Jan Janszen Manshaer

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Jan Janszen Manshaer

Also Known As: "de Caper", "Wanshaer", "Kipshaven", "van St. Benen", "van Sara", "van St. Cubis;"
Birthplace: Probably Cadzant, Zeeland, Republiek der Zeven Verenigde Nederlanden
Death: Died in New York City, New York County, Province of New York
Immediate Family:

Son of Jan Wanshaer
Husband of Baertje Hendrickse Mayer
Father of Emmetje "Amy" Andrieszen; Abraham Wanshaer; Andries Wanshaer; Jacob Wanshaer; Hendrick Wanshaer and 8 others

Occupation: Sloop captain, Burgher, slaver
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Jan Janszen Manshaer

  • aka: ; Jan Janszen Wanshaer; Jan Manshaer; Jan Kipshaven; Jan Wanshaer van St. Benen; Jan van Sara; Jan Janszen Van St. Cubis; Jan de Caper; Jan Jansen St. Obyn

• one of the 93 who signed the Remonstrance that convinced Stuyvesant to surrender New Netherland to the British in 1664.

His daughter Emmetje was born in New Amsterdam in 1640. ?


At least 2 of his children were born in New Amsterdam;

Abraham was born in 1649 in New Amsterdam, baptized 14 November 1649. Jan was born in New Amsterdam in 1663, baptized 5 December 1663

The names of his other children, all baptized a the DRC, New Amsterdam, New Netherlands:

  1. Andries baptized Mar 13 1650 (father named as 'Jan de Caper'
  2. Johannes Wanshaer, baptized 27 August 1651
  3. Jacob Wanshaer, baptized 13 July 1653
  4. Hendrick Wanshaer, baptized 21 March 1654/1655
  5. Anthony Wanshaer, baptized 4 July 1657
  6. Robbert Wanshaer, baptized 31 August 1659
  7. Joannes Wanshaer, baptized 30 September 1661
  8. Joannes Wanshaer, baptized 17 September 1662
  9. Carel Wanshaer (Manshaer), baptized 4 July 1666
  10. Jacquemyntje de Caper Wanshaer, baptized 13 July 1667
  11. Possible daughter Metie Wanshaer, baptized 10 October 1668


Alias Jan Janszen Van St. Obyn; Van St. Cubis; Van St. Benen; Manshaer; Nanshaer; Jan de Caper.

From the book "The Wanzer Family in America" by William David Wanzer (1920): Jan Jansen Wanshaer was the first and only person to come to America by that name; he reached New Amsterdam in 1642. It gives his birthdate as 1621, from the Colonial History of NY, when he gave his age as 27 on 28 September 1648. (By the mid 19th century, there were other Wanzers in America, from Germany.)

There was difficulty in determining the birthplace of Jan Jansen Wanshaer, but it was at last found to be Casant (now Cadzand, both the name of a village and a district in the southwest part of the province of Zeeland), Holland. In NY Colonial MSS. 2 pg 134, 17 November 1644, where it is found in Dutch which in part reads--"Which pieces of silver in case Jan Jansen should happen to die on the voyage, the aforesaid Jacob Stroffelsz shall deliver to his father, called Jan Wanzaer, dwelling at Casant."

This information came from a letter to a Wanzer descendant, written by A.J.F. van Laer. He added that the name Wansaer is probably a patronymic derived from the Frisian name Wanse or Wanne. Frisians settled during the middle ages or earlier all along the Flemish coast; even in Artois, France; the population is essentially Frisian to this day. (ca. 1920)


From NY Gen. Records Book 7, 1876, page 122:

WANSHAER FAMILY: First Three Generations of New York City

The head of the family was in New Amsterdam as early as 1644, following the vocation of pilot. In the records of his marriage 17 January to Baertje Hendricks Kip j.d. from Amsterdam, he is called Jan Janse, j.m. Van Tubingen, probably from the town of that name in Swabia. (My note: In the district of Overijssel is a town called Tubbergen; it's much closer to Friesland and is included only on that account and that it sounds somewhat like Tubingen. jwb - 2003)

At the baptism of his children his name is variously recorded: Jan Jansen Van St. Cubis; Van St. Ubis; Van St. Obyn; Jan Van Sam; Jan Wanshaar; Van St. Berrers; Janshaer (sometimes Manshaer) and Jan De Caper. The last is, in English, John, the sailor.

He was admitted to the rights of a burger (citizen of the colony) 18 April 1657, and was one of the substantial and respected citizens of the city.

His name, and that of his wife, is recorded in the list of old members of the Dutch Church, or those who joined the church between 1649 and 1660.

He resided on Brouwer St., now that part of Stone St. between Broad and Whitehall Sts.

Jan's business seems to have been that of a ship merchantman, and we find in Dutch Calendar MSS p 30, 26 November 1644, that he formed a partnership with Anthony Carol, Christopher Pieterson and Abraham Philip in purchasing the frigate La Garce (or La Grace; most probably Garce).

This was a good sized ship, larger than a sloop or brig, probably with two batteries on two decks and likely carried from 28 to 60 guns. Jan sold his interest in the ship in 1649.

