Son of George Probatski, brother of Christoffel

By Nora J. Probasco

Copyright © 2018 Nora J. Probasco All Right Reserved

For a long time, many researchers believed that George Probatski only had three children, Margriet, Christoffel and Anneken, from the baptisms found in Recife, Brazil. It was not until I found George Probatski's will dated October 14, 1664, that it was discovered that there was another child, Jurrian. In his will George stated he had "two living children, Stoffel & Juriaen Juriaens." See below:

“…To dispose of his property movable and unmovable, nothing excepted, he testifies and nominates as his sole and universal heirs, Heyltgen Aerts and their two living children, Stoffel & Juriaen Juriaens, procreated by the forenamed Heyltje Aerts who is also his lawfully married wife, who will remain complete in possession and authority over the children and their goods, until the day of their respective majority or marriage. Recommending her as a good mother, to act rightly and responsibly, and in case of her remarriage after the testator's death, she will not be exclused from these responsibilities.

Item: the testator wishes his two children to have and enjoy all of his smith's tools, including the place where he performed his profession, including the shop and the grounds up to where the fallen tree lays. If it becomes clear that the testator's children do not wish to continue in his profession, then his wife may sell the goods for the profit of the children and also all of his goods left, behind, for the profit of her and the children. And any profit his wife may make by the sale of his goods, will also be for the profit of the children.

Also, that his two children will have and hold the land that the testator has bought from Pieter Lambertsz, for their use and possession…”

The will also made me realize that the Jeurie Probasco listed on the November 26, 1662 catechumens list for the Old First Dutch Church in Brooklyn, New York by Henricus Selyns was Christoffel's brother, and not his father as many had thought previously:

New York Historical Manuscript: Dutch
Old First Dutch Church of Brooklyn, NY
First Book of Records, 1660-1752
pp. 55-57, Breuckelen Church Records [transcribed from the original Dutch records]
November 26 [1662]
Since it is Henricus Selyns’ intention, in view of the short evenings and imminent winter, to suspend [his services] at the Hon. Lord General’s Bowery [=farm] again, a proposal was make [to consider] whether he should use the afternoon of the Lord’s Day for the confirmation classes as in the previous year, or continue catechizing on Tuesdays in the afternoon as he has been doing since April 18 this year and to which the catechumens are disposed and accustomed. It is resolved to do the latter for several reasons, especially because it is justified by the diligence and extraordinary willingness on the part of the catechumens and because the considerable number of the youngsters makes it worthwhile; for the following persons are attending the confirmation classes mentioned above:
Catalyntie Teunis,
Saertie Pieters,
Hendrickie Jans,
Saertie Teunis,
Hendrick Obee,
Pieter Pietersen,
Laurens Haf,
Jan Teunissen,
Anna Tielemans,
Joost Symonsen,
Hendrick Janssen,
Stoffel Probasco,
Lucas Teunissen,
Marie Hanssen,
Janneken Montfoort,
Janneken Teunis,
Aeltie Teunis Jansen,
Marten Reijersen,
Aeltie Teunis Gijsbertsen,
Catharyn & Getruyd d’Beauvois,
Catharyn & Marritie Joosten,
Jeurie Probasco,
Daniel Jorissen,
Jan Pietersen,
Cornelis Jansen,
Nys Teunis,
Jacob & Willem Jorissen,
Ian Teunissen,
Cornelis Abramsen,
Joris Hansen,
Annetie Teunis,
Aecht Teunis,
Anneken Rems,
David de Potter,
Pieter Lambertsen.

To date, no information has been found about the family from the years 1666 to 1671. All that is known is that Jurrian was a young boy when his father died, and his brother, Christoffel, was a teenager. We can only imagine the struggles Heltjie went through trying to raise a family alone. I have been unable to find her in any records after 1666, so she may have either died or remarried.

It would not be until 1671 that we would locate Jurrian again. Another researcher discovered legal records about a Juraen Barbatsco. It was then we realized that Christoffel's brother was alive and living in Albany, New York.

