The Swaim Family of Indiana and Oklahoma

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Thys Barentsen

Thys66 Barentsen was one of the first settlers of Staten Island, New York, having immigrated from Leerdam, Holland to Staten Island, New York on August 6, 1661 with 21 other families. In fact, this group of people established the first settlement on Staten Island.

The May 9, 1661 Passenger List from the St. Jan (or Jean) Baptist lists “Tys Barentsz, from Leerdam, wife and three children, 15, 10 and 11/4 years old.”805 In the First Settlement of New York by the Dutch, he is listed as “Tys Barentsen”. The 15 year old is believed to be Barent (or Barnt). The ten year old is believed to be either Cornelius or Beleyte. These were children by Thys’ first wife Peterke Jans (b ~ Dec 1624). The youngest child is believed to be Anthony produced by Thys’ marriage in ~ 1659 to Scytie Cornelius who migrated with Thys to the colonies.

Perterke Jans was the daughter of Jan Aelberts and Belyetje Pieter806. Either she died or was divorced from Thys because he migrated to the colonies with his second wife, Scytie Cornelius (discussed later).

On August 22, 1661 nineteen67 men petitioned the Council of New Amsterdam to grant them land upon which to settle. This group included “Pierre Billiou, Thys Barentsen from Leerdam, Johannes Christofels, Govert Loocquermans, Walraven Luten, Gerrit Mannaat, Wynant Pieters, Gerrit Cornelissen, Teunis Cornelissen, Jan Jacobsen from Reenen, Claude Le Maitre, Harmen Bartels, Jan Claesen, Myndert Coerten, Paulus Dirck from Luxemburg, Ryck Hendricks, Jacob Salomans, Captain Andriaen Post and Andries Jemands”.

“Nineteen families of French, Belgian and Dutch nationalities, seeking religious freedom and economic opportunity, united to establish a new community on our shores. The leader of this group, Pierre Billiou, was a refugee. A French-speaking Protestant from Belgium (a group known as Walloons), Billiou arrived with his wife and four children the previous year on the ship St John the Baptist. He became the first sheriff and magistrate. Indeed, his house known as the Billiou-Stillwell-Perine house stands today at 1476 Richmond Road. Walraven Luten, Hans Chistofel, Thys Barentsen and David Desmarest joined him in building their homes in what became known as “Oude Dorp” or “Old Town” near present-day South Beach. The colonial government of New Netherland provided them with a garrison of six soldiers for protection. At Borough Hall today stands a mural depicting the arrival of Pierre Billiou and the other Huguenot (French Calvinist or Protestant) settlers.”807

Thys Barentsen was born around 1621. There is information from multiple sources indicating that Thys Barentsen’s father was Barent which is consistent with Dutch naming conventions since ‘Barentsen’ means “son of Barent”. Barent would have been born around 160168 in Holland. Thys’ mother was reportedly named Sibilla by some accounts.

There is also information that claims that the grandfather of Thys Barentsen was Barent Van Rottmer, born ~ 1568 in Altenbruch, Hanover, Germany. Barent Van Rottmer married Gessel Geesje Barents, born ~ 1578 in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. 808 Barent and Gessel Van Rottmer had two children including Annetje Barentse Van Rottmer and Barent Barentsen. This Barent Barentsen, so it is suggested, may have been Thys Barentsen’s father. Barent’s sister Annetje Barents married American immigrant Albert Andriessen Bradt who was from Norway.

(Albert Andriessen Bradt) came from Fredrikstad, a town at the mouth of the Glommen, the largest river in Norway. In the early records he is often called Albert de Noorman (the Norwegian). After 1670 he became known as Albert Andriesz Bradt.809

Albert Andriessen Bradt was a tobacco planter and his family genealogy is well documented. One problem with this theory, however, is that this Barent Barentsen, Annetje’s brother, had as many as three separate wives but none of them were named Sibilla and Sibilla has been consistently named as Thys Barentsen’s mother in many accounts. Another problem is the birth of this Barent in 1610 by many accounts which would have made him too young to have been the father of Thys Barentsen. The account that claims this Barent to be the father of Thys Barentsen also lists Barent’s birth as 1601 which if true would make him a candidate for being Thys’ father. That same information, however, also uses the Van Pelt surname in same of the family genealogy which makes this information suspect since the DNA evidence ruled out the Swaim / Van Pelt connection.

