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August 19, 2017

Hans Coenradt & Barentje Straetsman in New Netherland

The exact date of Hans Coenradt’s arrival in New Netherland is not known but we know he would have been among the refugees fleeing Recife Brazil in April 1654. Presumably the family continued on to New Netherland soon after arriving safely in the Netherlands. The first record found indicating he was in New Netherland is dated in Albany (Fort Orange) in early December 1655.  [i] So sometime between April 1654 and December 1655, Hans (and probably his entire family) arrived in New New Netherland.

As New Amsterdam came into view with its gallows and weather beaten wooden houses dominating a raw, windswept landscape, the Barheit family must have had mixed feelings. New Amsterdam in 1654 was a frontier outpost filled with brawling sailors and rough-looking fur traders. Over fifty grog houses catered to a never-ending stream of men dropping in for a little fun on their way to or from Massachusetts or Virginia. [ii]

Many researchers believe that Barentje stayed behind in the Netherlands and arrived in New Netherland for the first time in 1660. Records reveal that Barentje and two children left Amsterdam between 22 December 1659 and 8 January 1660 on board the ship de Trouw. The ship sailed into the harbour at New Amsterdam some time before 6 June 1660.  [iii] However it is unlikely that this was her Barentje’s first trip, since it occurred at least five years after her husband’s arrival. Barentje more than likely returned to the Netherlands on either business reasons or to visit family, and this 1660 arrival is her return voyage.

We find records of Barentje in New Netherland as early as August 1658 when she was called a whore by Pieter Jansen. Her sister defended her vigourously and Pieter took her sister to court in New Amsterdam. [iv] This suggests that the 1660 voyage was not her first time to New Netherland.

The late Pim Nieuwenhuis’ abstracts from notarial documents in the Amsterdam Archives reveal that on 16 August 1659, Barentje was in Amsterdam conducting business on behalf of her sister Teuntje. [v] It seems obvious that Barentje, her legal affairs in order, then booked passage on the next ship to New Netherland – de Trouw leaving after 22 Decemember 1659.

This is an excerpt from my book

The Barheit Family Revealed: A Genealogy of Hans Coenradt and Barentje Jans Straetsman, the Immigrant Ancestors of the Barheit Family of Albany New York available  on CreateSpace and

Publication Date: Apr 21 2016
ISBN/EAN13: 1987938062 / 9781987938067
Page Count: 60
Trim Size: 8.5" x 11"
[i] CFOB V1.1920 p.242 Hans was called as a witness in a case about stolen sugar cookies
[ii] They Came From Recife: the First Jews to Settle in America 1654. Dr. Kenneth Libo Ph.D and Michael Skakun
[iv] RNA. Vii p 427. 27 August 1658. Pieter Jansen pltf vs Teuntje Straaatmans [sic] deft. Pltf delivers in court certain written complaint for the insults and abuse given him, pltf, by the deft. Deft. Admits having done so, but did not threaten him with a knife, and says the pltf abused her sister for a whore and her as one who steals. Plft denies it and says she, the deft., abused his wife as a thief, and threatened him with a knife, which Leuntje Pieters knows. Deft says the pltf abused her three times in the first instance. Parties charged by the Court to keep themselves quiet and peaceable and whichever of the two should begin again, shall pay 25 gl as a fine to the Schout
[v] NNC. V. 5 No. 3. 2000 p 78. 16 August 1659. Not. H. Schaef, 1359/106. Barentje Straetsmans, housewife of Hans Coenraets from Beerhey, now a free baker near Fort Orange in New Netherland, being a sister of Theuntke [sic] Straetsmans (the wife of Thielman Jacobsz from Caerick who sailed in 1646 on the ship Rhee van Zeeland to Brazil and who died later in Gaudeloupe, now declares in the name of her sister Theuntje Straetsmans now living in Manhattan, that she has received a full account of the wages earned by her late husband. (Note that in fact Thielman had not died in Gaudaloupe and reappeared some years later after Theuntje had remarried as his widow)

August 16, 2017

Mary Facey Elgie Photo Album p 6

"Harry Elgie at Lot 24, Concession 7, East Nissouri. the Will Elgie Farm, now Harry Elgie Farm"

As near as I can tell, the Harry Elgie in this photo is Harry the son of William Elgie and Mary Louise Facey. Harry was born in E. Nissouri in 1907, and married Madge Brown in 1936.

On back of photo is this notation: "Sam and Margaret Facey. Grandpa & Grandma Facey." Underneath is a notation that seems to read "Of Anne Elgie Mitchell"

I am not sure what the second notation refers to, because I only know of two Anne Elgie women - one married Alexander Pelton, the other married Robert Bragg and was the mother of Roberta who inherited these photos from her Aunt Florence.

August 14, 2017

Irish Catholic Church Records Coming Soon!

Good news for those of us searching their Irish Catholic ancestors! The National Library of Ireland has announced that it will give free online access to its archive of Catholic Church records, the earliest of which dates back to the 1700s.

