THE DUTCH ANCESTORY OF THE VAN DER VEER FAMILY

Contributed by William J. Hoffman
Keystone College, La Plume. Penna.

Original printing Apr 1948


   In an article in the American Genealogist, v.22, pp.22-26, I proved the fallacy of two statements made previously with regard to the identification of Cornelis Jansz Van der Veer, alias Cornelis Jansz de Seeuw. He was the founder of the well-known Van der Veer family of Long Island and New Jersey but he was not Cornelis Jansz van Alcmaer nor was he descended from the feudal Lords of Veere. In doing so I cleared the ground for building anew on a more solid foundation of fact and indicated the necessary directions for further research on this subject.

   In The Record v.68, pp202-15, the Lester D. Mapes wrote an account of the early generations of the Van der Veer family in America. While preparing his article, I had given Mr. Mapes the abbreviated contents of a notarial paper from the Netherlands which I had among my notes. He obtained a translation in full of the original, one copy of which he deposited with the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society, and another is in my possession. As Mr. Mapes used only a part of this material in the afore-mentioned article, I will now submit a more complete transcript of the principal items of this document in order to prove the line of descent of this family.

   On the 20th of June 1706, there appeared in the office of Notary Public Cornelis van Aansurg at Dordrecht, Netherlands, "the Honorable Dominicus Dominicussen van der Veer, living at Midwout in the Province of New York," who submitted two powers of attorney. Of these the first one is of pertinent interest to the Van der Veer family and was executed at New York on Nov. 20, 1705. (O.S.) In it Tryntje Jillis, widow and heir of the late Cornelis Dominicus, (more commonly known as Cornelis de Seeuw*), and her children appointed their beloved and trusted son and brother, Dominicus Dominicussen van der Veer, to collect in their name all sums of money due the estate of the late Cornelis Dominicus, as joint heirs of the same. The power of attorney was to apply to all outstanding debts in any part of Europe with special reference to any part of the seven provinces of the United Netherlands and especially to collect a debt from Jacob Dominicus, his heirs or assignees; the said Jacob Dominicus was then living or had lived in or near the city of Ter Goes on the island of South Beveland in the province of Zeeland. The debt was for 3230 gulden as was evident from a note executed by Jacob Dominicus on Mar 24, 1671; in it he declared that he owed his brother, Cornelis Jansz Dominicus, that amount, in payment for land "situated in Zeeland," and he promised to pay him 1200 gulden in May 1672, and similar sums in each following May until the total had been paid in full. The power of attorney listed those who executed it as follows: Tryntje Jillis, widow of Cornelis Jansz Dominicus, and her children Jan Dominicus, Daniel Polhemus husband of Neeltje Dominicus, Jan Dorland husband of Maria Dominicus, Isaac Remsen husband of Hendrickje Dominicus, and Jan Couwenhoven husband of Jacoba Dominicus, all of whom signed the document.

   The second power of attorney, under the same date, was given to Dominicus Van der Veer by his mother-in-law Cornelia van Wesel, at that time the wife of Marten Schenck. In it she empowered her son-in-law, then living in Midwout and on the point of leaving for England and Holland, to settle her share of the estate of her late husband, the Rev. Wilhelmus Lupardus, and her late mother, Margarita de Vries, widow of Rochus van Wesel. Dominicus transferred both powers of attorney to Hendrick Taay, merchant of Dordrecht, who was a brother-in-law of Cornelia van Wesel and consequently an uncle of Dominicus Van der Veer's wife, Maria van Noortwyck. (Rec. v.68, pp.24-30). From this document it is evident that the family name used by Cornelis Jansz in his native Zeeland was Dominicus and not Van der Veer, the surname by which he was known in New Netherlands. But what is more important, the document had established the fact that the family owned land in the neighborhood of the city of Goes, thereby locating the place where further search might prove to bring results.

