Johannes MESSECAR (1648 – After 1701) was Alex’s 10th Great Grandfather; one of 2,048 in this generation of the Miller line. His father, Michiel Miscaer and his family arrived in New Amsterdam on 11 May 1647 aboard the Princess Amelia. The following year, Machiel baptized his son, Johannes, in the Reformed Dutch Church located within the walls of the fort at the tip of Manhattan. The sponsors for his son were listed as Casper Steynmits and Roelof Cornelisen (Van Houten), both military men, and “Christyntie and Lysbeth” (no last names). Johannes Messecar was born in 1648 in New Amsterdam. He was baptized at the Reformed Dutch Church in New Amsterdam. His parents were Michiel MESSECAR and [__?__]. He married Neeltje Harmense COERTEN, on 23 Jun 1670 in Bergen, NJ. Johannes died between 1701 when they witnessed the baptism of their grandson, Johannes Ryker, and the 1706 census
Neeltje Harmense was bornin 1654 in Holland. Her parents were Harmen COERTEN and Aertje GERRITS. Neeltje died at the age of 100 in 1754 in Staten Island, NY. Children of Johannes and Neeltje:
|1.||Eve (Eva) MESSECAR||c. 1671 Staten Island, NY||Matthew De DECKERS c. 1687 Staten Island, NY|
|2.||Marritje Messecar||1680||Pieter Rycken (Ryker) Staten Island||1765|
|4.||Appolonia Messecar (Messeker)||1679 or 1683
Staten Island, NY
|1752 Staten Island, NY|
|5.||Harman Messecar (Harmen Mesker)||1682||Marritje Rycken (Marytje Ryker)||1775|
|6.||Machiel Messecar||23 Nov 1684||1720 New York|
|7.||Evert Messecar||1685 Brooklyn, Kings, NY||Antje [__?__]||1785|
First Residence – New Amsterdam. Second Residence – Gravesend, Kings County, New York in 1672 and 1687. Third Residence – Flatbush, Kings County, New York. Fourth Residence – Richmond County, New York in early 1700’s. Source [Record: April 1984 page 91] Johannes Mesecar, as his name was spelled on a 1701 land deed, was baptized in the Dutch Reform Church in New Amsterdam on the 8 June, 1648.
On 23 Jun 1670, he married Neeltje Harmense Coerten, daughter of Harmen Coerten and Aertje. Her father had arrived in the country on 12 Feb 1659. Harmen Coerten, his wife and their 5 children lived for a time in New Utrecht, Long Island, but by 1664 had moved to Bergen, New Jersey. It was in Bergen that Johannes and Nellie married, but there is every indication that Johannes continued to live at Gravesend where he raised his family.
In 1672, Johannes was alloted a plot of land at Gravesend, and the following year he paid 8 guilders to the Flatlands church for the use of the pall. Johannes and Nellie also paid for part of the funeral of her mother in Bergen in 1684.
While living at Gravesend, Johannes started to acquire property elsewhere. In 1675, he was one of 34 men to partition for lots of 80 acres on Staten Island. Included on this petition were also the names of Thomas Morgan and Barent Tysen (Sweem) who would later become neighbors and friends At some point toward the end of the 1600, Johannes moved his family over to Staten Island. They appear to have settled on property near the Fresh Kill, on the western side of the island.
Using Staten Island as a stepping stone to the west, Johannes purchased and sold lands on the Raritan River in Piscataway, New Jersey, and may have travelled north up the Passaic River and bought additional property there. He signed his name to documents with the letter “M.” When the 1706 census for Staten Island was taken, Johannes and Neeltje were not listed. They may have died between 1701 when they witnessed the baptism of their grandson, Johannes Ryker, and the 1706 census. What is certain is that many of their children lived, married and started to raise families on Staten Island, and many then moved westward into New Jersey.
Marytje’s husband Peter Ryker
She was a resident of Staten Island in 1706. They went north up the Passaic River and settled in Gansegat, or Horseneck. The Rykers and the Mesecors continued to weave their families together over the next 100 years.
