Jan Juriaensen Becker

Jan Juriaensen BECKER (c. 1630 – 1697) was Alex’s 10th Grandfather; one of 2,048 in this generation of the Shaw line.

Jan Juriaensen Becker was born about 1630 in Amsterdam Holland,  His father was  Jurrian (Jeuriaen , George) BEKKER He was sent over by the West India Company.   When he was only 25, he served as a clerk at Fort Christina (renamed by the Dutch Fort Altena) on the Delaware River when the Dutch defeated the Swedes.   He arrived at New Amsterdam in 1653 on the ship “King Solomon“. He married Maria Cornelis ADRIAENS about 1660 while living in the Delaware River Colony.  After Maria died, he may have married Greetien Fonda on 9 Apr 1684.  Jan’s will was administered 16 Dec 1697 in Albany, NY.

Maria Cornelis Adriaens (Adriaensen) was baptized Sep 1643 in Goirle, Noord-Brabant, Netherlands. Her parents may have been Cornelis Daniel ADRIAENS and Adriana Joost DANIELS. Maria died before 1684.

Greetien Fonda was born in 1642 in Albany, NY. Her parents were Jiles Douwesz Fonda and Hester Jans.  Greetien died in 1689 or 25 Jan 1702 in Albany, Albany, New York

Children of Jan and Maria:

Name Born Married Departed
1. Jeuriaen Bekker bapt,
1 Sep 1660; New City, Rockland, NY
2. Johannes BECKER bapt.
3 Jun 1663 New Amsterdam,
Anna van der ZEE
17 Dec 1684 Albany, NY
Albany, NY
3. Martina Becker c. 1670 Fort Orange (later Albany NY) Willem Hogan
3 Sep 1692
Albany, NY
 Jul 1736 Albany, NY

Jan was from Amsterdam and had a fair education, but here is no record of his having attended any of the universities.

In 1655 the West India Company resolved to reduce the Swedish colony on the Delaware by conquest. Director General Stuyvesant set sail with a fleet and bloodlessly took Fort Christina. Jan Becker [age 25] went with him and was posted as clerk of the colony.  In 1658 he was made provisional commisary or commander.

Model of Fort Cristina

Fort Casimir was a Dutch settlement in 17th century colonial province of New Netherland. It was located on a no-longer existing barrier island at the end of Chestnut Street in what is now New Castle, Delaware.   The trading post was named for Ernst Casimir of Nassau-Dietz, count of Nassau-Dietz and Stadtholder of Friesland, Groningen and Drenthe in the Netherlands.

Fort Casimir Woodcut

Following plans by King Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden to establish a Swedish colony in North America, the Swedes arrived in Delaware Bay on March 29, 1638 aboard the ships Kalmar Nyckel and Fogel Gripunder the command of Peter Minuit, the former director general of the New Netherland colony. They landed at a spot along the Christina River at the present site of Old Swedes Church in Wilmington. Minuit selected the site on the Christina River near the Delaware as being optimal for trade in beaver pelts with the local Lenape.

At the time, the Dutch had claimed the area south to the Delaware (then called “South River”). The Swedes claimed an area for the Realm of Sweden on the south side of the Delaware that encompassed much of the present-day U.S. state of Delaware, eventually including parts of present-day southeastern Pennsylvania and southern New Jersey on the north side of the river.

The colony remained in constant friction with the Dutch. In 1651, the Dutch under Peter Stuyvesant established Fort Casimir at present-day New Castle, only 7 miles south of Fort Christina, in order to menace the Swedish settlement. In 1654, the Swedes captured Fort Casimir, but the following year in 1655, the Dutch took control of New Sweden, ending the official Swedish colonial presence in North America and renaming the fort ‘Fort Altena’. The land remained as part of New Netherland until it became part of the British Empire when an English fleet invaded the area in 1664.

Peter Stuyvesant led a Dutch force which retook the fort on 11 Sep 1655, renaming it New Amstel.  Subsequently, Fort Christina also fell on 15 Sep and all New Sweden came under the control of the Dutch.  John Paul Jacquet was immediately appointed Governor, making New Amstel the capital of the Dutch-controlled colony. In 1664, Stuyvesant peacefully surrendered control of all of New Netherland to the British. They gave the settlement yet another name, New Castle.