No doubt Jan's two sons, Abraham bap. 1649 and Anthony, the Wanzer branch bap. in 1657, were named for these partners.

Jan Jansen Wanshaer lived in New Amsterdam, now NYC, on Brouwer St. (Stone St.), at present between Broad and Whitehall Streets. It was among the first streets built upon, and was in line of the first road laid out along the East River and ancient grants commonly termed it "the road", and spoken of as "east of the Fort". The name Brouwer Street, or Brewers St., came from the fact that two breweries were built on that street. It was the first street in the city to be paved with stone. The ordinance for same was passed in 1657. After this it was called Stone Street.

Frederick Philipse who resided on this street, on the north side, is said to have been the wealthiest man, at that time, in this country. This street was then the Broadway of the town.

Hendrick Henderson (sic) Kip's two sons, Isaac and Jacob (the latter was clerk of the court for years, and his bold signature can be seen on all his old documents) were brothers-in-law of our ancestor Jan and lived, the three families, side by side on Brouwer Street. They had a clear view of the East River and no doubt anchored their crafts there. (It's been said there's no evidence the Kips (and possibly Wanshaer) actually lived in these houses, only being owners of them.)


Documents Relating to the Colonial History of the State of NY Vol 2 p 461:

Here is recorded a quantity of powder, four and one half barrels, when nine soldiers going from hence to the South River, Delaware.

Also same book, 6 June 1662, to four barrels of powder fired when Jan De Caper's (Wanshaer) sloop departed from the South River. Dingham Versteg says in his search "It is evident that the above salute was fired upon the departure of Jan De Kaper's sloop because he took the above nine soldiers to the South River, or Delaware, as we know Jan Jansen Wanshaer Van St. Obyns was also named Jan De Kaper, so it was Jan Jansen Wanshaer who conveyed this detachment of soldiers." Hence, this shows that Jan Jansen Wanshaer was the first naval officer in (the colonies), if such he can be called, appointed by Governor Peter Stuyvesant to protect the city, New Amsterdam.

Washington Irving, in his Knickerbocker History of NY, mentions Jan in this connection.

On Brouwer Street our ancestor lived his whole life, and we see him as a plain, generous, good-hearted man. (!) Evidently Jan died previous to 1674, as in a tax list published at that date his name does not appear. Jan's widow married second, 25 December 1677, Jan Deckizen (Dircksen) Meyer, of New York. In the DRC record, her name is spelled the Widow Wansart. She survived her second husband also, and was living 12 July 1702, when she was witness to a grandbaby. Wansaert's will is not recorded in NYC.

The Dutch Church was organized in 1626, and meetings were held regularly after 1633; the first church was on the shore of the East River, on the north side of Pearl St., and was used as a place of worship for about ten years. Regular records were kept after 1639. A new church was built in the S.E. corner of Ft. Amsterdam in 1642, with services held in Dutch, French, and later, English. This was the church where Jan and his family were members.

When Jan arrived in New Amsterdam in 1642, there were about 150 houses, and these were mostly of wood covered with reed roofs. The currency in general was composed of wampum, or seawant, and the skins of animals, principally beaver.

Seawant consisted of small perforated shells, black and white, either loose or strung like beads on a string. In 1650, it was ordered that six white or three black seawants were equal to one stuyver; by 1659, seawant had depreciated in value, despite government orders, so that 16 guilders worth of seawant were required to exchange for one beaver skin of 8 guilders value, or about three dollars.

(One piece of information I received was that certain cargo Jan carried on his ship were slaves of Africa. I don't know if it's substantiated by surviving records.)

The meaning of Kaper or Caper is privateer. It is probable that Jan Jansen Van St. Obyn, or Wanshaer, was part owner in the famous privateer, La Grace [sic] (La Garce), equipped in the port of New Amsterdam against the Spaniards in 1644. It's also surmised that as a privateer, he took advantage of ships of other than Spanish origin, and amassed a sizeable fortune.

In another section of this book, the meaning of the name is given as "van shaer", of the shear.


From "History of the Kip Family in America" by Frederic E. Kip, 1928, pp. 36-37:

Beertjen ws the daughter of Hendrick Hendricksen Kip and Tryntie Lubberts. Bertjen was baptized 8 March 1629 in Amsterdam (He cites "Book of Baptisms, Amsterdam, Holland")

"Baertje Hendricks Kip maried 17 January 1649 Jan Janszen j.m. Van Tubingen, alias Jan Janszen Van St. Obyn, alias Jan Wanshaer."

"At the baptisms of his children his name was variously recorded as Jan Janszen Van St. Cubis, Van St. Ubus, Van St. Obyn, Jan Van Sara, Jan Wanshaer Van St. Benen, Jan Wanshaer (Manshaer) and Jan de Caper (the sailor)." '[My Dutch dictionary defines kaper as a privateer.]' "He was evidently of Dutch or Flemish extraction, and his father, Jan Wanshaer, seems to have been a resident of Casant, not far from Antwerp. He is usually spoken of in the New Amsterdam records as 'Jan Janszen van St. Obin' but, in the Church record of his marriage in 1649, he is called Jan Janszen van Tubingen," undoubtedly the city of that name in the Duchy of Würtemberg in Germany. The locality of 'St. Obin' seems to be unknown in Dutch topography."

