Sunday, April 8, 2012

Should it be 300 Years in Paradise??

Last week I posted the story of my oldest known family group, Claudius and Guertrude van Beverhoudt.  I was pretty thrilled to have found evidence that took them back to 1754 in St Thomas.  Unlike many families in the United States or Europe, there isn’t a compiled genealogy of my family that I have ever found.  In fact, I haven’t located many compiled genealogies for VI families.  The closest I have found is the work of Svend Holsoe, which I have commented on before. I have been assembling the puzzle of the van Beverhoudts (and my other lines) piece by piece and making slow progress.  This week, I busted through the brick wall big time, and got linked to a rich set of published genealogical information that instantly doubled the size of my family tree and stepped me back two more generations on St Thomas, possibly to the 1600’s.

While searching the internet, I came across Claudius van Beverhoudt and Guertruy Magens on Robert Gordon Clarke’s website  Early New Netherland Settlers. This site is devoted to compiling genealogies of the families who settled the New Netherlands between 1623 and 1664. Many of these families appear in the West Indies as well as the New Netherlands, including many Dutch settlers in St Eustatius, Saba, and St Thomas. 

According to the data on this site, Claudius van Beverhoudt’s father was Johannes van Beverhoudt Claudizoon (1711-1751) and his grandparents were Claude (or Glaudi) van Beverhoudt (c. 1670-1713) and Elizabeth de Windt (d. bef 1720).  Elizabeth connects me with a rich source of genealogical information.

Unlike many sites, Clarke includes source data.  Most of the data for my family comes from a single basic source, a series of journals. In the 1980’s Henry B. Hoff and R. Kenneth Barta wrote a series of articles for a New York genealogical journal called “The Genealogist”  tracing the de Windt families of the West indies and their connections to the Dutch colonies in the New Netherlands.  The de Windts were a prominent family on both St Croix and St Thomas for a long time, producing many offspring in the Caribbean and in New York.

Since I am one to check sources, I contacted the National Association of Genealogists and ordered reprints of The Genealogist, Vols 1-10 (The set is available right now for $40 post-paid).  Once they arrive, I will go through them to confirm the data and see what additional sources are cited.  As I understand it, Hoff and Barta are highly respected genealogists, so their work should be of highest quality.

I have already found other surprises in the data that will have to wait for confirmation before I go “on the record”, but it has been very exciting to finally get tied to a family with significant research already done.  It is also extremely helpful in sorting out all the van Beverhoudts I have run across in my research.

1 comment:

  1. This sounds like a great find, David. I look forward to reading about what you find. I have to admit that with some health issues that I have, I don't have the stamina to go through the source documents like you have been able to do. But I very much appreciate your sharing this information with everyone through your blog.