Friday, May 26, 2017

A Birthplace Quandry

I am hoping to have an update on the Bording [Bordingh] family ready to go for tomorrow. Preparations for that post have put me in a bit of a quandary - determining the birthplace of one Claes Claeszen Bordingh. Nearly every source presents a different locale for Claes' birth. Specific details will be presented in the Bording narrative.

The options:
(1) The Netherlands
(2) Danzig, Denmark
(3) Denmark
(4) Bording, Denmark
(5) Ravox [Ravaux or Roubaix, France / Ravnholt or Ravnholtlund, Demark]
(6) Bloemendaal, Noord Holland, The Netherlands 
(7) Danzig

(1) Claes clearly spent time in The Netherlands before settling in New Amsterdam during the 1640s, so a birth in that country would be a possibility. His mother was still living in Amsterdam in 1647. So, either Bording was a Dutch native, or his family had moved there during his youth.

(2) Danzig, Denmark. Danzig, now Gdansk, Poland, is not part of Denmark. That takes this one out of the competition, even though "Danzig, Denmark" is a popular birthplace among the undocumented sources.

(3) Denmark is a possibility for Claes' birth.

(4) Bording, Denmark. That Claes' surname could be a Danish place name makes sense.

(5) Ravox appears in the marriage record for Claes and Susanna. Researchers have turned up similarly spelled locations in France, as well as Danish towns beginning with "Rav."

(6) Bloemendaal appears in at least record as Claes' home. This would make him a Dutchman by birth. This could also have been where the Bordings settled after leaving 'wherever.'

(7) Danzig shows up as Claes' place of birth either separately or with "Denmark" with some frequency. The most intriguing source is the Half Moon Series: Papers on Historic New York. [1897] This source states that Danzig seems to be the place of Bordingh's origin. It goes on to mention that Bordingh is an occupational name meaning "lighterman" or "boatman" in the East Prussian dialect of the region. Bordingh was a mariner.

Now, where was Claes Bording born? We can rule out Danzig, Denmark, since that place never existed. Denmark is a possibility, as is The Netherlands and Danzig. Danzig was a major trading partner with The Netherlands. The Bordings may have had their origins in The Netherlands and Claes was born in Danzig or vice versa. Definite conclusion? Claes was not born in Danzig, Denmark!  

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