Dutch/French Ancestors, Plus a Distant Relation to FDR (Provost, Ten Waert, Vigne & Roos Families)

David Provost (1608-1657) & Margaret Ten Waert (1608-1703) – arrived 1624 & 1634 

Maria Vigne (1610-1671) and Jan Roos (1610-1632)- arrived 1624 

We know that our ancestors in the Scofield family most likely originated near Normandy and came to England in the 11th Century, eventually coming to America in the 1600’s.  However, we have other Dutch and French ancestors that came to America in the colonial period directly from Holland.

Painting of St. Bartholomew Massacre
François Dubois

The Provost/ Provoost/Prevot family were Huguenots, French protestants who originally fled France to escape religious persecution, first to Holland and then America.  William Provoost (Prevot) (my 11th gr gf)  is documented as living in Paris in 1572 at the time of the St. Bartholomew Massacre, which targeted the Huguenots.   William fled to Amsterdam, where he soon married a french woman, also a fugitive, and had 5 sons.  The eldest son, Johannes, married a dutch woman, Jannetie Eerdewijns, and had 3 sons.

The youngest son of Johannes & Jannetie, David (1608-1657), came to New Amsterdam (New York) in 1624.  He returned to Holland to marry Margaret Gillis TenWaert (1608-1703), daughter of Gillis Tenwaert and Barbara Schut.  Gillis TenWaert was a prominent and wealthy Holland merchant.  

David & Margaret (my 9th gr grandparents) returned to New Netherlands in 1634 to begin their American life and family.  David Provost, was granted land in 1639 on Pearl street, near Fulton (in today’s Manhattan). He was a lawyer, serving as attorney General in the Brooklyn courts.  He was also a Captain in the military and was put in charge of Fort Good Hope from 1642 -1647, at Hartford, Conn., “to resist the aggressions of the English.” After which he returned to New Amsterdam, and taught school for a time. He died in January, 1656.  

David Provoost (b. 1642), ca. 1700-1710
Attributed to: Gerrit Duyckinck, 
Oil on wood panel: 30 x 25 in.

  David & Margaret had 10 children born from 1639 to 1656.  Their third son, David Provost (1642- ) served as mayor of NYC from 1698-1699. The fourth son of David & Margaret, Elias Provost (1646-1686) married Cornelia Roos (1655-1701) in New Amsterdam in 1672. Their son, Johannes Provost (1676- ) married Sarah Bailey (1677-).  The son of Johannes & Sarah, John Provost (1707 – ) married Elizabeth (unknown).  

  Samuel Provost (1740-1815), son of John & Elizabeth, was born in Stamford CT about 1740 and married Sarah Bishop (1746-1791).  Samuel fought in the Revolutionary war in the Connecticut Continental troops.  Samuel & Sarah had a son, John Provost (1767-1853) who married Mary Waterbury (1771-1842). Their daughter, Betsey Ann (Provost) (1807-1856) married Seth Seeley (1806-1880).

Much of the Provost family history is documented in the book titled,  Biological and Geneological notes of Provost Family by Andrew Provost.

William Provoost (1544-1607) – Johannes Provoost (1576-  ) – David Provost (1608-1657) – Elias Provost (1646-1686) – Johannes Provost (1676 – ) – John Provost (1707 –  ) – Samuel Provost (1740-1843) – John Provost (1767-1853) – Betsey Ann (Provost) Seely (1807-1856) – Emily (Seely) Scofield (1843-1927) –  Harry Francis Scofield (1870-1956)- Beatrice P. (Scofield) Syska (1906-1945)

Gillis Tenwaert (1578-  ) – Margaret Gillis (TenWaert) Provost (1608-1703) – Elias Provost (1646-1686) – Johannes Provost (1676 – ) – John Provost (1707 –  ) – Samuel Provost (1740-1843) – John Provost (1767-1853) – Betsey Ann (Provost) Seely (1807-1856) – Emily (Seely) Scofield (1843-1927) –  Harry Francis Scofield (1870-1956)- Beatrice P. (Scofield) Syska (1906-1945)


Vrouwenkerkhof square in Leiden with the remains of the church attended by both the Mayflower Pilgrims and  the first New Netherlands settlers.                    **The Walloons were French-speaking Dutch from the Valenciennes & Hainault area  (Belgium).

Maria Vigne, was born about 1610 in Valenciennes, Nord, France, the daughter of   Guillaume ‘Ghislain’ Vigne and Ariaentje ‘Adriene’ Cuvellier. The Vignes of Valenciennes were living in Leyden, Holland in 1618, recorded as members at the Walloon Church* in October 1618. Baptismal records of the Church indicate four more children were born at Leyden but only one of those survived.

