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The Roosa Family of Ulster and Dutchess Counties, New York

By Holdridge Ozro Collins, of Los Angeles, California

Provided by Mike Holland

The ancestor of the Roosa family in America was Albert Heymans Roosa. He landed in New Netherlands in April 1660, coming in the ship called the "Spotted Cow", in company with Roeloff Swartwout and others.

The record of his arrival is found in "Documentary History of New York", Volume 3, page 56, under the chapter entitled "Early Immigrants to New Netherland, 1657-1664". The account is as follows:

"Albert Heymans, agriculturist, from Gelderland, and wife and eight children."

The wife of Albert Heymans Roosa was named Wyntje Allard or Ariens, and soon after their arrival they settled in the Esopus district at Wiltwyck, now Kingston, Ulster County, New York.

At this place, with Cornelis Barents Slecht and wife Tryntje Bos, Mathese Blanchan and wife Madeline Jorisse, Roeloff Swartwout and wife Eva Alberts Bradt de Noorman, and others, Albert Heymans Roosa and his wife Wyntje Allard participated in the first Administration of the Lord's Supper on December 25, 1660, by the Rev. Harmanus Bloem.

Roosa was a wealthy man for those days, bringing with him considerable property from Holland, and he speedily "occupied an influential position in the new settlement". In the Spring of 1661, he joined in a contract guaranteeing a salary to Domine Bloem who had been called as the regular pastor of the Dutch Church at Wiltwyck/

The following is a copy of that agreement:

The undersigned inhabitants of the settlement at the place called Esopus, promise to give our reverend minister Harmanus Bloem as salary for the first year (which salary has commenced with his arrival here, on the 5th of September, 1660) the sum of seven hundred guilders in corn, at beaver valuation, in case his farm should fail and we promise further to put the farm in good order according to contract, as soon as the land has been allotted and to raise that sum at the latest for the coming farming season. This we the undersigned, promise faithfully and truly to do.

This done the 4th of March 1661.
Thomas Chambers
Cornelis Barentsen Slecht
The Mark _____ of Gertry Andries
Roeloff Swartwout
Alaerdt Heymensen Roose
The Mark _____ of Juriaen Westvael

See "Documents relating to the History and Settlements of the Towns along the Hudson and Mohawk Rivers", page 194; being Volume 13, old series, and Volume 2, new series of "Documents relating to the Colonial History of the State of New York; The History of Kingston, New York", page 22. By Marius Schoonmaker, of Kingston.

"Esopus (Kingston) was then without any local government, and, in fact a dependency of Fort Orange (Albany). The People were dissatisfied with such a dependent position, and wanted a government of their own. About that time Roeloff Swartwout, a son of one of the original settlers, visited Holland, and through his representations, and other influences, the Amsterdam Directors of the West India Company determined to make the Esopus settlement and independent jurisdiction."

In pursuance of such a plan, they passed an order appointing Roeloff Swartwout, Schout of Esopus, his jurisdiction embracing the powers of sheriff and "the duties of presiding officer of the of the Court in civil actions, and the duties of prosecutin attorney in criminal proceedings".

Pursuant to the directions of Their Lords High Mightinesses of Holland, Governor Stuyvesant and his Council, at New Amsterdam on May 16, 1661, granted a charter to organize a civil government at Wiltwyck.

The order was in Dutch and it is recorded in the Wiltwyck records. The following is a translation thereof:

"May 16, 1661. Director General Petrus Stuyvesant, delegated and authorized in all matters of government relating to the public welfare of all the county of New Netherland, by power and commission from the noble Lord Directors of the privileged West India Company, observing the situation and condition of a place called the Esopus, which hath now been inhabited and settled six or seven years; hath, in consideration of the situation and population thereof, erected the locality into a village and given it the name of Wiltwyck, whereby it shall be called now and henceforward".

A copy of the Charter, etc. is to be found in Schoonmaker's "History of Kingston", pages 24-28, and Appendix, pages 503-506, and in "Documents relating to the History and Settlements of the Towns along the Hudson and Mohawk Rivers", above cited, at oages 196-198. See also "History of the State of New York, First Period 1609-1664", page 690. By John Romeyn Brodhead.

By this Charter; Evert Pels, Cornelis Barentsen Slecht and Elbert Heymans Roose were appointed the first three Schepens, or Magistrates, who with the presiding Schout, Roeloff Swartwout completed "the Organization of the first village and first judicial tribunal in this section of the State". A copy of the oath of office of the three Schepens is given on page 196 of Documents, etc., above cited.

In 1661 Roosa was appointed one of the three Commissioners to enclose the New Village at the Esopus, called Hurley. See also "The Register of New Netherland, 1626 to 1674". By E.B. O'Callaghan, L.L.D. pages 71 and 158. This volume is the "Blue Book" of the Dutch and French Huguenot Families of early New Netherland.

In 1662 a schedule of the old and newly surveyed lots in Wiltwyck with the names of their owners, was made out, and in the "List of old lots, before the place was laid out", appear the names of Evert Pels, owner of lot 2, and Jan Broersen Dekker owner of lot 11. In the "List of lots newly laid out", Albert Heymans Roosa appears as the owner of lot 24, and Juriaen Westvael as owning lot 25. Documents, etc., page 230. "History of Kingston", pages 28-29.

