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The first five generations from Thomas Sleijster (1600-1800)

1. Old: The First Five Generations 1600-1800 | 2. Older: Leicester Tree 967-16003. Oldest: From Thomas to Adam
4. A short Historic Overview about Leicester

1. The first five generations from Thomas Sleijster (1600-1800)

The roots of the Sleijster family are found in Zutphen, around the year 1600. In the course of time the family is rather expanded and has spread out. At the moment there has only remained a very tiny Zutphen branch . But there are now discernible a few Arnhem branches, a Heerde branch and an Amsterdam branch. Besides that there are several Sleijsters emigrated to the USA in the middle of the 19th century.

At first I want to tell you about some traditions concerning the descent of Thomas Sleijster. There is the story that he would be a descendant of Prince Maurits. Under the American immigrants the story did go around that the Sleijsters would be nobly and that they had a escutcheon, which has been perished. It is a possibility that the origin of this story is to find in the family tree of the "Van Nassau-Ouwerkerk-branch" which exist in the Ouwerkerk family. In The Hague is a so-called street. So in my opinion it is not more than a legend.

Robert Dudley - Earl of Leicester - 1587Robert Dudley
Than there is also an other story that is much more reliable. Thomas should be a extramarital son of the first count of Leicester, Robert Dudley, the friend of the English queen Elisabeth I. Thomas had an army training and was placed in the regiment that on the request of the Dutch States by the queen was send to Holland to help in the battle against Spain because Prince Maurits still was so young.

At the head of the regiment was Thomas' natural father, Robert Dudley. Him was asked to become the governor. In 1587 there has been a battle near Zutphen, where also Thomas was fighting. Thereafter the regiment is stationed in Zutphen and Thomas married there.

If this story, in particular the participation in the battle near Zutphen in 1587, is true, Thomas would be born in ± 1570 and than he was rather old (67) when he married Anneke Willems and got children (68-80). We don't know much about Anneke Willems. She was probably young. Her confirmation in the church was a year after her marriage in 1638.

Another possibility could be that Thomas was born during Robert Dudley's visite of The Netherlands from 1585 till 1587.

This story does come from old sources (± 1850: Jacobus Gerhardus Sleijster en Anna) and it has been brought up from very different sides so that it must be considered as a fairly reliable story.

So the oldest fact that was to find back in the archives was the marriage in 1625 of Thomas Sleijsser.
Take note of the different ways of writing that were used at the concerning opportunities.

In this story fits also the statement that the name Sleijster is a combination on sound of 'Sargeant of Leicester' or 'Son of Leicester'. Together: S leister.

The tree of Robert Dudley, the father of Thomas Sleijster, goes back til the year 967. Click here...

I also found in the Zutphen archives: Jurrien. He has a little divergent surname (Slier, Slijer, Slyer, Shlijher).
The names, also the first names, might have the impression that he is a familymember but it's only a possibility that he is a cousin or a brother. But this is not sure. This branch has been died out.

 Thomas-I ( ±1600? - ...? )

He is the first "Sleijster", that we encounter in the archives and so he is the ancestor of the family.

16 November 1625 - Thomas Sleijsser married Marrije Loon

On 16 November 1625 Thomas Sleijsser, militarist under Capt. Treffreij, married in Zutphen with Marrije Loon. She was the widow of Vespasianus Loon. There were no children born out of this marriage. The marriage ended in a divorce according to a document that was presented on 3 may 1637 with the second marriage of Thomas, namely the ecclesiastical proclamation of the marriage between "George Bord, militairy under C. Broun, and Marije Loon, widow of Vespasiaen Loon" (a registration of their marriage has not been found).

n 18 Januari 1624 Georg Bord and Marrije Loon were registered, but there was no wedding.

Children from Thomas' first marriage

NEW (29-9-2012): There are found 4 children from the first marriage of Thomas and Marrije:

   1. 1627 Catharina (Thomas Sleijter)  27 mei
   2. 1628 Matthijs (Thomas Slijtir)        7 september
   3. 1633 Sarah (Tomos Slijsir)            9 augustus
   4. 1635 Arent (Thomas Sijter)          14 juli

From this first marriage came 4 children. The archieves do not give full assurance, but in spite of the old writing the combination of Thomas and Sleijter/Slijtir/Slijsir/Sijter seem very strong to interpret the same person (also comparis the notation here below of the fifth child, which is Thomas-2). Also the dates fit to the period of his first marriage. From these four children nodescendents are found.

