The Verplanck-Crommelin Family Bible

by Miff Crommelin

The Verplanck Room at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY
showing the portraits of Samuel Verplanck (left), and his younger brother Gulian.
Their mother was Mary Crommelin; Samuel Verplanck also married his cousin, Judith Crommelin.

Brief Overview of the Verplanck-Crommelin Family
The suite of furniture and other objects in the Verplanck room of the Metropolitan Museum are from Samuel Verplanck's impressive town house built by his father before 1750. The house stood at 3 Wall Street in New York City; it was demolished in 1822 to make way for the Branch Bank of the United States, the façade of which was preserved in 1924 as the front of the Metropolitan Museum's American Wing.

In 1763, after he returned from a trip to Amsterdam during which he married his Dutch cousin Judith Crommelin [the daughter of Daniel Crommelin, a brother of Samuel's mother, Mary], Samuel Verplanck took possession of the house on Wall Street and most likely purchased the suite of furniture for his parlor. During the War of Independence some thirteen years later, Samuel supported the Revolutionary cause while his Dutch wife favoured the British. When the British took Manhattan in 1776, Samuel withdrew to their summer residence, Mount Gulian, Fishkill, New York, where he remained until his death in 1820.

Mount Gulian, Samuel Verplanck's homestead in Fishkill, New York is now a tourist attraction

Meanwhile his estranged wife stayed in the Wall Street house, maintaining a friendship with Lord William Howe, commander-in-chief of the British forces. Howe presented her with two of the paintings currently hanging in the Verplanck Room, The Temptation of Eros and The Victory of Eros, both in the style of the Swiss artist Angelica Kauffmann. Perhaps Judith played a part in drawing away too much of the General's attention from the war effort which he was supposed to lead. After Howe was recalled to England for "dissipation and high play," Judith remained in Manhattan until her death in 1803. After that, the house was closed and most of the furnishings were sent to Fishkill, where they remained until they came to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

"Temptation of Eros" and "Victory of Eros", a gift to Judith Verplanck-Crommelin
from Sir William Howe, commander-in-chief of the invading British forces during the War of Independence

Mount Gulian Destroyed by Fire, 1931
An interesting story appeared on September 6th, 1931 when the New York Herald Tribune reported that Mount Gulian had been razed by fire leaving nothing standing but stone walls. The weather was dry and there was no water in the well. The firemen could only attempt to save as much as they could carry from the building. Many family portraits were lost along with irreplaceable books, manuscripts, and family papers. Some twenty days after the fire, the United Press carried this story: “Reports of an apparition in the 200 year old Verplanck homestead while flames destroyed the structure recently are being discussed here...”

As the fire was burning, a police officer and three men who were with him all saw the same thing: for the space of a half an hour the figure of a man could be seen plainly through the window of an upper room. He was seated at a desk and busy writing, while a woman stood behind him, holding a lighted candle high enough to cast its light upon his work. His hair was long and tied back. Both were dressed in clothes of an earlier time. The scene disappeared only when the building finally succumbed to the flames and collapsed. [Could this have been a vision of Samuel Verplanck and Judith Crommelin in better times when they were still together?]

Verplanck-Crommelin Family Tree

The Verplanck Family Bible
My search for a family Bible belonging to the Verplanck family finally bore fruit when a packet arrived in September, 2010 from Amelia Peck of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Inside was a CD containing images she took of the flyleafs of this old Bible on which were recorded the births, deaths and marriages of Verplanck-Crommelin family members descended from Daniel and Charles Crommelin - the first ones to arrive in America.

My initial awareness of the Bible's existence came from an old Metropolitan Museum Bulletin in my father's collection dated November, 1941 which states, "In an English Bible, shown on a table in the Verplanck Room, Gulian recorded his marriage to Mary Crommelin in 1737 and the births of their children..." Many years later, after numerous inquiries to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, I was able to reach Amelia Peck who managed to retrieve this historic family document and kindly photographed the family information that I was interested in.

View the illustrations inside.

Inscribed in this old English Bible are not only the significant dates pertaining to the family of Samuel Verplanck who married Judith Crommelin [daughter of Daniel Crommelin, founder of the firm Daniel Crommelin and Sons], but it also contains the flyleafs cut out from an older Dutch family Bible which belonged to Samuel's parents who were Gulian Verplanck and Mary Crommelin.

