Joris Jansen Rapalje

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Georges Rapareillet

Nicknames: "Georges Rapareillet", "Joris Jansen Rapalje", "Joris de Rapalje", "Joris Jansen de Rapelje", "Joris Jansen de Rapelji"
Birthdate:
Birthplace: Valenciennes, Hainut, Spanish Netherlands
Death: Died in Breuckelen, New Netherland Colony
Cause of death: possibly a heart attack
Place of Burial: said to be the first burial in the Flatbush Reformed Dutch Church Cemetery, Flatbush, Kings County, New York, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Jean Rapareilliet and Elizabet Baudoin [Baudewyn]
Husband of Catalyntje Trico
Father of Sara Jorise Rapelje; Marritje Jorise Van Der Voort; Jannetje Jorise Rapalje; Judith Joris Van Nest; Jan Joriszen Rapalje and 6 others
Brother of Jean Rapareillet, Jr.; Olivier Rapareillet; Anne Rapareillet; Jehenne Rapareillet; Francois Rapareillet and 3 others

Occupation: Borat worker / tavern keeper / chief boatswain / farmer / magistrate
Managed by: R.W. Prinkey
Last Updated:

About Georges Rapareillet

Joris Jansen Rapalje

  • Baptized: Apr. 28, 1604 in Valenciennes, Spanish Netherlands (now Valenciennes, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France)
  • Died:  After March 18, 1662 in Breuckelen, New Netherlands Colony (now Brooklyn Heights, Kings County, New York) / on February 21, 1663 at a meeting of church elders in the Dutch Reformed Church in Brooklyn Parish, corner of Flatbush & Smith Street
  • Burial: Flatbush Reformed Dutch Church Cemetery, Flatbush, Kings County (Brooklyn), New York, USA

He was baptized under the name George Rapareilliet.

ancestry

Joris/ George was the illegitimate son of JEAN RAPAREILLIET. Jean was born Abt 1572 of Valenciennes, Nord, Netherlands and died February 23, 1605/06 Valenciennes. Jean married ELIZABETH BAUDOIN. She was born Abt 1582 in of Valenciennes, Nord, France. Jean's last name has been spelled De Raparlier, Rapallier, Rapareilliet, Reparlier, etc.

immigration

Joris (George) & his wife Catalyntje (Catherine) were part of the 1624 voyage to New Netherland on the ship The "Unity".

notes

Information on them and Joris siblings can be found at - . Long Island Genealogy, Surname Database, @http://www.longislandsurnames.com/genealogy/index.php. "Jean (Rapareilliet-Rapareillet- Rapelje) Rapelje

biography

Gleaned from http://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Rapalje-19

Joris Jansen de Rapelje embarked for this country on Jan. 25, 1624. He came with his French wife of four days, Catalyntje, and about a dozen families.

Rapelje was a Huguenot/Walloon, a French protestant sect persecuted by the Catholic church. After stopping first in New York harbor by Manhattan, he and the others sailing aboard the Unity dropped anchor near Governor's Island and subsequently about 130 miles up the Hudson River at Fort Orange, near present-day Albany.

At this time, there were three European settlements in North America: the Plymouth colony in Massachusetts, the Jamestown colony in Virginia, both English, and the Dutch one in Fort Orange.

Fort Orange

The Rapeljes first surviving child, a daughter Sarah, was born on June 9, 1625. She was the first recorded European girl born in what would become New York state. It is believed a boy was born at Fort Orange before her, but no records survive to confirm this.

Pearl Street

Removed to New Amsterdam in 1626, & had a house & lot on Pearl Street just outside the fort, confirmed to him by deed March 13, 1647, where he kept a tavern.

Wallabout settlement

Had 335 acres at Wallabout, Long Island ( http://bklyn-genealogy-info.stevemorse.org/Image/Map/orig1.jpg )purchased with "some merchandise" from the Indians June 16, 1637, & confirmed by deed from Governor Kieft June 17, 1643. This famous Rapalje farm was called "Rinnegackonck" because it was at a stream named such by the indians.

Public Service

One of the famous Board of Twelve Men Aug. 29 1641-Feb. 18, 1642. Conferred with Governor Kieft to suggest a means to commit genocide on Native Americans. He was also Schepen or Magistrate of Breuckelen 1656 to 1660.

marriage

Bans were posted in the Dutch Reformed Church Jan. 13, 1624 for a marriage between Joris "from Valenciennes, boart-worker", age 19 residing on 't Vaelepadt & Catherine Trico from Waeslant. accompanied by Mary Flengh her sister riesiding in the Flask age 18 years. (boartworker is weaver of certain kind of cloth)

Albany, New Netherland colony

After their marriage, Joris & Catalyntje remained in Albany, the center of New Netherlands fur trade. In 1626 they moved to New Amsterdam & remained for 22 years in a house on the north side of the present Pearl street, abutting Fort Orange. Joris was an innkeeper, farmer & seaman in during his 22 years in Albany. He was called "chief boatswain" in Colonial records. His name appears as late as March 16, 1648 on records of persons who kept taverns or taphouses. Up until 1656, he figures frequently in court records of numerous suits.

farm

About 1655, they removed to Long Island to Wallabout Cove ("Rinnegacknock")

biography

the following is from Chris Eschbaugh on Rootsweb:

The progenitor of the de Rapelji family was Joris Jansen de Rapelji who emigrated from Rochelle, France when a young man. The ship on which he sailed (The Unity or The New Netherlands) was the first sent out by the West Indies Company in the year 1624. There were eighteen families on board.

Catalina Trico (or Tricault) daughter of George Trico sailed on the same ship was born in France c. 1605. While on the ship their acquaintance and romance began. They were married prior to their arrival in America. They settled in Beaverwyck, New York. Indians frequently came into the settlement to make agreements and trade with the commander of the colony.

Joris and Catalina became the parents of the first white child to be born in the French colony. Her name was Sarah de Rapelji. She was born in 1626, at Fort Orange, now Albany, New York. She later became the wife of Frederick Bodine. Joris and Catalina also became the parents of Judith who was born in New Amsterdam in 1635. She later married the Dutch immigrant Pieter Peitersen Van Nest.

Joris received title to land in the vicinity of Weggle Bogth (or Walleboght and late moved to Breukland (Brooklyn) where he was appointed Magistrate at Breukeland on April 13, 1855.

spurious pedigree

The ancestry of Joris has been traced to Casper de Rapelji (or Rapella) who was in France at Challon Sur Lovi in the year 1605. He signalized himself during the reign of Francis The First and Henry the Second (Coat of Arms). (nonsense)

wife

In the year 1680 the aged Catalina Trico de Rapelji lived where the United States Navy yard is now located in Brooklyn. Joris Jansen de Rapelje (or Rapalje) came from Rochelle, France in the ship "New Netherlands.

Catalina Trico (Tricault), the daughter of George Trico who sailed on the same ship, was born in Pris, Holland, now Belgium, While on the ship their acquaintance deepened and a romance began. They were married upon their arrival at Albany, New York and settled in Beaverwyck, New York. { more modern accounts have Joris and Cataluntje marrying prior to leaving Europe. }

Joris and Catalina became the parents of the first white child to be born in the French Colony. Her name was Sarah deRapelji, she was born at Fort Orange, now Albany, New York.

career

Joris received title to the land in the vicinity of Weggle Bogth and late moved to Breuckeland (Brooklyn), where he was appointed Magistrate of Breuckeland April 13, 1655.

nonsense

The ancestry of Joris Jansen de Rapelji has been traced to Gasper de Rapelji (or Rapelji) who was in France at Chahllon Sur Lovi in the year 1505. He Signalized himself during the reign of Francis 1st and Henry 2nd ( Coat of Arms).

absurdity

Arms of Joris Jansen Rapalje.

