AMERICA THE GREAT MELTING POT
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|Isaac De Forest||Immigrant Ancestor||see FAMILY TREE|
|Born: 10/Jul/1616 Leyden, Zuid, Holland
|Married: Abt 1624 New Amsterdam, New York|
|Died: 1674 New Amsterdam, New York||In his will Isaac named their seven children as their "only and universal heirs": Susannah,Johannes, Philip, Isaac, Hendricus, Maria, and David. Susannah, their eldest, was aged twenty-seven, and David, their baby, was less than three years old.|
Jesse De Forest
Marie du Cloux
Sarah du Trieux
Hendrick De Forest
Source: A Walloon Family in America by Emily Johnston De Forest, 1914
Isaac's father, Jesse, a cloth dyer and merchant, was born in Avesnes, Hainaut, (now part of Belgium) which had belonged to France but was then part of the Spanish Netherlands. The family moved to Sedan prior to 1601. As Huguenots they were fleeing religious persecution. By 1615 the whole family had moved to Leyden, Holland (where many of the Puritans from England were also now living). Isaac was born there and grew up listening to his father plan his own Virginia Colongy. His father died when he was about eight and his older brother, Hendrick about eighteen. Twelve years later Hendrick, Isaack and their sister Rachel set sail for the new colony of Rensselaerswyck on the Hudson River. On March 5, 1637, the ship anchored off Manatans. Isaack was 21. His brother, Hendrick, died shortly thereafter in July 1637.
Isaac received a grant for a "bouwery", a narrow strip of land nearly a mile in length. He probably raised tobacco while he lived with his sister, but in 1641 when he married Sarah du Trieux he made a contract to build his own house on his own bouwery. Isaac was a prosperous merchant and was involved in many land deals. In 1653 he purchased a house on Brouwer Street which is now known as Broad Street. By 1657 he had formed a partnership with Johannes Verveelen for a very successful brewery. "Not every one could pursue this trade; for the authorities in their efforts to have only really good beer on sale had passed a stringent ordinance that 'only those shall be brewers who are known to have sufficient skill in the art.' "
Isaac was also very involved in public affairs. "He was made one of the 'orphan masters of New Amsterdam,' and there were, alas, may orphans in those days when so many fathers had been butchered by Indians. Sometimes the orphan masters had to ransom children whom savages had carried off. Isaac in this capacity once paid 60 guilders ransom for a little boy and 94 guilders for a little girl. -- When in 1655 there was a proposal to repave Brouwer Street, he united with the nine other property owners on that street who offered to bear the cost themselves.
The English took possession of the Dutch colony in 1664. Isaac had been away and returned just as the English were surrounding the area. He was arrested by the British and subsequently released. He reported to the Dutch authorities that he had seen 800 soldiers. "After the surrender had taken place the citizens had discovered that the English force was no stronger than that of the Dutch, great indignation was expressed against poor Isaac, who 'greatly exaggerating the English force, was believed.' "
"July 25, 1674, two years after Isaac made his will, he was mentioned for the last time on the court records. His case was postponed till the next court day, probably because of illness on his part. At any rate, we know that he died soon afterward, aged fifty-six.."