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Johannes Marselis (bef. 1701 - 1746)

Johannes Marselis
Born before in Albany, Albany County, Province of New Yorkmap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married 12 Jan 1725 [location unknown]
Descendants descendants
Died in Schenectady, Albany County, Province of New Yorkmap
Profile last modified | Created 16 Aug 2012
This page has been accessed 838 times.
Johannes Marselis was a New Netherland Descendant 1674-1776.
Join: New Netherland Settlers Project
Discuss: new_netherland



Johannes was the son of Ahasuerus Marselis and Sara Taakels Heemstraat, baptized in the Reformed Dutch Church of Albany, New York, on 26 January 1701.[1] He was his parents' second child to be baptized with the name Johannes. The earlier Johannes was baptized on 26 June 1698 and is assumed to have died.

He was a merchant, and owned the house and lot No. 23 Front street in Schenectady.[2]

He married Sara de Graeff in Schenectady on 12 January 1725.[3] She was a daughter of Claas DeGraff.[4]

Pearson identifies the following children:[4]

  1. Ahasuerus, born 26 June 1726
  2. Elisabeth, baptized August(?) 1729
  3. Sara, baptized 25 June 1732
  4. Maria, 25 November 1733
  5. Claas

A Johannes Marselis was buried in the church yard of the Reformed Dutch Church in Albany on 26 January 1746. The record of burials states: "Johannes Marselis was buried by Daniel Brat."[5][6] Because this Johannes Marselis lived in Schenectady, this burial probably is not his.

Johannes made his will on 2 February 1732.[4]

He must have died before 1753, for his widow then occupied his Schenectady property. [2]

Church Records

  • 1701. Jan. 26. Johannes, of Ahasueros Marselis and Sara Heemstrate. Wit.: Dirk Takelse Heemstraat, Claartje Quackenbosch.[1]
  • 1725. Jan. 12. After 3 publications of banns. Johannes Marcelis, j.m., and Sara de Graeff, j.d. [3]

Research Notes

Waiting to hear about verification from the Cemetery on the Findagrave info. They were asked if they had a birth date as well. - Tanya Lowry, 25 May 2020.

Disputed Identity

Some authors have identified this man as the Johannes who was baptized in 1698 or have interpreted the Johannes baptized in 1701 as being named Johanna (possibly a masculine name but more typically a feminine name -- could this be the girl who married Johannes van Vorst in Schenectady on 15 September 1726?). Pearson, in First Settlers of Schenectady, identified this man as the child baptized in 1698 and identified the child baptized in 1701 as the Johanna Marselis who married Johannes Van Vorst.[4] Talcott indicated that the Johannes baptized in 1698 died young; he identified the child baptized in 1701 as Johanna, apparently a male because this Johanna married Sarah de Groff in 1725.[7] Yates, whose text appears to have been based on Pearson and who did not discuss any children of Ahasuerus other than Johannes, identified this man as the child who was baptized in 1698.[2] Apparently many user-contributed Ancestry Family Trees have interpreted the child baptized in 1701 as a girl named Johanna or Hanna, as Ancestry's search results page for that baptism record contains hints that point to records for Johanna or Hanna, wife of Johannes Van Voorst.[8]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Year Book of the Holland Society of New York 1905. "Records of the R. D. Church of Albany," page 20.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Yates, Austin A. Schenectady County, New York: Its History to the Close of the Nineteenth Century. The New York History Company, 1902.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Luckhurst, Charlotte Taylor. Marriage Records of the Reformed Protestant Dutch Church of Schenectady, N.Y. (New York, 1917). page image (
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Pearson, Jonathan. Contributions for the Genealogies of the Descendants of the First Settlers of the Patent and City of Schenectady, from 1662 to 1800. Albany, N.Y: J. Munsell, 1873. pages 114-115.
  5. Munsell, Joel. The Annals of Albany. Vol. 1. Albany, NY: J. Munsell, 1850. Page 139.
  6. Lemire, Paula. The Church Grounds Project (blog). The Book of Burials – The Churchyard, 11 February 2015; and The Book of Burials – 1722 to 1757, 11 January 2015.
  7. Talcott, S.V. Genealogical Notes of New York and New England Families (Weed, Parsons and Co. in Albany, N.Y., 1883), page 175.
  8. Johannes Marselis in the U.S., Dutch Reformed Church Records in Selected States, 1639-1989 database. On at
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed 10 February 2019), memorial page for Johannes Marselis (unknown–26 Jan 1746), Find A Grave: Memorial #84357531, citing Albany Rural Cemetery, Menands, Albany County, New York, USA ; Maintained by Colleen (contributor 47057921).


