NameAnneke Jans
Birth15 Jan 1605, Flekkeroy, Vest Agder, Norway
Death19 Mar 1663, New Amsterdam, New York
Burial23 Feb 1663, Dutch Calvinist Burying Ground, Fort Orange (Albany), NY
Misc. Notes

Anneke Jans arrived with her husband and three children at New Amsterdam May 24, 1630. As we have seen in the foregoing sketch, she came from Marstrand, Norway. She was with her husband at Fort Orange until 1634 or 1635 when the family moved down to New Amsterdam and settled on sixty-two acres of land, which Jansen received in 1636. He died shortly afterward. Anneke was left with five children, though she, no doubt received some aid from her mother, Tryn Jonas, midwife, and from her sister, Marritje, both of whom were in New Amsterdam. Kiliaen van Rensselaer released her from what she owed him. In a letter of September 21, 1637, to Director van Twiller he said: "I only have from you the recommendation of the widow of Roeloef Janse, written to me hastily and with few words and your oral greetings by Jacob Wolphertsen. I released the said widow from her debt long ago. My reason for so doing I will tell you orally, when we meet, God willing, in good health." In March, 1638, Anneke was married to the Dutch Reformed pastor in New Amsterdarn, Everardus Bogardus, who in 1633 had come to New Amsterdam to succeed the ministry of Jonas Michaelis. He had at the time a little church on the East River shore, or upon the present Pearl Street, between Whitehall and Broad Streets, and adjoining it was the parsonage. In addition to his clerical duties he assumed the cares of a landed proprietor. In the marriage settlement, still extant, Anneke had provided for the securing to her first husband's children the sum of 200 guilders each. The sixty-two acres of land which she inherited from her first husband now got the name of the "Domine's Bouwerie." "United in early English days to the Company's Bouwerie, it formed part of the famous tract, which, bestowed in the time of Queen Anne upon Trinity Church, in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries was the subject of repeated and hotly contested action at law in which Annetje's name conspicuously figured." On August 12, 1638, Everardus Bogardus, as the "husband of the widow of Roelof Jansen of Masterlandt" gave Power of Attorney to Director van Twiller "to collect money due said Jansen.

Anneke, no doubt, was now a lady of leisure compared to what she had been when she was farming with Roelof on de Laets Burlg. But her position as the wife of a parson was severely tested immediately after her second marriage. Anthony Jansen from Salee and his wife, Grietje Reiners, were none too well disposed to Domine Bogardus and Anneke. Grietie found an opportunity of circulating the report that Anneke had given public offense. Anthony Jansen, whose tongue vied with that of his wife, helped to spread the report. The matter came before the Court.

Mrs. Lamb's version of this case is as follows:

"Mrs. Bogardus went to pay a friendly visit to a neighbor; but on getting into the 'entry', discovered that Greitje Reinirs, a woman of questionable reputation, was in the house, and thereupon turned about and went home. Grietje was greatly offended at this 'snubbing' from the Dominie's lady, and followed her, making disagreeable remarks. While passing a blacksmith's shop, where the road was muddy, Mrs. Bogardus raised her dress a little, and Grietje was very invidious in her criticisms. The Dominie thought fit to make an example of her; hence the suit. Grietje's husband being in arrears for church dues, Bogardus sent for him and ordered payment, and not getting it, finally sued for the amount." (See Lamb, History of the City of New York, 1. p. 86). Anneke's second husband was a fearless and outspoken person. He was at variance with Governor Van Twiller as well as with his successor Governor Kieft. He accused Van Twiller of maladministration and in consequence was himself charged with unbecoming conduct, and was about to depart for Holland to defend himself, but was detained by Governor Kieft. He opposed Kieft's policy in regard to the Indians, and in 1645 denounced him for drunkenness and rapacity. He was therefore brought to trial, but compromised with Kieft. But the old difficulties appeared again. In 1646 the Director and Council of New Amsterdam summoned Bogardus to appear and answer charges against him. The "summons" is as long as it is violent, likely the work of Kieft. We shall give a few extracts from it:

". . . We have letters in your own hand, among others, or?t dated June 17, 1634, wherein you do not appear to be moved ty the Spirit of the Lord, but on the contrary by a feeling becoming heathen, let alone Christians, much less a preacher of the Gospel. You there berate your magistrate, placed over you by God, as a child of the Devil, an incarnate villain, whose buck goats are better than he, and promise him that you would so pitch into him from the pulpit on the following Sunday, that both you and his bulwarks would tremble. . . . "You have indulged no less in scattering abuse during our administration. Scarcely a person in the entire land have you spared; not even your own wife, or her sister, particularly when you were in good company and jolly. Still, mixing up your human passions with the chain of truth which has continued from time to time, you associated with the greatest criminals in the country, taking their part and defending them. . . . "On the 25th of September, 1639, having celebrated the Lord's Supper, observing afterwards in the evening a bright fire in the Director's house, whilst you were at Jacob van Curler's, being thoroughly drunk, you grossly abused the Director and jochim Pietersen, with whom you were angry. . . .

