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Full text of "Philip Gereardy of New Amsterdam : landlord of the city tavern, and his Rhode Island descendants"

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3 1833 01240 2282 



03 7 
78 83 18 9 

MAY 31 1898 




By Charles Knowles Bolton, A.B., LiLniriiiu of tlic BotfLou Athenfeum. 

In early colonial times settlers along the coast of Rhode Island carried 
on a considerable trade with the Dutch at the mouth of the Hudson. At 
New Amsterdam there were many well-known English and New England 
merchants. But on the shore of Narragansett bay few Dutchmen bec;.me 
permanent residents, although occasional marriages occurred. Tlu'ough one 
of these marriages nrany New P^nglanders may claim descent from an in- 
teresting figure in old New York. 

Philip Gereardy and his son Jan were perhaps not of the stuff from 
which some men would choose ancestors, but they were picturesque in a 
manner which was in harmony with their environment. 

L PuiLii*^ GioiiicAiiDY was an early inhabitant of Rlanhattan, where he 
contracted with Juriaen of Osnaburgh for a house. It seems that Juriaen 
did not build the house in the time agreed upon, for in the spring of 1G4L 
two witnesses swore to the agreement and Pliilip obtained a judgment in 
his fiivor on the loth of June. In a year or two he received a gfant of a 
house lot on the north side of the first road from the fort to the ferry, on 
the present Stone street between AVhitehall and Broad streets. This was 
known first as " the road," later a part of it as the Brouwer straat; it was 
the first street paved with stone, and the place of residence of the wealthy 
people of the town, such as Frederick Philipse of Philipse manor. Here 
. Philip, his wife IMarie Pollet, and their son Jan lived. May 24, lGi4, 
Philip received by patent a double lot on the common highway, " on the 
east side of Broadway between Beaver Street and Exchange Place, 110 
feet front by 230 feet deep." 

In 1012 a stone tavern for the accommodation of travellers was erected, 
fronting on the East river. It was south of the road to the ferry "in the 
present north-west corner of Pearl street and Coenties alley," wrote Val- 
enthie in 1853. As landlord of this tavern Gereardy became a cons[)icu- 
ous man in New Amsterdam. Prize money was often left in his hands for 
safekeeping. In Januaiy, 1642, he was in trouble for selling beer at a 
-)^ higher rate than that allowed by the ordinance, but was permitted to es- 

f^ [ cape punishment. Not so three months later when he was again in trouble, 

^ ^1 this time for being absent from guard duty without leave. There is a fine 

0^- irony in the sentence which couples his two vocations: "To ride the wooden 

"~\| horse during parade, with a pitcher in one hand and a drawn sword iu the 

other." Philip had been released from this undesirable position scarcely a 
twelve-month when he was seriously wounded while conducting Jan Jansen 
Damen home one night— probably after an evening spent at the tavern. 
■^A? Damen, a wealthy man and part owner of the privateer La Garce, defended 

^0 Stuyvesant in Holland in 1G49-50, and died upon his return in 1051. 

Meanwhile Philip did not always pay his debts, and Augustyn llcrrraans 
m October, 1044, complained of Philip's lack of attention to bills for wine. 
Little by little, however, he prospered; and when the city authorities, 
March 13, 1053, drew up a "list of the persons who shall provisionally 


