Saturday, October 11, 2008

Digging in the Putman Garden of Genealogy Mysteries

I had several hours to myself today and rather than mindlessly blog about some esoteric genealogy web site (well, I did write one post about GeneaNet - which is not esoteric) or go to the SDGS meeting, I reviewed information about my Putman line.

I found that I had not updated my genealogy database with more recent Putman information, so I decided to do that, based on the information gathered by my probable distant cousin, Mark R. Putman. Mark has a web site at on which he has the current Putman Family Bulletin, which includes some of his latest research and also his Y-DNA comparisons.

Mark has a page for Jan Pootman, the immigrant from Holland to the Albany/Schenectady area of New York in the 1600's, and separate pages for each of Jan and Cornelia (Bradt) Pootman's children. My own Putman line is from their son, David Putman. The information for this line is at

One of the things that Mark has done on all of his web pages is add information that seems to be pertinent to the Putman families he is discussing. He has gathered a lot of information about the associates of each of the Putman descendants and has put this data in his biographies. Unfortunately, while there is quite a bit of data available from original sources, there is often not enough data to satisfy the Genealogical Proof Standard concerning names of spouses, relationships to children, and localities that the families resided.

A good example is the wife of David Janse Putman - she is said to be Elizabeth Beekman (daughter of Henry Martinse Beekman) or Helena Van Gelder (daughter of Evert Hendrickse Van Gelder). Or both. Or perhaps neither. The circumstantial evidence, based on Dutch naming customs and a few land records, says that her first name was Helena. And they named a daughter Fyke, possibly after the wife of Evert Van Gelder, who transferred land to David and Helena Putman with her second husband, Mathias Van Horne. You can see the web growing denser. Perhaps Elizabeth Beekman was a second wife of David?

However, there are no records that either an Elizabeth Beekman or a Helena Van Gelder ever existed. The classical Beekman surname book does not mention an Elizabeth marrying a Putman, and the classical Van Gelder book does not mention a Helena of the right age. The databases for the Van Gelder family on Rootsweb WorldConnect (see here) do not show a Helena Van Gelder, although there is a 6-year break between 1684 and 1690 so that there might be another child of Evert Hendrickse and Fytje Adamse (Brouwer) Van Gelder.

Mark's web pages are an excellent example of a One-Name Study in work - and I really appreciate the effort that he has put into finding the information and posting it.

I enjoyed digging for information in Mark's Putman genealogy garden, although I am not convinced that Helena's maiden name was Van Gelder. I did add some of the spouses names and other data for later Putman generations to my own database. I also incorporated some of Mark's more recent findings into my Notes for my Putman ancestors, giving credit to Mark's family bulletin and web site as the source.

My work day ended too soon, since Linda and Lolo came home from Disney on Ice at 2 p.m. and we spent the evening transporting Lolo up to connect with her mother in Temecula, where we celebrated two of our impending birthdays. We had Lolo for three days here, and she was almost perfect for us (naps are a problem!). She was happy to be going home after her "vacation" week in Chula Vista while her mother was dealing with some physical problems.


Anonymous said...

This is Dutch genealogy - and it even says Johannes Pootman was born in Leiden.
This should be a walk in a local park. So, let's see...
A few queries on the "Digital Family Tree" (a misleading name, it is not lineage linked) of the Leiden Archive suggest that Putman is the most common spelling, but I could not find Jan Putman born abt 1645. The earliest electronic record for Putman is dated 1651.

The database includes, among other things
* Register of marriages of the Roman Catholic Church, 1642-1811,
* Register of marriages before city magistrates, 1592-1795
* Register of banns (Calvinistic Churches), 1575-1712

So you'd think he should be in there, but perhaps under a slightly different spelling.
I tried Pootman, Potman, Putman, Putmans, Put (automatically includes van der Put) and Puts. No luck.
By the way, it is tempting to assume that Putman is an anglisation of Pootman, but Putman is a Dutch name too.

I googled "Arent Andries Bradt" (note the i) and found that he was born about 1670 in Frederickstadt, Norway,
and married Catalijntje de Vos abt 1648 in Albany, and that Cornelia was born there. So no Leiden records for them.

