Hans Peter Umstatt's Land Purchase IN ROTTERDAM


Cris Hueneke
September 2001


The following appeared in "Krefeld Immigrants and Their Descendants" Vol 12, #2, Fall 1995, page 57:

DUFFIN, James M, THE FIRST MAP OF GERMANTOWN: A NEGLECTED SOURCE, The Germantown Crier, Vol 44, #2, 1992, p8. … The third and most important clue to the date of the map is the reference to Johannes Cassel being a recent arrival. On 31 March, 1686, Cassel and his son Arnold signed a contract in Frankfurt am Main to settle land in PA for the Frankfurt Co. It was almost a year later that he and his family arrived in Philadelphia on the ship Jeffries. The exact date is uncertain; but it must have occurred between Dec 1686 and Feb 1687. Duffin's sources are Grund and Lager Buch, p253 and his investigation of the map, land records and "A Partial List," PMHB 8:329; published from the original at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania Collection. He said: On 8 May 1685 Gerhardt Hendricks, Hans Peter Umstadt, and Peter Schumacher petitioned the Palatine government at Hockheim for permission to leave Kriegsheim. (Paul Michel, Taufer, Mennoniten und Quaker in Kriegsheim bei Worms, Der Wormsgau 7, 1965, 47). Three months later all three men were in Rotterdam signing contracts with Dirck Sipman for land in Germantown, and arrived in Philadelphia in Oct. Johannes Cassel and Sarah Schumacher probably had more business matters to settle which delayed their departure until around Sept 1696.

This article is what finally led me to Michel's work and from there to Hans Peter's original passport request documents. The unsourced statement made, however, that all three men signed contracts with Sipman in ROTTERDAM remained to be proven. I had contacted the Germantown Historical Society on another matter and James Duffin responded. So I asked him how he knew about the land contracts being signed in Rotterdam.

His reply:
"Since writing those pieces, I was able to follow a hunch I had about those transactions in Rotterdam. The large cities in the Netherlands such as Amsterdam and Rotterdam have collections of notarial records. Notaries in the Netherlands, like French Canada and France, serve as the keepers of deed and will records for the government. At some point these records are turned over to the government. In Rotterdam, they have notarial records which go back to the sixteenth century. When I was at the Gemeentearchief in Rotterdam a few years ago I checked to see if a copy of the Schumacher deed survived among the records of Govert van Gesel. Much to my surprise, I found this as well as the Umstadt and Hendricks deeds. The text of all three deeds was exactly the same and only the names changed. What was interesting about these documents was they were signed originals. The notary must of have made two or three copies which everyone signed and one which he kept.

"The abstract of the Umstadt deed which will be appearing in my revised publication of the landowner articles is as follows:

"'16 August 1685, Rotterdam. Transaction No. 2
Deed: Dirck Sijpman (signed Dirck Sipman) of Crevelt in the County of Meurs, to Hans Peter Omstad (signed Hans Petter Umbstatt in German), lately resident of Krisheim in the Palatinate and "alhier op sijn vertrek staande om met den eersten goeden wind over Engeland te strekken na pennsilvania" (being here on his way with the first good wind to go to Pennsylvania by way of England), for 200 A. in Germantown, to be assigned by Sipman's agent Harman Isaacß op de Graaf. Omstad is required to settle and live with his family on the 200 A. Subject to a yearly ground rent of two rix-dollars (being five guldens) due on the first of March.
Witnesses: Jacob von Outshooren, Pieter Heckenhoeck, Govert van Gesel.
Recited in transaction number 5 and recorded in the notarial records of Govert van Gesel, Oude Notarieel Archief 975, p. 695, Gemeentearchief Rotterdam.'"

Duffin adds, "I should forewarn that if you want to get copies of this from Rotterdam you will have to request that the pages be photographed. The Gemeentearchief has not microfilmed these records and they can not be photocopied because of they way they are bound."

Now that we have Duffin's statement that the three deeds are identical except for the names, it makes sense to add this full transcript of SCHUMACHER'S deed from Strassburger, Ralph Beaver, THE STRASSBURGER FAMILY and ALLIED NAMES OF PENNSYLVANIA, privately printed Gynnedd Valley, PA, 1922, pages 384-385. This is a full transcript of SCHUMACHER'S Rotterdam deed in English, taken from the translation of the Germantown Grund- und Lagerbuch, begun by Francis Daniel Pastorius, and translated by Professor Marion Dexter Learned.

