Andreas and Anneke Souplis

Andreas Souplis is a bit of a mystery. It is often repeated that he was born in 1634, a native of Alsace, a Huguenot and an officer in the French army, that he left France in 1682 for Germany and married a German woman named Gertrude Stressinger.1 Unfortunately it appears that most, if not all, of this is false. Andreas was probably born at least twenty years after 1634, was almost certainly not an army officer, and was probably not even a Huguenot. The fact that his name is often written as Supplee is probably what suggested the French ancestry, but there is some evidence that he was Dutch.

The earliest known records for Andreas are from New York. In September 1685 he was admitted as a burger and citizen of New York, with freedom to buy land and to trade.2 An ambiguous record in New York at the same time suggests that he was a member of the Dutch Reformed Church there, if in fact it refers to him. A record in the membership list for December 1684 said, “Andries Souplÿ, j.m. met attestatie van Amsterd” (young man with a certificate from Amsterdam). In the margin was added, “afgevallen en Quaeckers geworden daar na gestorven.” A footnote gave the translation, “Fell off from the faith and became a Quaker, and afterwards died.”3 This very interesting record gives several pieces of information: that this Andries Souply arrived from Amsterdam, that he came with a certificate from a Reformed church there, that he became a Quaker, and “afterwards died”. If this is the Andres Souplis who appeared soon after in Germantown, we have to assume that the recorder of the Dutch church could not tell the difference between a Quaker and a member of another sect such as a Mennonite, and that Souplis did not actually die but simply left the colony of New York.4 The designation of Souply as a “j.m.” (young man) is problematic, since this would usually refer to an unmarried man and by December 1684 Andreas was married.5

On Sept 20, 1684, a baptism record at the Dutch church of New York shows a baptism of a son Bartholomew to parents Annetie Bartholomeus and Andries. Andries’ last name was not given. The sponsors were Marten Clock and his wife Lysbeth Abrahams.6 This is interesting for three reasons: the timing is right for Andreas Souplis’ known children; his wife’s name was known to be Anneke (a variant of Annetje); Andreas and Anneke named their first son Bartholomew. Marten and Lysbeth are not known to be related. It certainly falls within the time when Andreas is believed to be in New York.

Some time before 1682 Andreas married Anneke. Her last name is unknown. They could have married in Holland or in New York. In 1686 they bought 50 acres in Germantown from William and Maricke Streepers. Andries was naturalized there in 1691 and acted as sheriff of Germantown.7 His service as sheriff in Germantown does not imply, as some have suggested, that he was “held in high esteem” by William Penn. At the time Germantown was a self-governing borough and many of the adult men served as one of the many officers, such as burgess, sheriff, road viewer, or fence overseer. In 1693 Andreas was taxed in Germantown for his 50-acre holding.8  He worked as a weaver, like many early Germantown residents.9 In 1692 Garrett Hendricks apprenticed his son Lambert to Andrew, presumably to learn the weaver’s trade.10 The same year Andrew and “Anneckie” Supplee were witnesses at the marriage of Henry Fry and Anna Levering in Germantown. She signed by mark.11  Also in 1692 Andreas signed a petition (as Andrew Seeply) against a tax bill, along with many of his Germantown neighbors.12

Anneke died between 1692 and 1697. After Anneke’s death Andreas sold the Germantown land with its “three story stone messuage” and moved, with his unmarried children, to Kingsessing, Philadelphia County.13 He bought land there from Peter Petersson Yocum.14 By 1697 he was married to Gertrude Enochson. She was probably the daughter of Hans Månsson , who deeded land around 1673 to Garret Enochson, her first husband, with whom she had two children. After Garret’s death she married his brother Harman. He died about 1702 and she married Lasse Bartleson (also known as Lasse Parker), a Finn.15 After his death she married Andreas Souplis, as her fourth husband.16

Andreas died in March 1727 in “Kingsess”, leaving his wife Gertra and five children. In his will he named them all, along with two of his sons-in-law. He signed the will as “Andris Souplis”, in a clear hand. His “well beloved wife Gertra” was to have a third of his goods, along with the house and land for her lifetime. After her death it was to be sold and the proceeds divided among his children, along with the other two-thirds of the personal estate.17 The inventory of his estate was taken on the first day of March 1726/27. It included the usual household goods and farm implements, plus 22 sheep, which must have provided the wool for his weaving.18