So while I am not convinced of the Van Rottmer / Thys Barentsen connection I am including the information in case others are able to use it in any way.

“Barent Van Rottmer was born in Altenbruch, Hannover, Prussia, Germany (along the coast, west of Denmark) or in Otterndorf, which is about five miles from Altenbruch in about 1580 (another source says 1590-1595). His son was a worker in the silk industry; perhaps he did the same work, as either a weaver or dyer. Barent Van Rottmer married about 1605 in Altenbruch, Germany, where his daughter Annetje was born a few years later. He died in Amsterdam, and his daughter was married there, so we can conjecture that he and his family had moved to the Netherlands sometime, perhaps for business purposes. Remember that in the early-mid 1600's, Amsterdam was the New York of its day – the center of international trade, a socially tolerant society which was all about money, and people from all over Europe went there for business opportunities. Barent died before 1632, leaving (his wife) Gessel a widow”.810
Barent Van Rottmer’s daughter Annetje immigrated to New Amsterdam in 1637 with her husband Albert Andriessen Bradt while her brother Barent stayed behind in Holland. The following describes Annetje’s voyage to America

“As Andriessen (Bradt) was twenty-nine years of age when he made the agreement [editor – tobacco agreement] with Kiliaen Van Rensselaer, he must have been born about 1607. Pursuant to the stipulation in the agreement, he sailed, accompanied by his wife, Annetje Barents of "Rolmers," and as it would seem by two children, October 8, 1636, on the "Rensselaerswyck," which arrived at New Amsterdam March 4, 1637. On this voyage, which was very stormy, his wife gave birth to a son, who received the name of Storm and who in later records is frequently called Storm from the Sea.811

It also turns out there was another Tys Barentsen who immigrated from Holland to America in 1637. He made the same voyage with Annetje on the ship Rensselaerswyck. He is listed as “Tys Barentsen Schoonmaker van Edam”. In some passenger lists Tys Barentsen, Annetje Barents and Andriessen Brandt are listed one after the other. In other passenger lists they are not listed together. I am not sure if there is a connection between them or not. The Bradt family information is quite extensive but does not mention this specific connection.

There are papers relating to this Tys Barentsen having debt problems. So … there were two Thys Barentsens who emigrated from Holland to New York – one in 1637 and one in 1661. There is no established information that I know of that links the Swaim descendents to this earlier Thys Barentsen or links these two Thys Barentsens together as belonging to the same family.

Now I will return to listing what is known about Thys Barentsen who immigrated in 1661. As stated in the book, Staten Island and its people: a history, 1609-1929,

“… We now come to August, 1661, when the Director had abandoned the Patroon system and was prepared to listen to an application from nineteen settlers, described as Dutch and French from the Palatinate, though some of them had been in New Netherlands, for permission to establish what proved to be the first permanent settlement on Staten Island. These men were Pierre Billiou, a Walloon, who had arrived in August in the “St. Jean Baptist,” and who was destined to play an important part in our history; Thys Barentsen, Johannes Christofels, Govert Loocquermans, Walraven Luten, Gerrit Mannaat, Wynant Pieters, Gerrit and Teunis Cornelissen, Jan Jocobsen, Claude Le Maitre … The location chosen for the new settlement was near the present Arrochar and, as pointed out by Mr. Edward C. Delavan, Jr., is still marked by a rectangular bend in the Old Town Road near St. Mary’s Cemetery. Danger from Indian attacks was imminent… To this settlement in later years the name Oude Dorp, meaning Old Town, was applied by the Dutch to distinguish it from New Dorp, a new which still persists.”….Thus Barentsen was the progenitor of the Tysen family …812

An excerpt from the book, Pre-Revolutionary Dutch Houses and families in northern New Jersey and southern New York states

“House of Barnet Tysen, Richmond Avenue, south of New Springville … This house is erroneously stated to have been built in 1680 by Barne Tysen; it does indeed stand on a grant of land to him, but the house itself belongs to a much later period and was probably built by his grandson Barnt Tysen. The ancestor of the Tysen and Swaim families was Thys Barentsen, who emigrated from Leerdam with his wife and three children on the St. John the Baptist in 1661. He was one of those who formed the first settlement on Staten Island, at Old Dorp in 1661 and was a schepen here in 1673. He was recorded as 60 years of age in 1681 and probably died in that year leaving a widow Scytie…”

Thys Barentsen applied for land on Staten Island on 22 Aug 1661.813

Joe Mullane, Lloyd Swaim and Marjorie Johnson, authors of the Swaim-Tysen Family book, believe all Swaim’s in America descend from Thys Barentsen. I corresponded with Joe Mullane before he passed away and have seen some of their documentation. Joe Mullane’s research papers were placed with the Staten Island Historical Society.

