The Lesueur Family

The parents of Jeanne Lesueur are not known but it is known that she had a brother, François Lesueur. François's marriage record states that he was from "Scalmeny," near Dieppe, Seine-Maritime, Normandy, France and this town was probably where Jeanne and François were born. James Riker (in 1904) suggested that Scalmeny was the phonetic spelling for "Challe Mesnil or Colmenil, a small borough or market town three miles south of Dieppe." A search did not reveal such a town but there is a Colmesnil-Manneville about 8-10 miles from Dieppe that is a possibility.

François and Jeanne settled at Harlem (now part of Manhattan, New York City, New York), then later (along with François's wife) moved to Wiltwyck (now Kingston), Ulster, New York (presumably in 1662).

-- Lesueur's children are:

  1. François Lesueur, married Jannetje Hillebrants (m. 2) Antoine Tilba) 12 Jul 1659 in New Amsterdam, New Netherland (now New York City, New York), settled in Wiltwyck (now Kingston), Ulster, New York), was ordered by the court in Wiltwyck to contribute to the preacher's salary 2 Mar 1666, was a witness at the court in Wiltwyck 29 Jun/9 Jul 1667, fined at Wiltwyck 1 Nov 1667 for having "beaten Michiel Verbrugge with a stick so that he fell to the ground," further sued 8 Nov 1667 by Michiel for the same beating (who also, in the same case, demanded "proof of his having killed Hend. Aertsen's calf, of which plaintiff accuses him"), alive in 1669, died by Nov. 30, 1671 (when Jannetje bound out their son Hillebrant as an apprentice).
  2. Jeanne Lesueur, married Cornelis Arentsen Viervant (from Lexmond, Utrecht, Netherlands, d. by 16 Jan 1684) in 1668 in Wiltwick (now Kingston), Ulster, New York, moved back to Harlem, her husband leased lands in Fordham (now part of the Bronx, New York City, New York) 1 May 1669 and in Harlem 11 October 1671.

Note: NYGB 55:349-368 suggested that there was another brother, Eustache Le Sueur, "a painter in France and a Member in 1648 of the French Academy." This is highly unlikely. The 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica gives more information about this artist: "LE SUEUR, EUSTACHE (1617-1655), one of the founders of the French Academy of painting, was born on the 19th of November 1617 at Paris, where he passed his whole life, and where he died on the 30th of April 1655...In the gallery of the Louvre are the “Angel and Hagar,” from the mansion of De Tonnay Charente; “Tobias and Tobit,” from the Fieubet collection; several pictures executed for the church of Saint Gervais; the “Martyrdom of St Lawrence,” from Saint Germain de l’Auxerrois; two very fine works from the destroyed abbey of Marmoutiers; “St Paul preaching at Ephesus,” one of Le Sueur’s most complete and thorough performances, painted for the goldsmith’s corporation in 1649; and his famous series of the “Life of St Bruno,” executed in the cloister of the Chartreux.
I have found no primary sources to support the claim of a relationship between Eustache and the Lesueurs of New Netherland/New York. It has been established that Eustache was born and lived all his life in Paris. He had no known connections to the Dieppe area. Jeanne and François, on the other hand, were from Colmênil and had no recorded ties to Paris. In addition,
Jeanne and François appear in Dutch Reformed Church records, indicating that they were probably of a Protestant background, while some of Eustache's artwork addressed Catholic subject matter and was created for Catholic churches, so he was likely solidly Catholic. Finally, Lesueur is not an uncommon French surname, certainly not uncommon enough to assume that a couple of people from Normandy are related to someone from Paris.


Sources: 

  1. "The Marriage Book of the Register of the Persons who are herin recorded, and who were married here or outside the city of New York from the 11th Dec. 1639," as found in The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, published 1890 and 1940.
  2. Hoes, Roswell Randall (comp.), Baptismal and Marriage Registers of the Old Dutch Church of Kingston, Ulster County, New York, Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1997 (originally published by DeVinne Press (New York), 1891).
  3. Riker, James, Revised History of Harlem (City of New York): Its Origin and Early Annals, New York: New Harlem Publishing Company, 1904, p. 388. Available at Archive.org.
  4. Versteeg, Dingman (trans.), New York Historical Manuscripts:  Dutch, Kingston Papers, Vol. I (1661-1667), original translation 1899, Samuel Oppenheim's revision of Vol. I pub. 1912, Baltimore, MD:  GenealogicalPublishing Co., 1976.





