Sunset at Gowanus Bay

Sunset at Gowanus Bay
Sunset at Gowanus Bay, Henry Gritten, 1851

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

"Anneke Jans in Fact and Fiction"

The first truly sober account of Anneke Jans, devoid of fantastic claims, backed by scholarly research and realistic in it's description of Anneke Jans and her supposed inheritances, was written by George Olin Zabriskie, F.A.S.G. Titled, "Anneke Jans in Fact and Fiction," it was published in the New York Genealogical and Biographical Record in 1973 (volume 104, pages 65-72 and 157-164).

The article briefly describes the property in lower Manhattan that so many "descendants" believed they had claim to. It carefully considers the actual records regarding Anneke Jans' first husband, Roeloff Jansen, to determine the family's correct origins, and provides the first published account of the actual baptisms of the couple's first three children, Lijntje, Sara and Trijntje. The identification of the parents of Anneke Jans' second husband, Dom. Everardus Bogardus, which simply follows a 1971-1972 article in de Halve Maen, however, is incorrect (see Willem Frijhoff, Fulfilling God's Mission; The Two Worlds of Domine Everardus Bogardus, 1607-1647 [2007] for a more plausible account of the Domine's old world family). The article then gives the first accurate, complete and modern genealogical summary of the family of Anneke Jans ever to be published. Following this there is a brief discussion of Anneke's mother, Tryntje Jonas, which includes a list of a few incorrect claims and assumptions regarding her descendants.

The article picks up in the next issue (volume 104, page 157) with an account of the family of Anneke Jans' sister, Marritje Jans, who was married three times, first to Thymes Jansen, second to Dirck Corneliszen and third to Govert Loockermans (one child by each husband). The focus is then turned to the Webber family and very clearly debunks the fantastic (even idiotic) notion that Anneke Jans was somehow a illegitimate daughter or granddaughter of William I, "the Silent," Prince of Orange, Stradtholder of Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht and Friesland (1544-1584), who was born in 1533. The article also clearly demonstrates that Anneke Jans was not a member of the Webber family in any way, and uses the church records of Amsterdam to reconstruct the inter-related Webber, Cocks, Wallis and Selyns families. (The Selyns/Selijns family is further expanded upon by Frans C. M. Gouverneur in "Dutch Origins of  Some Early Settlers and Allied Familes, part 7, Selijns, Specht," New Netherland Connections, volume 9 [2004], starting at page 89, with corrections in volume 14 [2009], page 67. "Part 6, Webber, Cock," of the same series by the same author is found in NNC vol. 9 [2004]. pp. 72-87. "The Family of Hendrick Cock of Amsterdam," by John Blythe Dobson, is found in NYGBR 142 [2011], pp. 107-116, 195-202). George O. Zabriskie concludes his article with the statement (regarding the disproved notion of a royal ancestry for Anneke Jans), "Predictably, those of extreme bias and ineptitude, while basking vicariously in 'fame and fortune' will refuse to accept this and all other evidence contrary to the legendary fairytale." Despite the fact that this article was first published thirty-nine years ago, you can still find "family trees" and other accounts online that claim Anneke Jans as a descendant of William "the Silent."

Anneke Jans in Fact and Fiction

No comments:

Post a Comment

Because of spamming issues, all submitted comments are moderated. Your comment is appreciated, but it will not appear online until it has first been reviewed. All relative comments will be sent through. Comments of a commercial nature will be blocked. It may take as little as a few hours or as long as a few days for submitted comments to appear online. Please do not resend the same comment. Thank you.