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Ramapo Mountain People - New Netherland to the Present

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  • Ariaentje de Vries (deceased)
    from Albany (SEE "1679 10 Dec; Jan de Vries, jm van N. Yorke; Adriaentje Dircks, jd van N. Albanien" PAGE 161 • Note: both husband and wife were mixed race. Jan's mother was a woman of color purcha...
  • Lena Crommel (bef.1702 - aft.1763)
    probably born on or before 1702 (as she married in 1717)===witnesses baptism===• Sara Pieterse, bp. 10 July 1763 So Schraal. (wit: John Krommel and his wife )===an intriguing alternate spelling of Lena...
  • Voorleser Jan "Johannes" van Dalssen (1668 - c.1718)
    Aka Jan De Vries===Served as 'Voorleser' for the Dutch church=== ~• example: Gideon [Gidion] Vervelen [j.m.], born at Nieuw Utrecht [New Uytrecht] • Marytie Kock, born in the City of New York • Married...
  • Augustine Van Donck I (bef.1670 - d.)
    looking for instances of variant spellings in the record===1) here's a black baptism with a witness that might be him1643 Aug 30; Cleyn Anthony van Angola-neger; Anthony; Jan Augustinus-Neger , Victori...
  • Manuel de Gerrit de Reus, "swager van Angola" (deceased)
    modern page about his life=== individuals===Van Angola, Emanuel Swager (Swager = brother-in-law)Emanuel Swager Van Angola ---children of Emanuel Swager Van Angola 1• Dominicus , bp. 27 Jan 1641 NYC Ref...
A project that attempts to follow the blood lines of black and mixed blood slaves of 17th century New Netherland, through their settlement of the land patents of New Jersey, to the smaller Ramapo Mountain area, and beyond. This examination makes use of the Geni World Tree. It also explores evidence that these lines were fractionally part of the the Ramapo culture

rotating_world.gif Click on the map, here to the right, and enlarge it to see the Ramapo area. Blacks, and those of mixed blood, migrated from Manhattan, to various locales including the Tappan Patent, and into the hills valleys beyond. Some pertinent surnames are cross-referenced in the caption. (see Glossary below for a more complete list)
High definition map of early patents

Profiles for participants to add

icn_favorite.gif Please link GENI profiles of people related by blood to those who lived in the Americas & either preceded, or became, or once were settlers in the Ramapo area.

As of the middle of January 2016 there were just over 200 unique profiles in a Tree of descendants of some of the early black slaves of New York/New Amsterdam. It is one of the goals of this project to see if, and in which ways, any of these lines are linked to the Ramapo Mountain People living there in our modern era.

Note that you as a user can substitute a root profile for the one supplied. This <historylink> program is a valuable research tool to view branches of the World tree that interest you , the end-user. We suggest that you substitute any Geni profile on the header-line and experiment. You may contact me if you wish with questions and comments: Michael van Beuren, volunteer curator.

Please add reliably related profiles to extend the pedigrees. We should hope then that a better picture of the =====Ramapo===== will emerge as the tree grows larger.


Many studies, journals, books, dissertations, blogs, and other media have been devoted to the Ramapo Mountain People, the long-time residents and early settlers of an area that spans the NY/NJ border to the west of the Hudson River. As this project develops, this project will try to provide access to the topic without getting embroiled in differences of opinion of which there are many. Sources are provided.

With documented births, baptisms, marriages, & deaths being compiled in the Geni World Tree, it is becoming easier to see the relationships of families who later settled the Ramapo area. Such profiles are included here. As mentioned already, tracing surnames becomes easier in this way. A sampling of descendants in list form continues to be compiled under documents attached to this project.

As this project continues, take a look at the notes in this saved Geni photo . It provides some sourcing too.

To provide a framework for research, here are some suggested subsections:

I : New Netherland background

Three of the free colored* landowners living on the outskirts of the early Dutch colonial settlement (near the Fresh Water {now China Town} ) in the 1670s were John De Vries {aka Jan de Vries (II) }, John's half-brother Claes Emmanuels , and Augustine Van Donck . Descendants of these three men and their spouses were original pioneers of the patents of the NY/NJ area.

It is significant that a relatively small number of surnames {with variant spellings} Vries, Mann, and Donck became mainstays of the future Ramapo NY/NJ border area. To this day (2016) , there is quite and predominant population living in the area.

Manhattan had become an inhospitable place for families categorized as negro/black/mullatto once the British took over. Consequently free blacks moved off Manhattan to more racially tolerant outlying areas. Once on the western shore of the Hudson, miscegenation increased economic opportunity for several families to the point that a number of them became accepted as white and even became slave owners themselves . In other words, some mixed blood families continued to combine with white ones and eventually became viewed as entirely white.

