Thank you for the info, Richard. You are correct on all points about the Coat of Arms. Most of us today only seek out certain ones because of trying to make a connection to a specific progenitor. For the last 100 years it has been assumed and accepted in historical records and family genealogies that the Pieter Marcelis who came to New Netherlands in 1661 with his wife and 4 children and 2 servants was of the famed Dutch Marselis family that served the Denmark crown. One of these was a Peter who died in Russia. There are several Coat of Arms awarded to various "sons" of that family.
A small rendering - found in the Netherlands over 50 years ago of a Coat of Arms issued to a Pieter Marcelis -1884 was then assumed to be our Pieter. It was assumed (but never proven) that this Pieter was of the famed Marselis family
The Coat of Arms is very different from the other Dutch Marselis Armorials. (All renderings and descriptions are in J.B. Rietstap's ARMORIAL GENERAL which I reinterpreted from the French)
Very recent evidence supports that out Pieter Marcelis/Marselis and about 20 other variant spellings was most likely not of the famed Dutch family.
The Coat of Arms is still open to debate. However whether it is or is not out Pieter the rendering I did was used to try and raise money for restoration of the Marsalis Cemetery in Amite County, MS. Copies were sold at a family reunion and then I offered copies online to Marsalis descendants and asked enough -$12.00- to cover my copying expenses and mailing. I in turn donated the $12.00 to the Cemetery fund. Thousands of dollars have been needed. The restoration work is in progress. I sold online a grand number of 2. My rendering was made the cover of the Cemetery funds book which details some known and some supposed/assumed Marsalis family history.
The paper backed book also has an extensive family tree that begins with Peter Hutchins Marsalis and his wife Mary M. Gordon. They settled in Amite County, Mississippi around 1810. He was from New Jersey and a direct descendant of the above mentioned Pieter Marcelis/Marselis who came to New Netherlands in 1661 from Beeds/Beest, a Dutch province of Gelderland. He and family settled in Bergen County, New Jersey, married into many other prominent Dutch families and later his grandsons spread out over New Jersey. Our particular line went to the Raritan Valley area - Middlesex, Somersex, Hunterdon, Morris Counties. (Pieter and his son Marcelis Pieterse had bought much land.)
As for "Marsalis seems to be a name from the Netherlands (Holland). In your message of 2006 you mentioned Denmark in 1643, and you also mentioned Bergen (County?). Can you let us all know where Bergen is??"
Marsalis is a variant spelling of Marcelis/Marselis/Marcellisen/Merselis/Merselius/Marseilles/Marsellus/Marsalis etc etc etc. Peter Hutchins Marsalis' descendants have kept the Marsalis spelling for about 200 years now.
Bergen County is in New Jersey. It is neighbor to Passaic and Essex Counties where more of Pieter Marcelis/Marselis' grandsons settled in colonial days onward.
Sorry for the long reply but your post has given me a good opportunity to explain more about the "assumed" Coat of Arms and other origins. Thank you. (There is a Marsalis Message Board at ancestry.com/rootsweb too. I also administer the Marsalis World DNA Project and an exciting adventure is resulting from DNA results Stay tuned! History is about to be rewritten.)