"He resided on the south side of Brouwer Street betweern Broad and Whitehall, somewhat to the west of the houses of his brothers-in-law, Isaac and Jacob Kip." (You can see this on the 1660 map in New Netherlands Connections vol. 2 no. 2. They are all in block E. Jan is # 12 (listed as Jan Jansen from St. Obin", Jacob in # 14, Isaac in # 15, 16, and Hendrick Hendricksen Kip in # 23, 24, 25, & 26. (his father-in-law) ""He became part owner of the small French frigate, "La Garce", which sailed as a privateer under letters from the Dutch Government. He sold out his share in 1646, and although she afterwards got into trouble with the Admiralty about her prizes, at the time of Jan Jansen's interest in her we find no accusations of piracy against her owners. However, the Captains of privateering vessels in this war (30 Years War?) did not always confine their captures to the Spanish and Portuguese craft which were their legitimate prey, but often took almost any ship they met. We do not know whether Jan Jansen sailed personally in his privateer, but about this time he was often called away from New Amsterdam for long periods, and the records relate that in his absences he deposited considerable amounts of personal property with various prominent citizens, taking their receipts for it, which were entered in the books of the Colony. One of these deposits was a large amount of silverware, and as he was owner of the privateer vessel, "La Garce", the question might be raised as to whether or not such silverware had not been previously secured from ships somewhere on the Spanish seas." (Another poster, on 1 July 1998, gave a record of one of these "deposits", but unfortunately I'm unable to find them just now [one was a large charger of silver]).

"He was best known as pilot of the slave ship "Gideon" which reached New Amsterdam in August, 1664, with a cargo of 290 slaves, a few days before the English captured New Netherland."

"However, in spite of his occupation, he appears to have been one of the respected men of the community."


From a book on the History of New York, whose name I've also misplaced, comes the following record, made by Joannes Dyckman.

1627, the 20th of June, J. de Kaper (the privateer(?)), with 2000 beavers, sent down from here (Albany);

  • the 25th, Klaes This, with about 1500
  • the 28th, Pieter Jacobse (Vosburgh) with 1500
  • 2nd July, Lucas Andriese, with 1500
  • " " " " Klaas Bordin 1400
  • 10th " (Adrian Janse) De Fries 300
  • " " " " Johannes Verbruggen 3000
  • 8400=(11,200.) Ditto 300 Otters.
  • 12th " " 1800
  • " " " " Jan de Kaper 300
  • 1000
  • 18th " " Abraham Staas 1900
  • " " " " Lucas Andriese 3000
  • 20th " " Reucke 1000
  • " " " " Aryaen Klaes (Vryman) 170
  • 27th " " Derik Wessils (Ten Broeck) 5000
  • 14070=(17370.)
  • 1st August Michiel de Karreman (the Carter) 1000
  • 2nd " " Eevert Pels 2000
  • " " " " Claes Thys 1800
  • 6th " " Claes Bordin 200
  • " " " " Hans Karel (Noorman) 2300
  • " " " " Lucas Andriese 250
  • 10th " " Dr. Abraham Staes 2000
  • 14th " " Abraham Du Triu (Truax) 120
  • 9670
  • 25th " " Abraham Staes 300
  • " " " " Evert Pelss 100
  • 30th " " Michiel de Karreman 400
  • " " " " De Fries 300
  • 1st September Hans Kaerlse 100
  • 3rd " " " Jan de Kaper 400
  • " " " " Pieter Jacobse 300
  • 8th " " " Jan Van Bremen 300
  • 27th " " " Jan Jostensse 400
  • " " " " Jan Van St. Aubin 100
  • (2700.)
  • (Total, 40,940 beavers.)


Mr. Alvin Wanzer (1916-2012) of Rhinebeck, NY, told me a little anecdote about the name Wansor. He said his grandfather or father changed the spelling of their name from Wansor to Wanzer when told that wansor meant bedbug...actually, wanze means bug; Bettwanze means bedbug.

Baptism: 1662 Sep 17;

Parents: Jan Wanshaer, Van St. Benen, Baertie Hendricks Kip;

Child: Johannes;

Witnesses: Hendrick Kip, Tryntie Kip

view all 18

Jan Janszen Manshaer's Timeline

September 27, 1621
Probably Cadzant, Zeeland, Republiek der Zeven Verenigde Nederlanden
Age 22
Dutch Kills, Nieuw-Nederland
November 14, 1649
Age 28
New Amsterdam, New Netherland
Age 28
New Amsterdam, New Netherland
July 13, 1653
Age 31
New Amsterdam, New Netherland
March 21, 1655
Age 33
New Amsterdam, New Netherland
July 4, 1657
Age 35
New Amsterdam, New Netherlands
August 31, 1659
Age 37
New Amsterdam, New Netherland