Nationality: Dutch BOGARDUS
Portraits of Bogardus and his wife Anneke Jans
Rev. Everardus Bogardus, b. 1607, 11th great-grandfather, In 1638, Domine (Reverend) Everadus Bogardus was called to New Amsterdam by the Dutch West India Company to serve as the second Dutch Reform minister. He arrived aboard de Sontberg to succeed the ministry of Domine Jonas Michaelis. That same year, in Nieuw Amsterdam, Everadus met and married Anneke Jans, widow of Roeloff Janssoon. They would have four sons: Jonas, Pieter, William, and Cornelius. Our line descends through Cornelius who was born in 1640. Everadus was born in 1607 in Woerden, Holland and was the son of Willem Jansz (Janse) Bogaert and Susana Adrieaslr Vavryteveld.
Everadus had attended school in Woerden, Holland and later attended the University of Leyden (Leiden) in 1627. On September 9, 1630, he was sent by the Consistory of Amsterdam to Guinea, Africa as a "Comforter to the Sick." He had returned to Amsterdam in 1632 whereupon he became an ordained minister. In 1632, he signed his name as Everhardus Boghaerdus, having Latinized his name from Evert Bogaert.
Following his father's death before 1616, Evert had lived in an orphanage at Woerden where he became a tailor. On the 13th of June 1622, he was stricken by a serious illnes which for some time deprived him of speech, hearing and sight. He miraculously regained his speech the 17th of September 1622 and declared that he would become a minister should he fully recover.
During his ministry in New Amsterdam, Everadus encountered many difficutlties with the Director's General, Wouter van Twiller as well as his successor, William Kieft. Following many charges and counter-charges, the Director General and council offered to submit their charges to impartial judges in Amsterdam. Everadus, preferring to defend himself before the Classis of Amsterdam, sailed along with the Director General Kieft on the 17th of August 1647 aboard the Princess for Amsterdam. In a violent storm off the coast of Wales in the Bristol Channel, the ship was wrecked. Though there were some survivors, both Everadus and Director General Kieft were drowned.
There have been many stories about Anneke Jans being the daughter of Wolfert Webber, the illegitimate son of William, Prince of Orange and of a fortune which is being held for the descendants of Anneke. This line of descent has been disproven. There have been lawsuits by the descendants of Everadus Bogardus and Anneke Jans concerning the land on which now stands Holy Trinity Episcopal Church. The land which Anneke inherited from her first husband, Roeloff, came to be called "Domine's Bouwerie" which was united in English days to another "Company's Bouwerie and granted a patent by the Colonel Governor, Lord Corbury in 1705. It was this questionable conveyance which has served as the grounds for the lawsuit, which has been unsuccessful and was last attempted in the early 1900's. Another story regarding the lawsuit is that Cornelius, son of Everadus, died in 1666 at the age of twenty-six, three years after the death of his mother, Anneke Jans Bogardus, before her will could be settled.
After the death of her husband, the dominie, Anneke Jans, with her family, returned to Beverwyck (Albany), and there bought a residence on the north side of Yonkers (now State) street, where she died in 1663. Just previous to her death she made her famous will, which provided for the disposal of her estate, both personal and real, which was considerable in amount. It included in the real property, the farm of sixty-two acres called the "Dominie's Bouwerie," reaching from Broadway to the Hudson river, and from Warren to Christopher streets, in New Amsterdam (now New York City), all of which was afterward claimed by the corporation of Trinity church and became the subject of unending litigation by the heirs of Anneke Jans Bogardus, who have sought to possess the land which they considered their rightful inheritance.
The sale of the Dominei's Bouwerie to Trinity Church, who had previously leased the land from Anneke Jans and her estate was signed by all, with the exception of her son, Cornelius, who had predeceased her. The heirs of the estate of Cornelius had a house and property within the confines of the 62 acre area which they maintained and lived in undisturbed up to the point when the head of the household of the time, departed for service for the colonist's during the Revolutionary War for Independence. The British occupied the city, Trinity Church is an Anglican Church (Church of England), hence the land occupied by the Bogardus family of Cornelius's descendants were evicted. Once the Americans had won the war, Trinity maintained their right of ownership of the land that they "allowed" the Bogardus family to occupy prior to the "abandonment" of the property by it's head of household. Therein lies the dispute that endured up until the 1920s. During many a generation, the suit was brought up again and again. In the late 1890s, early 1900s a group calling themselves the Holland Haarlem and Trinity Church Estates waged their last battle. Thousands, by then, joined in the suit. The courts ruled against the trustees on the grounds that there were far too many descendants of Anneke Jans by that time and it would never be able to be sorted out.
Many descendants, to this day visit Trinity Church and whisper to the clerks in the gift shop, that they are the rightful owners of the land on which they stand. In fact, the church and it's burial ground are not on land owned by Anneke Jans. The church is at the base of Wall Street. The Dominies' Bouwerie was located outside the original walled city. The home Anneke shared with her second husband was located inside the fort, itself, and was the Rectory for the Dutch Reformed Church, not owned by Anneke Jans or Everardus Bogardus.