2 Philip Gereardy of JSfeio Amsterdam. 

contribute tlie following sums for Hie purpose of putting this city in a statf 
of defence," lie was slated for the moderate tax of lifty guilders. In 1G53 
the tavern was turned over to the magistracy for a city hall or " stadt 
liuys"; and October 15, 1G53, Peter Wolfertsen van Couwenhoven sold to 
Philip the lot " situate where the sign of the While Horse hangs out, right 
0])posite the Winckel street, New Amsterdam." Van Couwenhoven and 
his older brother Jacob were leading brewers. Peter himself was Schepen 
for six years, and lieutenant of the militia company, a near neighbor of the 
Gereardy family, and a witness at the chi'isteniug of Philip's grandchildren. . 
This property was no doubt ac([uired by Philip in order to continue his busi- 
ness. Philip and his wife were often witnesses at church christenings, and 
Philip was in 1646 appointed custodian of an estate and of or[)han children. 
There is no direct statement that Jan Gereardy was his son, but the evi- 
dence seems to be strong. The Rhode Island records to be mentioned later 
show that Jan was in the habit of going to New Amsterdam to trade with 
his father and mother. In all the Dutch records I find no person of his 
surname except Philip and Marie, who might therefore be the parents re- 
ferred to. Philip and IMarie, moreover, were witnesses at the christening 
of Jan's children; and finally Philip, according to Valentine's History of 
New York, left his property to Jan. Very possibly Jau had sisters or 
aunts in New Amsterdam. Philip Gereardy died between October 11, 
1654, and January, 1656; and on November 5, 1056, at the Reformed 
Dutch church, " Mattheus de Vos, widower of Anna Peters, and Maria Pol- 
let, widow of Philip Gerar," were married. 

Matheus de Vos was keeper of the city hall (which as a tavern Philip 
had managed), a notary public and an active attorney about the courts. In 
former years he had been a soldier in the service of the company, and as 
late as 1653 was a cadet in company 4 of the Burgher -^orps. After his 
marriage he seems to have lived in tbe widow's house, where he continued 
his legal duties until his death in 1663. 
Philip and IMarie (or INIarritje) had: 
2. i. Jan-, born probaljly in the Nethcrlauds. 
2. J AN" Gereardy {Philip^) was a trader, and perhaps when the hour 
was favorable, a privateer. He seems to have been shrewd and 
energetic. Previous to June 5, 1648, he became an inhabitant of 
"Warwick, R. I., where he bad been drawn through trade; and it 
may be was induced to settle there from an interest in Mrs. Eze- 
kiel IloUiman's daughter. HoUiman, who was a man of promi- 
nence from Tring in Hertfordshire, and one of the founders of the 
Baptist church in America, acquired a certain distinction in history 
by baptizing Roger Williams. His wife IMary, widow of Isaac 
Sweet, had a daughter JMirabeh whose name Ilolliman changed to 
lyenewed before she married Jan. How Jan the sailor found fa- 
vor with such a religious family as the Hollimans must be left ta 
the imagination. If Jan and Renewed were married before 1651 
they would seem to have lived but a short time in Rhode Island, 
for Jan signed his name to a petition July 16, 1651, then residing 
"on the Island of Ahrumime in the Schuylkil in the South River 
in New Netherland." He had made voyages to the South River 
(the Delaware) before this time; toward the end of December, 
1647, while near the Swedish colony, Governor John Printz did 
"with force and violence, seize me, Jan Geraet, with my boat 
called tbe Siraen, visited the yachtj and handled the goods in aa 

Philip Gereanhj of JSFew Amsterdam. 3 

uncliristiaiilike manner and to the great loss and damage of me Jan 
Gereat, turned them upside down; took out my munitions of war, 
wliicli consisted of about GO lbs. of powder and six guns, but ou 
my promising to use tliem only wlien obliged, returned me some 
powder, aljout '17 lbs. and three guns; the reiiiaiiidui' he kept for 

In IGIO IMicliiel Jansen commissioned Jan to collect a debt from 
Reynier Dominicus at the S<^uth River. But in 1052 he was back 
in Waiwick, where he unwittingly opened a volcano under the 
i'amily hearth-stone. The case illustrates a curious side of puritan 
character — a relentlessiiess that e(jualled that of the oppressor in 
England. Arnold, in his History of Rhode Island, relates the story: 

"The crew of a small Dutch vessel which had arrived there in 
January [1G52], on a trading voyage, boarded for some two months 
with John AVarner,, who was tliis year the Assistant, or second 
magisti'ate of the town, and had stored their goods in his liouse for 
sale. One of these men, named Geraerd, was a brother-in-law of 
"W^arner, Ixjth having married into the family of Ezekiel Ilollimau. 
Upon settling tlieir accounts a dispute arose which it was vainly at- 
tempted to adjust by arbitration, and the Dutchman appealed to 
the court. At their request a sj)ecial session was held. Warner 
refused to ^answer to the case, and iudi'ment was entered a'^unst 
buu by default, and execution granted for the damages assessed 
by a jury." 