"This day the 16th of August Anno 1685 appeared before me Govert Van Gesel, public Notary qualified before the state of Holland residing within the city of Rotterdam in the presence of the undersigned witnesses Dirck Sypman, dwelling at Greefveld in the County of Meurs, as having bought of William Penn, Esquire, Governor and Proprietary of the Province of Pennsylvania in America 5000 acres of land English measure situate in the aforesaid Province, further according to a deed of sale thereof passed in London the 10th of March 1682, old style to this effect that the said Governor thereby has reserved for him a perpetual hereditary feof of the same of 50 shillings sterling annually but which was afterwards brought by him the witness Sypman down to 5 shillings sterling perpetually; and further according to the deed of sale thereof passed the 1st of April 1683 all on condition that he the witness Sypman is obliged to have some families transported thither within a certain time and he the witness Sypman declared in the quality of him and his successors that he had granted and hereby grants to him and his successors in perpetual hereditary enfoefment and right of enfoefment to and in hehoof of Pieter Schoenmaker last residing in Krysheym in the palatinate and being now here on the point of departure to depart with the first good wind by way of England to Pennsylvania, for him and his successors which Pieter Schoenmaker also being present and acknowledging for himself and his successors that he has accepted and received of the aforesaid Dirck Sypman 200 acres of land English measure in perpetual hereditary enfoefment but of the aforesaid 5000 acres of land and ground enough in the city of Jerman town in the aforesaid Province upon which to build a dwelling house. All which shall be assigned and delivered according to measurement by Herman Isaacks op den Graeff living at Germantown for said Sypman to him said Pieter Schoenmaker and that for and in consideration of the sum of two Rix dollars (being 5 gulden Holland money at 20 stuyvers to the gulden) to fall due yearly and each year on the first of March stile loci the first to fall due the 1st year on the 1st of March 1687 the same style continuing thence forward from year to year to be paid exactly in sound current money without any reduction, whatsoever the pretence may be, notwithstanding the fact that statutes, receipts, ordinances, or customs may direct or decree to the contrary, which he the said Peter Schoenmacker declares expressly that he renounces and disclaims, further under the expressed condition that said Pieter Schoenmacker shall be bound to live with his family on the 200 acres of land and to settle thereon for the execution and fulfillment of the foregoing and each point of it said Sypman binding his person and his goods without exception and said Pieter Schoenmacker in particular the aforesaid land taken by him as hereditary feof together with the improvement thereof and whatsoever shall be built or placed on it. Also his person and generally all his other goods without exception according to the proceses of law. Moreover said Sypman declares that he constitute the aforesaid Herman Isaacs op den Graeff with authority to assign and deliver for him by measurement to the said Pieter Schoenmacker the aforesaid 200 acres and the aforesaid ground of sufficient size for a dwelling house and to also have this delivery recorded in the record or other public register in that place and to repeat this contract if necessary all in accordance with the customs of the place. Moreover to receive annually the aforesaid two Rix dollars and further more to do and perform in regard to this even as he the witness himself might wish to do, in case that anything should be required which is not here expressed promising by virtue of this (deed) to do and perform the same under the liability of his person and goods subject to the processes of law. Done in Rotterdam in the presence of Jacob Ocahooren and Pieter Heckenhoeck residing here as witnesses and was witnessed by Dirck Sipman, Petter Schumacker, Jacob Van Outeshoorn, P. Heckenhoeck.

To which witnesseth Govan Gesel Nots, 1685. Found to agree with the witnessed minutes (Lager Buch pp. 235, 236)

NOTES AND COMMENTS

I find James Duffin to be committed to the publication of only well-documented information, and as such, a reliable source. I am extremely grateful to him for finding, and especially for sharing, his transcript of Hans Peter's deed with us.

Crevelt is an archaic spelling of Krefeld, as are Krisheim and Krysheym of Kriegsheim. Greefveld is presumably a Dutch spelling. These documents written in old script are always difficult to read.

Krefeld was part of Holland in 1685 and, in any case, was not in the Palatinate (Pfalz) area of Germany. The statement above shows again that Schumacher and Hans Peter were "lately resident of Krysheym in the palatinate," and not from Krefeld.

Some observations from the fuller transcript: Sipman was obliged to have some families transported - this MIGHT mean that he paid the passage of Schumacher, Hendrichs and Umstatt on the ship Francis and Dorothy. Apparently no initial lump sum payment was made for the land, only the yearly quit rent. A separate lot in Germantown for a dwelling was apparently also part of the deal.

Gemeentearchief Rotterdam
bezoekadres (street address): Hofdijk 651 - 3032 CG Rotterdam
postadres (mailing address): Postbus 71 - 3000 AB Rotterdam
telefoonnummer: 010 - 24 34 567
faxnummer: 010 - 24 34 666
e-mail: info@gemeentearchief.rotterdam.nl
internetsite: http://www.gemeentearchief.rotterdam.nl

I was informed by the Gemeentearchief Rotterdam that they do not allow photographs or photocopies due to the age and vulnerability of the document. I am hoping to have a full transcript in Dutch of the actual Umstatt deed done by a friend who lives in Rotterdam, along with a translation.

The "Germantown Crier" and James Duffin's article will be discussed further in Hans Peter Bibliography.

The Strassburger book is available on Family Tree Maker CD 193 - County and Family Histories: Pennsylvania 1740-1900. On page 389 is what appears to be the signature of Petter Shoemaker. If it is his signature, it does not match the signatures on either passport request.

See also Hans Peter's Germantown Deeds - there is more specific information about his property recited in a later deed when part of the land was sold to Matthias van Bebber.

Hans Peter's Passport Requests

Hans Peter Bibliography

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Last updated September 12, 2001 ch