Gerardus Beekman

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Gerardus Beekman
Governor of the Province of New York
In office
April 10, 1710 – June 14, 1710
Preceded byRichard Ingoldesby (acting)
Succeeded byRobert Hunter
Personal details
Gerardus Willemse Beekman

August 1653
New Netherland
DiedOctober 10, 1723 (aged 70)
New York City, Province of New York
Magdalena Abeel (m. 1677)
RelationsHenry Beekman (nephew)
ParentsWilhelmus H. Beekman
Catalina De Boogh
ProfessionPhysician and Acting Governor of New York

Gerardus Willemse Beekman (c. August 1653 – October 10, 1723)[1] was a wealthy physician, land owner, and colonial governor of the Province of New York.[2]

Early life[edit]

He was christened 17 August 1653 at Corlaer's Hook Plantation, New York, the second son of Wilhelmus Hendricksen Beekman (1623–1707) and Catalina De Boogh.[3] His father was a Dutch immigrant who came to New Amsterdam from the Netherlands on the same vessel as Peter Stuyvesant. Wilhelmus soon became Treasurer of the Dutch West India Company[4] and later became the Mayor of New York City,[5] Governor of Delaware from 1653 to 1664,[6] and Governor of Pennsylvania from 1658 to 1663.[7]


In 1681, he was captain of militia at Flatbush, and in 1689, he was appointed Major of all the horse and foot in Kings County.[8]

From 1690 to 1691, he was a member of Jacob Leisler's Council and government, which led to what is known as Leisler's Rebellion.[3] In 1691, when Henry Sloughter came to America as Deputy Governor to succeed Francis Nicholson, whose government had been overthrown by Leisler after the accession of William of Orange, Beekman was arrested along with Leisler and others. Beekman served 17 months in prison, but was pardoned afterward, unlike Leisler, who was hanged. Gov. Benjamin Fletcher, who succeeded Sloughter, was succeeded by Richard Coote. In 1700, Beekman was appointed Lieutenant-Colonel, and then Colonel, under the Earl of Bellomont.[8]

After Bellomont died in 1701, Viscount Cornbury was appointed as his successor and began his administration on the May 3, 1702. His advising Council consisted of: Beekman, William Atwood, William Smith, Peter Schuyler, Abraham de Peyster, Samuel Staats, Robert Walters, Sampson Shelton Broughton, Wolfgang William Romer, William Lawrence, and Rip Van Dam.[8]

In 1710, he was elected President of the Council and Acting Governor of New York.[2] He was the acting governor of the Province of New York until the arrival of Governor Hunter, from 10 April 1710 to 14 June 1710.[2]

Real estate[edit]

In addition to his estate in Flatbush, Beekman owned three large farms in the Province of New Jersey. One farm extended for two miles along the Raritan River and contained 1,800 acres, held jointly with Laford Paterson, also of Flatbush, that was purchased for £366. Another farm of 4,000 acres in Somerset County, New Jersey, was purchased in 1702 from Thomas Hart of England, one of the 24 Proprietors of East Jersey, through his attorney, Rip Van Dam. The third farm was 608 acres on the Millstone River. His sons Christopher, Adrian, and William latet became the owners of large tracts of these lands.[8]

Personal life[edit]

On August 29, 1677, he married Magdalena Abeel (c. 1662–1745), the eldest daughter of Christopher Janse Abeel (1621–1684) and Neeltje Jans Kroom.[8] Magdalena's brother was Johannes Abeel (1667–1711), the second mayor of Albany.[9] Together they had:

  • William Beekman (b. 1679), who died young.[8]
  • Divertje "Deborah" Beekman (1674–1737), who married Theunis Hendricksen Wiltse (1674–1741)
  • Christopher Beekman (1681–1724), who married Maria DeLanoy (1681–1726), son of Abraham Delanoy (1642–1702) and Cornelia Jacobse Toll.[8]
  • Dr. William Beekman (1684–1770)
  • Adrian Beekman (1682–1705), who married Aletta Lispenard (c. 1686–1705), relative of Leonard Lispenard
  • Gerard Beekman (1693–1746), who married Anna Maria van Horne (1696-1726)
  • Catherine Beekman

He died in New York City October 10, 1723.


His grandson, Gerardus Christopher Beekman (d. 1778), married Catharine Van Dyke (b. 1708), the daughter of John Van Dyke, granddaughter of Jan Janse Van Dyke, and great-granddaughter of Jan Thomasse Van Dyke, who came from Amsterdam in 1652 and is considered to be the progenitor of the Van Dyke family in America.[8]

He was the grandfather of James Beekman (1732-1807) the owner of Mount Pleasant, a mansion on Manhattan that was requisitioned by the British Army during the Revolution.[10] The location of this property is the current Beekman Place. The fireplace mantle of the mansion, which features the Beekman family coat of arms, can be seen at the New York Historical Society.

He is also an ancestor of cartoonist Garretson Beekman Trudeau (b. 1948).[11]


  1. ^ "New-York Historical Society | Dr. Gerardus Beekman (1653-1723)". New York Historical Society. Retrieved 14 September 2016.
  2. ^ a b c Charles, Michael Harrison (2006). List of the Colonial Governors Prior to 4 July 1776. Hereditary Order of Descendants of Colonial Governors. p. 30.
  3. ^ a b Krohn, Deborah, Peter Miller, and Marybeth De Filippis. "New-York Historical Society | Colonel Gerardus Beekman, M. D. (1653-1723)". New York Historical Society. Retrieved 14 September 2016.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  4. ^ Acrelius, Israel; Collin, Nicholas (1841). "New Sweden, or The Swedish Settlements on the Delaware". Collections of the New York Historical Society. 2. 1: 421.
  5. ^ Van Rensselaer, Mrs. Schuyler (1909). History of the City of New York in the Seventeenth Century. Vol 2. New York: Macmillan Company. pp. 247, 269.
  6. ^ Bernstorf, Mrs. Philip W. (2003). Directory of the Hereditary Order of Colonial Governors Prior to 4 July 1776. Hereditary Order of Descendants of Colonial Governors. p. 24.
  7. ^ Charles, Michael Harrison (2006). List of the Colonial Governors Prior to 4 July 1776. Hereditary Order of Descendants of Colonial Governors. p. 30.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h Aitken, William Benford (1912). Distinguished families in America, descended from Wilhelmus Beekman and Jan Thomasse Van Dyke. New York and London, The Knickerbocker Press. Retrieved 14 September 2016.
  9. ^ Henry Whittemore, The Abeel and Allied Families, 1899, pages 4 to 6
  10. ^ York, Saint Nicholas Society of the City of New (1902). Genealogical Record of the Saint Nicholas Society: Advanced Sheets, First Series. Society. p. 9. Retrieved 3 February 2017. James William Beekman (1815-1877).
  11. ^ Ancestry of Garry Trudeau compiled by William Addams Reitwiesner Retrieved January 16, 2014
Government offices
Preceded by
Richard Ingoldesby
Governor of the Province of New York

Succeeded by
Robert Hunter