   I have already stated in my previous article, a brief search showed no definite connection with the fatherland but indicated that the name Dominicus was a well-known one in and around the neighborhood of Goes, the largest city on the island of South Beveland; consequently, the family to which the settler undoubtedly belonged had been located but the exact connection had still to be established. Fortunately, a study of this family, written by Mr. J.J. Polderman, appeared in the March-June 1945-46 issue of De Nederlandsche Leeuw, the leading genealogical magazine of the Netherlands. It was the first in a series of articles dealing with South Beveland families; from it, and from additional information obtained by corresponding directly with Mr. Polderman, the ancestry of Cornelis Jansz Van der Veer, whose emigration to the new world was unknown to the latter, has been definitely established.

[Footnote:]

*The original has "de Leeuw", i.e. the lion, obviously a mistake. In the old script the L and S are quite similar.


DOMINICUS-VAN DER VEER


   In the old world, where custom and tradition have always governed the every-day life of its inhabitants, it is a common occurrence to find a family engaged in the same occupation for several generations, and the same town or community. This is particularly true with regard to the Dominicus family who, from the time of their first appearance in the records during the latter half of the sixteenth century until the present day, have been tillers of the soil in the immediate neighborhood of Goes. They were well-to-do farmers, apparently, not peasant but lantmannen, as is evident from the records. At first they operated a hoeve, or farm, belonging to one of the several manors of the neighborhood but they later became freeholders by buying their own land; in time, they filled the positions and trust, such as village sheriff and secretary, and intermarried with families of like standing. In The Netherlands a large part of the land was divided into manors. The lord of the manor, which might be an individual, a family group, or even a religious or lay institution, leased the farm to individuals, mostly in perpetual rent. The tenants paid their rents in money or in kind and, when ownership changed, verheergewaden, or special fees, were paid to the lord. It was on such a farm located amid countless cherry orchards, in the village of Kloetinge near the Munnikendyk in the Monsterhoek, that we find the first known ancestor of the family.

1.Dominicus Jansz, who was born about 1525, was a schepen of Kloetinge, that was a member of the Court which heard not only both civil and criminal cases, there, but which registered deeds and other legal papers. The records of such courts are on e of the most fruitful sources of information in tracing a family pedigree. Her Married Mayken Jansz Schule of Goes who died before 1585, and whose family had originally come from Flanders. Their seven sons are mentioned in two marriage contracts dated in 1585 and 1587, respectively. One of the sons, Marinus Dominicus, moved to the adjacent village of Hoedekenskerke where he had a farm in the Salabbekoornhoek. The names ending in hoek indicate an administrative part of the manor.

2.Cornelis Dominicus, probably the second of the seven sons referred to above, died before 1629. He was a lantman at Tervaten and is mentioned as a schepen between 1586 and 1621, and as a sheriff in 1622. The name of his wife ha snot been found but his four daughters are enumerated in the will of his brother-in-law Geert Jans a baker at Goes, while his son Jan is mentioned in two schepen records. (Inv. Lasonder 2040, pp.138-51, and 2042, p.264).

3.Jan Cornelisse Dominicus, son of the preceding, and the first to adopt the name Dominicus, died before 1649. He lived in the village of Wemeldinge, near Kloetinge, and is mentioned as a lantman and schepen there. His wife's name was Neeltje Kempe and the baptisms of the following children are recorded in Wemeldinge:

    +4. Dominicus bap. Mar. 3, 1623, the American settler
    +5. Jacob Dominicus bap. Dec. 26, 1626
     6. Maeyken Dominicus bap. Apr 2, 1631

   We know both from the other records at Wemeldinge and from the notarial paper quoted above that Jan Cornelisse had two sons, Cornelis and Jacob; also, that Cornelis, in 1649, had reached his majority which at that time, the Netherlands, indicated that he was twenty five years of age.

