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Barent Jacobsen Kool - Life Story

From “The Barent Jacobsen Cool Family” by Richard H Benson (New England Historic Genealogical Society) - with some paraphrasing, I believe.

Brent Jacobsen Kool/ Cool (1610-1676)

Italicized noted by Mary Morken (I think) Both Mary Morken and "needfulthings170" posted text from the book, but since the quoted text varies between the two, there must be some paraphrasing; This account combines the two stories; I can tell what is directly quoted from the book, and what is paraphrased.

The early ancestors were quite casual about spelling. The earliest record for the Cool family spell the name Cool, but subsequent records are spelled Kool, Kohl, Coel, Cohl, and Cole. Rather than trying to sort out a correct spelling for each person, I have usually used the name given at baptism.  This is further complicated by the entire practice and common naming patterns that were followed by our Dutch Ancestors.  There is a separate remarkable document that covers the standard naming conventions used by the Dutch

 The First Generation

(In America)

Barent Jacobsen Cool was born about 1610 according to a deposition he gave on 12 January 1645, in which he said he was 34 years old. It is likely that he was the Barent Jacobsen was baptized on 10 May 1610 in the Nieuwe Kerk (New Church), in Amsterdam, and was the son of Jacob Arentsen and his wife, Aeltje Dircks, both of Amsterdam. 

Barent married Marretje Leenderts Degrauw about 1637, probably near Amsterdam. Marretje was the daughter of Leendert Arentsen DeGrauw and Leuntje Alberts. The baptisms of eight of Barent and Marretje’s children from 1640 through 1657 were recorded at the New Amsterdam Dutch Reformed Church, the records of which date only from 1639.

The first indication that Barent was in New Amsterdam occurred on 8 June 1633, when he was about 23 years old. On that date he and six others signed a treaty with the Sickename Indians to purchase land bordering on the Connecticut River.  The tract of land was called Sicajook, and the site was obtain by Barent and his colleagues exchanging twenty-seven ells of cloth, six axes, six kettles, eighteen knives and various other articles for the land.  A trading fort was erected on the tract called "The house of Good Hope".   The treaty also provided that the Sachem Altabacuhote was to dwell on the purchased land with the assent of Chief Margaratin of the Sloops Bay Indians.(added)

Barent Jacobsen Cool sailed to New Amsterdam, possibly from Amsterdam as a sailor in late 1632 on the ship Soutberg, which arrived in April 1633 with 140 soldiers. At that time, New Amsterdam, now New York City, had a population of only 400 to 500 people.

On June 8, 1633, he and six others signed a treaty with the Sickename Indians for purchasing land on the Connecticut River. The cost was recorded as 27 rolls of cloth, 6 axes, 6 kettles, 18 knives, and other articles. This was done to halt English exploration of the land. Barent's group also built a trading house called "The House of Good Hope" and fortified it with several cannons.

Barent returned to Amsterdam by November 16, 1635. At that time, he and a gold wiremaker named Jacob Hanssen lodged a complaint about withholding pay from officers of the West India Company returning to Amsterdam on the ship Eendracht against Lubbert van Dincklagen, the former sheriff of New Netherland. Van Dincklagen said it was part of dispute with the director-general of the colony, named Wouter van Twiller.

Kool and Hanssen had been asked by officers of the West India Company who had recently returned to Amsterdam on the ship Eendracht to go to Lubbert van Dincklagen, former sheriff of New Netherland, and ask him why he had frozen their salaries.  Van Dincklagen explained that he had done so because he wanted to know what they had declared against him in New Netherland.  He had been involved in a dispute with Wouter van Twiller, Director-General of the colony. 

Barent sailed on the ship Den Dolphyn to New Amsterdam in early 1638 with his father-in-law, Leendert Arentsen DeGrauw. It is presumed that his wife and her brothers and sisters were also on board. On April 19, 1638, the crew of the Den Dolphyn made a formal complaint to the provincial secretary about how the ship leaked during the voyage and that the captain had not provided enough food for the passengers. Barent and DeGrauw testified that several children belonging to Jan Schepmoes and his wife didn't receive enough food. It is said the Den Dolphyn was preparing to sail in September 1637, but had to wait until a carpenter, Pieter Conelissen, was recruited for the crew.  On April 19, 1638, the crew of the Den Dolphyn made a formal complaint to the provincial secretary about how the ship leaked during the voyage and that the captain had not provided enough food for the passengers. Barent and DeGrauw testified that several children belonging to Jan Schepmoes and his wife didn't receive enough food. One wonders if Barent and Marretje's son Jacob was born before, during or shortly after the voyage?

