NameAdrienne (Ariantje) CUVELLIER, 9G Grandmother
Birthca 1589, Valenciennes, Nord, France
DeathMay 1655, New Amsterdam, New York
FatherJean CUVELLIER (ca1565-)
Misc. Notes
Ariantje lived until 1655. She married, second, Jan Jansen "Old Jan" Damen (Dumont), another Walloon who had first come to Virginia with the English, and later, in 1624, came north to the Dutch settlement. Jan and Ariantje had no children, and later, when he had built up the family fortune, by land grants and shrewd trading, his wife was his sole heir.555

After the death of Guillain, Ariantje married Jan Jansen Damen on May 7, 1638. Damen, sometimes referred to as "Old Jan," was a warden of the Dutch Reformed Church and also had a sizable tract of land west of the Vigne's. The following information recently came to light: HNN., 1:434-5 gives the following item:

"Jan Jansen Dam (or Damen) married Ariantje Cuvel. He removed subsequently to New Amsterdam [where his name appears on the records as early as April 19, 1638 (CDM:1)]; He was elected one of the Twelve Men and also of the Eight men (NNR. 52,54). He amassed a considerable wealth and was one of the owners of the privateer La Garce. [A "privateer" was a legal pirate ship, authorized by the government to cruise the high seas and seize the ships of enemy nations, which at various times included England, Spain and France.] In 1649 he went to Holland with C. Van Tienhoven, to defend Stuyvesant against the complaints of Van der Donck and others, and died on his return on June 18, 1651. He does not seem to have had any children. He had three brothers: Cornelius Jansen Cuyper, Cornelis Jansen Damen and William Jansen Damen; and two sisters: Neeltje and Hendrickje. He adopted [in 1648] the son of the last named sister - Jan Cornelis Buys - who assumed his name, having been left 600 Car. guilders. Jan Jansen, at his death, willed 400 Car. guilders to the poor of Bunick, in the province of Utrecht. The inventory of his personal property fills 10 folio pages in the records."

This union combined their previously-held properties, giving Adrienne and Jan ownership of a very large bouwerie. It extended from Pine Street north to Maiden Lane, and from the East River to the Hudson River. The following is the translation of the prenuptial agreement by Adrienne and Jan, concerning her children by her deceased husband, Guillaume Vigne: "Dirck Volgersen Noorman and Ariaentje Cevelyn, his wife's mother, came before us in order to enter into an agreement with her children whom she has borne by her lawful husband Willem Vienje, settling on Maria Vienje and Christina Vienje, both married persons, on each the sum of two hundred guilders ... and on Resel Vienje and Jan Vienje, both minor children, also as their portion of their father's estate, on each the sum of three hundred guilders; with this provision that she and her future lawful husband, Jan Jansen Damen, shall be bound to bring up the above named two children until they attain their majority, and be bound to clothe and rear the aforesaid children, to keep them at school and to give them a good trade, as parents ought to do." This agreement was dated "the last of April 1632," but was not recorded until 7 May 1638. [New York Historical Manuscripts: Dutch, Volume 1, ed. and trans. by Arnold J. F. Van Laer. Baltimore, 1974, The editor, Van Laer, was of the opinion that the year 1632, given as the date of the document, is probably wrong and should be 1635 or later. The document was certified by William Wyman, blacksmith, and Jan Thomaisen Groen, and witnessed by Jacob Albertsen Planck who arrived in New Amsterdam in 1634 on the "Eendracht."]

Upon moving into the Vigne household, Damen found he had married into an extended family. Christine and Dirck were living there with their two young daughters. Maria's husband Jan Roos died in 1632, and she had married to Abraham Ver Planck in 1634. By mid-1638 they had 3 or 4 children. Altogether the household consisted of six adults and 7 or 8 children, and possibly a few slaves. On June 21, 1638, Damen sued to have Abraham Ver Planck and Dirck Volckertszen "quit his house and leave him the master thereof." Dirck countered with a charge of assault and had witnesses testify that Jan tried to "throw his step-daughter Christine, Dirck's wife, out of doors." In the following year, the third Vigne daughter married and left the household. She was only 16 when she married Cornelis Van Tienhoven, the 28-year-old Secretary to the Director.

In 1641 Damen and Ver Planck were members of the 12-man council assembled by Director Willem Kieft to "advise" him on Indian affairs. He was really only trying to drum up popular support for his plans to eliminate the local Indian tribes. In the following year Kieft disbanded the council because it disagreed with his military ambitions. Abraham had such a falling out with the Director that he was threatened with banishment if he continued to insult the Company's officers.

