First Generation in America


Abraham Pietersen was the first ancester to come to America. Unfortunately, public records prior to 1640 were lost so many dates have been inferred from secondary records. He may have been in America as early as 1627(*). He was a miller working for the Dutch West Indies Company and came to "New Netherland" (America) to build windmills on what became known as Manhatten. He aparently travelled back to Haarlem where he married in 1629 (a documented event). He had been in Amsterdam in 1632 and had a son (Johannes) baptised in Haarlem in 1633 (the only reference to Johannes was found in the book by George Olin Zabriskie, noted below). He may have returned to America in the early 1630's to stay. He was in Albany N.Y. when he died in 1678.

Abraham negotiated the acquisition of Quetenesse Island from the Indians for the benefit of The Dutch West Indies Company in 1638. It is apparent that he had been in America long enough that he was able to learn enough of the language and ways of the American Indians to become a negotiator for the 'company'. Quetenesse Island is what the Dutch called Sloop's bay in the west passage of Narragansett bay off Rhode Island. Today it is known as Dutch Island.

Taking up residence in New Amsterdam, Abraham acquired land and houses. As a miller was a lucrative profession, he was able to buy houses which he then leveraged to make further acquisitions. Abraham also ran a tavern and an inn. Many customers of a mill would travel a great distance to have their grains ground. It was customary to wait for this to be done and a miller would then offer food and drink to his customers. Since beer was the drink of the times and a license was required to sell beer, many millers owned taverns. The next step would be to run an inn for those customers that required to stay overnight.

He was a contracted miller for the Dutch West India Company. But Abraham insisted it was his right to mill on a "first come, first served" basis. This caused some friction with the Commissary of the company, who in the heat of the argument accused Abraham of stealing from the company. Abraham immediately took the claim to court and although the accusation was unfounded, he was then required "in future wind and weather permitting to grind the Company's grain before that of private persons". This was during his first contract with the West India Company (before the court Jan. 25 and Feb. 2, 1646), his contract was renewed on Aug 23, 1648.

"Records of the Reformed Dutch Church in the City of New York Church Members' List" has an entry on page 505 of a Abraham Pieters, followed by Tryntie Melchiors. Although there is no year for this specific entry, it is probably about 1653-55.

Abraham Pietersen (or Pieterson) Van Deursen
Father: Pieter Janszen Van Deursen of north Brabant, Holland
Mother: Paulina Vincken van Roeselare of West Flanders, Belgium.
Baptised: Oct. 3, 1599 (*) or Nov. 11, 1607 (conflicting sources, most recognized is 1607)
Born at: Haarlem, Holland
Died: Dec. 18, 1678 in Albany N.Y.
Lived:
Worked as: Miller, trading also in land and cattle
Married to: Tryntje Melchoirs of Groningen, Holland (b.abt 1609)
Married on: Dec. 9, 1629
Married at: Groote Kerk (Big Church) Haarlem, Holland. The Church is known as St. Bavo Cathedral, and is still standing today.

St. Bavo

Children
1: Teuwis (Matthew) b.1631 m.1653 Helena Roberts
2: Marytje b.1632 m.(1st) Thomas Jansen Migael m(2nd) Evert Jansen Wendell
3: Johannes Baptised 1633 in Haarlem, Holland. (*)
4: Isaac b.1635 m. 4/5/1659 Jannetie Jans
5: Jacob b. 1638 m.1663 Catalyntie Van Elslant
6: Pieter Baptised 3/23/1642 m.10/10/1666 Hester Webbers
7: Melchoir Baptised 3/6/1644 m 1668 Engeltie Rutgers


*The Founding Families of New Netherlands No. 2. THE VAN DEUSEN FAMILY: Additions and Corrections. By, George Olin Zabriskie, Fellow of the American Society of Genealogists.

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