Jan  (Jansen) van Haarlem

Jan (Jansen) van Haarlem (1570 - 1650)

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Jan "Morato Reys, Moerat Reys de jongere, Murat Raïs, Morat reys" van Haarlem formerly Jansen aka Jansz , Reis, Rais
Born in Haarlem, North Holland, Netherlandsmap
Ancestors ancestors
[sibling(s) unknown]
Husband of — married [date unknown] [location unknown]
Descendants descendants
Died in Salé, Rabat-Sale-Zemmour-Zaer, Moroccomap
Jansen-131 created 27 Jan 2011 | Last modified
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Categories: Nederlanders uit Noord-Holland voor 1700 | Famous People of the 17th Century | New Netherland Ancestors | Uncertain Family | Pirates.

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Jan (Jansen) van Haarlem was a black sheep, a pirate of the high seas.
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Jan Janszoon van Haarlem, alias Moerat Reys [1] de jongere (c. 1570 - c. 1641) was the first President and Grand Admiral of the Corsair Republic of Salé, Governor of Oualidia, and a Dutch pirate, one of the most notorious of the Barbary pirates from the 17th century; the most famous of the "Salé Rovers".



Jan Janszoon was born in Haarlem, in the Republic of the Netherlands. Little is known of his early life, except that he married Soutgen Cave in 1595 and had two children with her, Edward and Lysbeth [2]

Jan Jansz . was a sailor from Haarlem who , In 1618 in Lanzarote, one of the Canary Islands, was shipwrecked . On the island he was in captivity of 'de Veenboer' . 'de Veenboer' was an international maritime trader known as Soliman Reys (Raïs) , admiral, top official in Algiers . A year later Jan Jansz already had 'de Veenboer 's' ship under his wing. In June and July 1620 we find in Algiers ships mentioned that were brought in by him : Den 26 ditto [juli] innecommen Morato reys, alias Jan Jansz van Haarlem, ende Cara Mostaffa, hebben niet anders als in de voornoemde memoiren verhaelt, dat sij genomen hadden, dan den Oosterling genomen geheten Hans Plagge van Hamburg, hebben den schipper in Salé vercocht, ende van de reste van ’t volck sijn de mannen hier gebrocht”.[3] [4][5]

Algiers was the 'capital' of ' Barbarije '( Barbary) , a collection of pirate nests that stretched from Tunis to the southern coasts of Morocco. As the payment of ransom for the limited means Jan Janz. is not in it, he converted to Islam. This for Christian prisoners was the only way to escape slavery. Jan Jansz . who had left a wife and three children in the Netherlands took the name Murat and rushed into the pirate trade .[3][4][4][5]

He must have been an enterprising man , because a few years later he was rais (leader) of the pirate nest Salé near Rabat , the capital of Morocco. He had access to as many as sixteen or seventeen ships. Perhaps he benefited from the favors of another Dutchman, Simon 'de Danser ' (Dancer) from Dordrecht , who had joined the pirates in 1606 . Simon taught the pirates to handle ships that were much faster and more effectively than the galleys with rowers, which they used until then. Simon 'de Danser', who probably did not convert, drafted the Dutchman 'de Veenboer' alias 'Soliman Rais', who in 1618 recruited the former Dutch privateer Jan Jansz van Haarlem. Jansz converted, took the name of Moerad Rais, married a Muslim woman, despite having a wife and family back in Haarlem, and took over command of Soliman’s ships. He brought it up as " admiral " of the pirate fleet .[3][4][5]

In 1620 , shortly after Jan Janz. had arrived , fourteen pirate captains - all converted to the Islam and Europeans - founded in Salé an "independent republic " The mini-state was recognized by some European powers , whose merchants on the return journey from the Far East were repeatedly raided the African coasts.[3][4][5]

