(A note: Much of this history is compiled and edited from a vast body of research, genealogical research and data by the author and by numerous others. It is with gratitude to them and their efforts in helping the author in this genealogical narrative.)
Tour of Babel, by Dutch painter Abel Grimm, a contemporary of Pascasius Turcq in the small walled city of Bergen op-Zoom
We are all connected.
There is a history here, of two continents, or war, refugees and a family. Weighed against a slow and virtual invasion and encroachment against indigenous peoples the context betrays the trappings of a clash of cultures, with the unsuspecting on both sides of that culture divide becoming the grist mill in a conflict that would forge one nation at the cost of many others.
There is a far greater history here, one that cannot be adequately told in a few pages. There are far too many lines to ever adequately pull into complete focus. One generation in the early 16th century is actually the consequence of many millions of branches preceding. Subsequent branches split and separate into still more. Suffice to say that at some level all humanity shares a common connection. Geneticists and anthropologists have discovered that nearly all of us on the planet derive from a few dozen lineages. Lost are the triumphs, tragedies and minutia of days and of many lives, but there is enough here to describe the paths of generations. This path follows one small trail of one family among billions across 5 centuries, from a small town in Flanders Belgium in the 16th Century to the Turcks of Emmetsburg Iowa, Texas and elsewhere.
The trail is first arrived at with Henry Turk in the early and mid 19th Century. He was born to Charles and Magdelen Turk about 1838, possibly in Seneca, Ontario New York. Charles was born about 1799 somewhere in New York. His wife was born 5 years later. Charles appears to us in 1830 living in Smithfield-Madison New York.
Charles, baptized catholic, was the descendents of Protestant Dutch refugees fleeing the aftermath of the 80 Years War, most particularly the siege of Breda. By the late 1500’s the town of Haage, later renamed Princenhage became a battleground between the Protestant Dutch Republic and Catholic Spain, which occupied the southern Netherlands For Charles’ ancestors that culminated in the siege of Breda, a walled town within sight of tiny Haage.
Wikipedia describes the origin of the name Turk as:
English (mainly Gloucestershire), Dutch, and German (also Türk): from Middle English, Old French turc, Middle High and Low German Turc ‘Turk’, from Turkish türk. In theory this could be an ethnic name but, both in England and northwest Europe, it is generally a nickname for a person with black hair and a swarthy complexion or a cruel, rowdy, or unruly person. The Dutch and German surname also represents a house name, derived from the use of a picture of a Turk as a house sign. It is also found as a nickname for someone who had taken part in the wars against the Turks.English: from a medieval personal name
Family names are fluid, changing with language, religion, culture and calamity. The common spelling for the family currently in this study is Turck, with a “ck”. Until the start of the 20th Century it was spelled simply as “Turk”, with the letter C being added sometime in the early part of the Century. At the start of this trail, in Flanders, the name is spelled Turcq, with many possible earlier variations including: Turcat, Tourcat, Turcatte, Turcot, Turcotte, Turcas, Turqua, Torquat, Torquet and many other variations. It is shown as a masculine adjective in Middle French, “turq”, feminine singular turcque, masculine plural turcqs, feminine plural turcques, meaning “Turkish”. The country of origin for the name is France, which also included parts of germany, Belgium and Flanders, northern Italy and Switzerland.
Genetically, the family history ultimately intersects with other variants of the Turk/Turck/Turcq surname. Mediterranean and Middle Eastern lines are strongly represented, as are ancient migrations of populations from southern Europe and Anatonia, and ultimately from the Indian and South Asian subcontinent, where much of Europe, particularly Eastern, Central and Southern Europe can track its heritage:
All US censuses have been extracted 1790-1930 for eight variations of the surname: TERK, TIRK, TUERK, TURCK, TUREK, TURK, TURKE, TURKS. The UK censuses 1841-1891 have been extracted for TURK. Presently the Guild database has approximately 120,000 records for over 60,000 individuals with this surname or one of its 480 identified variant spellings or those within at least one degree of relationship to the surname, i.e. spouse or children of a TURK – regardless of surname. The genealogical record is correlated with the TURK Y-DNA Surname Project. The sole purpose of the two efforts is to assist those interested in TURK genealogy in their personal research. Guiding principles are that records are collected for the surname without regard to ethnicity, national origin or religion.
