Jan Barentse Wemp


Jan Barentse Wemp was said to have been born in Drenthe or Dodrecht in the Netherlands about 1620. He most likely emigrated to New Netherland as a young man.

He was living in Rensselaerswyck by 1643 when he was identified as the one-time servant of Cornelis Teunisz.

In 1645-46, he is said to have been operating the Patroon's farm on the "Vlackte." The wages allowed for Wemp and his wife were 300 florins a year. However, he left the farm over some "trouble with the Indians." He worked other farms and later ran sawmills on the creeks north and south of the settlement that later became Albany. In 1654, he took over a farm located across the river on the Poestenkil.

His wife was Maria Mynders. He probably married during the mid-1640s. The marriage produced at least six children. The eldest living child was fifteen in 1664.

In 1652 or 1653, he began to hold land near the north end of the stockade that enclosed what soon would become the village of Beverwyck. In 1658, he was among those who obtained a lot in Beverwyck. However, his name is not on either of the lists of fur traders considered by the Beverwyck magistrates in 1660.

In November 1662, Governor Stuyvesant made Jan Barentse one of the first patentees to receive land at Schenectady when he was granted the island called Van Slyck's or Wemp's Island. That 82-acre parcel was said to have been some of the "best land in the valley." He also held a lot in what became the village of Schenectady.

Jan Barentse Wemp died during the spring of 1663. His widow re-married in 1664. Her second husband is said to have been the one-time farm hand of Jan Barentse Wemp. Wemp's five living children were named in the will filed by his widow just before her re-marriage in June of that year.

This relatively short-lived pioneer settler who died in 1663 was the first of several individuals called "Jan Barentse Wemp" who lived in greater Albany County before the American Revolution. He probably was not an actual resident of what became the city of Albany.

biography in-progress


the people of colonial Albany Sources: The life of Jan Barentse Wemp is CAP biography number 6862. This sketch is derived chiefly from family and community-based resources. He is one of the settlers described in VRBM - a seminal source for the history of Rensselaerswyck. Van Laer's sketch of Wemp appears on page 831. Notable online biographical notations: Salls; Reid; and even Virginia.

Mynders: Maria probably was a member of the Van Iveren family.

Se seek evidence that this Jan Barentse Wemp actually lived within what became the city of Albany. Who can help here?

first posted: 7/30/09