Marriage contract of Gerrit Jansen van Steenwyck and Pietertje Heertjes

Scanned Document:

Before me, Cornelis van Ruyven, appointed secretary in New Netherland in the service of the General Chartered West India Company, and in the presence of the hereinafter named witnesses, appeared the worthy Gerrit Jansen van Steenwyck, widower, future bridegroom, and the virtuous Pietertje Heertjes, widow, who declared that they had mutually decided for the honor of God on a future marriage and that before all bonds of marriage and the solemnization thereof they had drawn up and made together the following antenuptial contract or marriage articles in manner as follows, to wit: That they, on each side, shall bring in such property as they at present through God's blessing have acquired (but it is herein understood and stipulated that the property brought in by the bride shall not be liable for the debts of the bridegroom, nor the property of the bridegroom be liable for the debts of the bride),[1] with this condition that in case Gerrit Jansen, the future bridegroom, should die first, she (Pietertje Heertjes, future bride)[2] shall be at liberty to take to herself the goods and cash brought in by her, which are: in cash, both in beavers and silver money, the sum of three hundred guilders; one bed with six pairs of sheets, three pillows and two blankets. And if Pietertje Heertjes, the future bride, die first, her son Dirck Claesen or his heirs may demand and take out of the most available goods or cash the sum of three hundred guilders, and when the aforesaid Gerrit Jansen shall be deceased the said Dirck Claesen or his heirs may demand and collect the remainder of the goods brought in by his mother. As to the goods brought in by Gerrit Jansen, they shall after his death go to his children, as far as he or his heirs by proper inventory shall be able to show that they were brought in by him; and all that they, the appearers, shall hereafter acquire or gain shall after the decease of either one devolve on the other, and after both have died be divided among: the heirs on both sides, each side receiving the just half With all of which aforesaid provisions they, the appearers, on both sides are fully satisfied and content. Thus done in New Amsterdam in New Netherland, this day the first of September 1654.

Gerrit Jansen van Steenwyck
Pietertje Heertjes
Casper Steinmets
Hans Barsn van Osenbrugge
Dirck Claasse
Cor. van Ruyven


The words in parentheses are inserted in the margin.
The words in parentheses are inserted in the margin.


Translation: Scott, K., & Stryker-Rodda, K. (Ed.). New York Historical Manuscripts: Dutch, Vol. 3, Register of the Provincial Secretary, 1648-1660 (A. Van Laer, Trans.). Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc.: 1974.A complete copy of this publication is available on theĀ New Netherland Institute website.