Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Van Salee

It is difficult enough with all of the Van Sickle research I tackle; I will not dive too far into the Van Salee gene pool.  For the most part, I will leave that to others.  I foresee a great deal of confusion on the part of the Van Salee researcher.  Jan JANSZOON, the man, is fast becoming lost in a sea of fiction, but Jan Janszoon, the pirate, fueled by modern-day plays and poems, and a current pirate craze in Hollywood, is once again raising his flag and sailing in the perilous Mediterranean of the early 17th century.

But as stated, I'm not wading too far into those waters.  My search for all Van Sickles (especially those tricky 18th century ones) continues.  It was when searching for one tricky relative when lo and behold I found the will of one France Abramse VAN SELLEA (a purported descendant of Jan Janszoon.)  Because the Van Sickle and Van Salee paths often flow parallel here on land, I do know something about the family, mainly in regard to the relationship of Anthony Jansen of Salee and his daughter Eva (Mrs. Ferdinandus Van Sicklen).  There are enough muddy waters there- the claim that Anthony was the son of Jan Janszoon is likely, but not proven.  The claim that Ferdinandus Van Sicklen is related to the VAN DER SICKLEN family of Belgium is downright hysterical when one learns how that information came to be, but it still may be possible.  But I digress.

I did say that I located the will of France Abramse Van Sellea.  Now according to records1, France (Frans) was the son of Abraham Van Salee, a mulatto, and likely a brother of Anthony Van Salee.   Frans is an important person in Van Salee history.  From my own research I have concluded that Anthony had no other sons, and that all descendants of the Van Salee name are through Frans (such as John Van Salee DE GRASSE).

A portion of the will of France Abramse Van Salle can be found online, but for those serious about researching this family, the entire will would be much enjoyed (there is a probate as well, but due to its length, I will not include it.).  To follow is my transcription of a transcribed copy (that's right, transcribed at least twice now) of the will of France Abramse Van Sellea (aka Frans Abramse Van Salee):

The Will of France Abramse Van Sellea2

In the name of God Amen the third day of May in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and thirty seven I France Abramse Van Sellea in the County of Orange in the Province of New York being very sick & weak in body but of perfect mind and memory thanks be given to God therefore calling unto mind the mortality of my body & knowing it is appointed for all men once to Dye do make & Ordain this my last Will & Testament that is to say principally first of all I give and recommend my Soul into the hands of God that gave it & for my body I recommend it to the Earth to be buried in a Christian & like & decent manner at the discretion of my Executors nothing doubting but at the General Resurrection I shall receive the same again by the mighty power of God & touching such Worldly Estate where with it hath blessed God to bless me in this Life I give devise and dispose of the same in the following manner and form Imprimis
It is my will and I do order that in the first place all my just debts and bequeath unto my dearly beloved Wife whome I Constitute make and ordain one of my Executrixs of this my last Will and Testament all and singular the Lands messuages and Tenements and with all my moveable Estate that I now Dye possess'd of by her freely to be possess'd and Injoy'd during her being my Widdow but in case my beloved Wife should compleat a second marriage then I give and bequeath to my wel beloved son France Van Sellea Junr. whome  I constitute make Ordain one of my Executors of this my last Will and Testament after my dearly beloved Wife Death Isabala or at her second marriage all and singular the Lands messuages and Tenements with all my moveable Estate that I shall now Dye possess'd of I do give to the above named France Van Sellea my youngest son aforementioned all my Lands and moveable Estate by him freely to be possess'd by him his heirs and assignes for ever, Item I give to my well beloved son Abram Van Sellea one of the best horses that Wife Isabella shall Dye possess'd of and that my youngest Son France Van Sellea Junr. one of my Executors shall deliver unto his Eldest Brother Abraham Van Sellea one of my best horses after a Decease or a second marriage of my Wife Isabella, Further it is my Will and pleasure that in case my dearly beloved Wife Isabella whome I give all my Lands and moveable Estate to during her Life or my Widdow but in case she should Dye or marry again after my Decease then as before mentioned I give all of my Lands and moveable Estate to my youngest Son France Van Sellea Junr.

France Abrams (his mark) Van Sellea (SS)
In the presence of Arie Koning, Johannis De Gran, Johannes Remsen.

One of my Executors and further out of my Estate I give unto my Eldest Son Abram Van Sellea twelve pounds ten shillings and unto my Daughter Anna Mary Van Sellea I do give twelve pounds ten shillings and I do give unto my Second Son Cuffeen Prime Van Sellea twelve pounds ten shillings and I do give unto my third Son Casper Prime Van Sellea twelve pounds ten shillings which in all makes fifty pounds which said fifty pound my youngest Son France Van Sellea shall pay unto my three Sons and Daughters in Current Lawfull money of New York each of them twelve pounds ten shillings as aforest in this my last Will and Testament but if any of my Sons and Daughter before mentioned should Dye before or after my Decease and leave no Issue of their Bodys Lawfully begotten them I give them Legacies to my youngest Son France Van Sellea Junr. my Executor in case of their Death without Issue and further I give and bequeath unto Marya Salmons my Wifes Daughter one Cow, it is further my Will that after my Wifes Isabella Decease or a second marriage that my youngest Son France Van Sellea Junr. whom I give all my Land and moveable Estate to Except the fore mentioned Legacies shall pay unto my forementioned children the abovesaid fifty pounds in Lawfull money of New York in a twelve months time or a year time after the Decease of my Wife or a second marriage and further my Son France Van Sellea Junr. shall deliver a Cow to Marya Salmons my Wifes Daughter in a year after my Wife Isabella Decease or second marriage and I do hereby utterly disallow revoke and disannull all and every other former Testament Wills Legacies and Executors by me in any ways before this Time named Will and bequeathed Ratifying and Confirming this and no other to be my last Will and Testament In Witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand & Seal the day and year before written.

France Abramse (his mark) Van Sellea (SS)
Signed Sealed Published Pronounced & Declared by the said France Abramse Van Sellea Senr. as his last Will and Testamt. in the presence of us the Subscribers (Viz. this my Will Contains two sheets, Johannes Remsen, Arie Koning, Johannes De Gran.

P.S.  Mr. Howard Swain's post from 2005 sums up the connection of the Van Salee family quite accurately.


1New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, Vol. 121, No. 2, Apr. 1990, "Frans Abramse Van Salee and Descendants- Colonial Black Family in NY and NJ", pgs. 65-71.

2Record of Wills, 1665-1916; Index to Wills, 1662-1923, Vol. 13 1736-1741, Film #874522, New York Surrogate's Court, filmed by The Genealogical Society of Utah, 1971.


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