Results have been identified within separate haplogroups. These are:
E1b1b = MEDITERRANEAN: With origins in East Africa or the Middle East, E1b1b1 has spread among North and East African populations, the Middle East, and into Europe from the Mediterranean.
G, G2a = The first branch of F, G traveled from the Middle East into both Europe and South Asia. The European lineages spread along the Mediterranean and eventually inland across Europe.
I1, I2b = SCANDINAVIA: I1 and I2b originated in Northern France as they trekked northward to Scandinavia after the last ice age. Some spread to Western Europe from Scandinavia through populations like the Vikings.
I2a = SOUTHERN EUROPE: At the end of the ice age, members of the I2a branch spread north into eastern Europe and west along the Mediterrean. One of the I2a branches may have been the first to settle Sardinia.
J2, J2a = MEDITERRANEAN: Some J1 and many J2 lineages spread into Europe and the Indian subcontinent with agriculture and the Bronze Age.
N = EAST ASIA: Members of Haplogroups N and O branched from Asian K lineages and spread throughout East Asia. N also continued its journey north into Russia and Siberia.
R1 = CENTRAL ASIA: In turn, R1 split into its branches R1a and R1b in Central Asia. R1a, R1b and the few remaining R1 lineages migrated west and settled in Europe.
R1a = EASTERN EUROPE: While R1a can be found throughout Europe, it is most fequent in Eastern Europe and Scandinavia. R1a is the most frequent haplogroup among Eastern Europeans.
R1b = WESTERN EUROPE: R1b journeyed into Europe from Central Asia, then spread and multiplied until its lineages can be found throughout Europe and until it became the most frequent haplogroup in Western Europe.
R2 = SOUTH ASIA: R2 split from R and journeyed south into the Indian subcontinent. R2 lineages can also be found in nearby countries and a few over time have migrated into the Middle East.
T = After T branched from haplogroup K, most of its lineages traveled east into Asia and into the Pacific Islands. However, some lineages journeyed into the Middle East and ultimately reached Europe. Source: http://www.genealogy.com/forum/surnames/topics/turk/818/)
A combination of the current extraction project of the TURK Surname Society, focusing on New York State, along with the Y-DNA results of a couple of TURK Surname Y-DNA project members, who relate as seventh cousins and descend from Paulus Jacobszen TURCK (1635-1703), have seemingly identified this lineage’s Haplogroup, which has been confirmed by an SNP as G2. FTDNA defines the G2 Haplogroup as:
“This lineage may have originated in India or Pakistan, and has dispersed into central Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. The G2 branch of this lineage (containing the P15 mutation) is found most often in Europe and the Middle East.”
Paulus migrated from the Netherlands to New Amsterdam, where he married in 1660. He was known as His High and Mightiness from the Dutch East India Trading Company. His lineage has been traced to Pascasius Justus TURCQ (1531-1584), who was associated with first Flanders and then Noord Brabant. Chronology, geography and Y-DNA seem to suggest that the origin of this branch of the TURK surname is grounded in the Spanish Netherlands with genetic roots reaching into Moorish Spain. The year 1500 is frequently associated with the rather general emergence of surnames in Western Europe. The terms “Turk” and “Moor” were frequently used interchangeably. It seems plausible that this is the root origin of the early New York TURK family name. (Source: http://www.genealogy.com/forum/surnames/topics/turk/818/)
The first Turks in New Amsterdam lived in this area, very near the Royal Oak Tavern
Under orders of the Spanish nobleman Ambrogio Spinola, Philip IV’s Spanish Army of Flanders laid siege to Breda from August 1624. For 11 months the Spaniards maintained a stranglehold on the city while successfully fending off several relief armies. Undoubtedly tiny Haage and the surrounding countryside was devastated. Finally in June 1625, the city surrendered. Testimony to the brutality of the siege; only 4000 of the original 7000 defenders survived the siege.
It seems likely Charles ancestors had fought and perhaps died in the siege. When it became apparent the Spanish were marching to Breda every man between 20 and 70 were enlisted in support of the garrison. Apart from the soldiers, many civilians remained or took refuge in the city from the Spanish army. Quickly the town was overburdened, with more than 7000 fighters and an estimated 13,111 civilians, including sick and wounded crammed into about 1200 buildings, or between 16-20 people per household. As the war dragged on, that number increased as homes and buildings were destroyed or became unusable. They faced a force of some 80,000 trained soldiers, mercenaries and reserves.
