Sara Jorise Rapelje

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Sara Jorise Rapelje

Also Known As: "Sarah Jorise Rapalje", "Sarah Rapelje", "Sara de Rappelje", "Sara Rapaille", "Bergen", "Sara Rappalje", "Sarah De Rapelje", "Sara Joris", "Sarah De Rapalje", "Sarah Jorise Bogaert", "Sarah Jorise De Rapalje", "Sarah Rapelie"
Birthplace: Fort Orange, New Netherland Colony
Death: November 04, 1687 (62)
Wallabout, Kings County, Province of New York
Place of Burial: Flatbush, Kings County (Brooklyn), New York, United States of America
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Joris Jansen Rapalje and Catalyntje Trico
Wife of Hans Hansen Bergen and Theunis Gysbertz Bogaert
Mother of Anneken Hanse Bergen; Brechtje Hansen Middagh; Jacob Bergen; Jan Hansen Bergen; Michael Hansen Bergen and 10 others
Sister of Marritje Joris Rapalje; Jannetje Jorise Rapalje; Judith Rapalje; Jan Jorisen Rappalje; Jacob Jorise Rapalje and 6 others

Occupation: Farmer's wife, Wiki: she was the first child of European parentage born in New Netherland. Her chair is in the collection of the Museum of the City of New York, and is thought to have been brought to New Netherland by the family..
Managed by: Duane Harley Roen
Last Updated:

About Sara Jorise Rapelje

Claimed to be the first European girl born in the Dutch Colony of New Netherlands.

Her name is Sara or Sarah Rapelje


1. Cornelius N. Hoagland, History and Genealogy of the Hoagland Family in America (1891).

"Sarah was the youngest of the children of Catatynie Trico and George de Rapalje, who also lived on Manhatten Island at that time. She was only 15 at the time of her marriage, reputed as the first white female of European parentage born in the colony (1625) . The colony at Ft. Orange (Albany) and New Amsterdam were set up by the (Dutch) West Indies Trading co. Hans and Sarah had eight children. They first lived at Fort Amsterdam or Pearl Street between the properties of Joris Rapalje and Jan Snedeker ...Hans Bergen was a native of Bergen in Noray but came from Holland to this country. Sarah was the first female white person born in New Netherlands. The Rapelje Family record gives 9 Jun 1625 as her birth date. She married 2nd Tunis Gibertse Bogart and became the ancestor of all the Bogarts in the vicinty of New Amsterdam."

2. Arminda Sharpin, Rapelje Rasters (1994 edition 880 pgs.; 1999 274 pgs.; Index Vol.), Arminda Sharpin, 1009 Burlington Beach Road, Valporiaso, Indiana 46383.

On 18 Oct 1999 the author wrote to me: The Rapleje book is already more than 1200 pages long, which is why the index is in a seperate volume and didn't want to take time to verify you probably know there are numbers of intermarriages within the older families. So I included as many of these members as possible. NOTE: From Genealogical Helper dated Sept/Oct 1999 pg. 187-8 1994 - $105.00, 1999 - $55.00; 2 vol set and index $145.00.

3. William Sawyer Bergen, Jacob Milton Bergen Family of Long Island New York (1995 Gateway Press Baltimore, Maryland), Appendix A-2, A-3.

"....Sarah, a widow with eight children at 28, remarried Teunis Gysbert Bogart and had seven more children. Sarah's new husband, Teunis, took over the patent of her 400 acres farm in 1664 when the British conquered the New Amsterdam. He did not will this land amongest the children of Sarah and Hans. Possibly because Teunis paid off the debt of $311 Hans owed the West Indies Trading Co. when He died. Sarah died in 1680 at the age of 60....Sarah future wife of Hans Hansen was born in 1625, she being the first white female of Euorpean parents born in the Colony...."

4. William Sawyer Bergen, Jacob Milton Bergen Family of Long Island New York (1995 Gateway Press Baltimore, Maryland), Appendix D pg. 117.

"Sara b. 9 Jun 1625 Ft. Orange, Albany, NY. d. 1685 Brooklyn m. 1637 Ft. Amsterdam, NY. Hans Hansen Bergen b. Bergen, Norway d. 1654."

