The Yerxa Family First Generation

Poulus Jurcksen (- before 1676)

Historical Background

In 1609, Henry Hudson, an English navigator, in the employ of Dutch service, sailed into the New World by way of the river which now bears his name and claimed the land for The Netherlands. The land was named “New Netherland.” In 1621, the Dutch West India Company was organized for trading, but fur traders had migrated into the New Netherland previous to that date. Fort Nassau had been built in 1614 by a Dutch explorer on Castle Island in the Hudson River south of the present city of Albany. It served as a fur trading post for the Dutch until 1617 when it was destroyed by an overflow of the Hudson River. A new fort and fur trading post was built on the west bank of the Hudson River and named Fort Orange which was 150 miles up the Hudson from its mouth.

The City of Albany is on the site of Fort Orange. In 1624 permanent settlement was begun there. In 1625 the town of New Amsterdam was founded at the mouth of the Hudson River at the lower end of the Manhattan Island. The Dutch were soon extending New Netherland toward the east to the Connecticut River and westward to the Delaware. Under the Dutch, schools were opened and the Dutch Reformed Church was established. Lower Delaware was annexed by New Netherland in 1655.

In the Second Dutch War, England seized New Netherland and formed two colonies in 1664. England’s claim was based on John Cabot’s voyage in 1497. The original New Netherland was named New York after King Charles II’s brother, the Duke of York, and also the town of New Amsterdam became New York City. The other colony was named New Jersey. The transition from Dutch to English rule was accomplished peacefully.

See also the Dutch Ancestry of Jurckse, Storm and French Ancestry of Huguenots.