The Cronk Family


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The Cronk Family

Three Generations In The New World

My Cronk ancestors are of Dutch descent and present a genealogy as rich and full as any medieval tapestry. While many of Berton Spring's English ancestors arrived in the vacinity of Massachusetts Bay his Cronk ancestors arrived with the early Dutch settlers landing well to the south of Massachusetts at the estuary of a river and the location of a long island.


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Long Island

The Dutch had a very early interest in the east coast of the New World because of the efforts of an Englishman by the name of Henry Hudson. The Dutch had hired Henry due to his excellent reputation as an explorer to find a Northwest Passage to the Indies. But to the disappointement of his employer, the Dutch East India Company, he just discovered a big island and a river valley on the east coast of the New World. This was in 1609.

The Dutch came to think a great deal of Hudson after he was dead however. The stream which he had called "The River of the Mountains" that he had first navigated up to as far as present day Albany they named Hudson's River and the long island became Long Island. They even made believe that Hudson was a Dutchman and were in the habit of speaking of him as "Hendrick" Hudson.

For many years the region was used primarily by Dutch hunters, trappers, and traders that took adavantage of the regions abundance of wildlife. No serious efforts at colonizing the area took place.

Over the years trade with the Indians for pelts and furs blossomed. But the Dutch merchants decided that they were paying too many glass beads for the furs. They speculated that if all the merchants combined into one company they might not have to give the Indians so many beads for their goods. So the merchants did combine, and called themselves the United New Netherland Company. It was in this way that the name New Netherland first appeared.

When the first ships of the new company reached the island, a house with a pallisade was built for the use of the fur-traders. This structure was called Fort Manhattan. It was of wood, and did not take long to build because the traders did not intend to live in it a great while. They felt quite sure that all the furs would be collected in a few years, and that then the island would be abandoned. No one thought at that time that the little wooden stockade was the commencement of a great city.

After a few years it was found that the new country was much richer in natural resources than anyone had initially susposed. Shipload after shipload of otter and beaver skins were sent across the ocean and still there were otters and beavers without number. The fur-traders were growing rich, and after a few years there came a decided change. In the year 1621 a new company was formed in Holland; a great body of men this time, who had a vast amount of money to build ships and fit them out. This organization was named the West India Company a moniker similar to that of the East India Company that had originally hired Henry Hudson.

The new company's charter was to carry on trade with the West Indies, just as the East India Company carried on trade with the East Indies. The West Indies included every country that could be reached by sailing west from Holland including the New World. All the Dutch land in America became known as New Netherland and came under the company's control. This included the territory along the Atlantic Ocean which now makes up the States of New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut. But its limits at this time were uncertain as it extended inland as far as the Company might care to send their colonists.

The authority to control these lands was given the company by the States-General of Holland which was the name given to the men who made the laws for the Netherlands. The Company was to make regular reports to the States-General and tell of the growth of the colony and the progress of the people in it. But as the years went on the Company was not as particular as it should have been about what it told the States-General.

There were branches of the Company in seven cities of Holland, but the branch in Amsterdam was given full charge of New Netherland. It was this branch of the company that would exclusily decide New Netherland's fate.

Colonists were to be carried to New Netherland from Holland; farms were to be laid out and cultivated; cities were to be built, and the West India Company (Amsterdam Branch) was to have absolute control over all property, and was to rule over all the people.


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While all this was transpiring, a group of people known as Walloons were planning to imigrate to the New World as part of the Virginia Company. The Walloons are a people who speak a French dialect and live in southern and eastern Belgium and neighbouring parts of France and Luxemburg. The Virginia Company was an English entity also in the process of settling the east coast of America. The 'Pilgrims' had landed in Plymouth Bay the preceding year (1620) and there was developing quite a competition to set down roots and establish a secure claim of lands in the New World. Among the list of Walloons and French who signed up to emigrate in 1621 to Virginia we find, "Phillipe Maton, (dyer), two servants, a wife and five children". Phillipe Maton became better known as Phillipe Wiltsee. Among other things, Phillipe and his wife Sophia Ter Bosch were Berton Arthur Springs 6th Great Grandparents. (See Walloon)

Phillipe, a Huguenot (Protestant Reformed Church of France [or French Calvinists]) born about 1570 in Wiltz, Luxemburg. He was a military man and fought in the Battle of 1597 under Prince Maurice against the Germans and Spaniards who were under Count Fredrick of Herenberg. In the military records he was considered an excellent soldier and went by two names, some of the time as Phillipe Maton, and at other times as The Frenchman Wiltsee. On being mustered out of the army, some of his friends, by the name of Ter Bosch, invited him to visit them in Holland on his way home. This he did and later married a member of this family for his third wife. Phillipe and Sophia Ter Bosch were married in 1616 in the Dutch Reformed Church in Leydon, Holland which happened to be the starting point for the group of 'pilgrims' that settled in Plymouth Bay in 1620 four years later arriving aboard the Mayflower. Sophia was born 1598 in Overssel, Holland.

The Huguenots were French Protestants most of whom eventually came to follow the teachings of John Calvin, and who, due to religious persecution, were forced to flee France to other countries in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Some remained, practicing their Faith in secret.

Getting back to the competition between these special interest groups in the settlement of the New World, it soon became apparent to Phillipe and the other Walloons that the Virginia Company may not be the best sponser for them to sign up with for their planned immigration. The conditions that they offered were simply not satisfactory. The provincial states of Holland, on the other hand, thought it best to secure them for the West India Company, which was just then being formed as mentioned above and offered the Walloons a better arrangement. The company offered them employment until they could get organized and would provide the transportion. It was the Company's wish to procure labor to build forts for the protection of their land holdings and the Walloons would help meet this short term need. This appeared to be a better path to take and Phillipe made the decision to go with the Dutch.

