Theunis Eliasen Van Bunschoten
|Also Known As:||"Teunis Elisse", "Tones Elisen", "Theunis Eliasz", "Theunis Eliasz Van Bundschooten"|
|Birthplace:||Bunschoten-Spakenburg, Bunschoten, Utrecht, Netherlands|
|Death:||Died in Kingston, Ulster, New York, United States|
|Place of Burial:||Kingston, Ulster, NY, USA|
Son of Elias Teunissen and Neeltgen Abrahamse
|Managed by:||Private User|
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About Theunis Eliasen Van Bunschoten
AKA Name: Teunis ELIASEN
Note: ....Beyond a doubt Theunis or some forefather of his came from Bunschoten, a small one-time walled town on a tidal-way of the Zuyder Zee and a few miles south of that water; Van Bunschoten, not Van Benschoten, having been the early form of the name here.
The first record of Theunis Eliasen Van Benschoten in America coming from Holland was April 3, 1671. The forefathers and name seem to have come from a small, one-time walled town of Van Bunschoten on a tidal way of Zuyder Zee, and a few miles south of that water. On six occasions the name Van Bunschoten appeared on records, once when real estate was deeded to him and three times as sponsors at the baptism of grandchildren, and twice as witnesses to transactions. Other times he used "Theunis Eliasen" meaning son of Elias - a Dutch custom. He was a witness and juryman in the courts, trustee of the corporation of Kingston, New York, a landowner, and a magistrate. He served 13 years as a deacon and a long term as elder in his church. He gave freely to the poor, being a wealthy man. He died between the years of 1725 and 1728, around 80 years old. His wife's name was Gerritze Gerrits. They had ten children. Gerritze's father was Gerrit Garrits. Holland custom to name the next child of the same sex after death of a child the same name. That accounts for the two Rebekkas and Rachels.
First found in American records 3 April 1671 in Kingston, NY
(VanB gen.) Only found using the name Van Bunschoten six times: once real estate is deeded him in that name; three times as sponsor for grandchildren who are given the name of Theunis; and twice after his name as a trustee of the Corporation of Kingston is Van Bunschoten added parenthetically. At all other appearances it is Teunis Elisse, Tönes Elisen, Theunis Eliasz or some other variant of the appelation he familiarly went by and which was simply Teunis, son of Elias. (This was a primitive Hollandish way of identification, the taking of the father's name and using it as we today do with our family name, the ending se, sen, or z [zoon] being the equivalent of "son of". In the case of females, se or sen was also used, and occasionally dr. - brief for dochter or daughter - as is illustrated in the case of Gerritje Gerritdr at the baptism of her son Gerrit. However, Theunis' children are seldom styled Teunissen in the church book, but generally as Eliasen until the Van Bunschoten gradually replaced both.)
The first appearance in Am. records of Theunis Eliasen was at Kingston, NY, on 3 Apr 1671 as a witness to a transaction between Regnier Van der Coelle and Henry Pawling. On 27 Feb 1674 he applied to the "honorable court" for a lot "outside the gate for the purpose of building;" this request was granted, indicating a wife or thoughts for one. His next located record is in Bergen, or Communipaw, NJ, when Tönis Eliasen and his wife, "Gerritje Gerrits," baptize their daughter Hendrickje on 22 May 1676, the only instance outside Kingston where that version of his name is found. The baptismal records of Kingston are missing for all 1677 and the first 3 months of 1678. at which time his daughter Marritje was probably born. Apparently he had settled in Kingston by then for he was a witness there twice during that period.
Court records show that he kept remarkably free of the petty strifes and quarrels which were common at that time and place. Other records show that Teunis became one of the reliable and substantial men of Kingston. He was thrifty and greatly trusted. He purchased 18 morgans of land on the Espous flats from Dirk Jensen Schepmoes on 27 Mar 1678. A year later, when Maria Van Langedyck made her will, she stated, "On to-day, the 16th May, 1679,... one cow which is at Teunis Eliasen's." Also in 1679, Maria Wynkoop willed her son Benjamin, "two silver spoons, and the cow at present at Teunes Eellison's." In a suit between Thomas Harmonsen and Jan Luowersen which was tried 5 May 1682, a witness strengthens his testimony by stating that "Theunes Eleson says the same."
Another document shows that about this time Teunis hired a servant:
"Appeared before me Wm. Montague, secretary at Kingston, Arendt Isaax [Isaacs] who declares to have hired out his daughter named Gerritjie for the period of two current years from April next. During said time the aforesaid daughter is to properly and faithfully serve her master and mistress.