In 1637, after a four-month siege, Breda was recaptured. In 1648 the Treaty of Westphalia ceded it to the Dutch Republic. Paulus Jacobszen Turck was born in 1635 in Den Haag, Zuid Holland. He was baptized on 31 Oct 1637 in Princehagen, Noord Brabant, Netherlands. His parents were Jacobus Turck(Turkq) and Sarah Jans. It is likely that the elder Jacobus was a member of the military. He is listed in the employ of the Dutch West India Company, with a notation that he was known as His High and Mightiness. It is that advantage which led the Turk family to the shores of the new world.
Their heritage tells a story of the evolution of Europe as we’ve come to know it today. The first recorded mention of this Turk line finds Justus Turk, 1542-1600 born to Pascasius Justus Turck/Turcq 1521 – 1584 and Cornelia Velters1520 – 1560 in Flanders Belgium, and later Noord Barant. The area corresponds to the northern part of Belgium, from the coast centered on Bruges, east to Antwerp and the German border, and south to Brussels. Pascasius Justus Turcq b: 1521 in , Eeklo, Oost-Vlaanderen (east Flanders), Flanders, on the road between Bruges and Ghent. The name Eeklo comes from the contraction of “eke” and “lo”, two Old German words meaning “oak” and “sparse woods”. Over the years, the marshes were drained to give place to fortified farms, some remnants of which can still be seen today.
Like most other cities in the County of Flanders, Eeklo’s economy was based on the cloth industry, and commercial relations were established with the more powerful neighbouring cities, Ghent and Bruges. In the beginning of the 15th Century the City, Freedom and Charter (“de Stede Vryhede ende Keure”) of Eeklo had a flourishing cloth industry and it was a prosperous little city. The cloth of Eeklo was famous as far away as Germany. This prosperity made it possible for the town council to modernize and improve things: education was subsidized and the guilds revived. But corruption, squandering and dissension eventually meant decline as they always do. The Revolt of Ghent against Philip the Good from 1451 to 1453 meant hard times for Eeklo and its church. This church was only just rebuilt in 1520 when a fire destroyed its spire. During the religious disturbances and during the Eighty Years’ War (1568-1648) the church was not spared i.a. by the Calvinist “Geuzen”. The word “geus” meant beggar. Just one of those insults that for some have become titles—of nobility. (The Flemish “Primitifs” is another example of such an insult, one we’re particularly proud of.) Historians will tell you this war was fought for the independence of the Protestant Netherlands from Catholic Spain. That may be so but the people of our Meetjesland didn’t want the Protestants here any more than they wanted the Spaniards. On 25 July 1578 the statues and many other ornaments of the church of Eeklo were vandalized. In 1583 part of the church was once again destroyed by fire.
During the second half of the 16th century, Eeklo was in the unfortunate position of being on the border between the Catholic South and the Protestant North. This resulted in so much destruction that the city was nearly abandoned by its inhabitants. At around that time appeared the legend of the “recooking”, actually a rejuvenation recipe that involved drinking a youth elixir, cutting one’s head off and baking it again. While the head was in the oven, a green cabbage took its place on the body, symbol of the empty head. He and Cornialia, Pascasius’ first wife, had two children, Israel and Joos.
Pascasius Justus Turcq wandered through Europe and studied literature at the unversities of Rome, Bologna, Padua, and Pavia. In his time he was known a gifted and civilized man, a perfect humanist. He was often seen as a guest at the royal courts of Europe. In Pavia, in the year 1561 he wrote his best known book: Pascasii Justi de Alea, sive de curanda ludendi in pecuniam cupiditate (The game of dice by Pascasius Justus from Eeklo, Doctor of Philosophy and Medicine, being two books discussing a way to cure people from the passion of playing for money). The book was printed in Basel Switzerland, reprinted in 1616 in Frankfurt Germany and again in Amsterdam in 1642.
After writing this book, he took up residence in Bergen op Zoom and was subscribed to the Guild of St. Anthony. There he became court-physician of Jan IV, marquis of Bergen op Zoom. From October 28, 1562 he also was designated “Master of Medicine of the City”. Still later he became the court-physician of the Duke of Anjou-Alencon, an ally of prince William of Orange. When the latter got severely wounded in an assasination attempt by Jean Jaurequy on March 18, 1582, Turcq was able to stop the Prince’s bleeding. From that time on he was on a friendly basis with Prince William. This friendship didn’t last very long: In 1584, Balthazar Gerards was succesful in an attemt to assassinate the Prince.
