Cornelis Jacob Melijn

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Cornelis Jacob Melijn

Also Known As: "Cornelius", "Melyn"
Birthplace: St. Walburg, Antwerp, Belgium
Death: Died in New Haven, Connecticut, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Andries Melyn; Andries Melyn; Marie Ghuedinx Ghuedinx-Botens and Marie Ghuedinx Melyn
Husband of Janneken Andriens Melijn
Father of Cornelia Melijn; Joannes Melyn; Cornelius Melyn, Jr.; Abraham Melyn; Mariken Melijn Hatfield and 5 others
Brother of Johannes 'Jean' Melyn; Susanne Melyn and Anne Melyn
Half brother of Susanne Melyn; Cornelis Melyn; Lambrecht Melyn; Isaac Melyn; Abraham Melyn and 7 others

Occupation: Seemtouwer, Patroon, Dutch Patroon of Staten Island
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Cornelis Jacob Melijn

After several trading voyages between Europe and America, Cornelius Melyn immigrated with his family to America aboard the "Den Byckenboom" ship on August 14,1641. The ship arrived in Nieuw Amsterdam, NY, USA.

He was the "Patroon of Staten Island"

He was born in Antwerp, Belgium - He was a "Patroon" - Look at this website for Known Voyages of Cornelius Melyn

Sources from the web :

The Melyn Family by John Marshall (online at

Cornelis Melyn was an early Dutch settler in New Netherland and Patroon of Staten Island. He was the chairman of the council of eight men, which was a part of early steps toward representative democracy in the Dutch colony.

When Melyn was about 18 years old, the priest of St. Walburga's church issued him a baptismal certificate and a certificate of good conduct. It is possible he left Antwerp, his hometown at this time, for Amsterdam, where he married Janneken Adriaens in 1627. Their marriage certificate lists them both as residing in Amsterdam. By this time, Melyn had changed his occupation, being listed in this certificate as a seemtouwer, a "dresser of the finer and softer leathers".

MELYN, Cornelis, colonist, statesman and author, was born about 1602, and came to New Amsterdam from Antwerp in 1639, accompanied by Joachim Kuyter, another gentleman of education and ability. He returned for his family, and after many adventures and perils from pirates, from shipwreck and the tyranny of corrupt officials, settled on Staten Island, buying lands from the Indians in 1641 and becoming the first patroon by appointment from Holland.

He was twice deprived of his property by colonial governors, and his settlement was twice destroyed by fire and massacre. At a critical period, when president of the "council of eight men," he made peace with the Indians of Long Island, and commenced a vigorous war upon those of the Hudson river. A memorial, forwarded by him to Holland, October, 1644, asking for the recall of Gov. Kiefft, recounts the massacre, the maladministration and decay of the colony, petitions for a system of government like that of the municipalities of Holland, and shows that the Dutch governors wasted their opportunities for empire by making enemies of their Indian neighbors. In 1647 Stuyvesant banished Kuyter for three years and Melyn for seven; in addition the latter was sentenced to forfeit the benefits of the company and to pay a fine of 300 guilders.

On August 17th of that year Kiefft sailed for Holland, carrying with him Melyn and Kuyter, who though the vessel was wrecked on the coast of Wales, escaped to land and found their way to Holland, where the sentences against them were reversed by the states general. In 1650 Melyn returned to New Amsterdam with a mandamus obliging Director Stuyvesant to appear in person or by attorney at the Hague to answer to the charges preferred by Kuyter and himself. Stuyvesant at once renewed his persecutions, confiscating the vessel on which Melyn arrived, with its cargo, and later his property in New Amsterdam, on the east side of Broad street, forcing him to retire to Staten Island and live in a state of siege as it were.

At last he sold his lands to the Dutch India Co. and took the oath of allegiance to the New Haven colony in April, 1657. A perusal of the literature of the Dutch colony shows him to have been an upright, clear-headed patriot of indomitable will and tenacity of purpose. His treatise, Wholesome Advice to the United New Netherland Provinces, translated by Dr. H. C. Murphy (Vol. III., Historical Collections of New York), is esteemed by Prof. Justin Winsor as the production of a statesman and a patriot. A copy of the original work is in the Lenox Library, New York City. He died in 1674, probably in New York, leaving a widow (Jannetjen) and five children, whose descendants are in the families of Conklin, Dickinson, Houston, Kingsbury, Leavenworth and Schellinger, to go no further. One son was carried away prisoner with him and perished at the time of the shipwreck.


