About George Wolsey, Sr.
GEORGE WOOLSEY, Sr. was born about 1584 in a small parish about 30 kilometers northwest of Great Yarmouth, Norfolk County, England. This parish is still known as Kirstead, but then included another neighboring, smaller parish and the two were known as "Langhale-cum-Kirstead". Langhale or Langhall was once a parish church, but that church has long since been destroyed, as well as the early parish registers for both churches. Because these registers were destroyed, there are no baptism, marriage, or death records for this early period.
George Woolsey, Sr. was apprenticed in 1604 to Nicholas Cuttinge, grocer, of Great Yarmouth. George served out his apprenticeship and was enrolled as a FREEMAN of Great Yarmouth in 1611, at which time he took on his younger brother Philip Woolsey, as an apprentice. As George, Sr. approached the end of his apprenticeship and anticipated his gaining his journeyman's entry into the Guild of Grocers in Great Yarmouth, he married FRANCES ROBERTS, possibly of Great Yarmouth. They must of have been married in Langhale-cum-Kirstead as no record of their marriage has been found in Great Yarmouth, probably in the latter part of 1610.
Frances Roberts was born abt 1590, possibly not in Norfolk County, England, as neither she nor her parents have been found in the many records searched of that county.
Children of GEORGE WOOLSEY, SR. and FRANCES ROBERTS:
JOHN WOOLSEY, christened 27 Oct 1611 at St. Nicholas Church, Great Yarmouth. He married in the Dutch Reformed Church in Rotterdam 8 Mar 1637 to Maeijke Fransdaughter. [Was he the John Wolsey who died before 20 May 1692 in Jamaica, Long Island, New York?]
ROBERT WOOLSEY, christened 13 Mar 1613 at St. Nicholas Church.
GEORGE WOOLSEY, christened 15 May 1616 at St. Nicholas Church, our "Immigrant Ancestor"
FRANCES WOOLSEY, born abt 1617, her christening has not been found but she married 20 Jul 1633 in the Reformed Dutch Church in Rotterdam as Francijntje Robberts Wolsey to Abraham Jansz Brouwer, "Single man".
It is possible there were other children, possibly born in Holland.
At this time, the Dutch were leaders in world trade, and George, Sr. took his family to Rotterdam, Holland, sometime before 1623, where in that year, he was called a "tobacconist", indicating an importer and trader. He remained in Rotterdam, in South Holland, until he died sometime during the week of 21 Oct and 28 Oct 1629.
James W. Woolsey, of Richland, Washington, gave the following abstract of a probate administration in which the "last will and testament of Sir Joris Wolsey, English merchant" was mentioned, but Arie Noot, Dutch researcher, could not find the will, and unfortunately, James W. Woolsey did not "document" where he obtained this information.
Mr. Hugo Pietersz an English minister in this town and Johan Sanders, English merchant, both living in this town, by the last will and testament of Sir Joris Wolsey, English merchant living in this town, written by Philips Versins, Notaris with witness, that after his death, in 1629, will take his children which have been handed over by their mother, Franchina Robbechtsdr. They accepted this responsibility 18 Dec 1630.
Sometime after this date Frances Roberts married Robert Hunt, Merchant (probably English). From the Records of the Dutch Reformed Church, Rotterdam, Zuid Holland, Netherland (from Arie Noot), her death is noted:
A coffin of 6 guilders for Fransijntije Woolsij, widow, from of the dreijbreg next to the kamerbewaerder in street."
The dreijbreg or draij brugge as it is spelled out on the city map of 1599 (nr 24) is a bridge that can be lifted to allow ships to pass. (In English a drawbridge.) The meaning of the word kamerbewaarder is not clear. It indicates "room /custodian" but does not explain whether this is referring to the location in the street or to the location within the house where she died, nor what is meant, in this case by that title.
George Wolsey, Sr.'s Timeline
Briston, Suffolk, England
October 27, 1615
Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, England