Pascasius’ medical fame rests almost entirely on his discovery of compulsive gambling as a mental disorder requiring psychotherapy; his treatise Alea was the only work he ever published. However important his discovery may have been, it did not suffice to protect his name completely against the ravages of time. He is not mentioned in any modern dictionary of scientific or medical biography. No attention is paid to him in overviews of the history of medicine in the Low Countries. On the other hand, his intellectual achievement attracted a considerable amount of interest in the early modern
period. Together with a number of other, admittedly more theological and legal tracts on gambling, his treatise was issued again in 1617 by Johann von Münster.
A third edition, published by Lodewijk Elzevier in 1642, was prepared by the Dutch humanist Marcus Zuerius Boxhernius and dedicated to the physician Justus Turq, a descendant of Pascasius’s. Moreover, his work was eagerly read and lavishly pillaged by the French ecclesiastical author Jean-Baptiste Thiers for his moralizing treatise on games of 1686. But when, at the beginning of the twentieth century, behavioural scientists started to show a new interest in the medical background of ‘problem gambling’, Pascasius’s treatise had already fallen into almost complete oblivion.
Before the publication of his treatise Pascasius left Italy and started a career as the personal physician of John IV of Glimes, marquis of Bergen-op-Zoom. John played a leading role in the opposition of the Netherlandish nobility against Granvelle, king Philip II’s ‘minister’ in the Low Countries. As early as 1542, Pascasius, a member of the local gentry, undertook a long travel which led him to several courts and academic centres in France, Spain, and Italy. Probably in or around 1552, he left Spain for Italy, where he attended the universities of Rome, Bologna, Padova, and Pavia successively in order to devote himself to literature and study both philosophy and medicine.
It is most probably at the university of Pavia that he obtained his doctoral degree in medicine. During his stay in Pavia, he met Philip of Marnix, better known as Marnix of Saint-Aldegonde, who was to play a crucial role in the secession of the Northern Netherlands from Spain. Philip even wrote a preliminary poem in Greek for his treatise on gambling.
Pascasius’ decision to study medicine at the university of Pavia was certainly not strange or whimsical. It should be stressed that, by the time he arrived there, the Studium generale Ticinense had lost quite a bit of its previous glory and appeal to foreign students as a result of the ongoing wars which started in 1494 and culminated in 1525 in the sack of the town and the temporary closure of the university. However, it opened its doors again in 1531/1532 and slowly but steadily recovered at least partly from the damage done. In the second half of the sixteenth century, the university continued to attract a considerable amount of students from beyond the Alps, most of whom admittedly came to Pavia to study law. Just ranking behind Bologna and Padua in the fifteenth century, Pavia fell to a middle-rank position among Italian universities in the second half of the sixteenth century, especially in arts and medicine.
This is not to say that the medical teaching which Pascasius received was provincial and antiquated. The medical curriculum in Pavia, as at other Italian universities, remained of course largely based on the medieval canon of authoritative texts written by Aristotle and Galen. Traditionally, these texts were commented upon in quaestiones and disputationes which were primarily aimed at solving discrepancies by making use of a strictly scholastic method of reasoning according to Aristotelian logic. This system remained more or less intact in the course of the sixteenth century. Yet, medical education did change considerably at that time.
Pascasius’ work contains two parts, the first one being devoted to a careful diagnosis of the medical problem of gambling, the second one suggesting an adequate therapy. Although the analysis of gambling in the first book has a strong Aristotelian flavour in so far as it is tightly structured according to Aristotle’s well-known categorization of causes, Pascasius did not write a scholastic treatise. For one thing, he does not follow a strictly dialectical line of reasoning. Nor does his style smack of scholastic aridity. As the author points out in the preface to the reader, his treatise originated from a public oration held in Bologna. In reworking his speech, Pascasius made sure to adopt a smooth and quiet style best suited for an exposé that was more aimed at instruction than emotional stimulation.