May 1627 - 1.  Catharina (Thomas Sleijter) 27 mei

baptised 7 September 1628 - 2. Matthijs (Thomas Slijtir) 7 september

baptised 29 May 1629 - 3. Arent (Thomas Slijtir) 29 september
Arent died young, because on the 14th July 1636 another Arent is baptised

baptised 9 August 1633 - 4. Sarah (Tomos Slijster) 9 augustus

baptised 14 July 1636 - 5. Arent (Thomas Sijster) 14 juli

Second marriage of Thomas Sleijster and Anneken


In 1634 on a quarter on list of the garrison of Capt. Treffey (or: Trevery) is mentioned: Thomas Sleijster, Sargiant, lives 'on his own' ('op syn eygen').
After the marriage was announced on 16-04-1637, Thomas Sleijster married on 3 May 1637 Anneken Willems.

3 may 1637 the 2d marriage of Thomas Schleisser with Anneken Willems

NEW (24-11-2012) More information found about the marriages of Anneken:

Anneken Sticke was a widow, she was married before on 28-11-1634 with Jan Willems (John Williams) van Jorck (waarschijnlijk York, Engeland). Given the addition "n.d." she has not been married before that marriage:

Together Jan Willems and Anneken became a son on 02-09-1636: Willem. So this son later becomes a half brother of the children of Thomas Sleijster and Anneke Sticke-Willems:

Jan must be passed away between 28-11-1634 and 22-01-1637, because on 22-01-1637 is the announcement of the marriage of Hendrik Grimso (Henry Grimshaw) and Anneken Willems, widow of Jan Willems. But that marrige could not be executed, because the bridegroom died before the second proclamation. (Sponsus obijt ante secundam proclamationem):

From enquiry is known that soldiers fought more for their colleagues than for the fatherland. Than it isn't strange that, if someone fell in the war, someone took care of the widow and her children by marrying her.

Second marriage

On the 3d may 1637 the 2d marriage of Thomas Schleisser was consecrated with Anneken Willems. She was just as his first wife a widow. From this marriage were born 4 children, Thomas2, Johannes, Walborg and Lijsbetgen.

30 September 1638 born: Thomas, son of Tomas Slijser

On 30 September 1638 their firstborn child was registered in the baptismal register of the Walburgchurch (Walburgkerk) as Thomas, son of Tomas Slijser. He became the 2d ancestor of the family.

One year later, in 1639, Johannes was registered as son of Tomas Slijser.

December 1639:  Johannes, 2e zoon van Tomas Slijser

Two years later, in 1641, a daughter was registered, Walborg, daughter of Tomas Sleijser.

In 1650 Thomas lived in a own house near the Marsgate (Marspoort), north side Groenmarkt, called "de Roose" (the Rose).

On 6 may 1650 Hans Hungert and his wife Marritgen Caspers sell to Thomas Sleyser, sergeant of Captain Coecke, and his wife Jenneken Sticks, a house "op die Nijstadt in die Backeroorde".

On 13 december 1650, 9 years after the birth of their first daughter, there was born a second daughter, who was registered as Lijsbetgen, daughter of Thomas Sleijers and Anneken Sticke.

Own house

A few months before, on 6 may 1650, Thomas Sleijser and his wife had bought an own house "op die Nijstadt in die Backeroorde". In that deed of purchase his wife is called Jenneken Sticks. This could be interpret as a third marriage but more presumable is that Anneken Willems and Anneken Sticke and Jenneken Sticks are the same person, at least when we may presume that Sticks was her own surname and Willem was the first name of her father or maybe the first name of her first husband.

Burgerboek van Zutphen

On 5 april 1653 Thomas Sleijser was registered in the citizen book ("burgerboek") of the city Zutphen and with that he became an official citizen of Zutphen. His descendants stayed in Zutphen for many generations.

More information was found about Thomas in 2012 - watch this pdf (in Dutch):
    The live of Thomas Sleijster and his commander Captain Henry Treffry (pdf)...
The inquiry by Joop Sleijster begins with the 1620 enrolment in the regiment of Sir Horace Vere that was sent to the Netherlands in 1620 to fight in The Palts, and later Maastricht, Nijmegen, Breda. Zutphen became the base, wherehe married in 1625.
Also is mentioned Thomas Sleyter's baptism on 12 July 1594 in the baptism book of the Anglican Church in Baston, Lincoln, England, and also his siter Mary Sleyter on 2 Februar 1598.
His parents John Slayter and Jhon Henninglye married on 10 October 1992 in Baston, Lincoln, England.
Further we find a extensive inquiry about the battles in which Thomas fought under his commander Captain Henry Treffry.

