Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Claes Jacobus Backer and Margaretha [Stuyvesant] Backer

Jacobus Backer and Margaretha Stuyvesant

Claes Jacobus Backer and Margaretha [Stuyvesant] Backer are my 9G grandparents.

Old Dutch names can be a bit confusing. Since we in the Langdon family tree have a number of ancestors with Dutch names, I recommend a quick look at these two sources—for Dutch given names click here and for Dutch patronymics [surnames] click here. Spelling in the 17th century was casual as well and, consequently the spellings of names, even within the same family, sometimes diverged—for example 'Langdon' and 'Landon.' The name 'Bakker' also is found as 'Backer', and 'Baker'. Claes' is one of the nicknames for 'Nicolas'. 'Jacobus' is also seen in the records as 'Jacob'. 'Margaretha' also appears as 'Margaret'.

Jacobus Backer was born in Amsterdam, Holland, in 1630-31. He came to New Amsterdam as a merchant trader sometime before March 13, 1653 when he contributed 150 guilders toward “putting the city in a state of defense.”



  Nicolaes Eliasz Pickenoy, Portrait of Jacob Backer, after 1632. Amsterdam Museum, inv. no. SB 2534 (on loan from the Backer foundation).
On October 30th, 1655, he married Margaret Stuyvesant van Delfziel who was born in Holland in 1635 and was half-sister to Governor Peter Stuyvesant (her mother was Styntje Peters van Haarlem, second wife of the Reverend Balthazar Stuyvesant). They had five children, all of whom were baptized in the Dutch Church: 1. Nicholas, March 25, 1657; 2. Balthazar, September 18, 1658; 3. Hillegond, September 7, 1659; 4. Hendricus (Hendrick), September 26, 1660; and Abraham, November 23, 1664.


Margaretha Stuyvesant Backer

Though a free merchant, Jacob Backer often served as a lawyer in the court. His trading operations were extensive and his wife, Margaretha, actively aided him in his business enterprises. He lived on the east side of 'the Gracht” [A
gracht (city-canal) is a waterway in the city with streets on both sides of the water. The streets are lined with houses, often in a closed front] next door to the corner of Prince Straat (Prince Street, later Number 65-67 Broad Street) and his warehouse adjoined his residence. He had bought the lot unimproved in June 1656. Though one of the original patentees of New Utrecht on January 16, 1657, he never settled there and continued to reside in New Amsterdam. On April 23, 1657, he was also patented with Govert Lockermans' and C. van Ruynen's, “Hog’s Neck or Island.”

Jacob Backer was president of the Board of Schepens in 1664 and had been on the Board for several years. (This was the municipal court of justice.) He was provincial agent to Holland in 1663 and was one of the two delegates from New Amsterdam to the General Assembly (Cornelius Steenwick was the other) which met at the New Amsterdam Town Hall in April 1664 five months before the British seizure of the Colony. During Stuyvesant’s interview with Scott in regard to western Long Island prior to the seizure, he was “attended by van Cortland, John Lawrence,
Jacob Backer, and a military escort.”

In his book The Colony of New Netherland; A Dutch Settlement in Seventeenth-Century America (Cornell 2009), Jaap Jacobs, discusses the “social stratification of New Netherland” and noted that the “top tier consisted of major merchants… and high Company officials. … These were men such as Cornelis Steenwijck, Johannes Pietersz van Brugh,
Jacob Backer, and Johannes de Peijster.”*

“On Saturday, September 6, six Dutch and English delegates met outside the city at Stuyvesant’s own bouwerie house and drew up in English the ‘Article of Capitulation of the Surrender of New Netherland’.” The next day the articles were read to the burghers in the church after the second service; the official copy, signed by Colonel Nichols, was
delivered to Governor Stuyvesant and ratified by him; by Desille, the Schout fiscal of New Netherlands; Martin Cregier, the chief militia officer of the province; Peter Tonneman, the city Schout; Burgomaster van der Grist;
Jacobus Backer, president of the Board of Schepens and by the schepens Timothy Gabry, Isaac Greveraet, and Nicholas de Meyer.”


Governor Peter Stuyvesant

After the surrender, Jacobus Backer signed the letter to the Directors in Amsterdam explaining the capitulation. Though he had sworn allegiance to the Crown, he made arrangements to return to Holland and gave his wife power of attorney to conduct his affairs in his absence. He left for Holland in August of 1666 and from there reportedly sailed to the East Indies where he apparently died. Margaret stated that she “very much doubts of his life not having in several years had any letter or advice from him but various reports of his death since his departure from Holland to the East Indies.”
* * * * * * * *

Margaret Backer remained in New Amsterdam and in 1670 was sued in court by Jacques Cousseau for payment due on 8,000 pounds of tobacco with the request to the court that “the house of her husband, Sieur Jacob, be sold to furnish payment.” As she had no effects to pay the debt, the property “on the east side of Broad Street south of Beaver” was sold to Baltus de Haerdt, a wealthy merchant, on February 24, 1671. Margaretha Backer stayed in the house for two years and bore a son to de Haerdt. The child was baptized Daniel in the Dutch Church on September 1, 1671. De Haerdt died in 1672. [It is unclear whether or not they were ever married]

1n 1676, Margaretha Stuyvesant Backer moved with her children to Elizabethtown, New Jersey, where she was granted a substantial amount of land. “Mrs. Margaret Baker of Elizabethtown” was granted two-hundred and twenty-four acres. She settled in Elizabethtown and she and her children attended the Presbyterian Church.

On March 13, 1678, she married Hendrick Drogstrot of Elizabethtown. The following deed was recorded on June 8, 1682:
Hendrick Drogstrot of Elizabethtown, and his wife Margrett to
Hendrick Baker of the same place, Margrett’s son by first husband,
for a house lot of three acres bounded N.E. by a road, S. & S.E. by
grantors, W. by Elizabeth Creek.

On June 9th:
Same grantors to Hendrick, Nicholas, and Abraham Baker for all the real estate patented to Margaret, then widow Baker, April 24, 1677.

Then on June 10th there was another entry of an agreement between “Hendrick and Margaret Drogstrot on one side and her four sons Hendrick, Nicholas, and Abraham Baker and Daniel de Haerdt on the other.”
The three Ba(c)ker brothers all started branches of the Baker Family:

Henry Baker had a son Henry (Jr) who moved to Rahway and was the founder of a Baker family. A younger son, Nicholas, baptized on Stated Island in 1707, apparently moved to Tappan, New York, where another branch of the family was reputed to have been established.

Nicholas Backer, the eldest brother, who married Catherine Croesen, was my 8G grandfather. They moved to Staten Island where he left numerous descendants. (Nicholas apparently was the only child who kept the 'c' in the surname.)

Abraham Baker, the youngest brother, stayed in Elizabethtown. He had two grandsons, Ephriam and Ezekiel. This line is traced only through Ezekiel’s children."
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Descent from Jacobus Backer & Margaretha Stuyvesant

9G Claes Jacobus Backer & Margaretha Stuyvesant

8G Nicholas Backer & Catherine Croesen

7G Pieter Haughwout & Neeltje Backer

6G Johannes Braisted & Trientju Haughwout

5G Egbert Braisted & Rachel Bodine

4G John Braisted & Anna Nautchie Martling

3G Garrett Braisted & Gertrude Vroom

2G John Abyathis Langdon & Ann Louise Braisted

GG Charles David Langdon & Theresa C. White

G Edward Joseph Phillip Fox Langdon & Ellen Agnicius Rockett

Jules Rockstein & Theresa Margaret Langdon

Edward David Rockstein

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