[Note: Josias Janszen De RAET had had two children who changed their name t o "DRAKE", an English name, because of the ill feeling between the Dutch settlers and the pre dominate English settlers, who in 1664 were victorious in the dispute over the lands of Ne w Amsterdam (which became New York). -Our ancestor also took an English sounding name, changing his name from Josias De RAET to Joseph DRIGGS.] - Provided by Teddie Anne DRIGGS
THE ORIGIN of THE NAME 'DRIGGS'
From a family legend that persists through the many
branches , Joseph (or Josias), the firs t DRIGGS in Connecticut was a (Dutch)
boy (young man of about 21 yrs.) discovered (in 1703) l ashed to the mast
of a ship stranded in a storm on the Saybrook bar of the mouth of the Conne
cticut river. The boy spoke very little English but gave a name that sounded
like 'DRIGGS'. T he last record of him was when he signed the Cornbury
Petition in New Amsterdam in 1702 as JO SEPH DA RET. There can be little
doubt that this JOSEPH Da RET was JOSIAS De RAET by examinat ion of the
two signatures. Joseph's father never used the English name, however, calling
hi s son "Josias" to the end. In 1709 we find Joseph DRIGGS as a colonial
soldier for Connecticu t, among the company of Connecticut troops in the
Expedition against Canada. It was during th is expedition that Joseph met
Joseph BOARN and Nathaniel MARTIN, fellow soldiers. Joseph BOAR N was then
married to Elizabeth MARTIN, sister of Nathaniel. Seven years later, Joseph
DRIGG S married Elizabeth MARTIN-BOARN after the death of Joseph BOARN
(and their two children).
Joseph DRIGGS took over the management of Elizabeth's inherited estate about two years afte r they were married. Five children were born to them between 1717 and 1724. Elizabeth died ab out a year after their last child was born. A copy of the will of Joseph DRIGGS shows that h e managed the estate very well,"proving it up". He was considered a wealthy man in his time.
Depending upon the education and origin of the scribe, Joseph's surname had many variations i nterpreted from his Dutchy-accented English: Drats, Drets, Dreth and Dreths,Dregz, Dreetse, D raeck and Draake ( which became "DRAKE" ), Dreets, Dreads, Draets, and De Ret, which is close st to the original De RAET. In 1716, Joseph signed his name "DREEGS" on the marriage license , but it became "DRIGGS" by 1725. According to the records of Lawrence LaTourette DRIGGS an d DR. James Monroe COOPER (also a Driggs), after having searched diligently of records in Eng land, France, Portugal and Spain,and spent a fortune in doing so, they never found another pe rson of this name (DRIGGS) who is not a descendant of this 'Joseph of Middletown, Connecticut '.
Continuing from "Drake Family Hist": FROM THE RECORDS in Amsterdam, Netherlands: Hendric k de RAEDT became a ship's captain in 1652. Name of the ship was not given. Evidently there a re no other records of a De RAEDT as a ship's captain (Marine Museum of Amsterdam - 1965). T he possibility is raised that Capt. Roelof Harmenszen de Raedt brought over the battleship "W oelk" in 1660, and that Capt. Hendrick de Raedt brought over the ship "Woecke" in that same y ear, may refer to one captain and one ship. Jan de RAEDT (spelled de RAET) appears once in th e records of births between 1621 and 1650 in the "Amsterdam Archives of Amsterdam." The nam e of the father and of the child was Jan. No josias of similar name appears under de RAET. Ja n de RAET and Annetje Barens, a son, Jan, born August2, 1640. (End of Louis S. Drake's commen ts.)
Reittslap, the Dutch Debrett, gives the de RAET family
in Holland back to the Twelfth Cent ury, with Coat of Arms. In 1416, King
Sigismund enobled the family making Jan de RAET, Baro n De RIJKS - meaning
"Baron of the Kingdom". The name "De RAET means "of the Council". Curiou
sly, the words "De Rijks" are pronounced almost the same as "DRIGGS", and
may have been the i nspiration for the latter surname.(From "DRIGGS FAMILY
in AMERICA", 1971, Book 2, page 2.)
AS EARLY AS 1630 ELIAS de RAET of Amsterdam is a Director of the West India Company whic h settled New Netherlands. In 1637 Elias, for the Company, requests the States General of Hol land to approve the commission of William Kieft as Governor of New Netherlands. Elias owns la nd on Manhattan, and later commissions Governor Kieft to sell it for him. In 1640, Elias de R AET of the Amsterdam Chamber of the West India Company appears before States General with a d raft of Freedom & Exemptions of Freemen who will establish a residence and colonize New Nethe rlands. Elias signs the Patent of land to Killian Van Rennssalaer who established his Manor a t Albany and in 1642 signs a Permit to Van Rennssalaer to allow him to contract with Reveren d Megunpolisis to preach. It is possible that HENDRICK de RAET, who brought over the finest o f the Dutch warships in 1660, was related to this ELIAS, and also probable that JOSIAS, son o f Jan de RAET of Amsterdam, our ancestor, likewise is of this family in Holland.