They cover 1,091 parishes throughout Ireland and are mainly baptismal and marriage records.  This new project adds to the over 2.5 million images of Irish births, deaths and marriage records from the General Register Office (GRO),  released online in September 2015. The earlier set of records is available on The records cover births from 1864 to 1915, marriages from 1882 to 1940 and deaths from 1891 to 1965.

Read the full story at All of Ireland’s Catholic Church records to go online

August 13, 2017

Nursing Sister Philips WW1 Photo Album 58V

58V Newspaper clipping with photo. "Canadian Nurses in England are going to front". Photo- "Sisters Smellie and Philip". The figures in the background are indicated as "S. Armstrong S. Wishart

This Photo Archive consists of a small autograph album (6.5" by 5.25") kept by Constance (Connie) Philips as a memento of her time serving as a nurse during World War One.

The majority of the photos and items are from 1915, when she served as a nurse in France and Britain.

The album and all photographs, postcards, and other ephemera contained in the album belong to Karin Armstrong and may not be copied or republished without her written permission. The images will be published on Olive Tree Genealogy with permission.

Each image has been designated an "R" for Recto or a "V" for Verso plus an album page number. Recto is the right-hand side page of a bound book while Verso is the left-hand side page.

I will be posting the entire album and my additional research on the individuals identified in Connie's album over the coming months so please check back frequently to view these historic photos. The easiest way to see what has been published is to click on the topic "Nursing Sister WW1 Photos"

August 11, 2017

Bodies of Swiss Couple Found on Glacier After 75 years

Marcelin and Francine Dumoulin went to milk their cows in a meadow above Chandolin in the Valais canton on August 15, 1942. They left their seven children back at home, expecting to return in a few hours. They never came back.

Their youngest child was 4 years old and it was the first time Francine had gone with her husband. In the past she'd either been pregnant or with a child too young to be left with older siblings.

Searches failed and eventually were called off. The children were farmed out to various relatives and never knew what had happened to their parents.

75 years later, a shrinking glacier revealed the bodies of a man and woman lying near each other, perfectly preserved in ice. Identity papers proved who they were - Marcelin and Francine Dumoulin. Authorities believe they fell into a crevasse and were hidden for decades until melting snow and ice revealed their bodies.

Read the full story at Bodies of Swiss couple found on glacier 75 years after they went missing

Do You Have New Netherland (NY) Ancestors?

If you have New Netherland ancestors, come join us on the New Netherland Settlers Facebook group.

On September 19, 1609, the East India Company ship Halve Maen, commanded by Henry Hudson, an Englishman working for Dutch businessmen who were seeking a passage to the Orient, reached the present-day Albany New York area. 

It was not until 1624 that the first colonists arrived in New Netherland (now New York) to settle at Fort Orange (present day Albany), the mouth of the Connecticut River, and High Island (Burlington Island) in the Delaware River. 

English colonists were in Virginia and Plymouth, and England was claiming the northeastern Atlantic Coast. They both laid claim to Long Island, where the Dutch took hold of the western end and, later, the English settled on the eastern end. 

(Source: )

August 9, 2017

Mary Facey Elgie Photo Album p 5

A nice photo identified as "Grandpa Facey (Samuel Facey), Mrs. Henry Haves, Mrs Haves (Granny) and Grandma Facey (Margaret Wilford)" 

Redigon Facey, a daughter of Samuel Facey and Margaret Wilford, married Robert Haves and this could be the connection.

This photo is labelled as Jennie Mary (Rennie?) and Margaret Wilford Facey

Search the Free UK Census Records

Announcement from FreeCen:

FreeCEN offers a free-to-search online database of the 19th century UK censuses. Transcribed entirely by volunteers, we have more than 32 million individuals available on our website that anyone can search without having to create an account. The new ‘FreeCEN2’ website ( will launch on Monday 31st July 2017 with all of the records that the current website holds, but with a fresh new look and feel in-line with Free UK Genealogy and FreeREG. 

FreeCEN, FreeREG and FreeBMD are projects by Free UK Genealogy, a registered charity that promotes free access to historical records. FreeREG underwent this process in 2015, and FreeBMD is due to begin its renewal later this year.  

August 7, 2017

Newly Discovered Diary Describes Halifax Explosion

Dec. 6, 1917. Royal Navy sailor Frank Baker wrote in his diary

"We...had just drawn soap and powder and the necessary utensils for cleaning paint work,” he wrote, “when the most awful explosion I ever heard or want to hear again occurred.”

What Baker heard was the largest explosion since before the Atomic Bomb. Sailors 150 miles out to sea heard the blast. On land, people felt the jolt 300 miles away. The shock wave demolished almost everything within a half-mile.

An outbound Belgian ship, the Imo, collided with an inbound French freighter, the Mont-Blanc. The freighter carried 2,925 tons of high explosives, including 246 tons of benzol, a highly flammable motor fuel, in drums lashed to its deck.

Passersby stopped to watch the fire but when the explosion occurred the town of Halifax was devastated. There were 2000 known fatalities and over 9000 people were injured.

Baker's diary is now in an exhibit in the Dartmouth Heritage Musuem. Read the entire diary on the Smithsonian