Nov 05

The “Famous Frisians in America” book had a record for the burial of Abraham Fonda, youngest child of Jellis Douw, in Amsterdam on October 28, 1650.  This new information has led me to revise the thinking on the voyage to America.  Here is the account I just posted on the main website:

Jellis Douw Fonda – Voyage to America

Although we do not know upon which ship Jellis Douw Fonda and family made their voyage to America, we can make an educated guess or at least narrow it down.

Schooner

Schooner

The following two facts serve as a window for the timing:

1. The youngest child of Jellis and Hester, Abraham, was baptized on April 14, 1647 in Amsterdam, Netherlands (“Amsterdam Records of the Fonda Family”, The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, Vol. 119, No. 1).  He was buried on October 28, 1650 according to Amsterdam burial records. (“Famous Frisians in America”, p. 108-109).

2. The first record of Jellis (Gillis) in America was in Fort Orange (now Albany, NY) on October 19, 1651 when he received permission from the court to distill liquor in Greenbush, a small village near Albany (“A Career Woman in 17th Century New York”, The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, New York, Vol. 95, No. 5)

So we know that the migration took place between November 1650 and October 1651. According to “A Career Woman in 17th Century New York”, when Jellis arrived in Fort Orange in 1651, “he was accompanied by his wife, Hester Jans, and three children, a son Douwe, aged about eleven years, and daughters Geertien and Sara, aged about nine and seven years, respectively”.

No ship passenger lists have yet been found which show any names resembling Jellis/Gillis Fonda and his family.  So, if you look at the ships that DO NOT have passengers lists, maybe we can narrow it down some.

We know that Jellis did not enter into a contract with the Rensselaerswijck Colony (typically three to six year terms of farm labor in return for the ship’s passage).  He must have been a free colonist, paying for his own ships fare, since he was not encumbered with any work contracts that we know of.

Albany Settlement

Albany Settlement

According to the Marine Museum (translated from the original Dutch by Willem Rabbelier and Cor Snabel of the Netherlands, published with their permission on The Olive Tree Genealogy pages):

“The book/thesis of Jaap Jacobs contains a list of about 500 ship crossings between Amsterdam, the Netherlands and New Amsterdam over the period 1609-1675. In only 56 cases the presence, but not the names, of colonists on board is mentioned.” (De Scheepvaart En Handel Van De Nederlandse Republiek Op Nieuw-Nederland 1609-1675 by J.A. Jacobs 1989) http://www.olivetreegenealogy.com/nn/mm_shipamny.shtml

There were only 5 ships sailing from The Netherlands to America from in 1651:

1. WATERHONT particulier Amsterdam 5 5 1651 Nieuw-A’dam 1651
2. BONTE KOE particulier Amsterdam 1651 Nieuw-A’dam voor 13 6 1651
3. HOFF VAN CLEEF Adriaen Blommaert particulier Amsterdam 1651 Nieuw-A’dam voor 15 6 1651
4. GELDERSE BLOM W. van Twiller Amsterdam na 20 3 1651 Nieuw-A’dam voor 31 7 1651
5. PRINS WILLEM Juryaen Andriessen WIC Amsterdam 1651 Nieuw-A’dam voor 19 9 1651

Explanation of Abbreviations Used:
* VOC=Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie
* VTC=Van Tweenhuysen Compagnie
* HCC=Hans Claesz. Compagnie
* WIC=West Indies Compagnie
Translations of Dutch Words Used:
*reder = ship owner
*bevrachter = loader
*vertrekplaats = place of departure
*aank. plaats = place of arrival
*datum = date
*na = after
*voor = before
*tussen = between
*eind = end of
*begin = beginning / early
*kort na = shortly after
*particulier = private owner

Three had passenger lists which do not list any names resembling this family.  The ships in this list which DID NOT have passenger lists are:

1. BONTE KOE particulier Amsterdam 1651 Nieuw-A’dam voor 13 6 1651
2. PRINS WILLEM Juryaen Andriessen WIC Amsterdam 1651 Nieuw-A’dam voor 19 9 1651

So unless there are more ships that we don’t know about, you can conclude that Jellis Douw Fonda, his wife Hester Jans and his three young children, Douwe, Grietje and Sara sailed on one of these two ships… the BONTE KOE or the PRINS WILLEM. These are the only ships which fit in the correct time frame, from the correct location and do not have passenger lists.

* HCC=Hans Claesz. Compagnie
* WIC=West Indies Compagnie

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