"Theunis Elesen is to provide her with proper board and clothing and at the expiration of the period furnish her with a presentable Sunday gown, four chimises, two blue aprons, two white aprons, and one silver head-ornament, and is to send her to evening school during one winter. In testimony of the truth we have subscribed hereto this September 1, 1682, at Kingston.
Arent Isaks This is the mark of Theunes Elisen by himself." [KBS: The mark is in the shape of a trident or hayfork head. See Van B gen., p. 13.]
Lest it be thought that Teunis was illiterate, as a witness on 21 Sep 1682 he signed a land contract between Joost Adriansen and Dirk Schepmoes without his trident mark. proving that his mark was a custom rather than necessity. A number of his signatures are later found without the mark.
On 20 Feb 1682/3, using his trident, he was one of 16 partners who signed their involvment in the reconstruction of a bridge over the "Great Kill," the first having washed away.
On 4 July 1683 he appeared again before secretary Montagne, this time putting his trident to an obligation to deliver the following Feb. to William Jacobsen Van Tongeren 217 scheples of winter wheat with "interest amounting to fourteen scheples of wheat above the said quantity, which originates from advanced money and from wages."
In the winter of 1686/7 Teunis delivered at the Corporation of Kingston's warehouse, where quit-rents in kind were received and much general business transacted, at "sundry times the quantity of 102 schepels of wheat" and was credited for 612 guilders.
Teunis was also adding to his property. He acquired additional lots in Kingston, one on 27 Feb1688 and another on 4 Mar 1689. A year earlier, on 4 Mar 1688, the Trustees of Kingston deeded Teunis Elysse a "certaine house Lott, Scituate Lying & being in said Towne to ye South of the Street, to ye East of the Lott of the Deakons, & to ye West of ye Lott of Teunis Pieterse. Likewise a small piece of upland to ye Southwest of said Towne, bounded by a path that runns to Marten Hofman's plantation, & an other path wch devides ye Land of William d'Meyer & Symon Kool and by ye Land of said Symon & to ye north-ward of a Rocky hill, cont. about eight acres, to have and to hold the s'd house Lott and upland & appurtenances unto ye said Teunis Elysse his heirs and assigns & to ye proper use & behoofe of him, ye s'd Teunis Elysse his heirs and assigns for Ever. In Testimony," etc.
Teunis became an active member of the community in Kingston, gaining more authority as time passed and he proved his worthiness. At the 14 June 1682 session of the Kingston court, "Theunes Elisen, Jan Focken and Hendrick Ten Eyck, appointed and authorized by the hon. court as reviewers of chimneys and all places where fires are lit," were ordered to go their rounds and acting according to these instructions:
"They are to go around every three or four weeks and examine all chimneys and fire-places to see that they are clean. in case any are foul they are to fine the owners to the amount of six guilders and to warn them to clean the same.
"At the second visit yet finding them dirty they are to impose a fine of twelve guilders.
"At the third visit still finding neglect they are to acquaint the hon. court with the fact to the end that the owners may be punished as they deserve.
"They are to condemn all such dangerous fire-places, ovens, cook-houses, etc., and in case of negligence to impose the fine."
This was a necessary governmental activity for the day to prevent fire from reaching the thatched roofs of the houses in the community.
Teunis' term as chimney examiner ended on 12 Oct 1683. On 4 Mar 1683/4 and other occasions he was a juryman, and during the years 1683-8, he is listed as a calvaryman, the first on the list under Capt. Hendrick Beekman and Lt. Wessell Ten Broucke.
He was one of the original trustees of Kingston, named on the charter granted in 1687 by Gov. Dongan and approved by the Council on 17 May 1688. His name is frequently found on Corporation deeds. He served at least nine terms as Trustee, 1688/9, 1692/3, 1699/1700, 1705/6, 1706/7, 1707/8, 1708/9 and 1709/10, and possibly more since between 1689 and 1711 the Trustee list is incomplete because of the loss of the Corporation minutes.
Possibly he was also a Trustee in 1714 when on 24 May the Trustees agreed with Mr. Jan Crooke, a lawyer, to go to New York to care for the Corporations interests in the matter of quit-rents, "since Mr. Teunis Ellison is sued in chancery for quit-rents which the Corporation has received." The Trustees resolved to defend the suits, and claimed "that the Trustees have the Right. as grantees of the fee, to Receive the Quit-Rents which the said Ellissen is sued for." Their petition "To his Excelency Robert Hunter, Esq., Capt. Gen'll and Gov. in chief in and over her Majestie's Province of New York", had been signed by John Cook, Thomas Gorton and Charles Broadhead "in behalf of themselves and others the Inhabitants of Marbletown," Henry Bogart, Moses Dupuis & Cornelius Switts [Swarts?] "in behalf of themselves and others the Inhabitants of the Towne of Rochester," and Teunis Ellyse (without his trident) "for and in behalf of the Towne of Kingston." This petition carried and all action for the collection of past quit-rents stopped, "but the said Inhabitants, ffreeholders, shall be Regular in the payment of the Quit-Rents for the future at our Custom house in New York annually as their patents do direct."