In the year 1623, the Chartered West India Company caused four forts to be erected in that country--two on the River Mauritius and one on each of the other [rivers]; the biggest stands on the point where the Mauritius River begins, and the other one,<1> mentioned heretofore, which their Honors named New Amsterdam; and six and thirty leagues upwards another called Orange. That on the South River is called Nassauw and that on Fresh River, the Good Hope.<1> East River, apparently. (From the "Journal of New Netherland, 1647.")

Albany

The Amsterdam chamber equipped the "New Netherland", a ship of 260 tons and it sailed from Texel in the beginning of March, 1623, under the command of Cornelius Jacobson May of Hover. Shaping her course by the canary islands and the coast Guiana and arrived at the North River (Hudson River) in New York. It was on this voyage that Sophia gave birth to Hendrick Martensen Wiltsie who would become Berton Arthur Springs 5th Great Grandfather. This link in our families history came frighteningly close to breaking however as will later be explained. Of those that traveled on the "New Netherland" some stayed at the mouth of the river at the Manhattan settlement and the rest, including Phillipe and family continued up the river to Fort Orange (Albany) where they helped build the fort.

A little over a year after their arrival at Fort Orange, in 1625, Sophia gave birth to Machelj (Matilda) Wiltsie.


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It was not until the West India Company took charge of New Netherland that it was decided to make the settlement on the Island of Manhattan a city. One of the first acts was to buy the Island of Manhattan from the Indians, giving them in exchange some beads, some brass ornaments, some bits of glass and some strips of colored cloth; all of which seemed a rich treasure to the Indians, but were in reality worth just twenty-four dollars. Up to this time it had been merely a trading station. In order to build up a city, the Company knew that it would be necessary to send people in sufficient numbers so that no matter how many were killed by the Indians the settlement would not be wiped out. Although many Indians were friendly many were not. Many inducements were offered, and men with their families soon began to flock to New Netherland. Rude houses were set up about the fort, and the first street came into existence. This is now called Pearl Street.

The year was 1623 and the Dutch called their city New Amsterdam. They divided the lower part of the island into farms at the north end of Pearl Street, which in those days were called "bouweries." A road which led through these farms was named Bouwerie Lane, and the same road is to-day known as The Bowery.


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Waalbogt

In 1626, Phillipe Wiltsee, along with other Walloons from Fort Orange returned to New Amsterdam and settled at a villiage they would call Waalbogt (Wallabout) on Waalbogt Bay. The group felt that this would be a relatively safe place to settle with little risk from hostile Indians. Wallabout Bay as well as Waalbogt was located on the East River just northwest of Midwout now known as Flatbush. In 1801 the New York Naval Shipyard was established on Wallabout Bay. Closed in 1966, the former shipyard has been converted into an industrial park. (The Encarta Encyclopedia in the History of Brooklyn states "In 1637 a group of Walloons settled in the vicinity of Wallabout Bay". This is 11 years after the time Phillipe Wiltsee had reportedly settled here and may reflect the actual time of his arrival but this later period conflicts with other dates associated with his activities. The encyclopedia alsos states that Midwout was not founded until 1636.

Swaaendael

While living in Waalbogt Phillipe heard of a new settlement that was being opened at Fort Swaaendael at the mouth of the Delaware River that sounded more promising than life at Waalbogt. He decided to go there and investigate the feasibility of moving his family.

He took his sons Pierre and Hendrich and one of the servants along leaving for Swaaendael in the summer of 1632 with the understanding if things were as he had heard he would return for his family. Pierre was about 13 and Hendrich about 9 at the time of their departure.

The distance between the west end of Long Island and Swaaendael is just under 190 miles by land or 170 miles by sea. I do not know what choice Phillipe made but certainly traveling on the mainland would expose the group to more risk from hostile indians. In taking the two young boys the safest and fastest method would have been by boat the entire way. Whichever method they chose Phillipe became very ill during their journey with some unknown malady.

On their arrival at Fort Swaaendael Phillipe was put to bed and his servant administered to his needs. Commander Hasset of Fort Swaaendael obligingly allowed the sick traveler the use of his quarters and also provided a nurse to help speed his recovery. After a few days of bedrest however, the Delaware Indians, who had become angered at Commander Hasset for reasons unknown, attacked the fort. Pierre and Hendrich, upon hearing the attack and cries of the victims quickly and quietly hid themselves in some bushes. There they witnessed the massacre of all those at the fort including their father Phillipe.

As it turned out, the boys had not hid themselves well enough - they were found and taken captive by the Indians and to some extent adopted into the tribe.

About a year later they were turned over to another band of Indians, the Mochicans, who were going to Canada. These Indians offered to take the boys north and hand them over to some Jesuit Priests that they knew about in Canada. The Jesuits especially wanted white boys to convert and use as servants on their trips to other missions.

They remained with the Jesuit Priests for seven years. Pierre was about 21 and Hendrich about 17 by this time and finally they made a decision to "escape" from their captors. One night while travelling with the Jesuits, they took off with the packs on their backs and started searching for the remainder of their family. It is likely they where not grossly mistreated or they undoubtedly would have made the decision to escape earlier.

The names of the Jesuits who held them were Paul Le Jeune, S.J. and Anna De Nove S.J. There was also a Father Devoste and Father Daniel in the party. The records of these Priests show the two Wiltsie boys made their escape on November 29, 1640.

After 2 years of wandering they found their way to New Amsterdam. They had been gone 10 years. They immediately looked up their sister Helen, who told them what had happened to the rest of the family. Their Mother had gone back to Holland in 1633 with their youngest sister Maria, thinking the boys had also been massacred by the Indians.

