Sunday, December 2, 2012

Catalyntje Trico, My 10G Grandmother, Wife of Joris Rapalje

Catalyntje Trico was the daughter of Jeronimus Jan Tricot and Michele Sauvagie. Catalyntje Trico was born in 1606 at Pris, Hainault, Belgium. She married Joris Janssen Rapalje, son of Jean de Rapalje and, possibly Elizabeth Baudoin, on 21-Jan-1624 at the Walloon Church, Amsterdam, North Holland, Netherlands. She died on 11-Sep-1689 at Wallabout, Brooklyn, Kings County, New York.

She was also known as Catalyntje Jeronomus Tricot. On 17-Oct-1688 she stated in a deposition that she was 83 years of age, born in Paris France [sic*], came to this country in the ship Unity in 1623 which was commanded by Adrian Jorise, and that she arrived in Albany New York and after two years moved to New Amsterdam.

Catalyntje Tricot was a remarkable woman! We encounter her first when she carefully placed her mark on a marriage intention document and then we follow her as an 18 yr. old French-speaking bride on a Dutch ship headed for New Netherland. She bore 11 children and helped her husband with his business affairs as we learn from a successful suit at law in which a considerable debt was recovered. The evidence depended upon the books which she kept and which she was required to exhibit before the court.

An interesting reference to Catalyntje is found in a journal kept by two Labadist travelers who came to New York in 1679 and visited the aging Catalina at her home on the Wallabout. From their account we find that they traveled by Wale-bocht. a place situated on Long Island. almost an hour’s distance below the city and reached the bay in about two hours. This was a bay tolerably wide where the water rises and falls much and is at low water very shallow and much of it dry. 'The aunt of De la Grange [i.e., Catalyntje Trico Rapalje] is an old Walloon from Valenciennes, seventy-four years old. She is wordly-minded, living with her whole heart as well as body, among her progeny which now number 145 and will soon reach 150. Nevertheless she lived alone by herself, a little apart from the others, having her little garden and other conveniences, with which she helped herself."

In 1685 and again in 1688, Catalyntje was asked to give depositions concerning her arrival in America, one of which was to assist William Penn in a dispute over the boundary between Pennsylvania and Maryland, later known as the Mason-Dixon line. For many years the information she gave was rejected as the babblings of a senile old lady. It is now agreed among historians that the details that she remembered after more than sixty years and when she was over eighty years old, are remarkably accurate.

In the  deposition taken at her home on Long Island on October 17, 1688 2, she states:
"Catelyn Trico doth Testify and Declare that in ye year 1623, she came into this country with a Ship called ye Unity, whereof was commander Arien Jorise belonging to ye West India Company, being ye first ship yt came here for ye sd. Company. As soon as they came to Mannatans, now called N. Yorke, they sent Two families and six men to Hartford River, and Two Families and Eight men to Delaware River, and eight men they left at N. Yorke to take Possession, and ye Rest of ye Passengers went with ye Ship as farr as Albany which they then called fort Orange.--
"Ye sd Deponent lived in Albany three years, all which time ye Indians were all as quiet as Lambs and came and Traded with all ye Freedom Imaginable; in ye year 1626, ye Deponent came from Albany and settled at N. Yorke where she lived afterwards for many years and then came to Long Island."

 Catalyntje Rapalje died September 11, 1689. She was 84 years old. 

* From an article by George E. McCracken in The American Genealogist, Vol. 48, page 118:
For long it was believed that Catelyntje was born in Paris, France, and, indeed, this old error was restated as recently as April 1971 in a letter to the editor of The Colonial Genealogist (Vol. 3, No. 4, New Series, p. 258) . . . The origin of the error is to be found in a  deposition made by Catelyntje on 17 Oct. 1688 (printed in E. B. O'Callaghan, Documentary History of New York [1850] 3:32; also in Frank Allaben, Ancestry of Leander Howard Crall (New York 1908), p. 391; the deposition is from New York Colonial Manuscripts, vol. 35. This begins "Catelyn Trico aged about 83 years born in Paris."
In March 1961 when the distinguished genealogist, John Insley Coddington, was in Amsterdam, he was informed by Dr. Simon Hart of the Gemeinte Archief that Catelyntje was actually born in the tiny hamlet of Pry, 50/215/17' North latitude, 4/215/26' East longitude, on the Herve River directly south of Charleroi in Hainault. It is obvious that when Catelyntje said "Pry," the English-speaking clerk who took down the  deposition misunderstood her to be pronouncing "Paris" as the French pronounce it, an easy error if she rolled the "r" very strongly. This important information was printed soon after in the News-Letter of the American Society of Genealogists, but as that periodical is not available outside the Society, the information did not become generally known.

1 comment:

Nadine Frisch said...

I was happy to find this site. She is also my 10th great Grandmother.
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