"Since that time many acts have been committed by you, which no clergyman would think of doing. . . . "Maryn Adriaensen came into the Director's room with pr-determined purpose to murder him. He, notwithstanding, was sent to Holland in chains against your will. Whereupon you fulminated terribly for about fourteen days and desecrated your pulpit by your passion.... Finally, you made up friends with the Director, and things became quiet . . .

In the summer of . . . (1644) when minister Douthey ad-ministered the Lord's Supper in the morning, you came drunk into the pulpit in the afternoon; also on Friday before Christmas of the same year, when you preached the sermon calling to repentance.

"On the 21st March, 1645, being at a wedding feast at Adam Brouwer's and pretty drunk, you commenced scolding the Fiscal and Secretary then present, censuring also the Director not a little, giving as your reason that he had called your wife a , though he said there that it was not true and that he never entertained such a thought, and it never could be proved "You administered the Lord's Supper without partaking of it yourself, setting yourself as a partisan. . ."

Such was the husband of Anneke Jans in the opinion of the highest official in the land who himself was so hateful to the people that he was obliged to resign. When Kieft returned to Holland, after the arrival of Governor Stuyvesant in 1647, Bogardus sailed in the same vessel to answer the charges brought against him, before the classis in Amsterdam.

The vessel entered Bristol Channel by mistake, and struck upon a rock, going down with eighty persons, among thenm Bogardus and Kieft. This happened on September 27, 1647.

Anneke was thus widow for the second time of her days. No doubt she had borne her share of the discomfort caused by the enmity between Kieft and Bogardus. The following extract of a letter of Rev. Megapolensis in Albany, written August 25, 1648. to the Classis of Amsterdam shows what she still had to contend against, and what was his opinion of the Kieft-Bogardus feud.

"After the Lord God was pleased to cut short the thread of life of Domine Bogardus by shipwreck . . ., his widow came here to Fort Orange . . . to reside and make her living. She has nine children living, some by a former husband and some by Domine Bogardus, and is also deeply in debt. She has, however, no wav to liquidate her debts, nor means for her own subsistence, unless the West India Company pay her the arrears of salary due her husband. Domine Bogardus repeatedly asserted that a higher salary was promised him, before leaving Holland, than he ever received here. . . "It is now about two years since I was called upon by DirectorGeneral William Kieft, to settle the difficulties between said Kieft and Domine Bogardus. I attempted several times to smooth the differences which had arisen here, but all in vain. Domine Bogardus asserted that it could not be done here, but that the matter ought to be laid before the Hon. Directors; or even if it could be determined here, he would, nevertheless, be obliged to go home, in order to demand, before his death, the salary promisd him, for the maintenance and support of his family.... "He had been paid for a considerable time only 46 guilders per month, with 150 guilders extra per year for board money. . . "Annetje Bogardus . . . has requested me to write to the Rev. Classis, in her name and in her behalf, in order that the Rev. Classis, or the Deputies thereof, might, for the sake of a preacher's widow, petition the Company for the money due her, to be paid to her or her attorney, to enable her to pay her debts and support her family. . . ."

The letter of Megapolensis, it would appear, does not exaggerate her distress. She had several little children to support, though three of her grown-up daughters were married. Her house in New York was situate on what is now No. 23 Whitehall Street.

In 1652 she was enabled to buy a lot in Albany on the corner of James and State Streets. Here she built a house and resided the remainder of her life. It would appear that her son-in-law Pieter Hartgers secured this property for her. It was "bounded east bv land of Jonas and Peter Bogardus, and west by Evert janse Wendell. Being 2 rods 81/2 feet wide, and 5 rods 9 feet long." On June 21, 1663, after the death of Anneke, it was sold by the heirs to Dirck Wessells. The price was "1,000 guilders in good merchantable beaver skins, at 8 guilders a piece." (Collections of the New York Historical Society, IV., p. 488). In 1654 she obtained from Governor Stuyvesant a patent in her own name on the land she had inherited from her first husband.