ARMS- Azure, three bars or.

CREST- Issuing from a ducal coronet or, on a high hat of dignity azure, three bars of the first. The hat surmounted with six ostrich feathers or and azure.

MOTTO- Willing obedience and serenity of mind.

(Crozier: "General Armory.")

biography

"Joris Janssen Rapalje came to New Netherlands in 1623 ("American Families of Historic Lineage" says about 1623 on the ship "Unity," which was the first vessel to bring agricultural colonists to the Hudson Valley. For three years, from 1623 to 1626, he resided at Fort Orange, now Albany, but at the end of that time he removed to New Amsterdam, which was becoming a center for persecuted Huguenots and Walloons. He located on what is now Pearl Street and was residing there when his deed to the property was confirmed March 13, 1647. He had already purchased from the Indians, on June 16, 1637, a farm containing one hundred and sixty morgens or three hundred and thirty-five acres. The Indians called it Rennagaconck, while the Dutch called it Wale bocht. It was located where the present United States Marine Hospital in Brooklyn stands and also included the land between Nostrand and Grand avenues. He may have resided there for a time and been obliged to return to the city on account of Indian troubles. In 1641 Joris Rapalje was elected member of a board of twelve men to consult with Governor Kieft on account of the dangerous situation the confronting the Colony on account of unrest among the Indians. This was the beginning of representative government in the Dutch portions of America, and the board availed itself of the opportunity to strengthen such institutions by an attempt to limit the arbitrary power of the Governor, for which they wished to substitute a more democratic system. According to their plan four of their number should become members of the Permanent Council. The representative body was, however, abolished the following year. June 22, 1654, Joris Rapalje sold his property on Pearl Street to Hendrick Hendrickson and removed to his farm at Wale bocht, where he lived the rest of his life. In 1655, 1656, 1657, 1660, and 1662 he was a magistrate in Brooklyn. He apparently died about the time of the close of the Dutch administration, as his name disappears from the records of the time.

Joris Janssen Rapalje married Catalyntje Trico, who was born in 1605 and died September 11, 1689. She was a daughter of Joris Trico, of France, and his wife Michele Sauvagie. After the death of her husband, Catalyntje continued to reside at Wale bocht (a name supposed to mean "Bay of the Walloons", referring perhaps to the Rapalje/Trico heritage). She was seventy-four years of age at the time Jasper Dankers and Peter Sluyter, the Labodists, visited her there and described her in their journals as follows:

M. de la Grange came with wife to invite me to accompany them in their boat to the Wale bocht, a place situated on Long Island almost an hour's distance below the city, directly opposite Correlaerr hoeck from whence, I had several times observed the place which appeared to me quite pleasant-- she is worldly minded, living with her whole heart, as well as body, among her progeny which now number 145 and will soon reach 150. Nevertheless, she lived alone by herself a little apart from the others, having her little garden and other conveniences with which she helped herself.

Children:

Sara, born at Fort Orange, June 9, 1625, the first white child to be born in New Netherlands, died about 1685; married (first) Hanse Hansen Bergen; (second) Teunis Cysberts Bogart.

Marritje, born March 11 {16}, 1627. {married Michael Paulus Vandervoort}

Jannetje, born August 16, 1629; married, December 21, 1642, Remmet Janzen Van Jeversen.

Judith, born July 15 {5}, 1635; married Peter Pietersen Van Nest.

Jan, born August 28, 1637, died January 25, 1663; married April 16 or 26, 1660, Maria Fredericks of the Hague; was a deacon of the Dutch Reformed Church of Brooklyn.

Jacob, born May 28, 1639, killed by a Native American.

Catalyntje, born March 28, 1641; married August 16, 1664, Jeremias Jansen Van Westerhaut.

Jeremias, born June 27, 1643; married Anna, daughter of Teunis Nyssen or Denyse; occupied the ancestral home at the Wallabout; schepen of Brooklyn in 1673 and 1674; justice of the peace in 1689 and 1690.

Annitie, born February 8, 1646, married (first), May 14, 1663, Martin Ryerse, from Amsterdam; (second), January 30, 1692 Fransz Joort. {Joost France}

Elizabeth, born March 26, 1648; married Dierck Cornelisen Hooglandt.

Daniel, born December 29, 1650, baptized at the Dutch Reformed Church, January 1, 1651, died in Brooklyn, December 26, 1725; married (first) Sarah Clock; (second) Tryntie Alberts.

Wilfred Jordan, Colonial and Revolutionary Families of Pennsylvania, Lewis Historical Publishing Co., New York, 1942, pp. 199, 200; Coat of Arms facing p. 198.

Henry A. Stoutenburgh, A Documentary History of the Dutch Congregation of Oyster Bay, Queens Co., Island of Nassau. (Now Long Island), 1902, pp. 444-6. {source of additional data in brackets. Also has Catelyn Trico's deposition of her arrival in 1623 on the ship, "Unity," settlements, relocations, and dealings with the Indians described as, "all quiet as lambs." }

--------------------

"Joris Janssen Rapalje came to New Netherlands in 1623 ("American Families of Historic Lineage" says about 1632 [a typo?]) on the ship "Unity," which was the first vessel to bring agricultural colonists to the Hudson Valley. For three years, from 1623 to 1626, he resided at Fort Orange, now Albany, but at the end of that time he removed to New Amsterdam, which was becoming a center for persecuted Huguenots and Walloons. He located on what is now Pearl Street and was residing there when his deed to the property was confirmed March 13, 1647. He had already purchased from the Indians, on June 16, 1637, a farm containing one hundred and sixty morgens or three hundred and thirty-five acres. The Indians called it Rennagaconck, while the Dutch called it Wale bocht. It was located where the present United States Marine Hospital in Brooklyn stands and also included the land between Nostrand and Grand avenues. He may have resided there for a time and been obliged to return to the city on account of Indian troubles. In 1641 Joris Rapalje was elected member of a board of twelve men to consult with Governor Kieft on account of the dangerous situation the confronting the Colony on account of unrest among the Indians. This was the beginning of representative government in the Dutch portions of America, and the board availed itself of the opportunity to strengthen such institutions by an attempt to limit the arbitrary power of the Governor, for which they wished to substitute a more democratic system. According to their plan four of their number should become members of the Permanent Council. The representative body was, however, abolished the following year. June 22, 1654, Joris Rapalje sold his property on Pearl Street to Hendrick Hendrickson and removed to his farm at Wale bocht, where he lived the rest of his life. In 1655, 1656, 1657, 1660, and 1662 he was a magistrate in Brooklyn. He apparently died about the time of the close of the Dutch administration, as his name disappears from the records of the time.

Joris Janssen Rapalje married Catalyntje Trico, who was born c. 1605 and died September 11, 1689. She was a daughter of Joris Trico, of Paris, France, and his wife Michele Sauvagie. After the death of her husband, Catalyntje continued to reside at Wale bocht. She was seventy-four years of age at the time Jasper Dankers and Peter Sluyter, the Labodists, visited her there and described her in their journals as follows:

M. de la Grange came with wife to invite me to accompany them in their boat to the Wale bocht, a place situated on Long Island almost an hour's distance below the city, directly opposite Correlaerr hoeck from whence, I had several times observed the place which appeared to me quite pleasant-- she is worldly minded, living with her whole heart, as well as body, among her progeny which now number 145 and will soon reach 150. Nevertheless, she lived alone by herself a little apart from the others, having her little garden and other conveniences with which she helped herself.

