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Jellis Douw Fonda - Voyage to America

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Jellis Douw Fonda - Voyage to America

Posted: 2 Nov 2004 7:20PM GMT
Classification: Query
Edited: 28 Nov 2006 7:52AM GMT
Surnames: Fonda
I have a theory as to which ship Jellis Douw Fonda and family made their voyage to America on.

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).

2. The first record of Jellis (Gillis) in America was in Fort Orange (now Albany, NY) on October 19, 1951 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 1647 and 1651, probably towards the latter, since they had four small children: Douwe, Giertje, Sara and Abraham; all listed in "Amsterdam Records of the Fonda Family". 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 mention of Abraham, so he either died young, or was left behind in Holland.

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.

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):
http://olivetreegenealogy.com/nn/mm_6.shtml

"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)

There were only two such ships listed from 1647 to 1651 (which had passengers, but without a passenger list):

1. “VALCKENIER” (captain Willem Tomasz., owned by Abel de Wolff and Jan-Baptist van Rensselaer), left Amsterdam between March 15th 1650 and April 16th 1650 and arrived before June 28th 1650 in New Amsterdam with 140 colonists.

2. “GELDERSCHE BLOM” (captain unknown, owned by Wouter van Twiller), left Amsterdam after March 20th 1651, arriving in New Amsterdam before July 31st 1651 with 12 colonists on board for Rensselaerswijck.

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 was a free colonist, paying for his own ships fare. So you might conclude that Jellis and his family must have been on the "VALCKENIER", arriving in New Amsterdam by June 28th 1650.

As a further check, looking at the entire ship list, there were 21 ships sailing from The Netherlands to America from 1647 to 1651. Six had passenger lists:
http://olivetreegenealogy.com/nn/mm_shipamny.shtml

1. "PRINSES AMELIA" WIC Amsterdam 1647 Nieuw-A'dam voor 27 5 1647
2. "GROOTE GERRIT" Paulus Leendersz. Van der Grist WIC Amsterdam 1646/ 1647 Nieuw-A'dam voor 27 5 1647
3. "VALCKENIER" Willem Tomasz. Verbrugge Amsterdam 1649 Nieuw-A'dam voor 17 7 1649
4. "WATERHONT" particulier Amsterdam 5 5 1651 Nieuw-A'dam 1651
5. "HOFF VAN CLEEF" Adriaen Blommaert particulier Amsterdam 1651 Nieuw-A'dam voor 15 6 1651
6. "GELDERSE BLOM" W. van Twiller Amsterdam na 20 3 1651 Nieuw-A'dam voor 31 7 1651

The "GELDERSE BLOM" is on both lists, and the 12 colonists are listed, but none were Fondas. None of the other ships had any Fondas listed.

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 four young children, Douwe, Grietje, Sara and Abraham sailed on the “VALCKENIER” (captain Willem Tomasz., owned by Abel de Wolff and Jan-Baptist van Rensselaer), which left Amsterdam between March 15th 1650 and April 16th 1650 and arrived before June 28th 1650 in New Amsterdam with 140 colonists. It is the only ship which fits in the correct time frame, from the correct location, does not have a passenger list, but did have colonists aboard.

Any thoughts, theories or comments are welcome.

Mark

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