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DNA Connections
It may be possible to confirm family relationships with Johannes by comparing test results with other carriers of his Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA. However, there are no known yDNA or mtDNA test-takers in his direct paternal or maternal line. It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share DNA with Johannes:

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Comments: 29

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It is pretty clear to me that the Johannes baptized in 1698 died young, a brother was baptized as Johannes in 1701, and there never was a Johanna. The profile for the child born in 1701 was created by a GEDCOM import in 2012 from an Ancestry Family Tree at that is unsourced and that also has a Johannes born in 1701. [Citations to unsourced Ancestry Trees may not be a valid basis for genealogy, but they can be very helpful for understanding what a contributor intended. This is one of the reasons I restored that citation earlier today.] The Albany baptism records show baptisms of two children name Johannes, and the authors of various secondary sources (including, for example, the Talcott book that has been cited here and the excellent notes about this family that Pat Wardell made and that are available for download at Space: Early Bergen County Families).

In spite of the numerous versions of the records cited in discussion here, we do not have electronic images of the Albany baptism register and there is really only one transcript for the Albany baptism records. The Holland Society of New York made transcriptions of the record book (someone who copied the records into notebooks) that were typeset and published in the Holland Society Year Books starting in 1904. The images of handwritten records that we can access on are images of the notebooks where the Holland Society hand-copied the baptism register; these are not actual church records. And we should not have to fret over the handwriting in those notebooks, since we have easy-to-read typeset versions of the content from those notebooks, created by someone who could consult with the person who hand-copied the records. like to use the versions of the Albany records at because I have found them to be accurate replicas, but today I found an OCR record in one of the records for Johannes. The Albany church records in the Family Search records index were created by extracting information from the Holland Society Year Books, and they are less accurate. And if Albany records appear in online databases from the Netherlands, those database entries also are derived from the Holland Society Year Books (contrary to what some folks seem to assume, the Dutch do not have their own superior set of records). In my opinion, we should treat the printed Year Books of the Holland Society (which are readily available online, for free) as the single best source for these records -- we should not be compiling collections of citations to FamilySearch, ancestralcurios, wiewaswie, etc., and when we have the printed transcript we do not need the images of the notebooks.

I see little benefit in looking for a death record for a child who died young. We have very few death or burial records for anybody in New Netherland, even for adults. Instead, death dates are typically inferred from wills, deeds, probate records, the dates when a person was recorded as alive or as deceased, and for children the date when another child of the same name arrived. And if a death record or tombstone exists for Johannes, there is only tiny chance that it includes a birth date.

The easiest way to resolve this mess is to swap the birth dates on the two Johannes profiles. I will tackle that.

posted by Ellen Smith
edited by Ellen Smith
Not meaning to be a p.i.t.a Ellen...well maybe a who is the Johanna Marselis who married a Van Vorst????
posted by Tanya Lowry
I cannot say who the Johanna Marselis who married a Van Vorst was, but I do see that Pat Wardell has her on a list of Unplaced MerselisWomen:
  • Jane Marselis, m. 3 Sep 1786 NYC Dutch Ref Ch, John Barrow
  • Jane Merselius, m. 27 Sep 1818 Saddle River Landing, byWilhelmus Eltinge, V.D.M. (Paramus Ref Ch), Cornelius VanWagenen
  • Johanna Marselis, m. 15 Sep 1726 Schenectady Ref Ch, Johannes Van Vorst
  • Maria Merselis, m. before March 1794, Richard Van Vranken
  • Mary Marselees, m. 8 Jan 1761 Albany Ref Ch, Hermannus Ruiter
  • Petenke Marselis, m. (NJ License 21 May 1760), Aaron Bratt

As you know, it is common to find people whose life events were not recorded. If there are records for the Johannes Van Vorst and wife Johanna, they may give clues to which Marselis family she came from.

posted by Ellen Smith
The record for the Van Vorst marriage is here: Ancestry Record NYDutchChurch #2007525, in Schenectady. It's unfortunate that these marriage records seem never to name the parents.
posted by John Miller Jr.
edited by John Miller Jr.
We often can discern parents from baptism records for the children, deeds, etc. Pat Wardell seems to have been a clever genealogist, so if she failed to figure out who Johanna was, it is likely that there are no clues out there.

One thing I have been wondering about is where the name Johannes (or Johanna) came from in this family. Marcelis Janse was the son of man by that name, but it is not common to name the first son after a great-grandfather. (I suppose it would make sense if Marselis truly was the family name of Marselis Jans, and Jan truly was his first name...)

posted by Ellen Smith
edited by Ellen Smith
Thanks Ellen, I will do some reading. To see if I can discover who she was.
posted by Tanya Lowry
The online directory of the cemetery cited on Findagrave does not list Johannes (or Johanna) Marselis (or the usual variants).

The published version of the 1701 transcript -- supporting Johannes -- is in the Holland Society Year Book, 1905.

posted by John Miller Jr.
[Comment Deleted]
posted by Tanya Lowry
edited by Tanya Lowry
deleted by Tanya Lowry
I'm pretty sure there is little likelihood of finding death or burial records that also state birth date. I have not seen any death records for the Albany church in any of the online sources, or the published Holland Society records.

