Very excited about this project (new Amsterdam - territorial development)

Started by Erica Howton on Thursday, June 9, 2011


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6/9/2011 at 1:25 PM

how can I help? I live in NYC a few blocks north of Greenwich village.

6/9/2011 at 2:28 PM

Erica, I'm very interested in the Black population in New Amsterdam. Scholars said there probably are 20,000 graves in early Manhattan (inclduing a little into the British period).

A Dutch ship is said to have brought the first Africans to Jamestown. I'm curious about the shipment of slaves to New Amsterdam. I also heard that many of them were Ashanti/Fanti from Ghana.

6/9/2011 at 8:43 PM

Hello Ken, it's really innteresting what you say. I would never have thought of slaves this early in the settlement of the territory, but I'm indeed coming across small references to black people at that time. I haven't made any particular note of it, but surely will now. I found a reference a few days ago as to the origins of the immigrants around 1646 - and it refers to about 15 nations and 16 languages spoken. If the Ashanti were there, and if they were slaves, I guess they would not be refered to as 'settlers' nor 'immigrants'. When we start to find material on this, I do suggest though that we consider it under 'New Amsterstam - Immigrants', with a special mention to the status of slaves. I'm also starting to see some 'marriages' with natives (Indians), who would probably also deserve a special mention when we find them - not as immigrants but as the original inhabitants, of course. Any reason why you mention 'territorial development', Ken? Do you suspect that some slaves were freed early and may have started their own community (I really don't know enough of this, yet)

6/9/2011 at 8:57 PM

Erica, here's my thinking... Currently, a structure for the New Amsterdam related projects is shaping up. I'm trying to identify the immigrants, and I'm logging them and linking them to profiles. Whilst doing so, I start to see duplicates and confusions as to name spellings and relationships, and I'm cleaning up what I can. The 'end-game' for this would be to have very clear paths for many Americans into European origins. At the same time, I'd like European users to pick it up and provide further help in connecting it to their trees.
I think we're talking about 3-4,000 immigrants to be identified. I'm finding them in record books about the 'Dutch' communities. Another way of finding them is by scanning Geni and adding the names to the 'Immigrants' page. I realize that this quantity of people may be hard to contain on a single project page, but I see no better solution for now. I'm currently logging it in an Excel file in which I adopted a format that I can easily copy into a Geni page. The advantage of the Excel format is that I can sort the names, dates, ships, etc... thus allowing to see patterns.
Perhaps we could have a small team that uses the same format and starts logging the people and information we find?

6/10/2011 at 4:14 AM

I love the overall structure, George. And also the slice and dice by time frame, geography, ships arrival ... But connecting across the pond into European records is the compelling selling story.

You can probably upload an excel file to the project document repository and certainly so if converted to PDF.

I think you should start a blog project to describe how this group of projects develops. I am finding it very creative and can't wait to hit the streets with a camera.

6/10/2011 at 7:56 AM

Yes, George, as the city expanded, people moved beyond the walls and fortified areas (i.e. Wall Street), into farming communities and smaller encampments.

I have found quite a few references to the origins of New York Blacks, the Ashanti being the most popularly mentioned.

6/10/2011 at 7:59 AM

George, please read the Colonial Period portion in this project.


P.S. I think the number of immigrants were higher, probably closer to 10,000 Dutch, and others.

6/10/2011 at 8:00 AM

I agree with you, Erica, I love the structure. George, you are a genius!!

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