In November 1623 due to a terrible storm Jan Jansz and a compagnon were forced to sail to the harbour ter Veer (Veere) in Zeeland (Netherlands) , his wife Soutgen Caves and the children begged him to get of the ship , and so did parents of the Dutch 'Bootgesellen' that were on board, but nobody signed off : Syn vrouw ende kinderen quamen hem instantelyck bidden, dat hy syn schip verlaten soude, des gelyckx deden oock de ouders van het scheepsvolck . Niemand monsterde af , the 'visit' wasn't voluntary of course , the only reason they were forced to stay was to repair the damage of the ships and get some live stock. It probably was only because Jan Jansz . had taken the Dutch ships 'de Groene Leeuw '( 27-03-1623 ) , 'de Jager' ( 29-03-1623 ) and 'het Goede Avontuur' ( July 1623 ) under the colors of Saleh and Morocco , the Dutch authorities did not attack or bother him . In late December one sound ship was composed of the two shattered ones , the family reunion was terminated and they sailed off again. For the sake of good relations with Morocco, the Dutch autorities had to let him leave a request was send to Morocco to be spared from such visits , because the entry of foreign hijackers in the Ports of the Republic could cause difficulties with other foreign powers .[3][4][5]

In 1631 Jan Jansz. was told by Irishman John Hackett of the isolated town of Baltimore on the southern tip of Ireland. English settlers, had bought a fishing monopoly from the local Irish lord. Hackett was apparently an agent for another Irish clan leader who disapproved. Jan Jansz. invaded and took 237 people to sell as slaves, men, women and children. Hackett later was hanged by the locals. In the Dutch Republic the tragedy was also known: in den jaare duizend zes honderd eenen-dertig zeilde Morat Rays, een Vlaamsche Verloogchende, tot heel na Engeland, en van daar na Ierland. Hier deed hij des avondts, want op deze tijd kwam hy’er), omtrent twee honderd Soldaate in chaloepen treden, die aan een klein gehugt landden, daar zij verscheidene visschers, welke in dat Eiland woonden, overrompelden. Zij namen hier 237 personen, mannen, vouwen, en kinderen, zelfs ook de zuigelingen uit de wieg, welke zij t’Algiers brachten, dat het een deerlijke zaak was hen te zien verkopen, want de mannen werden van de vrouwen afgescheiden, en de kinderen van de Vaders. Men verkocht de vrouw aan den een, en de man aan de ander, rukkende haar haar kind uit d’armen.”[3][4][5]

In 1637, shortly after he moved from Algiers to Tripoli , Jan Jansz ran out of luck and was held captive by Maltese knights/ pirates, it's not known for how long , but he escaped or maybe someone payed a ransom, because he went back to Barbarije .[3][4][5]

On the 1st September 1640 the ship “Gelderlandt” sailed from Texel, Holland, on a diplomatic mission to Morocco. On board were the Dutch Ambassador Anthonie de Liedekerke, Liesbeth Jans with her brother-in-law Jacob Arissen, and the painter Adriaen Matham. Jan Jansz's daughter Liesbeth had travelled with the select group on the ship the Gelderlandt as an extra passenger, invited by her father to join him, whereof she was informed by special messenger from Saffia. Knowing of the dangers of travelling inland, particularly for females, it was agreed that her brother-in-law, would go to Muladie with the six or eight Moors whom his father-in-law had selected from his servants and sent from Muladie to Saffia as a convoy to escort them there. This was done at the 29 December and he met his father in law ' governor ' Jan Janz. in his heavily fortified castle. Jan was waiting for him in a big hall , sitting on a carpet with silk pillows and surrounded by servants , together they went to the ship (30 December) where in the ambassadors cabin Liesbeth was waiting, father and daughter both were in tears when they after so many years were reunited : “Hij sadt heerlyck in de bark op een tapijt, ende satyne kussens, sijn dienaers rontsom hem. Is voorts bij den Heer Ambassadeur inde cajuijt gelaijt, alwaer syn dochter was, de welcke haer vader ende hij sijn dochter siende, geraeckte baijde aan het schreijen.” [3][4][5]

On the 27th of August 1641 Jacob Arissen has come aboard again from Maladia, leaving Lijsbeth Jans to stay with her father. [3][4][5]