His fellow Trustees elected Teunis as Magistrate in 1705/6, and on 4 Mar 1706/7, when he was reelected Trustee, he was also chosen as "viewer of fences". On 1 Mar 1708, while still acting as a Trustee, he was voted 12 guilders "for viewing the lands sold to John Legg."
He took an oath of allegiance in 1689 and his name was on a "Petition of the Protestants of New York to King Willilam III," dated 30 Dec. 1701 in NYC, for Teunis was also active in church affairs. He first became a deacon in 1685 and appears to have served continuously until 15 May1698 when he was elected "Ouderlingen," or Elder. He was also elected Kerkmaster, churchmaster, in 1692. He was reelected Elder many times and in his official capacity he received new members into the church. At a consistory meeting on 9 Jan 1686/7 he is referred to as "deacon Teunis Elysee (Van Bunschoten)," one of two instances where the Van Bunschoten name is added in parentheses.
He was one of two deacons to go to Albany on a search for a minister, and when one was called "at 112 current gelt of this province," Teunis was one of 127 subscribers to the salary, all contributing in wheat, he contributing 15 scheples. Church records for 1699 show him on the list to provide the dominie with fire-wood and also contributing to the "poor of Kingstowne."
An entry in the accounts for "sundry outlays and expenditures" in May 1703/4 cites, "To Teunis Elisse for a keg of good beer 22 gilders." Under the same heading in 1706/7 are items: "March 3, To Teunis Elise for boards, 66 gilders" and "March 16, To Teunis Elise for carting boards, 10 gilders."
Records of the Trustees session of 19 Feb1706/7, "Teunis Elisse moved to buy a small tract of land lying Northyward of ye Esopus Kill, or Creeke, containing about two morgen; granted at ye rate of Eight pieces of Eight per Morgen and to pay for ye Writing." A small plot of ground was conveyed by the Trustees on 1 Mar 1709/10 to Teunis Elisse and Egbert Schoonmaker jointly.
He took title to another parcel of land on Kingston Flats on 25 July 1712. "For and in consideration of a certain Summe or Quantity of Six hundred shepels of good Marchandable Winter wheat to him the Dirck Schepmoes, well & Truly in hand payd, before the ensealing of these presents, by Tunis Eliasen Van Bunschoten of Kingston, aforesaid," Schepmoes sold to Teunis land "on the north side pof the Esopus Kill or Creek & on the greate piece, bounded to the south-east by the Land of the Heirs of Tjirck Clason De Witt, to the North-east by the land of said Capt. Dirck Schepmoes now in the possession of William Schepmoes & by the Esopus Creek, north-westerly by the land of the Heirs of Jan Willemsen Hooghtylinck and south-westerly by the land of Gerrit Aartsen."
On 20 Aug 1712, Teunis Eliase transferred the property he obtained on 4 Mar 1688 to his son-in-law Mattys Van Steenbergen, "a certain house-lot in Kingston - Scittuating and Lying att the South of ye Street to the East of the Lott of ye Deakons where the Domine Lives and to the West of the Lott of the heirs of Col. Stephen Van Cortland and to the north of the Lott In ye possession of Arien Van Vliet."
Teunis Eliassen took title from Cornelius Tack of Marbletown on 11 Apr 1713 to a parcel of land "on the north Side of Esopus Kill, being part of a Certain piece of Land called the Great piece or Stuck... Containing thirty-six acres more or less So as the same now is." This was the third purchase by Teunis of land on the Esopus flats, land ready for plowing. A small fourth one seems to have followed for at a Town Court held 2 Dec 1713 the trustees of the Corporation of Kingston brought suit against "Mr. Teunis Ellissen. The plaintiffs and defendant appear in person. The plaintiff's demand 192 guldens for two morgens of Land sold the def't; the defendant owns to the debt but brings an account against it of 47 guldens which is allowed by the plaintiffs. So the Court gives Judgment against the def't for the balance, which is 145 guldens, with cost of suit," which was afterwards stated to be 9 shillings, 6 pence.
No other land transactions involving Teunis have been located, though on 10 Mar 1713/4 the trustees sold three morgens of land "on Teunis Ellisse's Killetje." Since a "Kill" was Dutch for a considerable stream, the diminutive would indicate a small stream, a spring run or a brook. The little creek must have been relatively long for on 24 Feb 1714/5 a piece of land "bordering on Teunes Elessons' Kille" was sold to Philip Vielle at a Trustee Meeting.