Barent Jacobsz Cool was skipper of the yacht Amsterdam from 1638 to at least 1644. In a deposition dated 19 Feb, 1644, Egbert van Borsum, Barent Jacobsz, Wessel Eveersz and Antoni Fernaudus, masters of the yachts Prins Willem, Amsterdam, St. Martyn and DeVreede, attested and declared at the request of Tymen Jansen, ship carpenter, that during their skippership he had worked on their boats and yachts and repaired what was necessary.  However, he said that sometimes he lacked materials, so that he could not properly repair the vessels.  Barent identified himself in the document as master of the Amsterdam and stated that he had been its master since 1638. Barent sailed on the Hudson River to Fort Orange (now Albany, New York) as well and the waterways around New Amsterdam not only for trade but in an effort to curtail or at least limit some of the rampant smuggling. Teunis Dircksz van Vechten who lived up the Hudson River at Rensselaerwyck kept accounts of grain delivered to the West Indian Company. He noted a payment of 40 schepels on 10 April 1641 to "skipper Barent Jacobsz." Barent also served Manhattan. On 6 November 1644 he was paid three beavers, worth 21 pounds, for piloting the ship Wapen van Rensselaerswyck "outside the Santtpunt." This ship sailed on to Bermuda. 

The colony of New Netherland grew very slowly during these years. The population of New Amsterdam, on the south end of Manhattan Island, was 400 to 500 in 1633 and 1643. Nearby Indian tribes responded to poor treatment with raids starting in 1640. War with the Indians peaked in the spring of 1643. When Roger Williams visited New Amsterdam in March 1643, he noted, "Before we weighed anchor, mine eyes saw the flames at their towns and the flight and hurry of men, women and children and the present removal of all that could for Holland." By 1645, the population of the village had shrunk to no more than 250 persons. In the next few years, the population grew some, reaching 1,000 in 1656.

On 13 April 1654, Barent was sworn as a wine and beer carrier. The duties of a wine and beer carrier were to be available either in front of the East India Company warehouse or at his dwelling house from six in the morning to six in the afternoon. He was to be ready and at the service of everyone who would desire to lay in or remove any wine or beer. Under an act of the burgomasters of New Amsterdam passed 5 May 1654, Barent was appointed one of the two Excisemen whose official duty was to protect the wine and beer trade against fraud. He still held this office in January 1661, when he was referred to in a complaint.

In 1661, he and Joost Goderus were ordered by the burghers to go aboard the many ships in New Amsterdam harbor, search them and levy duty on all goods found on them. On 21 September 1663 Barent and others were appointed public porters. Joost Goderus and Frans Jansen were discharged and "other sober men" were to be appointed in their place. Barent was elected foreman. On 17 July 1665, Barent was called"Elder of the Beer Porters, to whom all shall be bound to show obedience." On 19 September 1665, Jonas Barelsen and Barent Jacbsen Cool were commanded to inspect a boat and see what damage it suffered when loaned to another person.

Barent was enrolled as a "burgher" of New Amsterdam on the first list made on 14 April 1657 and took an oath of allegiance to the city authorities and of fidelity to the States-General of the United Netherlands, to the Dutch West India Company and to its Director-General. Small burghers were entitled to freedom of trade in the city and included natives of the city, people resident for a year and six weeks and salaried servants of the Dutch West India Company.

Although the population reached 1,500 by 1664, the city was still small and not well fortified. In 1664, and English fleet appeared and demanded its surrender. Without resources to defend the colony, Peter Stuyvesant surrendered New Netherland to the English on 8 Spetember 1664. In October 1664, after the surrender of New Amsterdam to the English, Barent took an oath of allegiance to the King of Great Britain.

Barent and his family lived in a house owned by the West India Company, as listed in a 1665 directory as being on Brugh Straat (Bridge Street). On 15 May 1668, Govenor Richard Nicolls noted that Leendert Aerden was deceased, and since one of his daughters was the wife of Barent Jacobsen, the title to Leendert's lot was conferred on Barent. The lot was described as being on the east side of the Great Highway, south of the house and lot of Johannes Nevius and north of the house of H. Smeeman, measuring 30 feet by 120 feet. This property was on Broadway immediately south of Wall Street and opposite the present south yard of Trinity Church.

Barent and Maretje were both sponsors at a baptism in New York on 4 November 1668, the last record we have of Marretje. The last record we have of Barent is his being listed as a sponsor in New York on 21 October 1671 at the baptism of his grandson, Johannes Willems Van Freedenberg.


From "The Barent Jacobsen Cool Family" by Richard H Benson, New England Historic Genealogical Society, Newbury Street Press, Boston, 2001


From Early Germans of New Jersey by Chambers.

Barent Kool was in New Amsterdam in the employ of the Dutch West India Company. Barent's family was one of the five families living, June 8, 1633, on Bridge Street in New Amsterdam. Barent was a Dutch government representative with the Dutch West Indies Company He was a very respected man.

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