Sunday, February 20, 2011

Philip Gereardy of New Amsterdam

Philip Gereardy was born in Holland. In 1642 he was
in Manhattan, New York, New York, United States of America. He married
Maritje Pollet in Holland. Philip Gereardy was an early
inhabitant of Manhattan, where he
contracted with Juriaen of Osnaburgh for a house. It seems that Juriaen
did not build the house in the time agreed upon, for in the spring of 1641
two witnesses swore to the agreement and Philip obtained a judgment in
his favor on the 13th of June. In a year or two he received a grant of a
house lot on the north side of the first road from the fort to the ferry,
on the present Stone street between Whitehall and Broad streets. This was
known first as " the road," later a part of it as the Brouwer straat; it was
the first street paved with stone, and the place of residence of the
wealthy people of the town, such as Frederick Philipse of Philipse manor. Here
,Philip, his wife Marie Pollet, and their son Jan lived. May 24, 1644 .
Philip received by patent a double lot on the common highway, " on the
east side of Broadway between Beaver Street and Exchange Place, 110
feet front by 230 feet deep" in 1644 at Manhattan, New York, New York,
United States of America.
In 1642 a stone tavern for the accommodation of travellers was erected,fronting
on the East river. It was south of the road to the ferry "in the
present north-west corner of Pearl street and Coenties alley," wrote
Valenthie in 1853. As landlord of this tavern Gereardy became a conspicuous
man in New Amsterdam. Prize money was often left in his hands for
safekeeping. In January, 1642, he was in trouble for selling beer at a
higher rate than that allowed by the ordinance, but was permitted to escape
punishment. Not so three months later when he was again in trouble,
this time for being absent from guard duty without leave. There is a fine
irony in the sentence which couples his two vocations: "To ride the wooden
horse during parade, with a pitcher in one hand and a drawn sword in the
other." Philip had been released from this undesirable position scarcely a
twelve-month when he was seriously wounded while conducting Jan Jansen
Damen home one night— probably after an evening spent at the tavern.
Damen, a wealthy man and part owner of the privateer La Garce, defended
Stuyvesant in Holland in 1649-50, and died upon his return in 1651.
Meanwhile Philip did not always pay his debts, and Augustyn Herrmans
in October, 1644, complained of Philip's lack of attention to bills for
wine.Little by little, however, he prospered; and when the city authorities,
March 13, 1653, drew up a "list of the persons who shall provisionally
contribute tlie following sums for Hie purpose of putting this city in a
state of defence,"he was slated for the moderate tax of fifty guilders. In 1653
the tavern was turned over to the magistracy for a city hall or " stadt
huys"; and October 15, 1653, Peter Wolfertsen van Couwenhoven sold to
Philip the lot " situate where the sign of the While Horse hangs out, right
opposite the Winckel street, New Amsterdam." Van Couwenhoven and
his older brother Jacob were leading brewers. Peter himself was Schepen
for six years, and lieutenant of the militia company, a near neighbor of
the Gereardy family, and a witness at the christening of Philip's
grandchildren. .
This property was no doubt acquired by Philip in order to continue his
business. Philip and his wife were often witnesses at church christenings,
and Philip was in 1646 appointed custodian of an estate and of orphan children
in 1644. He died between 11 Oct 1654 and Jan 1656.

He was the 9th great-grandfather of my mother-in-law, Connie.

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