Everardus and Anneke Jans Bogardus had four children, all sons, who afterward became prominent and representative men in the colonies in which they lived:
Willem, born in New Amsterdam in 1639; married (first) Wyntie Sybrante, in 1657, and had four children, Everardus, Sytie, Annetje and Cornelia. He married (second), in 1674, a Miss Walburga de Salles, and had Everardus, Lucretia, Maria and Blandina. There is dispute as to whether Wyntie Sybrants died, divorced, or vanished during a trip back to Holland to attempt to settle the financial dispute Anneke had with the Dutch West India Company over the wages still owed her husband's heirs and her.
Anneke Jantz Bogardus b. 1605 was a Norwegian-born woman of modest means who inherited 62 acres on the island of Manhattan from her Dutch husband. It made her a widow of incalculable wealth in 17th-century New Netherland and the central figure in a classic rags-to-riches story that underscored the opportunities of the New World.
Their humble lives were also marked by high drama. A disputed land deed that gave the acreage to Trinity Church in Lower Manhattan, near today's World Trade Center, became a textbook legal case tied up in the state's courts for seven generations of Bogarduses across two centuries.
Anneke was one of the first and most famous women to settle in Dutch Colonial Albany. In 1623, when she was 18, she married a 21-year-old Norwegian seaman, Roelof Janszen. Neither could read or write and they indicated their signatures with special marks, which led to variations on the spellings of their names.
The young newlyweds were risk-takers and they took a chance as colonists for Kiliaen Van Rensselaer, a wealthy Amsterdam jewelry merchant and patroon who established the patroonship of Rensselaerswyck, a vast land holding that encompassed all of present-day Albany and Rensselaer counties.
The couple and their two children arrived at Fort Orange in what is now downtown Albany on May 24, 1630, according to local records. Roelof was paid $72 a year as a farmer along the Hudson River near Normanskill Creek and he was appointed a schepen, or alderman. Anneke had two more children and the family interacted daily with local Native Americans with whom they traded. Incidentally, their daughter, Sara, later became the translator of New Netherland director-general Peter Stuyvesant in negotiations with local tribes.
In 1634, after the family paid off its contract to the patroon, they sought the bright lights of the big city and moved to Manhattan "The Island at the Center of the World" in author Russell Shorto's memorable term and worked on a Dutch West India Company bouwerie, the Dutch word for farm. That section of Manhattan became known as "The Bowery."
The industrious Roelof, who fathered six children with Anneke, was given a grant in 1636 for a 62-acre farm of his own near today's World Trade Center. The following year, he built a small house on the farm and his mother-in-law, the colony's midwife, lived with them. Roelof died suddenly in 1637 at age 35 and Anneke struggled financially as a widow, while the company refused to pay her 217 guilders she claimed her late husband was owed.
Anneke married again, in 1638, to the well-educated Domine Everardus Bogardus, who became minister of the Dutch Church on the lower tip of Manhattan. They lived on his wife's farm, which became known as "Domine's Bouwerie." The couple had four sons together and they clashed frequently with the colony's leaders on civic and legal matters, including the unpaid 217 guilders. When Anneke was widowed a second time at age 42, she had nine children to support and was cash-poor and land-rich with two farms the second was 82 acres on Long Island from Bogardus.
Anneke moved back to Albany, then known as Beverwyck, and in 1652 she received a patent for a lot and a house near today's State and James streets downtown. As her children married and moved out, she gave each a wedding present of a bed and a milk cow. Her eccentricities and combativeness were accentuated and she was nicknamed "the vulture." Lore had it that she once hiked her skirts in a mooning retaliatory move against some heckling, pipe-smoking burghers she walked past. The incident wound up in court, a dispute that Anneke won by successfully arguing she had only been trying to keep the hem of her skirt.
Anneke died in 1663 after living for 16 years in Albany. Her will stipulated that her estate, including the 62-acre farm in The Bowery, be divided equally among her seven surviving children. Her kids sold her Albany house that year to Dirk Wessels Ten Broeck for 1,000 guilders. The 62 acres allegedly was sold in 1671 by her heirs for "a valuable consideration," but the land was confiscated and turned over to the British crown after the English turned out the Dutch. The Brits leased the land to Trinity Church in 1697 for 60 bushels of wheat. In 1705, Queen Anne granted the land to the church.
By 1800, after swampy areas had been drained and commercial buildings were erected on it, the farm was considered the most valuable land in America. Today, it is some of the priciest real estate in the world and is worth billions.
Anneke's funeral was held at Albany's Old Church, built by her son, Jan, at the intersection of State Street and Broadway, and she was buried in the church cemetery. Her remains were moved to Albany Rural Cemetery in the mid-1800s, a common practice, and re-interred in the Dudley family plot in Section 61, Lot 1, along Middle Ridge Road, a gesture of respect from matriarch Blandina Dudley. The legal battle over the 62-acre Manhattan farm by Anneke's descendants raged on in sometimes comical ways. Anneke's great-grandson, Cornelius Bogardus, began squatting in a house on the farm in the 1850s and Trinity Church officials tried to evict him. He fought back with fire, a shotgun with bird shot, and buckets of scalding water dumped from a window. He was eventually ousted, but the family's increasingly desperate lawsuit carried on well into the 1900s, even after the state's highest court, the Court of Appeals, dismissed it in 1881.
The case of Anneke Jantz Bogardus and her 62 acres of prime Manhattan lives on in dozens of scholarly articles and chapters in legal textbooks that attempt to deconstruct the thorny arguments.
Descendants of Everardus Bogardus