After his escape and return to New Amsterdam, Hendrick was a sailor for a time, and with his brother Pierre, visited his family in Europe. They must have been in Copenhagen, because his name appears in the records as "Hendrick Martense Van Copenhagen". After his return to New York he served as a soldier at Fort Orange in Albany and at Wiltwyck, now a part of Kingston, New York. He went to Quebec as an Interpreter with the Mohawk Indians and became a member of their tribe. He later married a woman of the tribe and had one son, Robert Richard Wiltsie.

To encapsulate this short history of Phillipe and his sons we've jumped many years ahead of ourselves and must know get back to the late 1620's. We will read more of Great Grandfather Hendrick later on.


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New Amsterdam, as well as other Dutch settlements managed by the company, were at first of slow growth. In 1629 it began inducing the migration of agricultural settlers by the establishment of the patroon system. The system gave those individuals who brought at least fifty adult settlers grants of land extending eight miles on both sides of a river, or sixteen miles on one side, and then continuing back into the country indefinitely. While the patroons were subject to the rules and regulations of the Company in the matters of trade and war, they were given the powers of local government over the settlers; so the system resembled the feudal customs of Europe. Very few of the patroonships were established, and most of these were later purchased by the Dutch West India Company.

The first formal settlements on Long Island bagan about 1636 when Dutch farmers purchased tracts of land near Gowanus Bay and founded the community of Amersfort (present-day Flatlands). Phillipe Wiltsee along with other Walloons had already settled in Waalbogt (Wallabout) on Waalbogt Bay 10 years earlier.

The “patroon” plan was a failure and had little effect upon the life or expansion of the colony. The company was just not living up to expectations and the States-General was not pleased. The trend of economic life in New Netherland was decidedly influenced when, in 1638, the trade monopoly of the Dutch West India Company was abolished. This action had some positive and negative effects.

On the negative side the bankruptcy of the Company and the resulting lack of attention given to the colony by outsiders accounted for the continuation of the governance system that was already in place. The chief feature of New Netherland’s government was the autocratic rule of the governor (called the Director-General). He and his council of five members absorbed all local powers, legislating upon lands, trade, taxes, defense, and in all minor matters, and administrating its own regulations through subordinate officials. Finally, they sat as the highest court of civil and criminal jurisdiction. They had more power than many Kings.

But on the positive side, and much more importantly, the profitable fur trade and the rich lands were opened to all settlers. Immigration increased rapidly with settlers coming from many European countries and from neighboring English colonies.

The Bowling Green In 1840
Bowling Green

This opening up of opportunity was the impetus for Berton Arthur Spring's 5th Great Grandfather, Herck Syboutsen, to make the journey to New Amsterdam. He immigrated early in the year 1641/2 at about 21 years of age. This same year the first Cattle Fair was held on the Bowling Green which lay at the south end of Broadway just down the road from where Herck would in a short time build his house. Also this year Berton Springs 6th paternal Great Grandfather, John Spring, would arrive in Water Town, located a short distance up the Charles River from Boston and Massachusetts Bay.If the 1641/2 has you confused you may want to read this.

A year earlier, a man by the name of Abraham Rycken had settled in New Amsterdam either on the Heeren Gracht (Broad Street) or on nearby Prince Street and would become Herck's neighbor. These two families would become thouroughly intertwined both by marraige as well as in the establishment of the early history of New York.

Herck Syboutsen was born in the vacinity of Langendyck (Langendijk). This is located on a peninsula in the north of Holland. His birth year was about 1620. Some say that his parents were Sijbet Pieters Harcx and Maertgen (Cornelis) who they say married about 1598. Another story proclaims "Sybout Sybouts married Alida Grovetns, daughter of the Earl of Holland and it is claimed they had 2 sons, Syboutsen and Harek". However, the accuracy of either claim is questionable. The only thing I can be sure of is that his fathers first name was Sybout. We'll tell why we can be sure of this shortly. Another curiosity is that some had believed he had originalted in a French town with a name similar to Langendyck and was a Huguenot (French Protestant). As he was a member of the Dutch Church this bears little merrit. "Harck came from Languedoc, France, to New Amsterdam & located at Newtown, L.I."

Langendijk

The map to the left shows the location of Herck Syboutsen's home region of Langendijk relative to Amsterdam and the Hague. The small red marker at the lower left edge of the map, Zierikzee, is the home of Berton Spring's wife's ancestors, the Vanhoutens. Naarden, to the southeast of Amsterdam will be mentioned momentarily.

Herck Syboutsen is our first known Cronk ancestor in Holland as well as becoming the Cronk family's founding father in the New World. (Our Van Houten family Dutch ancestry is known in the old world many generations back.) In historic records Herch Syboutsen's name has various spelling such as, Herk, Here, Herkel, Herrick, Henricus, Herry; and Sybouts, Syboutszen, Sibertszen, Sybensen, Sibelsen, Sibelszen. One may ask "What does Herck Syboutsen have to do with the Cronk family anyway?". Certainly a good question. The suffix -sen or -zen means son of; thus Syboutsen means son of Sybout. At times just an s was added for the same meaning i.e. Sybouts. There were other methods as well. Herck's children often went by the name of Hercx as one example of many. This was the Dutch way of naming an individual. The naming procedure does not seem to be consistent and often varies greatly even on an individual basis - many names for the same person. It is the reason that Dutch names of the period are so difficult for we in modern times. They simply did not have, use, or desire surnames nor maintain any degree of consistanacy in naming or spelling of the fathers first name. You were given your own personal first name and your fathers first name as your last name (in some form) so that every generation would have it's own new "last" name with several different possible variations.

What all this boils down to is this, although Herck Syboutsen does not carry the surname Cronk or more appropriately the surname Cranckheit or Kranckheit as the family's first surname would shortly become, he is still 'by blood' and parentage the patriarch of the Cronk family in America. I will by preference refer to the old family name as Kranckheit for no other reason that it has to me more of an old world flavor to it although on occasion I may choose to vary it's spelling for a bit of spice. After all I am a descendent of the Cronks and therefore empowered to carry on with the multifaceted inconsistently randomized naming tradition.