The (older) Dutch Bible flyleaf pages

The above family tree chart includes information gleaned from the (older) Dutch Bible flyleaf which reads as follows:

Nieuw York de 30 May 1700 Gelyna Verplanck
Dese Biblia Vereert den Gulian Samuelse Verplanck Door Zijn Grootmoeder Henrica Verplanck Tot en Gedachtenise Aan Zijne Mottie Saliger Galyna Verplanck.

(Note: Gulian (1698-1751) was de zoon van Samuel (1669-1698) en kleinzoon van Galyna (Geleyn) Verplanck 1637-overleden voor 1700). 'Mottie' was waarschijnlijk een liefkozende benaming voor Geleyn, Gulian's grootvader door zijn weduwe Henrica).

New York, 30 May 1700
Gelyna [Gulian] Verplanck

This bible was given to Gulian Samuel Verplanck by his grandmother Henrica Verplanck in memory of his late grandfather ‘Mottie’, Galyna Verplanck.

1667 - 8 November is born Ariantje Bayard at 3 o'clock in the morning, her godparents uncle Nicolaes Bayard and grandmother Marritje Jans.

1669 - 16 December is born Samuel Verplanck, Thursday 3 hours after midday.

1691 - 27 October we were married, Samuel Verplanck and Ariantje Bayard, by pastor Henderieckies Seleijnis at the home of Balthazaer Bayard.

1692 - 31 August is born our first child, a daughter, 10 o'clock in the morning and baptised by pastor Hendriecheis Seleijnis and named Maria. The godparents are father Jacobus Kip and mother Herdericca Kip.

1694 - 18 August is born our second child, a daughter on Saturday at 6 o'clock in the morning named Henderieck, godparents are father Bayard and mother Bayard.

1696 - 10 June is born our third child, a daughter at 8 o'clock in the morning of Wednesday named Anna, godparents uncle Nicolaes Bayard and grandmother Anna Verhett and her 'mootie' Margrieta Verplanck. Departed this life 1760.

1698 - 31 May is born our fourth child, a son on Tuesday morning at 6 o'clock named Gulian. Godparents were his cousin Samuel Bayard and his grandmother Henrica Kip.
[Apparently Samuel died at sea this same year. He was buried at Jamaica. Thus this Gulian and the other children never really knew their father.]

An addendum in English reads as follows:

Be it remembered that the memorandums attached to the covers of this family Bible were taken from a family Dutch Bible some years previous to the War of Independence but the precise period is not now recollected.

Samuel Verplanck born in the City of New York on the 19th September 1739 Old Stile...
Judith, eldest daughter of Daniel Crommelin and his wife Mary (her maiden name Le Plastrier) born in the year 1739 Old Stile on 16th September...
...were married in the City of Amsterdam in the month of April 1761.

The above entry made by the said S.V.P. [Samuel Verplanck] at Mount Gulian, Fishkill this first day of July, one thousand eight hundred & seventeen [1817].

Daniel Crommelin Verplanck born in the City of New York on 21 March 1762 was baptised in Trinity Church in said city.

The (newer) English Bible flyleaf pages

The (newer) English Bible flyleaf reads as follows:

1698 - May 31 was born Gulian Verplanck on Tuesday about six o'clock in the morning being son of Samuel Verplanck and Araentje Bayard, his sureties were Samuel Bayard and his... [illegible]

1712 - July 17 was born Mary Crommelin (daughter of Charles Crommelin and Anna his wife born Sinclair), was baptised by Dominie Anthonidus of Flat Bush, her sureties were Gerit Duycking and Anna Hogelandt.

1737 - September 8 Thursday we [Gulian Verplanck and Mary Crommelin] were married together at the house of my Father by the Reverend Gualt. Dubois.

1738 - August 30 Wednesday about 7 o'clock afternoon was born our first, this being a son and was baptised in my house by the Reverend Mr. Charleton named Samuel, his sureties were his grandfather Charles Crommelin and his grandmother Arjaentje Verplanck. He departed this life 9th Sept. following and was buried in the Dutch Church.