Historical markers near Harmony & 2nd streets in New Castle, DE state that Fort Casimir. was “100 ft to the east”  Where is that?   100 ft to the east is at the end of the concrete pavement that led to the ferry (1925-1952)

In 1660 a permanent commander was sent.  He found Becker insubordinate and engaged in violating the law by trading liquor to the Indiana for game. So Becker was brought to Manhattan tried before the  Burgomaster.   Jan was fined 300 guilders for selling liquor to the Indians. He proved the Fort’s new commandant also sold liquor and his fine was dismissed, though he was banished from South River.

The following account is based on information recorded in Documents Relative to the Colonial History of New York , Vol. 12, Dutch and Swedish Settlements at the Delaware River, Fernow, LoC Cat #: 71-93943. It displays a unique slice of life in that remote, rough and ready settlement on the shores of the Delaware River.

The Complaint

8 Nov 1659 – The first indication of trouble is a letter from William Beekman (Vice-Director of the South (Delaware) River portion of the New Netherland colony to Director-General Peter Stuyvesant at New Amsterdam, in which he complains about Jan Becker selling liquor to Indians and to soldiers on credit. This letter is dated .

14 Jan 1660 – In a letter from Beekman to Stuyvesant dated , the peeved Vice-Director describes Becker’s activity in more detail:

“…I have to inform your Noble Worship again of the irregularities of Jan Juriaen Becker in selling strong drinks. He incites the soldiers to drunkenness, as he offers to sell them brandy on account or to give them credit and some, principally of the new men, have already spent for drinks 2 or 3 months’ wages, before they have been here 6 or 7 weeks, while he takes their bond, wherein is set forth, that he had advanced such a sum for the necessities of life. I have secretly warned him not to do it, whereas they often come to the Fort at night singing and boisterous, also several times quarrels among them have been caused; nevertheless it was continued and I have finally been compelled, to forbid him not to sell any more strong drink by the small measure.

Yet it goes on still, although secretly. The said crediting has caused, that two soldiers, being drunk, burned a little Indian canoe, whereupon the natives threatened to set fire to a house or to kill some cattle, so that I was obliged to satisfy them immediately. Nor has he ceased to sell liquor to the natives, notwithstanding that I have several times reproved him for it, so that several difficulties have arisen by it, as on the 7th November, when 6 natives, being quite drunk, made a great commotion in the evening among Jan Becker’s neighbors, so that they came to me for assistance: while doing this act of hostility they took from Sander Boyer’s house his gun or the Honorable Company’s musket, which up to this time I have not been able to recover. The farmers have informed me, that these natives kept going to and from Jan Juriaensen’s house the whole afternoon. On the 18th of the same month, Pieter Mayer met far in the woods or bushes a native, who had with him a two-quart-measure full of liquor and said he had bough it from Johannis. The native requesting him to sit down and drink with him, he did so at different times. Next morning this native was found dead a little farther into the woods, the can with a little liquor in it lying near him: hereupon the natives threatened Johannis, as they call him, with death, they said that he had poisoned the native. The declaration of Pieter Mayer, that he had drank several times with him in the afternoon, when the native had bought the liquor, gave some satisfaction to the natives. They placed this dead native upon a hurdle and put it on four great prongs opposite to the house of Jan Juriaensen in the bushes. Some say, that, whereas he has drunk himself to death, he is not yet worthy of a grave, other natives say, that he must curse there the house, where he got the liquor; on the 12th of December, Jan Juriaensen with his wife and girl being at New Amstel, a native came to his house and knocked with a can, which he had with him; two of our soldiers’ wives, who live thereabouts, hearing this asked, what he wanted; he said: I bring back the can, which was fetched from here with liquor; he gave the can to the women and requested them to hand it to Johannis: this can was directly brought to me and I know the can very well, as Maria Becker has had it often with her in the canoe, when she went with me to New Amstel.

