One of the things I like best about the Beeks family line is the great mingling of countries and cultures. There are the New England ancestors, and the possible Virginia ancestors, and then there are those from the middle colonies. The New England ancestors and the Virginia ancestors mostly trace back to England, but some of the middle colonies trace back to Holland and to France.
Every former schoolchild of a certain age remembers the story of the Dutch "tricking" the native Americans (then called Indians) into selling the island of Manhattan for $24 and some beads, which didn't leave a good taste in our mouths for what the Dutch did. We remember Peter Stuyvesant, who in the one sided way we were taught history was either a good man or a bad man. The problem is that most lives are neither black nor white, and then of course further issues arise as we study family history and learn that "we are them", and we may have been pointing fingers at our ancestors.
It's exciting when family history and history come together, no matter which side, or how many sides, our ancestors were on. Jacob Wallinges Van Winkle is the earliest ancestor I've yet found, who came from Holland and settled on Manhattan Island perhaps as early as 1624, which would make him one of the very first Dutch settlers on the island. He was born in about 1599 to Jacob Walichs and Tryntje Willems, from the village of Winkel, in northern Holland. He was also referred to as "Jacob Walichsen Van Hoorn", because the village was near the port city of Hoorn.
He may have first come to New Netherlands as a deckhand about 1618, but was definitely here by 1630, when he was one of the very first farmers to settle permanently" here. He and partner Claes Cornelissen Swits farmed bouwerie number 5 until 1636, when their lease expired. A bouwerie was a large, self sufficient farm and at an inventory taken May 1,1630 the bouwerie had 6 saddle horses, 2 stallions, 6 cows, and 22 sheep. There were probably pigs and chickens, too, and indicates a well developed farming operation.
He was a tenant farmer, but returned to Holland to get more stock for the Dutch West India Company, which owned the entire operation, and while there, he was a member of the Dutch church. He returned to the New World in 1635 and apparently settled along the Hudson river, as part of Rensselaerwyck, opposite Albany. There are records found for him in 1641 on a council of twelve men to advise governor Kieft of Manhattan about relationships with the Native Americans, and he seems to have made at least one more trip back to Holland before 1650.
It's not clear just when or where, but at some point he married Tryntje Jacobse. The marriage may have occurred during his second trip to the Netherlands, but records have not yet been found. He returned to Rensselaerwyck, where he stayed until 1650. Although we was a successful tenant farmer, he was still a tenant and perhaps he had decided it was time to find land of his own to settle on. In 1650, his son Jacob Jacobsen was baptized at the New Amsterdam "fort church" on October 10, 1650 and the parents joined the New Amsterdam Dutch Reformed church there.
Diector General Peter Stuyvesant issued a patent for 25 "morgens" of land to Jacob on October 23,1654. This land was at Pavonia, near what is now Jersey city, New Jersey, which was attacked by Indians in 1655. The family, which now included 6 children, returned to New Amsterdam until it was thought safe to return to their land. They returned in 1657 and Jacob is believed to have died there later in the year.
Jacob's widow, Trintje, married three more times, each time to a widower. She died after 1677.
This is a condensed version of information found from various websites, which appear to come primarily from the book "A Genealogy of the Van Winkle Family, 1630-1993" written by James C. Van Winkle. It would be fascinating to find this book and learn more about this family that lived in such interesting places and times!
The line of descent is:
Jacob Van Winkle-Trintje Jacobse
Marritje Jacobse Van Winkle-Pieter Jansen Slot
Jacobus Slot-Maria Demarest
Benjamin Slot-Sarah Demaree
William Lock-Elizabeth Teague
Sally Lock-Jeremiah Folsom
Leah Folsom-Darlington Aldridge
Harvey Aldridge-Margaret Catherine Dunham
Cleo Aldridge-Wilbur Beeks
Mary Margaret Beeks-Cleveland Harshbarger