Warner was tried before the General Court of Trials, degraded 
from ollice and disfranchised. His house and lands were attached 
'' upon suspicion of insufferable treachery against the town," but 
were released some time later. In March, 1G52, Jan sold to Stukely 
AVestcott certain lauds of John Warner taken by execution by 
Ilaiinanus Ilarforth of New Amsterdam. 

Some months later Gereardy bi'ought down the wrath of the Nar- 
ragansett sachems upon the settlers, and ''four score armed men" 
inarched to Warwick to demand satisfaction. In his crew were 
three infamous men who had robbed the grave of a sister of the 
fiachem Tessicus. "We fear," wrote Roger Williams, "John 
Garriard was drawn in by them, at least to consent to share with 
them in such a booty." 

" So," says Williams, " it [tleased the Lord to pacify all with our 
attaching of the Dutchman's goods aiul debts, until he have made 
satisfaction to the sachem's charge against him." 

Jan, whether at this time a citizen of the Dutch or the English 
town, carried on a thriving trade with both nations. That the na- 
ture of this conmierce aroused suspicions is certain. In 1G54 Giles 
Glover, testifying " vpon oath in the assemblie sayth, that he hath 
been twice at the Dutch, and that for the last time he was theare 
John Gai'ioud did trade something there, and fordere sayth that he 
saw an order vnder the hand of JNIr. lloliiuan and John Greene, 
Junior, for their goinge thithei', and sayth we brought howes, 
guniies and jjowder, but traded with [them]. He tarred but ten 
dayes, and [said] that he traded with some that weare not his 
Eather and Slother, and that we brought eighteen ankers of liquers 
the lirst voyage, and six the last. Robert W^estkote went about to 
buy bever and litjuers; but doth not know that he bought any [thing] 

JPhilip Gereardy of JSfeio Amsterdam. 

but one hundred Iiowes upon John Gaiiard accounte, and that Jolm 
Gariard brought sou^e deare skinnes but some he liad IVoui liia 

In the midst of tradnig and specuhition Jan found time for the 
christening of his two daughters October 11, lGr>4, at New Am- 
sterdam. They were called Pliilippe and IMarritie, no doubt from 
his father and mother. The witnesses were " Philip Get'rardts, Pie- 
ter Wolfertszen, i\Iarritie Geerardts, Thomas Hall, Ib-ster ter 
Neuf." Thomas Hall was a man of wealth with whom .Ian seems 
to have had much to do. They weie l)oth interested in Newton, 
Long Island, whei'e the directors on the oth oi: November, 1G5L), 
granted to 'SJean Gerardy " iS'ewton's Pointer tin; Green Hook, 
comprising twenty morgena or about forty acres. Three days be- 
fore this '* Philip Gerardy " had been granted twenty-live moi'gens 
at Long Island. 

In 1G55 Jan became a freeman of AVarwick; and the same year 
in a deed of a house and lot at G'' [Gravesend?] to Isaac Greven- 
raat he signed his name " John Gerardy" (Bergen's King's County 
Settlers). IMay 5, 1GG4, Jan or John Gereardy and two otiiers 
were allowed £3. 2s Gd. by the assembly for l)ringing an Indian 
to prison from Warwick to Newport, they having spent live days in 
the service. (Austin.) 