This Patent reads as follows:

"Petrus Stuyvesant, Director-General of New Netherland, Curacao and the Islands thereof, on the behalf of their Noble High Mightinesses the Lords States-General of the United Netherlands and the Honorable Directors of the Incorporated West India Company, together with the Honorable Councillors, declare that We on this day, date underwritten, have given and granted to Annetje Jans, widow of the late Everardus Bogardus, a piece of land situate on the Island of Manhattan on the North River, beginning at the palisades near the house on the Strand it goes north by east up to the partition line of old jan's land is long 210 rods; from thence along the partition line of said Old jan's land it extends E. by S. up to the Cripple bush (swamp) it runs S. W. long 160 rods front the Cripple bush, to the Strand it runs westerly in breadth 50 rods; the land that lies to the south of the house to the partition line of the Company's land begins on the east side, from the palisades southward to the posts and rails of the Company's land, without obstruction to the path, it is broad 60 rods; long on the south side along the posts and rails 160 rods; at the east side to the corner of Kalchhook is broad 30 rods; to the division line of the aforesaid piece of land it goes westerly in length 100 rods; it makes all-together 31 morgens." (Historic New York. Ed. by Goodwin, Royce and Putnam I., p. 84 f.)

Her will, dated January 29, 1663, and on record in the original Dutch in book of Notarial Papers, in the County Clerk's office, Albany, reads as follows:

"Will of Anneke Jans Bogardus. - In the name of the Lord, Amen. Know all men by these presents, That this day, the 29th of January, 1663, in the afternoon, about four o'clock, appeared before me, Derrick Van Schelluyne, notary public, in the presence. of the witnesses hereafter mentioned, Anneke Janse, widow of Roeloff Janse, of Master Land, and now lastly widow of the Reverend Everhardus Bogardus, residing in the village of Beverwyck, and well known to us, notary and witnesses; the said Anneke Janse lying on her bed in a state of sickness, but perfectly sensible and in the full possession of her mental powers, and capable to testate, to which sound state of mind we can fully testify. The said Anneke janse considering the shortness of life and certainty of death and the uncertainty of the hour or time, she, the said Anneke janse, declared after due consideration, without anv persuasion, compulsion, or retraction, this present document to be her last will and testament, in manner following: First of all recommending her immortal soul to the Almighty God, her Creator and Redeemer, and consigning her body to Christian burial, and herewith revoking and annulling all prior testamentary dispositions of any kind whatsoever, and now proceeding anew, she declared to nominate and institute as her sole and universal heirs her children, Sarah Roellofson, wife of Hans Kierstede; Catrina Roeloffsen, wife of Johannes Van Brugh; also jannetje and Rachel Hartgers, the children of her deceased daughter, Fytie Roeloffsen, during her life the wife of Peter Hartgers, representing together their mother's place; also her son Jan Roeloffsen, and finally, William, Cornelius, Jonas, and Peter Bogardus, and to them to bequeath all her real estate, chattels, money, gold and silver, coined and uncoined, jewels, clothes, linen, woolen, household furniture, and all property what soever, without reserve or restriction of any kind, to be disposed of after her decease and divided by them in equal shares, to do with the same at their own will and pleasure without any hindrance whatsoever; provided never the less with this express condition and restriction that her four first born children shall divide between them out of their father's property the sum of one thousand guilders, to be paid to them out of the proceeds of a certain farm, situate on Manhattan Island, bounder on the North river, and that before any other dividend takes place; and as three of these children at the time of their marriage received certain donations, and as Jan Roeloffsen is yet unmarried, he is to receive a bed and milch cow; and to Jonas and Peter Bogardus she gives a house and lot situated to the westward of the house of the testatrix in the village of Beverwyck, going in length until the end of a bleaching spot, and in breadth up to the room of her, the testatrix, house, besides a bed for both of them and a milch cow to each of them, the above to be an equivalent of what the married children have received. Finally, she, the testatrix, gives to Roeloif Kierstede, the child of her daughter Sara, a silver mug; to Annetje Van Brugh, the child of her daughter Catrina, also a silver mug; and to jannetje and Rachel Hartgers, the children of her daughter Fytie, a silver mug each; and to the child of William Bogardus named Fytie also a silver mug; all the above donations to be provided for out of the first moneys received, and afterwards the remainder of the property to be divided and shared aforesaid. The testatrix declares this document to be her only true last will and testament, and desiring that after her decease it may supersede all other testaments, codicils, donations, or any other instruments whatsoever; and in case any formalities may have been omitted, it is her will and desire the same benefits may occur as if they actually had been observed; and she requested me, notary public, to make one or more lawful instruments in the usual form of this, her, testatrix, last will and desire. Signed, sealed, and delivered at the house of the testatrix in the village of Beverwyck, in New Netherland, in the presence of Ruth Jacobse Van SchoonAerweert and Evert Wendell, witnesses.