Nevertheless I have not been able to catch him again, since the soldiers are somewhat devoted to him for giving them liquor on credit and other reasons. I dare not let him come near to my papers, especially to copy letters and other things, for he is only a tell-tale: he does not perform any other service here, than to read aloud on Sundays, which I can have done by the Sergeant or any other. If your Honor required him at another place, I can, under correction, miss him here very well. …”

The Investigation

The governing council at New Amsterdam gave the following instructions to Nicasius de Sille, who was being sent to the South River to prosecute the murderers of some Indians who had been killed, which created a crisis:

“…Whereas at different times several complaints have reached our ears against Jan Juriaensen Becker and his wife in regard to the sale of brandy to the natives, whereby already several difficulties have been originated and more are to be apprehended, he shall, in presence of the gentlemen accompanying him, Mr. Paulus Lendertsen vad de Grist, Ex-Burgomaster and Jacob Backer, managing Scheepen of this City, inquire of the Commissary Beekman and others, whom it concerns and at the same time examine the said Commissary, why the said Jan Juriaensen Becker is not, for his assistance, employed as secretary or clerk, for which he was expressly sent and engaged. If he discovers any evidence, proof and sufficient reason for the one or the other he is to bring here the said Becker, that further proceedings and measures may be taken against him according to law and his deserts. …”

The Indictment

Indictment of and Proceedings against Jan Juriansen Becker for selling liquor to the Indians, and Papers connected with his case.

To their noble Worships, the Director-General and Council of New Netherland.

Honorable, Noble, very Worshipful Gentlemen,

Whereas Jan Juriaensen Becker of Amsterdam, residing outside of Fort Altena on the South River, has at present been brought here by the undersigned Fiscal, because he did not hesitate, contrary to the strict interdict and in contempt of the issued and repeated placats of Director-General and Council of N.N., to sell brandy to the natives, for which he has long been notorious, as the evidences extant thereof sufficiently prove, viz. the declarations by Bartolomeus Aertse, Jan du Parck, and Pieter Klaessen of 14th of October 1659, also the declarations of the 18th of November 1659 and of Janneke Baernts and Teuntje Jurriaens of the 12th of December 1659 further the affidavits of Jeams Andriesen and Mary Andriesen of the 7th of March of this year; and whereas this is a matter of very bad consequences, from which, as is found by experience, a great deal of mishap has resulted and more is to be expected, unless it be stopped and punished according to the placats as an example to others; therefore the Fiscal concludes ex officio, that Jan Jurriaensen Becker be brought to the place, where sentences are usually executed, be put there into the pillory with a brandy-measure around his neck and also be sentenced to pay a fine of five hundred guilders according to the Placats and to be banished this province, but be kept in prison provisionally, until your Honorable Worships’ sentence or finding shall be executed. Done at Fort Amsterdam, the 1st of April, 1660.

Your Honorable Worships’ servant,
Nicasius de Sille

The Plea

To Their Honorable, Noble Worships, the Director-General and Council of New Netherland

Honorable, Noble, Very Worshipful Gentlemen,

The defendant denies upon the true word of man, that in contempt of your Noble Honorable Worships’ placats he has sold brandy to the natives, much less made a profession of it whereby he should, since a long time, have become notorious; but it is thus, that the persons, who have declared and testified this of him through secret hatred and envy, they belong mostly to those, who deserve no or only little credence, to with Bartolomeus Aertse, Jean du Parck and Pieter Claessen are soldiers, who had been sent out by Mrs. Beekman with a native, having Mr. Beekman’s own can, to impose upon him, the defendant, pretending, that he had the consent of the said gentleman, to get brandy, which however he did not receive. Pieter Mayer is inclined to the party, as he himself makes it a profession to sell brandy to the natives, with which Mr. Beeckman is not unacquainted. Jannetje Barentsen is likewise not impartial, having at present a lawsuit with the defendant about a case of theft committed by her. Teuntje Jeuriansen is notoriously disreputable, as she has been in the service of disreputable people, for instance in that of Margareth Davits, alias the Scotch Woman, herself a known prostitute and keeping a thieves’ den. Jams Andriesen and Maria Andriesen, being … man and wife, have been forbidden by the former Swedish Commander, Jan Rysingh, to appear before his court on account of their troublesome and slandering talk. Consequently it is nothing but envy and villainy, with which they have tried to bespatter the defendant and to make him hated by your Honorable Worships; for having formerly by your Honorable Worships’ favor provisionally filled the position of Commissary, he is therefore until now considered as a chief by the natives and hence he is often given by the native Sachems a goose, a duck or a deer or a turkey, in return for which, it is true, the defendant never hesitated to give or present them a drink of brandy, but that only to such Sachems, as Meckeck Schinck, Wechenarent, Areweehingh and Hoppaming etc. whom neither Dutchmen nor Swedes disdain openly to provide with liquor or to drink with at the tavern, which is done so free, frank and open, as anything, that is allowed, can be done, consequently the defendant never conjectured, that he made himself liable to punishment thereby, the more so as such bartering, even the sale of brandy was there a common and necessary custom, as can be seen formt the annexed affidavit, and if the Honorable Fiscal had been pleased to inform himself more in this respect on the South River, he would most likely have found no or only few persons among the Dutch as well as the Swedish nation, who were exempt from (the charge of) selling liquor to the natives, because without it is hard to get provisions. The defendant prays therefore very humbly, that what has passed as related above may not be charged to him, an old servant of the Company, as a misdemeanor, but if there was nay wrong in it, that it might be graciously overlooked, as having been done in ignorance and not through contempt of your Noble, Honorable Worships’ placats and ordinances, while he promises to avoid in future this and all other mistakes.

Thus doing, etc., Amsterdam in N. Netherland, 12th of April, 1660.

Your Noble Honorable Worships’ obedient servant,
Jan Jeuriaens Becker

(attachment: an affidavit sworn by Rutgert Willemsen van Weesp, 45 years old, Jan Schottes of Amsterdam, 25 years old, and Jan de Widt from Seerdam, 24 years old, each having lived in the Colony of New Amstel on the South River of New Netherland, before Notary Public Matheus de Vos on the 12th of April, 1660).”

The Judgment

Jan Becker remained imprisoned waiting for the next sitting of the court on the 26th of April, when the following judgment was handed down:

“Whereas Jan Juriaens Becker, former Clerk and Reader in the service of the Honorable Priv. West-India Company at Fort Altena on the South River of New Netherland, has not hesitated, contrary to the strict interdict and in contempt of the repeatedly published placats of Director-General and Council of New Netherland, to sell and trade strong liquors to the natives, which is a matter of very bad consequences and influences, whereby at different times and places many mishaps have resulted and occurred and therefore can and must not be suffered, but must be punished as an example to others, Resolved that Director-General and Council of New Netherland after examination of the Fiscal’s complaint and the defendant’s, Jan Juriaensen Becker’s, own admission and confession and after consideration of everything, which has to be considered in this case, administer justice in the name of their High Mightinesses the Lords States-General of the United Netherlands and theh Noble Lords-Directors of the Priv. West-India Company, Department of Amsterdam, and sentence, as they hereby do, the aforesaid Jan Juriaensen Becker to the payment of a fine of five hundred guilders to be applied according to the tenor of the placats issued against the sale of liquor to the natives; they further degrade the said Becker from his office as Clerk and Reader and order, that as quickly as possible he and his wife break up their household and remove from the said South River, also pay the costs and expenses of law incurred hereby, while they reject the further complaint fo the Fiscal.

Done at Amsterdam in New Netherland, on the 26th of April, 1660.”

The Appeal

A fine of 500 guilders was no trivial thing for the colonists of the time, with a highly valued beaver pelt going for 80 guilders or so. In comparison, the fine for a typical misdemeanor offense, such as serving beer on Sunday (a charge that Jan Becker was later to be brought up on) was a mere 30 guilders. Facing financial ruination if forced to pay this heavy fine, Becker made one last appeal to Peter Stuyvesant along with a further affidavit attesting to the conditions at the South River colony:

“To the Noble, Very Worshipful Mr. Petrus Stuyvesant, Director-General and the Honorable Council of New Netherland,

