Many of you know that I conduct extensive research into the Dutch who settled in New Netherland (present day New York) in the early 1600s. One of the very interesting items found about these Dutch ancestors is that they used handmarks, or signatory marks.
A handmark is a representation of a signature (an individual's name).
Handmarks range from a very simple X to a stylized letter (often the first letter of the first or last name of the individual) to very elaborate designs.
The handmarks you see in the graphic in this post are just a few from "Papers Relating to the Condition of New Netherland" dating from 1643-1647 as found in Vol. 1 of Documents Relative to the Colonial History of the State of New York
The list of men making their marks on a letter sent to is as follows. I will be adding graphics to illustrate each man's handmark on my website under the New Netherland section for those who are interested or have an ancestor listed below.
Louis Crain (possibly Theunis Cray)
Cornelis Lambertsen Cool
Cornelis Jacobsen Stille
Claes Caerlessen (Carstersen)
George Hans (Holmes)
Ambrosius Loman (Lonnan)
Laurens Pietersen (a different mark from Lawrens Pietersen above)
Isack de Forest
Wolfert Gerritsen (a different mark than Wolfert Gerrits above)
There were men who could write their own names and did not use a hand mark.They were Jan Snedeker, Sibert Claesen, Abram Planck, Cornelis Wiletnsen, Pieter Colet, Abraham Pietersen, Jan Jansen Damen, Heindrick Heindricksen Kype, Cornelis Volckers, Govert Loockemans, Isack de Forest, Isack Allerton, Barent Jansen, Willem Adriaensen, Thomas Hall, Claes Jansen Ruter, Wilheim Gaulders, Jan Verbauge, Cornelis Dircksen Hoochlant, Benjamin Pawley, Richard ____, Cornelis Twits (probably meant for Swit), Jan Pathaway, P.R. Gichhous, Phlipe Grave, Albert Jansen, Cornelis Willemsen, Pieter Linde, Ritchert Gebbers, Jacob Couwenhoven, Reiner Jansen and
Thanks to Ted Snedeker for spotting these handmarks and passing the information on.