Jacob Janse Gardinier, sometimes called Flodder, was born about 1615, reportedly in Kampen, Overijssel, Netherlands. Although his Dutch homeland is known, nothing has been discovered about his family life in the Netherlands before he settled in New York.
He reportedly arrived in New York on 28 March 1638 on the ship Heinrich, making his way from Kampen and sailing from the port of Texel, Netherlands. Jacob reportedly arrived as the servant of Claes Jansz Ruyter.
The Flodder surname was used both by Jacob and to describe his son, Jan as Floddersen. Out of curiosity, I tried to translate Flodder into English – Google translate came up with BAGGY!
While I’ve been unable to locate documents about Jacob and his family, there seems to be, for once, a relatively stable list of nine children born to Jacob and his first wife, Josyna (MNU). She reportedly died in late January or early February 1669. He married (2) Barentje Straetsmans, 30 September 1674. Barentje was the widow of Hans Coenraats, by whom she reportedly had ten children, and survived Jacob.
Jacob reportedly died about 1688, but I have found no verification for that year, either.
I have NOT proven this information myself, so please do don’t consider this list as 100% correct! I haven’t found any glaring mistakes, either, but that doesn’t make it true! This is a starting point for future research.
1. Jan Jacobse, born c1648; died c1694; married Sarah Janse Van Bremen, c1669
2. Aeltje, born c1650; married Adam Dingman
3. Ariantje, born c1654; married Lucas Pieterse Coeymans, before 1676
4. Albert, born c1656; married Maritje Harmens Lievers, c1682
5. Andries, born c1658; died c1717; married Eytie Ariense, 13 November 1692
6. Hendrick, born c1660; died c1694/95; married Neeltje Claessen Van der Burgh, c1683
7. Lysbeth, born 11 February 1662/63
8. Josyntje, born c1664; died after 6 April 1701
9. Samuel Jacob, born c1666; died c1740; married Helena Dirkse Bye, c1689
Jacob Janse Gardinier was a wealthy man and, from his appearances in the Albany County, New York court records, he not only was a litigious man, but he was, in turn, sued by a number of other people. In the time span from 1680-1685 alone, Jacob’s name appears in 25 pages of Albany, Rensselaerswyck and Schenectady court records. The lawsuits all appear to be based on payments owed for transactions agreed upon.
Jacob was a carpenter by trade, but gained his wealth through land purchases. He built a grist mill on the Fifth Kill and owned land in Albany on both sides of Wall Street, which he divided into town lots and sold.
By 1667, Jacob had removed to Kinderhook, Columbia, New York and developed agricultural land. By the time he died, he owned over 1000 acres both in Albany and Kinderhook and ran a shipping business on the Hudson River.
Lastly, Jacob Janse Gardenier apparently was the owner of at least one enslaved person. A wayback page about him from October 2009 Geocities site includes this paragraph:
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.
Given Jacob Gardenier aka Flodder’s wealth, I am a bit surprised that no will or probate administration has been found. However, accessing ancient New York records, or modern ones for that matter, isn’t the easiest task.
I’ll end this post with a complete mystery, found on American Ancestors in the New York: Albany County Deeds , 1630-1894 index, found in the lengthy section on Gardenier entries:
Barentie, widow of Jacob Janz, by attorney, 1609 (sic) May 13, page 47, Session Minutes, 1665-1668 – Proof of will of Jacob Janz Gardenier, deceased.
Barentie Straetsman, wife of Jacob Jansen to Richard Pretty, wife Elizabeth, 1674 Sept. 30, Book N.P. page 224 – Indenture of Service – Binds her daughter Johanna Hans, for 8 years to be brought up by Pretty and wife as their own child.
The cherry on top of this sundae is that I can’t find Albany court minutes for the time period from 1660-1668. There are digitized versions covering the years before and the years after, so I haven’t been able to read the entry for myself.
The date of 13 May 1609 is obviously a typographical error – so is the citation of 1665-1668 also an error? Maybe it is supposed to be 1685-1688? In any case, Although I found an entry for 13 May 1669, Barentie didn’t appear in that session. I haven’t found the actual minutes of this record. Something is not right here!