October 18, 2017


Johannes Vingboons [Public domain],
via Wikimedia Commons

View of Nieuw Amsterdam by Johannes Vingboons (1664), an early picture of Nieuw Amsterdam made in the year when it was conquered by the English under Richard Nicolls. In 1664,just 9 years after Pietro and Judith died New Amsterdam passed to English control, and English and Dutch settlers lived together peacefully. In 1673, there was a short interruption of English rule when the Netherlands temporary regained the settlement. In 1674, New York was returned to the English, and in 1686 it became the first city in the colonies to receive a royal charter. After the American Revolution, it became the first capital of the United States. via Wikimedia Commons

Quiz Answers .....1) I don't know. 2) NO 3) Yes 4) Yes

Pietro Cesare Alberti is the first known Italian immigrant. He was born the island of Malamocco June 20, 1608. This would have been at the height of Venice's commercial power. He is believed to be a member of the Venetian branch of the Florentine Alberti family and this family was influential throughout the Italian peninsula.

46,000 of the 140,000 cities residents died as a result of the bubonic plague during the Thirty Years War. The Netherlands stationed troups in Malamocco and these troups were the carriers of a virulent strain of the plague. With the decline of power caused by the loss of population Alberti made the decision to set out for the New World to seek a better life. He also at some point in his life converted to Protestantism.

He was a member of the crew of the Dutch ship De Coninck David, arriving in New Amsterdam on June 2, 1635. The route that the ship took to arrive in New Amsterdam was not direct. His ship went down the West coast of Africa past the mouth of the Congo, across the Atlantic to Brazil, to Cayenne, Guiana, to the West Indies and then to Virginia. The Captain and Alberti had several disagreements but when they arrived in New Amsterdam Alberti promptly left the ship. He later sued the Captain and recovered part of unpaid wages.

Alberti thrived in the new world and in 1642 married a Walloon woman by the name of Judith Manje (Magnee). Seven children were added to this couple but one died in infancy. Thier first home was on Broad Street but in 1646 he applied for a land grant from the Dutch. The Alberti's farmed 100 acres in Brooklyn but in 1655 they were killed by an Indian raid leaving the six children orphans. The Dutch authorities found a guardian and took care of the children. His descendants go by the name Albertus, then Burtus and Burtis and then back to Albertis.


Castello plan earliest known plan of New Amsterdam in 1660.

Jan Manje and Martha Chambert

Jan and Martha were the parents of Judith Manje. They were Walloons i.e. French speaking Protestants from what in the early 1600's were French speaking provinces of what is now southern Belgium.

They fled their home in southern Belgium and moved to northern Netherlands in order to escape religious persecution. The Dutch's government had made their country tolerant of all religions and was a welcome place of refuge for many Europeans.

It is unknown where Jan Manje was born. Martha was a native of Nieuwkirk in Flanders. On 11 September 1642 Jan Manje obtained a patent for his land on the western shore of Long Island. Nearby Pietro Caesare Alberti had his farm. The Manje's daughter Judith met and married Pietro. The families did not live far apart but Jan Manje would only be able to enjoy his first grandson because in 1644 Jan Manje was with the troops of Johannes de LaMontagne a distinguished physician who was a member of the Governor's council and a Walloon. Jan after being mortally wounded by Indians was able to give to Montagne his last wishes.

George Washington Etters is a direct descendant of Pietro and Judith Alberti.

September 3, 2017