Children:

Sara, born at Fort Orange, June 9, 1625, the first white child to be born in New Netherlands, died about 1685; married (first) Hanse Hansen Bergen; (second) Teunis Cysberts Bogart.

Marritje, born March 11 {16}, 1627. {married Michael Paulus Vandervoort}

Jannetje, born August 16, 1629; married, December 21, 1642, Remmet Janzen Van Jeversen.

Judith, born July 15 {5}, 1635; married Peter Pietersen Van Nest.

Jan, born August 28, 1637, died January 25, 1663; married April 16 or 26, 1660, Maria Fredericks of the Hague; was a deacon of the Dutch Reformed Church of Brooklyn.

Jacob, born May 28, 1639, killed by the Indians.

Catalyntje, born March 28, 1641; married August 16, 1664, Jeremias Jansen Van Westerhaut.

Jeremias, born June 27, 1643; married Anna, daughter of Teunis Nyssen or Denyse; occupied the ancestral home at the Wallabout; schepen of Brooklyn in 1673 and 1674; justice of the peace in 1689 and 1690.

Annitie, born February 8, 1646, married (first), May 14, 1663, Martin Ryerse, from Amsterdam; (second), January 30, 1692 Fransz Joort. {Joost France}

Elizabeth, born March 26, 1648; married Dierck Cornelisen Hooglandt.

Daniel, born December 29, 1650, baptized at the Dutch Reformed Church, January 1, 1651, died in Brooklyn, December 26, 1725; married (first) Sarah Clock; (second) Tryntie Alberts.

Wilfred Jordan, Colonial and Revolutionary Families of Pennsylvania, Lewis Historical Publishing Co., New York, 1942, pp. 199, 200; Coat of Arms facing p. 198.

Henry A. Stoutenburgh, A Documentary History of the Dutch Congregation of Oyster Bay, Queens Co., Island of Nassau. (Now Long Island), 1902, pp. 444-6. {source of additional data in brackets. Also has Catelyn Trico's deposition of her arrival in 1623 on the ship, "Unity," settlements, relocations, and dealings with the Indians described as, "all quiet as lambs." }

--------------------

more on ancestors and descendants at http://pasttracker.com/gentree/surnames.php?tree=Burns-McKee -------------------- Settled 1624.His daughter Sarah de Rapalje was the first white child born at Fort Orange.From the Dutch Settlers Society of Albany.

amily Record of the Rapelje


Which Shows the Date of Birth of the First Female Born in New York

 Date Article Posted 03/15/2007

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The ship New Netherland, which brought to the New World the first colony of families, arrived at the bay of the Hudson river in the year 1623. The Colonists commenced at once to erect cabins for their temporary accommodation on the southerly point of Manhattan island, their cattle being turned out upon the island in the harbor now known as Governor's Island.

Among these colonists were Joris Jansen de Rapelje, and the young woman who was then, or soon after became, his wife, a young couple, whose first child was born in June, 1625. This child is alluded to in the public records, at a period when she had herself become a mother, and a favor was granted her of a public nature, one of the inducements to which was that she was "the first-born Christian daughter" in the colony of New Netherlands.

Under these circumstances the family record of the Rapelje's is of peculiar interest; and, fortunately, it has been preserved in perfect form during the intervening centuries. We have copied the Dutch original, and also given a translation.

DE NAMEN ENDE GESTAGT REGISTER VAN DE KINDEREN VAN JORIS JANSE DE RAPPELJE EN CATALYNE ZIN VROW.

1625, Den 9 Juny, is Geboren den Erste Dogter van Joris Janse De Rappelje, genamt SARA.

1627, Den 11 Maert, is Geboren den twede Dogter, genamt MARRATIS.

1629, Den 18 Agustis, is Geboren den drieden Dogter, genamt JANNETIE.

1635, Den 5 July, is Geboren de vierde Dogter, genamt JUDICK.

1637, Den 28 Agustis, is Geboren de Erste zoon, genamt JAN.

1639, Den 28 May, is Geboren de twede zoon, genamt JACOB.

1641, Den 28 Maert,is Geboren the 5de Dogter, genamt CATALYNA.

1643, Den 27 Juny, is Geboren de 3de zoon, genamt JERONIMUS.

1646, Den 8 February, is Geboren de 6de Dogter, genamt ANNETIE.

1648, Den 28, Maert, is Geboren de 7de Dogter, genamt ELIZABET.

1650, Den 29 December, is Geboren de 4de zoon, genamt DANIEL.

SARA Troude met Hans Hanse Bergen__in haer 2de Man Teunis Gisbert Bogart.

MARRETIE met Machiel Van de Voort.

JANNETIE met Rem Remse Van de Beeck.

JAN met Maria maer is gestorven zonder Erfgenaem.

JACOB RAPPELJE is omgebrogt by Hidens.

CATALYNA met Jeremias Westerhout zonder Erfgenaem gestorven.

JERONIMUS met Annitie, Dogter van Teunis Denise.

ANNETIE met Marta Ryerse.

ELISEBET met Dirrick Hogalant.

DANIEL DE RAPPELJE met Sara Klock.

Translation

THE NAMES AND FAMILY REGISTER OF THE CHILDREN OF GEORGE JANSEN DE RAPPELJE, AND CATALINE, HIS WIFE.

1625, the 9th of June, is born the first daughter of George Jansen de Rapelje, named SARA.

1627, the 11th of March, is born the second daughter, named MARRATIS.

1629, the 18th of August, is born the third daughter, named JANNETIE.

1635, the 5th of July, is born the fourth daughter, named JUDICK.

1637, the 28th of August, is born the first son, named JAN.

1639, the 28th of May, is born the second son, named JACOB.

1641, the 28th of March, is born the fifth daughter, named CATALYNA.

1643, the 27th of June, is born the third son, named JERONIMUS.

1646, the 8th of February, is born the sixth daughter, named ANNETIE.

1648, the 28th of March, is born the seventh daughter, named ELIZABETH.

1650, the 29th of December, is born the fourth son, named DANIEL.

SARA married with Hans Hanse Bergen, and her second husband Teunis Gisbert Bogart.

MARRETIE with Machiel Vandervoort.

JANNETIE with Rem Remse Vanderbeeck.

JUDICK with Pieter Van Niest.

JAN with Maria, but died without heirs.

JACOB RAPPELJE.

CATALYNA with Jeremias Westerhout, died without heirs.

JERONIMUS with Annetie,daughter of Teunis Denise.

ANNETIE with Marta Ryerse.

ELISEBET with Dirrick Hogalant.

Daniel De Rappelje with Sara Klock.

Source: Shannon's Manual 1869

JUDICK met Pieter Van Niest.

The Rapelje Family

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New Yorkers since 1624, the Rapeljes are on a mission to keep their history alive.

The name of the baby was Sarah.

She was born on June 9, 1625, in a log settlement called Ft. Orange, alongside the river named after Henry Hudson. Her birth was a momentous event -- she was the first baby born in the fort, and the first addition to a tiny Dutch community that went by the ambitious name of New Netherland.

