Will of Jan Dircksen from Amsterdam

Scanned Document:

On the 12th of June in the year after the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, one thousand and forty-seven, before me, Cornelis van Tienhoven, secretary of New Netherland appointed by the General Chartered West India Company, appeared Jan Dircksz from Amsterdam, master carpenter, who sailed in said Company’s service in the ship Swol, and who before and in the presence of the undersigned witnesses declared that it was his intention to dispose by form of testamentary disposition and last will of his temporal estate and effects which God Almighty had granted him in this world. Therefore, the aforesaid testator, lying sick in bed at the house of Gorge Rapalje, chief boatswain, being in full possession of his memory and understanding as it appeared to us, declared that he, having reflected on the certainty of death and the uncertainty of the hour thereof, and wishing therefore to anticipate all such uncertainty by certain testamentary disposition and thus proceeding to the disposal of his means and effects, he, the testator, orders and directs that after his death, out of his monthly wages which he has earned in the service of the honorable West India Company, chamber at Amsterdam, there be given and paid to the poor of the Reformed Church at Amsterdam the sum of two hundred guilders; to Jannitje Tielmans, his, the testator’s, sweetheart or betrothed, he gives and bequeaths the sum of two hundred and fifty guilders, provided she has remained unmarried and a spinster to this date. He, the testator, likewise gives and bequeaths to Geertjen Dircksen, his only sister, the remainder of his earned monthly wages, provided that the aforesaid Geertjen, his, the testator’s, sister, shall pay from the balance of his monthly wages all the expenses of his burial, etc. In case the above mentioned Jannitjen Tielmans be married or deceased, he, the testator, provides and directs that his above mentioned sister shall receive the two hundred and fifty guilders. In like manner, if the testator’s sister above mentioned should have died before the date hereof, or when this will shall be produced in Holland, the aforesaid moneys must be deposited in the name of her children who, when they come of age, shall pro rata share and receive the same with the interest thereof. He, the testator, also gives and bequeaths to Jan Jansen Gorter, welgh-house porter of the Withoede Veem,[1] all the goods which belong to the testator and are in his, Gorter’s, possession, according to the inventory thereof in the hands of the said Jan Jansz Gorter. In like manner he, Jan Dircksen, gives and bequeaths to his comrade Jan Claessen from Bellicum all the property which he shall leave behind here in this country. Finally, the testator commends his soul after his death to the hands of God and his body to a Christian burial and requests that his testament and last will may have effect and be valid before all lords, courts, tribunals and judges, especially as he, the testator, revokes all previous testaments, codicils, or donations, which heretofore may have been made or executed by him, in whatever form or manner they may have been made or written. In token of the truth this is signed by the above mentioned Jan Dircksen from Amsterdam with his own hand, although lying in bed, in the presence of Commander Jelmer Tomasz and Paulus Leendertsz, naval store keeper, Hans Kirsteede and Willem Heys, surgeons, the day and year above written, in New Amsterdam, New Netherland.

Jan Dirckxen
Jelmer Thomas
Pouwelis Lendersen van die Grist
Hans Kierstedt
William Heays
Cornelis van Tienhoven
“White Hat Association”; one of the various small organizations of members of the weigh-house porters’ guild, which were established at an early date for purposes of cooperative work and mutual benefit and which were distinguished by the color of the hats worn by them.


Translation: Scott, K., & Stryker-Rodda, K. (Ed.). New York Historical Manuscripts: Dutch, Vol. 2, Register of the Provincial Secretary, 1642-1647 (A. Van Laer, Trans.). Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc.: 1974.A complete copy of this publication is available on the New Netherland Institute website.