After reading The Mevrouw Who Saved Manhattan, many people ask me about their New Amsterdam ancestors. I have yet to hear of any New Amsterdammers I couldn't track down something on. So I've started compiling these vignettes of people from across New Netherland. They are only snapshots but I hope they give a flavor of the place.
I'm working through my list and looking for more. Email me about your New Amsterdam ancestors and I'll see what I can dig up.
Catalina Trico and Joris Rapalje: Mother and father of the first white girl born in the Hudson Valley.
Griet Reyniers: Griet arrived as mistress of a Dutch Director, making her New York's first high class hooker.
Peter Stuyvesant and Judith Bayard: A romance.
Nanne and Thomas Beeche: Nanne didn't let much get in the way of her fun, least of all her husband.
Anthony Jansen van Salee: Anthony's skin showed the swarthy hue of his Moroccan mother but he acted more like the pirate his Dutch father turned into.
Cornelis van Tienhoven: A man who started a long tradition of scandal in the city that would become the financial capital of the world.
Dominie Everardus Bogardus: A not-so-holy man.
Harmen van den Bogaert: An early member of Manhattan's gay community.
Johannes Verveelen, Anneke Jaesvelt and Daniel Verveelen: A brewing family.
Jenny Westercamp: A Jilted Woman.
Joost Goderis: An Early Cuckold.
Dominie Gideon Schaets, Anna Schaets and Her Love Child with Arent van Curler: A Father's Displeasure.
Claes Swits: And His Rowdy Roadhouse.
The Mevrouw Who Saved Manhattan Reviews
"[A] romp through the history of New Netherland that would surely have Petrus Stuyvesant complaining about the riot transpiring between its pages ... Readers are guaranteed a genuine adventure that will evoke the full range of human emotions. Once begun, they can expect to experience that rare difficulty in putting down a book before they have finished."
-- de Halve Maen, Journal of the Holland Society of New York, Summer 2009
"Bill Greer has deftly blended fact and fiction in his humorous tale The Mevrouw Who Saved Manhattan. ... The characters are rowdy, raunchy, loveable, and sometimes despicable, but thoroughly believable. ... This is a thoroughly delightful story that brings the Dutch colonies to life."
-- Historical Novels Review Online, August 2009