In February 1643 Damen hosted a dinner at which the alcohol flowed steadily. The attendees were Maryn Adriansen, another former member of the council of 12, and step-sons-in-law Abraham Ver Planck and Cornelis Van Tienhoven. At a ripe moment Van Tienhoven pulled out a petition and had the others sign it. It was a petition to Kieft, urging him to attack a neighboring Indian tribe. Van Tienhoven took the signed petition to Kieft and then personally led the attack on the Indian village. That action led other tribes to retaliate and burn New Amsterdam. Abraham later denied knowledge of the incident, and Adriansen even tried to kill Kieft. [He had to pay a fine and was banished for 3 months.] Kieft appointed Damen to an 8-man council in 1644, but the other council members refused to accept him.

During that bloody 1643 war with the Indians, a group of soldiers paraded through New Amsterdam's streets after an attack on a Canarsie village. The soldiers had beheaded some of the fallen Indians and carried the heads on long poles. As they paraded past Ariantje, one of the heads fell and landed at her feet. With a burst of enthusiasm she gave it her best kick and off it flew, to the dismay of many in the crowd who blamed her family for the war and also looked down upon her savage behavior.

Jan Jansen Damen died on June 18, 1651. Adrienne Cuvelier died in 1655. Most of her property was divided among the Vigne children and their families. On March 8, 1658, Dirck and his sister-in-law Maria Ver Planck were sued by Claes Van Elstandt, elder of the Dutch Reformed Church, for not paying for her grave. They said they had given the money to Van Tienhoven, who had disappeared 16 months earlier. All of the remaining heirs were then ordered to pay for the grave. 566

" In the fall of 1642, there had been some incidents of violence by renegade Indians. After some traders had stolen a dress of beaver-skins from an Indian whom they previously stupefied with brandy, he vowed revenge. An Englishman in the employ of David De Vries was killed shortly after, and in a few days following, Gerrit Jansz Van Vorst was also slain, while engaged in roofing a house. The chiefs of the tribes, desiring peace, offered restitution to the Dutch, but it was refused by Kieft. In February 1643, in spite of the warning of cooler heads such as Johannes La Montagne and David Pieterse De Vries, who counselled patience, humanity and kindness to win over the Indians, KIEFT, at the urging of a militant group led by Jan Jansen Damen, Abraham Planck and Maryn Adriaense, ordered a pre-emptive sneak attack on the Indians at Pavonia. Over one hundred and twenty Indian men, women, and children were slaughtered in their sleep. According to one account,

"Sucklings were torn from their mother's breasts butchered before their parent's eyes and their mangled limbs thrown quivering into the river or the flames. Babes were hacked to pieces while fastened to little boards...their primitive cradles...others were thrown alive into the river, and when their parents, impelled by nature, rushed in to save them, the soldiers prevented their landing, and thus both parents and offspring sunk into one watery grave. Children of half a dozen yrs, decrepit men of threescore and ten, shared the same fate. Those who escaped and begged for shelter next morning were killed in cold blood, or thrown into the river. Some came running to us from the country, having their hands cut off, some lost both arms and legs, some were supporting their entrails with their hands, while others were mangled in other horrid ways too horrid to be conceived. And these miserable wretches, as well as many of the Dutch, were all the time under the impression that the attack had proceeded from the terrible Mohawks".

"This senselessly violent act by the Dutch soldiers infuriated the previously peaceful Indians surrounding New Amsterdam, and this act was to prove troublesome to the white colonists (both Dutch and English) in the future. "

"The dismay felt by the Indians following the massacre was expressed in the words of an Indian sachem of the Manhattans, addressed to Ambassador David Pieterszen de Vries at a subsequent peace conference: "When you first arrived on our shores, you were often in want of food. We gave you our beans and our corn. We let you eat our oysters and fish; and now for a recompense, you murder our people. The men whom you left here at your first trip, to barter your goods until your return, we cherished as we would our eyeballs. We gave them our daughters for wives, and by these they have children. There are now numbers of Indians who come from the mixed blood of the Indians andSwannekins (white man) Your own blood you spilt in this villainous manner."203, pgs. 263-78

Tradition say that Guleyn Vigne's wife, Ariaentje Cuvilje, had been endowed by her schismatic forbears with a violently rebellious streak, and it was reported in Holland that she played football with Indians' heads brought to Fort Amsterdam after Kieft's unholy attacks in 1643.

