Adriaen Cornelissen van der Donck ["(c.1618 - ", "c.1655)", " "] MP

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About Adriaen Cornelissen van der Donck

Adriaen Cornelissen van der Donck (ca. 1618 – ca. 1655) was a lawyer and landowner in New Netherland after whose honorific Jonkheer the city of Yonkers, New York is named. In addition to being the first lawyer in the Dutch colony, he was a leader in the political life of New Amsterdam (modern New York City), and an activist for Dutch-style republican government in the Dutch West India Company-run trading post.

Van der Donck was born in approximately 1618, in the town of Breda in the southern Netherlands to Cornelis van der Donck and Agatha van Bergen. His family was well connected on his mother's side, and her father, Adriaen van Bergen, was remembered as a hero for helping free Breda from Spanish forces during the course of the Eighty Years' War.

In 1645, he married Mary Doughty, whose father, Francis Doughty, had lost his land after irking Willem Kieft, then director of New Netherland. They had no children.

There is no record of Adriaen van der Donck's death, but he was alive during the summer of 1655, and a statement by Stuyvesant in early 1656 seems to indicate that he was dead. He probably died at his farm in one of a series of Indian raids in September 1655, called the Peach Tree War. He was survived in New Netherland by his wife and by his parents, whom he had separately convinced to immigrate.

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Adriaen van der Donck's Timeline

Breda, Breda, North Brabant, The Netherlands
Age 23

from Belgium to Beverwyck, 1641;
orig. from Donck, a parish in Lunburg, Belgium

September, 1655
Age 37
Age 37