Church Records

New Amsterdam Marriages

1659 12 dicto. Francoys Le jere Van Scalmeny by Diepen in Vranckryck, en Jannetje Hillebrants, Van Amsterdam.
Translation:  1659, 12 ditto (July), Francoys Le jere of Scalmeny (Colmênil) by Dieppe in France, and Jannetje Hillebrandts of Amsterdam.

Source: The Marriage Book of the Register of the Persons who are herin recorded, and who were married here or outside the city of New York from the 11th Dec. 1639, as found in The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, published 1890 and 1940.


Kingston Marriage Register

Page 503, Marriage # 29
1668 (Specific date of marriage not given)
CORNELIS ARENTSEN VIERVANT, j. m., of Lexmont,* in the "Sticht van Uytrecht," (Diocese of Utrecht), and JANNETIE LECHIER, of Nieu Haerlem (New Harlem),** j. d. Date of Banns not given.

* Note from R. R. Hoes:  The present Lexmond, in the Province of South Holland, S. W. of Vianen; spelled Lecxmonde by Blaeu, and Lexmunde and Lexmonde by van Leeuwen.

** Note from R. R. Hoes:  The present Harlem, in N. Y. City.


Source: Hoes, Roswell Randall (comp.), Baptismal and Marriage Registers of the Old Dutch Church of Kingston, Ulster County, New York, Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1997 (originally published by DeVinne Press (New York), 1891).



Court Records

From the Court Minutes of Esopus (now Kingston, NY):

Page 278, 2 Mar 1666
Harmen Hendericks requests in a petition,...Also that Francois Le Cheer may also for the last two years assist in contributing towards the preacher's salary,...
To which is replied: ...also that Francois Le Cheer shall assist in contributing one-third of the last two years...

Page 357, 29 Jun/9 Jul 1667
...Jannetje Hillebrants, wife of Francois LeCheer, declares having heard at the house of Henderick Martensen, he being about to depart, that Hendrick Jochemsen should have said, "Why should not Beeckman's son watch as well as my son?" not knowing to whom Hederick Jochemsen should have said the same...

Page 366, 1 Nov 1667

Schout Beeckman, Plaintiff
vs. Francoys Le Schier, Defendant
Plaintiff says that defendant has behaved very badly against Michiel Verbruggen,and has badly pushed and beaten him, and has hurt his ribs, on which account he has lodged a complaint, and demands a fine, in consequence of 100 gldrs. Defendant admits having beaten Michiel Verbrugge with a stick so that he fell to the ground. The hon. court orders defendant, for his insolence committed against Michiel Verbrugge, to pay a fine of 50 gldrs.

Page 371, 8 Nov 1667, New Style

Michiel Verbrugh, Plaintiff
vs. Francoys Le Schier, Defendant
Plaintiff demands payment for doctor's fee, pain, and lost time for seven days, on account of the maltreatment committed against him without reasons. Also demands wages for having taken care of the cows, alone, for seven days at six gldrs. per day. Defendant also demands proof of his having killed Hend. Aertsen's calf, of which plaintiff accuses him. Plaintiff says that he did not say that he killed said calf, but that he hung up the pieces of a skin. Defendant agrees to prove his assertion. Plaintiff is ordered to bring in a specified account of the doctor's bill at the next session.

Source:  Versteeg, Dingman (trans.), New York Historical Manuscripts:  Dutch, Kingston Papers, Vol. I (1661-1667), original translation 1899, Samuel Oppenheim's revision of Vol. I pub. 1912, Baltimore, MD:  GenealogicalPublishing Co., 1976.



Local Histories

Page 50
Hence sailed D'Enambus, in 1625, to St. Christopher, paving the way for French colonies in the West Indies, in which, as before intimated, Harlem settlers first tried their fortunes. And from this port many of the refugees took ship for other countries, as, we presume, did Francois Le Sueur and Robert Le Maire, who came thence to Harlem. How it was with these we know not, but may conclude that some left Dieppe and other French ports, destined for New Netherland, since its invitations to such colonists had already reached these ports through intercourse with Holland. Le Sueur was born at Challe-Mesnil or Colmenil, a small borough or market town three miles south of Dieppe. His name-taking such forms with his descendants as Leseur, Lesier, Lazear, and Lozier--was well established in Caux, and a century previous had figured among the cloth makers of Rouen."

