Here, gathered in our beloved South Dakota, are a few members of our Williamson / Mattson Clan. Charles and Luella are to be blamed (be kind, they didn't know what they were doing). We're generally a happy bunch and somewhat intelligent (notwithstanding our tenuous grasp on reality). I'm also proud to say that most of us still have our teeth.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Jacobus Schellinger, Our 9th Great Grandfather (Williamson Lines)

Pictures of New Amsterdam (Today's New York City)

From the Fortress of Solitude
Pleasant Grove

Hello Williamsons!

Today in our digital gathering we will discuss another family link to the Netherlands and Belgium through the Schellinger family line. In paticiluar we want to learn about our 9th Great Grandparents, jacobus Schellinger and Cornelia Melyn.

Jacobus Schellinger
(son of Daniel Schellinks and Constantia van Rijssen) was born
Abt. 1625 in Amsterdam, Holland, and died June 17, 1693 in East Hampton, NY. He married Cornelia Melyn on April 07, 1653, daughter of Cornlis Melyn and Jannetje Van Myert.

Relationship Chart

9th Great Grandparents. Jacobus Schellinger and Cornelia Melyn
Catherine Schellinger and Nathaniel Baker
Mary Baker and Timothy Woodruff
Katherine Woodrull and Benjamin Haines
Hannah Haines and Mathias Spinning
Mary Spinning and Benjamin Morris
Isaac Morris and Sarah?
Nancy Morris and Whitty Victor
Effie Helen Victor and William Jonathan Williamson
Vennie, Ima, Inez, Lille, Josie, Emmett, Walt, Charles and Maurice

Notes for Jacobus Schellinger

Old East Hampton was almost purely an English settlement, but for three Holland Dutch names, Schellinger (spelled "Schellinx" or "Scallenger" etc. - thirty different versions have been found in old deeds), Loper and Van Scoy.

Jacobus Schellinger was born in Amsterdam, Holland in 1625 of a family of wealth and position. He came to New Amsterdam (today's New York City) about 1652 as agent for his uncle, an Amsterdam merchant. In 1653 he married Cornelia, daughter of Cornelis Melyn, Patroon of Staten Island and at one time President of the Council of New Amsterdam, and widow of Captain Jacobus Loper. Their marriage was recorded at the Old Dutch Church on April 7, 1653.

Jacobus and Cornelia Schellinger continued to live in New Amsterdam or on Staten Island for twelve or thirteen years after their marriage. In March, 1653, he was assessed 200 guilders when the Dutch were preparing defense against the British; the money was used to construct earthworks topped by a palisade along the northerly side of what is now Wall Street in New York City, from the East River to the site of Trinity Church; it may be Schellingers were living on Staten Island when there were Indian troubles and their house was burned.

The conquest of the Dutch New Netherlands by the British in 1664 put an end to trade between Holland and its colony. Jacobus with his wife and children and step-son James Loper, moved to East Hampton, Long Island to retrieve his fortunes in whaling. His company was called "Whale designe." He arrived here probably 1664, and certainly before October 2, 1667, for he is mentioned in a deed of the latter date. His house lot was the original home lot of Andrew Miller. Through his granddaughter Rachel (daughter of Abraham) who married David Gardiner of Gardiner's Island on April 15, 1712/13, the property went into the Gardiner family and remained there until it was sold to Lawrence Baker in the 1940's.

Dutch Whaling in the 1600's

The "Whale Designe" prospered. Quoting from "Whale Off!" by Everett J. Edwards and Jeannette Edwards Rattray:
"The Dutch led the world in whaling in 1625; it was not until after 1750 that their supremacy began to wane and England took the upper hand. Young Loper (James) and his stepfather -- the only two Dutchman then in the English colony of East Hampton -- took to the whaling industry then flourishing there like ducks to water. They formed a whaling company, employing Indians and early Town records are full of their activities. Their fame spread - - - "
The book goes on to tell how James Loper, in 1672, was invited to settle in Nantucket and teach the Nantucketers how to whale. Loper did not settle there but research seems to indicate that he did go for a time. Jacobus Schellinger & Co. were given a permit to kill whales off East Hampton. By November 18, 1675; they had already been employing Indian crews for eight or nine years.

After the death of Jacobus Schellinger on June 17, 1693, letters were written to his widow in East Hampton regarding the settlement of the estate of his brother Daniel. The joint will of Daniel Schellinks and Constantia van Rijssen his wife, of Amsterdam, Holland, dated May 17, 1698 is in the New York State Library, also copies of three letters written 1704, 1705 and 1706 by an Amsterdam notary to Cornelia Melyn Loper Schellinger.

From another source we read:

Jacobus SCHELLINGER (aka Schellinks or Schellinx) was the second son of Laurens and Catalyntje Kousenaer SCHELLINKS of Amsterdam, Noord-Hollland, Netherlands. Jacobus' actual date of birth has never been recovered, however, records from the Oude Kerk of Amsterdam document that Jacobus SCHELLINKS (aka Schellinger) was baptized in that church on October 16th, 1625. Jacobus SCHELLINGER came to America from Amsterdam, prior to 1650, when he was a "young man of legal age," engaged in the mercantile business. The first notice of him being in New Amsterdam as a dealer in goods was February 24, 1653. He married Cornelia MELYN on April 7, 1653. She was the widow of Capt-LT Jacob LOPER (their marriage only lasted about 5 years) of Stockholm, Sweden. The marriage of Jacobus and Cornelia produced as least five sons and a daughter: William, Catalyntje, Abraham, Daniel, Jacob and Cornelius.

Jacobus SCHELLINGER's life in America was rife with unrest caused by conflict between the English and Dutch colonial powers and personal difficulty, primarily, as a result of the activities of his father-in-law, Cornelis MELYN of Antwerp, Belgium. As a result, Jacobus and his extended family were forced to flee the British military and the personal persecution created by the animus of Petrus Stuyvesant towards his father-in-law. The Melyn and Schellinger families were also forced from their Staten Island home in 1655 as a result of an Indian uprising, fleeing to Connecticut for relief. Jacobus and his wife and children eventually settled in East Hampton, Long Island, NY, ca. 1665, where he, along with others, established a successful on-shore whaling operation known as the Whale Design.

Jacobus died June 17, 1693 at the age of 67 in East Hampton, Long Island, NY. Documentation indicates that both he and his wife are supposed to have been buried in the "old churchyard of East Hampton." At the time of Jacobus' death, East Hampton only had one church, which was the Presbyterian Church of East Hampton. This church was formerly located on the eastern edge of what is now South End Cemetery. So, one would assume that they were both buried there. The East Hampton Presbyterian Church records document that Cornelia SCHELLINGER was, in fact, buried in this churchyard cemetery.

Jacobus SCHELLINGER is generally recognized as the first person to bring the Dutch-Schellinger family name to America; his American descendants (11th generation plus) survive today.


  1. I am also a direct descendant of Jacobus through his youngest son Cornelius. In the early 1690's Conelius left long Island with a number of other families, including a Loper, to go to found Cape May, NJ. There they farmed and continued to whale.

    It is great to see your research and your interest in our common ancestor. I have some additional information about the discord between Melyn and the Dutch governors that led to his leaving the Dutch settlement and living among the English.


    Ray (Raymond Schellinger)

  2. My husband is also a direct descendant of Jacobus, through the Baker line. We are from Australia, so your family is widely spread. thankyou for your research
    Jenny King