) was given by the governor, Mauwerensz is not mentioned as the other grantee with Wemp but the grant names Jacques Cornelisse, in his quality as brother and heir of Marten Mourits. This island has been known as Marten's, Wemp's, and Van Slyck's island, the last one being the most universal designation, and the patent granted in 1662 for it, antedates by nearly two years that of any other land at Schenectady. More wonderful still, this patent for the very first grant of land at Schenectady has survived all the vicissitudes of pioneer life and even the burning of the village in 1690, as it is yet in existence and in the possession of Union College library in Schenectady.
In volume 10, page 137, of COLONIAL MANUSCRIPTS (State Library, Albany, NY) are the original minutes of this proceedings of the Council which governed the Colony, and in them is recorded that a petition was received from the land owners of Schenectady, dated May 18, 1663, in which the proprietors pray that the Governor send up a surveyor to allot the undivided lands among them, in order that each one could know exactly what portion was to be his. Although Jan Barentsen Wemp was living in Beverwyck, yet, as an owner of land at Schenectady and a prospective beneficiary in the land division, he signed the petition. The Men who united in making the request of the Governor, numbered fifteen and they are always spoken of and known as the fifteen original proprietors of Schenectady. Wemp died before the apportionment was made but his heirs must have benefited by the final allotment, for Pearson, in his HISTORY OF THE SCHENECTADY PATENT, says, Wemp's village lot was on the west side of Washington street, commencing on the north side of the lot of Charles Thompson, and extending southward 166 feet more or less, and westward to the river. This lot was inherited by his son Myndert, who was killed in the massacre of 1690.
. . . It seems that Jan Barentsen Wemp furnished Aert Pietersz Jack, whose name also appears in previous documents, considerable money with which to purchase and equip Jack's farm at Esopus (now Kingston), which was not repaid, for, on January 10, 1664, Maritie Mynderts, Wemp's widow, appointed three agents who were to proceed to Esopus and after inventorying Jack's property, take possession of it for her benefit (see document Nos. 18, 12a). They must have been unable to accomplish this, for, on April 25, 1664, in an appeal to the Director General and Council of New Netherland, her agents recited the fact that certain creditors had disposed of some of Jack's property and received the money for the same, therefore, they petition, to have all such actions stopped (see document No. 19).
On the same day, the Director General in a letter to the court of Esopus admonished them to proceed with care and to take charge of the moneys, in order that all may receive their just share (see document No. 20). The paper appointing the three agents (document No. 18) states the fact that Maritie Mynderts was at the time living in the Colony of Rensselaerwyck, and as this was hardly a year after the death of her husband, is quite conclusive evidence of the not having resided there.
Maritie Mynderts leases to Jacques Cornelise Van Slyck her one half of the island at Schenectady, for four years from May 13, 1664 (see document No. 21). The other half of the island was owned by Van Slyck. This lease is an interesting exhibition of the customs of those days.
She sells to Jan Cornelisz Van der Heyden (her brother-in-law) and Poulus Cornilisz, some kind of a boat or vessel, for $400.00, on May 22, 1664 (see document No. 22). On June 12, 1664, Maritie Mynderts, widow of Jan Barentsen Wemp, was about to marry Sweer Theunissen Van Westbroeck (who was also known by the name of Sweer Theunissen Van Velsen), and before the ceremony was performed, they entered into an agreement with the guardians of the children brought forth between herself and Wemp, concerning the settlement upon them of a portion of the father's estate (see document No. 23). On the same day, Maritie Mynderts and Sweer Theunissen Van Westbroeck, made an ante-nuptial contract in regards to the contemplated marriage and its stipulations include the conditions that, in the event of the mother's death, the children shall receive $640.00 from her estate in addition to the portion settled on them from their father's property by preceding agreement (see document No. 24).
Document No. 23 is an exceedingly valuable record from a genealogical standpoint, as it is positive proof of the names and ages of Jan Barentsen Wemp's children and is attested by the signature of the mother, together with those of her future husband, the children's guardian, the officer of the Colony at Rensselaerwyck, and the famous Arent Van Curler, commissioner. It also mentions sufficient property, which has been pledged for the execution of its terms, to show that Jan Barentsen Wemp, who although a comparatively young man of about 45 years at the time of his death, was what might be called moderately wealthy man of those days, even though all personal property, and doubtless other real estate, is not spoken on in the contract.
After Sweer Theunissen Van Westbroeck's marriage with Jan Barentsen Wemp's widow, the property of Wemp passed into his possession, according to law, and when the New Netherlands were transferred by the Dutch into the hands of the English, the latter government guaranteed unto every landowner a peaceful possession of his lands by granting a confirmation of the title; as a result of this, Sweer Theunissen had confirmed unto him, in 1667, a farm (Poesten Bouwery) in the Colony. This farm was that containing Poesten Mill, on the Poestenkil, and a portion of it Sweer Theunissen sold to Jan Cornelissen Vyselaer and Luyear Pietersen Coeymans in 1675 (see document No. 33); the remainder, in 1679 (he sold) to Pieter Pieterse Van Waggelen (document No 37). The one half of Marten's Island at Schenectady and a house and lot in Beaverwyck, all formally belonging to Wemp.
