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Home: Surnames: Marselis Family Genealogy Forum

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Posted by: Shannon Gorman (ID *****1569) Date: January 25, 2009 at 19:55:14
  of 33

Our Immigrant Ancestor Pieter Van Marselis

Pieter, or Peter, came to Bergen County, New Jersey from Holland with his wife and four children. This is not disputed by any of the Marsalis, etc. researchers. The ancestry of Peter the Immigrant is disputed. For many years, the assumption has been made that the Pieter Van Marselis that came to Bergen County, New Jersey was the son of Gabriel Marselis and Anna L'Hermite. I have been in contact with Ben Marselis in Holland, who is a direct descendant of Gabriel and Anna Marselis, and he states it is a very remote possibility our Peter was the son of Gabriel on the following basis:
1)       Peter, son of Gabriel is buried in Russia
2)       Peter, the Immigrant was born in Beesd, and was 20 years younger than Peter the son of Gabriel.
3)       There were more than one set of Marselis immigrants from Beesd to the United States in the same time frame.
4)       In analyzing the name of our Immigrant Peter, and the names of his children, Ben Marselis stated that the Dutch naming system would indicate our Peter was from Marseille, France.

Until these four facts are proven or disproven, it should not be assumed that our Immigrant Peter is the son of Gabriel and Anna Marselis.

Beginning with the name, we find the following were all used by the first and second generations in Bergen County, New Jersey;
Pieter Mercelis
Pieter Mersilise
Peter Marselis
Pieter Merselise
Pieter Marcelisse
Pieter Marcelis
Peter Marselis
Pieter Van Marselis

Marcelis Pieterse van Marselis
Marcelis Pieterse "Marc" Van Marselis
Marselis Pieterse Merselis
Merselis Pieterse
Mersilis Pieters

We also know all four of his children used Pieters as their surname when marrying:
All the children of our Immigrant ancestor Pieter van Marselis used Pieters as their surname when marrying.

New Jersey Colonial Documents
Bergen Reformed Dutch Church
Marriage Records 1664-1801

03 Sep 1676 Jannetje Pieters married Helmigh Roelofs.
11 May 1681 Marcelis Pieters married Pieterje Van de Voorst
11 May 1681 Niesje Pieters married Gerrit Gerrits, Jr
08 Jun 1690 Hessel Pieters married Lysbeth Claes

As for examining the baptism and marriage records of Beesd, Gelderland, Holland, that will take a trip to Holland. I do have someone who is Dutch who is willing to go with me once his mother either passes away, or he can arrange for one of his siblings to take care of her while he is out of the country.

As for Peter, son of Gabriel being buried in Russia, it seems unlikely the descendants of Gabriel would mislead us about that, but if someone else wants to attempt proving or disproving this statement, that would be great.

As for more than one set of Marselis families immigrating during the same time frame, that will need to be researched from both the United States and Holland. We know it has to be true, but whether it impacts our Immigrant Ancestor or not needs to be proven or disproven.

Those of you interested in pursuing the ancestry of our Immigrant Ancestor, Peter Van Marselis, please email me at shannon50 AT

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