Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Dutch/French Ancestors, Plus a Distant Relation to FDR, incl. Provost, Ten Waert, Vigne & Roos Families.

David Provost (1608-1657) & Margaret Ten Waert (1608-1703) - arrived 1624 & 1634 

Maria Vigne (1610-1671) and Jan Roos (1610-1632)- arrived 1624 

We know that our ancestors in the Scofield family most likely originated near Normandy and came to England in the 11th Century, eventually coming to America in the 1600's.  However, we have other Dutch and French ancestors that came to America in the colonial period directly from Holland.

Painting of St. Bartholomew Massacre
François Dubois
The Provost/ Provoost/Prevot family were Huguenots, French protestants who originally fled France to escape religious persecution, first to Holland and then America.  William Provoost (Prevot) (my 11th gr gf)  is documented as living in Paris in 1572 at the time of the St. Bartholomew Massacre, which targeted the Huguenots.   William fled to Amsterdam, where he soon married a french woman, also a fugitive, and had 5 sons.  The eldest son, Johannes, married a dutch woman, Jannetie Eerdewijns, and had 3 sons.

The youngest son of Johannes & Jannetie, David (1608-1657), came to New Amsterdam (New York) in 1624.  He returned to Holland to marry Margaret Gillis TenWaert (1608-1703), daughter of Gillis Tenwaert and Barbara Schut.  Gillis TenWaert was a prominent and wealthy Holland merchant.  

David & Margaret (my 9th gr grandparents) returned to New Netherlands in 1634 to begin their American life and family.

 David Provost, was granted land in 1639 on Pearl street, near Fulton (in today's Manhattan). He was a lawyer, serving as attorney General in the Brooklyn courts.  He was also a Captain in the military and was put in charge of Fort Good Hope from 1642 -1647, at Hartford, Conn., "to resist the aggressions of the English." After which he returned to New Amsterdam, and taught school for a time. He died in January, 1656.  

David Provoost (b. 1642), ca. 1700-1710
Attributed to: Gerrit Duyckinck, 

1660 - ca.1710  
Oil on wood panel: 30 x 25 in.
  David & Margaret had 10 children born from 1639 to 1656.  Their third son, David Provost (1642- ) served as mayor of NYC from 1698-1699.

  The fourth son of David & Margaret, Elias Provost (1646-1686) married Cornelia Roos (1655-1701) in New Amsterdam in 1672. Their son, Johannes Provost (1676- ) married Sarah Bailey (1677-).  The son of Johannes & Sarah, John Provost (1707 - ) married Elizabeth (unknown).  

  Samuel Provost (1740-1815), son of John & Elizabeth, was born in Stamford CT about 1740 and married Sarah Bishop (1746-1791).  Samuel fought in the Revolutionary war in the Connecticut Continental troops.  Samuel & Sarah had a son, John Provost (1767-1853) who married Mary Waterbury (1771-1842). Their daughter, Betsey Ann (Provost) (1807-1856) married Seth Seeley (1806-1880).

Much of the Provost family history is documented in the book titled,  Biological and Geneological notes of Provost Family by Andrew Provost.

William Provoost (1544-1607) - Johannes Provoost (1576-  ) - David Provost (1608-1657) - Elias Provost (1646-1686) - Johannes Provost (1676 - ) - John Provost (1707 -  ) - Samuel Provost (1740-1843) - John Provost (1767-1853) - Betsey Ann (Provost) Seely (1807-1856) - Emily (Seely) Scofield (1843-1927) -  Harry Francis Scofield (1870-1956)- Beatrice P. (Scofield) Syska (1906-1945)

Gillis Tenwaert (1578-  ) - Margaret Gillis (TenWaert) Provost (1608-1703) - Elias Provost (1646-1686) - Johannes Provost (1676 - ) - John Provost (1707 -  ) - Samuel Provost (1740-1843) - John Provost (1767-1853) - Betsey Ann (Provost) Seely (1807-1856) - Emily (Seely) Scofield (1843-1927) -  Harry Francis Scofield (1870-1956)- Beatrice P. (Scofield) Syska (1906-1945)

Vrouwenkerkhof square in Leiden with the
remains of the church attended by both the
Mayflower Pilgrims and 

the first New Netherlands settlers.
Maria Vigne, was born about 1610 in Valenciennes, Nord, France, the daughter of   Guillaume 'Ghislain' Vigne and Ariaentje 'Adriene' Cuvellier. The Vignes of Valenciennes were living in Leyden, Holland in 1618, recorded as members at the Walloon Church* in October 1618. Baptismal records of the Church indicate four more children were born at Leyden but only one of those survived.

*The Walloons were French-speaking Dutch from the Valenciennes & Hainault area  (Belgium).  

Guillaume and Adriene Vigne (my 11th gr grandparents), with their three daughters (Christina, Maria and Rachel) are believed to have sailed to New Netherland in April 1624 (possibly on de Eendracht--Unity or the Nieuw Nederlandt), with the first thirty Walloon* families who agreed to settle there on behalf of the Dutch West India Company. Their son Jan was the first male born of European parents in New Netherland.