NOTE the extroardinary variations in spelling of the name De RAET in
New Amsterdam and Brookl yn records, beginning with our ancestor, JOSIA
JANSZEN De RAET of Amsterdam:
1682: * April 15: Josias Janszen DRAS j. m. van Amsterdam, en Aeltje Browers, j. d. van d e Gowanus (New Amsterdam), betrothed.
1682: * April 16: Josia Jansz DRATS, young man from Amsterdam, residing in New York, and A eltje Browers from Gowanus married at Brooklyn 30 April 1682.
1682: * May 28: Josias Janse DRETS and Aeltje Brower bap. son JOSIAS. (Brooklyn Church Rec ord).
1683: Josias DREGZ taxed on 30 pounds; next Adam Brower, Gowanus.
1684: Josias DRAECK and Aeltje Brower bap. SARA (Brooklyn Church Records).
1684: Aeltje DRATZ joins Flatbush Church.
1684: Josias DREETSE and Aeltje Brower wit. bap. Jacob Brower.
1684: Jesays DRAECK wit. ap bap. Bkln Church.
1685: Josias DRETH wit. in N. Y. Dutch church.
1685: Josia Janzen DRATZ is wit. NY church.
1687: * Josias DRETHS, 26 years in this country, takes oath to Engl.
1687: Jesias DRETHS lives next Van Lodenstyn and Brower.
1687: * Jesayas DREETS bap. son Jan in Bkln church.
1688: Jesaies DREAX signs deed with Adam Brower and Brower's son.
1690: Jennekin DERRET & Johannes Jurckszen bap. Willem.
1691: Jasias DRET and Aeltje Brower bap. dau. Catharyn NY church.
1691: Josias DRETH and Aeltje Brower wit. bap in NY church.
1696: Josaias DREADS and Aeltje Brower bap. son Cornelius, NY ch.
1696: Josayas DRAETS of Newtown deeds to Jurien Nagell land in Bushwick.
1696: Josias DRATS of Newtown deeds land to Richard Betts.
1699: Jeseyes DRETS & Aeltje Brower bap. dau. Betty.
1701: Jesasias DRAAKE bap. son Caspasis; Bkln ch.
1702: * Joseph Da RET signs petition with others to Gov. Cornbury.
1707: Joseaes DRAKE, cordwainer of Newtown deeds to Peter Berien for 54 pounds, house an d garden in Newtown.
1711: Josias DRAKE, cordwainer of Newton, exchanges land.
1716: Josias DRAKE deeds to Eldred for 130 pounds land next to Ol Newtown fence bought 1 706 from Pettit.
1719: Josias DRAKE with 10 others allotted land in Flatlands on condition they build hou ses.
1719: Josias DRAKE deeds this plot to John DRAKE. (his son?)
(Above speeling illustrates changes in names of these various De RAETS)
THIS IS THE LAST ITEM found concerning JOSIAS JANSZEN DE
RAET. The time and place of his d eath are not found. Evidently he took
the name DRAKE about 1717. The last entry of record wit h his name and
signature is dated in 1719, were he deeds his land in Newtown, NY. to his
son , John DRAKE. His son John DRAKE died in Goshen, Orange County, NY.
in 1750, leaving will i n which he names his wife and children and leaves
them land "inherited from my grandfather, A dam BROWER of Gowanus."
His eldest son, JOSIAS, bap. May 28, 1682 in Flatbush, does not appear at all in the NY re cords, unless the name, JOSEPH DA RET in the petition to Lord Cornbury in 1702 is his.
In 1698 Brooklyn had 81 families, almost all of them Dutch. Manhattan in this year held 59 4 houses which about equalled the number of houses in the five Dutch towns on Long Island.
Jacob Leisler, a Dutch merchant of NY raised a standard of rebellion against the English i n 1689, fearing the rule of the Catholic under Governor Andros. Leisler roused the mob agaisn t the gentry and actually held New York until 1691 under arms, sending soldiers to Albany an d against the Indians up the Hudson. He was a good honest man who selected Dutchmen of promin ence as officers and officials. His many enemies got the new Governor Slaughter drunk on hi s arrival in NY, May 15, 1691, and induced him to sign a death warrant against Leisler.
Following Leisler's execution, the Dutch were persecuted. Many merchants returned to Holla nd. Farmers and yeomen were changing their names to English and fled to neighboring colonie s of Connecticut and Rhode Island. Dutch boys were impressed on English vessels. The Dutch fo ndly hoped that Lord Cornbury, a cousin of the Queen, would restore a settled government. Bu t he proved the worst of the lot. He stole the tax funds, and masqueraded as a woman on the s treets at night; he imprisoned and impressed on ships many of the petitioners of welcome in 1 702.
In the summer of 1703, a sudden epidemic of fever brought from the West Indies hit New York, causing many to vacate. It was called "the time of the great sickness", and the mortalit y was very high; men fled the province never to return. Perhaps our ancestor, JOSIAS JANSZE N De RAET was a victim of Lord Cornbury's actions or of the epidemic. His son, JOSIAS DeRAET, appeared in Connecticut in 1703 or 1704, and by 1709 begins using the name, JOSEPH DRIGGS. (S ee JOSEPH DRIGGS file for his story in "NOTES").