Following the massacreof the Indians by the Dutch soldiers at Pavonia, Ariaentje Cuvilje, "Van Tienhoven's mother in law, forgetful of those finer feelings which do honor to her sex, amused herself, it is stated, in kicking about the heads of the dead men which had been brought in, as bloody trophies of that midnight slaughter" 203, pg. 269
Birthca 1586, Valenciennes, Nord, France
Deathbef 30 Apr 1632
FatherJean DE LA VIGNE (ca1560->1622)
Misc. Notes
The Walloons were French-speaking Protestants from the southern Netherlands region that is now Belgium and northern France. In the 1500's and 1600's it was subjected to protracted wars involving Holland, France and Spain. A 12-year truce beginning in 1609 provided some respite, but the truce was not renewed when it expired in 1621. Another unsettling factor in that region was the desire of the Catholic French monarchy to convert or kill the Protestant population living within and along its borders. Many non-Catholics fled after having their property confiscated. Guillaume and Adrienne were born in Valenciennes about 1586-1590. They married sometime around 1610, and emigrated to Holland by 1623 (1618, as per above). In that year they were in the city of Leiden, which was a protective and tolerant haven from war and prejudice. After they began living among the Dutch, the Vigne name was changed to Vienje. Guillaume became known as Willem Vienje and Adrienne as Ariantje Vienje. [The "-je" ending in the Dutch version of their name was also pronounced as "-yeh."]

Guillame (Willem) de la Vigne married Adrienne "Adreenie" Cuvelier, also a French refugee to Holland. There they were called Guelyn Vigne & Ariantje (Cuvilje). They shipped out on an exploratory and trading voyage to America, on one of four Dutch ships in 1613; their two children with them. Their ship, the "Tiger", caught fire and was burned on the beach of Manhattan. While they were making a new ship from salvaged and green wood, they built log huts on the Island. Jan Vignes was born that winter, 1613-14 in one of the huts, and the Vignes never returned to Holland. They made their home on Manhattan; were of the very first settlers, and acquired considerable property where Wall Street now is located.

The Vignes were one of 30 Walloon families selected by the Dutch West India Company to establish a permanent settlement in New Netherlands [New York, New Jersey, Delaware and Connecticut]. The original Company plan was to send only five or six men to set up a fur trading post on Manhattan Island. The addition of the Walloon families may have been a late change to the plans. Perhaps the families volunteered when they heard of the colonization plans. After all, the Walloons were a displaced people who had become refugees in crowded little Holland. There was no land available to them - the Dutch had run out of land and had just started to reclaim land from the sea. It is possible that Adrienne and Guillaume may have had advance information about the New Netherlands region, according to the "New Netherlands Connections" published by Dorothy A. Koenig:

"Nancy Fulkerson Hill wrote to the Algemeen Rijksarchief in the Hague [to find] whatever documents exist in The Netherlands about the ship Tijger [Tiger] known to be in New Netherland waters in 1614 under the command of Adriaen Block...[they referred her] to notarial documents held by the Gemeentearchief in Amsterdam."

"Pim Nieuwenhuis investigated these notarial documents only to discover that they had already been translated into English and published in 1959 by the City of Amsterdam Press under the title, The Prehistory of the New Netherland Company: Amsterdam Notarial Records of the First Dutch Voyages to the Hudson by Simon Hart ..."

On page 22 Dr. Hart asks rhetorically, Who were the merchants in the [Van Tweenhuysen Company] which sent Adriaen Block on his voyages? Besides Arnout Vogels and Francoys Pelgrom, there were Leonard, Paulus and Steffan Pelgrom -- brothers of Francoys ... [The] four Pelgrom brothers were children of Gheeraert Pelgrom ...[whose] first wife Anthonia van Dijcke died...[and who]... remarried to Susanna Cuvelier. From this marriage Paulus and Steffan Pelgrom were born..." If Adrienne Cuvelier was related to Susanna Cuvelier, she and Guillaume could have had first-hand information about the Hudson River area through her relatives.

The Vignes are believed to have sailed from Holland in April of 1624 on the "Nieuw Nederlandt" [or possibly on the "Eendracht," which means "Unity"]. Some of the other colonists, including Joris Janszen Rapaelje, were also from Valenciennes. The Vignes had three daughters, Christine, Maria and Rachel, when they sailed to America. Most of the 30 families must have had children, as the total number of new colonists was about 120. Upon reaching the Hudson River in mid-May, they found a French ship that was trying to claim the territory for the king of France. With the help of a smaller Dutch ship that arrived from the West Indies, they politely aimed their cannons and escorted the French ship out to sea. Cornelis May, captain of the "Nieuw Nederlandt," became the first Director of the New Netherlands colony.

Eight men were left at Manhattan to "take possession." A dozen families were deposited at the Delaware and Connecticut Rivers, and 18 families were taken up the Hudson to a site near present-day Albany. The first news back to Holland was that, "Everything was in good condition. The colony began to advance bravely, and to live in friendship with the natives." However, most of the families began their residence in the new land by digging seven feet into the ground to make wood-lined, bark covered shelters. They did not begin to build wooden homes until 1625. We don't know whether the Vignes spent their first year at the Albany, Connecticut River or Delaware River settlements.

