A RootsWeb tree is about Gerrit Gerritse, b 1632 Wagenin, Netherlands, d Bergen Co, NJ.It lists all his children as Van Wagenins.I'm not sure that is correct but cannot lay my hands on the printed records of the Dutch Church in Bergen that I have packed away somewhere.I feel sure that none of them were called van Wagenins at the time.
Now, in another source I cannot find, but I think it was the quarterly of the Pennsylvania Historical Society, there is a story told by a gentleman in a speech at the society's annual meeting.My poor memory tells me that issue was published in the 1930s.
I am sure I remember correctly that he told of a Gerrit Gerritson who was called "Nail Headed Gat" because he was so stubborn.Gat was a nickname for Gerrit.He was a descendant of old Gerrit of Bergen and when an estate (perhaps old Gerrit's) was settled it wasn't done the way Gat wanted.He got so upset he changed his name and that of his descendants to van Wagenin because that was the village old Gerrit had come from.It was important to him to distinguish his family from the Gerritsons.
Has anyone else found these records?Was the listing of all of Gerrit's children as van Wagenins the result of a misunderstanding of the situation?
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