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Chapter 8: The Catrijna Varlet Family

Page history last edited by Liz Johnson 12 years, 1 month ago


Catrijna Varlet and Francoijs de Bruijn


By Cor Snabel and Elizabeth A. Johnson



Catrijna Varlet was the eleventh and next-to-youngest child of Caspar Varlet and his wife, Judith Tentenier. She was born in Amsterdam, and baptized there on June 22, 1636 in the Nieuwe Kerk. [1] She was named after Caspar's sister Catrijna, wife of Severijn Hack. She was the second child by that name in the family, the first having died in 1633 at the age of two.


Catrijna Varlet was fourteen when the Varlet family arrived at New Amsterdam aboard the ship, Nieuw Nederlandse Fortuijn. At the age of twenty-one, Catrijna married Francoijs de Bruijn of Amsterdam. Their marriage was recorded in the marriage register of the Dutch Reform Church of New Amsterdam, without date, between entries for 17 August 1657 and 13 October 1657: [2]


Sonder datum. Francoys de Bruyn, van Amsterdam, en Catharyn Verlet, van Amsterdam.


Francoijs de Bruijn was the fourth child of Jacob de Bruijn and Annetje Jans of Amsterdam, who filed an intention to marry on the 18th of April 1628 in Amsterdam: [3]


Jacob de Bruijn, of Middelborgh, 23 years old, no parents, accompanied by Sijbrandt Pieters de Bruijn, residing in the Oudemanhuispoort [in Amsterdam], & Anna Jans of Amsterdam, 18 years old, accompanied by Aegtie Dircx her mother, residing on the Vijgendam [in Amsterdam].


Children of Jacob de Bruijn and Annetje Jans were:


I. Frans de Bruijn, baptized on the 3rd of June 1629 in the Oude Kerk in Amsterdam. [4] He died young.

ii. Aechje de Bruijn, baptized on the 1st of December 1630 in the Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam. [5]

iii. Margrietje de Bruijn, baptized on the 31st of October 1632 in the Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam. [6] She married Otto Bagelaer.

iv. Francoijs de Bruijn, baptized on the 31st of December 1634 in the Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam. [7] He married Catrijna Varlet.

v. Annetje de Bruijn, baptized on the 12th of August 1636 in the Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam. [8]


Francoijs de Bruijn was about twenty-three at the time of his marriage to Catrijna Varlet. The exact date and place of their marriage is unknown, but probably occurred about September, 1657. [2] By April 11, 1658, Francoijs de Bruijn and Catrijna were in Amsterdam, where their first child was baptized. They had returned to the colonies before 4 September 1658, when Francoijs purchased a house in New Amsterdam from Cornelis Steenwyck. [9] Since Francoijs de Bruijn and Catrijna Varlet settled in New Amsterdam after arriving from Holland, the record of their marriage was probably inserted into the New Amsterdam marriage register around this time.


The children of Francoijs de Bruijn and Catrijna Varlet were:


i. Anna Jacoba de Bruijn, baptized on the 11th of April 1658 in the Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam. [10] Sponsors were her grandparents, Jacob de Bruijn and Annetje Jans.

ii. Casparus de Bruijn, baptized on the 14th of September 1659 in the Dutch Reformed Church in New Amsterdam. [11] Sponsors were his uncles Otto Bagelaer and Nicolas Varlet.

iii. Agatha de Bruijn, baptized on the 26th of January 1661 in the Dutch Reformed Church in New Amsterdam. [12] Sponsors were Johannes de Peyster and her aunt, Anna Varlet.

iv. Jacob de Bruijn, baptized on the 5th of March 1662 in the Dutch Reformed Church in New Amsterdam. [13] Sponsors were Antony de Mill and his aunt, Anna Stuyvesant.



Francoijs de Bruijn's identity confirmed


Francoijs' sister Margrietje de Bruijn and her fiance Otto Bagelaer filed an intention to marry on the 30th of July 1652 in Amsterdam. [14]


Otto Bagelaer, of Amsterdam, 29 years old, assisted by his mother Abigail Otten, goldthread-worker, residing in the Halsteeg, & Margrieta de Bruijn, van Amsterdam, 20 years old, residing in the Pylsteeg, assisted by Jacob de Bruijn, her father.