Tunis Ellise was a witness to a land transfer on 26 Mar 1716. As Theunis Eliasz Van Bundschooten he was a sponsor to his grandson, Theunis Niewkerk, while his last appearance in Kingston records was as Eliasz Van Buntschooten at the 22 Feb 1719 baptism of another grandchild, Theunis Hood.
No will has been found for Teunis, though he left one as is shown by the preamble to a deed granted his heirs by the Kingston Trustees when they rectified an error in the 4 Mar 1688 instrument which transferred to him only eight acres of upland while the given bounds resulted in 15 acres and 35 rods. Dated 16 Feb 1727/8, it reads: "To All Christian People to whom this Present Writing Shall or May Come, the Trustees of the Towne of Kingston, in the County of Ulster and Province of New York In America, Send greetings. "Whereas Teunis Ellisen Late of the Corporation of Kingston aforesaid, Deceased, Stood Posest of a Certain Piece or Parcell of Land in the bounds of Said Towne Some Distance to the Southward of said Towne, And by His Last will and Testament bearing Date the fifth Day of February Anno Domi: One Thousand Seven Hundred Twenty-five and Six did give and bequeath to his Children and the Children of his son Gerrit Van Bunschoten Deceased All His Real and Personal Estate," etc.
(KBS) From this last document come the dates between which Teunis Eliasen died, 5 Feb 1725/6 and 16 Feb 1727/8.
Theunis Eliasen's first appearance in American records is at Kingston, NY, where on April 3, 1671, he acts as a witness to a transaction between Regnier Van der Coelle and Henry Pawling. Again on Nov 2, 1672, he is a witness, "invited for purpose," to an agreement between Wessel Ten Broeck and Sovereyn Ten Hout. Next we find him on Feb 27, 1674, applying to the "honorable court" for a lot "outside the gate for the purpose of building," which request was granted - a request that implies a wife, or thoughts of a wife. Neither when nor where he was married is to be learned; but our next record is when he and his wife, "Gerritje Gerrits," have a daughter, Hendrickje, baptized May 22, 1676, at Bergen, or Communipaw. This is the one appearance of Tonis Eliasen outside of the church, court and land records of Kingston that diligent searching has brought to light. Of Marritje, his second child, I find no baptismal entry: however, the records at Kingston are entirely missing for the year 1677 and the first three months of 1678, during which period she in all likelihood was born. Twice in that interval Teunis Eliasen acts as a witness at Kingston: once to a grain transaction and once to a deed signature, so, unquestionably he had already set up his household gods there.
It is evident to one searching the records that Teunis Eliasen early became one of the reliable, substantial men of the little community on the Esopus. He was thrifty, intent on his own business and greatly trusted, it seems to me; certainly let it be definitely said that the court records show him to have kept remarkably free from the petty strife's and quarrels prevalent at that time and place. Various signs make it clear that he had heed for the duties and dignities of life and had regard for spiritual things.
We find that on Mar. 27, 1678, Teunis makes a purchase of eighteen morgens of land on the Esopus flats of Dirk Jansen Schepmoes: and an interesting peep is had into his affairs when Maria Van Langedyck in making her will "On to-day, the 16 May, 1679," specifies, "one cow which is at Teunis Eliasen's," - doubtless at pasture on this very land. How the above "to-day," since become so far a yesterday, begets long thoughts! Again in the same year, Maria Wynkoop wills her son Benjamin "two silver spoons, and the cow at present Teunes Eellisen's."
And we gratefully catch another glimpse into Teunis' domestic economy through the following::
"Appeared before me Wm. Montagne, secretary at Kinston, Arendt Issax who declares to have hired out his daughter named Gerritjie for the period of two current years from April next. During said time the aforesaid daughter is to properly and faithfully server her master and mistress. Theunis Elesen is to provide her with proper board and clothing and at the expiration of the period furnish her with a presentable Sunday gown, four chimeses , two blue aprons, two white aprons, and one silver head-ornament, and is to send her to evening school during the winter. In testimony of the truth subscribed hereto the September 1, 1682, at Kingston.
Signed Arent Isacks The mark of Theunes Elisen by himself"
The above, in truth, is a sequel to the following pitiful story: On April 20, 1682, Arendt Isaacs wife died suddenly and not without suspicions of foul play. Her body was examined by the magistrates, constable and two doctors, and in conclusion - "Arendt Isaax, her husband, was ordered to place his hand upon his breast and call upon God Almighty to give a sign if he were guilty of his wife's death: which he did. But no change was visible."
And here is an item I prize: In suit between Thomas Harmonsen and Jan Luowersen, tried May 5, 1682, a witness strengthens his evidence by averring that "Theunes Eleson says the same."