Guillaume and Adriene Vigne (my 11th gr grandparents), with their three daughters (Christina, Maria and Rachel) are believed to have sailed to New Netherland in April 1624 (possibly on de Eendracht–Unity or the Nieuw Nederlandt), with the first thirty Walloon* families who agreed to settle there on behalf of the Dutch West India Company. Their son Jan was the first male born of European parents in New Netherland.  The Vignes established a farm on the East River, north of current-day Wall Street. Guillaume died about 1632 and his widow inherited his estate. About this time, she also moved to a large house on the east side of current-day Broadway, where she lived with all of her children (including the families of her two eldest).

Maria Vigne married Jan Roos in about 1631

  • Jan Roos (1610-1632) was born in Haarlem, North Holland, Netherland around 1610.  He probably came to New Netherlands with the first group of dutch settlers in 1624 or soon after, possibly with his parents.  However, there is no record of who his parents were or when they arrived in the new world.  Jan married Maria Vigne (1610-1671) by 1631 and they had one child born in 1632 just before Jan Roos died in an indian attack also in 1632. 

 After Jan was killed, Maria married second,  Abraham Ver Planck.  He and Maria lived at the Vigne household (in manhattan east of Broadway) until her mother, Adrienne, married her 2nd husband Jan Damen. They then bought land across the Hudson at Paulus Hook [now Jersey City] where they had a farm and two cows, and leased four acres to tobacco planters.  The 1643 Indian war forced Maria and Abraham to seek safety at the Fort at Manhattan. The family continued to own the land at Paulus Hook until 1699, but probably never lived there again. They bought a lot in 1649, near Pearl Street and Maiden Lane, where they built a new home. In 1664, when the English fleet showed up on the Hudson River, Abraham was one of the signers of the petition requesting that Peter Stuyvesant surrender. A fight with the English would have destroyed New Amsterdam.

The only son of Jan & Maria (Vigne) Roos, Gerrit Jansen Roos (1632-1698), my 9th gr grandfather,  is also the 6th great grandfather of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.  To answer the next obvious question, I suppose that does make us distant cousins, along with quite a few other people, although sorting it out made my head throb.  But, since I know you’re counting on me, I gave it a try.  My great grandfather, Harry F. Scofield (1870-1956), was FDR’s 7th cousin which makes me a 7th cousin three times removed… I think. 

Gerrit, who had no idea one of his descendants would become President, went on with is life and married Aeltje Lamberts Wolf (1631-1659) in 1651.  He was employed as a carpenter & was a member of the Dutch Church.  Gerrit & Aeltje’s daughter, Cornelia Roos (1655-1701) married Elias Provost – see above for Provost family history.

Maria (Vigne) Roos VerPlank (1610-1671) – Gerrit Jansen Roos (1632-1698) – Cornelia (Roos) Provost (1655-1701) – Johannes Provost (1676 – ) – John Provost (1707 –  ) – Samuel Provost (1740-1843) – John Provost (1767-1853) – Betsey Ann (Provost) Seely (1807-1856) – Emily (Seely) Scofield (1843-1927) –  Harry Francis Scofield (1870-1956)- Beatrice P. (Scofield) Syska (1906-1945)



The New Netherlands  territories extended from the Delmarva Peninsula to Cape Cod,  now part of  New York, New Jersey, Delaware, and Connecticut, with small outposts in Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. The inhabitants, not necessarily Dutch, included all Europeans who lived there (such as French Huguenots, Scandinavians and Germans) as well as Africans, Indo-Caribbeans, South Americans and Native Americans.  The legacy of New Netherlands included secular broad mindedness and mercantile pragmatism profoundly influencing the future of the United States.

In 1609 Henry Hudson, hired by the Dutch East India Company in Amsterdam to find a Northeast Passage to Asia by sailing around Scandinavia & Russia, was thwarted by the Artic ice and attempted to sail west instead, landing first in New foundland and Cape Cod.  Hudson continued to look for passage to the Pacific Ocean, sailing down the St. Lawrence River and back up the mid atlantic coast into the narrows and up the river that would be named after him to Albany.  When Hudson returned to Amsterdam and reported his findings, additional expeditions were sent and the settlement of New Netherlands as a business Venture began. In 1624 New Netherlands became a province of the Dutch Republic.   In 1626, the director of New Netherlands chose the Island of Manhattan as its Capitol and traded goods with the natives to purchase the land.  Fort Amsterdam was built and the settlements around the Fort became known as the Manhattoes (New York Harbor).

The Dutch West India Co. established the reformed Church as its official Church, but had a policy of religious freedom that held no one should be persecuted or investigated because of religion.  Although they brought the first African slaves to the colony in 1625, their treatment of slaves was was not as harsh as future American Colonies’  In New Netherlands, families of slaves were kept intact, slaves were admitted to the church, baptized and married, allowed to testify in court, sign documents and bring civil actions against whites.  When the New Netherlands colony fell, the slaves were freed, establishing the first free african americans.