On 14 September 1659, Otto Bagelaer's name appears in New Amsterdam, where he was one of the sponsors at the baptism of Casparus de Bruijn, son of Francoijs de Bruijn, his brother-in-law, and Catrijna Varlet. [11] It is possible that Bagelaer's sponsorship at this baptism was by proxy, but he may have briefly visited New Amsterdam.


A footnote in Vol. 5 of Records of New Amsterdam (ed. Fernow) states that one Francis de Bruyn “from Yorkshire, Eng.” was the husband of Catrina Varlet. The footnote, written by Edmund O’Callaghan, a translator of many New Amsterdam documents, reads: [15]


Francis de Bruyn, or rather Browne, was from Yorkshire. Eng., and served as a soldier in Curacoa in 1643, whence he came about the following year to New Amsterdam, where he married Catharine dau. Of Caspar Verlett in 1657 and owned a house and lot between Pearl and Bridge Streets, west of Broad Street.


But this is not so. Francoijs de Bruijn of Amsterdam was only 9 years old in 1643, when Francis Browne of Yorkshire had already finished a term of service as a soldier in Curacao, and had received a land grant for a plantation there. [16] Catrina Varlet’s marriage record of 1657 shows that her husband, Francoijs de Bruijn, was from Amsterdam. Moreover, Otto Bagelaer of Amsterdam, who married Margrietje de Bruijn, a sister of Francoijs de Bruijn of Amsterdam, appears on 14 September 1659 in records of the New Amsterdam Dutch Reform Church as a baptismal sponsor for Casparus, one of Francoijs de Bruijn’s children. The other sponsor at this baptism was Nicolas Varlet, Catrina’s brother. Thus Francis Browne of Yorkshire, ex-WIC soldier, and Francoijs de Bruijn of Amsterdam were two separate individuals.



The career of Francoijs de Bruijn


Francoijs de Bruijn had a colorful career in the Dutch colonies. On 22 November 1658, only a few months after settling in New Amsterdam, he took the small Burger oath. [17] On September 2, 1659, Francoijs de Bruijn was appointed by the council of New Amsterdam to investigate a problem concerning the sale of tobacco between David de la Ferere and Andries Jeremias Spyringh. [18] In a council meeting on Feb. 2, 1660, he was nominated for the post of Schepen, but receiving only three votes, he was not one of the eight elected. [19] On February 10, 1660, he was appointed along with Pieter Corneliss. van der Veen to investigate and reconcile a difference between Michiel Tades and Barent Cruytdop, concerning a debt owed by Tades. [20] He was associated with his brother-in-law Nicholas Varlet in at least one business deal, and invested in trade goods on the yacht of Joannes de la Montagne in another. [21] As a colonial merchant, he traded for various items in exchange for barrels of small and large beers, and he sold ankers of "strong waters" --hard liquors, probably brandywine or rum.


Francoijs de Bruijn appears to have had a bad temper, which landed him in New Amsterdam court several times. Perhaps his short-temperedness had to do with a bond he posted in 1660 that ultimately cost him the loss of a valuable Manhattan property in which he had invested. On 7 August 1660, Francoijs de Bruijn sold the house he had purchased in 1658 back to Cornelis Steenwyck, the previous owner. [22] Then he posted a bond, guaranteeing a bill of exchange signed by Jacob Alrichs and Alexander d'Hinojossa, at the time the director and assistant director of the Dutch colony of New Amstel on the Delaware. Back on 3 April 1659, Alrichs and d'Hinojossa had purchased a shipment of food supplies from Reindert Janzen Hoorn, [23] paying for it with a bill of exchange drawn on the City of Amsterdam, owners of the New Amstel settlement. Alrichs subsequently died, his estate was held up in court by d'Hinojossa who succeeded him, the bill of exchange was refused, and d'Hinojossa ended up in debt to Reindert Janzen Hoorn, who in turn was in debt to several others. In a series of financial maneuvers, de Bruyn received from d'Hinojossa a large Manhattan property, described as "a house, brew-house, mill-house, and lot north of the Smith's valley; bounded on the east by the house and lot of Henry Bresar; south, by the strand of the East river; on the west and north, by the lot of the heirs of Cornelis Van Tienhoven." [24] It was located approximately where Pearl and Fulton streets intersect today. This property had been previously owned by Cornells Van Tienhoven, then by Willem Beeckman, who transferred it to d'Hinojossa. [25] After many appearances in court by various persons involved in the Reindert Janzen Hoorn estate, de Bruijn's recently-acquired house, brewery and mill finally had to be sold in order to pay the bond de Bruijn had posted for d'Hinojossa. On 31 March 1663, the court ordered the house, brewery and mill property of Francois de Bruijn to be sold by the Marshal. [26] At the time of the sale, de Bruijn had owned it for only two and a half years.