Marytje and Peter Ryker had the following children:
i. Nealthe m. Isaac <Simon> Van Ness
ii. Elizabeth, Althe
iv. Johannes (1701) married Rachel <Simon> Van Ness
v. Hendrick (1703)
vi. Peter (1706)
vii. Abraham (1710)
viii. Isaac (1714)
ix. Jacob (1717). m. Tryntje <Johannes> Spier Rycken/Van Giesen
4. Appollonia Messeker
Appollonia’s husband Barent Symessen was born about 1675 Port Richmond, NY. His parents were parents were Simon Barents, also known as Simon Blanck, and Wyntie Arents. Barent died in 1752 Staten Island.
Resident of Staten Island in 1706. Appollonia and her family went down into Somerset County to live.
Children of Appollonia and Barent Simonsen. Their names can be found in Jacob Janeway account books and church records at the Readington DRC.
Readington Township is located in the easternmost portion of Hunterdon County. The Reformed Church at Readington, N. J., was formerly ” The Dutch Reformed Church of North Branch.” Records remain from the beginning of the ministry of its first pastor, Rev. Theodorus Jacobus Frelinghuysen. It is stated that when he ” accepted the call which had been sent forward to the Classis of Amsterdam, it had been waiting for him two years;” and as he was here in January, 1720, the clurch must have been organized as early as 1717. Dr. Messier says, ” We are therefore led to fix the date of the organization of the church of North Branch [now Readington] between 1715 and 1718
i. Wyntie Symessen bapt. 5 Mar 1701 in Port Richmond, NY, and died 1783 in Bedford Co, VA.
ii. Debora Symessen
iii. Simeon Symessen
iv. Johannes Symessen b. 1707; married Dina Symons Van Leuween.
v. Aron Symessen b. 1710
vi. Neeltje Symessen b. 1715?
vii. Maria Symessen baptized 24 Aug 1718. Staten Island, New York Church Records
5. Harmon Mesker
He had married Marytje Ryker (and his sister, also Marytje, had married Peter Ryker.)
Resident of Staten Island in 1706. He was living on property near Thomas Morgan’s family and the family of Hendrick and Femmetje Ryker. Harmon settled on property in Essex County, New Jersey, in about 1715. Later, his children and the Rykers would own property in nearby Gansegat (Horseneck). Soon they would find themselves involved in an ugly dispute over the ownership of their property. Known as the Horseneck Riots, several of Harmon’s sons and daughters would find themselves ejected off their properties.
Children of Harmon & Marytje: (Dates recorded at the Acquacknonk and Second River Dutch Reform Church in Gansegat N.J.) Reformed Dutch Church of Second River, also known as the Belleville Dutch Reformed Church was founded in 1697 as a Dutch Reformed Church, located in present day Belleville, New Jersey. The church is named after the Second River which is a tributary of the Passaic River. The church was rebuilt in 1725 and again in 1807. The church steeple was used as a observation post during the American Revolution. Over 62 Revolutionary soldiers are buried in the adjacent graveyard. The current church building was built in 1853
i. Neeltje Messecar b 1705. married Steven <Egbert> Van Seyl
ii. Johannes Messecar b 1707.
iii. Hendrick Messecar b ab.1710.
iv. Femmetje Messecar b ab. 1710.
v. Lena Abraham Messecar b 1714. married Hendrick Ryder 20 DEC 1737 in RDC, Acquackanonck Township, Passaic, NJ. He was born ABT 1718 in Richmond, NY.
vi. Antje Messecar b ?.
vii. Marytje Messecar b ?.
viii. Lodewyck Messecar b ?.
The Horseneck Riots in some ways were precursers of the American Revolutionary War. Misunderstanding of the law was the root of the evil that caused the riots. The settlers had obtained an Indian Deed to the Horseneck Section and — contrary to the law — believed they therefore owned the land. The question arose: Were Indian deeds to be recognized as legal? The Proprietors said “no” and cited the acts of 1683 and 1703. To avert real trouble, they sought to negotiate a peaceful settlement with the Indian Deed settlers. Letters were sent to the settlers, outlining plans of agreement. These were rejected and the Proprietors began to evict the settlers.