The evidence to connect Anthony Swaim and Thys Barentsen is based on several key pieces of evidence:

      • Anthony’s name in his baptism read: “Antoni Tysen bap 16 Sep 1659 son of Tys Barentsen and Sytje Cornelise”

      • There are numerous records which show Anthony using variations of the Tysen surname including Tice, Tyse, Tyce, Tysson, Tyssen, Tysen.

      • The 1716 Land Patent lists Anthony’s name as “Anthony Swaim alias Anthony Tyce

The 1716 Land Patent is probably one of the most powerful pieces of evidence to establish the direct linkage between the Swaim surname and Thys Barentsen.

Thys Barentsen (b ~1621814, d ~ 2 Dec 1682815) and Peterke Jans had at least the following children:

  1. Barent (b ~ Dec 1644). Leerdam, Holland baptismal records list him as “Barent Tysen baptized Dec 1644 son of Tys Barentsen”. He is listed in the 1706 Census of Staten Island as “Barnt Swam” and listed as 60 years old. This seems to correlate to the 15 year old listed with Thys Barentsen on the passenger list of the 1661 migration.

    There are references to Barent as Barne Tisen (1676 survey), Barne Tyesen (1677 land patent), Barne Tison (1677 land patent), Barn Tiss (cattle mark record), Barent Tyse (1701 church record), Barnt Swame (1703 land deed), Barent Tison (1712 land deed), Barne Swaime (1713 land deed), Barent Tyssen alias Sweem69 (1717 land deed), Barent Swame (1719 testamentary deed), Barent Tysen alias Swaim (Richmond County, NY Wills A:383, May, 25, 1796) .816 The use of the term “alias Sweem” and “alias Swaim” provide some linkage between the first generation settlers’ names and the assumed name, Swaim.

  2. Belytje (b ~1650817). It is believed she married Willem Janse Losercht, son of Jan Willemszen Van der Loosdrecht, and that Beleyte and Willem came over from Holland on the same journey with Thys Barentsen. Beleyte and Willem settled in the Communipaw area near Bergen, New Jersey. Willem operated the Communipaw to Manhattan ferry for eight years until June, 1669.818

    In addition, Leerdam, Holland baptismal records list the following baptisms with a mother’s name of Peterke Jans: Sibilla (bap Aug 1647), Belytje (bap Aug 1647 twin), Belytje (bap June 1649), Belytje (bap July 1650), Peterke (bap 15 Mar 1653 presumed died young). 819 Based on the names, it would appear that either some of these children died after childbirth or there were more than one Peterke Jans. Probably the former but I’m not sure.

The children of Thys Barentsen (b ~1621820, d ~ 2 Dec 1682) and Scytie Cornelius include

  1. Anthony (b ~ 16 Sep 1659, d ~1719) married Neeltje Jansz. Leerdam, Holland baptismal records list him as

    “Antoni Tysen bap 16 Sep 1659 son of Tys Barentsen and Sytje Cornelise”.

    Some of the names and aliases listed for Anthony include821





Anthony Tyre

1 Dec 1680

Land application

80 acres Staten Island South Side

Anthony Tyce

24 Dec 1680

Land survey

88 acres Staten Island South Side

Anthony Tice

30 Dec 1680

Land patent

80 acres Staten Island South Side adjoining William Darvall

Anthony Tyse


Land deed

130 acres from Daniel Sotwell

Anthony Tyson



chosen Supervisor of the West Division

Anthony Tysson

23 Apr 1702

Land Grant

27 acres meadow in Richmond County

Anthony Tyssen

23 Apr 1702

Land Patent


Anthony Tysen



Listed as Supervisor, West Division

Antony Swam



Listed as 49 years old

Anthony Swame


Land Deed

Johannes Swaim – 8.5 acres Karles Neck, Richmond County) and his mark placed by name “Anthony Sweem” – witnessed by Jan and John Du Puy.