The Vignes established a farm on the East River, north of current-day Wall Street. Guillaume died about 1632 and his widow inherited his estate. About this time, she also moved to a large house on the east side of current-day Broadway, where she lived with all of her children (including the families of her two eldest).

Maria Vigne married Jan Roos in about 1631

  • Jan Roos (1610-1632) was born in Haarlem, North Holland, Netherland around 1610.  He probably came to New Netherlands with the first group of dutch settlers in 1624 or soon after, possibly with his parents.  However, there is no record of who his parents were or when they arrived in the new world.  Jan married Maria Vigne (1610-1671) by 1631 and they had one child born in 1632 just before Jan Roos died in an indian attack also in 1632. 

 After Jan was killed, Maria married second,  Abraham Ver Planck.  He and Maria lived at the Vigne household (in manhattan east of Broadway) until her mother, Adrienne, married her 2nd husband Jan Damen. They then bought land across the Hudson at Paulus Hook [now Jersey City] where they had a farm and two cows, and leased four acres to tobacco planters.  The 1643 Indian war forced Maria and Abraham to seek safety at the Fort at Manhattan. The family continued to own the land at Paulus Hook until 1699, but probably never lived there again. They bought a lot in 1649, near Pearl Street and Maiden Lane, where they built a new home. In 1664, when the English fleet showed up on the Hudson River, Abraham was one of the signers of the petition requesting that Peter Stuyvesant surrender. A fight with the English would have destroyed New Amsterdam.

The only son of Jan & Maria (Vigne) Roos, Gerrit Jansen Roos (1632-1698), my 9th gr grandfather,  is also the 6th great grandfather of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.  To answer the next obvious question, I suppose that does make us distant cousins, along with quite a few other people, although sorting it out made my head throb.  But, since I know you're counting on me, I gave it a try.  My great grandfather, Harry F. Scofield (1870-1956), was FDR's 7th cousin which makes me a 7th cousin three times removed... I think. 

Gerrit, who had no idea one of his descendants would become President, went on with is life and married Aeltje Lamberts Wolf (1631-1659) in 1651.  He was employed as a carpenter & was a member of the Dutch Church.  Gerrit & Aeltje's daughter, Cornelia Roos (1655-1701) married Elias Provost - see above for Provost family history.

Maria (Vigne) Roos VerPlank (1610-1671) - Gerrit Jansen Roos (1632-1698) - Cornelia (Roos) Provost (1655-1701) - Johannes Provost (1676 - ) - John Provost (1707 -  ) - Samuel Provost (1740-1843) - John Provost (1767-1853) - Betsey Ann (Provost) Seely (1807-1856) - Emily (Seely) Scofield (1843-1927) -  Harry Francis Scofield (1870-1956)- Beatrice P. (Scofield) Syska (1906-1945)


The New Netherlands  territories extended from the Delmarva Peninsula to Cape Cod,  now part of  New York, New Jersey, Delaware, and Connecticut, with small outposts in Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. The inhabitants, not necessarily Dutch, included all Europeans who lived there (such as French Huguenots, Scandinavians and Germans) as well as Africans, Indo-Caribbeans, South Americans and Native Americans.  The legacy of New Netherlands included secular broad mindedness and mercantile pragmatism profoundly influencing the future of the United States.

In 1609 Henry Hudson, hired by the Dutch East India Company in Amsterdam to find a Northeast Passage to Asia by sailing around Scandinavia & Russia, was thwarted by the Artic ice and attempted to sail west instead, landing first in New foundland and Cape Cod.  Hudson continued to look for passage to the Pacific Ocean, sailing down the St. Lawrence River and back up the mid atlantic coast into the narrows and up the river that would be named after him to Albany.  When Hudson returned to Amsterdam and reported his findings, additional expeditions were sent and the settlement of New Netherlands as a business Venture began. In 1624 New Netherlands became a province of the Dutch Republic.   In 1626, the director of New Netherlands chose the Island of Manhattan as its Capitol and traded goods with the natives to purchase the land.  Fort Amsterdam was built and the settlements around the Fort became known as the Manhattoes (New York Harbor).

The Dutch West India Co. established the reformed Church as its official Church, but had a policy of religious freedom that held no one should be persecuted or investigated because of religion.  Although they brought the first African slaves to the colony in 1625, their treatment of slaves was was not as harsh as future American Colonies'  In New Netherlands, families of slaves were kept intact, slaves were admitted to the church, baptized and married, allowed to testify in court, sign documents and bring civil actions against whites.  When the New Netherlands colony fell, the slaves were freed, establishing the first free african americans.

1 comment:

  1. Hello Sharon. Thanks for all of the information and genealogy you have on your blog. Looking through all of this I have found we have numerous people in our genealogy that are common. I grew up in Stamford, Connecticut and my mother Edith M Wicks was a founder of the Stamford Genealogical Society. She also wrote a couple of books tracing Stamford history and genealogy going back to 1642 when the city was founded. My father's family include the Holly lineage as well as the Provost lineage. My grandfather was born on Long Island and moved to Stamford early in life when his mother Ella Jane Provost and his father Alonzo Allen wicks both died. He moved in with his uncle Chauncey Provost and lived on Oak Street.

    Clifford Provost Wicks