At the session of the Kinston court June 14, 1682, "Theunes Elisen, Jan Focken and Hendrick Ten Eyck, appointed and authorized by the hon. Court as reviewers of chimneys and places where fires are lit." are ordered to go their rounds and act according to their instructions:
"They are to go around every three or four weeks and examine all chimneys and fire-places to see that they are clean. In case any are foul they are to fine the owners to the amount of six guilders and to warn them to clean the same." "At the second visit yet finding them dirty they are to impose a fine of twelve guilders." "At the third visit still finding neglect they are to acquaint the hon. Court with the fact to the end that the owners may be punished as they deserve."
"They are to condemn all such dangerous fire-places, ovens, cookhouses, etc., and in case of negligence to impose the fine."
The roofs were of thatch, it should be remembered, hence all this precaution against fire. [page 14]
And here is a mater of special interest. On Sept 21, 1682, Teunis Elesen signs as witness a land contract between Joost Adriansen and Dirk Schepmoes and does so without his favorite trident or other mark, thus conclusively showing "his mark" to be but custom and not inability to write. Later a number of his signatures are found without the mark.
The next appearance of Theunes is in conjunction with rebuilding the bridge across the great Kill, the first having been washed away. The agreement is given below because of its simple completeness. Theunes Elesen signed with trident as one of the sixteen partners.
1st. Whereas their lands are situated across the great Kill therefore to again build a high bridge on the same spot where the first bridge had been.
2nd. That all the partners shall together pay for and finish the bridge in proportion to the number of their morgens (of land), and shall commence work on the 20 May and not stop till the work shall have been completed.
3rd. In case any of the partners should have performed their share and there should be a scarcity of laborers, then they are nevertheless obliged to finish the job and shall not stop until the work shall be entirely done, provided they shall be paid six guilders per day, they providing their own board. But if the partners should board them then they will receive four guilders.
4th. Nobody shall be permitted to cart any more wood or anything else across the bridge than in proportion to the number of his morgens. But if anybody should be on a necessary errand, or traveling, or visiting friends the same shall pass free.
5th. Jan Willemsen is appointed overseer, and he will be exempt of a man's work but not of his share of carting. All hereby promise to obey his orders while at work, having full confidence in his ability.
6th. After the bridge shall have been finish the same shall be kept in repair by the partners. Hendrick Albertsen is to furnish the boards from end to end twelve feet long and one and a half inches in thickness, to be delivered at his mill. He is to cart a load from the mill for which he will be free (of bridge expense) six years, but he is to deliver the boards as soon as the same shall be required.
7th. The ground from the bridge to the gate has been presented to the partners and if necessary can be used for a convenient road for ever and ever.
8th. It is stipulated that the boss, Jan Willemsen, shall decide where the gate shall come. Everyone of the partners shall be obliged to have a key to the lock of the bridge, and anybody leaving the gate unlocked shall forfeit twenty-five guilders for the benefit of the bridge, unless it be during harvest time.
In testimony of the truth was have subscribed hereto this Feb. 20, 1682/3 at Kingston.
Theunes Elisen's next appearance was before Wm. Montagne, secretary, acknowledging and obligation -"declares to honestly and actually owe William Jacobsen Van Tongeren the clean and net quantity of two hundred and seventeen scheples of winter wheat, which quantity the appearer promises to pay William Jacobsen or his order in Feb. next of this current year 1683/4 with interest amounting to fourteen scheples of wheat above the said quantity which originates from advanced money and from wages.
In testimony of the truth I have subscribed to the present in the secretary's office mortgaging person and estate, personal and real, present and future, none excepted, on this fourth day of July, 1683." To which he duly affixes his trident in the presence of witnesses.
Surely Theunes committed himself that time to the extremist limit. Were it not that it was all so hopelessly long ago one would feel concern.
On Oct 12, 1683, Jan Hendrix is appointed examiner of chimneys in Teunis Eleson's stead, the latter having tired, I take it, of a thankless task that must have incurred the enmity of house-wives.
On Mar. 4, 1683/4 and on later occasions, I find Teunis acting as a juryman. And during Gov. Dongan's term, 1683-88, Tunis Elisen appears as a cavalryman, the first on the list of troopers under Capt. Hendrick Beekman and Lieut. Wessell Ten Broucke.
In the winter of 1786/7, Teunes Eliasz, it appears, delivered at the Corporation of Kingston's warehouse where quit-rents in kind were received and much general business transacted, at "sundry times the quantity of 102 scheples of wheat" and was credited therefor 612 guilders.
