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Descendants of Gerritt Jansz Couwenhoven

This new family information on the Van Kouwenhoven family was published i the central Bureau Voor Genealogy, Part 50 1996 (Dec. 16, 1996), The Hague, by M. S. F. Kemp. Additional information had been obtained from the NYGBR issues of October 1997 and January 1998 and is included.

Descendants of Gerritt Jansz Couwenhoven
Generation One
1. Gerritt Jansz1 Couwenhoven was a tenant farmer of the estate Couwenhoven in the neighborhood Ceulhorst on the Hoogland near Amersfoort, owned by the family De Wijs who were holding if from the feudal Land Lord of Montfoort. May be identical with Gerrit Jansz Couwenhoven who is mentioned in 1564 as tenant of the land of the family Van Vanelveld circa 1600.

Children of Gerritt Jansz1 Couwenhoven and an unknown spouse were as follows:

2. i. Willem Gerritsz2, married Neeltgie Willemsdr.
3. ii. Wolphert Gerretse, born before May 1, 1579; married Neeltgen Jacobsdochter.

Generation Two
2. Willem Gerritsz2 Couwenhoven (Gerritt1) married Neeltgie Willemsdr. He died before 1622.

He was a tenant farm on Johan de Wijs on the farmyard Couwenhoven and since 1612 owner of about 1 morgen (2 1/4 acres) of land before 1612. Children of Willem Gerritsz2 Couwenhoven and an unknown spouse were as follows:

i. Willem Gerritsz3.
ii. Gerrit Willemsz.
iii. Jan Willemsz.
iv. Harmen Willemsz.
v. Willem Willemsz. there were no children of Willem Gerritsz2 Wouwenhoven and Neeltgie Willemsdr.

3. Wolphert Gerretse2 Van Kouwenhoven (Gerritt1Couwenhoven) was born before May 1, 1579; when baptisms began in Amersfoort, Netherlands. He was born circa 1583 at Netherlands; he stated on October 8, 1638 that he was 54 years old. He was born circa 1584. He was born circa 1588 at Holland. Marriage banns for he and Neeltgen Jacobsdochter were published on Jan 9, 1605 at Amersfoort, Netherlands. He married Neeltgen Jacobsdochter, daughter of Jacob Peterss and Metgen Jacobsdr, on Jan 17, 1604/5 at Dutch Reformed Church, Amersfoort, Netherlands. He died between Mar 2, 1662 and Jun 24, 1662 at New Amerstoort, NY.

He was also known as Wolfert Gerretsz Van Kouwenhoven. He was also known as Wolfert Garretsen Van Couwenhoven. He was also known as Wolfert Gerritsz Van Couwenhoven. He was also known as Wulphert Gerritsz Van Couwenhoven. He was also known as Wulpher Gerritsz Van Couwenhoven. He was also known as Wulffer Geritsz Van Couwenhoven. He was also known as Wolfert Gerretsen Van Kouwenhoven. He was also known as Wolfert Gerretson Van Couwenhoven. Dec 15, 1611. The first reference to WOLFER GERRITSE when Wulphert Gerrits signed an agreement with his stylized A. According to the terms of that document, he agreed to assume the property and debts of the deceased parents of his wive Neeltgen Jacobsdr from the other heirs for 100 guilders. Her brother Herman Jacobsz also signed this document as well as her brother-in-law Willem Dircx who was married to Aeltgen Jacobs Petergen Petersdr, the underage daughter of her brother Peter Jacobsz, had already recieved 50 guilders.

Apr 14, 1615. Wulphert Gerritsz and his wife Neeltgen Jacosdr sold a bleachcamo outside the Coppelpoort of Amersfoort to Hendrick Janss and his wife Hasgenb Thonis fo 1,200 Carolus guilders, the occupation of Wolfert is not disclosed in this document on Mar 22, 1612. In the settlement of the estate of Wolfert's wife in Amersfoort, it was declared before the court that his profession at the time was baker on Aug 8, 1612 at Amersfoort, Netherlands. Wolphert took part in a curious agreement with Herman Zieboltz of Amsterdam, before Johan van Ingen an officer of the court of Utrechet. The name of the Amsterdammer suggests that he was a German or that he was of German descent. His name is also spelled Syboelt and Zyeboltz in those documents. According to a "donatiaq iner vivos" (gift to a living person) Ziebolz gave Wolphert two morgans of turf ground near Cologne in recognition of services rendered (but not payment for them). No monetary amount is mentioned for the services or the turf ground. In a second document of the same date issued by the same officer of the court of Utrecht, Ayeboliz made a debt owed by mim by Henrick Adrianesz and Adriaen Adriansz over to Wulpher Gerrits baker and Cornelis Wynantsz inkeeper. This second document authorized Wulpher Gerritss and Cornelis Wynantsz to assume ownership of the two morgens of turfground mentioned in the first document. These documents create the impression that Zieboltz was unable to pay Wolfert money that he owed him, that the Amsterdammer made over a debt on which he had not been able to collect, and that Wolfert may have agreed to these vague terms because he would otherwise not be able to retrieve anything from his business dealings with he Zierboltz.