Anthony Tyce



Chosen Assessor of West Precinct

Anthony Sweem


Militia Record

Militia of Richmond County under Capt. James Pollion include among the privates: Anthony, Matthies and Johannes Sweem

Anthony Swaim alias Anthony Tyce

16 Sep 1716

Land Patent

80 acres from Barnewall & Dongan

Anthony Sweem



“ … leave to beloved wife Neeltje … to my three sons: Johanis, Matthysz and Jacobus and Cornelius if not deceased …my five daughters: Elizabeth, Mary, Hannah, Rachel and Leah …”

Table 6 Names and aliases of Anthony Swaim

These records trace evolution (and perhaps some confusion) in Anthony’s surname from a Tyse/Tysen/Tyson type surname to Swame/Sweem/Swaim. The 1716 land patent records a rare direct linkage between the Tyce and Swaim surname: “Anthony Swaim alias Anthony Tyce”.

Anthony calls himself Anthony Sweem in his Will from June 16, 1719

”Charlotte Megill Hix C.G.R.S, Staten Island Wills & Letters of Administration, Richmond Co., NY 1670-1800 (Hertiage Books, Inc), p 65. "In the name of God Amen, June 16, 1719. I, Anthony Sweem, of the County of Richmond, being sick. I leave to my eldest son, Johanes, Ð5, in full of any pretence as heir at law. I leave all the rest of my estate, real and personal, to my wife, Nealtie, during her life or widowhood. I leave to my daughter Elizabeth, Mary, Hannah, Rachael and Leah, Ð30. To my grandson Thomas Willmoth, Ð25. I leave all the rest of my estate to my sons Johanes, Mathyas and Jacobus. If my son Cornelius is not deceased, and should ever return to this place, he shall share with the rest. I appoint Colonel Thomas Farmer, and Dr. Johnson, of New York, and Goesen Adrianse, of Richmond County, executors. Witnesses, Abraham Egbertsen, Obadiah Vinter, John Dupuis. Proved March 10, 1719/20, Liber 9:150, WNYHS II:212."822.

  1. Cornelius (b ~ 10 Aug 1661823). Cornelius was supposedly the first “Swaim” child to be born in America having been baptized on August 10, 1661 based on baptism records of the Dutch Church of New Amsterdam.824 Cornelius married Maria Smack.

    In an 80 acre land patent granted in 1686, he was referred to Cornelius Tisen. He was referred to as “Cornelos Tyse” in a 1703 cattle earmark record.

  2. Elizabeth (b ~1665, d ~1692) married John De Puy

  3. Johannes (b ~1675).825 Johannes married Jannetje LaForge.

  4. Willem (b ~1677) married Mary Larzelere (or Lazeler).
    [Further details included in previous chapter].

The evidence for Thys Barentsen’s descendants assuming the Swaim surname appears to have occurred over time with various surnames and aliases reflected in baptism, land and census records.

One of the earliest references to the Swaim surname is a 1703 land deed from John Depuy to Mattise Swaim that bordered property owned by Barnt Swame70.

“1703, June 10 – John Depuy and his wife Peternell (Swaim) deeded to Mattise Swaim of Staten Island, land at Carles Neck at the Fresh Kill on the rear of said Depuy’s land and running with the line of Barnt Swames land southeast 142 rods, 20 acres of upland plus 2 ½ acres of salt meadow front to said land of Gov. Andros’ patent 1677 (RCD B:498)”826.

Anthony Swaim (b ~1659), son of Thys, shows up in the 1706 New York Census as “Antony Swam”71 and listed as 49 years old. He is also listed as a witness, “Anthony Thysz Sweem” in a 1719 baptism of Anthony Sweem, son of Matthys and Catharina Sweem.827

Barent’s grandson is shown as Barent Tyce in a list of Staten Island people who participated in the 1711 Expedition, French and Indian War.

Another connection of Thys Barentsen’s descendents to the Swaim name is contained in the will of John Tyson, son of Barent (Barnt) Tysen, the first son of Thys Barentsen.

“he left to his son Jacob all his land and salt meadow … and all the lands which he (the testator) heired of his “father Barnt Tysen, alias Swaim” at Karle’s Neck.”828

This use of aliases indicates the family name was evolving and provides hard evidence a connection between the Tysen/Tyce and Swaim family surnames. These aliases offer some of the best evidence from what I can see that identify Thys Barentsen as a likely ancestor of the Swaim family.

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