Thursday, March 15, 2012

Indentured Servant at Age 7 – Phoebe Sayles

B. 1625 in Little Waldingtonfield, England
M. (1) about 1639 in New Netherland
Husband: Hendrick de Boer Fallix
M. (2) 11 Feb 1640 in New Amsterdam, New Netherland
Husband: Teunis Nyssen
M. (3) 24 Aug 1663 in Flatbush, New Netherland
Husband: Jan Cornelissen Buys
D. 13 Dec 1666 in (probably) Flatbush, New York
Emigrated: 1630

Phoebe Sayles was a woman who migrated from an English colony to a Dutch colony. She was baptized in Little Waldingfield, a village in Suffolk, England, on May 1, 1625. Her parents were John Sayles and Phillipa Soales and she was their first child. They had another daughter born in 1628 who may have died as an infant, then in 1630, the family joined the Winthrop fleet migration to the new Massachusetts Bay colony.

The Sayles family first settled in Charlestown; Phoebe's father was one of the first members of the church there, but in 1633, he was convicted of stealing, and at age 7, Phoebe was bound as a servant to John Coggeshall. The order read, "John Sayle is bound with Mr. Coxeshall for 3 years, for which he is to give him [?] 4 per annum; his daughter is also bound with him for 14 years. Mr. Coxeshall is to have a sow with her, & at the end of her time he is to give unto her a cow calf."

John Coggeshall released her on June 6, 1637, the court record saying, "regard Phebe Seales was, by order of Court, put apprentice to John Coggeshall, of Boston, merchant, who, at the instant request of the Court, accepted the same, & for that the said girl hath proved overburdensome to him, the Court, as formerly, so now, have thought it just to ease him of it; & whereas the said girl was put by the said John Coggeshall to one John Levins, of Roxberry, to be kept at a certain [?], it is now ordered, that Mr. Deputy, calling to him Mr. Brenton & Will[iam] Parks, chosen by the said 2 parties, shall have power to end the difference between the said parties, & to set down such order for the ease & discharge of the said John Coggesall, & disposing of the said Phebe, as they shall think equal." At the time, John Levins was 55 years old and had a bedridden wife. John Coggeshall went on to become one of the founders of Rhode Island in 1638 and was elected president of the colony in 1647.

Phoebe and her father then moved to the Dutch colony, settling in New Amsterdam by 1639. Phoebe's mother seems to have died before they left New England, and it's unknown whether any siblings also went to New Amsterdam. Phoebe became known as Femmetje Jans when she lived among the Dutch; Femmetje was the Dutch variation of Pheobe and Jans “meant daughter of Jan,” or John.

When Phoebe was just 14 years old, she married a man by the name of Hendrick de Boer Fallix. Nothing more is known of this marriage, but on February 11, 1640, she married again, this time to Teunis Nyssen. Between 1641 and 1654, they had nine children. After living for a time on a farm in Manhattan, the family moved to Gowanus near Brooklyn. In 1655, they purchased a farm in Flatbush. Teunis died in about 1663 and Phoebe married a third husband, Jan Cornelissen Buys on August 24th. She died December 13, 1666 and was buried in the Flatbush Reformed Dutch Church Cemetery.

Famous descendants of Phoebe Sayles include Humphrey Bogart.

Children (all by Teunis Nyssen Denyse):
1. Jannetje Teunise – B. about 1641, New Netherland; M. Jan Hansen Bergen (~1644-?)

2. Marretje Teunise – B. about 1644, New Netherland; M. Derick Janse Woertman

3. Aertje Teunise

4. Annetje Teunise – B. about 1646, New Netherland; M. Jeronimus Jorise Rapalje

5. Elsje Teunise – B. about 1648, New Netherland; M. Gerret Snediker

6. Femmetje Teunise – B. about 1650, New Netherland; M. Michael Hansen Bergen (~1646-~1732)

7. Denyse Teunessen – B. about 1654, New Netherland; M. (1) Elizabeth Polhemius, 1 Oct 1682, New York; (2) Helen Cortelyou, 12 Aug 1685, New York

8. Jan Teunise Van Middleswart – B. about 1654, New Amsterdam, New Netherland; D. after 1742; M. Catalyntje Tunisen Bogaert (1657-?), 16 Nov 1679

9. Cornelis Teunise Denyse – M. Neeltje Tunisen Bogaert (~1665-?), 22 Aug 1687, New York

"The True Identity of John Sales alias Jan Celes of Manhattan," Gwen F. Epperson, New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, 1992
The Bergen Family; or the descendants of Hans Hansen Bergen, Teunis G. Bergen, 1876
Records of the Court of Assistants of the Colony of the Massachusetts Bay, 1630-1692, Vol. II, John Noble, 1904
Wikipedia article for John Coggeshall
GeneaStar: Famous Family Tree and Genealogy [website]

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