Jan's ancestry is apparently a matter of debate.
One theory says that Jan's parents are Rutger Putman & Johanna van den Burgh. Rutger born in Goor and died in Delden.
If so, then from what can be found about other family members, it seems reasonable to assume that Johannes was born in Goor or Delden, not Leiden.

If he was born in Delden, the Leiden reference is incorrect, but explainable. A handwritten "Delden" could be misread as "Leiden", a Dutch town more Americans have heard of. It is easy read a to hastily written D as L and and small L as an I without a dot or a high-placed hurriedly written y.

So I suggest trying finding the original reference for the "Leyden" claim and see if it actually seems to say "Delden".

Anonymous said...

Some more info on Putman.

Sorry to say that the baptism records for Delden on 1647 Mar 20 - Gregorian Calendar.
From 1637 onwards, Rutger Putman was the pastor. He maintained these records until his dead in 1674. His son Paul succeeded.
Marieken Scholten-Sijses has more info, including transcriptions in PDF:

De "Vereeniging tot beoefening van Overijsselsch Regt en Geschiedenis" (VORG) founded in 1860, published "Het Overijselsche Geslacht Putman" by H. Kroonenberg in 1921. It is on pages 88 - 116 of the PDF "38e stuk - 1921":

It starts with Johannes Putman, the father of Rutger. Interesting is the remark that there exists a painted portrait of him and wife, which in 1917 was in the possession of a D. J. Gulden in Essen (Germany). Rutger and Johanna are buried in the church in Delden, and their grave bears his coat of arms.

This genealogy does not show a Johan born around 1645, it does show other children born in 1644 and 1645.
1. Paulus Putman, 10 Sep 1644
2. Johanna Putman, 9 Mar 1646
These dates are based on some research published earlier. It remains reasonable to assume Rutger named one his children after his own father. That earlier reseach may have missed someone who left no records because he moved away and emigrated.
The genealogy shows a Johannes Benjamin, son of Rutger's brother Abraham Putman. Some theorise that Abraham is the father of Johannes Putman. However, this genealogy shows that Johannes Benjamin he did not emigrate, but married, lived and died in the Netherlands.

All sources mentioned above are in Dutch.

Holly Timm said...

Well, unlike the first two comments, I can not really add to the generations but, I certainly did not expect to stumble over a cousin while poking around the blogs! I've not odne a great deal of work on this line but what I have done says that your Cornelia would be my 8th AND 9th great grand aunt through her sisters Aeffie who married Claas Van Patten and Ariantje who married Helmer Otten.

I've bookmarked Mark's page on the Putnam/Pootman family for further reference, thanks for the link and thanks for the blog Cuz!

Thomas MacEntee said...

I descend from Jan Putman who was killed in the Schenectady Massacre - he was my 9th great-grandfather.

Mark R. Putnam said...

This page is a very good analysis of the Pottman dilemma of recording and providing proof of the names of the David Pottman line of New Jersey and their spouses. In regards to the name Putman, I like to encourage people to research the German Rutger Putmanus family as I feel in the end information will show that the American Putman or Pootman family was not descended from Rutgerus Putmanus. Our name was originally recorded in Albany, NY, in 1661 as Pootman and Potman. David Pootman of New Jersey a descendant used the name Pottman. The names Pootman and Potman are in reality very different names then Putman. In Germany, the names Poet, Poth, Pootman, Potman, and Poetman are seen usually early on [1600's] south of the Lippe River in the Evangelistic Churches while Puttmann or Puttmann are seen north of the Lippe River and are associated with Catholic Churches. We all understand that the Johannes Pootman's family was Protestant or Evangelistic. Since the Rutgerus Putmanus family was from Hamm, Germany, which is on the Lippe River, they lived between these two regions. Perhaps, the early name of our family was van der Putte or Van der Poto. Both are seem near Dortmund, Germany, which is near Hamm. Possibly, one branch of this family went with Putman while the another branch went with the name Pote, Poto, or Poetman that turned into Pootman and Potman. However, I feel our name Pootman indicates that we were not the Puttmann's or Puettmann's that once lived north of the Lippe. In the end, Y-DNA tests will tell the truth, which should be encourage to be taken by males with these names in Germany and here in the states.