The Family of Jacob Janse Gardenier


The Origins of the Gardenier Family

Jacob Gardenier a wealthy merchant and land owner in Old Dutch New York is the primary ancestor of this family to have left information. There has been no real effort to document his life or trace his origins back to his native Kampen, Holland. Found as Jacob Janse, Flooder, and Gardenier, it is not clear how the "Gardenier" name was chosen, but it appears to have been the one surname that eventually was adopted by this family to replace the traditional use of the patronymic. Though Jacob is mentioned in historical works on Old Albany, the only real genealogical work published on him has been with the Ostrander Family Association which has taken an interest in him, due to his granddaughter's marriage to Pietre Ostrander.

My line of descent from Jacob is through the Ostrander connection. Rachel, the daughter of Adam & Aeltie (Jacobse Gardenier) Dingmand married Pieter Ostrander. Aeltie Dingman is the eldest daughter (and perhaps eldest child) of Jacob Gardenier.

Jacob Gardenier (died 1688)

Abstracts of New York Dutch records suggest that numerous records of old Dutch New York survive concerning the life and exploits of Jacob Janse Gardenier. Jacob is a native of Holland, son of a Jan Gardenier. Jacob also seems to have used the surname of "Flooder" as well as Gardenier. It should be noted that there is also an early English family by the name of Gardenier of which "Gardenier Island" is named and should not be confused with Jacob and his descendants. Karen Warren published in the "Ostrander Family Newsletter", a brief sketch of Jacob's life as recorded in New York records. Her notes show that Jacob arrived in New Netherlands on the 28th of March 1638, aboard the ship Herinch from the port of Texel in the Netherlands. A native of Kampen, in the province of Overyssell, he came to colony initially, as the servant of Claes Jansz Ruyter. By 1642, Jacob had returned to the Netherlands where he applied to the patroon of Rensselaerwyck for work as a carpenter; he was granted the job and returned to Rensselaerwyck in the following year. Jacob is well recorded in part, because he acquired significant property. In 1647, he leased a grist and saw mill in Grenenbosch (Greenbush) for an annual rent of 225 guilders. Later he would build a grist mill on the Fifth Kill. In April of 1654 he purchased land near the Water Gate in Albany on the south side of Wall street. By 1656, he added to his holdings with the acquisition of land on the north side of Wall street of which he subdivided and sold as town lots through an agent. By 1667, he is found in Kinderhook, which is now located in Columbia County. With Captain John Baker as a partner, the two men purchased land from the Mochican Indians and a patent was formally granted on the 15th April 1667 by Governor Nicholls. By his death in 1688, Jacob owned approximately 1000 acres of land. In addition to his mills, speculation in land in Albany (Beverwycke) and the development of agricultural holdings in Kinderhook, Jacob also ran boats down the Hudson River. Warren notes that there are numerous court cases found against Jacob connected to his various business ventures. Jacob Janse Gardenier is also mentioned in Pearson's historical work in the following sketch, which documents the facts on Jocob's life in more specific detail than Warren. I will transcribe this sketch as follows:

"Gardenier (alias Flodder), Jacob Janse, a carpenter in Beverwyck as early as 1638; in 1656, he owned the north side of Wall street from William street to Pearl street, which he divided into lots and sold by his agent Sander Leendertse Glen: he early bought land in Kinderhook together with the Goyer's kil opposite or near Apje's island or Schotack. His immediate descendants very generally settled in that vicinity. His first w[ife] was Josyna..., who d[ied] Feb[ruary] 1669; he after wards m[arried] Barentje Stratsmans, widow of Hans Coenraats; in 1688, she was again a widow with ten children by her first husband and five by her second, all living. The estates of the two fathers were then divided among these 15 children. The following children of Jacob Janse Gardenier arrived to mature age and had families: Jan ; Samuel [m: Helena Dirkse (Hendrickse) Bey]; Andries [m: Eytie Ariananse (Ariesc)]; Hendrick [m: Neeltie Claase]; Albert; Aeltie, who m[arried] Adam Dingman. [re: pg. 52]

Court records show that Gardiner/Flodder was sued numerous times. At one point the courts appear to seize some of his property to satisfy creditors. One of the more interesting cases is when Jacob Jansz Flodder [Gardenier] appear before the courts in 1671 and gave a deposition concerning a slave, "[Gardenier] says that he is not satisfied with the oaths of Eldert Gerbeck and his wife regarding the purchase of the negress child, alleging that they swear falsely; furthermore, that he can not sell the child is the same is his own bastard child." [re: p. 251, 25 May 1671]. Though the particulars of the court case remain unclear it appears that this slave may have been seized by the court to pay for debt. If so, Jacob's claim of parentage may have been a rouse to keep his property. The record does show that Gardenier was a slave owner and, if his deposition was true that he did have at least one daughter by a slave.

Jacob Janse Gardenier is recorded as having married twice. By his first wife Josyna ****, who died on the 28th of January 1669 he had issue. In 1674, Jacob married Barentje Stratsman, the widow of Hans Coenratse, it is unclear if he had children from this marriage, rather it is thought that all his issue came from his first marriage to Josyna. Jacob is known to have had the following children: