Sarah Rapelje

Here’s a cool genealogical note. It has come to my attention that through mother’s Brooks line, we descend from the first white female born in New Netherland.

Sarah Rapelje was born in Fort Orange on July 9, 1625. She was the daughter of Joris Jansen Rapelje and Catalina Trico, Walloons who arrived in 1624 from the Dutch republic as the first settlers brought by the Dutch West India Company to start an official colony at Fort Orange.

Their arrival in 1624 also wins them the prize for being the ancestors who came the earliest to the New World, (only 4 years after the Mayflower folks).

When Sarah was married in 1639 to Hans Hansen Bergen (so we do have Norwegian ancestors on mother’s side!) she was only 14-15 years old. As compensation she was given this medallion:

Sarah Rapalje Tankard
This medallion was later put into a tankard, and eventually donated to the Brooklyn museum of Art (1926).1

She had eight children with Hans, until he died in 1653. Then she married again this time to Teunis Gysbertse Bogaert, and had seven more children. Yowza! (Humphrey Bogart descends from her last child, and only son, born to Teunis.)

Sarah died in 1685, at the age of 60. That’s a pretty good age for the times, and place, and after having had 15 kids. To learn more about Sarah and her family visit her Wikipedia page: The family has much history in Brooklyn.

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