When did Roelof Kierstede (chr. 1647) die, and did he have a son Roelof?

+5 votes

There is a long standing problem determining a year of death for Roelof Kierstede (who was christened on 01 January 1647).  The confusion seems to come from the assertion that he had a son Roelof who was christened 13 December 1685 (or 1686?) in Albany, New York (supposedly "having been born after his fathers death").  But Roelof had a son Aldert who was christened 16 November 1685 at Kingston (where his siblings were christened). Why would they suddenly have a son christened at Albany?  The christening record at Albany needs to be examined to see if a mother is listed.  

I think the following source (New York Genealogical and Biographical Record) is probably correct: (1) that there was no son Roelof born to this family; (2) that the son Aldert born in 1684 actually died young; and (3) the next son also named Aldert (born in 1685) was the one who grew to adulthood and married:


       Anyway, if the Roelof christened in Albany is not a member of this family, then there is no reason to believe that our Roelof (chr. 1647) died in the 1680s.  He would probably be the Roelof Kierstede who was a witness at the christening of his niece Margrietje Elmendorp on 20 June 1708, and also the Roelof Kierstede who is apparently on the 1709 Tax List.  


WikiTree profile: Roelof Kierstede
in Genealogy Help by Kenneth Kinman G2G6 Pilot (114k points)
edited by Kenneth Kinman

As I stated in that other thread, there are few records of deaths for New Netherland, but there's no shortage of unsourced death dates from people's Internet genealogies. Accordingly, I wouldn't get hung up on pinning down a death date. Since he seems to be the only Roelof Kierstede in Kingston until his grandchildren of the same name grew up, I would record the records where he witnessed baptisms in Kingston in the Church Records subsection of his profile and use them to bracket a possible death date.

It's not uncommon for records for different children of the same family to show up in different New Netherland churches, even if the family didn't move. Each of the handful of churches in New Netherland apparently served a fairly large geographic area. Baptisms were performed by traveling domines (ministers) and were recorded at the church where the domine was based. We can't tell where a family was living based solely on where their children's baptisms were recorded. Regardless of that, that Albany baptism in December 1685 is mysterious. It's not at all obvious that it was the child of this man. Not only is the geography different, but the name is also different. The record says "1685. Dec. 13. Roeloff (bo. after his father’s death), of Roelof Kersten. Wit.: Cornelis Gysbertsz. By Anna Van Schayk." That name could be Roelof Kiersted, but it also easily could be (for example) a man named Roelof Karstens (where the last name is a patronymic for the son of Karsten). Analysis of witnesses might help identify the family.  The child Aldert baptized in Kingston in November 1685 is clearly identified with this man and his wife, so the child named Roeloff must be someone else's child. The profile for that child named Roeloff is currently connected to this man as father for want of a better connection, but since there seems to be no further record for him, that connection isn't doing any harm, but the connection should be marked uncertain while the situation is researched.

It is tempting to build profiles for entire families based on old genealogical sources like that 1882 article in NYGBR, but those old genealogists do steer us wrong sometimes, and chances are good that there is other material from sources such as translated Dutch records that weren't available to 19th-century researchers. (Even the transcriptions of the various church records hadn't yet been published in 1882.) And we definitely cannot rely on those sources for transcriptions of baptism and marriage records -- there's a long history of published genealogies reporting the author's interpretation of a person's name, rather than the name that actually appears in the record (which in some New Netherland families might be very different from the name in the published genealogy).

The transcribed Albany church records are readily available online from a number of sources, so you can check them easily. I like the website https://mathcs.clarku.edu/~djoyce/gen/albany/refchurch.html , but the best sources are the original Holland Society of New York books (also online, for free) from which the content on that website was derived.

Thank you Ellen for that information.  I added that website as a source for the 1685 christening of Roelof.  And I also added the familysearch.org entry for that christening as well.  They refer to him as Roeloff Roelofs, so I guess his actual last name at birth should be Roelofs.  I saw quite a few Kerstens and Karstens used as patronymics, especially in the Netherlands.  I marked the Kierstede parents as uncertain (until a new profile can be created for Roelof Kersten).

For Roelof Kierstede, I added the 1708 christening of his niece to the church records, and changed his death date as being after that date.  I guess I should also add that he was on the 1709 tax list, but I haven't seen it yet.  

Anyway, since Roelof had two sons named Aldert, and there is only one profile, looks like a new profile will need to be created for one of them.

Thank you Ellen - I have families like this where the births are all in one place - then jump to another for one kid and back and you make it sound like that can be so possibly ok - You have such great tips
Kenneth, pardon me, but that FamilySearch entry you cite sounds like junk. We have easy access to  the published transcriptions of church records for Kingston and Albany, so there is absolutely no reason to substitute FamilySearch's partial extract of one of those records. FamilySearch doesn't correct detected errors in their databases, and I've found more than a few errors there. We have better sources, so please dump that one.
Hi Ellen,

       The pdfs at the Patricia Wardell source can no longer be accessed directly.  I requested the Kirstead PDF and received it this morning.  I was very glad to see that she lists both of the sons named Aldert and says that the first one died young.  And glad to see she doesn't list a son named Roeloff.  Very nice source.

       Anyway, since there was only one Aldert Kierstede profile, I created a second one and hopefully have the two Alderts straightened out.

For the benefit of Kenneth and other New Netherland researchers, the project is well aware that the Pat Wardell material is not currently available on the Bergen County genealogical society website. Last year, Carrie Q placed the entire Early Bergen County Families collection in a Google Docs folder for project members' use. There's a link to the folder at Space:Early_Bergen_County_Families. I suggest downloading the whole collection to your computer hard drive.

(I had explained this to Kenneth in a comment on the New Netherland badge request thread.)

Thanks for getting this family sorted out, Kenneth.
I have edited the biography of Roelof Kierstede, changing Christening to Baptism (and corrected the date).

The marriage in the biography also needs to be changed to "about 1670", since the 1671 date is that of eldest child Sara.  But should the place be New York, New York, rather than New Amsterdam?  I think the name was changed by the English about 1665, but not sure if the Dutch recognized the name change right away.

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