Facts and Events
A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE VAN BURKLEO FAMILY by Noble Van Burkleo and mailed to G.R. and Lorene Burkleo.
"This is a brief history of the Van Burkleo family in America and that part of it from which our branch is descended. No family name in America has been more often misspelled in so many different ways as ours. There is in New York a facsimilie signature of Willem Janzen Van Borkelo (Borckeloo) which shows that this was at least the way he spelled his name. It has been spelled Van Berkelo, Van Barklow, Barcalo, while the spelling Van Burkleo has been used only by the descendants of two of his sons, Reynier Van Barkelo and Harmens Van Barkelo. The wife of Herman Van Barkelo, son of Reynier was referred to in his mother's will as the wife of Herman
Banburkeeloe. A hundred years later, Isaac Fallis in his will leaves a legacy to his daughter Eleanor Van Burkalow. One of Reynier's other sons, (he had six), Daniel, in his will mentions his brother Jacob Van Burkelow and spells his wife's name the same way. Reynier at times spelled his own name Van Burkloe.
Harmanus Van Barkelo, grandson of Harman Janzen Van Borkleo, gave a conveyance of property which is in the Kings County records and signed it
Harmanus Van Barkeloo. Willem Ban Barkelo, son of Harman Janzen Van Borkleo, married Maria Cortelyou. A census of New Utrecht in 1696 lists him as Willem Berkeloo; an old surveying book of his lists him as Willem Birkelo. Margrietje, daughter of Harmanus Van Barkelo and so, a grand-daughter of Harman Janzen Van Borkelo, marriedCasper Cropsey. Two children were baptized in Flatbush Dutch Church where her name is spelled Margrietje Berclo. Often, the Van is left off. Some dropped it permanently, to have it picked up again by their children or grand-children.
At times, there have been confusions between our name and that of the Buckelews. The latter are a family of French extraction and never at any time used the Van. This spelling or misspelling was no doubt caused in part by the change-over from Dutch to English as the official language. Not only had the names to be switched to a new language but into a new alphabet. (What he means by this is a mystery. Both English and Dutch use the same Alphabet.) This was done phonetically and each County Clerk, official and church recorders spelled each name as it sounded to him. The prime exhibit of bad spelling is in he American State papers relating to Louisiana. Here, my great-great-great-grandfather was granted som land by the Spanish authorities and his name was spelled Guillaume Van Burghelo. Later, he sold the land and conveyed it under his correct name of William Van Burkleo. The first of our family to come to America was Willem Janzen Van Borkelo (Borckeloo). He was here prior to 1657 and was evidently a man of som means as he immediately bought a home, a house and lot with a barn and other buildings. In February, 1658, he married Cornelia Van Salee, daughter of Anthony Jansen Van Salee and his wife Greetje Reiniers. Anthony Van Salee was the holder of the firt patent on farm land issued in Gravesend. In 1661, Willem Janzn returned to Holland for business purposes and there his description of the new land was so enthusiastic that his brother, Harman Janzen Van Borkelo decided
to return with him. Interest in the New World was at it's height in Holland. Only fifty years earlier, Henry Hudson had returned from his exploration of the country and the river which bears his name. His glowing reports of the new country quickly spread all over Holland. Harman Janzen Van Borkelo would no doubt have gone with his brother on his first trip to New Amsterdam but he was just gettning married. He and his wife, who was WillempjeWarnaers, now had two small children, a daughter Jannetje, aged five and a son, Reynier, age two. Never-the-less, they listened with intense interest to Willem's description of the new country; a place, he said, where fine farm land was to be had for the asking. Long Island, he described, as a place of beautiful rolling woodlands; the trees mostly giant oaks, the finest for height and thickness that a man would ever hope to see. The woods were full of fruit in season-- mulberries, persimmons, grapes, great and small, that the woodland floor was red with them. The valleys were flush with grass that grew to the height of a man's waist. Game was so plentiful that no man could ever want for meat. Deer ran in herds of twenty to thirty and were almost tame. There were wild turkeys, woodhens, pigeons by the millions, in addition to coons, beaver and otters. Fish were so plentiful that often one drog of a net would recover enough to feed then families. All these lands traversed by beautiful clear streams fed by numerous springs so that water was always available. The land, he said, was so new, clean and fragrant that you could smell the good aroma of it miles at sea; even before you came into sight of the land. No wonder, after hearing his description, that Harmon Janzen and his wife decided to take their youg family to the new land with them.
They embarked on the ship De Trouw (The Faith) and sailed for the new world. A ship could have no better name for such a trip. Captained by Captain Jan Janz Besteraer, it landed in New Netherlands March 24, 1662. The passenger list is still in existence and shows Willem Janzen Van Borkeloo, Harman Janzen Ban Borkelo, his wife and two children age five and three. This is from the Year Book of the Holland Society for 1902. After landing, they at once went to the home of Willem at Gravesend. There was on this ship a distant relative of the two brothers, a Willem Willemse Borckelo. This man was listed as taking the oath of Allegiance to the British crown in Sept. of 1687. There is no other record of him, neither of marriage, purchase of land, or church membership. The belief is that he was a batchelor and either returned to Holland or died and as there is no record of his deathe, the first alternative seems to be most likley. (This is from the Holland Society Year Book for 1894.) On June 22, 1662, Willem Janz and Harman Janz Van Borkelo, but lately arrived from Holland, made an affidavit in New Amsterdam for Aeltje Lubbertse concerning the death of her second husband, Nicholas Velthuysen. Velthuysen had deserted her and had sailed on a voyage from which he did not return. In this affidavit, they stated that in the preceeding February, while traveling from Mendenblicq to Amsterdam, a gunner on board their ship told them that Velthuysen, whom he had known as a sergeant in Brazil, had died on a trip to Genee (Guinea). This declaration which was notarized by Salomon La Chair, not only set at rest the mind of the widow, but stated specifically that Willem and Harman Janzen Van Borkelo were brothers. (From The Holland Society Year Book, for 1900. pages 143-144.) Harman Jazen and his family soon left Gravesend, where brother Willem had his home and settled in New Utrecht, Long Island. Here, three more children were born to them. Some ten years after his arrival in America, Harman Janzen Van Borkelo died, as on May 12, 1672, his widow married in Gravesend, Long Island, Han Harmensen of New Utrecht, by whom she had two daughters, Trynte Hanse and Annetje Hanse. The entire family moved from Long Island to New Jersey, where, in 1681, Hanse Harmensen, then living in Constable's Hook, New Jersey, applied for land for himself, his wife, his wife's sons by her first husband, Reynier; Harman, John and William, and also for two daughters of his own, aged nine and seven years. Jannetje, the oldest child of Marman Janzen Van Borkleo, having married before the family left Long Island. This land request is in the New Jersey Archives, vol. 21, p. 47. Jannetje married Hendrick Van Dyke in the Flatbush Dutch Church, February 29, 1680 and helped to establish the Van Dyke family in America. Hans Harmensen continued to live in Constable's Hook until his death, Oct. 26, 1700. His wife, Willempje, had predeceased him, having died Oct. 28, 1697. Hans' will is still in existence, but is in such bad shape that it was is difficult to read clearly but fortunately there is a printed version that was made before the original got into such bad shape. This will gives us an idea as to the ages of Harman Janzen Van Borkelo's children. We know that Jannetje was born in 1657, Reynier in 1659
and Harmen in 1662. As thei names appear in the same sequence in both the will and Land request of 1681, it would follow that this was the proper order and that Jan was the fourth child, while Willem was the last or youngest.
Reynier, Van Barkelo, or as he sometime spelled it, Van Burkloe, was born in Holland in 1659, as he was three years old when they arrived in New Netherlands in 1662. He is named in both his step-father's will and the Land Request of 1681. His name disappears from the records of New Netherlands, for he early moved to New Castle County, Delaware and settled on Bombay Hook Island. He may have been interested in the Labadist movement, as the island was adjacent to the settlement of this sect in Maryland, where his brother, Harmen was a prominent member. Reynier became associated with Daniel Pastories, who had a grant of land from William Penn on the promise that he would settle it with immigrants from Holland and Germany. Reynier Van Burkloe became a partner of Pastories in this deal and moved to the colony known as Germantown, now a part of Philadelphia. There is a record of his having applied for naturalization in the colony of Pennsylvania in 1691. While there, Reynier married Mary Shumcher, the eldest daughter of Pether Schumacher, a Palatine immigrant from Krigheim, Germany. He arrived in Philadelphia Oct 121, 1685 on the ship "Francis and Dorothy". He was a for Mennonite who had been converted to the Quaker faithe and took a prominent part in the establishment of Germantown. His brother, Jacob was sheriff of Germantown in 1690. (Above from vol. 4 Penn. Magazine of History and Biography. pgs. 7-8, 22-23 and 31-40.) Let us leave Reynier in Germantown for the time being and go back to Willem Janzen Van Borkelo. While we are directly descended from his brother Harman Janzen Van Borkelo, we do have an interest in his history. He had settled in Gravesend, which was an English speaking community and there, Willem Janzen Ban Borkelo became known as William Jonson or Johnson. As such, he is designated in the early town records but he continued to sign as Willem Janzen Van Borkelo. His first wife, Cornelia Van Salee, bore him three children;
Jannetje, Cornelia and a son, Jan. After her death he married for the second wife, Leysebet Jansen, daughter of Jan Claeszen and his wife Leysebet Jans. She was a very young woman, about sixteen yearls old at the time of their marriage. She received, according to the Flatbush town records, (lib.D Court Minutes 1;189) from her father's estate, four hundred guilders and a serge coat made complet with nonperly (an ornate decoration or trimming). The coat to be provided as soon as a ship came in from Holland or at the lates one year and a day from the date of the probate. She bore Willem Janzen six children. The date of her death is not recorded.
Willem moved to Amersfort where he died on Nov. 1683 leaving no will. His children were: Daughters, Jannetje, Cornelia and Elizabeth. His sons were Jan, Willem, Daniel Dirck, David and Coenraed. We can now go to another son of Harman Janzen Van Borkelo, Harmen Van Barkelo, who was born in New Netherlands in 1662. When he was twenty-one years of age he joined the Labadist movement, a religious order somewhat like the Quakers except that they held and operated their property as communal property. The site of this community was some 3700 acres in the Southeastern part of Bohemia Manor, which was one of four estates owned by August Herman. After the Labadist community disbanded, the property was divided between the most prominent members and Harman Van Burkleo received one fifthe of it. In his will dated Dec. 2, 1782, he named his wife Margaret, his Son Abell and his grandchildren Harmen, William and Catherine and Margaret. His son, Capt. Abell Van Barkelo was baptized in the Bensalem Dutch Church where a number of other Van Burkleos had been baptized. He was also one of the first of the family to spell his name as we do today. On June 7, 1715, he married Catherine Herman, daughter of Casparas A. Herman who had inherited Bohemia Manor as it's third Lord on June 3, 1690. Abell Van Burkleo was sheriff of Cecil County of the Colony of Maryland in 1716 and there are numerous documents in existence today that were issued during his term. In the early 1700's this family sold thier part of Bohemia Manor to Reynier Van Burkleo and the Brothers Van Bibber. The family of Abell Burkleo settled in Virginia. Some years later, because of a court decision, they had to be hunted up and gotten to sign quit claim deeds to the land they had sold. After that, we lose track of them. (This is from the History of Cecil Co., Md. Pub. 1881).
Now back to Reyneir Van Burkloe; in 1704 he had finished with the business with the Pastories at Germantown and he and two brothers, Jacob and Isaac Van Bibber, moved back to Maryland where they acquired a part of Bohemia Manor land from the heirs of Harmen Van Burkloe. The Van Bibbers remained to become well known and important citizens of Maryland but as some unknown date Reynier moved to New Castle County, Delaware where he died. His will was written Nov. 19, 1713 and probated Mar. 19, year not given. His will named his wife, six sons and four daughters. His wife and his old associate Daniel Pastories were named executors. The children were Peter, Mary, Margaretta, Daniel, Susanna, William, Herman, Jacob, Samuel and Rebecca. Note the name Samuel. This is the first timee this name has appearedc in the Van Burkleo family sincce their arrival in America. In fact, it is probably from the family of his mother Mary Schumacker. The frequency with which this name, Samuel, appears in our branch of the family is very significant. Three children were baptized to Samuel and his second wife in the Bensalem Church where they had moved from Delaware shortly after his father Reynier's death. The son samuel became a minister in the Dutch Reformed Church in Cecilton, Maryland, married one Jane Wycoff. In 1761, a son William was born to them and baptized that year. Another son was born and baptised three years later. He was named Samuel. In 1780 William married Marie Hirons of Delaware and some years later his brother Samuel Married Susanna Hirons a younger sister of Marie. In 1783 there was born to William Van Burkleo and his wife Marie a son also named William who was destined to become the legendary "Uncle Billie" of our branch of the family. This birth occured in Kent County Delaware June 11, 1783.