Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Aert Thunissen van Putten, my 9G Grandfather

Aert Teunissen van Putten

Aert Teunissen van Putten, my 9G grandfather, was New Jersey’s first 'beer baron'. He was the first person in New Jersey to start up a brewery.  Aert was born in 1612 in Putten in the Netherlands. He married Susanna Jans van Schuenburgh, also from the Netherlands. They were among the first European settlers of what is now Hoboken [Hobocan-hackingh--"the place of the tobacco pipe"], New Jersey.
New Netherland

New Netherland

In 1640 Willem Kieft, governor of what was then called New Netherland, granted van Putten a lease on the property that is now Hoboken, beginning on Jan. 1, 1641. As rent van Putten agreed to pay “the fourth sheaf with which God Almighty shall favor the field.” (Presumably one quarter of his production.) The agreement also involved Kieft building a house on the property for the Dutchman and his family. Van Putten cleared the land, fenced it in and began farming. He brought in cattle, pigs, goats and sheep. He also built New Jersey’s first brewery.
While this early colonial ale was probably a favorite in the van Putten household, it was also trade bait. Van Putten offered his brew to the native peoples who inhabited the region in return for furs. Some of these trades took place on an inlet near the Sandy Hook area called Beeregat which translates from the Dutch to 'beer hole'.

While Governor Kieft set the young Dutchman up, he also laid the groundwork for his demise. Kieft ordered the massacre of 120 Native Americans in Pavonia [PavoniaMassacre] in 1643 and in doing so started what has been known as Kieft’s War. A retaliatory strike by the Lenni Lenape killed the 31-year-old brewery pioneer that same year while he was on a trading trek. They also destroyed his property and livestock, but spared Susanna and apparently left the brewery standing although there is no evidence of operations there ever resuming.  The precise location of his brewery is no longer known, but given that it’s Hoboken, there’s a good chance there is a bar on the site now.

The second brewery in New Jersey was set up by Peter Ballantine whose business survived a good deal longer.

The children of Aert and Susanna were Jan Arentson and Wynte Arents [from whom I am descended].

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