Her parents were Joris Jansen de Rapelje and Catalyntje Trico. The year before, the couple had sailed across the Atlantic Ocean from the Netherlands on board a ship called the Eendracht -- the Unity. After arriving in a great harbor, they had slowly tacked north up the river more than 130 miles before dropping anchor at the site of the fort.

Related links

   *
     Rapelje Family History
   *
     The Colonial Collision

There, with only a handful of settlers to keep her company, surrounded by an unimaginably vast wilderness inhabited by thousands of Indians, Sarah was born.

Years later, when she lived on a farm on Long Island, she was hailed as the first European child born in the colony that would become New York State. She was given a land grant by Dutch authorities in honor of her place in the colony's history.

"I'm sure she knew all her life she was special," said Peter Rapelje (pronounced Rap-el-YAY), a 12th generation descendant of Sarah's. "The Unity was the first ship of Dutch settlers to arrive. There were ships before, but they were for explorers and fur traders. Now, families were coming over. Joris and Catalyntje had gotten married just before they left the Netherlands. In the beginning, they may have had to stay on the ship while Ft. Orange was being built."

IN TERMS of European settlement, the Rapeljes are the first family of New York. A retired Grumman engineer, 64-year-old Peter Rapelje lives in Glen Cove and is the keeper of a trove of family records dating to colonial days that chart the family's history. These records show that within a year of her birth, Sarah moved with her family to a log fort at the southern tip of Manhattan island and, shortly after, to a farm across the harbor on Long Island. This meant that the Rapeljes were in the first group of whites to live on Manhattan, and in the first group to buy land from the Indians and move to the settlement that would be called Brooklyn.

Not only are the Rapeljes one of the very first families of Long Island, they are one of Brooklyn's last farm families. Hundreds of family records, plus a collection of glass plate negatives taken in the 1890s by Peter Rapelje's grandfather, an engineer and amateur photographer, document the last days of the family's farm in Brooklyn.

"The photographs show the farmhouse, and the barns, and it all looks very rural," Rapelje said. "Yet in some of the pictures you can see tenements and buildings in the background as well as the arrival of the first subway line. The family farm shrank until there was little left of what it had been. The house and the last section were finally sold in 1925 and immediately built on."

From Sarah's birth at Ft. Orange, to the family's purchase of farmland on Long Island in the 1630s, to her brother Jacob's death at the hands of Indians on Manhattan island during the genocidal Kieft War, through the American Revolution when a Rapelje was taken prisoner by the British, to Peter Rapelje's work at Grumman during the glory years of the moon landing -- the generations of the family serve as mileposts in the long road of our history.

AND THEY HAVE preserved that history in perhaps the most extensive family archives ever kept by a Long Island family. They have original documents -- from land deeds and other transactions, some of which are written in Dutch, to a record providing for the financial security of a slave named "Dian," to a paper signed by a British general pardoning a Rapelje who had been taken prisoner in the Revolution.

Add to this document collection the more than 1,000 glass plate negatives of photographs taken by the current Peter's grandfather, also named Peter, of family members, the Brooklyn farm, and Rapelje homesites across Brooklyn -- photographs that document a people living in a place that was, in the most complete sense, about to be changed forever. And not a trace of it left to remind us that they were ever there. For that reason alone, the photographs are priceless.

"I guess everything was passed along and ended up with my mother and father," Peter Rapelje said of the photographs and documents. His mother, Anna, who is 95 and lives with her son and his wife, Eleanor, kept the documents plus other records that relate to her family's Dutch history. Her mother was a Rapelje, so she is also a descendant of Sarah.

"I think the family's history was always seen as special and we wanted to keep it and pass it along," Anna Rapelje said one recent afternoon. Her memory is sharp, and her eyes flash with pride when she talks about the family's history. She was born on a farm near Jamaica Bay in Brooklyn not far from the Rapelje farm; her family's land was sold in the 1920s, too, and quickly buried under concrete and asphalt, its history obliterated.

"ALL THE farmhouses, the beautiful barns, everything," she said. "Nothing was saved." She speaks in a soft voice about her grandmother's farmhouse, showing a visitor a grainy picture of it that she has had since her childhood -- it serves as a monument to a time and place that survives in Anna's heart. "I loved that house."

Today, Peter Rapelje's grandchildren are the 14th generation of Sarah's descendants. And they know it. The Glen Cove home is a museum to Rapelje history. Speaking with Peter, his wife, and with his mother makes it clear that the family today is enriched by knowing their history. It grounds them to Long Island in a way that nothing else can. It informs their lives.

The family story begins in France.

In the mid-16th Century, Protestants in France -- they were called Huguenots -- were persecuted by the government and the Catholic Church. French history records massacres of Huguenots, who were seen as traitors to their country and faith. They fled into Belgium, where there existed another Protestant community called the Walloons, who were French-speaking Belgians.

By the early 1600s, as word spread across Europe that explorers had discovered a new world on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, people seeking religious freedom were among the first to go. In England, it would be the Puritans; in the Netherlands, it would be Walloons and Huguenots. They were joined by business interests wanting to trade with the Indians.

EXPLORERS SUCH AS Henry Hudson, who was British, and Adrian Block, who was Dutch, discovered and then mapped out the waters around Manhattan Island and Long Island. They learned what the Algonquian Indians had known for thousands of years -- that the region was rich in farmland, forests and animal life. So by the early 1620s, small groups of families began to sail to the area, which stretched from New Jersey to upstate New York, that the Dutch called New Netherland. (The English, after seizing the region from the Dutch, referred to the land as New Netherlands, and this plural version has stuck for generations.)

The first group in the Netherlands to venture to the New World were the passengers aboard the Unity. They included a Dutchman named Joris Jansen de Rapelje, the 19-year-old son of a renowned painter named Abraham, and Joris' wife, Catalyntje, 18, who was French. They married on Jan. 21, 1624, and four days later embarked on the long voyage across the ocean. On board were about a dozen families, plus 30 unaccompanied men.

The Unity arrived at the foot of the Hudson River, next to the wooded, rocky island, and slowly tacked north. More than 130 miles up the river, the Unity -- or perhaps a smaller ship they had transferred to -- dropped anchor at the site of Ft. Orange, near present-day Albany. The fort was little more than a log settlement offering minimal protection from the weather and the Indians. There, in a dirt-floored room inside the stockaded fort, Sarah de Rapelje was born on June 9, 1625. That year, the only other Europeans along the East Coast were English settlers in Virginia and at the Plymouth Colony in Massachusetts.

WAS SARAH the first European baby born in what is now New York State? Yes, according to the Dutch records. Specifically, Volume III of the 19th Century Documentary History of New York, which states that her mother was the "first white woman" to live in what is today Albany. When Sarah's mother was older and living on Long Island, one document referred to her as "the mother of New York."

Related links

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     Rapelje Family History
   *
     The Colonial Collision

"The Rapelje baby is regarded as the first," said Charles Gehring, director of the Albany-based New Netherland Project, a private effort to document New York's Dutch history.

There are accounts of a boy named Jean Vinje -- also a Huguenot child -- being born on Manhattan Island in 1614, but there are no documents to support it. That year also coincides with the year Adrian Block and his men were stranded on the island building a ship to replace the Tiger, which had burned to the waterline. There are no accounts anywhere that there were other Europeans on the island that winter; documents kept by the Holland Society of America, a history and genealogical society, also suggest that the Vinje family arrived in the New World at roughly the same time as the Rapeljes did.

By 1626, a year after Sarah's birth, Dutch authorities relocated the families at Ft. Orange to Ft. Amsterdam at the southern end of Manhattan Island. There, roads were being laid out, farms established, houses, a church and a large storage facility built. The Rapeljes built a house near the East River, and were there during the Kieft War (1643-45), which began when the Dutch governor, Willem Kieft, attacked nearby Delaware-speaking Indian villages. Thousands of Indians were killed, as well as a number of Dutch settlers. One was Sarah's brother, Jacob, who was born in 1639 and was killed; probably in 1643.

IN THE mid-1630s, about a decade before the start of the Kieft War, the Rapeljes exchanged trade goods with the Canarsie Indians for 335 acres on Long Island, at a place called Wallabout Bay, which was near the present-day site of the Brooklyn Navy Yard. A 19th-Century account says their house was "the first house on Long Island, and inhabited by Joris Jansen de Rapelje ... [the father of] Sarah, the first white child of European parentage born in the State."

The Rapeljes were now Long Island farmers; they would stay Long Island farmers until the early 20th Century.

By the time the family moved to Long Island, there were 10 children. Sarah, the oldest, married first, in 1639, to a Norwegian named Hans Bergen. It is this line that Anna Rapelje, Peter's 95-year-old mother, descends from. Early land records show that, in honor of Sarah's place in the colony's history, the Dutch government gave her a farm of her own near her parents.

By the year of Sarah's death, in 1685, there were Rapeljes (often spelled Rapalje, and sometimes Rapaljie) spread across Brooklyn. Most were farmers -- such as her brother, Daniel -- while others were small-businessmen. Their farms were in Flatlands and in New Lots -- an area just east of Flatlands -- and there were other Rapelje homes near present-day La Guardia Airport. A particularly magnificent Rapelje home stood on a high hill overlooking the East River in Hell Gate, now Astoria.

By the time of the revolution, the family -- like so many Long Island families -- was split between loyalty to England and support for the rebellion. One Rapelje was taken prisoner and later pardoned by British Gen. William Howe; Peter Rapelje has the paperwork to prove it. Another family member served in the War of 1812. One member, Maria Lott, provided in her will for the support of a slave named "Dian."

THE DOCUMENT, dated May 1, 1802, did not free her, but allowed her to live with the family member of her choice -- "in consideration of a particular regard I have for my negro woman slave named Dian on account of her faithful service" -- and set aside money for her "support and maintenance" until her death.

Few chapters of Rapelje family history are more compelling than the one written by Peter Rapelje, the grandfather of the current Peter, who was born in 1873 on the family farm in New Lots, 10 miles from Joris' first land purchase on Long Island. This family had not wandered far from where they began, a testament to their attachment to a place that had sustained them for so long.

This Peter broke from the generations of farmers and earned an engineering degree from Brooklyn Polytechnical Institute. He worked on the first subway tunnel that connected Manhattan to Brooklyn -- the very tunnel that brought the shift in population that would later erase his farm from the map. His photographs of that tunnel fill one of the Rapelje family's albums.

"When I was a child," Anna Rapelje recalled, "there were farms all the way to Jamaica Bay. I remember them planting celery and carrots. I remember them washing the celery in a great big tub in our barn."

Her family's farm was a short distance from Peter Rapelje's. The families knew each other, worshiped in the same Dutch Reformed Church. It was no surprise when Anna married Peter's son, Jacob. The remnants of the Dutch community enriched Brooklyn, even more so because they had the quality of something that was fading away.

Anna showed a visitor a turn-of-the-century photograph of her grandmother's elegant farmhouse, soon to be bulldozed and replaced with cinder-block buildings and busy streets. Anna can remember every corner of it, the views from the windows.

BOTH FAMILY'S farmhouses -- and scores of other farm buildings and houses spread across the region, from New Lots in Brooklyn to Hell Gate on the East River -- were torn down to make way for gasoline refineries, apartment buildings, new highways and countless businesses.

But before they were, Peter Rapelje the engineer and amateur photographer traveled all over taking pictures -- thousands of pictures.

"The story is that he walked all over to take the pictures," said Eleanor Rapelje. "Peter was very upset about what was happening. My Peter's aunt said her father believed they were tearing down history. Taking these photographs was his way of preserving it."

In 1941 and 1948, grandfather Peter also wrote two long accounts of his childhood, remembering how rooms were laid out in the family's farmhouse -- "Grandma always kept her flowers in the northwest corner of the northwest room" -- and recalling the sights and smells of his childhood. "In the evenings my grandfather used to sit in the sitting room on the left side of the fireboard with his chair tipped back against the mantel. The rest of the family would gather round the center table on which stood the kerosene lamp for reading."

Grandfather Peter was the family's historian, preserving the legacy that began on June 9, 1625, with the birth of Sarah de Rapelje.

He passed it on to his son, Jacob, who when he married Anna also acted as the family's historian. Anna later divided up the family's collection of rare documents between two sons, Harry and Peter. When the Peter of today retired from Grumman -- he worked on the Apollo 11 moon landing -- he began to pore over the records, constructing genealogical charts that connect him all the way back to Sarah.

"With my grandchildren, it's 14 generations," Peter said. "So someone in their generation will have to take care of the legacy."

-------------------- Joris Jansen de Rapelje, the 19-year-old son of a renowned Dutch painter, embarked for this country on Jan. 25, 1624 n 380 years ago on Sunday. He came with his French wife of four days, Catalyntje, and about a dozen families.

Rapelje, like many early settlers, came to North America seeking religious freedom. He was a Huguenot, a French protestant sect that had been persecuted by the Catholic church. He and the others sailing aboard the Unity dropped anchor about 130 miles up the Hudson River at Fort Orange, near present-day Albany.

At this time, there were three European settlements in North America: the Plymouth colony in Massachusetts, the Jamestown colony in Virginia, both English, and the Dutch one in Fort Orange. There were barely enough European settlers to fill the seats on the La Crosse County Board.

A founder of Fort Orange in 1623, the first permanent settler in New Netherland. Removed to New Amsterdam in 1626, & had a house & lot on Pearl Street just outside the fort, confirmed to him by deed March 13, 1647, where he kept a tavern. Had 335 acres at Wallabout Long Island purchased with "some merchandise" from the Indians June 16, 1637, & confirmed by deed from Governor Kieft June 17, 1643. This famous Rapalje farm was called "Rinnegackonck" because it was at a stream named such by the indians.

One of the famous Board of Twelve Men Aug. 29 1641-Feb. 18, 1642. Confered with Governor Kieft to suggest means to punish the Indians for a murder they had committed. He was also Schepen or Magistrate of Breuckelen 1656 to 1660. {the following may be in error as to the place of marriage. ~ ed. note Was there a Church in New Amsterdam then?m Does the writer mean (rather) Amsterdam in the Netherlands?} Bans were posted in the New Amsterdam Dutch Reformed Church Jan. 13, 1624 for a marriage between Joris "from Valenciennes, boart-worker", age 19 residing on 't Vaelepadt & Catherine Trico from paris {Pris?} in Walslant accompanied by Mary Flengh her sister riesiding in the Flask age 18 years. (boartworker is weaver of certain kind of cloth) After their marriage, Joris & Catalyntje remained in Albany, the center of New Netherlands fur trade. In 1626 they moved to New Amsterdam & remained for 22 years in a house on the north side of the present Pearl street, abutting Fort Orange. Joris was an innkeeper, farmer & seaman in during his 22 years in Albany {but he didn't spend 22 years in Albany }. He was called "chief boatswain" in Colonial records. His name appears as late as March 16, 1648 on records of persons who kept taverns or taphouses. Up until 1656, he figures frequently in court records of numerous suits.

