Van Tassel Family History Homepage - The First Generation

The Van Tassel Family History Homepage

"A Pedigree Partly Indian, Partly Batavian"

The First (American born) Generation:

* Jan Cornelissen Van Texel, (son of Cornelis Jansen Van Texel and Catoneras).

   Born about 1625 d. 1704.

   Married: Annetje Alberts.

(Children are listed at the bottom of the page)

The following is from the work of Daniel Van Tassel entitled:

         "Genealogy of the Van Texel/Van Tassel family in America, 1625-1900."

The exact date of the birth of Jan Cornelissen Van Texel, who is the first American born Ancestor, is unknown, but judging by the apprenticeship paper, a copy of which has been given, and the general custom in such cases, it is the best opinion that at the end of the term of seven years apprenticeship to Hendrick Harmensen, Jan Cornelissen was twenty one years old. From this it is concluded that he was fourteen years old in 1639 and was born in 1625. His father was born in Holland about 1600.

Jan Cornelissen lived in Midwont (Flatbush) Long Island. It was there that he married his wife, Annetje Alberts, and his children were born there.

His name appears on the Flatbush records as Jan Cornelissen and as Jan Cornelissen Van Texel. On the 12th of March, 1661, he got a grant of 60 morgens (120 acres) of land at that place, and on the 26th of October 1664, his orchard is referred to.

He was later allotted, in pursuance of the patent of Flatbush "23 Morgens (46 acres) of land in said town, on the south side of the bowery of Bastel Claessen, with plain land and salt meadow." He sold it January 20, 1670 to Aucke Janse Van Meyse. Liber A page 15 Flatbush Records.  On the 14th of March, 1670, he was allotted a building lot at Flatbush, which he sold the 15th of the following May to Hendrick Kip.

Not long after this sale to Kip, Jan Cornelissen removed with his family to Westchester County, and settled on the east bank of the Hudson River in that portion of the present town of Cortlandt which the Indians called "Meahagh." It later became known as Verplank's Point. The lands immediately east of "Meahagh" bore the Indian name of "Appamaghpogh." After Steven Van Courtlandt had purchased Meahagh and Appamaghpogh of the Indians, August 24, 1683, the whole territory seems, for a short time, to have been called by the latter name.

Jan Cornelissen was for a time Collector of taxes for the town of "Appomaepoe." One of his receipts which is recorded in Liber B. of Deeds page 231, Westchester County Register's office, reads as follows:

"Received from John Cornelious Van Texel, by the hand of Steven Courtland, the sum of nine pounds, out of the four first taxes, and of such proportions of the same as became payable out of Westchester County and town of Appamaepoe.

I say received this 31st of July 1694   Chidley Brooke Col."

In 1685 Jan Cornelissen presented a petition to Governor Dougan, which will be found in Volume 2, page 69 of Land papers, Office of the Secretary of State, Albany N.Y. The paper is complete excepting that a part of the page at the beginning of the document is torn off. As Col. Thomas Dougan was Governor of the Province of New York from 1683 to 1688, the date must have been 1685. It reads as follows:

" The petition of Cornelissen  Showeth:

That your petitioner is a native of this Province, his father a Christian, his   mother an Indian of Long Island.   "That he hath married a Christian in this Province, and by her hath nine children now living.   "And whereas the Indians, his kindred, are willing to divide, set out and allot that share of land, which according to their wisdom is his right, and inheritance at a certain place called Tersarge, being to the eastward of the town of Huntington, on the north side of Long Island, which for the better support of himself and his family he is intended to cultivate and improve. He therefore humbly prays that your Honorable will be pleased to order him a warrant for the same, upon which he may obtain a patent or grant and confirmation from your Honorable, under his Majesty, for the same.

"And your petitioner will ever pray etc."

Upon the side of the paper is written "John Cornelissen."

