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a. Note:   y at Boi Kirchen in Rhenish Bavaria. He died at Flatbush, Long Island on 9 Sep 1676. It is recorded that he had a daughter baptized at Meppel in 1629; his next known child was born some fifteen years later indicating that his first marriage in the Netherlands was to an unknown wife; he married (2) about 1643 probably in Brazil CATHERINA VAN DER WERVEN who died at Flatbush Long Island about 1702.
In 1620 he entered Heidelberg University as a student of divinity. After graduating, he served in various localities in the Netherlands until 1635. He then applied for service overseas and was selected to be sent to the West Indies. A large expedition to Brazil was being prepared and in Jan 1637, he landed at his new post on the Recif of Permanbuco, Brazil. There he was in care of the spiritual needs of the settlers and soldiers. In 1638 he went with those sent to colonize the island of Itamarca, adjacent to Recif. Due to civil unrest, he was forced to return to Recif in 1647/48. By 1654, the Dutch administration in Brazil had become inefficient and corrupt. The Portuguese revolted and the Dutch were given three months to either depart or embrace the Roman Catholic faith and become Portuguese citizens. In April of 1654, the Dutch Protestants with others were evacuated; for some reason not known, Catherina and four children took a different ship than that of her husband, Rev. Polhemus. She and the children arrived safely in Holland. The ship on which Rev.Polhemus sailed was captured by a Spanish privateer, which in turn was captured by a French Man-of-War , the ship St. Charles. He arrived at New Amsterdam in Sep 1654. This family was separated for two and a half years before Catherine and the children finally arrived in America in Sep 1656.
When Rev. Polhemus arrived at New Amsterdam, there were three Dutch settlements on the western end of Long Island called Midwout, Amersfoort and Brueckelen; they later became respectively, Flatbush, Flatlands and Brooklyn. They were in need of a church and minister and welcomed the appearance of Dominie Polhemus. At his age, it was a difficult task to get adequate housing, secure a regular salary and serve these three congregations
General Notes:
One unknown marriage in Netherlands as he had a daughter baptized in 1629. Then there was 15 years until the birth of the next child. He married again, probably in Brazil, about 1643 to Catherine Van Der Werven who died in Flatbush about 1702.
Minister of the Reformed Church of Holland.
Johannes was the progenitor of all the families of that name in this country.
When he arrived in this country, he accepted a call from the church of Flatbush N Y, where he labored from 1654 to 1665. Afterward he labored in the church at Brooklyn until his death, June 9, 1676.
On 25 Oct 1636 he sailed from Amsterdam & Texel Harbor and landed 23 Jan 1637 on Recif of Pemambuco, Brazil.
The following from "Historical Handbook of the Van Voorhees Family in the Netherlands and America" - Published 1935.
"We come now to consider briefly the earliest Dutch churches on Long Island. Before 1654 the people had to come over to New Amsterdam for regular preaching and communion. In 1654 came Dominie Johannes Theodorus Polhemus from Brazil, now about 56 years old, to serve the churches then formed to Midwout and Amersfoort, continuing here till his death on June 8, (9) 1676; and serving also at Breuckelen (Brooklyn) 1656 to 1660 and again from 1664 till his death at the age of about 78 years."
"Polhemus was, indeed, Johann Theodore Polheim, probably of German-Swiss origin, whose earlier pastorates seem to have been in the Palatinate; then at Meppel in the province of Overyssel, Netherlands; again in the Palatinate, until 1635; and from 1637 to 1654, in successive ministries at Olinda and at Itamarcas, both in Brazil. We have already shown that from Brazil he came to Amersfoort as the first Dominie of this historic parish. Polhemus was the first regularly stationed minister of the Dutch on Long Island. He came to New Netherland at the evacuation of Brazil by the Dutch, upon the surrender of that country to Portuguese domination. It is said that Polhemus preached in French and Portuguese while in Brazil, and undoubtedly, in Dutch. He of course, knew Latin and German, and probably other languages. When he came here, his wife did not accompany him. She went to Holland to seek collection of the arrears owing to him by the Dutch West India Company. His transfer to Long Island was ratified by the classis in 1656, and arrangements were made to aid Mevrouw. Polhemus to come to Long Island to join her husband. Classis characterized her thus: "She is a very worthy matron, has great desire to be her husband, and has struggled along here in poverty and great straits, always conducting herself modestly and piously."
Johannes married Catharina Van Der Werven, daughter of Peter Van Der Werven and Elizabeth (?) Van Der Werven, about 1643 in Probably In Itamarca, Brazil <u><Sources.htm></u>. Catharina was born about 1612 <u><Sources.htm>,2 <Sources.htm></u> and died about 1702 in Flatbush, Kings County, Long Island, NY.
Note:   BIOGRAPHY: 1. Rev. JOHANNES THEODORUS POLHEMUS was born in 1598 probabl


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