Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Prall Update: Gen-3: Pieter Prall

Third Generation

1.  Pieter Prall115 was born on 5 May 1672 in Kingston, Ulster Co., New York.16 He was baptized on 8 May 1672 in Reformed Dutch Church, New York, New York.17 Between 1696 and 1748 he was a Planter in Staten Island, Richmond Co., New York.3 Pieter signed a will on 8 Jan 1742/3 in Staten Island, Richmond Co., New York.18 He died on 27 Oct 1748 at the age of 76 in Staten Island, Richmond Co., New York.19 He had his estate probated on 25 Nov 1748 in Staten Island, Richmond Co., New York.18 Will proven, executors sons Peter and Abraham Prall. Pieter Prall was the eldest child born to Marie Billiou and Arent Jansen Prall on 5 May 1672, probably in Kingston. Pieter was baptized on 8 May at the Dutch Church in New York, or elsewhere by the minister, who later recorded it in the church records.  He is listed as Pieter Jansen in the LDS IGI. His sister, Maria, was listed as Maria Jansen Praal in the same source for 1674. [It would appear from this that Arent Jansen Prall adopted the family surname about the time of Maria's birth.]
Pieter's father acquired land on Staten Island at Long Neck about 1675, and it was here that the family was reared. Marie Prall died before 1699, when her father, Pierre Billiou, wrote his will and referred to the children of his daughter 'Maria', deceased.

Pieter married Maria Christopher probably between 1693 and 1695. Maria was the daughter of Hans Christoffels and Tryntje Barents.

On 12 December 1697 a deed was made by "Aron Prall" of Richmond Co. unto "Peter Praull" in consideration of love and affection for his son, for 40 acres bounding southwest to the land of said Aron Prall, northeast to the commons, according to the patent with 5 acres of meadows, buildings, etc., which 40 acres is part of the portion the said Peter should receive at the death of said Aron Praull. [Rich. Co. Deed Book B:604]

This is most likely the land that was described as Peter's homestead at Morning Star. The land eventually went to Abraham, as most of Peter's sons migrated to the 750 acres that Peter later purchased in Hunterdon County, New Jersey.

On 30 December 1701 Peter was listed with his father, Arent Prall, as a prominent freeholder on the Petition of Grievances to King William III.

In 1702 Pieter was listed as one of the Assessors on Staten Island.

On 30 October 1702 Pieter was named administrator of Wolfert Prall's estate. "Whereas Wolfert Prall, late of Richmond, planter, died intestate, his nephew Peter Prall, his heir-at-law; is appointed administrator."

Although the term "nephew" did not necessarily apply to a brother's son in the 1700s, it is believed by Kenn Stryker-Rodda and other early Prall researchers that Wolfert was indeed the brother of Arent Prall. Both were in Esopus/Kingston in 1663 and both appeared on Staten Island about 1675.
Pieter appeared on the 1706/7 Staten Island Census as a yeoman aged 34, thus confirming his year of birth, 1672.
Mary and brother Hans witnessed the baptism of Catharyna, daughter of Barent Christoffelson, on 23 April 1706.

On 17 October 1708 Pieter and Maria were godparents to Daniel Billiou, son of Isaac.

In 1710, Maria and her brother Hans Christoffel were godparents to Hans Simonzen, son of Aert.

The Pralls were witnesses at the baptism of Christina, daughter of Johannes VanCampen on 17 April 1711. (This was the last record located to referring to Maria Christopher Prall.)

On 11 November 1711, Peter Prall, yeoman of Staten Island, purchased
  a lot in Elizabethtown, Essex Co., New Jersey, from Andrew Hamilton. The lot was sold to son-in-law, Lambert DeCamp and Joseph Rolpth for £60 on 18 August. 1740. [East Jersey Deeds: F2: 503-505]
Pieter Prall married for the second time by April 1713 to
  Aaeltje [Althea, Alida] Gerrits/Gerritsen. Aaeltje was the sister of Cornelius Garrison. Cornelius's estate named his sisters, Alkie Prall and Elizabeth Britton as well as his children John and Elizabeth Gerritsen.
Exactly when Aaeltje died is not known. Pieter did marry a third time, as he named his wife, Elizabeth in his will in January 1742/3.

Peter Praulle and Althea, his wife, conveyed unto Jon Carshoone [Crocheron] for 40 acres of land on the northwest side of Staten Island, adjoining Aaron Praul, Anthony Tysen and others on 13 April 1713. [Rich. Co. Deed Book B:606]

On 14 December 1714 Peter Prall deeded to Johannes Sweam 20 acres for 48 pounds at Karle's Neck, 1/4 of 80 acres conveyed by patent to Wolfert Prall, 26 September. 1677, 1/4 of the salt meadow. Recorded 30 July 1723.