Shows with due reverence Jan Jeuriansen Becker, that he, petitioner, has seen with great embarrassment of mind and grief the sentence pronounced against him by your Honorable Worships, which, if he has to satisfy it, will cause the total ruin of the petitioner. May it please your Honorable Worships to consider, that the petitioner has never thought of treating contemptuously the orders or placats of your Honorable Worships; but as the sale of strong liquors to the natives on the South River was carried on so publicly by high and low officers of the State, the petitioner also has now and then traded some for Indian corn and deer-meat to be used for food, without ever having made it a profession as others have done it. The Honorable Mr. Paulus Leendertsen van der Grift, Burgomaster, Jacobus Backer, Schepen of this City and several other inhabitants, as Jan de Jonge etc. who all have been on the South River lately, will be able to attest, if your Honorable Worships demand it, as likewise appears from the annexed affidavit, how publicly it was done there by Dutchmen and Swedes, even to the extent of whole ankers at one time, which misled the petitioner and made him believe, that it was rather permitted by your Honorable Worships and he therefore prays that in consideration of the above statement and the petitioner’s former conduct your Honorable Worships will please to excuse graciously the committed error and mercifully and compassionately prevent his total ruin, which doing he shall always be and remain,

Your Honorable Worships’ servant,
(signed) J. Becker
Done at Amsterdam in N. Netherland the 3rd of May, 1660.”

Mercy of the Court

Upon hearing Jan Becker’s appeal and considering the affidavit, which showed still more evidence that he was right concerning the widespread sale of liquor to the natives, the following decree was promulgated:

“The above petition was taken up and read and after deliberating upon it and considering the petitioner’s circumstances, the question having been put it was decreed:

The petitioner is for reasons relieved of the payment of the fine, provided that he arranges with the Honorable Fiscal for the costs and mises of the law.

Done at Amsterdam in New Netherland, the 3rd of May, 1660.”

Jan Becker, his wife Maria and young daughter would remain in New Amsterdam for another year or so. Jan obtaining a license to earn a living as a tavernkeeper, an occupation that would make him no stranger to the colonial magistrates.

While living in the Delaware River colony Schools, Directories & Church HistoriesJan Becker appears to have married Maria Adriaens, and to have had a daughter, perhaps the daughter Martina who afterwards married William Hogan, from Birr in Kings County, Ireland, a discharged British soldier and a tavern keeper of Albany, the founder of the Dutch Hogans.  On being returned to Manhattan, and out of his job with the Company for want of anything better to do (as he himself said in a petition to the Company) he opened a tavern. It was located just east of Bowling Green, on the part of Marketfield Street now covered by the produce Exchange. Not far away was the anchoring place and dock at Whitehall and Pearl Streets. Across the street was the Fort and in the fort was the church.

Jan’s tavern was on Marketfield Street, an L-shaped street running between Beaver and Broad streets. It is direct translation of the Dutch livestock market, Marcktveldt, which was in the vicinity of the present Battery Park between 1638 and 1647

On the fourth of August 1660, a Sunday, his son Jeuriaen was born, and there was a tapping of casks for the neighbors and midwives and a carousing. There followed a prosecution for disturbing the peace, and the services in church, and a fine. Not all went well with the tavern business. The visiting sailors were not always quiet. Too many patrons were trusted.

31 August 1660 – . Becker is fined thirty guilders because “he entertained people [in his tap house] after nine o’clock, and tapped during the sermon”; also ten guilders “for having behaved offensively to the officer.”

7 Sep 1660 –  “On the petition of Jan Juriaensen Becker endorsed: The court persist in the judgment by them pronounced.

Broadway and Marketfield in 1798.  Until 1830 or so, Marketfield Street extended west to the Hudson River, but the section west of Bowling Green was renamed Battery Place.

In 1663, Jan got in trouble again  for liquor selling at Greenbush, Rensselaerswyck, New York.

The following year he begged the Company for a job; if it could not be a clerkship, a license to teach school. The license the Company gave him and as there was a place or a schoolmaster at Fort Orange (Albany, NY) he removed there and continued to teach the three R’s to the youth of Albany thirty-six years, until his death in 1697.  He was schoolmaster for the youths at Beverwyck and “esteemed very capable that way, while Jacob Jooste Covelens was allowed for ye teaching of ye younger children.”

Albany, NY in 1686, Ink on mylar by L. F. Tantillo (1985).

Besides this he acted for years as the Notary Public, a position requiring not only the drafting of deeds, wills, contracts and the like but the pleading for clients of petty cases in court.