In fact, Pascasius seems to have followed the lead of Galen himself in adopting a quite leisurely way of writing in which argumentation and narration go hand in hand. Indeed, Pascasius likes to pad out his lessons with examples and anecdotes, some of which are derived from personal experience, while others are taken from classical literature. Thus, he delves into Suetonius’ Vitae Caesarum: the behaviour of the emperors Augustus, Caligula, and Domitian – all of them passionate gamblers – is said to prove that gambling has no connection with avarice but rather with prodigality. Our author appears to be particularly fond of Terentian comedy. Although his plays do not contain any detailed description of a compulsive gambler, they do feature a number of characters who reveal a specific temper or mental disturbance. Tellingly, some of the passages quoted are accompanied by a short philological aside: as a humanist physician or a medical humanist, Pascasius was eager to demonstrate his hermeneutic skills.
In the first part of his treatise on gambling, Pascasius dismisses an analysis of compulsive gambling in terms of avaritia. The association with greed was typical of the theological discourse on gambling in early modern times. It goes back to Aristotle who in his Nicomachean Ethics put gamblers on a par with thieves and robbers. What they have in common is exactly their greed (ajneleuqeriva): they care more for wealth than they ought to – to such an extent that they are willing to acquire it by making use of dishonorable or sordid means.
Pascasius does not deny that compulsive gamblers want to make a lot of money in an easy and quick way. However, they are not simply greedy (ajneleuvqeroi), but rather belong to the subcategory of prodigal or wasteful people (a[swtoi) who, according to Aristotle, “take from the wrong sources, and are in this respect mean.” (Sources: Encyclopedia of Noord Brabant/ Navorscher 1889, 1914, 1923/ De Nederlandsche Leeuw 1914, 1915, 1917/ De Wapenheraut 1918, 1919.
Pascasius settled in Bergen op Zoom, Netherlands, west of Bread, a strong walled fortress, surrounded by marshes and easily floodable lowlands, and could be easily resupplied by sea, unlike Breda. The city was held by the Dutch during the 80 years war. It was at that time besieged by Alessandro Farnese first in 1588, and by Ambrosio Spinola a second time in 1622. Both sieges were unsuccessful and Bergen op Zoom got the nickname La Pucelle or The Virgin as it was never sieged successfully.
Because of the major economic growth, the Sint-Gertrudischurch was enlarged. The enlargement was called the ‘Nieuw Werck’ but was never finished, because of the economic recession mid 16th century and it became a ruin. The economic recession was largely caused by the bad accessibility of the port, due to a number of floods in Zeeland and West-Brabant. Because of the great reliance on the port, the economic growth received a big blow. In addition, the modernization of trade techniques, like the permanent stock exchange instead of the fairs, which took place twice a year, also deteriorated the economy of Bergen op Zoom.
During the Eighty Years War, Bergen op Zoom chose the side of republic, and, simultaneously, for Protestantism. The Catholic part of Bergen op Zoom adapted themselves or moved to the surrounding countryside, which largely remained Catholic. The inhabitants who chose to stay Catholic, went to church in secret barns and houses, since the Sint-Getrudischruch was appointed to the Protestant community. Slowly, most the city council members of Bergen op Zoom became Protestant.
Among Pascasius” contemporaries in Bergen op Zoom was the artist Abel Grimmer. Abel Grimmer’s work is characterised by the simplification and systemisation of figures and landscapes. His landscapes show splendid colour harmonies and a certain linearity, through their slightly schematized compositions and their tendency to represent buildings as geometric shapes. His world, and the world of Pascasius Turk/Turcq comes to us in vivid pastoral scenes. One piece, “The Marketplace in Bergen op-Zoom”, painted between 1590 and 1597 offers us a glimpse of what Pascasius might have seen. Indeed, we might find pascasius within the joyous figures in that painting.
A combination of an extraction project of the TURK Surname Society, focusing on New York State, along with the Y-DNA results of a couple of TURK Surname Y-DNA project members, who relate as seventh cousins and descend from Paulus Jacobszen TURCK (1635-1703), have seemingly identified this lineage’s Haplogroup, which has been confirmed by an SNP as G2. FTDNA defines the G2 Haplogroup as: This lineage may have originated in India or Pakistan, and has dispersed into central Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. The G2 branch of this lineage (containing the P15 mutation) is found most often in Europe and the Middle East. This was the origin and movement of much of Europe’s tribal and national heritage over the course of more than 4 millenia.
