|Nicknames:||"Georges Rapareillet", "Joris Jansen Rapalje", "Joris de Rapalje", "Joris Jansen de Rapelje", "Joris Jansen de Rapelji"|
|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|
Son of Jean Rapareilliet and Unnamed mother of Georges Rapareilliet
|Occupation:||Borat worker / tavern keeper / chief boatswain / farmer / magistrate|
|Managed by:||R.W. Prinkey|
Matching family tree profiles for Joris Jansen Rapalje
About Georges Rapareilliet
- Joris was born in 1604 in Valenciennes which at the time was town in the province of Hainut in the southern part of the Spanish Netherlands (now in the Nord department of northern France).
- Joris was the youngest child of Jean Rapareilliet but his mother is not named on his baptismal record (normal practice).
- Joris was baptised 28th April 1606 in the church of St Nicolaes in Valenciennes under the name “Georges Rapareilliet”.
- Georges/Joris’ baptismal record lists him as an illegitimate child (this is not the case for his six older siblings), there are several theories to explain this, the strongest of which is that Joris’ mother was not his father’s wife (Elizabet) but rather an unnamed woman with whom his father had an affair.
- Joris’ (step- ?) mother, Elizabet, died when he was nearly two years old and his father died not long after meaning Joris would have grown up in the household of an older sibling or perhaps an aunt or uncle or god-parent.
- Alleged references in colonial documents to a link between Joris and the port city of Rochelle, France have led some genealogists to suggest that Joris had traded as a merchant in Rochelle prior to moving to Amsterdam, however, it seems highly unlikely that a poor nineteen year old Walloon boy might have travelled 700km south to Rochelle to become a merchant before then travelling a further 1,000km north to work as a poor textile manufacturer in Amsterdam.
- An intention to marry, Dutch “ondertrouwregister”, was lodged in Amsterdam 13th January 1624 for a marriage between “Joris Raparlie from Valenciennes, boart worker, age 19 years, residing on the Walenpad, and Catharina Trico from Pris in Wallonsland, accompanied by Mary Flemengh, her sister, riesiding in the Nes, age 18”. (NB: a boart worker is involved in the manufacture of woven cloth from wool).
- On 21st January 1624 they married in the Walloon Church in Amsterdam.
- Only eight days between announcement and marriage is against all socially acceptable norms of 17th century Dutch society and many researchers suspect that the West India Company must have used it’s influence with the Dutch church to ensure that Joris and Catharina could be married before they departed for the colonies.
- The first vessel to bring agricultural colonists to the Hudson Valley was the Eendracht (named for a phrase in the Dutch national motto the ships name is usually translated as “Unity”) refe wiki which sailed from Amsterdam on 25th January 1624, arriving in Hudson Bay spring of the same year.
- The best accounts of the ships’ arrival and subsequent events in the following weeks are Catharina’s own famous depositions of 1680 and 1688. Joris and Catharina settled at Fort Orange (present day Albany, NY) with several other families.
- Previously an armed trading outpost the West India Company wanted permanent settlers to strengthen the validity of their claim to the territory.
- Joris’ first child, Sara, was born at Fort Orange on 9th June 1625.
- Sara claimed in her life time to have been the "the first-born Christian daughter" in the colony of New Netherlands. This is often mis-quoted as the “first-born Christian child”, in either case it is highly possible that neither statement is true, Sebastian Janszen Krol said in a statement to the Amsterdam Consistory, on 14th November 1624 , "that there are pregnant women there [meaning the colonies in America]." As Krol would have departed Fort Orange mid-1624 to be in Amsterdam in November and Sara was not born until mid-1625 the pregnant women referred to cannot have included Sara’s mother.
- All the families at Fort Orange were relocated by the West India Company to the new settlement of New Amsterdam on Manhattan Island soon after the harvest of 1626.
- At first the family probably lived near the East River.
- Later the family built two houses at numbers 17 and 19 Pearl Street (daughter Sara by then was married and living at number 15).
- Joris’ other ten children were born in New Amsterdam and it is likely the family lived on Pearl Street until 22nd June 1654 when Joris sold his property and removed to his farm at Wale bocht, where he lived the rest of his life.
- Colonial records show that Joris worked as trader and tavern keeper as well as being part-owner of a privateer and entering public office and is referred to in one legal document as a "chief boatswain".
- Joris was appointed to the famous Board of Twelve Men between 29th August 1641 and 18th February 1642 to advise Governor Kieft on policy for dealing with the native Indian population.
- Joris bought, on 16th June 1637, a farm containing one hundred and sixty morgens or three hundred and thirty-five acres from the Indians land at the Wallabout (the Dutch called it Wale bocht) in present Brooklyn - the first acreage to be purchased in that part of Long Island, adjacent to the East River. This famous Rapalje farm was called "Rinnegakonck" because it was at a stream named such by the indians.
- On the 17th June 1643, his Indian purchase was patented to him by Governor Kieft, 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 ..."
- In 1655, 1656, 1657, 1660, and 1662 he was a schepen (magistrate) in Breuckelen (Brooklyn).
- Joris died during a meeting of the Dutch Reformed Church of Brooklyn 21st February 1663 and was allegedly the first person to be buried in the cemetery of that church (the church still stands on the corner of Flatbush and Smith Streets in Flatbush, NY).
The Island at the Center of the World, Russell Shorto, Random House, 2005
Amsterdam, Russell Shorto, Random House, 2013
George Olin Zabriskie, "The Founding Families of New Netherland, No. 4 - The Rapalje - Rapelje Family", 1972
Hugh T. Law, "Chapter 7, Ancestors Traced to France: Joris Jansen De Rapalje and Catharine Trico," How To Trace Your Ancestors to Europe, 1987