Jan's next appearance in the records is so little to his credit that 
whatever construction is given to the words lie is left in an unen- 
viable position. Probably Rliode Island justice, as in the case of 
Jan's brother-in-law, John Warner, was sometimes more lelentlesa 
than fair, for in New Amsterdam as well as in New England men 
were persecuted under the_guise of justice. Fuller's Warwick 
gives the lecord : "July 2, IGGG. Ordered that John Garyardy 
who hath confessed himselfe to be a thiefe and stands convict in a 
coui't of recoi'd for stealing, bee not for ye future a(hnitted to have 
anything to doe in ye towne meetings, but is by this order ex- 
punged ye socyety of honest men, vvliich order did pass appon a 
bill presented by Edmund Calverly Town Clarke." 

In 1G81 Gereardy and his wife were living in Providence, for 
Mary llolliman, widow ol' Ezekiel, in her will dated July Jl, IGSl, 
provides that 

"In consideration of the Great Love and affection I do bear un- 
to ni}' Son in Law, -John Garrardy and my Daughter lienewed 
Gari'ardy his wife both formerly of Warwick but now of Provi- 
dence," they are to have her right, title and interest which she then 
possessed in the " House lot, meadows and uplands &c. in \Vai-wick." 

Jan Gereardy had died before February 21, J 71 9, when Samuel 
Goi'ton testilied that he, Gereardy, "did marry a daughter of INIary 
Iloliman formerly wife to Ezekiel Iloliman, named Renewed, and 
that the wives of Jeremiah Smith of Prudence and John Smith 
now of Kings Tttwn, were reputed to be daughters of John Gere- 
ardy by Renewed, their names lu'ing iMary and Phillis." (Au^tin).■ 
A facsimile of Jan's autograph appears in the RhotU: I.^land His- 
torical Society publications, new series, vol. -1 (Ifci'JG), page lU'J. 

Jan and lienewed had : 
;>. i. MMtv. 
4. ii. J' or I'Jiii.ji'eA. And in'ohahl}' 

b. iii. .loiSN. 

Philip Gereardy of Neio Amsterdam. 5 

3. IMaiiy GicitKAKDY (J((ir, PhiUp^) ^v;ls baptized in tlie Iveforuied 
])iitcli church in New Anistunlam, Octohcr 11, IG.Vl, as " iMani- 
tie," wlien her grandfatlier and grandmother witnessed the cere- • 
niony. She married at Warwick, R. 1., January "2, 1G72, Jeremiah 
Smitli, son of Jolm Smith of Prudence Island. (N. E. Gen. Keg., 
July l8<S;j, p. 27.>.) The facts relating to her husl)and and his 
brother I owe chiefly to Austin's invaluable Genealogical Diction- 
ary of Rhode Island. Jeremiah Smith was a constable in 1G88 
and a justice of the |)eace in 1709. He purchased of his wife's 
uncle James Sweet ."OO acres in " Pettaconsett " in 1710. His 
will, dated in 171Gand provc'd in 1720, makes j)Iary one of the 
executors, and leaves to her the whole income of his lands for life, 
with a negro woman -and girl. In 1722 Mary made a deed to the 
children of her son E[)liraim. •^^iT^-ii i^^^^ 

Jeremiah Sinitk and Mary had: ♦ ^^OvJO € 

i. John, -who received nOO acres in KinusloMU by his fatlier's \vill, an 
income of i'-t per year for life, "witli cows and slieep, als(j an addi- 
tion to his house to Ix' l)uilt for not more tlian L'1T>. 
ii. Ei'uuAnr, avUo sliarf'd \vitli L'l)ene/.er all riylit in Moston neck, to jiave 
the nortli part ^vitli liousc. Epiiraim Smitli'H dauuliter liciwini'd 
married Daniel Carpenter hi llWo, and tlieir ilau-hter Mary Car- 
penter marrieil Joseph Knowlcs, -who Avas drowned in 18 lit at J'ru- 
dence Islanil. 
iii. EiJKNKzmt, to have the south i)art of Boston neck, the ferry and ferry 

house to be equally for the tv/o sons; also £10U to build a ho\ise. 
Iv. Saumi, born in Ai)r'il, IGTS; died March 12, 17ii3. ^tarried before 
Kliii) Jeremiah Ha/.ard of North Kinustdwu. Had: Mayijs Aim, 
Jiuhcrl, Sarah, Martha, Ilaitiiuh, ,Sii.-^anitah. To have £50 ami a silver 
cui) by her father's ^vill. 
V. Mauy, nnu-ried .bjlin Con,i,Mlon of Nortli K'iinrstoAvn, U. I- They had: 
Jererniali, Manj, John, Janus. IJeeeived £",0, a negro girl Maria, 
and a silver eu|j in her father's will. 