In 1625, the Company sent over another ship with 103 head of cattle and off-loaded them on Manhattan Island. Along with the cattle came some home builders and more settlers, who were directed to establish six bouweries [farms] on Manhattan. Engineers began constructing Fort Amsterdam near the southern tip of the island, and laying out the streets for the town of New Amsterdam. The colonists who had been deposited at the Connecticut and Delaware Rivers were brought back to Manhattan Island. They were too few in number to be in such isolated locations. Over the next three years, all of the Albany settlers trickled back to Manhattan. In 1626 Peter Minuit [also a Walloon] arrived as the new Director. He brought more colonists and bought the rest of Manhattan Island from the Indians for 60 guilders' worth of minor trade items. By the end of 1628 there were roughly 275 people in and around New Amsterdam.

The Vignes established their Manhattan farm north of what is now Wall Street, along the East River. In 1624 or 1625, not long after their arrival, their son Jan was born. He was the first European male born in New Netherlands. [The first European girl born in New Netherlands was Sara Rapaelje, in June 1625.] Guillaume died about 1632. His two oldest daughters had already married by that time, Christine to Dirck Volckertszen, and Maria to Jan Roos. He left his wife with two minor children.

The location of Guelyn's bowery was just what would seem ideal for people staying on Manhattan to collect peltry brought down over the trails or waterways. Most of the surface of lower Manhattan (Manatus) was covered with glacial boulders and conical hills of gravel drift, but there was a fertile tongue of land sloping down to the East River from the north-south ridge, with a clear brook on one side (Maiden Lane) and an inlet from the river on the other (Broad St.) Manhattan Indians from their village of Werpoes on a point in the freshwater pond, had long since cleared patches of this land and planted maize and tobacco. Guelyn built his cabin on this East River strand at the spot where Wall Street now intersects with Pearl, and his son Jan retained this part of his father's holdings at his death in 1689, although other parts had been sold off or released to co-heirs of his mother. Guelyn Vigne died in 1632.555

A Labadist Missionary, Jasper Danckaerts, spent a disagreeable Sunday afternoon in September of 1679 in a tavern sanctimoniously described by him as a "low pot-house," run by Adrian Corneliszen and his wife, Rebecca Idens. In his diary ("Journal of Jasper Danckaerts 1679-1680," edited by Bartlett James and J. Franklin Jameson. New York: Charles Schribner's Sons, 1913, Page 47) the missionary recorded that "while in their company we conversed with the first male born of Europeans in New Netherland, named Jan Vigne'. His parents were from Valenciennes..." In the late 16th century Valenciennes was part of the medieval County of Hainault; in 1678 it became part of France.

Guillain or Ghislain Vigne' was named for the Frankish saint, Gislanus, who in about the year 680 A.D. founded a monastery in Hainault six miles west of Mons, where the town of Saint-Ghislain, Belgium, is today. Saint-Ghislain is about 15 miles northwest of Valenciennes. Saint Gislanus is the patron saint of Valenciennes; his feast is celebrated on October 9th (Butler's Lives of Saints, NY, PJ Kennedy & Sons, 1956, Vol IV, page 71).

In Leyden's Walloon Church there are records that Ghileyn Vignier and his wife were received there in October of 1618 as members of the church "by confession." This would indicate that they must have lost the documents that indicated they were members of the church at another place (Valenciennes, most likely). At Easter in 1622, a Guilleine Vignier is received by confession, which could indicate that Guillain was away for a time.

The Register of Baptisms in the Walloon Church in Leyden contains the following entries:

2 September 1618 Rachel, daughter of Ghilain Vignier and his wife.
Witnesses: Antoine Hardewin and his wife, Ghilain Hardewin and Gertrude

26 September 1619 Abraham and Sara, children of Gileyn Vinoist and
Adrienne Cuvelier.
Witnesses: None mentioned.

26 September 1621 Abraham, son of Guillain Vivier and Adrienne Cuvelier.
Witnesses: Charlie Bailieu and Jean Collas and the wife of Jean Adam.

19 March 1623 Rachel, daughter of Guillain Vigne.
Witnesses: Henri Lambert, Pierre de Fache and Marguerite Vigne.

Only four adult children of Ghislain Vigne and Adrienne Cuvelier are mentioned in New Netherland records. Maria and Christine must have been born before 1618, when their parents settled in Leyden. Jan Vigne (the first male of Europeans born in New Netherland) must have been born in 1624. None of Jan's contemporaries ever disputed his claim to be the first European born male there.
-Excerpted from Dorothy A. Koenig's New Netherland Connections Quarterly, Vol 3 No. 1, Jan-Feb-Mar 1998)
Marriage1608, St. Waast La Haut, Valenciennes, Nord, France
ChildrenChristina (ca1610-1663)
 Rachel (1613-1663)
 John Jan (1614-1689)
 Abraham (1619-)
 Maria (ca1621-1671)
Death18 Jun 1651
MarriageNew Amsterdam, New York
Last Modified 6 May 2008Created 31 Dec 2008 using Reunion for Macintosh