Elizabeth Bijval Mini tree diagram


Life History


Birth of daughter Elizabeth Bijval in Suriname


died in Suriname

image source


Martha Tjoe Nij states that:

"Betje van Beeldsnijder born 1742 - deceased 1830 - belonging to Wolfert Jacob Beeldsnijder Matroos is a mullatin. She is a daughter of the Free Adjuba van Betje van Beeldsnijder that died in 1808."

While it seems rather curious that Adjuba is called 'Adjuba van Betje van Beeldsnijder' it is interesting to note that she is described as Free. Perhaps her freed name: 'van Betje van Beeldsnijder' suggests that she was freed by her daughter.

I have accepted Martha's assertions regarding name and the date of death. However, it should be noted that the statement was not accompanied by any reference to source. It is possible that the surname given to Adjuba is a misprint.

A visitor to the Oude Kerke in Amsterdam wrote the following:

"So why was I interested in Jacob Matroos Beeldsnijder's (American: Bellsnyder) gravestone? I don't know. Maybe it's because he was born a slave and I didn't think there were former slaves buried in Dutch church grounds. I think that it's great that his remains lie in this great church as, well, proof of not only the Dutch involvement in the trans-atlantic slave trade but also proof that African peoples did live in Amsterdam during the Golden Age ...

I've googled him since and learnt so much. He (and his twin Ernst) were born slaves in Suriname to a mulatto woman whose Afro-Surinamese mother's name was Adjuba. Adjuba, Edjoba. Hmmm. Sounds like an Nzema name to me, which is highly possible because I know that a lot of Black Surinamese were taken from the coast of what is now modern day Ghana".

[Note: The documentation we have discovered suggests that if Jacob and his brother Ernst were born slaves they and their mother were freed before their baptism, less than a year later - when they were baptised with their father's name. Their mother, Elizabeth, and their grandmother Adjuba had indeed been slaves. The Beelsnjider family tree indicates that Wolfert Jacob Matroos only had children with Elizabeth. Which would explain the freeing of their mother and their acceptance as his children by the family in Holland.]

Life in the Shadows - Slavery and Slave Culture in Surinam, SK says:

"The masters seemed to employ Ashanti day names eagerly, which in the Surinam versions were for .. girls: Kwassiba, Adjuba, Amba, Animba, Acuba, Jaba, Afiba, Abeniba".

So it might just be that Adjuba was born on a Monday.

SK goes on to say:

"It should not be thought that the slaves meekly accepted the names bestowed on them by their owners. The whites used them, but frequently their peers did not. Therefore, slaves often had several names (just as the Bush Negroes still have): their 'official' name, given to them by their master; their day name; a 'Negro' name used by their fellows and sometimes a nickname as well. It is obvious that the whites were aware of this practice, because in the archives they frequently listed 'aliases'".

SurinameseGirl1810.jpg From Google:

"The population of Surinam was primarily divided into free and unfree (slaves).
The free included people of all races. Besides the Dutch, there were English, French and German migrants who had come to the colony to work and were attracted by the climate of religious tolerance. At the top of the social ladder stood the senior officials, merchants and planters. The slave-masters on the plantations formed a European middle class, while the soldiers were the least regarded of all Europeans. Those of mixed descent, with some European ancestry, felt a cut above the Africans. They gradually formed into a middle class.
Among the unfree, those of mixed race were given the best jobs, such as domestic chores. Yet Africans made up by far the majority of the population: in 1791, 53,000 Africans were enslaved in Surinam. By contrast, there were around 5,000 Europeans living in the colony."

FromThe Boni Maroon Wars in Suriname:

Surinam Slaves

Surinam Slaves 2

Ghana_Ivory_Coast.jpg From Ghana – Caribbean Relations - From Slavery Times To Present

Slaves from the Gold Coast, known collectively as "Kormantin Negroes" were sourced by the Dutch West Indian Company from its Forts at Elmina, Accra, Axim, Apam, Moure, Senya Bereku etc.

The bulk were taken to Suriname but a few also reached Curacao, Bonaire, Aruba, St. Martin and St Eustatius. Some Dutch West Indian Company officials in the Gold Coast (like Nicholas Bakergem and De Petersen) actually owned Slave Ships as well as Sugar Plantations in Suriname. Their families in Netherlands and Elmina inherited their Caribbean businesses.

Some 22% of the half a million slaves exported to the New World by the Dutch went to Suriname and 30% of that number came from the Elmina area. Between the 1780s and 1863, the Dutch-Elmina-Carribean business of the Bakergem family continued to flourish.