Peter Prall, on 25 May 1716, purchased 750 acres of land west of Reaville, in Hunterdon Co.,
  New Jersey from Thomas Stevenson and wife Sarah of Bensalem Twp., Bucks Co., Pennsylvania. The land was acquired for 5 schillings and a peppercorn.* The price was so cheap because land developers were trying to induce buyers and settlers into West Jersey. Sons, Johannes and Peter acquired 200 acres of the land on 11 Nov. 1741. [West Jersey Deeds: K:294]
This land acquisition set up the migration of several of Peter's sons to Hunterdon County and points west. Johannes settled in Bucks Co., Pennsylvania. By the mid-1730s, Cornelius, Peter and Aaron were calling Jersey their home.

On 11 Nov. 1719, Peter and Aaeltje witnessed the baptism of Johannes's daughter Aeltje.

Sometime in the early 1720s, Pieter and Aaeltje became guardians of Alida Prall, the daughter of son, Aaron and his first wife [name unknown]. Aaron apparently left his infant daughter in the care of his father while he tended to his business [Aaron was probably a merchant or trader] and pioneered his share of the Prall land in Jersey with his second wife, Marytjen Whittaker, and their family.

There is some current confusion as to Alida's identity. Stillwell and other sources identify the Aaeltje Prall who married David Cannon in 1749 as Johannes's daughter. However, Johannes and family lived in Pennsylvania, so it was unlikely that Alida would return to Staten Island to marry at age 30. The Prall Manuscript held at the New York Historical Society has a note by William Prall "I think Aron is a mistake for Johannis" above the reference to Alida in Pieter's will. If this Alida is the daughter of Aaron, she would have been with her grandfather on Staten Island at the time of his death in 1748. This would make more sense than a trip from Pennsylvania. Alida and David Cannon named one of their sons Arent. None were named Johannes. This would also support the theory that Alida's father was Aaron.
Pieter Prall died on, or about, 27 October 1748, a resident of Staten Island, New York.
Will of Peter Praal [1672-1748]: Written 8 January 1742/3, probated 25 November 1748 [Book 16:364-365]

In the name of God Amen I Peter Praal of the County of Richmond, yeoman being at present in good health and perfect mind and memory thanks be to Almighty God therefore, but being far advanced in years and well knowing it is appointed for all men once to die but nothing more uncertain than the time when we shall be called upon to quit this World and being therefore desirous to settle my worldly affairs before I am called hence, do make and appoint this my last Will and Testament in manner and form following First I recommend my Immortal Soul into the hands of Almighty God who gave it nothing doubting but it will again be united to my Body at the General Ressurrection of the dead and then shall be received into eternal Glory through the Sole merrits of Christ Jesus my ever blessed Saviour and Redeemer and as touching the worldly Substance wherewith God in His mercy has been pleased to bless me in life I devise dispose of and bequeath the same in manner following to witt First having already by deeds Settled and provided for my Sons Johannes Aaron Peter and Cornelius my intent and desire is they shall enjoy none of my present Estate excepting only to Johannes as my Eldest Son I bequeath the Negro named Harrah now in his Possession and at my decease my large Dutch Bible I give and devise unto my Son Isaac all that plantation with the Appurtances and Hereditaments which I bought of John Crocheron and David Congar in Woodbridge and whereon the said Isaac now dwells to have and to hold the said plantation and premises to him my said Son Isaac his heirs and Assigns forever Item I give and devise in like manner unto my Son Abraham all my lands and Meadows on Staten Island with the Hereditaments and Appurtances, to have and to hold the said plantation and premises to him my said Son Abraham his heirs and Assigns forever he paying therefore five hundred pounds within Five Years after my decease and as I shall herein after direct. Item I bequeath unto my Well beloved Wife Elizabeth two hundred pounds in lieu of her Dowery it being a joint agreement before Marriage a Room in my house or some other small dwelling house on my land pasture for a Cow, liberty to cut firewood so long as She remains my Widdow the two Hundred Pounds to be paid my said Wife in Six Months after my decease Item I bequeath unto my Granddaughter Alida Daughter of my Son Aaron, the sum of Fifty pounds to be paid unto her eighteen Months after my decease my will and desire is that my Son Abraham do pay the remaining two hundred and Fifty pounds equally amongst his Brothers and Sisters to witt Johannes Aaron Peter Isaac Catherine and Anne as his Ability may admitt within the afores'd time of Five Years Item I will desire and request is that my Negro Man Tom after my decease be Manumised and his freedom given him by my Executors and if any Security be required according to the laws of the province of New York that my two Sons Abraham and Isaac do become his Security Item my will is that all my wearing Apparel be equally divided amongst my Sons Item I will and bequeath that all my moveable Estate except what is herein before bequeathed and except the Negro tom af.'d [after my lawfull debts paid if any there be] shall be equally divided amongst all my Children to witt Johannes Aaron Peter Abraham Isaac Mary Catherine and Ann and if any of them be dead at the time of my decease that then and in such case each parente share or moiety [so deceased] shall equally be divided amongst his Children in Gen'l and if too Young to Act for themselves their Exec'r and nearest friends be allowed to Act for them Item my will and request is that a Vendue be made of my moveable Estate by my Children only to the highest bidder and I earnestly recommended to them amicably to agree together as Brethern and friends

