Friday, March 2, 2012

Walloon's to New Amsterdam


As far as I can tell, almost all of my ancestors definitely came from Europe…some came on the Mayflower or shortly thereafter…others during the mid  1700’s and few other lines came during the early 1880’s.  I have no ancestral lines that I know of who arrived after 1825.  So…my ancestral history almost showcases some of the early immigrants who came to America.  One of those early lines is the Truax family.

My 5th great grandmother probably has one of the more unusual names that I have come across…her name was Annatje Truax.   From what I was able to discover, it is a Dutch name.  I assume that is probably a version of Anna and Annatje was named for her mother, Anna Elizabeth Zeybel.  The only Dutch influence that was close was through Annatje’s paternal grandmother, Lysbeth De La Grange.  Annatje was born in 1769 to Willem Truax and Anna Elizabeth Zeybel.  She married Peter Jost Zeh on 4 Dec 1790.  Her great great grandson, Ora Gage was my beloved great grandfather.  Granddad Gage moved from New York in 1915 and I found out very early on that his mother’s Gallup family arrived in New York from Connecticut in the late 1780’s.  I was surprised to discover that his grandmother, Phebe Allen’s line arrived in the New York area much earlier.

Annatje’s great great grandfather, Philippe Du Trieux arrived in New Amsterdam in 1624.  He was born about 1588 in Rubaix, France.  The Du Trieux family were Walloons who were probably from what is known today as Belgium.  According to what I have read , they were primarily Celtic stock who fled their native area during the time of the Reformation.  This area of Europe was still under Spanish rule and there was a great deal of persecution for those who became Protestants.  The Du Trieux family fled to Leiden and Amsterdam, Holland.  Philippe Du Trieux was a dyer  - which was considered a very importat skill for the day.  By the time, 1624 had arrived – Philippe had been widowed and left with three small children and had remarried and started a new family.  During this same time, the West India Company had developed  a good fur trade and wanted to settle the land.  Philippe and many other Walloon families left the Netherlands in April 1624 on the “New Netherland” and arrived in New York about 6 weeks later.   Philippe ended up settling in what is present day Manhattan and owned several different pieces of land.  Philippe ended up dying in New Amsterdam, present day New York City with his eldest son, Philippe, Jr. in what I presume was an Indian attack.

Philippe’s son, Isaac married Maria Williamse Brouwver and soon after his marriage, they moved to Schenectady, Schenectady Co., NY where their son, Jacob Truax was born.  By this time the name Du Trieux had changed – perhaps so people could spell it phonetically or perhaps it was a Dutch spelling – I’m not really sure.  Jacob married Lysbeth De La Grange and their son Willem married Anna Elizabeth Zeybel…and now I am back to Annatje.  I found it very interesting to find out that my great grandfather’s family was in the same area in New York not the 100 years I suspected but actually well over 200 years before his birth. 

The rest of the line goes like this:
  • Annatje Truax m. Peter Jost Zeh
  • Elizabeth Zeh m. John Allen
  • Phoebe Ann Allen m. Gilbert Gage
  • Orlando Gage m. Edith Gallup
  • Ora Silas Gage m. Florence Christine Shawver
  • Helen Marian Gage m. Frank Stewart Johnson

Marian and Frank were my grandparents.  I suspect that the Truax family is one that I will revisit often as they seem to have something interesting being uncovered.  Walloons from Belgium seem pretty exotic to someone who thought they were almost all English, Irish and German!