Rolfe Janse Schank

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Roelof Janse Janse Schenck

Also Known As: "Black Roelof /Schenck/", "Roelof Janse Schenck", "Schank"
Birthdate: (73)
Birthplace: Flatlands, Kings Co., New York
Death: January 19, 1766 (73)
Freehold, Monmouth Co., New Jersey
Place of Burial: Holmdel, Monmouth County, New Jersey, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Jan Roelofse Schenck and Sarah Willemse Van Couwenhoven
Husband of Gesye Schenck
Father of Catherine Couvenhoven; Sarah van Mater; Jan Roelofse Schenck; Hendrick Schenck; Daniel Schenck and 2 others
Brother of Sarah van Voorhees; Altje Van Doren; Rachel Jans van Cleef; Peter Schenck; Maritje "Maria" Janse Van Dorn and 5 others

Managed by: Keith Lewis Howlett
Last Updated:

About Rolfe Janse Schank

Rutgers University Personal and Family Papers

502. HENDRICK SCHENCK (1731-1766) . Freehold Township, N.J. 1725-1796. Papers: bills, receipts, inventories, land records, etc., of Hendrick and wife Catherine, mortgage and deed of his father Roelof; pre-nuptial agreement of Alice Van Kirk with son John Van Kirk. 1 folder. Gift of Alston Beekman, Jr. (1686) .


Benjamin Robinson Schenck, M. D; compiled from notes & records of Adrain Adelbert Schenck, Ancestors and Descendants OF Rulef Schenck, A Genealogy of the Onondaga co., NY, Branch of the Schenck Family , Detroit, Michigan. 1911 , pg. 37- 40

The first of these sons was Roelof (12a), born at Flatlands, L. L, in 1692, and at the age of six years going, with the family, from Long Island to New Jersey. He lived on the farm of his father and was apparently a well known man in the community. The only information we have concerning him is to be found in a small volume, published in 1905, edited by The Rev. A. I. Martine of Marlborough, N. J., and entitled Bi-Ceniennial Celebration of the Reformed Church of the Navasink and Its Two Branches (1699-1899) .... This continued for ten years when the Reformed Church of Freehold and Middletown ... the parsonage, consisting of a house and a tract of "one hundred acres of good arable land, as good as any in Freehold, on which a family may subsist comfortably," was conveyed by Jacobus Romain, to John Schenck and Cornelius Couwenhoven of Middletown, and Peter Tyson of Freehold, in trust for the use of the congregation. It was located "five quarters of an hour's distance from the church." The first edifice — probably used both as a school and a church — termed by the Dutch, "Gabat House," or prayer house, was located near by, on Hendrickson's Hill. The first pastor was Rev. Guil- laume Bertholf, the second. Rev. Joseph Morgan, who served until 1 73 1, when the Rev. Gerardus Haeghoort was called from Holland. The next year it was decide to erect a new edifice. The congregation, however, was so evenly divided on the question of where the new church should be located that they agreed that it should be built on the site to which the first load of stone for building purposes was carted. It was late in the afternoon when the meeting adjourned, but "Mr. Roelof Schenck (12a), more frequently called "Black Roelof," immediately went home, hitched up his team, gathered the stones and carted them to the lot on which the building now stands." That settled the matter....

Roelof Schenck (12a) was frequently called "Black Roelof" to distinguish him from a cousin of the same name. He was of a swarthy complexion, was large, muscular and very strong. The following anecdote is told of him. According to the tradition, a professional prize fighter having heard of Roelof's strength, sought to obtain a match and prove his superiority. He paid him a visit and encountered Roelof as the latter was returning from the fields with the plow on his shoulder. Engaging in conversation, Roelof placed the plow on the ground; becoming deeply interested as the talk continued, he grasped the handle of the plow in one hand, and holding it at arm's length like a cane, used it to point out the various places of interest. The prize fighter looked on in utter amazement, then suddenly remembered that he wished to see another man by the name of Schenck, and started out to find him.

Roelof (12a) died January 19, 1766, and was buried in the old burying ground at Pleasant Valley. In August, 1883, the stone was still standing and a sassafras tree, more than five inches in diameter, was growing from the center of the grave. On the stone appeared the following: —

"Here Lies Interred the Body of Roelof Schenck, Son of John, who Departed this Life the Nineteenth of January in the Year of Our Lord, One Thousand Seven Hundred and Sixty-six, aged Seventy-three Years, Ten Months and Twenty-eight Days."

By the side of this stone was another giving the record of the death of his wife, Geesie.

Benjamin Robinson Schenck, M. D; compiled from notes & records of Adrain Adelbert Schenck, Ancestors and Descendants OF Rulef Schenck, A Genealogy of the Onondaga co., NY, Branch of the Schenck Family ,  Detroit, Michigan. 1911 , pg 63

12a. Roelof Schenck, III., son of Jan (6a) and Sara Willemse (van Couwenhoven) Schenck, was born at Flatlands, Long Island, N. Y., February 21, 1692, and in 1 7 16 married Geesie Hendrickson, She was born in October, 1696

They had five children:

  • 22a. I. Sarah was baptized in 1717 and married Joseph van Mater.
  • 23a. II. Catherine was baptized in 1718 and married de Hart of Long Island.
  • 24a. III. John, born January 22, 1720. See below.
  • 25a. IV. Eleanor was baptized in 1725 and married Garret Conover.
  • 26a. V. Hendrick was born in 1731; married Katherine Holmes; died August 21,. 1766.

Roelof Schenck (12a) died January 19, 1766. Geesie (Hendrickson) Schenck died September 20, 1747. They are buried at Pleasant Valley, N. J.

view all 12

Rolfe Janse Schank's Timeline

February 21, 1692
Flatlands, Kings Co., New York
May 22, 1715
Age 23
December 21, 1718
Age 26
January 22, 1721
Age 28
Pleasant Valley, Wc, New Jersey
Age 38
April 10, 1765
Age 73
January 19, 1766
Age 73
Freehold, Monmouth Co., New Jersey