Sunset at Gowanus Bay

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

Saturday, September 29, 2012

More Anneke Jans

Here are four more resources for those interested in learning more about the actual facts surrounding the legend of Anneke Jans, followed by some useful advise.

"The Heirs of Anneke Jans vs. Trinity Church," by William J. Parry was published in the New York Genealogical and Biographical Record in 1994 (Volume 125, nos. 2 & 3). It is the most thoroughly researched and comprehensive account of the actual events, claims and lawsuits that created the "legend" of Anneke Jans, ever published. It covers events from the early 1700s and into the 20th century.

A follow up article by the same author, "A Family Feud: The Anneke Jans Claimants in 1831," found in NYGBR vol. 126, no. 2 (April 1995), describes a lawsuit between heirs (or presumed heirs) over, basically, the lack of results from an attempted lawsuit. The article includes a list of claimants, that the author states "maybe useful in solving genealogical problems." The operative word here is "Maybe." Inheritance lawsuits often include the claimant's pedigrees. After all, they have to prove their descent from the individual who's fortune they are trying to claim. But simply because a claimant introduces a pedigree into evidence, or testifies to an ancestry, does not make it correct.

In light of what I just mentioned, here is a "List of Claimed Heirs" of "Sarah and Wolfert Webber and of Sybrant Bower (sic), son of Jacobus Brower." This group of fortune seekers organized themselves in 1873 for the purpose of making a claim on the estates of Sarah and Wolfert Webber, who they believed left an inheritance back in Amsterdam that was never claimed.

And finally there is "Ancient Estates" Heirship Documentation Available, by William B. Bogardus. It describes the availability of pedigree information submitted by claimants with regards to one of the Anneke Jans lawsuits of the 1900s, and how an interested researcher might go about accessing it. I've made this available primarily because of the cautionary note included in the fourth and fifth paragraphs. I would venture to say that no one on earth has spent as much time, energy and resources in researching the descendants of Anneke Jans as has William B. Bogardus. As these words of caution come from Bill, I believe that they carry a great deal of weight. Do not ignore them. They apply not just to the Anneke Jans lawsuits, but also to all lawsuits and trial testimony that involves the relating of a pedigree. I would add that the cautionary words also apply to pedigrees that are submitted to any one of the numerous genealogical based societies (D.A.R., Mayflower Descendants, etc.) that exist. In every case, especially for generations beyond the claimant's or applicant's grandparents, the pedigree must be verified with additional research. If the pedigree is accurate, then a researcher working today should be able to duplicate the pedigree using available vital records, church records, probate and land records.

The above documents are all a part of the William B. Bogardus Collection.

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.