A bronze seal owned by New World settler Andries de Vos (1599-1675)
The Netherlands, Beverwijk, circa 1620-1630, marked with the fleur-de-lis of Beverwijk, unearthed in the 1980's
Diam. 3.1 cm
The sole Andries de Vos notable enough to have a seal like the one present in and around Beverwijk (the Netherlands) around 1620-30 is Andries de Vos (1599-1675). He was the son of Zacharias Andries de Vos or Vois, (b. France, 1570) en Maritgen IJsbrandsdochter (b. Netherlands, 1570). His father, being a French Huegenot, fleed to the Netherlands around 1590, probably due to heavy battles which broke out between the Spanish and the Dutch in the area.
Before Andries de Vos set sail for the New World, he probably owned a mill which was situated at the corner of the notable Baanstraat and Kloosterstraat, where also a café was situated named ‘het Vosje’. Remarkably enough the mill can be found on a map of Beverwijk in 1632, but has dissapeared on a map of 1648. It is likely that the mill burned down and De Vos was paid out by insurance and went to find new fortunes in the Americas, being fourty years old. The present seal was found within a radius of a hundred meters of the mill owned by De Vos.
In March 1625 Andries married Marietje Pieterse Croeymans, probably in the Utrecht village of ‘Hei en Boeicop’. Her brother, Barendt Pieterse Croeymans already left for the New Netherlands as a pioneer. Marietje would meet him again, because on 17 May 1641, she and her husband Andries boarded the ship ‘Den Eyckenboom’ in Amsterdam and sailed for the New World, bringing their children Cornelius, Catalyntje, Arriaenthe and Cornelia too.
Nothing much changed for Andries, as they settled in Nieuw Beverwyck (now Albany, New York) where he soon again owned a mill, now in the Bethlehem area. Around 1650 he would become a member of the local Court of Justice of Nieuw Beverwyck and would own a large part of forrest for the production of timber. In 1660 he is amongst the 52 sole merchants who could deal with the Native inhabitants of the area, which was a remarkable privilige. Later on he continues to be Vice Gouverneur of Renselaerswyck. In 1675 he died in Schenectady, Albany, New York.