Dutch-Colonies-L Archives

Archiver > Dutch-Colonies > 2005-09 > 1125621485

From: "Howard Swain" <>
Subject: Re: [D-Col] The Van Salee Boys
Date: Thu, 1 Sep 2005 17:38:05 -0700
References: <36.796d4782.3048e0b7@aol.com>

Hi all,

From: <>
Sent: Thursday, September 01, 2005 3:54 PM
Subject: Re: [D-Col] The Van Salee Boys

> Hello Frank (and other Van Salee cousins),
> It's been interesting to read what's been posted over the last few weeks
> about the Van Salees.
> I've looked into Anthony a bit myself (but have not gone beyond secondary
> sources), and there's one question for which I haven't found an answer: What
> evidence links Anthony to his purported father, Jan Jansen? So far all I've
> figured out is that his marriage record to Grietje says he was from a place where
> Jan Jansen, the pirate, may have been at some time. I have actually backed
> off on research on this line because I wasn't able to determine what evidence
> supports this link. As I recall, everything I've read assumes that Jan Jansen
> was Anthony's father.
> Similarly, I recall that Henry Hoff, formerly of NYGBS, pubblished an article
> a few years ago in the Record in which he stated (again, if I recall
> correctly) that he had not found evidence linking Abraham to Anthony, or Abraham to
> Jan Jansen.
> These are colorful folks. I've been holding off studying them further because
> I hadn't found how the connections were documented. I sincerely hope I have
> overlooked the evidence for these connections. Can you, or any other Van
> Salee descendant on the list, enlighten me?

I am not a descendant, but also have looked into these people from time to time.

So far, the only fact I think I've seen outside of events in New Amsterdam
is the marriage intentions of Anthony and Grietje you mention. I recall seeing
no facts that give evidence of who Anthony's or Abram's father(s) are. By "facts"
I mean birth records, wills, land records, notarial records, or any other
contemporay document. If someone knows of any facts, I, too, would like
to see an explicit citation to that document. Without facts, I for one, consider
their ancestry as unknown.

The Hoff article you mention is titled, "Frans Abramse van Salee and His
Descendants: A Colonial Black Family in New York and New Jersey".
It is in NYGBR vol 121 (April 1990) pp. 65 ff. (I have only the first 2
pages at hand.)

Mr. Hoff uses these words in discussing Abram's possible ancestry and
relationships: probably, possible, perhaps, may, appears.
I believe that he calls Frans Abramse family "Black" because Frans
was the son of Abram Jansen van Salee and a "negro woman", according
to the records of the Orphanmasters [OM 1:84] and not because of the
ancestry (whatever it was) of Abram.

The only thing I can see that he cites re. the ancestry of Anthony and/or
Abraham is the article by Hazel Van Dyke Roberts titled "Anthony Jansen
van Salee 1607-1676 in NYGBR vol 103 (Jan 1972) pp 16-28. It has
been awhile since I read this, but I think the only fact in it re. Anthony
before New Amsterdam is his marriage intention.

The other major article on Anthony Jansen is the one by Leo Hershkowitz:
"The Troublesome Turk: An Illustration of Judicial Process in New Amsterdam"
in New York History; The Quarterly Journal of the New York State Historical
Association, vol XLVI, no. 4 (Oct 1965), pp. 299 - 310. The main
focus of this (as the title indicates) is the large number of lawsuits that
Anthony was involved in. Mr. Hershkowitz seems to accept the usual
story about Anthony's origin, although he, too, uses cautionary words:
seemingly, presumably.

And now I remember one other pre-NA fact -- a 1639 deposition in New
Amsterdam re. certain actions of Grietje in a tavern in Amsterdam.
See New York Historical Mss.: Dutch; Register of the Provincial Secretary,
vol I, p. 107.


This thread: