Gender dispute

+4 votes
Willempje William Sanwoort-1 was entered on a profile as a male and husband of Christyntie Christena Lichar Litcher-1.  I found a christening
record giving him a gender of female but no image is available.  I changed the gender to female but it triggered a data doctor inquiry.  Was the christening record misindexed?  We now have two women married in the 1780s, not likely.  There are no identifiable records on familysearch for Christyntie but a lot of records from Netherlands that may be her.  I can't
read them to tell who they are for.  Does anyone have any access to
sources that explains what we need?  Spellings of LNAB include Santvoort, Sanvoord, Van Sans, and eventually Sanford for the children.  Changes have been made on the profile for the gender but we need to find out which one is the final determination so all of the profiles are correctly labelled.
WikiTree profile: Willempje William Sanwoort
asked in Genealogy Help by Beulah Cramer G2G6 Pilot (160k points)
retagged by Ellen Smith
So where do we start from?  If Christyntie is female and married a Willempje and had those kids, then either

(a) the christening entry on FamilySearch is wrong (it happens). or

(b) it's the wrong christening and is irrelevant.

Either way, those kids had a male father, so if the profile is supposed to be their father, it should be male.
Willempje does seem to be a female name. Are you working from transcripts or from the original images?
Transcripts.  No images were available.  I am getting more and more convinced the transcript is wrong.  I think like  RJ but am looking for other input.
then maybe Willempje and William are really two different people and have been conflated as one?
That sounds the most likely Dennis.
Maybe this needs to go back on the unsourced list and all references to that transcription of a christening record removed?  The names and dates matched what had originally been entered but what a hornets nest it evoked.  In the end maybe Dennis can copy some record images and put
them on it.  I don't have ancestry.
eww...I've stepped in it, haven't I?

mine was just a quick and dirty search, and those records all match a William Sandort/Sanford. Nothing found yet for Willempje or Sanwoort, but the records seem to match the family for this profile.
ok... I've added the ancestry source links... feel free to replace them if you find "better" sources :)
Thank you to all.  I think we all tend to agree that the gender is male and support the final labeling.  Thank you, Dennis, for the references.
Note: I removed the tags netherlands and dutch_roots and replaced them with new_netherland. This person lived in New York; there is no evidence that they ever lived in the Netherlands.

3 Answers

+7 votes
Best answer

Gender is the least of the issues here. I can't see any basis for concluding that the William Sanwoort who supposedly (no source) married in Maine in 1781 and became the father of the four unsourced "Sanford" children born between 1782 and 1790 is the same person who was baptized in Albany in November 1758.

The Albany Dutch church records generally didn't include gender, and sure enough, the transcribed baptism record at (this is a copy from the Holland Society of New York transcription, unlike the FamilySearch transcript, it's not been reformatted) doesn't have that information. It simply states:

[1758] Nov. 19. Willempje, of Cornells Van Santvoort and Ariaantje Brat. Wit.: Teunis Brat, Catarina Van Ness.

answered by Ellen Smith G2G6 Pilot (848k points)
selected by Kathy Zipperer
+4 votes

Sounds more like a typo either on the record or the transcription. Either way, as RJ says, he should probably remain male.

He is listed as the father on both his son Jacob's christening record, and his son Solomon's christening record as male in both the 1790 census, and 1800 census:

Seems silly to change his gender just because there's a mistake on his earliest found record. I have recent relatives (mid 1900's) who were incorrect recorded as the wrong gender on their birth certificates (and later corrections by affidavit to prove it).

answered by Dennis Wheeler G2G6 Pilot (355k points)
+8 votes

Dutch given names ending "ie" or "je" are usually for females: Jantje, Gerritje, Willempje, Antie, etc.

The William part then is contradictionary: it is male, but not a patronymic.

answered by Jan Terink G2G6 Pilot (136k points)

yeah, it seems more likely that Alan Coon (the original gedcom importer and closed wikitree account, and whose Ancestry tree can no longer be found), probably copied from other trees who all made guesses at their ancestor William Sanford's Dutch roots and potential original birth name.

And then familysearch threw in a monkey wrench with calling him a female in the transcription

Not necessarily... perhaps there really could be a female Willempje Sanwoort, born in New York, who is different and separate from William Sanford (birth and possible dutch name not yet really known)

Possibly a real sister to whoever William's real name should be?  The parents agree to three siblings.  If Coon was guessing, maybe it should
just be William, but that would leave us with different birth dates  unless they were twins.

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