In 1663, Francoijs de Bruijn moved to New Utrecht, where in 1664, after the English took control of the Dutch colonies, he became a schepen. Actions of his continue to appear in records of the court of New Amsterdam after the English conquest of 1664, including testimony in support of a claim of his brother-in-law, Augustine Herman, in October 1666. [27] A footnote about Francois de Bruijn, summarizing his later life, appears in Documents of the Assembly of the State of New York. It reads: [28]


"Francois de Bruyn alias Francis Brown, who had removed to New Utrecht, L. I., in 1663, owned a farm there "commonly called ye Turcks Plantacon," for which he had obtained a patent from Governor Nicolls, on June 11, 1667. He sold this land, March 18, 1671/2, to Barent Joosten, of Bushwick, and Jan Hansen, of Flatbush, for which his widow, Anna de Sille, gave a quit claim, on April 11, 1676, in which month she received a pass for herself and twelve children to sail for London. He had several disputes with the town of Gravesend over his land rights and, in August, 1669, lodged a complaint with Lovelace for molestation in the ownership of a parcel of meadow belonging to his farm, which Gravesend claimed as of right belonging to that town. The case was taken to the court of assizes in November, in which he was defendant. He was given a verdict by the jury, but an appeal was granted and the jury's verdict was disannulled. A commission having been appointed to survey the land in controversy, reported to Lovelace, who awarded to the town of Gravesend two-thirds and to Bruyn one-third of the meadow, in April, 1670. On March 7, 1669/70, he and a company of associates were given a monopoly of catching porpoises in and about New York Bay, for a term of twelve years. After the sale of his plantation at New Utrecht, he seems to have resided at Flatbush. Upon the recapture of New York by the Dutch, he was, on August [__], 1673, appointed secretary of the district of the six towns on Long Island which had submitted to the new authority."



Unknown Fate of the de Bruijns


It is thought that Catrijna Varlet died before September 1662, the reported death date of her father, Caspar Varlet. On 12 October 1683, one Francis Brown witnessed the will of Gerrit Schlechtenhurst, who had property at Kingston and Claverack, New York. [29] Along with Caleb Hait and Thomas Meritt, a Francis Brown took inventory of the estate of John Hoit of Rye, New York, who mentioned a daughter, Mary Brown, in his will of 29 August, 1684. The inventory was dated 15 September, 1684.[29] But this Francis Brown may have been a descendent of Peter Brown of New Haven and Stamford, Connecticut, one of whose sons is said to have married Mary Hoit. [30] The authors did not find a death date or a will of Catrijna Varlet or Francois de Bruijn, and the fate of their four children is likewise unknown.








1. Stadsarchief Amsterdam: doopregister, akte 7p92, witn.: Daniel Verlet, Walberchje Pieters.

2. Samuel S. Purple, Records of the Reformed Dutch Church in New Amsterdam and New York, Marriages 1639 - 1730, in Vol. I, Collections of the New York Geneological and Biographical Society, 1890.