Cornelis Melyn, son of Andre and Marie (Gheudinx-Botens) Melyn, of Antwerp, Belgium, and grandson of Lambert Melyn, of the same place, was baptised in the church of St. Walburga, Antwerp, on September 17, 1600, and died, probably in Connecticut, after March, 1662/3. He was a leather-dresser in Amsterdam and came to New Amsterdam, now New York, on the vessel Arms of Norway which sailed for the New Netherlands, after May 12, 1638, for the West India Company. He made many similar voyages, and on reaching home after the second one, applied for the patroonship of Staten Island, which was granted July 3, 1640. While proceeding to his new home on the Angel Gabriel, the vessel was captured by a frigate from Dunkirk, and he lost everything in the venture. To finance a second expedition he sold a half interest in the patroonship to Godert Van Reede, Lord of Nederhurst. With his family and a party of 41 colonists he sailed in the Oaktree and reached New Amsterdam August 14, 1641. They proceeded to the island and began to build homes and cultivate the ground. The settlement suffered from Indian ravages, and in 1643 he removed to Manhattan Island just before an attack, in which the community was destroyed.

Owing to his criticism of the administration of Governor Kieft, Melyn incurred the displeasure of Governor Stuyvesant and with his friend, Kuyter, was banished from the colony. They sailed for Holland on the Princess Amelia, upon which Kieft also sailed. The vessel was wrecked in the Bristol Channel and most of the passengers, including Kieft, were drowned. Melyn and Kuyter were among the few survivors. They appealed to the States General, who sided with them.

Melyn made many more trips to America. His settlement on Staten Island, which had been resumed, was again attacked by the Indians, his son, Cornelis, and twelve or more persons were killed, and the rest taken prisoners, including Melyn himself. They were finally ransomed. He removed to New Haven, where he took the oath of allegiance to England, April 7, 1657. He is last mentioned in New Haven's records in March 1662/3.

Cornelis Melyn married in Amsterdam, Holland, after April 22, 1627, date of the petition for license, Janneken Adriaens.

Children, first 8 baptised in Nieuwe Kirk, Amsterdam, the rest in the Reformed Church, New Amsterdam:

Cornelia Joannes Cornelis Cornelis (again) Abraham Mariken or Mary Isaac Jacob Susanna Merydnlyn [may be the Magdaleen mentioned below] Isaac (again)

Birth: Sep. 17, 1600 Antwerp (Antwerpen), Belgium Death: 1663 New Haven New Haven County Connecticut, USA

Source: New York Historical & Biographical Records. "Cornelis Melyn, Patroon of Staten Island.

One daughter Cornelia and her husband Jacob Schellinger lived on Staten Island with or near Cornelis. Jaob was taken into captivity by the Indians on the oaccasion of the Staten Island Massacre of Sept. 1655. He escaped fom his confinement in New Netherland and fled to New Haven, where Cornelis was living. In 1668 and 1669 he was one of a company at Southampton, Long Island associated for the purpose of whaling along teh cost.

Another son of Cornelis Jacob came to New Netherland with his parents in "The Oak Tree" in 1641. After the Indian massacre in Sept. 1655, in which he was much wounded, but recovered, not without great difficulty, went to New Haven with his parents and took the formal Oath of Fidelity to the English in 1657. Jacob and his brother Isaac accompanied their father to Holland, sailing from New England in 1658, and returned to New Netherland on De Liefde "The Love" arriving 05 March 1660. Jacob and his brothers in law Mathias Hatfield, Humphrey Spinnin and John Winans were among these residents of New Haven who were the original "Associates who founded Elizabeth town, New Jersey. Jacob purchased land in New York City in 1674. About 1700 he bought property in Boston. Susanna's husband John Winans was a weaver. After the death of Susanna, John Winans married about 1693 to Ann Robertson.

Family links:

 Janneken Andriaens Melijn (1600 - 1684)*

 Mariken Melijn Hatfield (1637 - 1694)*
  • Calculated relationship

Burial: Unknown Specifically: Unknown Cemetery

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Cornelis Jacob Melijn's Timeline

September 17, 1600
St. Walburg, Antwerp, Belgium

Cornelis Melyn was born in Antwerp, then a part of the Spanish Netherlands, where he was baptised at St. Walburga's church September 17, 1600.

September 17, 1600
Antwerp, Duchy of Brabant, Spanish Netherlands
September 17, 1600
Antwerp, Belgium
September 17, 1600
Church of Saint Walpurga, Antwerp, Belgium
September 17, 1600
Antwerp, Belgium
September 17, 1600
Antwerp, Belgium
February 27, 1628
Age 27
Amsterdam, Government of Amsterdam, North Holland, The Netherlands