Next the records show that on Feb. 27, 1688, and again on Mar, 4, 1689, Teunis Eliase acquires additional lots in Kingston. And on Mar. 4, 1688, the Trustees of Kingston make a deed to Teunis Elysse of a "certaine house Lott, Scituate Lying & being in said towne to ye South of the Street, to ye East of the Lott of the Deakons, & ye West of ye Lott of Teunis Pieterse. Likewise a small piece of upland to ye Southwest of said Towne, bounded by a path that runns to Marten Hofman's plantation, & an other path wch devides ye Land of William d'Meyer & Symen Kool and by ye Land of said Symen & to ye north-ward of a Rocky hill, cont. about eight acres, to have and to hold the s'd Teunis Elysse his heirs and assigns for Ever. In Testimony," etc.
Tunis Elise was prominent in municipal affairs - was, indeed, one of the original Trustees of the Corporation of Kinston and so named in the charted granted by Gov. Dongan in 1687, and approved in Council May 17,1688. Time and again his name is found attached to Corporation deeds. He served, at least, nine terms as Trustee, namely: 1688/89, 1692/3, 1699/1700, 1700/1, 1705/6, 1706/7, 1707/8, 1707/8, 1708/9, and 1709/10, and quite possibly more, since "from 1689 to and including 1711, the list (of Trustees) is incomplete by reason of the loss of the minutes." Surely it would seem from what follows that he must have been a Trustee in 1714. For on May 24, of that year, the Trustees agreed with Mr. Jan Cooke, a lawyer, to go to New York to care for the Corporation's interests in the matter of quit-rents, "since Mr. Teunis Ellison is sued in chancery for quit-rents which the Corporation hath received." The Trustees resolved to defend the suits, and claimed "that the Trustees have the Right, as grantees of the fee, to Receive the Quit-Rents which the said Ellissen is sued for." Tunisse Elise was thus representing the Trustees and, consequently, must have been one of that body at the time.
In continuation of this quit-rent controversy a cogent petition was presented "To his Excellency Robert Hunter, Esq., Capt. Gen'll and Gov. in chieff in and over her Majestie's Province of New York * * * in Councill br John Cook, Thomas Gorton & Charles Broadhead in behalf of themselves and others the Inhabitants of Marbletown * * * Henry Bogart, Moses Dupuis & Cornelius Switts in the behalf of themselves & others the Inhabitants of the Towne of Rochester * * and Teunis Ellyse (without his Trident) for and in behalf of the Towne of Kingston," which petition "Humbly sheweth" many truths concerning the hopeless arrearage of quit-rents. This on the 4th of June, 1714. And the petition prevailed, and on July 13, 1714, all the action for the recovery of past quit-rents ceased, "but the said Inhabitants, ffreeholders, shall be Regular in the payment of the Quit-Rents for the future at the Custom house in New York annually as their patents do direct."
In the year 1705/6 Teunis Eliase was elected by his fellow Trustees a Magistrate. After being re-elected Trustee, Mar. 4, 1706/7, he was on the same day made a "viewer of the fences" for the Corporation. On Mar. 1, 1708, and while acting as Trustee, he is allowed 12 guilders, "for viewing the land sold to John Legg."
Turning to church affairs I find our old ancestor much in evidence. Toenes Elysse first served as deacon in 1685, and thereafter served continuously, it seems,, until May 15, 1698, when he was elected "Ouderlinger" or Elder. In addition he was elected Kerkmeester, or churchmaster, in 1692. He was re-elected Ouderlinger a number of terms (just how many cannot be made out because of broken records), and on several occasions he appeared in his official capacity at the taking of persons into church membership. At a meeting of the consistory on Jan 9, 1686/7, among other business the retiring deacon, Jacob Aertsen, rendered his account. "The hundred gilders promised and paid by Schepmoes have been erroneously computed at 20 scheples of wheat, but should be 16 scheples and 4 gilders: so that Jacob Aertsen must pay back the amount of 3 1-3 scheples. Balance 73 scheples of wheat. These 73 sch. Have been paid over by Jacob Aertsen to the deacon Teunis Elysee (Van Bunschoten)." This clearly shows how current wheat was - how it, was the coin, as it were, of the Province at the time. Also we have here the name Van Bunschoten added in parentheses - one of two instances.
In the year 1692-93 Abraham La Maitre and Cornelis Gerritse, deacons, credit themselves with "Expenses of Dirck Schepmoes and Teunis Elysse to Albany - 48 gilders." This was evidently in connection with seeking a minister: for on April 24, 1693, a domine is called "at 112 current gelt of this province." Teunis Elysse is one of 127 subscribers to the proffered salary, all contributing in wheat, and he being down for 15 scheples.