A variety of legal instruments, such as bonds, powers of attorney, contracts and bills of sale, indentures of service, assignments, leases, wills, marriage settlements and inventories of estates, which were executed before notaries Dirck van Schelluvne. Adriaen Jansen van Ilpendam and Jan Juriaensen Becker. Jan Becker was appointed on November 1, 1669.

On the chartering of the City Of Albany in 1686 he was the first treasurer, and in 1690 he served as Alderman. On his death he left little property but a will which was a notarial masterpiece,  longwinded and full of praise of his daughter Martina Hogan, and disparagement of his only surviving son, (our ancestor) Johannes, Jr.

Will of Jan Becker

In the name of God, Amen. In the year of our Lord 1694, the 31st of August, at Albany, being in the sixth year of the reign of William and Mary, king and queen of England, Scotland, France and Ireland, defenders of the faith. I, the undersigned, Jan Becker, senior, residing in the aforesaid city, considering the frailty of life and the unknown hour of death, have thought fit not to depart hence without first disposing of my temporal estate granted me by the Almighty. Therefore, being hale and sound in body, going and standing, having the full possession an use of my mind, memory, understanding, sense and speech, as outwardly appears, and acting without the persuasion, inducement or misleading of anyone, but of my own free will and motion. I commend first and foremost my soul to the gracious protection of the Most High and my body to a Christian burial and hereby canceling, annulling and my rendering void all testamentary dispositions and bequest heretofore made, now make a new disposition as follows.

My son Johannes after my death shall receive first the sum of one hundred guilders seawan value, that is 50 shillings; he shall also have all of my linen and woolen [clothing] that has belonged to my body, not comprehending therein anything else. My daughter Martina shall have all my other movable estate, including my bed, sheets, blankets and other appurtenances; also all my credits and out standing claims, nothing whatever reserved or excepted.

My garden lying behind the old fort and now by me occupied shall be equally divided between my son and daughter, that is, each to have one-half; the debts which I shall leave being and my burial expenses and whatever is connected therewith shall be a lien upon my house and ground which I now possess, but it is my express will that my daughter shall not let the cost of the funeral and incidental expenses exceed thirty prices of eight at the most. My daughter shall have full ownership of the aforesaid house and ground belonging thereto, to do therewith as she pleases, in all respects as I in my life time might do, without her husband or anyone else having anything to say in the matter or making her do ought but what she intends to do, the same as about all other things which she by virtue of this will of mine shall inherit, but she shall be holden to turn over to her brother one hundred pieces of eight within three years after my death, a third part to be paid every year, all my debts and funeral expenses to be also at her charge. It is also my express will and desire that the aforesaid one hundred pieces of eight which I give to my son, shall not be taken attached, claimed or received by any of his creditors under any pretext whatever, but he shall receive and dispose of the same for his own benefit and use as he pleases.

Also, if either of my aforesaid children be not satisfied with the aforesaid provisions, he or she shall be deprived of what they other wise would have had, the same to in crue to the benefit of the one who is satisfied.

All that is herein before written, I declare to be my testamentary disposition and last will, which I desire to have full effect from the least to the most important article thereof, whether as will, codicil, gift in anticipation of death or among the living, or any other bequest of whatsoever nature it may be, notwithstanding that all the formalities required by law or laws of this province may not be fully observed herein, desiring that said laws may be held not to apply and be not enforced in this case, desiring that the most favorable construction may be allowed for the maintenance of what is herein before written. In witness of the truth of which I have deliberately signed, sealed and executed this on the said 31st of August 1694.

The reason why I apparently give more to my aforesaid daughter than to my son, is not that I bear less affection to him than to her, but because of the great service which from her youth onward she has faithfully rendered in the household and to her mother onward she has faithfully rendered in the household and to her mother in health and sickness, yes to the hour of her death, whereby she has saved much money, for which the mother my (wife) in her last hours promised a reward and recommended the same to me, and because since her mothers death she has, as occasion demanded, rendered me great service, to this day and undoubtedly will continue to do so; yes, I am in truth bound to say that without her diligence I could not have put my estate (small as the same may be) in so good a posture, all of which is not necessary for me to particularize, but is best known to me and after my death it is very apparent her brother will not or very little take into consideration.