He was arrested for theft and following is a court case regarding this theft:

Minutes of the Court of Albany, Rensselaerswyck and Schenectady, 1668-1673, Vol. I, pp. 276-278
...The honorable officer, plaintiff, against Juriaen Barbatsco, prisoner.
The plaintiff, submitting [the case] ex officio, complains that the imprisoned young man stole some guilders in seawan from Mr Witthart and as a burglar broke into the house of the said Withart, which is a matter of serious consequence. He demands that he be punished as a thief, as an example to others, and furthermore that he be banished from this jurisdiction, according to the judgment of the honorable court. All cum expensis.
The prisoner, Juriaen Barbatsco, aged 17 years, confesses, without torture or irons, that he entered the house of Mr Withart on Saturday evening, the 7th of October, and that he took out of a chest there about fl. 40 in seawan. And before this also some powder, to pay for one half-interest in a canoe belonging to Franck, Mr Laval’s servant, who advised him to do so, as he says. For all of which he is sorry and he declares that he will pray to God, that it may not happen again...
Whereas Juriaen Barbatsco, young man, aged 17 years, without torture or irons, has confessed that he entered the house of Mr Withart, and there committed theft, which is a matter of serious consequence, therefore, the honorable court condemn the said Juriaen Barbatsco to be secretly flogged and in addition to be banish from this jurisdiction for the period of six years.
Some honest and good burghers and women, appearing before the court, request remission of sentence for the youth and that it may please their honors to have mercy, partly on account of his youth and partly on account of his honest relatives, especially his sister, who is in childbed and very feeble, adding that he will reform and not do it again.
The honorable court, taking the humble prayer into consideration, remit the punishment of the delinquent for the crime committed, except that the banishment is to take effect. Furthermore, he is condemned to pay the costs of court.

Johannes Withart was a trader in New Amsterdam as early as 1654, then went on to trade in Beverwyck (Albany) and remained there for several years. Mr. Laval was Capt. Thomas De Laval, a trader in New Amsterdam and Beverwyck, owning houses in Beverwyck (Albany) from 1668 to 1682. At various times he served as Mayor of New York City and was on the Governor's Council in 1677. I am sure that involving the servant of such a powerful man influenced the harsh punishment that Jurrian received. From his age given in the trial, we find he was born in 1654. This would have been the year that the family left Brazil, went to Amsterdam, then removed to New Amsterdam in the new world. Apparently Heltjie was pregnant during that time...

In any case, Jurrian was banished from the jurisdiction of Albany, New York for six years. I have always wondered if his theft caused a family rift with Christoffel. Shortly before the trial, on August 8, 1671,Christoffel purchased 2 morgens of land in Flatbush. Jurrian could have relocated to the farm with Christoffel, however there have never been any records found for him in Flatbush. Another interesting piece of information from this trial was the mention of a sister of Jurrian. I had assumed from their father's will that only Christoffel and Jurrian survived. This will require more research. It is possible that Jurrian was taken in by his sister after the death of their mother, and they moved to Albany. However, it was a mystery where Jurrian may have gone after his banishment...

Recently I found one record and Cor Snabel found two records for Jurrian in the Netherlands. I have been able to obtain copies of these records. Apparently after his banishment, he went to the Netherlands to start fresh. The first record Cor found for him was a marriage record dated January 23, 1677 in Vlissingen, Zeeland, the Netherlands:

Jurriaen Probatsho j.m.
van Amsterdam varendsman
Janneken van Steene j.d.
van Vliss~ sy woont in de Helle-

The record states he came from Amsterdam. That is probably where he went after he left New Netherland and had been living there awhile. He was a sailor which meant he would have been out to sea quite a bit. Apparently he still found time for love! In the record he is listed as a young man who had never been married before, and his wife was a young daughter who had never been married before, and lived in the Hellebardierstraat in Vlissingen. He must have relocated to Vlissingen at this time, and there is a possibility that Jurrian had children in Vlissingen. He would also have been able to continue as a sailor with the VOC:

“With its strategic location between the Scheldt river and the North Sea, Vlissingen has been an important harbour for centuries. It was granted city rights in 1315. In the 17th century Vlissingen was a main harbour for ships of the Dutch East India Company (VOC).”