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The method of naming offspring after the father's first name is called Patronymics and was used in Holland and some other countries such as those in Scandinavia during this period. (Although many of the Old World countries throughout Europe practiced Patronymics in very early times most had adopted the use of surnames long before this point in history.)

The patronymic was replaced as legal identifier after the edict of 1811 which required all families to adopt a surname.

Napoleon issued an edict in 1811, probably for the identification of military personnel, that all born after that date must be given surnames. Often, these surnames were either the village where they were born such as van Bronkhorst (from Bronkhorst) or a derivation of their father's name such as Aartzoon (son of Aart).

Most families that felt a need to continue with a patronymic naming system adopted the use of a second or "middle" name to use as the patriarcal reference. There were pressures applied to those using patronymics prior to the edict in 1811, however, from the rest of the developed cultures who were well used to using surnames. They made clear that those who practiced patronymics should change their ways. Essentially, in the colonies, everyone except the Dutch and those very few Scandinavians had surnames. This led many Dutchman in the New World to convert prior to 1811. It is very clear through records that the descendants of Herck Syboutsen were quick to adapt to the use of a surname. Also quite apparent is that they felt free to change or modify the surname if they so desired.

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After Herck Sybouts(en)'s arrival in New York he married Weyntie Teunis Quick. The wedding took place on Nov 16, 1642 at the Dutch Reformed Church of New Amsterdam. "Henricus Sibelszen, j.m., van Langendyck, en Marritje Theunis, j.d., Van Naerden" (Church Record). The colonists had built a new church inside the fort during the year of 1642 and it was likely used for their wedding. Also during the year the community built a Stadt Huys or as we would say a town or city hall.

Abbreviations used.--The letters j. m. or j. d., appended to a personal name, stand for "young man" or young woman," and indicate that the person has not been married before. It corresponds to the feminine Miss in English and the non-existent male counterpart - unless that of Master used during my very early childhood could be considered a young unmarried male salutation. (Oxford - a title prefixed to the name of a boy.)

Wyntje was born about 1624 in Naarden, in North Holland, a village near Amsterdam on the Zuider Zee (you can see Naarden on the map above). She was the daughter of Theunis and Belitje (nee Jacobse) Quick. Theunis Quick was surnamed “de Metselaer” or “the mason. "Teunis Thomaszen Quick De Metselaer" for short. He lived from about 1600 to about 1666. Theunis and Belitje were Berton Springs 6th Great Grand parents.

Theunis was quite a popular name at the time and many in the Cronk family would bear the name. The spelling varies from Theunis, Theunnis, Tunnis, Tunis, Teunis, as well as other renditions but all refer to the same name. The patronymic was typically Teuniszen but also veried in spelling.

One thing becomes very clear when following the genealogy of our Dutch ancestors - and I say it without malice but base it on sound genealogical experience - if you are going to learn to spell do not learn from a Dutchman! At least not one from this era.

When Herck Syboutsen arrived in New Amsterdam he at once made plans for a residence and must have purchased a lot as he soon built his own home near the Heeren Gracht (Broadway) and Prince Straat. He was a ship’s carpenter by trade and well able to construct his own homestead. Some say he worked for the West India Company and being in the ship carpentry business this could very well be.

It has also been said that Herck helped in the actual construction of Broadway. This may also have been the case but Broadway was not the type of road that we envision today. The short segment that follows paints a less than pleasant picture of what the streets appearance was in the beginning: ". . . the custom of having merchants meet once a week at a bridge which crossed Broad Street at the present Exchange Place. There is no bridge there now, but in those days it was necessary, for Broad Street was a ditch which extended from the river almost to Wall Street. But though the ditch has been filled up, and the bridge is gone, the locality has ever since been one where merchants have gathered."

Just a year after Herck and Weyntie's marriage, in 1643, the Indian Wars began. The Governor at the time, William Kieft, was the primary cause being somewhat of a bullheaded unfriendly man who made enemies of just about everyone including both Dutchman and Indians alike. The Dutchmen had no recourse but to follow the orders of "William the Testy". The Indians on the otherhand had no such compunction. They responded to his agression with a vengence.

A year later, in 1644 two memorable things occured. The most important was the birth of Herck and Weyntie's first son. They named him Sybout. Named after Herck's father, he was baptized in New Amsterdam Reformed Church on 4 Dec 1644. "Sybants, son of Herkel Sybants & Wyntie Theunis, witnesses Sybant Claeszen, Hendrick Jacobszen, & Sara Schepmoes (Church Record).

The second item of interest that year was that the townfolk built a fence accross the south side of the island which acted as a cattle barrier. The colony lay to the south of the fence and any stray cattle could not wander off to the north part of the island. They would later rebuild the fence into a wall for fortification in 1653. Today we call the path that ran beside it Wall Street.

It was two years later, in 1646, that Peter Stuyvesant was appointed Governor. Stuyvesant was much more friendly to the Indians and managed, overtime, to ease the tensions between the colonists and the Indians. He replaced William Kieft who had been Governor since 1638. During this year a paper was written by Father Isaac Jogues entitaled Novum Belgium. The contents of the paper describe New Netherland and gives some interesting insight into the lives of the colonists.

In 1646 a settlement not far from the site of Borough Hall was patented and named Breucklen (Dutch for “marshland”) after a town in Holland. (Brooklyn)

The following year (1647) William Kieft drowned when his ship sank on the way to Enland. In the same ship was Everardus Bogardus (the minister who had likely married Herck and Weyntie). He was on his way to Holland on a mission relating to his church but was never able to complete it.