About 1655, they removed to Long Island to Wallabout Cove ("Rinnegacknock")

the following is from Chris Eschbaugh on Rootsweb:

The progenitor of the de Rapelji family was Joris Jansen de Rapelji who immigrated from Rochelle, France when a young man. The ship on which he sailed (The Unity or The New Netherlands) was the first sent out by the West Indies Company in the year 1625. There were eighteen families on board.

Catalina Trico (or Tricault) daughter of George Trico who sailed on the same ship was born in Paris, France in 1605 {doubftful, as the Tricos were from Valenciennes (see Catherine's baptismal record including sister Mary, on her profile} . While on the ship their acquaintance and romance began. They were married on their arrival in America at Albany, New York. They settled in Beaverwyck, New York. Indians frequently came into the settlement to make agreements and trade with the commander of the colony.

{ed note... It would be fanciful to think that an unattached woman would travel to Niew Netherland on her own}

Joris and Catalina became the parents of the first white child to be born in the Franch colony. Her name was Sarah de Rapelji. She was born in 1626, at Fort Orange, now Albany, New York. She later became the wife of Frederick Bodine. Joris and Catalina also became the parents of Judith who was born in New Amsterdam in 1635. She later married the Dutch immigrant Pieter Peitersen Van Nest.

Joris received title to land in the vicinity of Weggle Bogth (or Walleboght and late moved to Breukland (Brooklyn) where he was appointed Magistrate at Breukeland on April 13, 1855.

The ancestry of Joris has been traced to Casper de Rapelji (or Rapella) who was in France at Challon Sur Lovi in the year 1605. He signalized himself during the reign of Francis The First and Henry the Second (Coat of Arms).

In the year 1680 the aged Catalina Trico de Rapelji lived where the United States Navy yard is now located in Brooklyn. Joris Jansen de Rapelje (or Rapalje) came from Rochelle, France in the ship "New Netherlands. This was the first ship sent out by the West India Company in the year 1625, there were other families aboard.

Catalina Trico (Tricault), the daughter of George {? : Baptismal records seem to indicate that his name was "Pier" } Trico who sailed on the same ship, was born in Pris, Holland, now Belgium, While on the ship their acquaintance deepened and a romance began. They were married upon their arrival at Albany, New York and settled in Beaverwyck, New York.

Joris and Catalina became the parents of the first white child to be born in the French Colony. Her name was Sarah deRapelji, she was born at Fort Orange, now Albany, New York.

Joris received title to the land in the vicinity of Weggle Bogth and late moved to Breuckeland (Brooklyn), where he was appointed Magistrate of Breuckeland April 13, 1655.

The ancestry of Joris Jansen de Rapelji has been traced to Gasper de Rapelji (or Rapelji) who was in France at Chahllon Sur Lovi in the year 1505. He Signalized himself during the reign of Francis 1st and Henry 2nd ( Coat of Arms).

Arms of Joris Jansen Rapalje.

ARMS- Azure, three bars or.

CREST- Issuing from a ducal coronet or, on a high hat of dignity azure, three bars of the first. The hat surmounted with six ostrich feathers or and azure.

MOTTO- Willing obedience and serenity of mind.

(Crozier: "General Armory.")

"Joris Janssen Rapalje came to New Netherlands in 1623 ("American Families of Historic Lineage" says about 1632 [a typo?]) on the ship "Unity," which was the first vessel to bring agricultural colonists to the Hudson Valley. For three years, from 1623 to 1626, he resided at Fort Orange, now Albany, but at the end of that time he removed to New Amsterdam, which was becoming a center for persecuted Huguenots and Walloons. He located on what is now Pearl Street and was residing there when his deed to the property was confirmed March 13, 1647. He had already purchased from the Indians, on June 16, 1637, a farm containing one hundred and sixty morgens or three hundred and thirty-five acres. The Indians called it Rennagaconck, while the Dutch called it Wale bocht. It was located where the present United States Marine Hospital in Brooklyn stands and also included the land between Nostrand and Grand avenues. He may have resided there for a time and been obliged to return to the city on account of Indian troubles. In 1641 Joris Rapalje was elected member of a board of twelve men to consult with Governor Kieft on account of the dangerous situation the confronting the Colony on account of unrest among the Indians. This was the beginning of representative government in the Dutch portions of America, and the board availed itself of the opportunity to strengthen such institutions by an attempt to limit the arbitrary power of the Governor, for which they wished to substitute a more democratic system. According to their plan four of their number should become members of the Permanent Council. The representative body was, however, abolished the following year. June 22, 1654, Joris Rapalje sold his property on Pearl Street to Hendrick Hendrickson and removed to his farm at Wale bocht, where he lived the rest of his life. In 1655, 1656, 1657, 1660, and 1662 he was a magistrate in Brooklyn. He apparently died about the time of the close of the Dutch administration, as his name disappears from the records of the time.

Joris Janssen Rapalje married Catalyntje Trico, who was born in 1605 {in Paris} and died September 11, 1689. She was a daughter of Joris Trico, of Paris, France, and his wife Michele Sauvagie. After the death of her husband, Catalyntje continued to reside at Wale bocht. She was seventy-four years of age at the time Jasper Dankers and Peter Sluyter, the Labodists, visited her there and described her in their journals as follows:

M. de la Grange came with wife to invite me to accompany them in their boat to the Wale bocht, a place situated on Long Island almost an hour's distance below the city, directly opposite Correlaerr hoeck from whence, I had several times observed the place which appeared to me quite pleasant-- she is worldly minded, living with her whole heart, as well as body, among her progeny which now number 145 and will soon reach 150. Nevertheless, she lived alone by herself a little apart from the others, having her little garden and other conveniences with which she helped herself.

______________________________________________________________________________________

The ship New Netherland, which brought to the New World the first colony of families, arrived at the bay of the Hudson river in the year 1623. The Colonists commenced at once to erect cabins for their temporary accommodation on the southerly point of Manhattan island, their cattle being turned out upon the island in the harbor now known as Governor's Island.

Among these colonists were Joris Jansen de Rapelje, and the young woman who was then, or soon after became, his wife, a young couple, whose first child was born in June, 1625. This child is alluded to in the public records, at a period when she had herself become a mother, and a favor was granted her of a public nature, one of the inducements to which was that she was "the first-born Christian daughter" in the colony of New Netherlands.

New Yorkers since 1624, the Rapeljes are on a mission to keep their history alive.

The name of the baby was Sarah.

She was born on June 9, 1625, in a log settlement called Ft. Orange, alongside the river named after Henry Hudson. Her birth was a momentous event -- she was the first baby born in the fort, and the first addition to a tiny Dutch community that went by the ambitious name of New Netherland.

Her parents were Joris Jansen de Rapelje and Catalyntje Trico. The year before, the couple had sailed across the Atlantic Ocean from the Netherlands on board a ship called the Eendracht -- the Unity. After arriving in a great harbor, they had slowly tacked north up the river more than 130 miles before dropping anchor at the site of the fort.

There, with only a handful of settlers to keep her company, surrounded by an unimaginably vast wilderness inhabited by thousands of Indians, Sarah was born.

