Friday, August 11, 2023

Book Report: Deacons’ Accounts 1652 – 1674 Beverwijck/Albany

In researching various branches of my family I have to travel or reach out to places far from my house. However, when I learned more about our  Fortenberry/Van Valkenberg family the search came closer and closer to home. I only have to drive across the nearby Hudson River to go to the one time home of my 9th great grandfather, Lambert Jochemse Van Valkenberg.


Growing up in the Hudson River Valley of New York I have known that we were settled by the Dutch. New York was New Netherland. Albany was Fort Orange with the village of Beverwijck surrounding it. I have been excited to learn my family was a part of those early days. 




Deacons’ Accounts 1652 – 1674 Beverwijck/Albany


Janny Venema,

Translator & Editor


Picton Press, 1998


This book is a “translation of the account books, which were kept between 1652 and 1674 by the deacons of the Dutch Reformed Church, Albany’s oldest church.” 







Key to Abbreviations

Deacons’ Accounts





In 1930 a small folio of 250 pages was found in the Dutch Reformed Church, the oldest church in Albany, NY. It was “bound in vellum with buckskin thongs.” This book is a transcript of that precious folio. 


The Dutch Reformed Church had a “consistory, consisting of a minister, elders and deacons.” (p ix) The deacons’ records show the church took care of the people in many ways. The poor were given medical care. Money was given for education of poor children. Needy people were boarded out or their rent was paid. There were provisions for coffins and funerals. Food and clothing was distributed. In April 1660 my ancestor, Lambert, was given “some bacon and meat.” (p 71) In November of that year he was given a blanket. (p 77) In June 1661 he was given “one schepel of corn.” (p 85) He continued with hard times. In December 1664 Lambert was given a pair of shoes and his wife was given 5 pounds of butter. (p 119) His name is included in these records until 1669.


Lambert Jochemse Van Valkenberg

c 1616 Netherlands – c 1685 NY

Son of Lambert Jochemse Van Valkenberg



My copy of this book has many bright colored sticky notes for book marks. I have scribbled in the margins and rejoiced over the discoveries. I am very grateful for the discovery of that ancient folio in 1930.

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1 comment:

  1. What a great name your ancestor has - Lambert Jochemse Van Valkenberg! How lucky you are to have found that book that will surely add more to your research.


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