The people of New Amsterdam mourned for their minister, but there was little sorrow felt for the Governor who had plunged the colony into war with the Indians by his obstinate and cruel temper. A Journal of New Netherlands was written to Holland by Kieft supporters this same year painting a more positive image of Kieft.

Another notable event on November 10th 1647 was the birth of Herck and Weyntie second child, a daughter, whom they named Maryken. Maryken was baptized in New Amsterdam Reformed Church on 10 Nov 1647. "Maryken, daughter of Haricken Zibolts - ship carpenter, witnesss Theunis de Metselaer [Maryken's grandfather], Reynier Dominicus, Claes Janszen, & Belitje Cornelis" - (Church Record).

Three years later, in 1650, their third child, a baby girl, was born and named Catriena. Catriena would also go by the name of Tryntie.

Another activity that took place in 1650 was the creation and transmittal by courior of a document to the Holland Government to inform them of the progress being made in New Netherlands. The document was called "THE REPRESENTATION OF NEW NETHERLAND, 1650" and tells much about the state of affairs of New Netherlands and New Amsterdam. There was a response which came back from Holland called VAN TIENHOVEN'S ANSWER.

I will say this in various places in my genealogical accounts that seem appropriate - I include the extra materials not to try and make one an historical expert of the period, but instead to give the reader a better flavor and more accurate understanding of the lives and times of our specific ancestors. A simple family tree only provides names on a list or chart. I am trying to do more than that. You are welcome to skip anything you see fit but will be missing a part of the story that helps fill in who your ancestors really were and how they lived.

On February 4th 1652 Herck and Weyntie had their fourth child, another daughter, whom they named Beletie Hercx (Hercks or Herckz, etc.). She was baptized in New Amsterdam Reformed Church on 4 Feb 1652. Bellitjen, daughter of Herck Sybenszen, witnesses Lambert Huybertszen, Jacob Teuniszen [Beletie's uncle], Jan Janszen, & Beelitje Jacobs [Beletie's grandmother] - (Church Record). This was the same year the city of New Amsterdam was incorporated.

In the fall of that same year (1652) war was declared between England and Holland. The English monarchy, it seems, was jealous of all the worldwide trade the Dutch were making and wanted to procure some of these trade routes and goods sources for England. Stuyvesant, fearing that the English in New England, which was on the borders of New Netherland, would attack the city, set about fortifying it. The fence that Governor Kieft had built so that the cattle could not wander away was changed into a wall that extended from river to river. The fort was repaired, and a strong body of citizens mounted guard by day and by night. Herck was about 32 at the time and assuredly spent time posted on guard with the others. Everything was prepared for an attack . . . but the 'enemy' never showed up.

This was the beinning of what would later be known as the Anglo-Dutch Wars. Three conflicts would occur during the second half of the 17th century over control of the seas and expansion of their empires. This altercation between the two countries was of short duration 1652-1654 and did not include hostilities in New Netherland. However the war did have some impact on colonial affairs. A few concessions were made to the New Netherland colonists -- the export duty on tobacco was taken off, and a municipal government was allowed in New Amsterdam, now a town of 700 or 800 inhabitants (1653). But no serious alteration in the provincial government resulted. These changes were ment to keep the colonists content although they were for the most part ineffective. More about this further on.

In early 1654 Herck and Weyntie had their 5th child. It was a daughter whom they named Engeltie Hercx. She was baptized in the New Amsterdam Reformed Church on 17 May 1654. "Engeltje, daughter of Herck Syboutszen, witnesses Jochem Calder, Dirck Janszen, Susanna Jans, & Annetje Lodowycks." - (Church Record)

Engeltie would be the last of Herck and Weyntie's children to be born in New Amsterdam. According to McKenzie "They lived in New Amsterdam until 1654 when they moved to the Arme Bouwery at Hell gate, then a part of Newtown, Long Island". McKenzie was an avid historian who did a great deal of work recording the histories of the Dutch settlers in New York and along the Hudson River Valley.

It was a few years later that Herck and Weyntie baptised their 2nd son Theunnis Herrickse (Herckz or Hercx etc.) in New Amsterdam Reformed Church. This was on July 4th, 1655. He was the first child to be born in the Arme Bouwery. "Teunis, son of Hendrick Sibouszen (Sihoutszen) & Weyntie Teunis, witnesses Arie Dirckszen, Jochem Caljer, Teunis Teuniszen & Belitje Jacobs [Theunnis's grandparents], & Susanna Jans" - (Church Record). We do not know exactly when Theunnis was born but obviously somewhat before July 4th, 1655. He would become Berton Arthur Springs 4th Great Grandfather.

Later that year, in the month of September, some Swedes on the Delaware River began to build houses on Dutch lands. Stuyvesant, with "160" men in seven ships, sailed around to the Delaware River, and conquered the Swedes in a "peacefull" manner. The 160 men referenced above is one estimate from one source. Other estimates raise the number of men up to 317. A letter regarding the incident can be read here. It is not known if Herck was one of the participants.

It had been ten years since the first Indian war, and Stuyvesant, by his kindness, had made friends of the "savages". He had come to be called their "great friend," But soon after leaving to make war on the Swedes, one of the colonists killed an Indian. In a few days there was an uprising. In New Jersey and on Staten Island they murdered colonists, burned houses, and laid farms to waste. Stuyvesant hurriedly returned. "He made peace with the Indians, treating them kindly, as though there had never been any trouble. He gave them gifts and used such gentle measures that the war which had threatened to be so serious ended abruptly."

In the calmer days that followed, attention was given to improvements in the city. Stuyvesant demanded that the settlement was maintained in a clean and attractive condition. By this time there were a thousand persons on the island. Streets were nicely laid out, and the city of New Amsterdam grew, day by day. It was a tiny place still, however, for it all lay below the present Wall Street. Some distance beyond the city wall was a fenced-in pasture for cattle, which was later to become The Common, and still later City Hall Park. Farther on there was a wide lake, so deep that it was thought to be bottomless. On its banks were a vast heap of oyster-shells, where an Indian village had been. This place was called Kalch-hook, or Shell-point. Afterward it was shortened to The Kalch, and in time was called The Collect. The lake was called Collect Lake. There is no trace of it to-day, for it was filled in, and the Tombs Prison built upon the spot.

