NameThomas Swartwout
Birth1 Jun 1607, Groningen, Netherlands
Death1660, Beverwyck, NY
FatherRolef Swartwout (~1585-1634)
MotherCatryna (1579-)
Misc. Notes

Tomys (Thomas) was born in Groningen in 1607. Tomys and his two younger brothers were the first of the Frisian Swartwolts to write their surname the modern Dutch way (“Swartwout”). They were the first Hollanders to buy and sell American tobacco in Holland in 1629. They started their wholesale tobacco business in Amsterdam, the greatest commercial city in Europe at the time. Their business was in a newly laid-out part of the city that allowed them easy access to the Keizersgracht Canal, a canal that allowed vessels to cross the Ij (pronounced “I”), an estuary of the Zuiderzee.

Tomys was married by the Rev. Rudolphus Petri at the New Church (Nieuwe Kerk) in Amsterdam, on April 7, 1630, to Adrijetjen, a daughter of Sijmon and Catryna (Grebbers) Sijmons. Their banns (marriage intentions) were announced on February 4, 1630, and read (translated to English): “The Honorable Tomas Swartwolt (previously) of Groningen in Lamhuinge Street, and the virtuous maiden Aerijaentijen Sijmens of Amsterdam...” The attestation for the publication of the banns in Amsterdam is dated on March 21, 1630, and says: “For this appeared Thomas Swartwout of Groningen, twenty-three years old, a tobacco merchant, residing on the Keysersgracht, and Ariaentje Sijmons of Amsterdam, twenty-two years old, assisted by her father, Sijmon Sijmons, and by her mother, Catryna Grebbers, residing on the Prinsengracht, seeking the crying out of their banns on three Sundays in order to obtain the solemnization of the aforesaid marriage, and to have it wholly consummated, so far as otherwise before granted ... signed by Tomys Swartwout. Adrijetjen Sijmons.” Adrijetjen died on December 17, 1630 at Amsterdam while giving birth to her only child, Jan.

The following year, Tomys became acquanted with Hendrickjen Otsen, the daughter of Barent Otsen, a prominent book publisher residing on Breestraat (Broad Street), near the Ossemaret (Ox Market). He lived outside the Old Regulator’s Gate, in the Printing House in Amsterdam. Barent’s wife’s name was Jacomijntje. Barent Otsen, or Otsz, was established in Amsterdam as a printer in 1612, and his book titled the Great Riddle Book became very popular in 1614. On October 21, 1619, he was enrolled as a member of the Booksellers’ Guild. Tomy’s and Hendrickjen’s banns were published on May 10, 1631, and they were married by Rev. Joannes Cornelius on June 3, 1631 at the New Church of Amsterdam.

Tomys and Hendrickjen lived near the city walls of Amsterdam. On May 1, 1645, they sold their property for 2300 florins, and moved to Saint Peter’s cross-street. On May 28, 1648, Hendrickjen sold her interest in that house for 380 florins. About this time, Holland’s commercial competitors, England and France, took over several areas that were important to Amsterdam, and placed high taxes on them. Amsterdam’s property began to lose it’s value, and business in Amsterdam became stagnate. On March 21, 1651, the directors of the Amsterdam Chamber of the West India Company gave word to Director-General Petrus Stuyvesant, of New Netherland (New York), that the corporation was “opening the territory of New Netherland for the settlement of colonists.” Later that year, Tomys sold his property in Amsterdam, and, early in March of 1652, he and his family sailed down the Ij and left their homeland for good.

Following his move to America, Tomys was one of 19 representatives who remonstrated against the maladministration of the affairs of the province of New Amsterdam by the arrogant directors of the West India Company. These 19 men wished to have a voice in government of the colony, but their wishes were held in contempt and they were punished.

Moved to Beverwyck, NY in 1652
Birth1609, Amsterdam, Netherlands
DeathUlster Co., NY
Marriage3 Jun 1631, Amsterdam, Netherlands
ChildrenRoeloff (1634-1714)
Last Modified 24 May 2012Created 4 Sep 2012 using Reunion for Macintosh