Jan Winans/Wynants was born about 1640 probably in The Netherlands and died December 1694 in Elizabethtown, Essex or Union County, New Jersey. He married (1) Susannah Melyn August 25, 1664 in Dutch Reformed Church, New Haven, Connecticut (Source: NYG&B Record Vol. LXVIII No. 2, 139.), daughter of Corneille/Cornelis Melyn and Jannetje Adriaens. She was born about 1643 in New Amsterdam, New York, and died about 1693 in Elizabethtown, New Jersey. He married (2) Ann Robertson about 1693, daughter of Dr. William Robertson.
The surname is also seen as Wijnants, Wynants, Winnings, Winance.
It is generally believed, based on research by European genealogists, that Jan is the son of the famous 17th century Haarlem landscape painter Jan Wynants and his first wife. Although there is no known proof, it is thought that the painter's son by his first wife left home to become an apprentice to a Gobelin weaver after his father's second marriage. The son, presumably Jan/John Winans, removed to New Netherlands sometime before 1653.
Jan sometimes signed his name Jan Wynants, which is Southern Netherlandish ("Jan Wijnants, Weaver" by Edythe D. Winans Groome, 1980)
His marriage is the first known record of Jan Winans in the New World. Jan and Susanna were married in a double wedding ceremony with her widowed sister Maria Paradys to Matthias Hatfield, also a professional weaver.
Jan, along with brothers-in-law Jacob Melyn and Matthias Hatfield, was one of the original "Associates" who founded and settled Elizabethtown, New Jersey about 1664. He was well educated, as evidenced by the number of books in his home.
He was granted 200 acres of land in Elizabethtown on December 9, 1676 (General Board of Proprietors of the Eastern Division of Perth Amboy, New Jersey, Liber I, page 161 and Liber II, part II, page 37.)
His will (under the name John Winance) was written February 14, 1687 and his inventory was appraised in 1695. His estate was valued at 271.15.8 pounds by Obadiah Sale and Benjamin Meeker.
Besides household goods and weaving apparel, he owned gold and silver plate. The inventory of his property included six oxen, six 3-year-old steers, six cows, nine 2-year-old cattle, seven 1-year-old cattle, three calves, 60 sheep, one mare, 22 swine, one cart and wheels, one sled, two yoke and yoke irons, two chains, and one plow and iron harrow. [Jan Wijnants, Weaver by Edythe D. Winans Groome, 1980] ("As We Were - The Story of Old Elizabethtown" by Theodore Thayer, 1964)
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