3. Stadsarchief Amsterdam: ondertrouwregister, akte 433p46. Marriage intententions Amsterdam, 18 April 1618: "Jacob de Bruijn van Middelborgh, out 23 jaren, geen ouders hebbend, geasst. met Sijbrandt Pieters de Bruijn, wonend int Oudemanhuispoort, ende Anna Jans van A(msterdam), out 18 jaren, geasst. met Aegtie Dircx hare moeder, wonend op Vijgendam." (transcription from digital image and translation by Cor Snabel and Elizabeth A. Johnson)

4. Stadsarchief Amsterdam: doopregister, akte 6p240.

5. Stadsarchief Amsterdam: doopregister, akte 41p110.

6. Stadsarchief Amsterdam: doopregister, akte 41p218.

7. Stadsarchief Amsterdam: doopregister, akte 41p354.

8. Stadsarchief Amsterdam: doopregister, akte 41p452.

9. Stokes' Iconography of Manhattan Island, vol. II, p. 384. [Liber A, Deeds, N. Y. Co." p. 137]

10. Stadsarchief Amsterdam: doopregister, akte 9p203.

11. Samuel S. Purple, Records of the Reformed Dutch Church in New Amsterdam and New York, Baptisms 1639 - 1730, in Vol. II, Collections of the New York Geneological and Biographical Society, 1901 [hereafter Purple, NADRC Bapts.] 1659.

12. Purple, NADRC Bapts. 1661.

13. Purple, NADRC Bapts. 1662.

14. Stadsarchief Amsterdam: ondertrouwregister, akte 470p118. Marriage intentions Amsterdam, 30 July 1652: "Otto Bagelaer van A[msterdam], out 29 jaer, geasst. met sijn moeder Abigail Otten, goutdraetwerker, wonend in de Halsteeg & Margrieta de Bruijn van A[msterdam], out 20 jaer, wonende in de Pijlsteeg, geasst. met Jacob de Bruijn, haer vader." (transcription from digital image and translation by Cor Snabel and Elizabeth A. Johnson)

15. Berthold Fernow, The Records of New Amsterdam from 1653 to 1674 Anno Domini [hereafter RNA] Vol. 5:113].

16. O' Callaghan, Calendar of Historical Manuscripts in the Office of the Secretary of State, Albany, NY. Vol. XVII, "Curacao Papers", p. 327.

17. RNA 7:200, "Administrative Minutes of New Amsterdam"

18. RNA 3:34.

19. RNA 3:123.

20. RNA 3:127.

21. RNA 3:180.

22. Stokes' Iconography of Manhattan Island, vol II, p. 384. [Liber A, Deeds, N.Y. Co., p. 216]

23. RNA 3:224.

24. 1865, DT Valentine, Manual of the Corporation of the City of New York, "Old Conveyances" (1659-1664), p. 675.

25. ibid, p.674.

26. RNA 4:218. See Steve Mabie's "reconstructed" 1656 directory of New Amsterdam, compiled from maps and text in: J. H. Innes, "New Amsterdam and Its People. Studies, Social and Topographical, of the Town under Dutch and Early English Rule", 2 volumes (1902; reprint, Ira J. Friedman, Inc., Port Washington, Long Island, N.Y., 1969). Message posted on Dutch-Colonies-List@rootsweb.com on April 2, 2000, Subject: "Original Lot Purchasers" <http://archiver.rootsweb.ancestry.com/th/read/Dutch-Colonies/2000-04/0954688988>

27. e.g. RNA 5:113, 132, 307, and 6:43 (testimony for Aug. Herman).

28. Documents of the Assembly of the State of New York, Vol. 133, no. 32 (1910), p. 114. The footnote cites records: "Deeds, vol. 1, pp. 101-102; Orders, Warrants, Letters, vol. 2, pp. 405, 518; Court of Assizes, vol. 2, pp. 210-213, 414, 428, 483, 494, 551; Brodhead. Hist, of N. Y., vol. 2, p. 214. See sketches in Bergen. Kings Co. Settlers, pp. 86-87; N. Y. Geneal. and Biog,. Record, vol. 10, pp. 35, 85-86."

26. Abstracts of wills on file in the Surrogates Office, City of New York, Volume I. 1665-1707 (1893, Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Library), pp. 470-471.

29. ibid, pp. 144-145.

30. "Brown Family" in Spencer P. Mead and Robert B. Miller, Ye Historie of Ye Town of Greenwich, pub. 1907.



Next: The Tentenier Family


© 2008, Cor Snabel and Elizabeth A. Johnson

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