Harry Scofield (1870-1965) and the Scofield Lineage in the US

Beatrice Scofield (my grandmother) is the daughter of Harry F. Scofield and Maud Justina (Selleck) Scofield, who were married on March 25, 1902. – For more about Harry & Maud’s married life,  see the March 11th post, “Family and Life of William F. Syska Jr. and Beatrice P. Scofield Syska”. 

Emily Scofield headstone
My 2nd Great Grandmother, Emily (Seely) Scofield

The ancestry of both Harry Scofield and Maud Selleck can be traced to the first English settlers that arrived in New England in the 1600’s.  Many Americans can trace their roots to the English colonists so there are many records of their lives available for research.  
 Our Scofield ancestors can be traced even further back to England in the 1500’s, see earlier post titled Cuthbert Scofield Family History.  

The Selleck lineage will be discussed in a later post. 

Harry Scofield (1870-1965) was the son of James E. Scofield (1831-1918) and Emily Seely (1843-1938)  both born in Stamford, CT.   James & Emily resided most of their lives in Norwalk CT although they were married in 1861 in Pound Ridge, NY, in Westchester county along the CT border.  James was a farmer and  milk dealer.  He and his wife were the parents of 3 children named Pauline (b.1865), Harry (b. 1870) and Edna (b. 1874).

James and Emily can be found on Census records as late as 1910 when they were living in New Canaan, CT, at which time James was 78 years old.  James is believed to have passed away in 1918 at 87 years old, while Emily died in September of 1927 at 84 years old.  Emily is buried at the Mountain Grove Cemetery in Bridgeport, CT, presumably, James is there as well, but I have not confirmed that.

*Emily and James were actually distant cousins as James is a descendant of Richard Scofield and Emily, of his brother, Daniel Scofield.

samuel scofield
High Ridge Cemetery, Stamford, CT

 The parents of James Scofield were Samuel Scofield (1805-1885) and Sally Ann Jones (1804-1884).  Samuel was born in Pound Ridge NY and Sally in Connecticut.  According to Census records, Samuel and Sally resided in New Canaan, CT. where they raised 8 children while Samuel worked as a basket maker.

Stillwater Rd. Cemetery, Stamford, CT

Samuel Scofield was the son of Stephen Scofield (1782-1853) and Ann Peck (1785-1812).  Stephen was born in Pound Ridge, NY and Ann in Bedford, NY.    Ann died in 1812 at only 27 years old after which, Stephen Scofield remarried Betsey Brown (1792-1864).  Based on Samuel’s date of birth of 1805, Ann is his biological mother.

Sarles Cemetery, 
Pound Ridge, NY

Stephen Scofield’s parents were Enos Scofield(1753-1830) and Amy Scofield (1760-1844), both born in Stamford Ct.   They were married on July 22, 1779 in Stamford CT.   They are both buried in Pound Ridge NY in the Sarles Family Burial ground, which is not an accessible Cemetery today (it’s surrounded by private property).

**Amy’s 2nd great grandfather is Daniel Scofield, brother of Richard Scofield (1613-1660) who is Enos’ great grandfather, thus Amy and Daniel were also distant cousins.  
Enos Scofield was the son of Richard Scofield (1717-1772) and Mercy Buxton (1721-1779), both born in Stamford CT.
Richard Scofield’s parents were Jeremiah Scofield (1691-1762)  and Abigail Weed (1695-1758).  Jeremiah and Abigail were married in Stamford on Jan. 20, 1714


  • *Note:  Abigail Weed’s great grandmother, Elizabeth (Cogan) Holly Kendall was tried and convicted of witchcraft and executed  in Massachusetts in approximately 1647. 
  • Elizabeth imigrated to America with her first husband Samuel Holly in approximately 1635.  She married John Kendall after Samuel’s death in 1643.
  • More details about this and  our ancestors involved in the witch trials will be posted in a later blog entry.  
Jeremiah Scofield was the son of Richard Scofield Jr. (1660-1726)   and Ruth Brundish (or Brondage) (1672-1742).  There are no definitive records of Richard or Ruth Scofield’s dates of birth or death, however, their marriage is recorded in Stamford CT on Sept. 14, 1689.

The parents of Richard Scofield Jr. are Richard Scofield (abt. 1613-1660) and Mary  (1617-   ), maiden name unknown.  After Richard died in 1670, she married Robert Pennoyer and she is cited in Richard’s will/inventory as Mary Pennoyer.

Richard Scofield, emigrated to America in 1635 aboard the ship called,  “The Susan and Ellen,” where he is cited on passenger list as “Richard Skofield, 22.” Most sources state that Richard came with his brother Daniel, however Daniel is not included on that passenger list.  Either way, Daniel also emigrated to America around the same time.  Richard died on March 6, 1670 and is buried in the Scofield Cemetery in Stamford CT.

Richard and Daniel are  the sons of Alexander Scofield (1588- ) and Mary Norton (1583-)