Between Feb , 1617 and Jul , 1617. Wulpher Gerritss baker appeared as a witness before Johan van Ingen officer of the court of Utrecht, in a case in which Willem Gerritz miller testified that Griet Maes was evading the city grain tax. The document does not specify that Wulpher and Willem were brothers, and if such were the case, it is likely that this would have been discussed in the document on May 16, 1616. Hendrick Janss and Haesgen Thonis made the last payment on the bleach camp which they had purchased from Wolfert Gerretse and Neeltge Jacbsdr, and the property was made over to them on Oct 28, 1616. He purchased from Aert van Schayck and his wife Anna Barents a house on the Langegraft in Amersfoort whch lay between the hosue of the aforesaid Aert on the one side and that of Henrickgen Barents widow of Aelbert Conrneiss on the other side, while the breadt of the house lay on the Lieverrouwestraet (Dear Lady Street). Wolphert was listed as a baker on Jan 30, 1617 at Langegraft, Amersfoort, Netherlands. Within a short time, Wolpeher placed three mortgages on this house. Perhaps the transactions with Zieboltz were unprofitable, and this was one of the causes of his need for money. On Feb 15, 1617, Wulpher Gerritss baker and his wife Neeltgen Jacobsdr borrowed 100 guidlers from the Armen te Amersfoort on which he agreed to pay 6 guilders per year. On May 16, 1617, Wulpher Gerritss baker and his wife Neeltgen borrowed 200 guilders from Cornelis Baecx van der Tommen at a yearly interest of 12 guilders. On Jul 25, 1617, Wul;phur Gerritss baker and his wife Neelttgen Jacobsdr borrowed 250 guilders from Anna Goerts widow of Franck Frandkss at 15 guilders interest per year.

Jan 3, 1618. Wulphert Gerritsz and his wife Neeltgen Jacobs purchased a bleachcamp outside the Coppelpoort of Amersfoort with Hubert Lambertsz Moll and his wife Geertgen Cornisdochter as their partners. They borrowed 500 Carolus Guilders from Ghijsbert Cornelisz van Cuijlenburch, a citizen of the city of Utrecht, at an annual interest of 25 guilders and 20 stivers. In addition, Hubert Lamberts and his wife Geertje Cornelisdochter contracted a special mortgage for 400 Carolus guilders with the consent of Wulffert Gerritsz and his wife. On the north side of the property lay the River Eem, on the east the city moat and on the south and west the heirs of Gerrit van Speulde. This property came with two other mortgages: 200 guilders to the Poth and 600 guilders to Jo. Catharina van Morendael not yet conveyed to her. In a codicil, Wulpher Gerritsz baker and his wife Neeltgen Jacobs become party to the mortgage of Hubert Lambertsz Moll and his wife Geertge Cornelis for 400 guilders with interest on Ghijsbert Cornelisz van Culenborch with restriction that Wulpher would pay 150 guilders in the year 1681 and thereafter be free of obligation.

In the margin is a notation that Dirck van Cullenburch as heir of his father Gysbert van Culenburch acknowledged that the obligation on the mortgage was fully paid on Mar 5, 1628.

In the seventeenth century, a bleach camp was a capital intensive, seasonal business which required the labor of relatively many workers. Profits were meager because the buyers of the finished product and the suppliers of raw matierials such as lye were generally the same persons, and they acted to keep their costs and thus the profits of the bleachers love. There were three types of bleaching activities, and the skills and experience required of workers was generally so high that each bleachery specialized in but one sort of material: Yarn (garenblekerij), woven cloth (lijnwaadblekerij), or clothing (klerenblekerij). In all three cases, the material was first generally cooked in a lye solution and later spread out on green grass for many weeks in small fields surrounding the bleach house where it was kept damp. Later, it was cooked in a solution of wheat meal before being again spread on the field for a lengthy period, the entire process requiring about three months. The consequences of this long procedure was that only wealthy people were the customers of clothing bleachers because only they could afford to part with many items of clothing for so long a time.

No equipment of the bleach camp listed in the purchase document for Wolphert are given. So no indication of what type of bleachery Wolphert purchased. The bleach camp he sold in 1612 included a bleach table meaning it may have been a cloth bleach camp. Wulphert Gerritss baker and his wife Neeltge Jacobs contracted a mortgage with Coenraet Fransz, former mayor of the city of Amersfoort, for 100 guilders at an annual interest of 6 guilders, with the house of Wulphert on the Langegracht as security, which house lay between the house of Aert van Schayck and that of Hednrickgen Speldemaeckster.