Two years after Theunnis's baptism in 1657, Herck and Weyntie once again celebrated the rite. Jan Herrikz the second child to be born in Arme Bouwery was baptized in New Amsterdam Reformed Church on 28 Nov 1657. "Jan, son of Herrick Syboutszen & Wyntie Theunis, witnesses Pieter Syboutszen, Jacob Theuniszen [uncle], Grietie Huddens, & Belitje Jacobs [grandmother]." - (Church Record). Herck was about 37 and Weyntie 33 at the time.

A year later, in September of 1658, Jacobus Hercks was baptized in New Amsterdam Reformed Church. "Jacobus, son of Harrick Siboutszen & Wyntie Theunis, witnesses Jacob Theuniszen de Key [uncle] & Aeltje Willems." - (Church Record).


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It is now the proper time to bring Hendrich Wiltzi back into the picture. When last mentioned Hendrich had moved to Quebec joined a Mohawk Indian tribe and married a woman of the tribe. He and his Indian wife had one son. After a time however things must not have worked out. Hendrich left the tribe, his wife and his son, and returned to the New Amsterdam region. We do not know if he settled immediately in Kingston or moved there after a short time in New Amsterdam but settle in Kingston he certainly did. Kingston lies about 90 miles up the Hudson River from New Amsterdam. Here he met and married a second time to a widow by the name of Margaret Meyers. Margaret was the widow of Herman Jensen. It was here in Kingston on December 11th 1660 that Hendrich and Margaret had their first daughter Sophia. Sophia would become Berton Springs 4th Great Grandmother.

Hendrich's name appears on the muster roll of the Garrison at Wiltwyck, June 15, 1661 and was there during the Esopus War of 1663. Esopus and later Wiltwyck were early Dutch names for the community of Kingston. At one point he was reported killed but in fact had been taken prisoner by Indians. Hendrich, after a short time, obtained his own release. (A small community by the name of Esopus still exists a few miles south of present day Kingston.)

More on Hendrich a bit later.


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A few months before the birth of Hendrich's and Margaret's daughter Sophia, in March of 1660, a ship by the name of Faith arrived in New Amsterdam with a man by the name of Jacob Woulters on board. He had embarked from Amsterdam in Holland.(1) This man is likely one and the same as Jochem Wouters, Jochem and Jacob being synonymous and both last names meaning Walter's son. Jochem Wouters last name is also spelled Woutersz, Wouterszen, and other variations all having the same implied meaning. Later, when surnames became popular he would become known as Jochem Woutersz Van Weert or simply Jochem Van Weert. What makes this man of some lasting interest is he is Berton Springs 5th Great Grandfather. He would also become a very important man in a church community he helped to pioneer at a somewhat later date that was very important to our Cronk ancestors. Jochem settled in Midwout Long Island (Flatbush) not very far from the Wiltzi's original homestead at Waalbogt. He married Christina Jans (Berton's 5th Great Grandmother). Their first son Gerrit was born in Flatbush about 1668. Gerrit would become Berton Springs 4th Great Grandfather. (1)(Ref.-H.S.-vol 9) (Ref.-Doc.Hist., N.Y.-vol.3-p.52 53)

Note: We can't be sure that the man who arrived aboard the Faith is the same man as Berton's relative but certainly his name is the same. Others suggest that "Jacob Woultersen’s father came from Gouda in the United Netherlands and settled in Flushing and Midwout (Long Island, NY) and assumed — when surnames became popular, the name of van Gouda and later van Weert. Gouda is a city in the Netherlands; van Weert signifies a low lying marshy country which might topographically describe the country in Holland or Long Island. Hence in the first case he was spoken of as from the city of Gouda and later as being from a marshy country.(2) However the son of Jochem Woulterse was supposed to have been born in Gouda, Netherlands which does not agree with other records. What we can say for sure is that Jochem Woultersen Van Weert had arrived in New Netherlands at an early date and settled in Midwout and he and wife Christina would become Berton Springs 5th Great Grandparents.(2)(Ref. - N.Y. Gen. Biog. Record - yr. 1928)


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On 19 April, 1662 Herck and Weyntie had another daughter, Annetie Hercks. She was baptized in the New Amsterdam Reformed Church as had been her siblings. "Annetie, daughter of Herck Siboutszen & Wyntie Theunis, witness Hillegond Theunis [aunt]."" - (Church Record).

And on 3 Aug 1664 Jannetie Hercx was baptized in New Amsterdam Reformed Church. "Jannetie, daughter of Herry Siboutszen & Wyntie Theunis, witnesses Jacob Theuniszen Cray [de Key? uncle], Pieter Janszen, & Geertie Theunis [aunt].  Jannetie Hercx married John Pinkens." - (Church Record).

Although this was a time of relative peace there had always been an undercurrent of dissatisfaction among many of the colonists. The autocratic rule of all the Governors including Kieft and Stuyvesant led to attempts on the part of the settlers to secure a representative assembly and such liberal methods of government as they saw enjoyed in the neighboring English colonies. But the governors successfully resisted the permanent establishment of such reforms. In the towns and villages, however, a considerable degree of local self-government prevailed.

The English, because of their alliance with Holland, left the Dutch colony undisturbed on soil claimed by virtue of the Cabot voyages. This alliance began in their common opposition against Spain and was strengthened by ties of kinship, religion, and political interest. Then, too, the years of active Dutch colonization were years of strife and war in England.