5. Charles Kingsbury Miller, Historic Families of Americia, 1897 Chicago, Illinois, pg. 101-4. - COMMENTS: William Almy of Portsmouth, Rhode Island, 1630 - Joris Jansen De Rapalje of Fort Orange (Albany), New Amsterdam and Brooklyn, 1623.

"First Pension - Hunting Widow. The claim of Sarah Rapalye and the dangerous precedent that it established. Just now the president of the United States, [Grover Cleveland] is examining and vetoing widow's claims for pensions, says a writer in the Brooklyn, (N.Y.) Eagle. ...

The old patron families of Bergens, Bogarts and Polhemuses glory in being the lineal descendants of Sarah Rapalje, the first born of Joris Janssen de Rapalye, the first settler in Brooklyn, who got possession of a tract of land at Wallabout. Sarah it is claimed was born in Brooklyn, or what was earlier, Williamsburg, but this appears to be an error, for this remarkable lady was born at Fort Orange (Albany) on June 9, 1625. One year later Joris Janssen Rapalye removed to New Amterdam, where he remained until the eleventh and last child was born, when he took his large family to the Wallabout, where he had 400 acres of land given him by the Dutch West India company. It was in 1650 that the grandmother of all the Rapalyes, Bergens, Polhemuses and Bogarts crossed over to Wallabout. In 1639 she had married Hans Hansen Bergen, the progentior of the Bergens who spread over Long Island and New Jersey. Hans Bergen settled on the Rennegaconck farm, with his wife's parents. The United States Marine hospital now occupies the site. Hans Hansen Bergen whose pet name among his neighbors was 'Hans the Boar', obtained a patent for an additional 400 acres of land at Rennegaconck, which carried his possessions from the creek of that same name emptying into the Walle-bocht to what is now Division Avenue. Hans was a tobacco-planter and a crony of Gov. Van Tiller. When he passed to his reward, in 1654, his good wife was so well disposed toward the married state that she lost no time in providing a new father for her six children, and Theunis Gysbert Bogaert was the fortunate man. Although Sarah was descended from a line of French Huguenots, her father and mother both being Parisians (false: they were from Pris a small town near Valenciennes), her lifelong association with the thrifty Hollanders and her years of wifehood with Hans the Boar, appear to have imbued her with quite a Dutch eye for the main chance. Anyway, a year after making Theunis Bogaert happy she conceived the idea of getting a pension, and even went a step further; she wanted to be relieved of taxation. Sarah did not want fleeting gold in monthly pittances. She wanted good, old-fashionioned real estate, and to that end she memorialized the governor and council in 1656, petitioning that a piece of land 400 acres in extent, adjoining the farm she lived upon at the Wallabout, be granted to her. She complained that certain grasping neighbors who had pieces of land of their own, persisted in mowing on the meadow and the honest Hans Bergen not having enjoyed the distinction of fighting in any war recently wound up, she set her claim upon the ground that she was a widow and was burden with seven children. If the council would give her the 400 acres and remit the taxes she thought she could get along. The lady like many other ladies before and since, was absent-minded and neglected to state that her days of widowhood had closed their mournful engagement a year and a half before, and that one of the said seven children of this forlorn widow with 400 acres of her own, was Aartje, the first born to her second husband, Theunis Bogaert, baptized December 19, 1655. But in 1655, as in 1886, a slight omission of so little consequence was not taken into consideration, when by granting the prayer of a petitioner, the legislators got solid with the consituents, living contiguous to the part interested. The forlorn widow got her 400 acres, but the council refused to remit the taxes. As soon as the English kindly relieved the Dutch of all further worry about their American possessions, good old Mr. Bogaert had this 400 acres and the 400 belonging to Bergen's children - his step-children conferred upon himself, and the records fail to show that either of the six young Bergens ever got any of the property. Sarah Rapalye - Bergen - Bogaert lived to the age of sixty-nine, and passed away suddenly, having twelve children, six by each husband, and today the descendants of this remarkable woman, the first born in Dutch-American possessions, and the orginal pension hunting widow, are as many as the children of Abraham of old."

6. Jo White Linn, Ancestry of Moore/Rowan Families (1985) (1985), pg. 155-8.

"Sarah de Rapelje said to have been the first white child born in New York b. 7 or 9 Jun 1652 m. 1) Hans Hansen 2) Teunis Gysbertzen Bogart..."