Years later, when she lived on a farm on Long Island, she was hailed as the first European child born in the colony that would become New York State. She was given a land grant by Dutch authorities in honor of her place in the colony's history.

"I'm sure she knew all her life she was special," said Peter Rapelje (pronounced Rap-el-YAY), a 12th generation descendant of Sarah's. "The Unity was the first ship of Dutch settlers to arrive. There were ships before, but they were for explorers and fur traders. Now, families were coming over. Joris and Catalyntje had gotten married just before they left the Netherlands. In the beginning, they may have had to stay on the ship while Ft. Orange was being built."

IN TERMS of European settlement, the Rapeljes are the first family of New York. A retired Grumman engineer, 64-year-old Peter Rapelje lives in Glen Cove and is the keeper of a trove of family records dating to colonial days that chart the family's history. These records show that within a year of her birth, Sarah moved with her family to a log fort at the southern tip of Manhattan island and, shortly after, to a farm across the harbor on Long Island. This meant that the Rapeljes were in the first group of whites to live on Manhattan, and in the first group to buy land from the Indians and move to the settlement that would be called Brooklyn.

Not only are the Rapeljes one of the very first families of Long Island, they are one of Brooklyn's last farm families. Hundreds of family records, plus a collection of glass plate negatives taken in the 1890s by Peter Rapelje's grandfather, an engineer and amateur photographer, document the last days of the family's farm in Brooklyn.

"The photographs show the farmhouse, and the barns, and it all looks very rural," Rapelje said. "Yet in some of the pictures you can see tenements and buildings in the background as well as the arrival of the first subway line. The family farm shrank until there was little left of what it had been. The house and the last section were finally sold in 1925 and immediately built on."

From Sarah's birth at Ft. Orange, to the family's purchase of farmland on Long Island in the 1630s, to her brother Jacob's death at the hands of Indians on Manhattan island during the genocidal Kieft War,through the American Revolution when a Rapelje was taken prisoner by the British, to Peter Rapelje's work at Grumman during the glory years of the moon landing -- the generations of the family serve as mileposts in the long road of our history.

AND THEY HAVE preserved that history in perhaps the most extensive family archives ever kept by a Long Island family. They have original documents -- from land deeds and other transactions, some of which are written in Dutch, to a record providing for the financial security of a slave named "Dian," to a paper signed by a British general pardoning a Rapelje who had been taken prisoner in the Revolution.

Add to this document collection the more than 1,000 glass plate negatives of photographs taken by the current Peter's grandfather, also named Peter, of family members, the Brooklyn farm, and Rapelje homesites across Brooklyn -- photographs that document a people living in a place that was, in the most complete sense, about to be changed forever. And not a trace of it left to remind us that they were ever there. For that reason alone, the photographs are priceless.

"I guess everything was passed along and ended up with my mother and father," Peter Rapelje said of the photographs and documents. His mother, Anna, who is 95 and lives with her son and his wife, Eleanor, kept the documents plus other records that relate to her family's Dutch history. Her mother was a Rapelje, so she is also a descendant of Sarah.

"I think the family's history was always seen as special and we wanted to keep it and pass it along," Anna Rapelje said one recent afternoon. Her memory is sharp, and her eyes flash with pride when she talks about the family's history. She was born on a farm near Jamaica Bay in Brooklyn not far from the Rapelje farm; her family's land was sold in the 1920s, too, and quickly buried under concrete and asphalt, its history obliterated.

"ALL THE farmhouses, the beautiful barns, everything," she said. "Nothing was saved." She speaks in a soft voice about her grandmother's farmhouse, showing a visitor a grainy picture of it that she has had since her childhood -- it serves as a monument to a time and place that survives in Anna's heart. "I loved that house."

Today, Peter Rapelje's grandchildren are the 14th generation of Sarah's descendants. And they know it. The Glen Cove home is a museum to Rapelje history. Speaking with Peter, his wife, and with his mother makes it clear that the family today is enriched by knowing their history. It grounds them to Long Island in a way that nothing else can. It informs their lives.

The family story begins in France.

In the mid-16th Century, Protestants in France -- they were called Huguenots -- were persecuted by the government and the Catholic Church. French history records massacres of Huguenots, who were seen as traitors to their country and faith. They fled into Belgium, where there existed another Protestant community called the Walloons, who were French-speaking Belgians.

By the early 1600s, as word spread across Europe that explorers had discovered a new world on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, people seeking religious freedom were among the first to go. In England, it would be the Puritans; in the Netherlands, it would be Walloons and Huguenots. They were joined by business interests wanting to trade with the Indians.

EXPLORERS SUCH AS Henry Hudson, who was British, and Adrian Block, who was Dutch, discovered and then mapped out the waters around Manhattan Island and Long Island. They learned what the Algonquian Indians had known for thousands of years -- that the region was rich in farmland, forests and animal life. So by the early 1620s, small groups of families began to sail to the area, which stretched from New Jersey to upstate New York, that the Dutch called New Netherland. (The English, after seizing the region from the Dutch, referred to the land as New Netherlands, and this plural version has stuck for generations.)

The first group in the Netherlands to venture to the New World were the passengers aboard the Unity. They included a Dutchman named Joris Jansen de Rapelje, the 19-year-old son of a renowned painter named Abraham, and Joris' wife, Catalyntje, 18, who was French. They married on Jan. 21, 1624, and four days later embarked on the long voyage across the ocean. On board were about a dozen families, plus 30 unaccompanied men.

The Unity arrived at the foot of the Hudson River, next to the wooded, rocky island, and slowly tacked north. More than 130 miles up the river, the Unity -- or perhaps a smaller ship they had transferred to -- dropped anchor at the site of Ft. Orange, near present-day Albany. The fort was little more than a log settlement offering minimal protection from the weather and the Indians. There, in a dirt-floored room inside the stockaded fort, Sarah de Rapelje was born on June 9, 1625. That year, the only other Europeans along the East Coast were English settlers in Virginia and at the Plymouth Colony in Massachusetts.

WAS SARAH the first European baby born in what is now New York State? Yes, according to the Dutch records. Specifically, Volume III of the 19th Century Documentary History of New York, which states that her mother was the "first white woman" to live in what is today Albany. When Sarah's mother was older and living on Long Island, one document referred to her as "the mother of New York."

The Colonial Collision "The Rapelje baby is regarded as the first," said Charles Gehring, director of the Albany-based New Netherland Project, a private effort to document New York's Dutch history.

There are accounts of a boy named Jean Vinje -- also a Huguenot child -- being born on Manhattan Island in 1614, but there are no documents to support it. That year also coincides with the year Adrian Block and his men were stranded on the island building a ship to replace the Tiger, which had burned to the waterline. There are no accounts anywhere that there were other Europeans on the island that winter; documents kept by the Holland Society of America, a history and genealogical society, also suggest that the Vinje family arrived in the New World at roughly the same time as the Rapeljes did.

By 1626, a year after Sarah's birth, Dutch authorities relocated the families at Ft. Orange to Ft. Amsterdam at the southern end of Manhattan Island. There, roads were being laid out, farms established, houses, a church and a large storage facility built. The Rapeljes built a house near the East River, and were there during the Kieft War (1643-45), which began when the Dutch governor, Willem Kieft, attacked nearby Delaware-speaking Indian villages. Thousands of Indians were killed, as well as a number of Dutch settlers. One was Sarah's baby brother, Jacob, who was born in 1639 and was killed, probably in 1643.