Many English were close neighbors to the Dutch settlement, some English settlements were as close as Flushing on Long Island which was next door to Newtown were Herck and Weyntie lived.

However, the relationship between the two countries became increasingly strained. During Oliver Cromwell's control of England, in 1551, a navigation act had been passed for the purpose of stifling the commercial rivalry of Holland. After the 1660 Stuart restoration, when the monarchy regained control of the county and Charles II ascended to the throne, a second act was adopted. The Act of 1660 was for this same object as Cromwell's, but also for the purpose of aiding the English merchants and manufacturers. According to the Act all English possessions could allow only English or Colonial vessels entrance to their ports; certain articles, produced in the colonies, such as sugar and tobacco, were known as "enumerated" goods, and were to be shipped to England only. An addition to the Act, a short time later, required the colonies to purchase all goods from England direct. It should be understood that this act under King Charles not only impacted the Dutch Colonies, but negatively impacted the English Colonies as well. King Charles was not a popular man in the New World.

It was not long before King Charles II focused directly on the trade rivalry with the Dutch. The King's brother James (the Duke of York), along with several other prominent Englishmen, led in a movement for the investigation of this trade rivalry by a committee of the House of Commons. The result was the secret determination of Charles to force a war upon the Dutch by first seizing New Netherland. This territory was granted to the Duke of York in spite of the fact that the English, by their failure to occupy it, had no valid claim. An expedition, consisting of three troop carrying vessels, was sent to Massachusetts and then to New Amsterdam, where it appeared in August of 1664.

This would lead to a global conflict of which the New World was just one aspect of the enmity between the two counties.

Stuyvesant surrenders Fort Manhattan
Stuyvesant Surrenders Fort Manhattan

When the English war-ships sailed up the bay, the town of New Amsterdam was ill-protected. The people had no desire to resist the invaders. Stuyvesant and the West India Company had a long history of being too strict and authoritarian and therefore the townsfolk, although Dutch, hoped to gain more freedoms under English rule. Stuyvesant, with scarcely a supporter, stood firm and unyielding. He had no thought of submitting to superior force. "I would rather be carried out dead," he exclaimed. But when at length he realized that he was absolutely alone, and that there were no means of defence for the city, he surrendered. Herck Syboutsen was likely there to watch Stuyvesant walk away in defeat. New Amsterdam would be recaptured by the Dutch in 1673 but would be re-surrendered to England again in 1674.

The English changed the name to New York, but the people still kept their Dutch customs and names. For a short time anyway.

The conquered province, having come into the possession of the Duke of York, was taken charge of by Colonel Richard Nicolls who was in command of the English soldiers. This first English Governor appeared anxious to please the colonists. He made Thomas Willett Mayor, and Willett being very popular, had the peoples full support. But by the end of three years he had grown tired of the new country, and asked to be relieved. The people were not happy to see him returne to England. In 1667 a man by the name of Francis Lovelace took Mayor Willett's place.

A year later Hilletie Hercx was born. She was baptized in the 'New York' Reformed Church on 22 Apr 1668. "Hilletie, daughter of Herk Siboutszen & Wyntie Theunis, witnesses Jonas Bartelszen & Tryntie Wemey_ers" - (Church Record).

The next year, in April of 1669, Herck and Weyntie's son Sybout, at the age of about 25, married Marytie Abrahamsen Van Lent, daughter of Abraham Ryck Van Lent & Grietie Harmansen, in New York Reformed Church. "Sybout Harckszen, van de Manhatans, en Marytje Abrahams, j.d., van de Manhatans" - (Church Record).. Born in 1649 in New Amsterdam Marytie Abrahamsen was baptized in New Amsterdam Reformed Church on 21 Feb 1649. "Mary, daughter of Abraham Rycke, witness Hester Gerrits" - (Church Babtismal Record).

The year following Sybout's marriage, 1670, Herck and Weyntie's 2nd daughter Catriena married Ryck Abrahamson Van Lent, son of Abraham Ryck Van Lent & Grietie Harmansen. Ryck was born about 1637 in New Amsterdam and a short time after their marriage Ryck would become quite famous due to some real estate transactions. Ryck's sister was Marritje who had married Catriena's brother Sybout the year before.

And while their children were getting married Herck and Weyntie had another son, Pieter Hercx. Pieter was baptized in the New York Reformed Church on 22 Mar 1670. "Pieter, son of Herc Siboutszen & Wyntie Theunis, witnesses Jocobus de Key [uncle] & Geertie Theunis [aunt]." - (Church Record)

In 1673 the Dutch retook New York without bloodshed and it becomes New Amsterdam once again. The English's Captain Manning, who did not have sufficient English forces to defend New York, surrendered it to the Dutch peacefully.

The same year Herck and Weyntie's first daughter, Maryken, married Evert Aertszen, son of Aert Willemszen. Evert was born in 1645 in New Amsterdam and was baptized in the New Amsterdam Reformed Church on 5 Feb 1645. "Evert, son of Aert Willemszen, witnesses Jan Evertszen Bout, Jacob Roy-constapel, Lyntie Jochems, & Jenneken Rus" - (Church Record).

Also in 1673 Catriena and Ryck Abrahamson Van Lent baptized their first daughter Lysbeth in the New York Dutch Church.

One year later the English once again take over Amsterdam and it becomes New York once again.


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The year of 1674 also brought Hendrich Wiltzi and his wife Margaret Meyers to New York. It's not known why they decided to leave their home in Kingston but perhaps the larger community of New York/New Amsterdam held more opportunity. Their name appears on the register of the Dutch Church in New York city (May 1674) for the first time.


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The following year, 1675, brought yet another daughter to Herck and Weyntie. They named her Weyntie after her mother. She was baby number 14 for the couple. Weyntie was baptized in New York Reformed Church on the 27th of March 1675. "Weyntie, daughter of Herck Siboutszen & Weyntie Theunis, witnesses Karsten Luurzen [uncle] & Engeltie Hercks [baby Weyntie older sister]" - (Church Record).