7. Long Island Genealogy, Surname Database,

"Sarah Jorise (De Rapelje) (Rapelje) Rapelje  1625 - 1689
  • Birth 7 Jun 1625 Fort Orange (now Albany) Dutch Colony, Albany Co., NY
  • Gender Female
  • Died 11 Sep 1689 Breukelen (Brooklyn), Kings Co., LI, NY
  • Father Joris Jansen (Rapelje) Rapelje, b. 28 Apr 1604, Valenciennes, Hainaut, Walsant, Spanish Netherlands ( Nord, France) , d. 21 Feb 1662/63, Brooklyn, Kings Co., LI, NY
  • Mother Catalyntie (Jeronimus) Trico, b. Abt Jun 1605, Pris Walslant, Hainault, France (now Belgium) , d. 11 Sep 1689, Wallabout, Brooklyn, Kings County, New York
  • Married 21 Jan 1623/24 Walloon Church, Amsterdam, Holland, Netherlands

Family 1

Hansen Bergen, b. Abt 1610, Bergen, Hordaland, Norway , d. 1654, New Amsterdam, Brooklyn, Kings County, New York

  • Married 5 Mar 1638/39 New Amsterdam, Brooklyn, Kings County, L.I., N. Y.


  • 1. Annetje (Anneken) Hansen Bergen, b. 22 Jul 1640, Flatbush, Kings Co., LI, NY , d. Abt 1680, Flatbush, Kings Co., LI, NY
  • 2. Brecktje (Rebecca) Hansen Bergen, b. 27 Jul 1642, Brooklyn Kings County, L.I., New York , d. 1742, Heikop, Utrecht, Holland, Netherlands
  • 3. Jans Hansen Bergen, b. 17 Apr 1644, Breukulen (Brooklyn), Kings Co., LI, NY , d. Aft 1715, Breukulen (Brooklyn), Kings Co., LI, NY
  • 4. Michiel Hansen Bergen, b. 18 Jul 1645, New Amsterdam (Brooklyn), Kings Co., LI, NY , d. 22 Jan 1730/31, , , New York
  • 5. Joris (George) Hansen Bergen, b. Abt 18 Jul 1649, Brooklyn, Kings County, L.I., New York , d. 22 Jan 1730/31, Brooklyn, Kings County, L.I., New York
  • 6. Marytje Hansen Bergen, b. 6 Oct 1651, Wallabout (Brooklyn), Kings Co., LI, NY , d. 1736
  • 7. Catalyna (twin) Hansen Bergen, b. 21 Sep 1653, d. 1653, Died young
  • 8. Jacob (twin) Hansen Bergen, b. 21 Sep 1653, Brooklyn, Kings Co., LI, NY , d. Between 1738 and 1741

Family 2

Theunis Gysbertse (Bogaert) Bogart, b. 1625, Heykoop, Schoonrewoerd, Utrecht, Holland, Netherlands , d. 1699, New Amsterdam (New York City), New York

  • Married 19 Aug 1654 New Amsterdam, Kings County, New York


  • 1. Aertje (Bogardt) Bogart, b. 19 Aug 1655, Wallabout, Kings Co., LI, NY , d. 22 May 1722, Jamaica, Queens Co., LI, NY
  • 2. Catalyntje Tunisen (Bogaert) Bogart, b. 15 Dec 1657, Wallabout, Kings Co., LI, NY , d. UNKNOWN
  • 3. Aeltje Tunisen Bogart, b. 13 Nov 1661, d. 1735
  • 4. Neeltje Teunisen Bogart, b. 20 Aug 1665, d. UNKNOWN
  • 5. Annetje (Anna) Tunise Bogart, b. 23 Aug 1665, New Amsterdam, Albany, Albany Co., NY , d. 11 Jun 1750
  • 6. Grietje Tunisen Bogart, b. 1666, Bedford, Brooklyn, Kings Co., LI, NY , d. UNKNOWN, Piermont, Orange Co., NY
  • 7. Adriaen Tunisen Bogart, b. 1667, d. UNKNOWN
  • 8. Guysbert Teunisen Bogart, b. 5 Dec 1668, Wallabout, Kings Co., LI, NY , d. 25 Apr 1732, Bushwick, Brooklyn, Kings Co., LI, NY ."

Sara is an older sister to Judith, and a daughter of Joris Rapalje and Catalina Trico. She was recognized as the first child born in the new colony (see "Island At The Center Of the World").

