Laurens Duyts

Laurens Duyts (or Laurens Jans Duytszen) was born about 1610 in Holstein, Denmark. Denmark was part of Viking kingdoms during the 8th through 10th centuries. The Danish Empire was formed under Canute in the 11th century and joined with Sweden and Norway under Queen Margrethe of Denmark in 1389. Sweden separated from the union in the 16th century, followed by Norway in 1814. Schleswig-Holstein was lost to Germany in 1864 and North Schleswig was returned after a 1920 plebiscite. The country was occupied by Germany during World War II.

He married Ytie Jansen (or Utje) (some say her name was Lysbeth Hendricks) before 1639. She was born ca 1610 in Olderberg, Germany. Laurens and his wife arrived in New Netherland in July of 1639 on the ship "The Fire of Troy". This was a private armed vessel, engaged by Captain Jochem Kuyter, also from Holstein, a man of wealth and distinction who sailed from Hoorn, bringing with him farmers, herdsmen and laborers to start a new Colony, located in present Harlem. [Dyane Dye Wood, 1986]

Arnold J. F. Van Laer, New York Historical Manuscripts Dutch Vol I; 1638-1642 ; Genealogical Publishing Co, Inc., Baltimore, MD. 1974 ; pp 196-197 ; Morris Library, University of DE, Newark : Lease from Jonas Bronck (a confererate of Captain Kuyter), to Pieter Andriessen and Lourens Duyts. "They shall be at liberty to plant tobacco and maize, on the express condition that every two years they shall clear new pieces of land.... furthermore, Pieter Andriesz and Lourens Duyts bind and pledge their persons and properties for the payment of what Mr. Bronck has disbersed for them on board the ship De Brant van Troyen, 120 guilders, 16 stivers, of which Pieter Andriessen must pay fl. 81:4 and Lourens Duyts fl. 49:12. Done in Fort Amsterdam, 21st of July 1639." Bronck's farm became the center of the Bronx.

Within four months of their arrival a daughter was born (Margaret) and baptized in the Dutch Reformed Church in New Amsterdam as there was no church at that time in Harlem. Laurens was called "the Great Dane" and also "the Great Shoe" becuase of his great size. He devoted his time wholly to farming and his name does not appear in connection with any civic or church activities.

The children of Laurens Duyts and Ytie Jansen are listed as:

  1. Margaret Duyts, born about December 23, 1639 in New Amsterdam

  2. Jan Laurens Duyts was born about March 31, 1641

  3. Hans Duyts was born about September 23, 1644 in New Amsterdam and died after 1708, Staten Island, Richmond County, New York.

Hans Laurens was banned from New Amsterdam for 50 years for selling his wife (Ytie Jansen). He died 1668 in Bergen (red dot on the map to the right), New Jersey, and was buried 16 Jan 1668 in Bergen, Bergen Co., New Jersey.

[John O. Evjen, Scandinavian Immigrants in New York; 1630-1674; K. C. Holter Publishing Co. Minneapolis, MN. 1916 ; pp 193-94 ; Morris Library, University of DE, Newark DE.]. The Court Minutes of Harlem relate that Laurens Duyts of Holstein received sentancing from Stuyvesant on November 25, 1658, for selling his wife, Ytie Jansen, and forcing her to live in adultery with another man, and for living himself in adultery, he was to have a rope tied around his neck, and then to be severly flogged and have his right ear cut off, and to be banished for fifty years. He went across the Hudson River to Bergen (now Jersey City where he died and was buried on January 16, 1668.

Ytie Jansen's parents are not known. Ytie died after 1658 in New York. She was living at date of lawsuit. [Calender of Historical Manuscripts. Vol. 1, pg. 203. ] Her name has also been proposed as Lysbeth Hendricks. She lived some time after the divorce, opening a tavern eventually. If her name was Lysbeth Hendricks, she re-married in NY 19 July 1659 Jan Gervon van Beaumont; as Lysbeth Hendricks, widow of Laurens Jansen from Denmark.

The two sons of Lurens were Jan Laurens and Han Laurens. Jan was baptized in the Dutch reformed Church at new York on March 23, 1642. Jans died before June 11, 1679.

Hans was baptized at the same church on September 28, 1644.

Hans married Grietje Jans in 1666.

  1. Catreyn Duyts was born about April 14, 1667 in Bergen, New Jersey.

Hans Laurentzen Duyts -- Generation 2

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