Majorin Elizabeth Bijval Castor Jacob Matroos Pollux Ernst Matroos Elizabeth Mini tree diagram

Wolphert Jacob Beeldsnijder Matroos

22nd Apr 1742 - 1793

Life History

22nd Apr 1742

Born in Utrecht, The Netherlands

27th Oct 1779

Birth of illegitimate son Castor Jacob Matroos

27th Oct 1779

Birth of illegitimate son Pollux Const Matroos


Died in The Hague, Zuid-Holland, The Netherlands


image source

Wolphert Jacob Beeldsnijder Matroos

Born: April 22, 1742 in Utrecht, The Netherlands
Died 1793 in The Hague, Zuid-Holland, The Netherlands
Son of Tiberius Beeldsnijder Matroos and Catharina Margaretha, baronesse de Petersen
Brother of Jacob Ernst Beeldsnijder Matroos
In 1774, published the first newspaper in Suriname
From 23 September 1783 to 24 December 1784, Acting Governor-General of Surinam
and co-founder of a natural history society

From a forum (Google translated)

"Wolphert Jacob Beeldsnijder Matroos born 1742 - deceased in 1793, .. was the first printer of Suriname and arrived in 1770 with the ship 'Rebecca' in Suriname. "

From dbnl and and K'ranti! The Surinamese press, 1774-2007( using Google translation)

"Wolphert Jacob Beeldsnyder Matroos was born in Utrecht on April 22, 1742,
the son of Mr. Tiberius and Catharina Margaretha, the Baroness Petersen.
Tiberius was canon of the chapter of St. John in Utrecht, court secretary, merchant and banker. He was baptized on July 9, 1694 in Amsterdam, the son of Wolphert Beeldsnyder and Jacoba Matroos.
In 1762, Wolphert Jacob enrolled in the University of Utrecht.
In 1770 He arrived in Suriname on the 'Rebecca'
He worked initially as secretary to the Board supervising small court cases.

In 1772, Beeldsnyder Matroos acquired the exclusive right to print Archives and Ordinances of the Local government.

In 1774, January 30, Wolphert buried his mother, the widow of Tiberius Beeldsnyder Matroos, maiden name: Baroness de Petersen [National Archives of the Dutch Reformed Church in Surinam].
That year he acquired the rights to print all the documents in the Police and Criminal Courts of Justice (effectively becoming de facto government printer) .
Also in 1774 he printed the first Surinamese newspaper and was given permission to print an annual 'Lord(?) booklet' containing information about all employed by the colonial government and the Society of Suriname.
On June 1776, he enmbarks on the 'Lady Francoise Hermina' on extended leave in the Netherlands.
Returning to Suriname, on September 23, 1778, (on the 'Anna Elisabeth') he becomes Accountant General.

In 1783 he was Interim Governor, a post which he held until 24 December 1784.
The following year he was Collector of Import and Export Duties.
(Beeldsnyder Matroos was a member of the Masonic Lodge Concordia.)
In 1790, he leaves Suriname never again to return.
Three years later, in 1793, he dies in The Hague.

The first printer in Suriname

Beeldsnyder Matroos, after one and a half years in Suriname, writes a petition to the Lords Directors of the Society of Suriname in Amsterdam. He asks "for authorization and privilege to the printing of Archives, Ordinances etc.". The request is presented at the meeting of November 6, 1771 and approved on June 3, 1772. Beeldsnyder Matroos gets 25 years exclusive rights (see NA NL 1:05:03, inv 62 ).

In early 1774, he demands the same kind of privilege, also for a period of 25 years, to print the documents of Police and Criminal Justice (see NA EN 1.05.1001, inv 573 (1)).
The Surinamese Government grants him this and from that time Beeldsnyder Matroos hasthe exclusive right to the printing of these and other official documents.

In August 1774, Beeldsnyder Matroos requests and gets the privilege, again for 25 years, to print and publish a "weekly news paper or newspaper". (see NA EN 1.05.1001, inv 573 (4)).
Only two days after the granting of the privilege, on Wednesday, August 10th, 1774 the first Surinamese neswpaper: the Weekelyksche Wednesdays Hedendaagsche Surinamese Courant (WWSC) was printed - a weekly, usually four pages.