At the destruction of the village of Hurley, on June 7, 1663, by the Indians, two of the children of Roosa, with 43 others, women and children, were taken captive. The story of the rescue of these captives by colonial forces under command of Captain Martin Kriegier is one of the most interesting of the episodes in the history of early New York. It may be found in Documents, etc., page 256 et seq. and page 323 et seq.; Doc. Hist., N. Y., Volume 4, page 39 et seq., and in "Bi-Centenary Re-Union of the Descendants of Louis and Jacques Du Bois.

The authorities above cited contain many accounts of the acts of Roosa in the early making of Kingston, in all of which he appears as a leader and director of events.

In September, 1665, soon after New Netherland had become a Province of Great Britain, the English Governor, Richard Nicolls, visited Kingston and placed Captain Daniel Brodhead in command at that place. Owing to that officer's tyrannical conduct, and the many acts of oppression and cruelty by the English soldiers under his command, the inhabitants rose in open hostility in 1667.

In their petition to Governor Nicolls for redress, the inhabitants set forth numerous deed of cruelty by the soldiers; eight of the items are as follows, viz:

"1. Cornelis Barentsen Slecht is beaten in his owne house by his Souldr. George Porter, and after this by the other Souldrs. forced to prison, and was by some souldrs, at his imprisonment used very hard.

3. It is happened that Capt. Brodhead comminge at the house of Lewis Du Bois tooke an anchor of Brandy and throwed it upon the ground because sd. Bois Refused him Brandy without paiment, and did Likewise force this sd. Bois to give him Brandy.

4. And the sd. Bois his wife coming for hur monny at the sd. Brodheads house, he drove the said Bois his wife, with a beare kynff out of his house.

6. Albert Heymans Roos, going with his plouw yron toward the Smits, was assaulted by five souldrs. whoe wounded him very much, whereupon

7. The souldiers said the sd. Albert Heymans going without any Reason brought him to Imprisonment was most griviously wounded by Richard Hamer.

12. John Cornelissen Smith, going alonge the Streete was assalted & persecuted to his verry shop & was Like

13. to have been murthered by George Porter, but he was hindered in his desseyn by Frans Vreeman; and the sd. George Porter hath Likewise upon the sd. day in open streete assaulted Roeloff Swartwout.

14. Cornelia Barentsen Slecht, beinge by Capt. Brodhead very ill treated, in his owne house, was afterwards by the sd. Capt. forced to prison, and his armes by force taken out of his house, wch still doe Remaine by the sd. Capt. Brodhead."

Governor Nicolls on April 16, 1667, appointed a Commission to enquire into their troubles, and in his letter of instructions, he says:

"Albert Heymans and Anthony D. Elba have spoken most malicious words, and I look upon them as great incendiaries and disaffected persons; if their words be proved they shall not be suffered to live in this governmentl; if they have been actors in the late riot, pitch upon them two for ringleaders, and give orders to inventory and secure their estates by the Schout and Commissioners".

Documents, etc., page 407. "History of Kingston", pages 52-57. These troubles are called the "Mutiny at Esopus" in the histories of the time.

The Commission appointed by Governor Nicholls sat at Esopus for three days. Captain Brodhead, admitting the truth of the charges against him was suspended from his command and he died three months afterwards, on July 14, 1667, at Esopus.

Albert Heymans Roosa, Cornelis Barentsen Slecht, and two others "were found guilty of a rebellious and mutinous riot, and were taken to New York for sentence. Nicholls, by advice of his council on the 3rd of May, sentenced Heymans to be banished for life out of the government, and the others for shorter terms out of Esopus, Albany and New York. All these
sentences of the burghers were subsequently modified, and the offenders returned to Esopus.

Governor Francis Lovelace restored Roosa to favor, and in 1669 appointed him and Louis Du Bois two of the Overseers for Hurley, called New Dorp, or New Village. In 1673 he was confirmed as one of the officers at Esopus by Governor Anthony Colve, and described as "Captain Albert Heymans, who had been prominent in the riot of 1667".

The records state that in 1669 "Albert Heymensen peticond to sett up a Brewhouse and tanffatts in Hurley", and an order was made to grant permission".

His name appears with that of his son Arien Albertson Roosa and those of Jacob Jansen Van Etten, Jan Jansen Van Etten, Thomas Quick, Roeloff Swartwout, Mattys Blanchan, Louys 'Du Bois and others, to petition to Sir Edmond Andros, Governor of New York, praying that he would assist them in procuring a minister for Esopus "that can can preache bothe Inglish and Dutche, wch. will bee most fitting for this place, it being in its Minority". Documents, etc.,pages 543-4. Doc. Hist., N.Y., Volume 3, page 965.

Albert Heymans Roosa served in the military forces of the Colony as mustering officer and in other capacities, and on April 5, 1670, at the military rendezvous held at Marbletown, he was present as Sergeant of Captain Henry Pawling's Company at which also appeared his son Arie Roosa as private, and in 1673 Albert was Captain of a company recruited from Hurley and Marbletown. See "Second Annual Report of the State Historian of New York", pages 378-379, 384. See also, same volume, pages 185, 191, 198, 201, 204-7, 266, 276, 285, 287, 290, 294, 298 and 427 for accounts of Albert and his son Captain Arie Roosa.

Albert Heymans Roosa died at Hurley on February 27, 1679. In 1685 his widow, Wyntje Allard secured a grant of 320 acres at Hurley.

 

Added July 3, 2006