Nevertheless, in consideration hereof, knowing that it is the truth and that though untoward circumstances I could not reward her according to her merit, I have given to her what is comprised in my aforesaid will.

Done in Albany, the 31st of August 1694.


2. Johannes BECKER (See his page)

3. Martina Becker

Martina’s husband William Hogan was born in  Birr, King County (now County Offaly) Ireland about 1670. He emigrated to America before 1700. He was the patriarch of the Hogan family of early Albany.

In September 1692, he married innkeeper’s daughter Martina Becker in the Albany Dutch church. Over the next decade, five children were baptized at the Albany Dutch church. In 1714, he contributed to the building of St. Peter’s English church.

William Hogan probably came to Albany as a soldier and served in the garrison at the Albany fort. Following his marriage, he became an innkeeper – possibly in partnership with his father-in-law. He set down permanent roots in Albany. Over the next decades, he was a prominentAlbany personage – serving as juror, firemaster, assessor, constable, and high constable. He also found work as a surveyor. Assessment rolls for the early 1700s show him to be a quite wealthy resident who owned additional buildings in the first ward. He belonged to the Albany militia and several times joined with his neighbors in pledging allegiance to the Protestant King of England.

However, in 1699 and again in 1701, he was identified as one of those cited trading without possessing the freedom of the city.

In 1694, she was named co-exeuctor of her father’s estate. She also was singled-out as “a most devoted daughter [who] from her youth onward rendered great service in the household and to her mother.” Martina was bequeathed their house, half of the garden behind the fort, and most of her parents’ other personal property.

Hogan was an innkeeper and civil servant who utilized his wife’s property to become quite wealthy. The advantaged Martina appears to have been his active partner. Their first ward home was an early Albany landmark.

In September 1732, Martina filed a joint will with her husband. It declared that they both were in good bodily health and that they both were godfearing people. The will provided for their surviving children and grandchildren. It named seven surviving children, six grandchildren, and a number of slaves who were bequeathed to their now adult children. Martina Becker Hogan died in July 1736 and was buried in the Dutch church cemetery.   He died sometime before April 4, 1739 when the will passed probate.






Contributions for the genealogies of the first settlers of the Albany and Vicinity 1872





Documents Relative to the Colonial History of New York , Vol. 12, Dutch and Swedish Settlements at the Delaware River, Fernow, LoC Cat #: 71-93943.

Full text of “Early records of the city and county of Albany

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11 Responses to Jan Juriaensen Becker

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  7. Renee Dauven says:

    Mark, what a nicely done blog! I was delighted to find the will on the page. Being a new Albany researcher, I wondered where I was going to find it. What was the source that you used?

    I do have a correction for you. Jan Juriaensen Becker did not marry Geertjen Jellise Fonda as a second wife. Her first husband was Jan Bricker. Little is known of him but he had died by 1684 as the following record of the marriage banns for her second marriage shows:

    1684. Apr. 9. Antoni Slingerlandt, widr of Engeltje Albertsz. Bratt, and Geertje Fondaas, wid. of Jan Bicker, both living in Albany.
    Source: Unknown, “Albany Records, Marriages (of the Dutch Reformed Church),” Yearbook of the Holland Society (1904): p. 21

    Circa 1690, maybe a couple of years later, Geertje and Teunis move to the area of Hackensack in NJ.

    Again, I enjoyed the page (especially the little model of the fort) and hope to explore more of them in the future.

    • markeminer says:

      Hi Renee,
      Interesting. Jan Brickers was born about 1637. He and Geertie Fonda had six children between 1665 and 1675. Jan died 19 Aug 1682 in Albany, Albany, New York.
      Cheers!, Mark

  8. Pingback: Northern Slave Owners | Miner Descent

  9. janmbecker says:

    Oh, THANK you for this blog! As you can see, I also am a Jan Becker! (really, I am, but female). I am the elder Jan’s 8th great-grand-daughter, and up until last year, did not realize our family history went all the way back to the Dutch colony. I thought we were German, and then i started digging. Funny thing is, I had Googled my name, and this Jan showed up then, and i thought, how cool would it be if we were related? (But, nah, he’s Dutch). Ha!

    Thank you so much for this though. I was able to learn so much more about my progenitor and eponymous ancestor.

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