5. Before continuing with Cornelis I wish to state a few facts about his brother Jacob Dominicus and his descendants. He was a lantman at Wemeldinge where he is also mentioned as a schepen, sheriff, and president orphan master. At nearby Ierseke, he married Forretje Sweedyck, daughter of Foort Sweedyck, sheriff Ierskek, and belonging to a well-to-do family that for two centuries had lived on the "Hof Sweedyck." A grandson and namesake, Jacobus Jansz Dominicus, was an attorney-at-law, councilor, and schepen of the city of Goes. Among his other activities he contributed two chapters o his native province of Zeeland to the Hedendaagsche Historie of Tegenwoordige Staat van alle Volkeren, an elaborate history of the world, and he is the one to whom I referred in my article in the American Genealogist. The descendants of another son of Jacob, Sr., settled in both Ierseke and Goes, where they were magistrates, and some of whom became co-owners of several manors. Many of them were notaries public, a position which in Holland can be compared with the profession of solicitor in England. Finally, the descendants of a third son remained in their ancestral village o Wemeldinge and have continued to be farmers until this present day.

4.Cornelis Jansz Dominicus, also known as Cornelis Jansz Seeuw (the man from Zeeland), and as Cornelis van der Veer, is, in all probability as I have shown, the child baptized at Wemeldinge Mar 3, 1623.While still a young man his father died and it appears that he contracted debts through unsuccessful business ventures. In 1649, he sold one half of a hoeve to his brother Jacob and we know for the notarial record that he disposed of considerable property in 1671. Finally he decided to emigrate to New Netherland and in February of 1659 he boarded the good ship, Otter. His name and occupation on the West India Company's Passenger List appeared as Cornelis Jansz Van der Veer, Farmer, (NYYB, 1902, p.10), and apparently settled on Long Island which must have reminded him of his native land. Why he dropped the fine old name of Dominicus, being the only one of his family to do so, and adopted the of Van der Veer is not known; it may be he intended to break forever with the past and to start a new life beyond the seas. Van der Veer is translated as "from the ferry," of which means of transportation there were quite a few in his native archipelago; only a quarter of a mile from his birthplace was the ferry of Bergen op Zoom on the mainland.

   When leaving for New Netherland Cornelis, apparently, had not disposed of all his holdings. That he appointed his brother, Jacob Jansz Dominicus, to look after his interests is evident from the following schepen record in the archives of Wemeldinge, dated Dec 24, 1661 (Inv. Lasonder 3605), which reads in part: "Appeared before schepens, as indicated below, Jacob Cornelis Rombouts declaring that he lawfully owes Jacob Dominicus as representing his brother Cornelis Dominicus who is absent from this country, the sum of XXX£VI sch(ellingen) and XXV D(uyten) landpagt (rent of land) due since 1659," the year Cornelis left for New Netherland. He presently agreed to borrow the amount at 5% interest and to date the debt back to 1659. The first installment was to be paid on Christmas Day 1662, and yearly payments of both interest and principal were to be made thereafter until the entire debt was liquidated; this was expected to be done in three years. As security he gave a mortgage on his house (described), and his personal belonging and his own person!. The document was signed and sealed Dec 24,1661, in the presence do Christian Foortsen and Adr. de Wagemaker (the cartwright), schepens. It was not until two years after Cornelis has sailed to the New World the his name as Cronelis Jansen Vanderveer first appears in records, together with six others, when they petition Gov. Peter Stuyvesant, on Jan 13, 1661, for a patent of land on the Canarisse (CDNY14:501). It is possible that the grant of sixty morgens of land in Midwout, Mar 12, 1661, to Cornelis Jansen refer to him and also the mention of Cornelis Jansen having land next to a parcel of which Gerrit Snedicker had purchased there in 1684; however, we are not certain as there were others here at the time who had the same Christian name and patronymic.

   On Oct 27, 1661, Anthony Jans bought form the Orphan Master s 18 morgens of plain and meadow land, containing two small house lots, on the east side of the road and abutting on the Canarisse Flats (Flat. Deeds Lib. A, p.109). He sold this on Mar 20 1670, to Wil. And Thomas Willets and then in turn, conveyed it in 1677 to Cornelis Jansen Vanderveer. There is a record of sale of land, on Sept 2, 1672, before Jacob Joosten clerk at Midwout, by Cornelis Jansz de Seeuw and Cornelis Slecht, to Cornelis de Seeuw an again, on Oct 21st of the same year, of a sale by Johannes Christoffel of land at Midwout to Cornelis Jansz de Seeuw (Flat. Deeds Lib. A pp 64-65). ON Jan 7, 1678-79, Louis Cornelisse sold Lots Nos.32 and 33 of woodland in New Lots to Cornelis Jansz de Seeuw; later in the same year the latter conveyed then to Stoffel Jans. However, on Apr 2 1680, Cornelis de Seeuw was listed as the owner of two lots on the "New Lotts at Midwout."

   In a transaction, dated Feb 24, 1678-79, Jan Jans sold land south of his farm to Cornelis Jansen Van der Veer for two thousand guldens and the following year the latter sold land in Midwout, owned in common with Thomas Lamberts, to Cornelis Berrien. In this last conveyance Cornelis signed the document as Cornelis Jansz Seeuw while his name in the instrument itself was Cornelis Jansen Vanderveer, thereby proving that these two names were used by one and the same person. (Flat. Deeds Lib. A, pp.126-37. Another proof of his identity, is that in the same year Cornelis Jansz de Seeuw and Cornelis Jansen Van der Veer appear as constable (CDNY 14:745). Finally in July 1681 Cornelis bought of Jan Jansen Fyn land in Midwout which had formerly belonged to Margritta Provost (Flat. Deeds Lib. A,pp.143-45). Together with his son-in-law, Daniel Polhemus, he erected on his property} a corne mill or grieze mill, with dwelling house" an the barn which belonged to it was on "a certain kill or creeke call Fresh Kill, all within the limits of Flatbush towne patent." This property later came into the possession of his son Dominicus.

   In 1683, Cornelis Van der Veer is listed on the Assessment Roll of Midwout as owner of one hundred acres of land and in the Flatbush Census of 1698 his household consisted of one man, one woman, and four children; two other children had already married and started households of their own. Cornelis died before Feb 22, 1703, when his wife paid for a grave in the church at Flatbush for her husband. She was Tryntje Mandeville, daughter of Gillis Jansz Mandeville, who mentions her in his will dated Sept. 15, 1696, and his wife Elizabeth Hendricks. For a brief history of the Mandeville family, see my article in the The Record v.69, pp.222-24. In order to compete the record of Cornelis Van der Veer, a list of his children follows:

    7. i. Neeltje Vanderveer mar. Daniel Polhemus
    8. ii. Jan Vanderveer mar. Femmetje Bergen
    9. iii. Dominicus Vanderveer bap. Nov 16, 1679; mar (1st) Maria Van Noortwyck, and (2nd) Jannetje Van Nostrand
    10. iv. Maria Vanderveer bap. July 30, 1682; mar. Jan Dorland
    11. v. Hendrickje Vanderveer bap Aug 27 (17?), 1684; mar Isaac Remsen
    12 vi. Jacoba Vanderveer bap. Apr 29, 1686; mar Jan van Couwenhoven


   In addition there may have been three other children who died as infants; it is possible that a child was lost as early as 1667-68, and that two others died in 1682 when payments were made to the church for two graves.

   There remains an explanation with regard to the arms of this family: Or a bend sinister gules between two hourglasses proper; the crest is an hourglass of the arms. Rietstap's Armorial General lists these arms under Dominicus, Zelande. A seal with these arms used by Jan Dominicus, who in 1807 was Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Poorhouse and Orphanage at Goes, and who belongs to this same family is found in the archives of the Lutheran Church in Rotterdam.Dominicus Crest

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