Chronology, geography and Y-DNA seem to suggest that the origin of this branch of the TURK surname is grounded in the Spanish Netherlands with genetic roots reaching into Moorish Spain. The year 1500 is frequently associated with the rather general emergence of surnames in Western Europe. The terms “Turk” and “Moor” were frequently used interchangeably. It seems plausible that this is the root origin of the early New York Turk family name.
There is an Iberian origin to the name Pascasius, though the Frankish, Germanic and Saxon tribes left the greatest significance there. Through much of the 14th Century, the region fell under French control. In 1430 the Duchies of Lower Lotharingia, Brabant and Limburg were inherited by Philip the Good of Burgundy and became part of the Burgundian Netherlands. In 1477, hardly a generation before we first find the Turks in Flanders, the Duchy of Brabant became part of the House of Habsburg as part of the dowry of Mary of Burgundy. By 1556 the Burgundian Netherlands were being ruled by their successors, the Habsburg kings of Spain. Meanwhile, Protestantism had reached the Low Countries. Among the wealthy traders of Antwerp, the Lutheran beliefs of the German Hanseatic traders found appeal, perhaps partly for economic reasons. The spread of Protestantism in this city was aided by the presence of an Augustinian cloister (founded 1514) in the St. Andries quarter. Luther, an Augustinian himself, had taught some of the monks, and his works were in print by 1518. The first Lutheran martyrs came from Antwerp.
Philip II, a devout Catholic and self-proclaimed protector of the Counter-Reformation, suppressed Calvinism in Flanders, Brabant and Holland (what is now approximately Belgian Limburg was part of the Bishopric of Liège and was Catholic de facto). In 1566, the iconoclasm (Beeldenstorm) began as protest against Philip II and promoted the disfigurement of statues and paintings depicting saints. This was associated with the ensuing religious war between Catholics and Protestants, especially the Anabaptists. The Beeldenstorm started in what is now the arrondissement of Dunkirk in French Flanders, with open-air sermons (Dutch: hagepreken). The first took place on the Cloostervelt near Hondschoote and the largest sermon was held near Boeschepe on July 12, 1562. These open-air sermons, mostly of Anabaptist or Mennonite signature, spread through the country. On August 10, 1566 at the end of the pilgrimage from Hondschoote to Steenvoorde, the chapel of the Sint-Laurensklooster (Monastery of Saint Lawrence) was defaced by Protestants. The iconoclasm resulted not only in the destruction of Catholic art, but also cost the lives of many priests. It next spread to Antwerp, and on August 22, to Ghent. One cathedral, eight churches, twenty-five cloisters, ten hospitals and seven chapels were attacked. From there, it further spread east and north, but in total lasted not even a month.
Subsequently, Philip II sent the Duke of Alba to the Provinces to repress the revolt. Alba recaptured the southern part of the Provinces, who signed the Union of Atrecht, which meant that they would accept the Spanish government on condition of more freedom. But the northern part of the provinces signed the Union of Utrecht and settled in 1581 the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands. Spanish troops quickly started fighting the rebels, but before the revolt could be completely defeated, a war between England and Spain had broken out, forcing Philip’s Spanish troops to halt their advance. Meanwhile, the Spanish armies had already conquered the important trading cities of Bruges and Ghent. Antwerp, which was then arguably the most important port in the world, also had to be conquered. On August 17, 1585, Antwerp fell. This ended the Dutch Revolt for the (from now on) Southern Netherlands. The United Provinces (the Netherlands proper) fought on in what came to be known as the “Eighty Years’ War”, until 1648 – the Peace of Westphalia.
For the Turks, whom we might find as refugees from Flanders north for religious freedoms, the 80 Years War would culminate violently and dramatically within and without the besieded walls of Breda. For almost a year the rumble of cannon fire shook the city and countryside, with more than 30 cannons each firing as much as 10 shots per hour at the city and defenders. Furthermore, the Spanish employed sappers and snipers from nearby buildings.