"This is the + mark of Anneke Janse with her own hand.

"Rutger Jacobus, "Evert Jacobus Wendell. "D. V. Schelluyne, Notary Public, 1663." (For this and other translations I am indebted to Collections of the New York Historical Society, IV., p.487 ff.)

Anneke died March 19, 1663, and lies buried in the Middle Dutch Church Yard, on Beaver Street.

She was the first Norwegian "predikantsvrouw" (pastor's wife), in New York. And of all the pastors' wives in New York she has become the most famous. But this fame is due to chance and circumstance rather than to Anneke herself. Mrs. Lamb says: "Although she (Anneke) may not have seemed rich in the days when great landed estates were to be bought for a few strings of beads, yet she is reverenced by her numerous descendants as among the very goddesses of wealth. She was a small well-formed woman with delicate features, transparent complexion, and bright, beautiful dark eyes. She had a well-balanced mind, a sunny disposition, winning manners, and a kind heart. . . "

Anneke Jans' fame rests on property and progeny. Her descendants are numerous. Many of them are wealthy, some of them have been conspicuous in the litigation regarding Anneke jans' farm. John Fiske speaks of this litigation as "one of the most pertinacious cases of litigation known to modern history." (The Dutch and Quaker Colonies in America, II., p. 32).

We have mentioned that Director Stuyvesant gave the heirs of Anneke a patent, on the land in question, in 1654. This paten,, was confirmed in 1664 by Governor Nicolls, after the English had conquered New Netherland. In 1671 five of the heirs conveyd . the whole farm to Col. Francis Lovlace, then governor of the province of New York. In 1674 the Duke of York confiscated it, so that it was the "Duke's Farm" until 1685, when with James' accession to the throne it became the "King's Farm." In 1705 it was leased or granted by the colonial authorities under Queen Anne to Trinity Church. One of Anneke' s sons, Cornelius, had not joined in the conveyance of 1671 ; the heirs of this son have claimed that h;s failure to join invalidated the sale and that they therefore had a right to their share of the property. Between 1750 and 1847 not less than sixteen or seventeen suits in ejectment were brought against Trinity Church by heirs who coveted the property. They were brought "with such a persistency which seemed to learn no lesson from defeat. In tS47 Vice-Chancellor Sanford decided that, after waving all other points, the church had acquired a valid title by prescription, and all the adverse claims were vitiated by lapse of time" (Fiske, Dutch and Quaker Colonies, 11., p. 258).

Let us also quote from the article "Annetje Jans' Farm," in "Historic New York" (I., p. 95):

"Sixty-eight years after the sale to Lovlace, and thirty-one years after Queen Anne's grant, the descendants of Cornelius Bogardus began to protest against the occupancy of Trinity Church. There was a confused notion then as to what they could claim, and this confusion has increased in the minds of the "heirs" during two hundred years. The history of the repeated suits is long and involved. No court has sustained the claims of the "heirs" for a minute, and yet, with every generation, new claimants appear, though every possible right has long since been outlawed. Mr. Schuyler says in his Colonial New York: 'In view of the repeated decisions of the highest judicial tribunals and of their publicity, any lawyer who can now advise or encourage the descendants of Annetje jans to waste their money in any proceedings to recover this property must be considered as playing on the ignorance of simple people, and as guilty of conscious fraud, and of an attempt to obtain money under false pretenses.' Mr. Schuyler made a close study of the subject, and is himself a distinguished descendant of Roelof and Annetje jans."

As late as 1891 Trinity Corporation found it necessary to publish the following:

"To all whom it may concern:

"As letters are being constantly received from various places in the United States making inquiries about suits pending against this corporation in respect to its property, or about negotiations assumed to be on foot in respect to the alleged claims of the descendants of Anneke jans or of other persons, notice is hereby given that no such suits are pending, and no such negotiations are going on, and all persons who suppose themselves to be descendants of Anneke jans, or otherwise interested in claims hostile to this corporation, are cautioned against paying out money to any person alleging the pendency of such suits or negotiations."