Page 100
"JEAN GERVOE and FRANCOIS LE SUEUR went out at near the same date (as David du Four sailed for Manhattan in 1657)...Le Sueur, the Lozier ancestor, was from Colmenil, in Normandy, and was attended by his young sister Jeanne, neither being married."

Page 189:
The three years allowed them [the people of Harlem settling on Montagne's Flat] in which to pay for their lands had nearly expired, and with not a few it became a difficult problem how they should provide the 8 gl. per morgen which the government must have...It was plainly owing to the difficulty of raising this morgen-money, or morgen-gelt, as called...that a number of persons quit the town during this year (1662), to try their fortunes elsewhere; as well landholders as well others designing to become such. Of these were Coerten, De Pré, Du Four, Gervoe, and Le Sueur.

Page 196
FRANÇOIS LE SUEUR, who left the town early in 1663, was the anc. of the families of Leseur and Lozier, now mostly seated in N. Y. City and Bergen Co., N. J. François first lived in Flatbush after coming to Manhattan, and in 1659 m. Jannetie, dr. of Hildebrand Pietersen, of Amsterdam; in which year Jannetie's brother, Pieter Hillebrands, was captured by Indians at Esopus, but this did not deter her from removing there with her hus. Before going from H. he sold some of his effects, and his w. bought "a little bed," etc. at Sneden's sale. Le Sueur's sr. Jeanne went with them to Esopus, and there m. Cornelis Viervant, with whom she returned to H. Le Sueur was living in 1669, but on Nov. 30, 1671, his wid. bound out her son Hillebrand, eight years old. He was engaged by the deacons in 1673 to ring the bell at 3 gl. a year. Afterward the wid. m. Antoine Tilba, and by him had chn. also. Those by Le Sueur, all but the first, bom at Esopus, were Jannetie, born 1660, who married Jan Postmael (or Post) and Thomas Innis; Hillebrand, born 1663, John and Jacob, born 1665, and Nicholas, born 1668.

 
Page 249
By his [John Archer's] assiduity had acquired a large tract of land between the Harlem River and the Bronx...Archer began by leasing his land in parcels of 20 to 24 acres, to such persons as would undertake to clear and cultivate it (and with each a house and lot in the village), all upon easy terms; so that in the years 1668 and 1669 a good number of the Harlem people were led to go there. The "new plantation" was given the name of Fordham...
The annexed list of leases executed by Archer at Harlem show who took up farms at Fordham. Nearly all subsequently left and got land of their own elsewhere...
[May 1, 1669] Cornelis A. Viervant [Term] 5 [years from Aug. 31, 1668.]

Page 275
"On October 11th, 1671, John Archer executed at Harlem sundry new leases for farms at Fordham, viz.: to Hendrick Kiersen, Aert Pietersen Buys, and Cornelis Viervant; making the rent payable to Cornelis Steenwyck, of New York..."

Page 388:
Resolved Waldron and Johannes Vermilye, the guardians of Cornelia Viervant, offered at auction, Jan. 16th, 1684, a horse left by her late father, but did not succeed in selling it, only 37 gl. being bid. It was afterward bought for 120 gl. by Jan Postmael (the Post ancestor), who at the same time, March 3d, hired 3 cows left by Viervant, for six years, for half the increase.

CORNELIS ARENTS VIERVANT was a native of Lexmont, in the Land of Vianen, Utrecht. He m. at Kingston in 1668, Jeanne Le Sueur, sr. of François, the Lozier anc., and d. at Fordham, in 1675, leaving an only ch. Cornelia. She m. William Innis, of Kingston, a son, we suspect of Rev. Alexander Innis, chaplain at N.Y., in 1686. William Innis had chn. Alexander, b. 1694, Cornelius, 1696, etc. Desc. are yet found.

Source: Riker, James, Revised History of Harlem (City of New York): Its Origin and Early Annals, New York: New Harlem Publishing Company, 1904. Available at Archive.org.
Note: Esopus (referred to above) was later called Wiltwyck, then Kingston. MB




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Author: Michelle A. Boyd

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Last updated 6 March 2019