Friday, June 19, 2015

New Amsterdam family, part 2

Dirck Volckertsen and Christina Vigne > Magdalena Dircks > Christina Rosenkrans > Johannes Cortright > Elisha Cortright > Isaac Cortright > Mabel Cortright > Jameson Ransom > Charles Ransom > Lillian Ransom > Charles Walters

Continuing with my New Amsterdam ancestors. Part 2 of 3
(See part 1 here)

Dirck Volckertsen was from Norway and often called “Noorman.” He married Christina Vigne, probably around 1630. The couple had at least 8 children, with the youngest being baptized in 1653 in New Amsterdam. Sometime after his father-in-law’s death, Dirck is alongside his mother-in-law in dealing with the deceased’s estate.

The surviving New Amsterdam documents include a wide variety of records including financial agreements, land transaction and court cases. Dirck can be found in several of these documents. One of the earliest was in May 1638, when Dirck received a loan of fl.720 from Director Kieft and the West India Company. He was given 3 years to repay.

Two months later, Christina and Dirck are at odds with her new step-father, Jan Jansen Damen. Apparently their family, as well as the family of Christina’s sister Maria, was living in the same home as their mother Adriane Cuvelier and her new husband, Damen. Perhaps tired of sharing his home with so many, Damen ordered his new extended family out of him home. Things became violent as Damen shoved Christina out of the house. Knives were drawn between Damen and Dirck and blood was shed. See more here.

In the following years, Dirck can often be found involved in additional court cases. In 1639, Dirck and 4 other men were fined for being aboard a ship without consent. As it was the first offence, the men were changed a relatively small fine. A couple years later, Dirck claims he innocently purchased a rope that may have been stolen and he was told not to leave town until the matter was settled.

It is possible that Dirck was finding himself in some financial problems in the 1650s and 1660s. Court records show a number of times when the plaintiff was suing Dirck for money owned. There were times when Dirck didn’t even appear in court and other times, he admitted to his debt and was ordered to pay. On occasion, Dirck was the one seeking what was owed him, including one case where Pieter Cornelis, a fellow resident of Breuckelen (Brooklyn), was ordered to return Dirck’s boar.

Beginning In October 1656, Dirck was involved in a court case that stretched into the next year. Witness statements say that Dirck was playing dice with Jan Perie when an argument occurred between the two men. The argument led to a fight and Jan was stabbed. Jan then sued Dirck for surgeon fees and time lost. Dirck argued that it was Jan who started the fight and he was only defending himself and therefore should not have to pay for Jan’s injuries. In the end, Dirck ended up paying Jan.

But not every time Dirck’s name appeared in the records was for a court case. Church documents record the baptisms of his children and show Dirck and Christina as witnesses for the baptisms of other children in New Amsterdam. A 1639 land transaction shows Dirck entered into a 6 year lease with the director and West India Company. In this deal, Dirck was given some livestock and each year received 50 Carolus Guilders to pay his servants. In return, Dirck was to pay 30 pounds of butter for each of the cows he was leased as well as half of the grain he produced. At the end of the 6 years, Dirck was to return the livestock plus half of the livestock that was born to him during the lease.

In the 1640s, Dirck sold his home in Manhattan. A provision of the sale was that Dirck was allowed to take 6 apple trees from the land as well as any of the produce from the garden until the sale was finalized that fall. In 1646, he had a home built for him on Long Island, perhaps the farm he later leased to his friend Jochem Calder. Later, he bought and then sold land in Smith’s Valley on the East River of Manhattan. 

Sources: New York Historical Manuscripts: Dutch/New Netherland Documents,; The Records of New Amsterdam from 1653 to 1674, volume 1-5,; “Dirck Volckertszen De Noorman,”

I’ve come across a number of websites, books and blogs that include more information about my New Amsterdam relatives. While I have looked at some for reference, the information I’ve included here is primarily from the New Amsterdam records I was able to locate online and hope to add more later on. 

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