It does not appear that Wolferts endeavor as bleacher met with great success, and this may have been caused by a general malaise in the weavers trade in Amersfoort in this period, which in turn lay on a lack of capital. Because Wolfert's work was dependent on this industry, he was limited as a businessman by the lack of success of the parent industry on Sep 17, 1618. Wolphert was appointed guardian over the five under aged children of Willem Gerritsz Couwenhoven.

Wulffer Geridtz, bleacher residing by the Coppelpoort and Harman Willemsz citizen of Amersfoort as "bloetvoochden" (blood guardians) of the five sons of Willem Gerridsz Couwenhoven, namely Gerridt, Willem, Jan, Harmen, and Willem the Younger, none of whom had yet reached the age of majority, made an agreement with the mother of the children Neeltgen Willemsdr the widow of Willem Gerridtsz assisted by the owner of Cowenhoven the honorable Johan de Wijs. This document indicates that Wolfert Gerritse had a brother Willem and that he was the tenant of the farm Couwenhoven which was owned by Johan de Wijs. This document indicates that Wolfert is connected to the Couwenhoven by Hoogland. It is at the same time possible that he was also linked to the Couwenhoven near Woudenberg because he was a son of Gerrit Willemsz van Couwenhoven, but documentation for this has not been discovered on Nov 5, 1622. Beermt van Munster made a deposition under oath before the lieutenant, the schout, and the schepenen Dam and Bronchorst at the request of the (police) officer. He stated that the previous Saturday afternoon he had caught a bucket of fish by the Coppelpoort bridge and had given half of it to Wulphert the bleacher according to an agreement which they had made, and that Beernt had caught a small number of fish thereafter. Wulpher and Harmen.

Teut then took these fish from Beernt, and they would not divide them with him. Wulpher took the net and tried to give it to his wife. Harman hit Beernt in the eye with a weight in the net, but by then, it was ripped. Beernt then went to the defense of his wife, and Wulpher drew his knife and threatened him without harming him. Dirck Gerritsz, stevedore, using well-chosen words, separated the people from each other. On April 1 1623, Dirch Gerrisz was heard at the request of the officer and made a similar deposition under oath on March 24, 1623. Hubert Moll and his wife Geertgen Cornelis sold a bleach camp to Wulpher Gerritsz bleacher and his wife in which they had been residing. This was situated in Amersfoort outside the Coppelpoort. The property description differs slightly from that given for the land transaction of 1618, but the mortgages are the same. It is likely that this is the same ground that Wulpher Gerritsz and Hubert Moll purchased then. On the date of purchase in 1623, Wulpher Gerritss sold this property to Monsieur Jacques Chiese Cuirass(ier) of the company of his Princely Excellency (Maurits?) and the purchaser assumed the mortgages.

This is the last document pertaining to Wolfert Gerritse that has been discovered in the archives of Amersfoort.

On June 11, 1623. He was a baker and then later a bleacher (bleaching laundry on a grassfield in the sun) before 1624. He immigrated between 1624 and 1625 to New Amsterdam, Kings Co., Long Island, NY. He and Neeltgen Jacobsdochter immigrated in June, 1625 to New Netherlands; or July 1625, with his wife and family on a ship of the Dutch West India Company which sailed in the expedition that was comprised of the ships Mackerel, Horse, Cow and Sheep. Wolfert returned to the Netherlands in 1629. He returned from the Netherlands on board "De Endracht" (the Unity) on May 24, 1630. There exists a letter from Kiiaen van Rensselaer to Wolfert. At this time Wolfert was in the Netherlands and the letter had to do with terminating Wolfert's contract with van Rensselaer and mentions that Wolferts wife was unhappy living in New Netherlands. In the letter van Rensselaer states he would not want someone who was not happy working for him to remain in his employ under the circumstances. It was a friendly letter. According to the source there are several letters of Wolfert from Van Rensselaer. He purchased "Keskateuw" located on Long Island from the Indians. Here was established the first known white settlement on Long Island. Wolphert called his "plantation" Achterveldt, shown on the Manatu Map of New Netherlands as farm No. 36 near the Indian long house to the Kestachau tribe. Wolphert's house surrounded by palisades, was the focal point of the village of New Amersfoort, later called Flatlands, on June 30, 1636. He got "Smal Civil Rights" on Apr 18, 1657. Wolfert Gerritsen Van Couwenhoven was named in a suit filed by Frans Jansen regarding a dispute over a contract in which Jansen was to buy land from Wofert. This was the first time the name Van Couwenhoven was mentioned in reference to Wolfert on Oct 20, 1661.

[You can view the rest of the Couwenhoven story at Descendants of Wolphert Gerretse Van Kouwenhoven, compiler: David Kipp Conover.]
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