IN THE mid-1630s, about a decade before the start of the Kieft War, the Rapeljes exchanged trade goods with the Canarsie Indians for 335 acres on Long Island, at a place called Wallabout Bay, which was near the present-day site of the Brooklyn Navy Yard. A 19th-Century account says their house was "the first house on Long Island, and inhabited by Joris Jansen de Rapelje ... [the father of] Sarah, the first white child of European parentage born in the State."

The Rapeljes were now Long Island farmers; they would stay Long Island farmers until the early 20th Century.

By the time the family moved to Long Island, there were 10 children. Sarah, the oldest, married first, in 1639, to a Norwegian named Hans Bergen. It is this line that Anna Rapelje, Peter's 95-year-old mother, descends from. Early land records show that, in honor of Sarah's place in the colony's history, the Dutch government gave her a farm of her own near her parents.

By the year of Sarah's death, in 1685, there were Rapeljes (often spelled Rapalje, and sometimes Rapaljie) spread across Brooklyn. Most were farmers -- such as her brother, Daniel -- while others were small-businessmen. Their farms were in Flatlands and in New Lots -- an area just east of Flatlands -- and there were other Rapelje homes near present-day La Guardia Airport. A particularly magnificent Rapelje home stood on a high hill overlooking the East River in Hell Gate, now Astoria.

By the time of the revolution, the family -- like so many Long Island families -- was split between loyalty to England and support for the rebellion. One Rapelje was taken prisoner and later pardoned by British Gen. William Howe; Peter Rapelje has the paperwork to prove it. Another family member served in the War of 1812. One member, Maria Lott, provided in her will for the support of a slave named "Dian."

THE DOCUMENT, dated May 1, 1802, did not free her, but allowed her to live with the family member of her choice -- "in consideration of a particular regard I have for my negro woman slave named Dian on account of her faithful service" -- and set aside money for her "support and maintenance" until her death.

Few chapters of Rapelje family history are more compelling than the one written by Peter Rapelje, the grandfather of the current Peter, who was born in 1873 on the family farm in New Lots, 10 miles from Joris' first land purchase on Long Island. This family had not wandered far from where they began, a testament to their attachment to a place that had sustained them for so long.

This Peter broke from the generations of farmers and earned an engineering degree from Brooklyn Polytechnical Institute. He worked on the first subway tunnel that connected Manhattan to Brooklyn -- the very tunnel that brought the shift in population that would later erase his farm from the map. His photographs of that tunnel fill one of the Rapelje family's albums.

"When I was a child," Anna Rapelje recalled, "there were farms all the way to Jamaica Bay. I remember them planting celery and carrots. I remember them washing the celery in a great big tub in our barn."

Her family's farm was a short distance from Peter Rapelje's. The families knew each other, worshiped in the same Dutch Reformed Church. It was no surprise when Anna married Peter's son, Jacob. The remnants of the Dutch community enriched Brooklyn, even more so because they had the quality of something that was fading away.

Anna showed a visitor a turn-of-the-century photograph of her grandmother's elegant farmhouse, soon to be bulldozed and replaced with cinder-block buildings and busy streets. Anna can remember every corner of it, the views from the windows.

BOTH FAMILY'S farmhouses -- and scores of other farm buildings and houses spread across the region, from New Lots in Brooklyn to Hell Gate on the East River -- were torn down to make way for gasoline refineries, apartment buildings, new highways and countless businesses.

But before they were, Peter Rapelje the engineer and amateur photographer traveled all over taking pictures -- thousands of pictures.

"The story is that he walked all over to take the pictures," said Eleanor Rapelje. "Peter was very upset about what was happening. My Peter's aunt said her father believed they were tearing down history. Taking these photographs was his way of preserving it."

In 1941 and 1948, grandfather Peter also wrote two long accounts of his childhood, remembering how rooms were laid out in the family's farmhouse -- "Grandma always kept her flowers in the northwest corner of the northwest room" -- and recalling the sights and smells of his childhood. "In the evenings my grandfather used to sit in the sitting room on the left side of the fireboard with his chair tipped back against the mantel. The rest of the family would gather round the center table on which stood the kerosene lamp for reading."

Grandfather Peter was the family's historian, preserving the legacy that began on June 9, 1625, with the birth of Sarah de Rapelje.

He passed it on to his son, Jacob, who when he married Anna also acted as the family's historian. Anna later divided up the family's collection of rare documents between two sons, Harry and Peter. When the Peter of today retired from Grumman -- he worked on the Apollo 11 moon landing -- he began to pore over the records, constructing genealogical charts that connect him all the way back to Sarah.

"With my grandchildren, it's 14 generations," Peter said. "So someone in their generation will have to take care of the legacy."

-------------------- Joris Rapalje & Catalina Trico were much celebrated as the first family of New Netherland. They had the first child in the colony, and had many descendants by the time Catalina Trico died.

They arrrived at Fort Orange (Albany) in 1624. While they were having their 11 children, they lived at Pearl St, near the fort, and he operated a tavern.

"On the 16th of June, 1637, Rapalie bought a tract of land of the Indians, "Kakapeyno" and "Pewichaas," called "Rinnegakonck," situate "on Long Island, south of the Island of the Manhattans, extending from a certain Kil till into the woods south and eastward to a certain Kripplebush [swamp], to a place where the water runs over the stones." On the 17th of June, 1643, his Indian purchase was patented to him by the governor, and is described as "a piece of land called Rinnegakonck [Waaleboght, or Wallabout Bay], formerly purchased by him of the Indians, as will appear by reference to the transport, lying on Long Island, in the bend of Mereckkawick [Indian name for Brooklyn], east of the land of Jan Monfoort, extending along the said land in a southerly direction, towards and into the woods ..."

For a discussion of the immigration of Walloons see: http://www.geni.com/people/Jessé-DeForest/6000000002979996840?through=6000000002980072230#/tab/overview

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Joris Jansen Rapalje's Timeline

1604
April 28, 1604
Valenciennes, Hainut, Spanish Netherlands
April 28, 1604
Valenciennes, Nord, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France
1624
January 21, 1624
Age 19
Amsterdam, North Holland, Netherlands
1624
Age 19
Fort Orange

the newly married couple came on the first boat of immigrants to New Netherlands

1625
June 9, 1625
Age 21
Fort Orange, New Netherland Colony

"Sarah was considered the first European born in what would become New York" (Island at the Center of the World, Shorto)

1626
1626
Age 21

From Zabriskie

Soon after the harvest in 1626 the Rapaljes' sojourn at Fort Orange terminated when the Company re-settled all eight families there in Manhattan. With their removal from the area, Fort Orange ceased to be a settlement and reverted to its former status of fortified trading post; and so it remained for several years. In 1630 a small number of Rensselaerwyck colonists arrived, some with families. Another group came in 1631; and others followed. For these people the fort provided protection and a source of supply. Long afterward, in 1652, the village of Beverwyck was established encompassing Fort Orange within its boundaries.

The re-location of families downriver was pursuant to the Company decision to establish a center of operations for New Netherland on Manhattan. Selection of this locale over the initially favored Burlington Island in the Delaware River made it necessary to build up the site, called New Amsterdam, and for this purpose Company-obligated colonists were brought together on the southern tip of Manhattan.

1627
March 11, 1627
Age 22
New Amsterdam, New York
1629
August 18, 1629
Age 25
New York, USA
1635
July 5, 1635
Age 31
Fort Orange,Albany,New York,USA
1637
August 28, 1637
Age 33
New Amsterdam, New York