Sunday, March 18, 2012

First European Born in Dutch Colony – Sarah Jorise Rapelje

B. 9 Jun 1625 in Fort Orange, New Netherland
M. (1) 1639 in New Amsterdam, New Netherland
Husband: Hans Hansen Bergen
M. (2) 19 Aug 1654 in New Amsterdam, New Netherland
Husband: Teunis Gysbertse Bogaert
D. 1685 in Brooklyn, New York

Sarah Jorise Rapelje was credited as being the first European child born in the New Netherland colony (what later became the state of New York). Her parents, Joris Jansen Rapelje and Catalyntje Jeronimus Trico, had been on the ship which brought the first settlers over from Amsterdam to the colony of New Netherland. The ship didn’t stop at Manhattan, but went all the way up to Fort Orange, where present-day Albany now stands. The new arrivals were needed to help build the fort, and Sarah’s parents lived there when she was born on June 9, 1625.

The Rapelje family moved down to New Amsterdam when Sarah was still a baby, and later settled in Brooklyn. The family grew to include 11 children. There is a story that Peter Minuit gave Sarah 20 morgen of land, but it's not known if this was true.

When Sarah was just 14, she married Hans Hansen Bergen. They had eight children born between about 1640 and 1653, the youngest two being twins. Hans died, and Sarah married Teunis Gysbertse Bogaert on August 19, 1654 in New Amsterdam. They had seven children born between about 1655 and 1668. The family moved to Wallabout (in what is now Brooklyn) in about 1657.

Later in her life, Sarah received a 400-acre land grant from the government. She died in Brooklyn in 1685. Sarah's chair is in the collection of the Museum of the City of New York, and a tankard containing a medallion given to her upon her marriage to Hans Bergen was donated by descendants to the Brooklyn Museum of Art.

Famous descendants of Sarah Jorise Rapelje include Humphrey Bogart and Howard Dean.

Children by Hans Bergen:
1. Anneke Bergen – B. about 1640, New Amsterdam, New Netherland; M. Dirck Jansen Hoogland

2. Brecktje Bergen – B. about 1642, New Amsterdam, New Netherland; M. Aert Anthonize Middagh

3. Jan Hansen Bergen – B. about 1644, New Amsterdam, New Netherland; M. Janetje Teunis (~1641-?)

4. Michiel Hansen Bergen – B. about 1646, New Amsterdam, New Netherland; D. about 1732; M. Femmetje Teunise (~1650-?)

5. Joris Hansen Bergen – B. about 1649, New Amsterdam, New Netherland; M. Sarah Stryker, 11 Aug 1678, New York

6. Marritje Bergen – B. about 1651, New Amsterdam, New Netherland; M. Jacob Ruthszen

7. Jacob Hansen Bergen – B. about 1653, New Amsterdam, New Netherland; M. Elsje Fredericks, 8 Jul 1677, New York

8. Catalyna Bergen – B. about 1653; D. young

Children by Teunis Bogaert:
1. Aertje Tunisen Bogaert – B. about 1655, New Netherland; M. Theodore Polhemius, 24 Oct 1677, New York

2. Catalyntje Tunisen Bogaert – B. 16 Dec 1657, Wallabout, New Netherland; M. Jan Teunise Van Middleswart (~1654-?), 16 Nov 1679

3. Neeltje Tunisen Bogaert – B. about 1660, New Netherland; D. young

4. Aaltje Tunisen Bogaert – B. about 1661, New Netherland; M. Charles Claasz, 11 Dec 1681

5. Antje Tunisen Bogaert – B. about 1665, New York; M. Joris Abrahamse Brinckerhoff

6. Neeltje Tunisen Bogaert – B. about 1665, New York; M. Cornelis Teunise Denyse, 22 Aug 1687, New York

7. Gysbert Tunisen Bogaert – B. about 1668, New York; M. Jannetje Van Arsdalen (~1667-1731), 16 Apr 1689, New York

Sarah Rapelje [Wikipedia article]
Joris Jansen Rapelje [Wikipedia article]
The Island at the Center of the World, Russel Shorto, 2005
"14 Generations," New York Newsday, 23 Nov 1997
Genealogies of the New Jersey Families: Families A-Z, pre-American nots on old New Netherland families, Genealogical Publishing Company, 1996
GeneaStar: Famous Family Tree and Genealogy [website]

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