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Wolphert Gerretse Van Kouwenhoven

Wolpert Gerretse Van Kouwenhoven, one of the founders of New Amsterdam (New York) and the founder of our family in America. He was one of five "head farmers" first sent by the Dutch West India Company to New Netherlands in 1625. Wolphert came with his wife Aeeltje Jans, whom he married January 17, 1605, in the Dutch Reformed Chuch at Amersfort, Holland, and their three surviving sons, Gerret, Jacob, and Pieter.

Until his return to Holland in 1629, Wolphert farmed Bouwerie (farm) No. 3 in New Amsterdam and, through his wife, engaged in the profiable fur trade.

While in Holland, Wolphert signed a six year lease with the Dutch West India Company for Bouwerie No. 6 (about 91 acres). He also contracted with Kiliaen Van Rensselar, patroon of Rensselarwick (comprised of many thousands of acres along the Hudson including most of present day Albany) as a factor or director and to be in charge of Bouwerie No. 7 in New Amsterdam, All this bore tribute to Wolphert's reputation for competence and dependability.

Upon his return from Holland May 24, 1630 on De Eendracht (The Unity), Wolphert farmed Bouwerie No. 6, and for about two years served under contract with Kiliaen Van Rensselar.

On June 30, 1636, Wolphert purchased land on Long Island called Keskateuw from the Indians, Here was established the first known white settlement on Long Island. Wolphert called his "plantation" Achterveldt, shown on the Manatus Map of New Netherlands as Farm No. 36, near the Indian long house of the Keskachau Tribe. Wolphert's house, surrounded by palisades, was the focal point of the village of New Amsterdam (later called Flatlands).


David Kipp Conover
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