Aert Theuniszen Middagh
Aert emigrated to New Amsterdam prior to Oct. 14, 1654 when he received a patent for 100 acres on Wallabout Bay, L.I., now in the borough of Brooklyn.
Aert Theuniszen MIDDAGH was born before 1625 in Heicop, Holland. While Aert's birth year has been generally shown as about 1640, Cameron Allen in his treatise on the parentage of Aert in Vol. 36 of The American Genealogist, thinks he was born somewhat earlier. Mr. Allen's opinion is supported by articles in the GENS NOSTRA. In the December 1979 issue of the publication, Aert is reported to have sailed for New Netherland on the ship Beaver in 1652 accompanied by Theunis Gijsbertsz BOGAERT. Both Aert and Theunis are listed as bachelors impling they were at least 21 years old. In addition, Aert is reported to be five years older than Theunis. In John Albert Bogart's book on the Bogart family on page 34 he states Tunis (Theunis) was born in 1625 in Heykoop, Holland. Therefore Aert appears to have been born in the early 1620s. Because of the uncertainty of his actual year of birth, in this compilation he is shown as having been born prior to 1625. Aert died about 1687 in NY. As noted elsewhere no record has been found his having taken the Oath of Allegience in 1687.
Aert's second or middle name, Theuniszen, is also seen in the records as Anthonize. Theuniszen, which when Anglicized is Tony a diminutative form of Anthonize or Anthony. Both Theuniszen and Anthonize appear in the early records. However, Theuniszen appears to be used more frequently than Anthonize and is used exclusively in this compilation to avoid possible confusion.
According to Catherine Deming (Page #324 of her book "Grandmas & Grandpas of Yesteryear"), and many others who have researched the MIDDAGH surname, Aert Theuniszen MIDDAG was the original "immigrant" from whom all MIDDAG - MIDDAGH - MIDDAUGH - MEDDAUGHs in the USA (and Canada) descend. While Aert was the "original" MIDDAGH settler, the contention that all of the MIDDAGHs (whatever spelling is used) descend from him, is open to debate. For a discussion of this please refer to the INTRODUCTION of this book.
Aert first emigrated to the colonies in 1652. (See pages 337-342 of the December, 1979 issue of GENS NOSTRA.) The year of his emigration is supported by a record where Theunis Gysbertse BOGAERT (he emigrated to the colonies with Aert) took the Oath of Allegience to the Crown in 1687 stating he had been in the New York (New Netherlands) for 35 years. Also supporting his arrival in the colonies around 1652 are Dutch records which show that Aert owned land in Flatbush and was a resident of New Amsterdam in 1655. Other records show that in 1657 he was assessed for Dominie Polhemius' salary; in 1659 he married Breckje (or Brechtje) BERGEN; and, on 3/1/1660 he, and others, petitioned to form the village of Brooklyn.
In the records of the Breucklen DRC found in LDS microfilm #1016558, Aert was accepted into the church 4/9/1664 on a transfer from a church in Heykoop, Holland. His witnesses were: Teunis Gysbertse BOGAERT and Janisse JORIS. He is recorded as a member of the church in 1685 and there is a record (LDS microfilm # 0017663, page 51) of an Aard Anthonisz MIDDAG being accepted into the Breukelan Dutch Church by certificate from Heykoop on 21 Sep 1683.
Unless there is a second Aert Theuniszen (or Aard Anthonisz), and there are no indications this is so, he and Breckje probably transferred their membership to the Heicop Church when he returned to Holland with his family in 1671. Then, when he returned to New York in 1683 with his children he again joined the Brooklyn Church.
After his marriage to Breckje in 1659 Aert returned to Holland. On this trip he appears to have sailed without his family. However, John Albert Bogart in his book "The Bogart Family" indicates his family sailed with him. The compiler believes Mr. Bogart is incorrect as nothing has been found to support Mr. Bogart’s contention. However the court records of Heicop, Holland confirm his return to Holland in 1660. The records show that on 29 November 1660 he acted as procurator for Theunis Gijsbertszn BOGAERT in the auction of 825 "schaft" (about two acres) in Heicop. He appears later in the records with the subsequent sale of this land to Abraham Gijsbertszn BOGAERT. He returned to New Amsterdam arriving on 5/9/1661 aboard the ship "Beaver".
In 1671 Aert again returned to Holland. He appears in the Dutch court records on 12/11/1671 with his brothers; Gijsbert Tonisz and Cornelis, and his brothers-in-law; Schrevel Jacobsz COSIJNS, Jacob Claesen van ROODEN and Leendert van DUYN settling the estate of his father. (See Hei-en Boeicop archives #614.) On this trip he took his family and remained in Holland until 1683 living in the Hei-en Boeicop area. During this period in Holland, he and Breckje had at least one more child, a son, Joris. Also during this stay his wife, Breckje, and one of his sons, Theunis (the one baptized 25 March 1661), died. Both Breckje and Theunis were buried in the Heicop Church burial grounds. In March of 1683 he returned with his children Jan, Gerrit, Dirck, Joris and Annetje to New Amsterdam (now New York) where he remained for the rest of his life. He probably died prior to September 1687 as he is not recorded as having taken the Oath of Allegience to the Crown as all were required to do at that time.
Aert and Breckje have been reported to have had other children than those listed in this compilation. Specifically, Mathew, Willem, Helena and Lysbeth. Since Breckje died prior to 1675 and the accepted birth dates for Matthew and Willem are after 1674, neither Matthew or Willem could have been sons of Aert and Breckje. Also, there is no evidence to suggest they may have been the sons of Aert and and a second spouse. It is probable the other "accepted" children of Aert and Breckje, Helena Aertsen and Lysbeth Aertsen, are in fact children of parents other than Aert and Breckje. Supporting this position is the fact that when Aert returned to New York in 1683 neither were listed among the children returning with him. Also the "biological window" when Breckje could have had these children is very narrow. Finally, no record has been found of the baptism or birth of any of the four while there is evidence of the births of all of Aert's and Breckje's other children.
He married Breckje Hansen BERGEN about 1659 in New Amsterdam, NY. No record of their marriage has been found.