I have always heard that the first Fonda (Gillis Dowese) immigrated to America in 1642… but I have never seen the exact calendar date or the name of the ship he was on.Gillis had just married, so he would have had his wife Hester Douwese Jansz and several young children with him, the number depending on the actual transit date.Here is a timeline of the dates that seem certain:
1604 - Gillis Douwese Fonda born in Friesland, Netherlands. 1616 - Hester Douwese Jansz born in Leiden, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands. 10-Feb-1641 – Gillis and Hester married in Diemon, near Amsterdam, Noord, Netherlands. 24-Mar-1641 – birth of son Douw Jellise Fonda in Agum, Friesland, Netherlands. ??-Dec-1641 – birth of daughter Annetje Jellise in Agum, Friesland, Netherlands. 22-Sep-1642 – birth of daughter Geertie Jellise Fonda in Agum, Friesland, Netherlands (?). 18-Jun-1645 – birth of daughter Sarah Jellise Fonda in Rensselaerwyck (Troy), New York (?) 14-Apr-1647 – birth of son Abraham Jellise Fonda in Rensselaerwyck (Troy), New York (?) ??-???-1650 – birth of daughter Saertje Jellise Fonda in Rensselaerwyck (Troy), New York (?)
About 1646 – Pieter Hartgers advanced some money to Gillis, a boy in the service of Antony de Hooges, possibly Gillis Fonda. (Gillis would have been 42 years old, not a boy)
19-Oct-1651 - the court gave Gillis Fonda permission to distill liquor in Greenbush, New York.
10-Apr-1642 - Antony de Hooges arrived in Rensselaerwyck.He was engaged as underbookkeeper and assistant to Arent van Curler, and sailed from Texel, Netherlands on den Coninck David (King David), 30-Jul-1641. He reached New Amsterdam 29-Nov-1641, but apparently did not arrive in the colony till 10-Apr-1642.
Most records indicate the likely date of immigration as 1646-1651, apparently based on the two references shown above. On the premise that Gillis was, in fact, associated with Antony de Hooges, then it could be possible that Gillis and family arrived in Rensselaerwyck in April 1642.However, there is no record of Gillis Fonda on the King David passenger list.He would have had two very young children (one born in transit) with a third on the way.I find it doubtful that Hester would be willing (or able) to bear a child (Annetje) on the ship, and then have another (Geertie) just a few months after arrival in America.Further, the records all seem to indicate that Gillis was a whaler by profession, so why would he be working for a bookkeeper?
More information is needed to make any conclusions... any help is appreciated. :-)