The question here involved was: Could an Indian Deed establish the right to settle, or did the Proprietors have the right to evict people who had not obtained land through British authorities? Right or not, the Proprietors did begin to evict. On September 19, 1745, Samuel Baldwin of Horseneck was evicted and taken to Newark prison. While there, a group of settlers freed him — using force — and then marched back to Horseneck riotously. This was the beginning of a long series of riots. Accounts of them, taken from contemporary newspapers and from the proceedings of the East Jersey Proprietors, tell the full story. Their implications are manifold. They were classified as open rebellion against the motherland. The Proprietors called it treason. The settlers answered these charges with plausible arguments. It then became a matter to be decided in the courts, and the seriousness of the situation was great. The flaunting of British law may have been a forerunner of the Revolution itself, at least the question involved was the same — individual rights versus blind obedience to law as administered by royal decree.
These Horseneck Riots have great importance in New Jersey colonial history because they gave impetus to other riots which began to spread in neighboring counties. The Horseneck Rioters were certain that they were right. Taking advantage of a popular democratic procedure, they sent several petitions to the New Jersey Assembly, stating why they should be allowed to remain on the land. One of the Proprietors, a Mr. Nevill, tore these petitions apart and did his best to show the fallacy of the settlers’ belief. The New Jersey Proprietors as a group on March 25, 1747, outlined the negotiations that occurred between the settlers and the Proprietors of Horseneck. They attempted to show that the Rioters knew they were guilty and were afraid to have the matter brought into the courts. In order to prove once and for all that the Proprietors were right, the land policy of the government was outlined.
From this outline it became very clear why there had been so much confusion concerning land ownership. From the citation of English Common Law to the Act of 1703, a picture of complete confusion was apparent. It seems strange that the Proprietors should expect the unlettered settlers to understand this policy. No wonder the settlers held that Indiana deeds were legal. Riots continued. Finally law suits were brought against the Horseneck settlers. Many lost their lands, others paid up. In conclusion, the following observations may be made:
- The settlers of Horseneck found that in Indian Deeds, not recognized by the Proprietors, there was trouble. Had they investigated the law, they would have found themselves in the wrong, and the riots might have been avertted.
- This, however, may have been in impossibility, because the Horseneck settlers were unlettered men, unfamiliar with legal terminology, and the law in itself was confusing. Many of the settlers believed they were acting quite within the law. The Proprietors, on the other hand, were shrewd and clever men, who took advantage of the settlers lack of knowledge.
- The question of land ownership was settled in a manner favorable to the Proprietors; the settlers were either evicted or paid the Proprietors for their lands.
- The riots themselves accomplished little at the time they occurred, but they were a foreshadowing of things to come.
6. Machiel Messecar
On 23 Nov 1684, Johannes and Nellie baptized a son, Michiel, in the Flatbush Dutch Reform Church. The sponsors for the child were Jacob Hendrickz and Catherine Beauvois. Less than a month later, Johannes was a sponsor for Cornelis and Adam, twin sons of Cornelis Buys (son of Jan Cornelis Buys) and his wife, Machteld Gerritz of New Utrecht. ( It appears as if the family of Machteld Gerritz and the Mesecars have some sort of connection, but it has not been determined at this time.)
7. Evert Masacor/Mesker/Messakor
A resident of Piscataway, NJ in 1703, but he baptized several of his children at Port Richmond on Staten Island. Evert inherited 100 acres of land on Amrose Brook in Piscataway from his father. In 1716, Evert enlisted in Thomas Farmer’s regiment in the neighboring town of Woodbridge. His wife may have been named Antje. Evert and his sister Appollonia later went south down the Raritan River to settle in Somerset County. His children’s names can be found in the Readington Dutch Church records and the Jacob Janeway account books.
Children of Evert and Antje:
i. Hendrickje Mesker b. 1705
ii. Neeltje Mesker b. 1707
iii. Evert Mesker b. 1710 married Lena Tietsoort b: in of Somerset Co, NJ
iv. Johannes? (or was this his son-in-law?)
v. Mattheus Mesker b. 1715 Mattheus died in 1741 fighting pirates in the Caribbean.
Task Masker, a resident of Staten Island in 1708. Task might be a misspelling of Tewes/Teves or Dutch for Matthew or might be Tamsk or Thomas. Anyway, this gentleman was living on Staten Island and was mentioned in a land deed dated 23 September, 1708. He probably belongs to the family of Johannes and Neeltje.