How Jan Jansz alias Moerat Reys ,de Jongere has perished is not known, except that he would have come to a 'tragic' end' . But this, in those days was more the rule than the exception of course, or according to rumors , he at the expense of money finally was able to settle again in Holland , where he would have enjoyed a peaceful old age. Simon Dancer , who after his Barbary adventures came in French service , was captured and beheaded in Tunis .[3][4][5]


Jan Jansen, also known as Van Haarlem, van Haarlem, Van Salee. Another nickname is Murat Reis the younger.
Jans Janszoon Jansen van Haarlem[6]


Jan was born in 1570 in Haarlem, North Holland, Netherlands. An alternate birth year of 1588 was used on some profiles that were merged.
Birth: Date: 1588 Place: Haarlem, Holland, Netherlands[7]

Marriage & Children

his first wife was Soutgen Caves a Dutch woman, they had three children , the first child was [3][4]:
  1. Lysbeth (Liesbeth) Jans van Haarlem b. 1596
  2. Unknown daughter who married Jacob Arissen
  3. Unknown (Edward ?)
In 1600, Jan Janszoon began as a Dutch privateer sailing from his home port, Haarlem, working for the state with letters of marque to harass Spanish shipping during the Eighty Years' War. During this period he had abandoned his Dutch family.[3][4]
After becoming a privateer, Janszoon met an unknown woman in Cartagena, Spain, who he would marry. The identity of this woman is historically vague, but the consensus is that she was of some kind of mixed-ethnic background, considered "Moorish" in Spain. Historians have claimed her to be nothing more than a concubine, others claim she was a Muslim Mudéjar who worked for a Christian noble family, and other claims have been made that she was a "Moorish princess." So in Algiers Jansz married again, which was allowed by the Islamic Laws. His (second) wife counted 16 years old or less , Moorish or Spanish or both (according some sources her name was Margarita or Grietje but no prove for this) [3][4]
Through this second marriage, Janszoon had four children[3][4]:
  1. Abraham Janszoon van Salee (b.1602)
  2. Philip Janszoon van Salee (b. 1604)
  3. Anthonis (Anthony) Janszoon van Salee (b.1607)
  4. Cornelis Janszoon van Salee (b. 1608)
It is speculated that Janszoon married for a third time to the daughter of Sultan Moulay Ziden in 1624.[3][4]


In 1622, Jan converted to Islam.


Jan was the Admiral of the Sultan of Morocco's fleet at Salee.[3][4]


Jan died 1641 in Salâe, Morocco.
Death: Date: 1650 Place: Sale', Rabat-Sale-Zemmour-Zaer, Morocco[8]


  • Source: Voyage of Ship Gelderland 1 September 1640 to 12 November 1641 from Texel to Morocco back to Texel Source: Journal of the Ambassy of the Lord Anthonis de Liedekerke. , translated and transcribed by Cor Snabel & Liz Johnson, published on Olive Tree Genealogy with permission May 2007. Notations in [ ] are those of the transcribers Journal of the Ambassy of the Lord Anthonis de Liedekerke
  • Source: S2 Record ID Number: MH:S2 User ID: 530F31A25188436A10026221127639B8 UPD 27 FEB 2014 07:37:54 GMT-5 Author: Various Title: Geni.com Record ID Number: MH:SC11 Page: www.geni.com Data: Text: Jan Janszoon Jansen van Haarlem, 1st President of Sale' and Grand Admiral, Governor of Oualida a.k.a. Murat Reis the Younger
  • Source: Voyage d'Adrien Matham au Maroc (1640-1641) Door Adriaan Matham,Ferdinand Heller von Hellwald Google Books
  • Source: Bronnen tot de geschiedenis van den Levantschen handel 1590-1826 Jan Jansen, van Haarlem pg 114 Jan is said to have tortured to death a crew member of a Dutch raiding their ship. provided by B. Smith

