Connected successfully  The Okie Legacy: Vol 18, Iss 45 Sweet Silly Spunky Sadie

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                             Volume 18, Issue 45 -- 2016-12-18                     

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Sweet Silly Spunky Sadie


This week we bring some genealogy legacies to light for our maternal Conover (Couwenhoven) lineage from NW Okie's mother's side of the family with the Paris lineage marring into the Conover lineage via Henry Clay Paris (1844-1918) and Sarah Francis Conover (1848-1924).

We found this Family History Treasures for Wolfert Gerritsen Van Couwenhoven (1584-1661), written by Laura A. Jones.

Wolfert Gerritsen Van Couwenhoven was born in the Netherlands in 1584 and lived on a farm in the small Dutch village of Couwenhoven near Amersfoort. We find out in the Dutch naming system, Wolfert's full name means "Wolfert, son of Gerrit, from the town of Couwenhoven." Wolfert worked hard on the farm and had very little time to attend school, evidenced by the fact that he never even learned how to write his name.

As the website states, "When Wolfert was about 21 years old, he married Aeltge Jansdochter on January 17, 1605. Unfortunately, Aeltge died sometime within the first few years of their marriage. Wolfert then married Neeltje Jacobsdochter who eventually gave birth to several children, but only three of them are known to have survived to adulthood: Gerrit, Pieter, and Jacob. Wolfert provided for his family by working as a baker in Amersfoort. Later on he worked as a bleacher, which was someone who bleached yarn or cloth."

Wolfert and Neeltje raised their family during some difficult economic times in the Netherlands. It was these circumstances that had an impact on Wolfert's decision in 1624 to sign up with the Dutch West India Company to serve in the colony of New Netherlands in North America. It was April, 1625, Wolfert and his family left Holland and set sail on the ship Eendracht, arriving at Manhattan Island about two months later and were among the first settlers of what would later become New Amsterdam or New York City.

Neeltje was Woflert's second wife. Wolfert married his first wife (Aeltge Jansdochter) on January 17, 1605 when he was about 21 years old. Aeltge died sometime within first few years of their marriage. Neeltje gave birth to several children, but only three of them were known to have survived to adulthood (Gerrit, Pieter, and Jacob). Wolfert worked as a baker in Amersfoort, later on he worked as a bleacher, which was someone who bleached yarn or cloth.

After Wolfert landed in lower Manhattan, he was put in charge of approximately 91 acres, as one of the five head farmers. The three sons of Wolfert and Neeltje were teenagers at this point. They were put to work helping Wolfert and the other farm laborers in the difficult task of clearing the land. They eventually began to plant crops. Wolfert's compensation for running the farm was one tenth of its proceeds.

It is stated in family histories that throughout his life, Wolfert was illiterate and always signed contracts with his mark, but his hard work and determination made it possible for him to become successful in his many endeavors. Wolfert and Neeltje had been married for approximately 50 years. Neeltje passed away in the year 1658, and three years later, fallow 1661, Wolfert died at age of 77. The Vab Couwenhoven descendants eventually changed the surname, dropping the prefix "Van" and later changing the name to the more American sounding "Conover."

[To read the rest of the story click the link above.]

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