Gertrude was assessed in 1734 for forty acres in Kingsessing. She died there in 1738. In her will she asked to be buried at Wiccoco Church (the Swedish church) with her late husband, presumably Andreas. She named several of her own children (David, Henry and Catherine) and several grandchildren.19 Her inventory was taken on December 14, 1738 by Nathan Gibson and her neighbor John Bartram. It included the usual furniture, household and farm implements, plus a weaving loom with gears and thirty sheep.20

The land that Andreas and Gertra owned in Kingsessing had a later history of its own. After Gertra died, her stepson Andrew sold the tract to the botanist John Bartram.21 It became part of his holdings on the Schuylkill, and is preserved as the “south meadow” there, part of the oldest botanical garden in the country.22

Children of Andries and Anneke:23

Margaret, b. ab. 1682, died after February 1744 in Germantown24, m. 1) in 1700 Peter Keyser, 2) Michael Eccard of Germantown. She first married Peter Keyser, who had emigrated with his father from Amsterdam. They lived in Germantown and had ten children: Dirck, Andries, Peter Dirck, Jacob, Abraham, Elizabeth, Anneke, Catelyntje, Johannes, Margaret. Peter died in 1724, leaving most of the children under age, and Margaret married Michael Eccard, who owned a small farm in the “back part” of Germantown. Eccard was a generous man, in his will of 1763 leaving £50 to the Lutheran Church in Germantown, and £20 for a hospital for the poor.25

Bartholomew, alive in 1724, possibly died about 1744, lived in Blockley Township26. There is no evidence that he married or left children.

Andrew, b. 1688, d. 1747, lived in Upper Merion, a maltster and merchant, m. Deborah Thomas.27 Buried at Norris City Cemetery, Norristown.28 His will, written and proved in 1747, named his wife Deborah, and his children Hance, Jonas, Andrew, John, Catherine, Sarah, Susannah.29

Ann, died in 1755, m. before 1724 Claes (Charles) Yocum.

Jacob, m. Elizabeth Enoch in 1720 at First Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia.30 Born Elizabeth Vansant, she was the widow of John Enoch, Gertrude Enoch’s grandson. Jacob was named in Gertrude’s will as Jacob Supplee.31 They lived in Upper Merion.