I have posted a link to the printed version of the 1701 transcript, which confirms the reading of Johannes.

posted by John Miller Jr.
Tanya, Please do not delete comments that are part of an active ongoing conversation and that someone else has replied to. That seems inconsiderate and it can hinder effective communication.
posted by Ellen Smith
She deleted her comment and I presume automatically my reply to it, both of which were superseded by your resolution, so I certainly don't object to the deletion.
posted by John Miller Jr.
John: I can no longer see Tanya's comment (it is gone forever), but I still see your reply. Because I have had to try to reconstruct other members discussions' on occasion (when conflicts have arisen), it makes me very nervous when I see that comments have been deleted after someone made a substantive reply.

It is now possible to archive old comments, which hides them without obliterating them. In this sort of situation and in the context of a Wiki (where we are all supposed to be cooperating and all changes are supposed to be preserved), archiving is far better than deletion.

posted by Ellen Smith
Ellen: Understood.

BTW I wonder if you can help me with something. I'm trying to get a couple of people entered as children in protected profiles. I have posted requests in the comments which I thought was the right way to do it. But I'm not getting any response (one posted just yesterday but another is several days old).

One is Abram Speer as child of Hans Spier and Tryntje (Mabie) Spier.

The other is Sara Marselis as child of Dirk Marselis and Lysbet Van Eps

Can you help? Thanks.

posted by John Miller Jr.
Replied on G2G
posted by John Miller Jr.
Thanks to all of you for digging through this!
posted by Richard Bensen
I defer to the project's POV. I suggest we wait for the word of Ellen Smith and/or the New Netherland Settler Project then this will not end up messed up.
posted by Tanya Lowry
I bow to your more extensive research, and will concur when you are all in agreement. Marselis-56 seems to be a first cousin of Marselis-151, yes? Please sort me out, and thanks for all your good work!
posted by Richard Bensen
Yes, Marselis-56 and Marselis-151 look like first cousins.
posted by Ellen Smith
Have posted images of the two baptismal records.
posted by John Miller Jr.
Please remember to attach the images to the correct profiles after the "fix"...Thanks Ellen!
posted by Tanya Lowry
I think the best way to solve this is to switch the birth info between the two profiles, leaving this one for the surviving Johannes. Change birth and name for "Johanna".

Any concerns with that?

posted by John Miller Jr.
Yes. I have concerns. Please wait until more info is processed. Thanks.
posted by Tanya Lowry
I am starting to see that makes sense. However, do we have the death records for either?? I have only found what i put in the research notes section. That Johannes was buried in 1746 by a Mr. Brat.
posted by Tanya Lowry
The Johannes Marcelis baptized on the date given here died young. Another son, b. 1701, entered here as Johanna, received the name. See Research note.
posted by John Miller Jr.
edited by John Miller Jr.
Yes, many people's remains were reinterred in the Albany Rural Cemetery. That's well-documented, but it doesn't mean that the FindAGrave page that has no gravestone image or other source is based on actual evidence that this man died in 1746 and was reinterred there.

As for the burial cards on Ancestry, people need to understand that the user-contributed family trees that cause us so much trouble are just one part of Ancestry. Ancestry has huge collections of images of records -- records that in many cases aren't available on free sites. Their huge collection of Albany Rural Cemetery burial cards is one such collection. The records appear to have been (1) acquired from the Cemetery, (2) scanned, and (3) indexed for searching. Excerpt from Ancestry's Source Description: "Many burial records for the Albany Rural Cemetery predate its 1841 founding because some record re-interments from an earlier municipal cemetery that had problems with flooding. Some cards also provide birth and other family information as well as death details."

posted by Ellen Smith its only a matter of discovery now. Someone was kind enough to direct me to this wordpress blog. Ancestry is not fool proof that aside...people do care as is blatant in the word press articles. More later...
posted by Tanya Lowry
If Johannes is in the Albany Rural Cemetery, it would be because his remains were moved there long after his death. The cemetery wasn't established until the mid-19th century. has images of burial cards (i.e. cemetery records) for Albany Rural Cemetery. I searched, but didn't find this man recorded there.

posted by Ellen Smith
Marselis-108 and Marselis-56 appear to represent the same person because: The biographies of Marselis-116 and Marselis-108 clearly describe the same person, the different estimated birth dates notwithstanding. Marselis-116 is proposed for merge with Marselis-56. I think all three of these profiles represent the same person, and they need to be merged to Marselis-56, as the lowest profile number for the LNAB.
posted by Ellen Smith
Marselis-116 and Marselis-56 appear to represent the same person because: Same person. He was Johannes.
posted by Ellen Smith