Garret Gerritsen was a native of Wageningen, an ancient town near the Rhine River, and about ten miles west of Arnheim in Gelderland, Holland. This town stood on marshy ground, was walled, and was a place of considerable strength during the Thirty Years War.
    Garret Gerritsen left his native town with his wife, Annetje Hermanse, and child Garret (then two years old) in November 1660 on the ship "Faith" commanded by skipper Jan Bestwaer, and reached New Amsterdam on December 23, following. The fare for himself and family was ninety florins. Gerritsen brought with him a certificate of the Mayor and Scheppens of his native town that he and his wife "have always been considered and esteemed as pious and honest people, and that no complaint of any civil or disorderly conduct has ever reached their ears".
    Gerretsen went to Bergen, where on May 12th, 1668, he bought of Philip Carteret eight parcels of land in the town of Bergen. He resided in what is now the Communpaw section of Jersey City when he died in October 1696. His wife died 7 Sept. 1696. His seven children: Garret, Jannetie, Sophia, Herman, Aellie, Henry and John.
    Some of these took the name of Van Wagenen, while others retained that of Gerretsen, from the name of their father.
    Garret Gerretsen’s descendants, going by the surnames of Gerretsen, Garrison, Van Wagenen, and Van Wagoner, are today numerous throughout Bergen and Hudson Counties. One of them is Hon. Abram I. Garretsen, just (1900) appointed Associate Justus of the New Jersey Supreme Court

GERRIT GERRITSEN (Garrison Van Wagoner)
Certificate of Character
(Still preserved by his descendants in Jersey City – this is a translation).

    We, bergomasters, schepens, and councillors of the city of Wagening, declare by these presents, that there appeared before us Hendrick Ellisen and Jordiz Spiers, citizens of this city, at the request of Gerritt Gerritsen and Annetji Hermansse, his wife. They have testified and certified as they do by these presents, that they have good knowledge of the above named Gerrit Gerritsen and Annetji Hermansse, his wife, as to their life and conversation, and that they have always been considered and esteemed as pious and honest people, and that no complaint of any evil or disorderly conduct has ever reached their ears; on the contrary, they have always led quiet pious and honest lives, as it becomes pious and honest persons. They especially testify, that they govern their family well, and bring up their children in the fear of God and in all modesty and respectability.
    As the above named persons have resolved to remove and proceed to New Netherland, in order to find greater convenience, they give this attestation, grounded on their knowledge of them, having known them intimately, and having been in continual intercourse with them for many years, living in the same neighborhood.
    In testimony of the truth, we the burgomasters of the city, have caused the private seal of the city to be here to affixed.
    Done at Wagening 27 Nov. 1660 By the ordinance of the same.
        J. Aqueline

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