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New Amsterdam - Notable Citizens

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  • Mayor Pieter Jansen Slot (c.1639 - 1688)
    Son of Jan Pietersen Slot & Aeltje Jans, his 1st wife.===biography===From The Slot's from Wall Street to Pompton BY TOWNSEND, RICHARDPieter Jansen Slot was born in Amsterdam, Holland, and immigrated wi...
  • Rev. Francis Doughty of Maspeth (1605 - 1682)
    and References at above URLReverend Francis Doughty was born on Nov. 4, 1605 in Oldsburg, Gloucester Co., England. He married Bridget Stone there in 1624. Francis was formerly the rector of Sudbury, Gl...
  • Bastiaen Jansz Krol (1595 - 1674)
    Jansz Krol (also Sebastia(e)n; Jans(s)en; Crol[1] or Crull) (1595, Harlingen – 14 March 1674), was Director-General of New Netherland from 1632 to 1633.When he was 10, Krol's family moved from Frieslan...
  • Adriaen Hendricks Hegeman (1624 - 1672)
    New Amsterdam - Immigrants Adriaen was born in Elburg, Gelderland in 1624 [1], the son of Hendrick Hegeman, a minister of the Dutch Church at Vorchten. His 2 brothers were ministers of the Dutch churc...
  • Van Ceulen Coat of Arms — Courtesy
    Mathijs Jansen van Keulen (bef.1602 - 1648)
    Mathijs (Matthys) Jansen Van Keulen (Ceulen) was born during a family trip to London and was baptized on 2 Feb 1601/02 in the Austin Friars Dutch Reformed Church in London, England. His parents were bo...


This chapter includes...

  • Governors of New Netherland
  • Great Burghers (1657-1668)
  • Notable Citizens...

Governors of Nieuw-Nederland (New Netherland)

Great Burghers

Between 1657-1668, New Amsterdam ran a system of citizenship, meant to protect the interests of the citizens against the commercial competition of non-resident traders. The system recognized 'great burghers' and 'small burghers'.

This, in effect, created a certain 'aristocracy' as it confirmed the positions of the most powerful families in the colony. Besides the fact that the title of 'great burgher' was hereditary, one of its privileges was access to the highest public positions in the colony.

Nevertheless, the system had fundamentally democratic principles, because everyone could become a citizen of both types - depending on a few rules and the payment of a fee. Per 1657, twenty citizens were privileged as 'great burghers', whilst a further 216 became 'small burghers'. More citizens acquired the status throughout the existence of the system.

The 'great burghers' in 1657 were:

Notable Citizens in the New Netherland settlements and towns

Currently being researched:

sticker_new_right.gif Multi-document resource on Roots Web

Early Governance

Though New Netherland was a province of Holland, the colony was run in its early days by the Dutch West India Company. The early governors of the colony were also called 'Directors', and they ran the colony as a business. Though all major decisions about the colony were taken by the WIC in Amsterdam, the governors appointed their own council for the management of practical affairs in the colony.

Council of the Province of New Netherland

Minuit's Council - 1626-1632

  • Peter Bylevelt
  • Jacob Elbertsen Wissinck
  • Jan Jansen Brouwer
  • Symon Dirckssen Post
  • Reynert Harmensen
  • Isaac de Rasières, secretary

Twiller's Council - 1633-1638

The New Amsterdam Council

Before the incorporation of New Amsterdam as a city, in 1653, the affairs of the settlement were run by the governor, assisted by a council of elected men (a first form of direct representation of the citizens). The council is identified by their number upon election. Below, we list all recorded members.

Twelve Men (elected August 29, 1641, abolished February 18, 1642)

Eight Men (elected in 1643 and 1645)

Nine Men (elected in 1647, 1649, 1650 and 1652)

New Amsterdam



Attorney General & Bailiffs (in Dutch: Schout-Fiscaal)


Ministers of the Reformed Dutch Church (in Dutch: Nederduitse Gereformeerde Kerk)













New Haarlem


New Utrecht







St Mary's