1739 - September 19 Wednesday about 9 o'clock in the morning was born our second child being a son, was baptized in the old Church by the Reverend Gualt. Dubois named Samuel, his sureties are his grandfather Charles Crommelin and his grandmother Arjaentje Verplanck.

1741 - August 29 Saturday about 9 o'clock in the evening was born our third child being a son, was baptized in the old Church by the Reverend Gualt. Dubois named, Charles, his sureties are his uncle Henry Brockhols and his grandmother Anna Crommelin [-Sinclair].
- 1748 on March 18 after dinner he went to school very merry and about one o'clock was a corpse. He is interred in the Old Dutch Church.

1743 - October 11 Tuesday about 11 o'clock at night was born our fourth child being a daughter, was baptized in the Old Church by the Reverend Gualt. Dubois, named Ann, her sureties were her uncle Robert Crommelin and her aunt Ann Verplanck.

1745 - December 18 Wednesday about 7 o'clock in the evening was born our fifth child being a daughter, was baptized in the Old Church by the Reverend Hendericus Boel, named Mary, her sureties were her uncle Daniel Crommelin and his wife Mary, born Le Plastrier.

1748 - July 8 Saturday about 4 o'clock in the morning was born our sixth child being a daughter, was baptized in the Old Church by the Reverend Henricus Boel, named Arjaentje, in English Adrinas, her sureties were her uncle Charles Crommelin and her aunt Mary Brockhols. 1752 Jan. 15 departed this life around 6 o'clock in the morning & interred in the new Dutch Church.

1751 - February 11 Monday about half an hour after eight at night was born our 7th child being a son and was baptized in the Old Church by the Reverend Gualt. Dubois named Gulian, his sureties were his uncle Gabriel Ludlow and his wife Elizabeth.

1751 - Mr. Gulian Verplanck departed this life on 11 Nov. about 5 o'clock in the morning very suddenly & interred in the new Dutch Church.

The opposite page reads as follows:

1730 - April 5 was born Gabriel G. Ludlow.

1743 - October 11 Tuesday about 11 o'clock at night was born Ann Verplanck (Daughter of Gulian Verplanck & Mary his wife, born Crommelin) was baptized by the Reverend Gualt. Dubois, her sureties were Robert Crommelin & Ann Verplanck.

1760 - September 3 were married Gabl. G. Ludlow & Ann Verplanck at the house of Mary Verplanck by the Reverend Barckley.

...with a diagonal pencil annotation as follows:

The entries on opposite page were made (except the last) by Gulian Verplanck (born 1698, died 1751). He married according to the record Sept. 1737 - Mary Crommelin - and had three sons, Samuel, Charles & Gulian - Chas. died in childhood - Samuel the eldest was the father of Danl. Crommelin [Verplanck] - the grandfather of J. Delancey [Verplanck] - and the great grandfather of Samuel Verplanck Jr. - great-great grandfather of J.D.L.Verplanck Jr.

A final page records the children of Gulian Verplanck, the younger brother of Samuel:

March 29 - 1784 - Gulian Verplanck & Cornelia Johnston were married at the house of Colonel Gabriel G. Ludlow at Hampstead Plains by the Reverend Joshua Bloomer.

Sept. 21 - 1757 - Cornelia, wife of Gulian Verplanck was born, the third daughter of David Johnston Esq. & Helena his wife (born Walton).

January 25 - 1785 - Maria Cornelia was born.

February 16 - 1786 - Eliza Magdalena was born.

September 24 - 1787 - Anna Sophia was born. Died Sept. 15, 1819.

January 18 - 1789 - David Johnston was born.

January 11 - '91 - Emily was born.

September 25 - '92 - Charlotte was born.

Thus I conclude that the Verplanck Bible(s) likely passed through the following families, although #4 is not definite:

1. Gelyn (Gulian) Verplanck (1637 - ) married to Hendrikja Wessels [Kip?]
2. Gulian Verplanck (1698 - 1751) married to Mary Crommelin
3. Samuel Verplanck (1739 - 1820) married to Judith Crommelin
4. Gulian Verplanck (1751 - ) married to Cornelia Johnston

I wish to thank Amelia Peck and the Metropolitan Museum of Art for their gracious help in making this genealogy project possible, and for their permission to use the relevent graphics used herein. Also my appreciation goes out to the Mount Gulian historic site for the use of their graphics.