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A New Netherland Family

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Chapter Summary

Evert Willemsz committed himself permanently to New Netherland when he married a Norwegian colonist there. At a rather late point, well, he chose as his wife the widow Anneke Jans not a large landholder, but still one of the few women who owned a farm. The size and cohesion of the Nijkerk group proved one of the most important factors contributing to the permanence and balance of the colony. When we consider that the Utrecht-Gelderland group was very likely Reformed while the Scandinavians were certainly Lutheran, it becomes clear that community-building was the prime function of this Sunday ritual. The bookkeeping between New Netherland and the fatherland was complex and salary payment uncertain, but the economy of the colony stayed afloat thanks to other principles of survival: a high value was placed on self-sufficiency. The Sunday service was mandatory for all the colonists of Rensselaerswijck, Reformed and Lutheran alike.

Keywords: Evert Willemsz; New Netherland; Nijkerk group; Norwegian colonist; Rensselaerswijck; Utrecht-Gelderland group



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