Source Notes

  1. A Barbarijs pirate ship was commanded by a reys (raïs) , often also the owner , usually a European renegade or a Turk , rarely a Moor
  2. Source: Murat Reis (Jan Janszoon)
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 3.15 Source: translated parts from Muslim Pirate terrorized the Icelanders
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 4.12 4.13 4.14 4.15 4.16 Source: Parts translated and quotes from : Nederlanders onder de Barbarijs/ Turkse Zeerovers by Arne Zuidhoek Barbarijs stories
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 5.8 5.9 Source: Journal of Adriaen Matham 1640-1642 translated by Cor Snabel and Elizabeth A. Johnson (English) Journal of the Journey to Marocco with daughter Liesbeth with ship de Gelderlandt 17th Century Hollanders
  6. Jansen van Haarlem-1 was created by William VanSickle through the import of DeadVanSicklesAndFergusons.GED on Feb 28, 2014.
  7. User ID: 530F2B2BBC312369D0026221127639B8 Record ID Number: MH:IF48
  8. User ID: 530F32224D0A836A40026221127639B8: Record ID Number: MH:IF49


  • This profile was created through the efforts of Michael Carl Budd , Ang Saxberg, Roger Wehr, Abby Brown and others. Thank you!
  • Jansen van Haarlem-1 was created by William VanSickle through the import of DeadVanSicklesAndFergusons.GED on Feb 28, 2014. Record ID Number: MH:I30 User ID: 530F2B2BBC369369E0026221127639B8 : UPD 27 FEB 2014 07:44:20 GMT-5

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Memories: 2

On 3 Jun 2013 Roger Wehr wrote:

On 1 Jun 2013 Roger Wehr wrote:

Anthony and Abraham van Salee were the ancestors of the Vanderbilts, the Whitneys, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Humphrey Bogart.

They were among the earliest arrivals to 17th century New Amsterdam. In a number of documents dating back to this period, they are both described as "mulatto". From what scholars have been able to piece together about their background, they appear to have been the sons of a Dutch seafarer by the name of Jan Jansen who had "turned Turk" and become an admiral in the Moroccan navy. With the Port of Salee as the base from which it harried European shipping, references to the fleet he commanded are salted away in the old English sea shanties that are still sung about the Salee Rovers. The mother of his two sons was probably a concubine he had while trading in this part of the world before his conversion to Islam.

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No known carriers of Jan's Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA have taken yDNA or mtDNA tests.

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Images: 1
Signature of Jan Jansz van Haerlem , 'Mooratto Ries'
Signature of Jan Jansz van Haerlem , 'Mooratto Ries'


On 5 Jun 2016 at 08:03 GMT Steven Mix wrote:

The story of Jan Jansen, the Dutchman who became Murat Reis, a Barbary Pirate, is told in this fascinating 2002 film about the Barbary Pirates and their raids up into Iceland.

Jan appears in a sizable segment in the back half of the story.

On 4 Aug 2014 at 21:31 GMT Steven Mix wrote:

Jansen van Haarlem-1 and Jansen-131 appear to represent the same person because: This famous Dutch pirate is the oldest paternal ancestor in this chain in need of a merge. No tree conflicts. I saved the alternate data to the bio. Thanks!

On 7 Jul 2014 at 19:28 GMT Abby (Brown) Glann wrote:

Re: Memory edit; reformatted so it wasn't running off the page. Common issue in memory and bulletin board posts solved by adding new paragraphs every once in a while.

On 19 Jun 2014 at 00:29 GMT Steven Mix wrote:

I propose that we should merge all copies of this famous pirate NNS ancestor Settler into Jan Jansen-131 because that profile is a good patronymic. Van Haarlem should be an aka. As I read the bios, that was the place of his early settlement in the Netherlands, before he and son Anthony became pirates in Salee, Morocco.

Let's discuss here in Comments, and target to reach a final decision on LNAB by a deadline of one week, by June 25, 2014.

Jan is 18 degrees from Kevin Bacon, 22 degrees from Robynne Lozier, 15 degrees from Pocahontas Rolfe and 16 degrees from Queen Elizabeth II Windsor on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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