Next I found a notarial record dated 14 Aug 1683 where Jurrian Probatski, living in Vlissingen in the province of Zeeland, was trying to collecting a 223 guilders debt from the East India Company (VOC), from money earned by Arnoldus Schanternel from Brussels, when he sailed in 1679 with the ship 't Landt Schouw to the East-indies in the service of that Company. Arnoldus obviously owed Jurrian 200 guilders and there were some extra costs, which made a total of 223 guilders.

Most sailors, who were ready to sail, did not have the money to pay their landlords or those they owed money to, so they went to a notary and had a document made up for the amount they owed. Those notarial documents were guaranteed by the the VOC, WIC and other companies, so with this document the landlord or others were sure to get their money. The landlord or others could even use it as money to pay their suppliers. Even these suppliers could redeem it for cash. It is unknown how Jurrian came to have this document.

The next record dated June 1694 both Cor and I found was a confession of faith by Jurij Probasco in the Nederduitsch-gereformeerde kerk [Dutch Reformed church] in Vlissingen. From ZeeuwenGezocht:

95-VLI-24 Vlissingen 24 NG lidmatenregister 1673-1716
Date: -6-1694
First name: Jurij
Last name: Probasco
Role: Lidmaat [Member]
Town: Vlissingen
congregation: Nederduitsch-gereformeerde kerk [NG]
Specialties: Oostburgh. [Belijdenis [confession of faith in Oostburg]
Date: -6-1694
Adress: Rioolstraet
Register: K 483, folio 201
Source: DTBL Vlissingen 24 (NG Lidmatenregister 1673-1716) [Members of the Reformed Church]
Prijs fotokopie: Hiervan kan geen fotokopie worden besteld / No copy can be ordered
Organisatie: Zeeuws Archief

From this record, we now know that Jurrian was a member of the Nederduitsch-gereformeerde kerk, continuing the family's history in the Dutch Reformed church, and was still in Vlissingen in 1694. I have tried to find the records for this church and so far have not found any. I asked the Archves in Vlissingen if there were any more records available for Jurrian, and was informed there were not. I suspect that means no more that were indexed...

So now we know that Jurrian created a new life for himself in the Netherlands. I hope we can find information soon about whether he had a family or not. It would be very interesting to find out we have DNA Probasco cousins still in the Netherlands!


"Last Will and Testament of Juriaen Probaske, " NYSL Access: SC16676-67, Located at the New York State Library, Albany, NY.

New York Historical Manuscript: Dutch, Old First Dutch Church of Brooklyn, NY, First Book of Records, 1660-1752 , Published Under the Direction of the Scholarship Committee of The Holland Society of New York, Translated and Edited by A. P. G. Jos van der Linde, Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., Baltimore, MD, 1983, pp. 55-57

Minutes of the Court of Albany, Rensselaerswyck and Schenectady, 1668-1673, Vol. I, Translated and edited by A. J. F. Van Laer, The University of the State of New York, Albany, NY, 1926, pp. 276-278

Early Records of the City and County of Albany and Colony of Rensselaerswyck, (1656-1675), by Jonathan Pearson, J. Munsell, Albany, NY, 1869, p. 145.

Genealogies of the First Settlers of the Ancient County of Albany, From 1630 to 1800, by Jonathan Pearson, J. Munsell, Albany, NY, 1872, p. 41

Gemeentearchief Vlissingen, archive 357, inv. 538, folio 106

Gemeente Amsterdam Stadsarchief, Archief van de Notarissen ter Standplaats Amsterdam, 1517-1915. Archive 5075, folio 377-378 (Archive code: akte 9470 & akte 63390, bitput-ID 13.835.058.092.244 and 13.835.058.225.464)

95-VLI-24 Vlissingen 24 Nederduitsch-gereformeerde kerk Lidmatenregister 1673-1716, K483, folios 200-201

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