II : The initial land grants of European, Black, and Black European settlers
Town of Orangetown Notes

III : The Early Native Americans associated with the area(s) settled
sub project: Native Americans connected to Bergen and Orange County Blacks and mixed race

{a list of tribes and significant tribal members should be assembled here} Beyond summaries and general claims, there is a paucity of records of marriages, births, baptisms, and death records that including Native Americans who might be linked to this project. Perhaps future published DNA testing will add to the record? Please add such here if you find them. A discussion has been started. Add your notes there instead of here on the main page. To complicate matters, anectdotal references to later marriages to Native Americans confuse many. example
Unsubstantiated claims
Wikipedia claims as of Sept. 2017 "The Ramapough Lenape Indian Nation are descendent from the Lenape, whose regional bands included the Hackensack, Tappan, Rumachenanck/Haverstroo, Munsee/Minisink and Ramapo people. They absorbed peoples of varying degrees of Tuscarora, African, and Dutch and other European ancestry."But, as yet, there are no know instances of substantial proof to this claim.

Please join the discussion on this topic and supply any related findings there.

IV : Local Ramapo Industrialization in the 19th century

V : Published Studies in the 20th century

  1. Cohen (see Books)

VI : Glossary of surnames with established connections to the Ramapo area
• Angola (d'Angool, van Angola, de Angola) see Mann • Aray (Aree, Array, Van Genee, Van Guinea)
• Cromwell (Crommel, Kromwel, Krommer)
• Criolyo (Swartinne, Lare, Larie, Creole)
• De Groot (DeGroat, etc)
De Vries (Defreese, De Freece, Freeze)
• Dee (Day, De)
• Dowe (Dowers)
• Hall (Hael, Hal)
• Lovyse (Lewis)
• Mann (Man, Manuels, Emanuels, Angola, Van Angola, Claese, Claessen)
• Mathyse (Mathissen, Matysse)
• Smit (Smits, Smith)
• Van Donck (Van Dunk, Dunk)

  • Van Genee (Van Guinee, etc)

• Van Salee (Van Sellea, Van Sally, etc) background

generally: Please be aware that blacks often adopted owners' surnames (issues of possible confusion)


icn_favorite.gif One great illustration of who the Glossary List of surnames inter-relate and share mixed race roots is this sample: 12 Generations of the Van Genee family (clickable on each individual icn_check.gif The surnames DAY, DEE, DUNK, MANN, DEVRIES, etc. are all in the pedigree.

1) A Lenape De Vries? However: the DeFries here is a variant of De Forest ...that is, it turns out to be no part of the Capt. Jan de Vries/Lare Criolyo line. No known deForests are identified as black or mixed blood, nor were they involved in the Ramapo area. icn_magnifying_glass.gif Remember that there are contemporary and entirely separate lines of the same spellings

VIII : Efforts to established Native American recognition from the US Federal Govt.

There is a wealth of recently published controversies here. Many Rampapo residents of the 21st century have organized an effort to document their Native American ancestry. Autosomal DNA studies are ongoing. It is hoped that research will shed more light on these topics. IX : Themes for the 21st century (as yet undefined or poorly defined)


Early Bergen County Families Pat Wardell's extensive and various family sources

  1. a wikipedia based Ramapo(ugh) Mountain People Inc. site
  2. Freedmen of New Amsterdam by Peter Christoph
  3. Fulfilling God’s Mission: The Two Worlds of Dominie Everardus Bogardus
  4. Goodfriend's Black Families in New Netherland
  5. Tappan Patent with linked document
  6. 1635 Map including Tappaen tribe ; Tribes mentioned on 1635 map= Sanhikans,Tappaens, Maquaes, Nawaes, Sequins, Wecke, Quirepeys, Manatthans, Matous
  7. Ramapo Chronology
  8. Ramapo Reformed Church
  9. Map of Warwick NY (1930's) showing features circa 1805


Cohen, David Steven (1974), The Ramapo Mountain People, New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press ISBN 978-0-8135-1195-5 in addition to the text, its Glossary is particularly valuable
Pritchard Native New Yorkers: The Legacy of the Algonquin People of New York By Evan T. Pritchard; Council Oak Books, 2002

In time, we can build many more connections from the present

back to New Amsterdam (at right). The descriptor "Van Angola" used to state place of origin.

Geni's < Historylink > project is a great help... It provide clear & interactive graphing.


Pedigree Links through Photos

  1. DeVries - New Netherland blacks and mixed-blood

In Closing

icn_favorite.gif Notice in the sample tree below just how varied the surnames are. This makes it difficult for the researcher to establish accurate lines of descent. All these individuals come from families that once were slaves in New Netherland and/or the colony of New York.