Also in 1675 Herck and Weyntie's third daughter, Beletie who was now 23, married Conradt Ten Eyck, son of Conradt Ten Eyck (1617-?) & Maria Boelen (1622-?), in the New York Reformed Church. The ceremony took place on the 19th of May. "Coenraedt ten Eyck, de Jonge, j.m. Van Yorke, end Belytje Hercks, j.d. Van N. Yorke" - (Church Record). Conradt was born in 1654 in New Amsterdam and was baptized in the New Amsterdam Reformed Church on 22 Nov 1654. "Coenraedt, son of Coenraet ten Eyck, witnesses Evert Duycking & Sara Steendam." - (Church Record).


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It is not known precisly how or when the Hendrich Wiltzi family and the Kronkhites became known to each other but it is a certainty that they did. The Wiltzis having moved to New York from Kingston may have settled close to the Kronkhites and lodged with friends or perhaps rented property. It was on August 10th 1679 that Hendrich Wiltzi and his wife Margaret Meyers daughter Sophia married Theunis Herxc (Kronkhite), son of Herck and Weyntie Syboutsen (Kronkhite). The wedding took place on Long Island.

It was later in 1681 that Hendrich Wiltzi and his wife Margaret Meyers bought their own farm at Hellgate Neck (Arme Bouwery). This of course was the vicinity where Hendrich started out years ago and is as close to a hometown as anyone born at sea, such as he was, could have. Hellgate Neck or simply Hellgate as it was known was descriptive of the narrowing of the east river between Manhattan and Long Island. The land adjacent to it on Long Island, where the Wiltzis settled, was the location of Arme Bouwery and Newtown which was the home of Herck and Weyntie Syboutsen and the birthplace Theunis.


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The last entry I will make here is about Herck and Weyntie's last child named Joseph who was baptized in New York Reformed Church on the 6th of October 1681. His exact birthdate as with most of their other children is not known as only the baptismal records were recorded.


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NOW, in order to keep touch with reality and do justice to the family history it should be pointed out that when Herck and Weyntie's last child Joseph was baptized Weyntie would have been about 57 years old. And looking back at the baptismal date of daughter Weyntie in 1675, the couples previous child, the mother Weyntie would have been about 51. Taking it one step further the child before that, Pieter, was back in 1670 when Weyntie would be 46. Reasonably, Pieter would have been the last child Weyntie could have given birth to. This leads some to believe that both Weyntie and Joseph where the offspring of some second wife of Herck. They believe Herck may have remarried around 1670 and some do not include Pieter in the list of Herck's offspring.

MacKenzi has included 13 children and omits both Joseph and Pieter.

The last three children's parentage are therefore in question by all accounts and deserve further scrutiny. It would be well to examine the baptismal records that their birth and parentage are based on but that is beyond my means. I am sorry I can not be more specific but I've gotten used to these small setbacks. Thankfully these individuals do not effect my direct line of descendency. I include all because the gray areas and the unknowns are part of the challange of genealogy.

Here then is a quick listing of all Herck and Weyntie's children including those in question. Theunnis is Berton Springs direct ancestor and is verifiable. The third colume and perhaps most realistic is MacKenzi's listing.


Herck and Weyntie's Children
§ Various Sources MacKenzi's List
1 Sybout (1644->1716) Sybout bp. 1644
2 Maryken (1647-1735) Maritie bp. 1647
3 Catriena (ca1650-) Tryntje (Catriena) bp. ____
4 Beletie (1652-) Belitje bp. 1652
5 Engeltie (1654-) Engeltje bp. 1654
6 Theunnis (1655-1709) Theunis bp. 1655
7 Jan (1657->1720) Jan bp. 1657
8 Jacobus (1658-1729) Jocobus bp. 1658
9 Annetie (1662-) Annejte bp. 1662
10 Jannetie (1664-) Jannetje bp. 1664
11 Ariantje (1666-) Ariaentje bp. 1666
12 Hilletie (1668-) Hillitje bp. 1668
13 Pieter (1670-) Wyntje bp. ____
14 Weyntie (1675-) -
15 Joseph (<1681-) -


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At this point we have covered two generations of the Cronk (Kranckheit) family in the new world and in the heading I had promised to present 3 generations. It becomes clear to me at this point, however, that I must modify the form of presentation or the explosive increase in family size during the third generation will become untenable. Additionally, my primary focus is the genealogy of Berton Arthur Spring, and the Cronk family at this point becomes very divergent from his direct line. Therefore, I will first present the family tree for the three generations and warn the kind reader that this is only a partial listing as some of the 2nd generation Kranckheit offspring do not have their spouses or families included.

Note that the first two generations are on their own separate lines as they should be but the third generation is identified as being in the red box on multiple lines to conserve horizontal space. Simply put, it is easier to browse this way. The couple at the bottom of the chart inside the elipse are Berton Springs direct ancestors, Herrick and Helena Kranckheit.

Click on the following image for the full size three generation Kranckheit family tree.

3 Generations


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I do not have detailed information on each of these individuals but have picked up over the years snippits of information on some of them. So in an additional attempt to maintain some order I will present some snippets of history in a time sequential table format that references the period inclusive of the third generation. The snippets that follow are more or less unedited but simply present a timeline of events which have been gleaned from several sources. The value of this format is that all sources are combined into one timeline.

The primary sources of these snippits are the following documents and they may be examined directly.


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Our Cronk family Patriarch Herck passed away sometime between 1681 and 1684. We can see from the above it had to have been after the babtism of his granddaughter Wyntie in 1681. Our ancestor, Theunnis Herrickse, would have been in his late 20's at the time of his fathers death.

The Cronk family story continues in the next section.


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