. . . As shown in document No. 30, Sweer Theunissen was living in the Colony of Rensselaerwyck May 27, 1699, and engaged in farming, but shortly after he must have removed to Schenectady, with his wife and Wemp's children, for in his petition to the Governor for a redress of grievances, he recites that he did build at Schenectady a corn-mill and made a contract with the community, January 28, 1669, by which it was agreed that he should enjoy all the privileges of any miller in the county. . . .
. . . Jan Barentsen Wemp's lot situated in Albany, which was confirmed to Van Velsen, April 15, 1667 (see document No. 27). The latter sold (the lot) to Woulter Aerse Raemmaker, June 12, 1678; the house had been preciously taken down and removed to Schenectady. Pearsons claims that this lot was situated on the west corner of Broadway and Van Tromp street, in Albany (see document No. 36).
Van Velsen also sold to Pieter Pietersen Van Waggelen, May 6, 1679, all that remained of Wemp's farm, called Poesten Bouwery, which was not included in the sale of the Poesten Mill and four acres of ground conveyed in 1675 to Vyselaer and Coeymans (see document No. 37).
For the consideration of agreeing to provide Jacob Hevick with board and clothing as long as he lived, and upon his death, to decently bury him, Hevick's wife conveys to Van Velson her home and barn together with five lots of land situated on Lubberde Landt (Troy) September 1, 1680 (see document No. 38. The five lots of land were conveyed to Henry Lansing on March 8, 1694 (see document No. 42). On March 6, 1682/3, Sweer Theunissen is sued by the guardians of Jan Barentsen Wemp's children for an accounting of the property and a division among the surviving children of their sister Grietje's share in her father's estate, she having died in 1665, aged fourteen years (see document No. 39). The guardians won the case and Van Velsen appealed from the verdict but it was sustained.
Sander Lendetse Glen, John Van Epps and Sweer Theunissen Van Velson having purchased from the Indians proprietors, July 3, 1672, the land which was included in the Schenectady Patent, comprising 16 miles along the river and four miles back on both sides, a patent was granted for this territory, November 1, 1684, into William Teller, Reyer Schermerhorn, Sweer Theunissen Van Velson, John Van Epps and Myndert Wemp, as trustees and representatives of the inhabitants of Schenectady.
Sweer Theunissen Van Velson and his wife Marite Mynderts were both slain in the massacre of Schenectady, February 9, 1689/90, when the village was destroyed by the French and Indians, and on the 26th of February an agreement for the settlement and division of their property was concluded between the surviving heirs, who were Myndert Janse Wemp wife and children, Antie Janse Wemp, (wife of Captain Sander Glen), and Barent Janse Wemp. Grietje, as has been previously shown, died in 1665; Aeltie must have died before this time without issue, or else she or he heirs would have been included; Myndert was killed during the massacre. Van Velsen had no children at the time of his death. This last fact is attested by a petition gotten up by the inhabitants of Schenectady, dated October 10, 1702, praying the Governor and Council that the power of electing new trustees under the patent be granted them, which states and since ye said Sweer Theunissen is deceased without leaving an heir.
. . . This settlement was, however, never effected, because they learned that Van Velsen by certain witness of true and trusty persons had made and bequeathed in his last will and testament that Nether dutch Reformed Church of Shinnectady as an heir to a part of his estate. Owing to the disappearance of the will at the time of the massacre, they did not know what portion of his property had been devised to the church, and while the church had no legal claim to any portion of the estate, yet, as they did not desire y't y'e aforesaid Nether dutch Reformed Church should in any wise be a loser of their right, they conveyed to the church, by deed of April 15, 1696, the corn-mill, together with a large tract of accompanying land (see document No 43).
. . . In 1654, Jan Barentsen Wemp rented a farm of the Patroon, in Rensselaerwyck Colony, until May 1, 1659, and on August 21, 1658, the lease was extended two years, or until May 1, 1661 (see document No. 2 1/2).
The following excerpt is from a book titled MOHAWK FRONTIER: THE DUTCH COMMUNITY OF SCHENECTADY, NEW YORK, 1661-1710 by Thomas E. Burke, Jr., loaned to the compiler by William Westbrook Wemple, page 63:
. . . Before his death in 1690 van Velsen operated a gristmill and owned land, buildings, horses and slaves. All this was far removed from November 1660, when Sweer Teunissen from Velsen near Arnhem in the Netherlands was engaged to come to Rensselaerwyck to serve as a hired hand on the farm operated by Jan Barentsen Wemp. Wemp had been at the colony since the 1640's, owning or working several farms and operating a sawmill and gristmill for the patroon. In 1651 he supervised a stately farm near the Normanskill, consisting of fourteen morgens of land and including eight horses and nine cows. Wemp exchanged this property for a larger farm on the east side if the Hudson River on what would later be known as Poestenkil. In 1661 his home was fine enough to be leased by Jeremias van Rensselaer for use by the colony's schout. Under Wemp's tutelage, van Velsen would have acquired a solid knowledge of farm labor and millwork. Starting as a servant, he rose rapidly. After Wemp's death, van Velsen married his widow, probably in June of 1664, and with his new wife and four stepchildren removed to Schenectady. Before his death, Jan Barentsen Wemp had been one of the fourteen proprietors of the new community. . . .