vi. Dklivkkancio, married Kfyiiolds. Keeeived £1U0 and a silver 

cup in her father's ^vill. 
4. PiiiLLis Gf.ueakdv (JaiL^, Philip^) \yas bajitized at the Reformed 
Dutch church in New Amsterdam, October 1 1, J G-')-!, as " Philippe," 
ju-obably in recognition of her giandfather Phili|). She married 
John Smith, bi-otlier of Jeremiah, her sister's husband. The broth- 
el's \\(ti(t actively engaged in the ferry at Uoslon neck, Ivingstown, 
R. I. 

In lier husband's will, proved in 1730, she was to receive 1'20 
yeaily while his widow, a third of the income of his part iif the 
terry, a negi'o girl Judah, and some necessities mentioned therein. 

John SinitJi and Phillis had: 
1. John, executor of his father's Avill. To have farm at Boston neck 
and building, and then to .Tolm's sons John and William. To his 
live daughters a gold ring ea(;h. 
ii. Danif.l, to have farm iu Coweset. Then to his son Daniel. 
Iii. A son. 

iv. Iloi'Ksrn.L, married Joseph Northup of Nortli Kingsto>vn. She had 
Jaacjili and fonr other children. Sliewas to receive from her fatli- 
er's will £U>(i and 200 acres at Coweset and a bible for each child. 
0. John Gickkauuv (,^</i^ PhlUp^) married Deliverance, widow of that 
John C'oi'p who was sexton u'i the church at Piistol, or, as I he 
ri'cord savs, diuuer of graves, .^weeper of the ini<'ting house, and 
ringer of" the bell. Colp died November 1, IG'Jl. ii Renewed 

> iL>i . 

> Philip Geveardy of New Amsterdam. 

Gereanly had died hy this time, John wlio married the wido^ 
Corp migJU, unless future information proves the contrary, be the 
first Jan, son of Piiilip. He would however be a man of seventy 
or more, and as i\Ii'. Austin says in a letter to me, this is hardly 
likely. As John Corp, first child of Deliverance, was born in 
1G80, she herself was probably not far from the age of John 
Gereardy if he was the son of Jan and Renewed. In 1702 John 
Corp, the son, prayed for permission to dispose of real estate, 
having leave from his mother Deliverance and stepfather John 

John Gereardy and Deliverance had: 

G. i. John, l)orn at l?ristol, December 22, ir.',)5-G. (Vital Record of R. I.) 
ii. SwJOKT, a daughter, born at Warwick, May 15, IG'J'J. 

G. John Gkhkauuy (Jokn'^, J<nr, P/tilip^J, born at Bristol, II. I., De-' 
cember 22, 1G'J5-G. Married November J, 1720, Mary (Sarah ?) 
Dra|)er. Mr. Austin gives Mary, and the Vital Record gives Sa- 
I'ah as the wife of John. 

Children of John Gereardy and Sarah, born at Warwick : 

1. John, born Feb. 12, 1721-2. 
ii. Mauy, born March G, 172,'i— 1. 
ill. Ei'uuAirii, born March G, 172G-7. 
Iv. l^iiKHK, born Marcli 8, 172'J-3U. 
V. Sakaii, born August ',), 17.1;!. 
vi. Elizabf-tii, born August 21, 1737. 

'5{i;|irii)te(l from the New-Eag. IILstoricul and Guui:alogi('al liegister for July, 1808;