In the church records for 1699 is "a register of the persons who have given their promise yearly to furnish the predicant (Domine Nuccella) his fire-wood." And Teunis Elissen is one of the number. He is also found contributing to the "poor of Kingstowne."
An entry in the church accounts in May, 1703/4, is of surpassing interest. Under the head of "sundry outlays and expenditures" is the item "To Teunis Elisse for a keg of good beer 22 gilders." Ah! My great-father! Since beer it was I am right glad it was "good beer." That a church, though, should be thirsty is a matter to ponder. Under the same heading in 1706/7 are the items:
"March 3, To Teunis Elise for boards, 66 gilders:
March 16, To Teunis Elise for carting boards, 10 gilders."
In these church accounts under expenditures appears in Oct., 1711, the item "Per Teunis Elisse and Johannes Schepmoes 96 gilders, 10 stivers" - whether as officials is not clear.
So much for our ancestor in his churchly relations, many minor items being left out.
The oath of allegiance was taken by Teunis in 1689, and his name is found affixed to the "Petition of the Protestants of New York to King William III," dated Dec. 30, 1701, New York City.
Again we turn to his private life of which there are a few more records. On Feb. 19, 1706/7, at a session of the Trustees, "Teunis Elisse moves to by a small tract of land lying Northward of ye Esopus Kill, or Creeke, containing about two morgen: granted at ye rate of Eight pieces of Eight per Morgen and to pay for ye Writing." On Mar.1, 1709/10, the Trustees conveyed to Teunis Elisse and Egbert Schoonmaker jointly, a small plot of ground "and ordered Clarke to seal the same."
On July 25, 1712, he takes title to another parcel of land on Kingston Flats. "For and in consideration of a certain Summe or Quantity of Six hundred schepls of good Marchanable Winter wheat to him the Dirck Schepmoes, well & Truly in hand payd, before the Ensealing of these presents, by Tunis Eliasen Van Bunschoten of Kingston, aforesaid," the former conveys all that certain tract, or parcel of land "on the north side of the Esopus Kill or Creek & on the greate piece, bounded to the south-east by the Land of said Capt. Dirck Schepmoes now in possession of William Schepmoes & by the Esopus Creek, north-westerly by the land of the Heirs of Jan Willemsen Hooghtylinck and south-westerly by the land of Gerrit Aartesen."
On Aug 20, 1712, Teunis Eliase transfers to his son-in-law, Mattys Van Steenbergen, "a certain house-lot in Kingston - Scittuating and Lying att the South of ye Street to the East of the Lott of ye Deakons where the Domine Lives and to the West of the Lott of the heirs of Col. Stephen Van Cortland and to the north of the Lott In ye possession of Arien Van Vliet." Clearly the lot deeded Teunis on Mar. 4, 1688.
On April 11, 1713, I find Teunis Eliassen taking title from Cornelius Tack of Marbletown, of a tract or parcel of land "on the north Side of the Esopus Kill, being part of a Certain piece of Land called the Great piece or Stuck * * * Containing thirty six acres more or less So as the same now is." This was the third purchase by Teunis of land on the Esopus flats, that coveted land all ready for the plow. A small fourth one seems to have followed for "att a Town Court held Dec. 2, 1713, "the trustees of the Corporation of Kingston bring suit against "Mr. Teunis Ellissen. The plaintiffs and defendant appear in person. The plaintiff's demand 192 guldens for two morgens of Land def't: the defendant owns to the debt but brings in an account against it of 47 guldens which is allowed by the plaintiffs. So the Court gives Judgment against the def't for the balance, which is 145 guldens, with cost of suit," which was 9 shillings, 6 pence, as it appears afterwards.
No further real estate transactions have been discovered. But it was of peculiar interest to find the trustees selling on March 10, 1713/4 three morgens of land "on Teunis Ellisse's Killetje" - "Kill" being the Dutch for a considerable stream the diminutive of it would signify a small stream, a spring run or brook. Again "Att a Trustee Meeting Feb. 24, 1714/5, a piece of land is sold to Philip Vielle 'bordering on the Teunes Elesson's Kille.'" Ah, how this Killetje touches my fancy, starts my imagination! I'm a boy again for the time - if you will, Teunis Elysse's little boy - and all day long, barefooted, I haunt that Killetje, wade up and down it, build dames across it, make sluiceways, contrive water-wheels, and try hard to fashion me a boat for it with high poop and otherwise truly Dutch. Killetje! What a suggestion of companionship, and play, and dear entertainment lurks in that name!
And - shall I say it? Teunis Elysse is to my maturity as the Killetje is to the boy within me - his acres my "Elysian Fields."
Once more on March 26, 1716, Tunis Ellise signs as a witness a transfer of land from John Kip to Jacob Kip on the east side of the Hudson.