 Thomas-II ( 1638 - died after 1711 )

4 September 1664 - marriage Thomas-II and Jenneke Willems

On 4 September 1664 is the consecration of the marriage of Thomas-II and Jenneke Willems.

On 24 april 1711 Thomas Sleijter is present when his son Jurriaen, "den glasenmaecker" (the glassmaker), appears before the orphanage. This is the last fact we find of Thomas. He was 73 years than.
Maybe had Jurriaen to take care of an orphan. This Jurriaen was the oldest son of Thomas-2 and he had 10 children but only one granddaughter so that this branch soon became extinct. The family tree goes on with the fourth child of Thomas: Willem.

The 'Burgerweeshuis' (orphanage)
at the Hagepoortplein in Zutphen in 1719
(a drawing by F. Berghuys)

 Willem ( 1671 - 1729 )

24 may 1671 - birth Willem, son of Thomas Sleicers and Jenneke Willems

On 24 may 1671: the birth registration of Willem, son of Thomas Sleicers and Jenneke Willems

29 September 1695 - marriage of Willem Sleister and Janna Thomas

On 29 September 1695: the marriage of Willem Sleister, j.m. (=young man), and Janna Thomas, j.d. (=young daughter) ("j.m." and "j.d." was written when people were not married before).

On 23 may 1702 Joost Balthasar van Grotenhuys and his wife sell to Willem Sleyser and his wife a house in the "Barthese", between Simon Gelinck and Jacob Crijns.

On 16 September 1706 Willem Sleyster and his wife Johanna Teunissen take a mortgage on this house in the "Barthese". Paid off at 28 April 1719.

 Jan Jurjen ( 1707 - ±1745 )

3 august 1707 - birth Jan Jurjen - Willem Sleisters and Janna Toness

3 august 1707: the birth registration of Jan Jurjen by Willem Sleisters and Janna Toness. Jan Jurjen is their sixth child.

6 may 1728 - marriage Jan Sleister and Wesseltje Wicherink

6 may 1728: the marriage in the "Grote Kerk" (Big Church) of Jan Sleister, j.m. (young man) and Wesseltje Wicherink, j.d. (young daughter), 'both living here'.

On 10 august 1736 Jan Sleister and Oortwijn Arents are appointed as guardians over the children of the late Thomas Sleister. This Thomas was the 3 years younger brother of Jan Jurjen and he had 2 children of 5 and 6 years.

On 4 December 1736 Jan Sleijster and his wife Wesseltien Wiggerink buy a house "op den Rijkenhagen" between Hendrik Maes and Berent Bosch. The next day they take a 500 guilders mortage on this house at 4½%.

On 8 may 1739 Jan Sleijster and his wife Wesseltien Wiggerink take a 200 guilders mortgage on their house at 4%. On 23 September 1751 paid back by the widow.

 Jan Willem and Albertus
They are the two oldest sons of Jan Jurjen and they are the ancestors of the two big family branches:


1. Jan Willem is ancestor of:

- the American branch of emigrant Roelof
- the Arnhem Gerardus-branch
- the Heerde Warnerius-branch

2. Albertus is ancestor of:

- the Amsterdam Hermanus-branch
- an other Arnhem Albertus-branch
- 3 other American branches


 Jan Willem ( 1729 - 1794 )

Geboorte Jan Willem [son of] Jan Sleister [and] Wesseltje Wiggerink -  22 April 1729

On 26 February 1765 Jan Willem Sleijster and Albertus Sleijster and their wives Johanna Hendriks and Anna Maria Meijer take a 500 guilder mortgage at 4% on the house of Jan Willem in the "Franschensteeg" and the house of Albertus in the "Turfstraat", between Arnoldus Caldenbach and the clockmaker Van der Bosch, and on the house on the "Rijkenhagen", between Barent ten Bosch and David Kragt, of which they were both the owners with their mother Wesseltje Wiggerink, widow of Jan Sleijster and with their sister and brother-in-law Catharina Sleijster and Daniėl Molien. On 5 may 1769 250 guilders are paid back. On 11 January 1792 the mortgage is paid off.

 Albertus ( 1730 - 1802 )

On 10 September 1730 Albertus is born:

On 19 November 1754 Albertus and Anna Maria Meijer married:

On 26 October 1799 Albertus Sleijster and his wife Anna Maria Meijer sell their house in the "Turfstraat" between Arnoldus Caldenbach and Hermannus Dijkman to their son Pieter Johannes and his wife Johanna Witen.