Lastly I make declare and appoint my two Sons Peter and Abraham as Execu's of this my last Will and Testament hereby revoking all former or other Wills or Testaments heretofore by me made and declaring this only to be my last Will In Testimony whereof I have here unto set my hand and Seal this eighth day of January in the year of our Lord Christ 1742/3.
    his                                                                  PETER pp PRAAL  mark Signed Sealed published pronounced and declared by the Testator as his last Will and Testam't in presence of us Peter Vanname, Mary Wright, Andrew Wright

There is a question as to the number of children born to Pieter and Maria [Christopher] Prall. Using Pieter's will as the primary source we have the following: Pieter mentions having provided for sons Johannes, Aaron, Peter, and Cornelius. He makes bequests to additional sons Isaac and Abraham. Daughters Catherine and Anne are also mentioned with Johannes, Aaron, Peter, and Isaac in receiving 50 pounds from son Abraham. The final list of children names Johannes, Aaron, Peter, Abraham, Isaac, Mary, Catherine, and Ann - without benefit of commas between the names.

Cornelius preceded his father in death [1733], thus is not named elsewhere in the will. All of the other children are named at least twice, except Mary. The NYHS Prall Manuscript had a line drawn under the names Mary and Catherine, possibly suggesting that the researcher, William Prall, thought they were one person. William Heidgerd in his DuBois work also names Catherine, but not Mary. Richard Prall includes Catherine in his book on the Prall family and also discusses the fact that the names Catherine AND Mary appear on the 1706/7 Staten Island Census. That would suggest two different individuals, both born prior to 1706. [Perhaps the person writing Pieter's will left Mary out of the first list.] Both Heidgerd and R. Prall give a "c. 1708" birth for Catherine, which cannot be the case as she was a child in 1706.

Almost no information has been located on Mary or Catherine. A handful of entries on Ancestry.com and Finalization.org give a man named Daniel Laine as Catherine's husband [undocumented beyond WFT (World Family Tree)]; but one of those entries also names Daniel Larue as Catherine's spouse. Larue married Catherine's sister, Anne. Gene Baker also named Daniel Laine as Catherine's husband in his database [undocumented]. Larue could easily be misread as Laine, bringing Daniel Laine into question.

Pieter appears to have named his sons in birth order: Johannes [eldest], Aaron [bp. 1698], Peter [bp. 1700], Cornelius, Abraham [bp. 1706], and Isaac [bp. 1710]. Of the girls, only Anne has a baptismal date - 1707. If Pieter listed the girls in birth order, then Mary was the eldest and Catherine the middle daughter. Both would have been born prior to 1706 since they were named on the census. Whether Johannes was the eldest child would then become the question.

There is also a daughter Irene listed by Heidgerd and R. Pall. A birth date of 11 April 1711 is given in
The Prall Family, but no source is cited. Heidgerd's transcript of Pieter's will names Irene where Isaac's name appears in the full list of surviving children in the actual will. It is assumed that Irene died young.
Adding to the confusion is the fact that no marriage date for Pieter and Maria has been located; nor has her birth record. That they were married about 1693 is an educated guess.

Until documentation can be located refuting the theories presented above, the following birth order will be presented for the issue of Pieter Prall and Maria Christopher: Johannes, Mary, Aaron, Peter, Catherine, Cornelius, Abraham, Anne, Isaac, and Irene.]

*this was a nominal rent intended to demonstrate that a property was a leasehold and not a freehold.

Pieter Prall and Aletje Gerrits\Gerritsen were married about 1713 in Staten Island, Richmond Co., New York.13,20 Aletje Gerrits\Gerritsen, daughter of Jan\John Gerrits\Gerritsen and Elisabeth Gysbert, was born about 1685 in Staten Island, Richmond Co., New York.21 She died before 8 Jan 1742/3 at the age of 58 in Staten Island, Richmond Co., New York.22 She was also known as Aletje Prall.20

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