After two years Beeldsnyder Matroos sells the press to Nicolaas Vlier (b. Amsterdam, 1730/1 - d. Paramaribo, 1781) and returns to Amsterdam on leave.

The press then passed through the hands of Sara Johanna de Beer (b. Paramaribo 1749/1750 - d. Paramaribo c. 1811) and Willem Hendrik Poppelmann (b. c 1750)

In 1792, Poppelmann retired from the printing trade. In August, he sells his printing company to Wolphert Weijergang Beeldsnijder (1764-18 ??) from Curaçao, son of M F Beeldsnijder.
Wolphert Weijergang changes the name of the paper to 'Weeklyksche Suriname Courant'.

The Beeldsnijder - Matroos Tree

Coming back to this page, I forget where I found this tree. In or some other genealogy site. It confirmed so many of our deductions. (I added 'Adjuba' and the the 'Bijval' names.)
It is interesting to note the acceptance of the two Elizabeth's into the family genealogy and the allocation of married names even though it is likely that they were never - as far as we know - officially married.


The 'Reichsbarone De Petersen' family originally came from Denmark where a De Petersen had been Steward of Denmark. In the 1740's the De Petersen brothers were powerful in Holland, one being an admiral, another as Director General of the Gold Coast and Bewindhebber of the Dutch West India Company. A third brother was Bewindhebber of the Dutch East India Company.

Ernst Jacob De Petersen (1674 - 1717) Holy Roman Imperial Baron

Lord of Aschat and the Heiligenberg, m. Margaretha Fehrsen (?? - 1712).
Son: Jacob De Petersen (1703 - 1780) Solicitor and Holy Roman Imperial Baron. Director-General of the West India Company (WIC)
Daughter: Catharina Margaretha (1704 - 1773) - Holy Roman Imperial Baroness; m. Tiberius Beeldsnijder Matroos (1694 - 1757)
Son: Wolphert Jacob Beeldsnijder Matroos (1742 - 1793)
Son: Ernst de Petersen (1705 - 1762), Holy Roman Imperial Baron. Rear-Admiral; m. Sara Catharina Mooij;
Son: Isaac Ernst (1737 - 1781) Holy Roman Imperial Baron and Commissioner of Amsterdam; m. Geertruid Johanna De Graeff (1740 - 1801)

From The Dutch Atlantic Slave Trade as Family Business

"... the director-general, Baron Jacob de Petersen ... newly appointed in 1740, was an old hand in the WIC, and well connected to the Amsterdam ruling and mercantile elite. 16 He arrived in Elmina on 6 March 1741, having been promoted from the post of secunde (second in command), commissioner, and member of the Council on Curaçao in the West Indies. ... After the early death of his parents, his guardians sent Jacob de Petersen to law school, which he finished in 1725. Immediately after, he was given a high-ranking commission with the WIC on Curaçao. Here he engaged in (illicit) slave trade with the governor, and bought a plantation complex. It is obvious that Jacob de Petersen had high hopes of succeeding his business partner as governor of the island, but this was not to be. When the newly appointed governor Jan Gales arrived from the Netherlands in 1739, De Petersen immediately fell out with him, and travelled back to the Netherlands to defend himself in the courts and before the government. With the help of his connections De Petersen won his case and was promoted to the post of director-general on the Gold Coast."

"At this time, the WIC directors in The Netherlands were at a loss how to deal with the loss of business from the slave-trade after the revocation of the monopoly more than a decade earlier, and especially what role the WIC officials should be allowed to play in the private trade. So, in 1745 the directors announced the prohibition of the private slave trade to all WIC officials from 1 January 1746. For De Petersen it was a reason to request his dismissal, as the post would now no longer bring him the personal economic gain he had expected from it at the time of his appointment. Indications are that De Petersen owned the Dutch slave ship Waterier, which made three voyages from the Netherlands to Africa, Surinam and back between 1741 and 1748. De Petersen returned to the Netherlands on this ship via Surinam with a cargo of 400 slaves. The trip was disastrous, as only 150 slaves survived on arrival in Surinam, and De Petersen suffered a heavy loss"

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.

census_1811_JSHLE_Beeldsnijder_sm.jpg And who is this J.S.H.L.E Beeldsnijder
in the 1811 census of Suriname.