On July 13, 1718, "Theunis Eliasz Van Bundschooten" as sponsor for his grandson, Theunis Niewkerk, makes next to last appearance in the Kingston records; his very last, the recorder having left off the Teunis, is as "Eliasz Van Buntschooten" at the baptism of another grandchild, Theunis Hood, on Feb, 22, 1719.
Teunis' will has not been found: that he left one is made certain by the following preamble to a deed given by the Trustees of Kingston to his heirs in rectification of the instrument of Mar. 4. 1688, whereby through miscomputation they transferred to Teunis Eliasen only eight acres of upland, whereas the bounds given resulted in fifteen acres and thirty-five rods. ?..................? .1727/8 and runs:
"To All Christian to whom this Present Writing Shall or May Come, the Trustees of the Towne of Kingston, in the County of Ulster And Province of New York in America, Send greetings. Whereas Teunis Ellisen Late of the Corporation of Kingston aforesaid, Deceased, Stood Posest of a Certain Piece or Parcell of Land in the bounds of Said Towne Some Distance to the Southward of said Towne, And by His Last will and Testament bearing Date the fifth Day of February Anno Domi: One Thousand Seven Hundred Twenty-five and Six did Give and bequeath to his Children and the Children of his Son Gerrit Van Bunschoten Deceased All His Real and Personal Estate," etc. And so come we to the end of what is recorded of Teunis, - come, indeed, to two nearby dates, Feb. 5, 1725/26, and Feb. 16, 1727/28, between which his long life ended - assuredly four score years accomplished . . "______________ fare you well:
Hereafter, in a better world than this, I shall desire more love and knowledge of you."
The birth and parentage of Gerritje Gerrits have been sought in the church records far and wide but to no avail; nothing has been learned. As a sponsor at the baptism of her first-born at Bergen stood a Gerrit Tysen with his wife Hermtje Hermans. He was from Amsterdam; and it is barely possible that he was Gerritje's father by an earlier wife in Holland since when in 1664 he is married in New York to Hermtje Hermans he is not designated as a "young man," after the Dutch custom when such, and so he may have been a widower. None of the after sponsors at Kingston proved to be relatives. There seemed to fall a glimmer of light on Gerritje from domestic sources, for an old note-book from New Hackensack branch of our family I find her name mentioned as "Gerritje Gerritse Van der Bergh or Van Vredenburgh;" records, though, fail to bear out either claim. Indeed, no firm facts are found anywhere to build on. Since very many of the early settlers of Kingston came from Albany and since no church records prior to 1683 survive there it is quite possible that the mystery of Gerritje's parentage and advent, and of Teunis's as well, lies hidden in these missing earliest Albany records.. Gerritje is last seen in the church records on July 21, 1700, when she and Teunis stand as sponsors for their little grandson Johannes Van Steenbergen. "Gerritje Elisse." She is styled on that occasion. Ever after she is missed from Teunis' side; when he acts as a sponsor one of the daughters, usually Marritje, occupies that place. From this I take it, many years before Teunis she found the river
"Along whose shores the numerous footfalls cease,
The voices and the tears of life expire."
The children of Teunis and Gerritje were:
1. I. Hendreckje, bp. May 22, 1676, at Bergen, N.J. ;
taken into the church at Kingston at seventeen years of age; no later trace found of her.
2. II. Marritje, bp. 3. III. Elias, bp. Nov. 23, 1679, at Kingston. 4. IV. Gerrit, bp. Mar 12, 1682, at Kingston. 5. V. Rebekka, bp. Feb. 10, 1684, at Kingston; died young. 6. VI. Rachel, bp. Jan. 17, 1686, at Kingston;
7. VII. Jacob, bp. Jan.15, 1688, at Kingston;
evidently died young.
8. VIII. Solomon, bp. 9. IX. Rebekka, bp. Jan 28, 1692, at Kingston. 10. X. Rachel, bp. Dec.22, 1695, at Kingston.
This Rebekka and Rachel are named on conformity with and early Dutch custom which was on the death of a child to christen the next infant of that sex with the same name. Source: http://www.oocities.org/mralperry/van.html
Theunis Eliasen Van Bunschoten's Timeline
November 26, 1643
Bunschoten-Spakenburg, Bunschoten, Utrecht, Netherlands
Bergen, Essex, NJ, USA
Bergen, New Jersey, United States
Kingston, Ulster County, New York, United States
March 12, 1682
Kingston, Ulster, NY, USA
Kingston, Ulster County, New York, United States
Kingston, Ulster, NY, USA
December 22, 1695
Kingston, Ulster County, New York, United States
Kingston, Ulster, New York, United States