Societies have been formed like the Anneke Jans Association, founded in Astor House Library in New York, 1867, The Anneke jans International Union, etc. But no organized endeavor has as yet succeeded in invalidating the claim of the Trinity Corporation. It has continued to enjoy all the benefits and revenues of the vas+ I property to this day. No wonder that Trinity Church can contribute more than four hundred thousand dollars a year to charity! Trinity Church is Episcopal. It is the wealthiest church organiza- tion in America and it is continually reminded of it, even in the twentieth century. For as late as 1909 Trinity Corporation was sued again by an heir of Anneke Jans. Mary Fonda wanted, as heir, one per cent of valuable Trinity property. Regarding the descendants of Anneke jans, see: I. Munsell, Collections on the History of Albany II.; and The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record. See also S. P. Nash, Anneke jans Bogardus, her farm, and how it became the Property of Trinity Church, New York, 1896. Of the many prominent families which by ties of marriage have augmented the genealogy of Anneke jans, Mr. Torstein jahr's article in "Symra" mentions Bayard, De Lancey, De Peyster, Gouverneur, Jay, Knickerbocker, Morris, Schuyler, Stuyvesan", Van Cortland and Van Rensselaer.

Ref: Scandinavian Immigrants in New York 1630 - 1674. by John O. Evjen (pg 91-101)


She immigrated on 21
Mar 1630 to New Amsterdam, NY.1 In a party of colonists sailing for America aboard the ship Eendracht from the Texel on March 21, 1630 were Anneke and her husband Roelof Janszen, their children and probably her mother and sister. After an uneventful voyage they arrived at New Amsterdam, at the mouth of the Hudson, May 24, bound upriver to Rensselaerswyck, a newly established patroonship near the present city of Rensselaer. She died in 1665 in Albany, Albany Co. NY.5,2 She was a landowner in New York State.6,1
**Source reads as follows:
Jans, Annetje (1605-65) N.Y.; m. Roeloff Janse. Landowner

After learning of her husbands (Bogardus) death by drowning of the coast of Wales in the wreck of the ship Princess on Sept 27, 1647, Anneke moved from her home near the fort in New Amsterdam to Fort Orange in order to rear her younger children and to "make a living". A curious phrase, this, for one of whom so much has been written respecting her affluence as a landowner. As one writer puts it, expressing the views of many, "The celebrated Anneke Jans amassed a large protion of Manhattan real estate." This holding was in fact a 62-acre farm, a minute farm, a minute fraction of the island's 22,000 acres. Together with the Domine's Hook property on Long Island at Hunter's Point, it had been leased out since 1636 and produced little income. Moreover, except for her widow's rights, these lands belonged to her children.

Jans, Yans, Annkek or Annefje, Dutch colonist in North America; d. Albany, N.Y., 1663. She emigrated from the Netherlands in 1630 with her husband Roeloff Jansen who secured in 1636 a grant on lower Manahattan Island for 62 acres of land, to which Anneke obtained a patent right in 1654. The possession of this property was subsequently the subject of numerous lawsuits. In 1671 some of her heirs sold the land to Governor Francis Lovelace. In 1673 it was confiscated by the British, who deeded it to Trinity Church in 1705. Since 1749 this valuable property had been claimed by the descendants of Anneke Jans, chiefly on the legal grounds that the names of two heirs were omitted from the original deed of transfer, but the courts have always upheld the defendants.


She was married to Roelof JANSZEN (son of James JANSEN and Unknown (JANSEN)) on 18 Apr 1623 in Amsterdam, Holland, Netherlands.7,4,8 Roelof JANSZEN1 was born about 1602 in Maesterland, Bohusland, Norway.8 He immigrated on 21 Mar 1630 to New Amsterdam, NY.9 The children of Anneke Jans and Roelof Janszen were also with them. He died in 1638 in New Harlem, NY.10,4 He was a landowner in New York State.11 **Source reads as follows: Janse, Roeloff ( -1638) N.Y.; m. Annetje Jans. Landowner. Roelof Janszen was assigned to work the de Laets Burg farm, which lay on the east bank of the Hudson near Mill Creek (Norman Kill) in the present city of Rensselaer. This land had been recently emptied of the Indians as a result of intertribal warfare.

Roelof and his family lived on de Laets Burg farm until replaced by Gerrit Theunisz de Reux in April 1634 under obscure circumstances. Marriage intentions, April 1, 1623, Reformed Oude Kerk; Roelof Janssoon [Marked with "R"], born in Maesterland, a seaman, aged 21 years, having no parents [to grant parental permission], assisted by Jan Gerritsz., his nephew, resided 3 1/2 years at the St. Tunis gate, of the one part; and Anna Jans [Marked with "+"], born in Vleckere, in Norway, aged 18 years, assisted by trijn roeloffs, her mother, residing at the same place of the second part.
Birth1605, Masterland (island near Goteborg, Sweden/Norway)
Death1636, New Amsterdam, New York
Marriage18 Apr 1623, Amsterdam, Holland
ChildrenSarah (1626-~1693)
Last Modified 26 May 2012Created 4 Sep 2012 using Reunion for Macintosh