From Main Street Museum Catalog Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search

Balthazar DeHart, or de Haert as it is written in many of the old records, probably first arrived in New Amsterdam in the late 1650's. In 1661 "Nieuw Amsterdam" (The City of the Dutch West India Company in Nieuw Nederlandt) was a busy seaport with 1,500 citizens and 342 houses. Most of the houses were built with a brick gable end toward the street. A 1661 map shows Balthazar's house located along the waterfront (East River), just north of Town Hall (Stadt Huys). Margaret Stuyvesant Bakker's house was located about two blocks to the west on the Heere Gracht known as the Ditch. It is now known as Board Street. On the opposite shore (North, or Hudson River) were the homes of Balthazar Stuyvesant and Nicholas Stuyvesant.

The English looked with envy at this thriving town located at the southern end of Manhattan Island. Balthazar de Haert was one of the signers of the petition of the people of New Amsterdam to Director General Peter Stuyvesant when he refused to surrender the town to the English in September of 1664. After the surrender, he took the oath of allegiance to the English King. The English changed the name of the town to New York in honor of the Duke of York.

There is no known record of a marriage for Balthazar de Haert. If he did marry it was prior to settling at New Amsterdam. Perhaps he found no time for home life what with his activities as a trader. He did, however, have two sons referred to in a translation of his last will as "Natural" sons. The oldest son Matthias was born about 1667 according to his gravestone inscription. His mother's name is unknown. The other son Daniel was born between 1669 and September 1671, the date he was baptized in the New York Reformed Church. Daniel's mother was Margaret Stuyvesant. She had been deserted by her husband, Jacob Backer, in about the year 1667. She was left with her husband's debts in a society which was still partly primitive. Fortunately for Margaret, she became engaged to Balthazar de Haert who had probably known her when Backer was in New York. She could not legally marry him until Jacob Backer was declared dead, as divorce was rarely allowed in the seventeenth century. It is apparent from two petitions filed by her creditors after Balthazar's death, and a land patent, that Margaret Stuyvesant never married Balthazar de Haert. If Balthazar's life had not been prematurely cut short in 1672, he probably would have married Margaret Stuyvesant.

Source: "The DeHart Family - Some of the Descendants of Balthazar de Haert, a Merchant of Early New York" By David M. Riker.

Will of Balthazar DeHart, of New York:

"In the name of the Lord Amen. By these presents be it known to any which shall see these wrightings or shall read the same, that in the year of our Lord 1672, the 4th day of January on Thursday, in the afternoone, about 3 of the clock, I Wm. Bogardus, notarie Publick in New York, admitted by the Hon. Col. Francis Lovelace. . . . Comes as witnesses those that have these underwritten, unto Balthazar DeHart, merchant and Inhabitant of this city, a man well known to the witnesses and mee. Being sickly of body nevertheless having his memory and speech as well as formerly. Soe as outwardly did appear." He doth bequeath unto his natural son Matthias DeHart, 2,000 guilders Holland money, which shall remain put and secured upon the house and lot of said DeHart where hee for the present dwelleth, lying within this city between the house of Mr. John Lawrence and the widow of Daniel Litsche, until he comes of age. And he is to have maintainance with reasonable vittles, and clothes, and likewise to be teached to read and write, and in a trade also that thereby he may help himself. He leaves to his natural son Daniel DeHart, . . . . . . . . . . . . a certain house and lot, as likewise the lot that came of Robert Baulands, belonging thereto, lying within the city upon the Heere Gracht, where . . . . . . . . . . . Elias Provoost, smith, for the present doe dwell. Likewise 2 great stilling kettles, and 60 guilders wampum yearly until he is of age. Also leaves . . . . . . . . . . . . a certain cedar chest with all that may be found therein, and a negro woman named Sarah with her 3 children. He doth make as a gift to his brother Jacobus DeHart all the land in Haverstroo, purchased by the testator of the Indyans, and a Patent granted by the Governor, Philip Carterett. He leaves the remainder of his estate to his true brothers Daniel, Matthias, and Jacobus DeHart, and to the children of his sister Willennyntie. And that this may be done in the uprighteousest and truest manner, he appoints Hendrick Van Bomell, Jacob Teunison Kay, his good and acquainted friends, to administer this will and estate, and Jacques Cousseau is to take an exact invoice of goods.

Dated and past in the house of the testator, being present Mr. Hans Kierdstede, Chirurgeon, and Timon Van Borsum as desired witnesses, which with the said DeHart and mee Notary being subscribed the original hereof the day and year above written."

Translated out of Dutch into English by Thomas Lovell. (Source: "Abstract of Wills on File in the Office of the Surrogate of New York County" V.25, page 235) Person ID