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New Netherland & New York Genealogy
PIER FAMILY OF NEW YORK AND NEW JERSEY & PEER FAMILY OF ONTARIO CANADA
© 1998 by Lorine McGinnis Schulze
This article may be freely linked to but not duplicated in any
fashion without my written consent.
It has always been known that THEUNIS JANSZ. PIER was born circa 1600. Chris Brooks and I researched and found Theunis' baptism. His parents' names are now known! We found a great deal on the family -- and our jointly authored article Origins of the Pier Family in the Netherlands and an Update of Their Connection to the Ostrander Family by Lorine McGinnis Schulze and Chris Brooks, was published in the July 2000 issue of the New York Genealogical & Biographical Record. in Deventer, Overijsel, Netherlands. He married Jannettie Arentsdr. on September 14, 1624 in Amsterdam Netherlands. Theunis Jansz's sons Jan and Arent, were the immigrant ancestors of the PIER family in America.
JAN THEUNISSEN from Amsterdam was listed on board the St. Jan Baptiste , with two children ages 1 1/2 and 4 years old on 9 May 1661 sailing from Netherlands to New Netherland. His brother Arent Teunissen with wife and two children 7 and 4 years old was also with him on this voyage.
Jan Theunis and his wife Maritie Jans had the following chilren:
- Rachel Jans Pier b ca 1657/59 Netherlands m1 ca 1677 Arle Franssen De Lange m2 April 17, 1699 Albert Hendrickszen Ploeg
- unknown child b. ca 1657/59 Netherlands [This child's name has been found! Read my jointly authored article Origins of the Pier Family in the Netherlands and an Update of Their Connection to the Ostrander Family by Lorine McGinnis Schulze and Chris Brooks, being published in the July 2000 issue of the New York Genealogical & Biographical Record.
- Teunis Jansen Pier bpt March 5, 1663/64 New Amsterdam NY m 6 Oct. 1684 Bergen NY Catrina Tomasse Cadmus
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ARENT THEUNISSEN from Amsterdam was also listed on board the St. Jan Baptiste, with two children ages 7 and 4 years old on 9 May 1661 sailing from Netherlands to New Netherland. We now know these were two step-children of Arent's, and the natural children of his wife Geesje Jans by her first husband Pieter Carstensz. [Ostrander]. Read my jointly authored article Origins of the Pier Family in the Netherlands and an Update of Their Connection to the Ostrander Family by Lorine McGinnis Schulze and Chris Brooks, being published in the July 2000 issue of the New York Genealogical & Biographical Record and the article Parentage of Pieter Pietersen Ostrander and His Sister Tryntje Pieters by Chris Brooks in the July 1999 issue of the same journal for more details.
Arent Theunissen and his wife Geesjie Jans had the following children:
The ance stor of the New Jersey PIER family is TUNIS JANSEN PIER, the son of Jan Theunis and Maritie Jans. Tunis Jansen came from New Amsterdam NY to Bergen New Jersey in 1684. He later moved to Belleville, NJ where he purchased considerable land. Surnames as we know them did not come into general use in Colonial NY until 1687 and thus Tunis can be found in the records under PIER, PEER, ASPEERE, SPIER, SPEER and JOHNSON (an anglized version of his patrony mic of JANSEN, meaning "son of Jan") He is also found as Teunis Johnson alias Piere, with variant spellings of both Johnson and Piere. In the 17th century, names were written as heard, that is, phonetically, and if a Dutch individual had his name written by an English clerk, the result could be quite different than his actual name.
- Harmen Arends Pier bpt August 10, 1661 NY
- Jannetie Arends Pier bpt July 12, 1664 m 1681/82 Pieter Pietersen Winne
- Gepie Arends Pier bpt March 25, 1668 Kingston NY m1. Hendrick Adriaanz m2 1699 Willem Traphagen
- Teunis Arends Pier b ca 1670 m. 1702 Margaret (Grietje) Du Foe/Dufour/Devoor
So it was that the PIER and the SPIER families became confused. Not only did the two families originate about the same time period in New Jersey, they were in the same location. Teunis Jansen PIER's daughter Rachel Teunissen PIER also married Hendrick Hanse SPIER, the son of Hans SPIER. The PIER and SPIER families were further mixed up in the records because the names of Teunis and Hans were quite often used. If a man named Teunis PIER stated his name to a clerk, what did the clerk hear? Teunis SPIER or Teunis PIER? Chances were that Teunis could neither read nor write so he would have no idea if his name were recorded correctly.
I have found Teunis' baptismal record in New York. In his will dated 1727 and probated April 1729, he leaves bequests to his wife Catrina and four sons and two daughters - it is from these four sons that the New Jersey Pier and Peer families came.
News Flash! See the index to names in The Peer Family in Canada and America: Jacob & Anne Peer, Immigrants from New Jersey to Upper Canada in 1796, and their Descendants
My own PEER lines came from NJ to Ontario in 1796. Jacob Pier, the immigrant ancestor to Ont ario, has his name recorded as PEER, PEAR, PIER in the records. He was last found in Newton NJ in 1773, and was a known British sympathizer as reported by the Pettit family, also sympathizers.
Jacob's son Levi PEER Sr was born ca 1770-1780 and married Elizabeth Marical/Markle pre 1807, either in NJ, NY, or Ontario. They settled in Ontario and lived near Ancaster until 1816 when Levi sold all his land and moved to Ripley NY. From there he moved to Northeast Tp. Erie Co. PA ca 1822 and lived there until 1831. He and his wife and all their children except one, Levi Jr., went to Shawneetown Illinois and their descendants still live in IL at the present time. My direct ancestor, Levi PEER Jr., came back to Ontario in 1831 and settled in Kilbride, Ontario where his descendants may be found today.
I welcome any and all information on the PIER~PEER~PEAR surname in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ill inois and Ontario! I will gladly share my extensive files on this surname
Genealogy Tools To Help with your Brick Walls
PIER MAILING LIST
I have started a mailing list for the PIER, PEER and PEAR surname (and other variations).
PIER MAILING LIST
If you are still unable to obtain the article by using the methods outlined above you can go to the NYGBR pages. Scroll down to the July 2000 article and note the volume and page numbers given. Then use the NYGBR online catalogue (link is further down their page) to order the back issue containing that article