Paulus’ parents wwere Jacobus Turck b: ABT 1614 in , Princenhagen, Noord Brabant, Netherlands. Sarah Jans b: ABT 1616 in , Leiden, Noord Brabant, Netherlands, just south of Amsterdam. His grandparents were Paulus Turck b: 1563 in Dinteloord En, Prinsland, Noord Brabant, Netherlands. Cornelia Van Stryen b: ABT 1566 in Dinteloord En, Prinsland, Noord Brabant, Netherlands. The village overlooked the Volkerak river just to the northwest of Breda. They met and married arounfd the time of the Siege of Eindhoven(1583)
There is a notation that lists Paulus as being a member of The Dutch West India Company. That connection provides the link to the family’s emigration to the New World. In 1609 the first Dutch settlers arrived in the American colonies. By 1614 there was a trading post at Fort Orange. Within a decade 30 families from Holland estanblished New netherland. Within a few years more settlers arrived to establish a larger settlement on manhatten island. In 1626, Peter Minuit was named governor or New Netherland and purchased the island from the native Algonquin for $24 worth of small items. The port for the settlement was named New Amsterdam. There are a number of Turks/Turcks seen in New Amsterdam and Albany in the later parts of the 1600s, likely relatives, or distant relatives. The earliest arrived around 1637.
We find the Turks in New Amsterdam in the colonies with the birth of Jacobus, baptized December 4th 1661 in the Dutch Church, the Son of Paulus jabszen Turck and Aeltje Barentse Kool, born 23 September1640, the daughter of Barent Jacobsen KOOL and Marretje Leenderts DeGRAUW. Aeltje died in 1693 in New York City, now occupied by the English. Jacobus was born 15 months after his parents wedding in New Amsterdam, 12 September1660. Paulus and Aeltja lived on Brede Weg, roughly today’s Broadway. Paulus left this world in May 1703, as they are absent from the New York census that year.
Jacobus married Teuntjie Hoes sometime before 1681. She passed aw ay, it appears sometime after the birth of the couple’s first and only child, Catherine. In 1681 Paulus was remarried, this time to Caatje Van Benthuisen(Cathryntje Van Benthuysen), Albany, New York. On May 16, 1687 in Kingston, Ulster, New York Caatje bore him a son, Johannes (died January 25, 1736 in Kingston, Ulster, New York). He is listed in the Ulster County Freeholders in 1728 8 months later Jacobus, on February 4, 1705 in lost his second wife. On October 27, 1705, jacobus married a 3rd time, Born 1671 in Albany, the couple would spend 6 years together until her passing in 1711 at the age of 40. She bore him a single son, Thomas, born on June 6 1707(Died 1790).
There are moments in the history where clarity fails. Charles birthplace is given as Albany and Oswego county, and his father as Jonathan, or Johannes, son of Benjamin and Eytie, or Ida, Van Wie.. The mother’s name is not known. Charles was born 1798.
The family is seen through the early part of the 19th Century moving west. Lake Oneida and its tributary Wood Creek were part of the Albany-Oswego waterway, stretching from the Atlantic seaboard westward via the Hudson River. From there is forged its way through the Appalachian Mountains via the Mohawk River. Westward travel from here was by portage over the Oneida Carry to the Wood Creek-Oneida Lake system. The navigable waterway exited Oneida Lake by the Oneida River, which led to the Oswego River and Lake Ontario. From here travelers could reach the other Great Lakes. In 1835 Oneida Lake was connected to the Erie Canal system by construction of the (old) Oneida Canal, which ran about 4.5 miles (7.2 km) from Higginsville on the Erie Canal northward to Wood Creek, about 2 miles upstream of Lake Oneida. This was the route that brought the Turks from Eastern New York.
The first true record we have of Henry comes from the 1850 census for Constantia, Oswego New York, on the north western shores of Lake Oneida. Interestingly, Henry and sister Martha are shown living with their brother, 22 year old Peter Turck,27 year old Jonathan Turck, new settlers to the area. A map of the area from about that time lists Peter as the owner of a substantial parcel of property. Just east of that property a second smaller parcel is listed also apparently belonging to Peter Turck just west of what today is Martin Road. Charles, Henry’s father likely leased or worked the land for Peter.
The property matter is a bit confusing. The census helps to orient a bit better, and helps understand who was likely living and working on the two parcels of land, both marked as P. Turk. Beside, and just east of Constantia is the tiny hamlet of Bernard’s Bay. Beside that, and just slightly larger is Cleveland. We find Charles and his family connected to the Cleveland post office in the census.
The road has changed little over nearly two centuries. It wasn’t paved then. Pine and fir trees grow thickly to the edge of the road. The land flows gently, the soil rocky and difficult to farm. There is a small plat that roughly corresponds to the homestead of Charles and Magdelen. The small creeks that flowed through are dried now. Just to the south, at the edge of the property, a small pond is now all but gone. Hunting and fishing would have been the main stay for the family. For the children, especially the bots, there was nothing of consequence tying them to the land.
