Final notice before detachments and mergers -- Joost Janz Van Meteren, NNS

+2 votes

A couple weeks back, I proposed some major changes to the children of New Netherlands immigrant Joost Janz Van Meteren. Specifically:

* detach children Rachel, Abraham, Jacob, and Melinda

* strip away their birth years

* propose mergers of Rachel, Jacob, and Melinda with the similarly named children of Joost's son Jan, namely Rachel, Jacob, and Maudlina. (Abraham has a wife and child attached, so more work would need to be done before a similar merger could be proposed for him.)

Joost's documented children are Jan, Rebeckah, Lysbeth, Isaac, and Hendrick. Four have baptismal records, and Isaac is confirmed through land records involving John, Hendrick, and their mother.

I find no hint of a reliable source for the other four children. They have the same names as Joost's son Jan's four children. Of course, Jan could have named his children after four siblings. But if there is no source for such siblings, I don't know what to do with the detached profiles other than view them as duplicates arising from confusion about generations and propose the merges. There is some reason for this -- son Jan was probably the explorer and trader known as "John the Indian Trader", but some sources identify the father Joost as this man.

The sources currently posted on the profiles of Rachel, Abraham, Jacob, and Melinda are compiled family genealogies, including:
* Stimpson, Yesterday and Tomorrow: Van Meter - Tabb - Shannon and Allied Families, p.3

* Van Meter, Genealogies and Sketches of Some Old Families who have Taken Prominent Part in the Development of Virginia and Kentucky, p.47

The former lists only the children Lysbeth, Jooste Jans, Gysbert, Cathrin, and Geertje, while the latter considers Joost only as the father of Jan and in so doing confuses him with a man from a different family of "Van Mater"s who had a son Jans born around the same time. The Gysbert and Geertje are probably the result of more confusion -- Joost had siblings of those names and the profiles of those siblings mention this confusion. Cathrin seems to be out of the blue. But no mention of Rachel, Abraham, Jacob, or Malinda is made.

Full disclosure: I cannot access two of the family genealogies on those pages. However, I have consulted several others, including

  • Samuel Gordon Smyth, A Genealogy of the Duke-Shepherd-Van Metre Family, p.14

This provides numerous sources, as the others do not, including church, probate, land, and civil records. He demonstrates understanding of patronymics. And he comes up with the list of documented children I mentioned above.

(Interestingly he wrote an article six years earlier, published in the West Virginia Historical Quarterly, vol. 3, where he notes only three children and indicates lack of understanding of patronymics.)

As far as I can tell, the source for the four undocumented children is a piece of text produced on the web and copied widely:

"Their children (with 2 submittals giving the surname as Van Metre or Van Meteren) were:

  • Jan Jansen, baptized at Kingston on 14 October 1683, married (1) Sara Bodine in 1705 at Somerset County, New Jersey, had three children, married (2) Margaret Mollenauer in 1710 at Somerset County, had eight children, and died in 1745;
  • Rebecca (or Rebekka), baptized at Kingston on 26 April 1686, married Cornelius Elting on 3 September 1704 at Kingston, and died in 1755 at Frederick County, Maryland;
  • Lysbeth, baptized at Kingston on 3 March 1689;
  • Rachel, baptized in 1692 at Raritan, Somerset County, New Jersey;
  • Hendrick Jansen, baptized at Kingston on 1 September 1695, married Rebecca Du Bois on 7 March 1741 at First Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and died in 1759;
  • Abraham, born in 1700 at Somerset, New Jersey;
  • Isaac, born in 1702;
  • Jacob, born in 1705 at Somerset, New Jersey; and
  • Malinda, born in 1710 at Somerset, New Jersey."

I find no provenance and no indication of research knowledge or credentials for the author, the word "submittals" draws skepticism, and there are some errors in this list even among the known children. Isaac was absolutely born before 1702, since he was buying land in 1714. Usually, his estimated birth in 1692. And Hendrick did not marry Rebecca Dubois -- that was his nephew Henry, son of Isaac. 

So I am leaving this all here, and before making any changes, I will wait a couple of days for constructive criticism or objections to my proposal to be placed here.

WikiTree profile: Joost Van Meteren
in The Tree House by Barry Smith G2G6 Pilot (219k points)
edited by Barry Smith
Thanks Barry, for the great update and details.
Thanks. One thing I wonder: if I merge away the seemingly false children, they could be created again because their birthdates are so far from those of the profiles they'd be merged into. Is that an argument for not merging? It is a terrible argument, but pragmatic. It's times like this that I wish there was a "common false date" field, but when I suggested such a field in the past, the response was lukewarm.
I personally would not merge them away. I would keep the old ones but add a note why they are not related and the research you have done.
I would put the questionable children in a separate section from the verified children. Your exposition above of the excellent investigation you have made should be copied and  added as a note -- it clearly explains your reasoning.

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