Saturday, June 13, 2009

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun :: Three Things

So here it is, Saturday Night again. Randy's challenge for this evening is to write about three things that you learned about Genealogy or Family History today.

First and foremost, don't do a Google search for an ancestor unless you have time to spare. Of course, I already knew that but it got driven home this afternoon. I had other things that I should have been doing but really just didn't feel like doing them.

Instead, in a few hours of "surfing" I learned a great deal about my 8th great grandfather, Tjerck Claessen Dewitt, who lived from about 1629 to 1699 in what is now Kingston, New York. Much more than I know about some of my more recent ancestors! His will was dated March 4, 1687. Though I wonder about its authenticity since the book it came from was compiled, abstracted and translated by Gustave Anjou!

Among other things, from the Website of Richard Thomas Rose I learned that the name Tjerck is pronounced as if it was written Cherrick. And Taatje is Charity.

Tjerck was involved in several court cases 1656-1663. In a biography from Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs, I learned that his eldest daughter, Taatje, was carried away by the Indians on June 7, 1663 during the destruction of Kingston and Hurley, but was rescued. [She would marry Matthys Matthyssen in 1677 and they would become my 7th great grandparents.] In that same biography, I learned that in 1667, when the British took possession of Kingston, he was one of those who opposed British occupation. Among the complaints made afterward by the burghers was this: "Capt. Braodhead has beaten Tjerck Claezen DeWitt without reason and brought him to prison. Ye reason why Capy. Broadhead abused Tjerick DeWitt was because he would keep Christmas day on ye day according to the Dutch and not on ye day according to ye English observation."

In addition, he refused to take the Oath of Allegiance required of heads of families by the English in 1668. Then, in 1684 he, along with others, petitioned the Governor for the right of Ulster County citizens to be able "to choose our towne officers to every towne court by the major vote of the freeholders." The petition offended the authorities and the signers were arrested and fined because of their desire for local self-government.

Tjerck was an interesting fellow, indeed. All in all, it was an informative afternoon. But all of those other things I didn't feel like doing still await me!

1 comment:

Diana Ritchie said...

But it sounds like you had so much fun - I'm sure those other things can wait ;-) I often get wrapped up exploring something and then forget where I even started. I think I have genealogy-related ADD!!