  1. This story seems to have started with Ellwood Roberts in his 1904 Biographical Annals of Montgomery County and it was repeated by Ralph Johnson in his Genealogy of early Providence Township Families. Some web posts claim that Andreas is related to the noble French family of Saint Souplis, but there is no evidence for this.
  2. Samuel Pennypacker, Settlement of Germantown. The full text was in the PA Genealogical Magazine, 1950, vol. 18(2), p. 78, citing a mss at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.
  3. New York Genealogical & Biographical Record, vol. 59(1), page 70. Note that the online membership list published on the Olive Tree site is missing a few lines. The comparison with the list as published in the Record shows that the record refers to Andreas Souply, not Johannes Schenk. There is no record of Souplis in the Quaker deaths in New York, published in the NYG&B Record, vol. 7(1).
  4. There are no records of Souplis as a Quaker, and a distinct possiblity that he was a Mennonite. His daughter Margaret married into a strongly Mennonite family.
  5. It seems too much to ask for two men named Andreas Souplis arriving in New York at about the same time and leaving New York at about the same time.
  6. NYG&B Record, 1879, vol. 10(2), p. 80.
  7. He was naturalized again in 1709, along with his son Bartholomew and many others, in a bill to reaffirm the status of Germantown residents. (James Duffin, Acta Germanopolis, 2008).
  8. William Hull, William Penn and the Dutch Quaker Migration.
  9. He described himself as a weaver in his will.
  10. James Duffin, Acta Germanopolis, 2008.
  11. PA Gen Mag, vol. 7(3), pp. 282-3, cited on numerous web pages.
  12. Hull.
  13. James Duffin, Germantown Landowners 1683-1714, part II, Germantown Crier, Vol. 39(3), Summer 1987, pp. 62-67. The deed is in Philadelphia deed book E5 v7, p. 50. Souplis sold it to Christian Warner, who already owned the lot just behind it. 
  14. Peter S. Craig, “The Enochson Brothers and their Swedish Descendents”, Swedish Colonial News, Fall 2005, online. He later bought another 100 acres from Charles Yocum.
  15. Craig, 2005.
  16. Peter S. Craig, 1693 Census of Swedes on the Delaware, 1993, pp. 56-57. Craig gave the date of the marriage as about 1709. Most of the children of both Andreas and Gertra were grown by then.
  17. Philadelphia County wills, written 1724, proved 1726. Andreas did not trust Charles Yocum, Ann’s husband. Her share of the estate was to be kept by the executors and the interest paid to her yearly. If she survived Charles, then the money was to be paid directly to her, but if she died first, it was to be shared by her children. In fact she did outlive Charles; he died in 1741 and named her in his will.
  18. The original estate papers, including inventories, are held at Philadelphia City Hall.
  19. Craig, 2005. Her son Johan (with her first husband) married Brigitta Gästenberg, the widow of Derrick Johansson, who had been executed for murder in Bucks County.
  20. Philadelphia County wills, 1738, #73.
  21. Perkiomen Region, Vol. XII, 1934, p. 38, has the text of the deed. It appears that some of the land was sold to Bartram in April 1735, even before Gertra died. (Phila County deeds, H2, p. 252).
  22. The Historic American Landscapes Survey, on the NPS website at: www.nps.gov/hdp/samples/HALS/bartram/HALS_PA-1_Hist.pdf
  23. If the baptism record of  1684 pertains to Andreas Souplis and his wife Anneke, then Bartholomew was named for her father. It is possible that either Andreas or Anneke had a mother named Elizabeth. In his Bible Peter Dirk Keyser wrote in 1714, “January 20, 1714 was born a girl named after my mother, grandmother, and grandmother-in-law.” Who was his grandmother-in-law? (Samuel Pennypacker, Pennypacker Family, mss, 1880)
  24. On February 11, 1744 Margaret and her husband Michael Eccard signed a release along with her Keyser siblings of three tracts in Germantown conveyed to her son Dirick. (Philadelphia County Deeds, H7, p. 24, on microfilm roll 23, image 572) She did not acknowledge the deed in September 1745 when the other heirs did.
  25. Hannah B. Roach, “Back part of Germantown: A reconstruction”, reprinted 2001, p. 4. Roach said that Margaret died in late 1744. Eccard died in 1763.
  26. E. Roberts, Biographical Annals of Montgomery County, 1904.
  27. Roberts claimed that he married twice, first to Ann Stackhouse, second to Deborah Thomas. He was supposed to have the son Hance with the first wife, and the other children with the second wife. Gene Stackhouse researched the supposed Ann Stackhouse, and was unable to find any evidence for her existence. (Original-13 mailing list, October 12, 2001). It seems prudent to assume that Andrew was only married once, to the wife Deborah named in his will.
  28. Findagrave.
  29. Philadelphia County wills, Book H, p. 403. The sons were to share his land (except for Hance who already had his portion) and the daughters received money.
  30. PA Marriages prior to 1810.
  31. Peter S. Craig, quoted on the Findagrave page for Elizabeth, buried at Old Swedes Cemetery, Bridgeport, Montgomery County.

2 thoughts on “Andreas and Anneke Souplis”

  1. See my article on Andris. Google Andris Souplis and scroll down to my wikitree article. New info is a possible family name of Anneke and mention of Andris’ circle of acquaintances who moved with him from NY to Germantown. I am attempting to uncover more info about Andris through his circle of friends.

    1. Thank you for your comment. I read your article with interest.
      You’ve done a good job of assembling material on possible acquaintances for Andris, good cluster genealogy technique.
      I am thinking about the possibility of Anneke as a Keyser. Dirck Keyser was a Mennonite. Was Andris?
      How large was the Mennonite community in Amsterdam at the time?
      Did you notice my reference to Andris in the Reformed Church records in New York?

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