Henry was born amid the financial panic of 1837. Families were devastated in an ever deepening recession. Men were thrown out of work, homes, farms and fortunes lost overnight. Factories and businesses shuttered. It would last the first 6 years of Henry’s life. It is possible that the devastation wrought by those years may have led to the family’s westward movement, driven perhaps for work on the waterways, and then the railroads as the country expanded west.
NEXT: Following the Railroads. Henry Turck moves West and finds Love.
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Name: Charles Turk
Home in 1830 (City, County, State): Smithfield, Madison, New York
w/ 2 kids under 5, 1 over 10
Age in 1860: 56
Birth Year: abt 1804
Birthplace: New York
Home in 1860: Constantia, Oswego, New York
Post Office: Cleveland
Name: Henry Turck
Birth Year: abt 1837
Birthplace: New York
Home in 1850: Constantia, Oswego, New York
Family Number: 247
Household Members: Name Age
Peter C Turck
Name: Peter C Turck
Birth Year: abt 1828
Birthplace: New York
Home in 1850: Constantia, Oswego, New York
Family Number: 247
Household Members: Name Age
Peter C Turck
The location was formerly called Payne’s Corners. The Town of Hamilton was established in 1795, before the county was formed, from the Town of Paris in Oneida County, New York. The original town was reduced to create new towns in the county.
The south town line is the border of Chenango County, New York.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 41.4 square miles (107.3 km²), of which, 41.4 square miles (107.1 km²) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.2 km²) of it (0.19%) is water.
The region was first settled around 1797. The town was organized in 1807 from land taken from the Town of Cazenovia.
The first comprehensive census in America was conducted by the United States government beginning in August 1790. The census was taken by Federal marshals reporting to the U. S. District Courts. Returns were due nine months later and were transmitted to Congress in October 1791. Heads of households were listed by name within each political subdivision. Household information was provided statistically for free white males over 16; free white males under 16; women of all ages; “all other free people”; and slaves – comprising five columns of numbers in all.
1790 Watervliet Census Index
Surname Number First Name FWM 16+ FWM -16 FWF FW Others Slaves
Turk 397 Anthony 2 2 4
Turk 1084 Johannes 1 2 4
Turk 870 Thomas 1 2 2
CENSUS YEAR: 1790 STATE: NY COUNTY: Ulster DISTRICT: Kingston Town
ENUMERATOR: Samuel Augustus Barker ENUM/DATE: 30th day of April 1791
|FREE WHITE |ALL | |
|Males |OTHER | |
| |HEAD OF HOUSEHOLD |16 to |FREE | |
PG#|LN#|LAST NAME |FIRST NAME |up 16 Females|Persons|Slaves|Remarks
109 254 Schoonmaker Tjierck 1 1 2 . . Handwritten Page #266
109 255 Post Martinus, Senr. 1 1 1 . .
109 256 Dedrick William 2 2 4 . 1
109 257 Schoonmaker Hendrick 2 2 4 . 1
109 258 Legg John 3 1 4 . 4
109 259 Van Leuven John 2 . 3 . 3
109 260 Van Leuven Martin 1 . 3 . .
109 261 Minkler Hermanus 2 1 2 . 2
109 262 Osterhout Abraham, Junr. 1 . 3 . .
109 263 Minkler David 1 . 1 . .
109 264 Whitaker Peter 1 2 4 . 1
109 265 Osterhout Benjamin 1 . 3 . 1
109 266 Du Bois Matthew 1 1 2 . .
109 267 Schoonmaker John, the 3rd. 1 4 1 . .
109 268 Schoonmaker Egbert H. 3 1 1 . 2
109 269 Osterhout Abraham, Senr. 1 3 6 . .
109 270 Osterhout Sarah 1 . 3 . 1
109 271 Osterhout Peter L. 2 1 2 . .
109 272 Osterhout John 1 2 1 . 2
109 273 Turk Jacob 1 . 3 . .
109 274 Davids Margaret 2 1 2 . .
109 275 Turk Benjamin 2 1 3 . .
109 276 Turk John 1 1 3 . .
109 277 Van Curen Phillip 1 . 2 .
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