"Sarah married at a very young age, probably even for that time period. She was only 14 years old, in 1639, when she married Hans Hansen Bergen. We do not know how old Hans was, but we do know that he passed away in 1654, only 15 years following their marriage. At that time Sarah was only 29 years old, and already had borne 8 children. Of the eight children, seven survived into adulthood, and marriage records are available for them. Only one, the youngest one, probably died at a young age......

"Probably about a year after Sarah’s husband, Hans Hansen Bergen, passed away, Sarah married Teunis Gysbertsen Bogaert. Sarah and Teunis would have seven children, six of whom survived into adulthood, again an amazing number for that time period....So during a period of 28 years Sarah bore 15 children. Since there were two sets of twins, she had a birth on average every two years during the 28 year period.

Sarah did not live a long life. Clearly, the work involved in rearing such a large family must have taken its toll on her. She passed away in 1685, during her 60th year. Her mother, Catalyntje Trico actually outlived her oldest daughter Sarah. Catalyntje passed away in 1689, at age 84, four years following Sarah’s death. It has been estimated that Sarah Rapalje’s offspring numbers at least a million descendants. One of the more famous descendants is Humphrey Bogart, the actor."

Sarah Rapalie was born, according to the family record, on June 9, 1625, She was the first white female child of European parentage born in the Colony of New Netherland, which at time covered the present States of New York, New Jersey, and a portion of Connecticut.

The early historians of New York and the locality, led astray by a petition presented by her, April 4, 1656 (when she resided at the Wallabout), to the governor and council, requesting the grant of some meadows, wherein she states that she was the first born Christian daughter in New Netherlands, and assert that she was born at the Wallabout, Brooklyn, New York. Judge Benson in his writings even ventures to describe the house where this took place. However, according to depositions of Sarah Rapalie's mother, Catalyntie Trico taken on the 14th of February, 1685, before Col. Thomas Dongan, governor of the province, states that she (Catalyntie Trico) came over in 1623 or 1624, to the best of her memory. In another deposition taken in Brooklyn on 17 October 1688 before Justice, William Morris, Catalyntie Trico states that she was 83 years of age, and was born at Pris (not Paris) and that in 1623 she came to this country in the ship "Unity", commanded by Arien Jorse, that as soon as they came to "Manhattans" now called New York, they sent two families and six men to "Harford River" (Connecticut), two families and six men to Delaware River, with eight other men left at New York. The rest of the passengers, about eighteen families, went with the ship as far as Albany, then called "Fort Orange", where she and her husband spent three years and that in 1626, the family came from Albany and settled in New York (New Amsterdam), where the family lived afterwards for many years, and then came to Long Island (Brooklyn) where she now lives."

Sarah Rapalie was therefore, undoubtedly, born in Albany and not in New Amsterdam.

After the death of her first husband, Hans Hansen Bergen, Sarah Rapalie married Tuenis Gisbertsen Bogaret and had seven more children by him; a total of 14 children from both marriages.

Sarah Rapalie is one of the rare females distinguished to have a Chapter of The Colonial Dames, XVII Century, named after her. This chapter is located in Canadian, Texas.

Sarah Rapalje was the first European child born in the New Netherlands Colony. Her parents were Joris Jansen Rapelje and Catalyntje Trico. Sarah was married twice. Her first husband was Hans Hansen Bergen. They had eight children. Her second husband was Teunis Gysbertsen Bogaert. They had seven children. Sarah had fifteen children over a 28 year period of time.

Purportedly the first European woman born in what is now known as New York.

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Sara Jorise Rapelje's Timeline

June 9, 1625
Fort Orange, New Netherland Colony

"Sarah was considered the first European born in what would become New York" (Island at the Center of the World, Shorto)

June 9, 1625
Ft. Orange, Albany, New York
June 9, 1625
Fort Orange, New Netherland
Age 1
Manhattan, New York County, New York, United States
July 22, 1640
Flatbush, New Netherland Colony
March 29, 1641
Nederduits Gereformeerde Kerk, New Amsterdam, New Netherland Colony

1641 Mar 29; Joris Rappalje; Catharyn; Michiel Pauluszen, Sara Rappalje

The two witnesses are the husband of her sister Maria and her eldest sister, Sara.

July 27, 1642
New Amsterdam, New Netherland Colony