Sunset at Gowanus Bay

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

Friday, September 14, 2012

Marretje Brouwer and Her Two Husbands, Jacob Pieterszen and Barent Janszen Van Tilburg

Marretje Brouwer, the eldest daughter of Adam Brouwer and Magdalena Verdon, was baptized on 4 June 1653 at the New Amsterdam Reformed Dutch Church. Sponsors were Francois Baschet and Engeltje Jans, neither of who are known to be relations of either Adam Brouwer or Magdalena Verdon. Marretje (Maria, Mary) was undoubtedly named for her maternal grandmother, Maria Badie. She was Maria Badie's first granddaughter.

Marretje was married twice. Her first marriage was to Jacob Pieterszen, "j.m. Van Lubeck," on 20 September 1676 (banns dated 3 September 1676 at the New York Reformed Dutch Church). Little is known of Jacob, other then the info obtained from the marriage bann which states that he was born at L├╝beck which is in present day Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. T. G. Bergen, in his Early Settlers of Kings County, incorrectly calls him Jacob Pieterszen VERHULST. A Jacob Cornelis Verhulst was married to Maria Willemse Bennet (herself a granddaughter of Maria Badie, and a first cousin of Marretje Brouwer). There are three known children born to Marretje and Jacob, namely, Jacob (baptized 1678 at New York), Magdalena (bapt. 1681 at Brooklyn) and Henricus (bapt, 1684 at New York). None of the three have yet been identified in later records. They may have assumed their father's patronymic, PIETERSEN (PETERSON), as a surname, or they may have assumed their own patronymic, JACOBSEN (JACOBSON), as a surname. Any insight into what happened to the three children of Marretje and Jacob would be welcome. Jacob Pieterszen was deceased by 19 September 1686, when banns were published at the New York Reformed Dutch Church for Marretje's second marriage to Barent Janszen, "j.m. Van Midwout."

Marretje's second husband, Barent Janszen, often is found with the name, Barent Van Tilburg, and was a son of Jan Theuniszen (Van Tilburg) and Tryntje Pieters. No baptism record survives for Barent, but as per his marriage banns he was born at Midwout, Long Island. In early accounts of his parent's family, starting with James Riker, Revised History of Harlem (1904), pages 219-220 (footnote), Barent's mother is incorrectly identified as Tryntje Pieters CRONENBURG. Although she was a Tryntje Pieters, her surname was not CRONENBURG. The woman known as Tryntje Cronenburg was a different person (see exchanges at the Dutch-Colonies List at RootsWeb from December 2007 and January 2008.
Riker also makes the error of assigning two children to Marretje and Barents, namely Geesje, baptized in 1691, and Jan, baptized in 1697. These two children were children of another Barent Janszen (Barent Janszen BOSCH) and his wife Dievertje Van Heyningen. The baptism records for the two children (at the New York Reformed Dutch Church) clearly give the mother's name as Dievertje Van Heyningen, so why Riker claimed the two as children of Marretje Brouwer defies explanation. William J. Hoffman, in "Brouwer Beginnings," TAG 23 (1947): 206, does not correct the error identifying Barent's mother as "Tryntje Cronenburg," although he does not include the two children as claimed by Riker. There is no evidence that Marretje Brouwer and Barent Van Tilburg had any children. On 22 January 1692, Barent Van Tilburg, along with William Nazareth (husband of Marretje's sister Helena Brouwer), were appointed by their father-in-law, Adam Brouwer, as executors of his will (Adam did not appoint any of his seven living sons as executors). Barent was probably born between 1660 and 1665 and Midwout, and thus far the last record I have found for him is dated 1 May 1709, when he stood as a sponsor at the baptism of Maria, daughter of Willem Brouwer and Martha (Bolten) at the Brooklyn Reformed Dutch Church. Barent is found on the 1703 census of New York City, as "Barent Vantilburg," with a household of 1 male age between 16 and 60, no adult females, and 1 male child and 1 female child. From this it is assumed that Marretje died prior to the taking of the census. The identity the two children is not certain. Marretje's youngest two children from her first marriage (Magdalena and Henricus) would have been aged 22 and 19 in 1703, and presumably would not have been classified as "children." There are no surviving records of any baptisms for children of Marretje and Barent. Whether or not the two children are natural children of Barent and Marretje is not clear from the limited information supplied in the census record. If they are, their names have not been discovered.

Marretje Brouwer and Her Two Husbands, Jacob Pieterszen and Barent Janszen Van Tilburg

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