Main Menu | NJ Bicycle Routes | Great Jersey City Stories | New Jersey History | Hudson County Politics | Hudson County Facts | New Jersey Mafia | Hal Turner, FBI Informant | Email this Page
Removing Viruses and Spyware | Reinstalling Windows XP | Reset Windows XP or Vista Passwords | Windows Blue Screen of Death | Computer Noise | Don't Trust External Hard Drives! | Jersey City Computer Repair
Advertise Online SEO - Search Engine Optimization - Search Engine Marketing - SEM Domains For Sale George Washington Bridge Bike Path and Pedestrian Walkway Corona Extra Beer Subliminal Advertising Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs Pet Care The Tunnel Bar La Cosa Nostra Jersey City Free Books


The burial customs were probably the same as those of their fatherland and very peculiar in some respects. The most important character was the Aanspreker, upon whom rested the whole responsibility of the affair. Immediately upon a death he was notified, and at once repaired to the sterfhuis (house of the deceased) with a few sheets of mourning paper, upon which he took down the names of friends to be notified of the death, and marked those who were to be invited as bearers or as mourners. Until after the funeral he had full charge of all details. If necessary he appointed assistants, in case the deceased was very rich or very prominent there were often ten or even twenty Aansprekers; employed to announce the death, and one, usually an old servant of the family, went in the middle of the street, walking slowly with bowed head and face buried in a large mourning handkerchief and led by two Aansprekers, one on each side, while the others were, doing the "wete" or announcement at the houses. On these occasions all were dressed in low shoes, black stockings, black knickerbockers, a black cutaway coat covered by a long, flowing black mantle, with a white cravat or bands and a queer looking three-cornered hat or "steek" from one corner of which to the right floated a long black crape streamer, whilst upon the left corner was pinned a rosette showing the sex of the deceased and if married or single.

At the funeral all gathered at the sterfhuis, the closest friends a little earlier, who were served with beer or spirits and long clay pipes or segars; when all were gathered the chief Aanspreker made a few consolatory remarks or offered a prayer, then signalled the bearers to carry out the bier and martialed the relatives and guests in order, the youngest members of the family coming first. All the mourners and bearers, and sometimes the driver of the hearse, were either dressed as the Aansprekers or else wore rosettes pinned uponthe sleeve or lapel of their coat. The Aanspreker wore white or black gloves according to the sex of the deceased. One or two Aansprekers led the procession, the bearers walked beside the hearse; if there were other Aansprekers, they went between the hearse and first carriage and the procession slowly wended its way to the cemetery. All people meeting a funeral stood still with bowed head and doffed hat until at least the hearse had passed; at the cemetery gate the bearers bore the coffin to the grave, and the Aanspreker made a prayer. After the coffin was lowered and covered with earth, all filed out in the same manner as they had come and returned to the sterfhuis. Here refreshments were served by the women, who as a rule did not go to the cemetery.

To be buried within the church, in or before the baptistery, was a great honor and showed deep veneration by the congregation and was usually accorded only to ministers or men prominent in the church, an extra price being paid for the privilege. The record is effaced of the first burial Within the Bergen Church; but the second was a little daughter of Enoch Michielse Vreeland on August 1st, 1682; the third, on September 4th, of the same year, was Peter Mercelis. On June 21st, 1683, was "buried the corpse of Maekje Baltusen, daughter of Baltus Bartensee, the sixth in church, and the first with knell." The last burial in church mentioned in the records, was that of "Anntje Jackson, aged forty-nine years, who died on Friday, January 13th, 1738, at about 8 A. M., and was buried, on Sunday, January 15th, in the church in the baptistery."

It was not compulsory that interments, should be made in the cemetery or church and many burials were made upon bouwerijen or farms. It was an old Dutch custom lasting until quite recent times, to have burial clothes prepared and kept in store for each member of the family.

The following account of the burial of a pensioner of Bergen Church is dated 1690:

Coffin and spirits f25.10 stivers
1/4 keg of beer 15.16 stivers
Flour and milk 6.05stivers
Sundries 15.05 stivers
Aanspreker 19.10stivers
Mathew Cornelinsen for carting the goods. 3.00 stivers

Total, f85.06

Table of Contents

Jersey City History
Your Ancestors' Story
Asbury Park
Bruce Springsteen's Jersey Shore Rock Haven!

The Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and The Central Railroad Terminal
Visit Liberty State Park!

Questions? Need more information about this Web Site? Contact us at:
297 Griffith St.
Jersey City, NJ 07307