Our Family History

Pieter Casparszen (abt 1610-bef 1665)
First Mabee from our line in America
7th Great-Grandfather of Glenn Cook

All we really know about the parentage of Pieter Casparszen van Naerden is that his father was named Caspar, and that he was born in a place that was either called or sounded like Naerden. There are no records of Pieter Casparszen ever using any surname. In fact, the first use of the Mabie surname in any form by proven members of his family occurred in New York in 1687. A search of the records for the Dutch Reformed Church in Naarden, Noord Holland, has proved fruitless. It has long been speculated that Pieter was of French extraction (a Huguenot), with the name Mabie having been derived from the French name Mabille. This story originated in an unpublished work by E. C. Marshall in the 1890s. In his paper, Marshall merely speculated that this was a possibility, and never made a claim of any factual support. However, almost every succeeding published genealogy has claimed this as a fact. While it is possibly true, it is wholly without any substantiation.

The one location in Europe that did have people with the Mabie surname prior to 1650, as demonstrated in various records, was Scotland. The Mabie surname appears to have surfaced in Scotland shortly after the Norman invasion. So, perhaps the name is originally from France after all. However, there may have been a few detours en route to New Amsterdam

The name of Pieter Casparszen van Naerden appears in a few records that have survived the years. He is listed in a 1660 census of New Amsterdam. In 1657, he was listed as a "Small Burgher", a status which conveyed certain rights to the individual. In 1653, he was named as one "of the most influential citizens and inhabitants of this city" in the council minutes. Also, in 1653, he was a corporal in the Burgher Corps of New Amsterdam. In 1652, he was sued by a Jacob Stoffelsen, although the details of the suit have not survived. In 1656, he was a witness to a secret land transaction in which the West India Company purchased land from the Native Americans on the west bank of the "South River" (now the Delaware). This land had already been settled by the Swedes, and this transaction was used to justify an attack on their settlements.

From the baptismal records of the New Amsterdam Reformed Dutch Church, we know that Pieter was in New Amsterdam by February 1647, and that he was still alive in December 1662. A census of New Amsterdam conducted in June 1665 lists Aechtje Jans, the widow of Pieter Casparszen van Naerden, so we know he was deceased by that time. The first time that Pieter Casparszen van Naerdenīname appears in any New Amsterdam records is in 1647. On February 17th of that year, he was a witness at the baptism of Hendrick, a son of Abraham Ryck. In passing, it is also known that a Pierre Gaspar signed the so-called Leyden Petition in 1621, a copy of which can be found on line at: http://www.primenet.com/~langford/places/va621001.htm#Wal loons[:UND]

In this documet certain Walloons and French petitioned, in 1621, the "Lord Ambassador of the Most Serene King of Great Britain" to allow them to settle in Virginia. The answer was to approve such a settlement in Virginia, providing that the settlers would take an oath of allegiance to the English king. However, if this is the same person as Pieter Casparszen van Naerden, then the questions arise as to why he apparently waited approximately 25 years to go, and why he did not go to an English colony as planned. Once again, there is no substantive evidence that Pieter Casparszen van Naerden and this Pierre Gaspar are the same person.

From the Maybee Society files.