As action was not taken upon this petition during the life of Jan Cornelissen, which ended in 1704, a new petition was prepared and presented to Lord Cornbury, Governor of the province of New York. It is dated July 30, 1705, and is on file in Volume 4 of Land Papers page 56, office of New York's Secretary of State and read as follows:

"The humble petition of Cornelis Van Texel, Jacob van Texel, Jan Van Texel, William Van Texel, sons of Jan Cornelissen Van Texel, late deceased, and Hendrick Lent, husband of Catharine, one of the daughters of said John; Barent De Witt, husband of Sarah, another daughter of said John, and Peter Storm, husband of Margaret also a daughter of said John:

      Humbly showeth that whereas your petitioner's father as heir to his mother, Catoneras, a native Indian of the Island Nassamo, who in her lifetime was seized of a certain tract or parcel of land, lying and being in the Island aforesaid, now in the county of Suffolk, next the town of Huntington, called by the natives, Anendesack, in English, Eader's Neck beach, and so along the Sound four miles or thereabouts until the Fresh Pond, called by the natives, Assawanama, where a creek runs into the Sound, and from the Sound running in to the woods six miles or thereabouts.

And your Petitioners, being all Christians, and professing the Holy Protestant religion, and knowing that the Heathen never were disturbed in the possession of their lands of inheritance in the Government, your petitioner,as Christians, also would very willingly hold the same by his Majesty's Letters Patent under the seal of this Province.

Your Petitioners therefore pray etc.

Cornelis Van Texel

Jacob the mark of Van Texel

Jan Van Texel

Hendrick the mark of  Lent

Barent De Witt

Peter P.S. the mark of Storm

As the Governor and his Council did not act upon the foregoing petition, another petition dated May 15, 1713 was presented to Governor Cornbury. It is recorded in Volume 6 of Land Papers.  It":

Most humbly showeth that your petitioner's said father's Mother was an Indian native Sachem in this Province called Catoneras, in the Island of Nassamo, now called Long Island; and her relations being owners of sundry large tracts of land on the said Island, did give unto the said Catoneras, the Petitioner's grandmother, in part of her father's inheritance a certain tract of land called Crop Meadow, situate on the Island aforesaid in Suffolk County, running along the Sound four miles and six miles into the woods or thereabouts.  

And ye said petitioners, being all Christians, and members of the Protestant Church, and being willing to enjoy their inheritance by Patent under the Crown, as all other his Majesty's subjects of this Province do enjoy and hold theirs.

And your Petitioners will ever pray, etc.

Cornelis Van Texel

Jacob Van Texel

Johannis Van Texel

This petition was referred to the Council, which after due consideration, reported in its favor and recommended the granting of a warrant of survey. A deed and survey of the lands in question was granted April 22, 1714.

By this time the property, which the family sought, had been settled by people from New England. An action was brought to oust the intruders, who although they might have purchased the lands from the Indians, had no legal title as their purchases had not been approved by the Governor, and Council of the Province of New York.

This suit dragged along in the Courts until the Revolution, when with the change of Government it died. The last references to it are found in the will of John Van Tassel dated December 23, 1771, recorded in the office of the Surrogate of New York County, who directs how "Crop Meadow" then in litigation shall be divided if recovered;" and the will of Hendrick Van Tassel, dated March 1, 1771, also recorded in the Surrogate's office, New York County, which mentions "an estate depending upon Long Island of some land now in dispute of the law" and directs how it shall be divided if recovered.

The fact that the family was "part Indian" was well known in Revolutionary times, and in a few instances the story had come down to descendants who were living a few years ago.

The British also were familiar with the family story, of its part Indian origin, and mention was made of it in at least one issue of Rivington's Gazette, a paper published in New York during the Revolution, and while the city was in the possession of the British. It appears in the issue of July 7, 1779, and in the account of a raid made by Lt. Col. Banastre Tarleton of the British Legion, into the upper part of Westchester County. The editor in his account said:

"Amongst the prisoners is one of the Van Tassels, from near Tarrytown,  of

a pedigree partly Indian, partly Batavian."

Jan Cornelissen Van Texel, and Annetje Alberts, his wife, became members of the Old Dutch Church of Sleepy Hollow when it was organized, and so continued until their deaths. He was at one time a Deacon, and at another time an Elder of the Church. Just when his wife died is not known, but he died during the year 1704. In his petition he said that he had nine children, but only eight appear. The other one must have died shortly after he died and was single. Jan Cornelissen, alone represents his generation as American born, and his children form the second born generation.

Of the children of Jan Cornelissen, who form the second American born generation. They attended religious services in the Old Dutch Church of Sleepy Hollow at Tarrytown, and almost all their children were baptized in that church.

Children of Jan Cornelissen Van Texel and Annetje Alberts:

1.  Catrina,   born about 1664

Married: Hendrick Abramsen

Notes for Catrina - Hendrick Abramsen, born 1662,  was the son of Abraham and Catarina Rycken. Hendrick. They had: Abraham, John, Ann, Margaret, Hendrick, Cornelia. As is well known by those who have studied the subject Hendrick adopted the family name of Lent and continued the rest of his years to reside in the town of Cortlandt, Westchester County, N.Y. His descendants bearing the name of Lent are quite numerous in Westchester County, N.Y. and are scattered in other places. For further information see Riker's Annals of Newtown, page 316, etc.

2.  Cornelis born about 1667.

Married first:  Antje Storm, daughter of Dirck Storm and Maria Peters Montfoort. He

Married: second, Weyntje Kraukheyt.

Very little is known of him other than that he settled in the Saw Mill River valley on a farm about a mile south of the present village of Elmsford, Westchester County, N.Y.

3.  Sara born about 1670.

Married:  Barent De Witt.

They lived in the upper part of the Manor of Philipsburgh, called by the Indians Weekquaskeck, and by the Lord of the Manor, Philipsburgh. The territory is now divided into the modern towns of Greenburgh, Mount Pleasant and Ossining.

Barent De Witt was Tax Collector of the district in which he resided in 1693 and 1694, and six of the receipts given him for money collected and paid in to Chidley Brooke the County Treasurer, are recorded in Liber 3 of Deeds page 232, Westchester County Register's office. In them he is first called Barnes White, then Barent Witt and finally Barent De Witt. The first three receipts designate the place as Weekersqueck and the other three call it Philipsburgh.

Shortly after the baptism of Sara (daughter baptized March 30, 1708) the family must have moved away, as no further mention of the name appears in the records of the Sleepy Hollow Church, nor in the records of Philipsburgh. In Brodhead's Colonial Documents, published by the State of New York, Volume 3 page 659, appears an interesting affidavit dated August 14, 1689, sworn to by Barent De Witt, which shows that De Witt was a married man at that time. So it is possible that he might have had children earlier than 1697.

4.  Grietje born about 1672.

Married Peter Storm, born 1658, son of Dirck Storm and Maria Peters Montfoort.

Peter and two brothers, Gregory and David, were born in Holland. The parents came to America in the ship Fox arriving at New Amsterdam August 1662. The entry on the ships list of passengers, reads: "Dirck Storm from the mayory of Bosch, with a wife and three children," Documentary History of New York, Volume 3 page 60. The wife's full name was Maria Peters Van Montfoort. After the birth of the children, Peter Storm, with is children, moved from the manor of Philipsburgh to Dutchess County, N.Y.

5.  Jacob baptized  July 23, 1676.  See My Van Tassel Line of Descent:  2nd Generation.

6.  Jan baptized:  May 1,  1678

Married:  October 5, 1700, N.Y. Dutch Church, Catharina Springsteen.

From the marriage record we learn that the wife was born on Long Island, and that each was living in the Highlands, upon the lands of Steven Van Courtlandt.

7.  William Baptized:  Oct. 6, 1681.

Married Weynti Kraukheyt.

He lived in the Manor of Cortlandt, Westchester County, New York.

8.  Annetje baptized Oct. 9,  1683


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