The Bougaerdts were a numerous and influential family in Holland, where they filled many important military and civic positions, and attained lasting fame in the arts, sciences, and literature centuries before the advent of any of them in America. Guilliaem Bougaert was Schout of the City of Dordrecht in 1423. His son Adam became first Professor of Music and Rector of the Academy at Leyden, where he died in 1482. He is buried in St. Peter’s Church in Leyden, beneath a stone surmounted with a copper plate on which is an inscription setting forth his fame. This church was built in 1315 as a monument to Boerhave, the great physician, and contains the remains of the most distinguished worthies of Holland. Adam’s son Jacob became first physician to the City of Antwerp and afterward was Profesor [sic] of Medicine and Surgery at Leyden for more than twenty years. Like his father he also attained the rectorship of the academy. He was a fluent writer on medical science, on which he published a treatise in five parts, the manuscript of which is now in the public library at Antwerp. Harman Myndertse Bougaert came to New Amsterdam in 1629, and was probably the first of the nature to locate in America. He was a medical man of long experience and was appointed official physician to the infant metropolis. In 1634 Rev. Everard Bogardus, a son of William Bougaert, and who wrote his name in Latin Everardus Bougardus, came over to New Amsterdam in company with Governor-General Wouter Von Twiller. Bogardus was the first regular preacher on Manhattan Island, where he married, in 1637, Ann, widow of Roelof Jansen, of Maeslandt, Holland, the lady about whom, and whose estate and Trinity Church, so much has been written and said during the last thirty years. Dominic Bogardus rented a tobacco plantation on the island and spent much time and labor upon it, tobacco being at that time the principal currency of the country. In time he quarreled with Governor Kieft because of the latter’s cruelty to the New Jersey Indians. Kieft brought charges of immorality against him, the investigation of which was cut short by the superseding of Kieft, who was drowned off the coast of Wales.
Joost (Justus) Bougaert, in 1641, was appointed by Queen Christina, of Sweden, commander of a colony on the east side of the Delaware River below Philadelphia. He held that position some time on an annual salary of 500 florins.
In 1652 Teunis Gysbert Bougaert emigrated to New Amsterdam from Hey Koop, a little hamlet northeast of Leyden. Two years later he settled at Brooklyn, when he married Sarah Rapelje, a daughter of one of Brooklyn’s earliest settlers. He was Mayor of Brooklyn for three years. His farm fronted on the Walabocht (Wallabout). His descendants scattered over Long Island and along the Raritan River in New Jersey.
Matthew J. Bogert is descended from Jan Louwe Bougaerdt, a cousin of Gysbert, above named. Jan was cradled and grew to man’s estate at Schoondewoerdt (a word meaning finer words), a small fortified village noted for its salmon fisheries, on a branch of the Maas River twenty miles above Rotterdam and about two miles from Hey Koop, the former home of his uncle Gysbert. Jan was reared a farmer, but early in life struck out for himself. Reaching manhood, he married Cornelia Evertse, the daughter of a well-to-do neighbor, and settled down to farming in his native town. In common with thousands of Hollanders he seems to have caught the prevalent emigration fever, for, on April 16, 1663, we find him and his family with many of his neighbors embarking at Amsterdam on the Dutch West India ship “Spotted Cow,” bound for the shores of America. A month later the stanch craft touched the wharf at New Amsterdam, where some of the cargo of emigrants remained and others went to Brooklyn, Staten Island, and Albany. Jan, no doubt, desiring to be near his uncle, repaired to the vicinity of Bedford, L. K., where he bought a farm, and remained there until 1672. He must have been possessed of some means, as in the spring of that year he had an opportunity, of which he availed himself, to take charge of the farm of Dr. John de la Montagne near Harlem. On the 1st of May, 1671, he removed thither from Bedford, and thenceforward for a period of twenty years was an active participant in the civil and religious affairs of Harlem. That he prospered is evidenced by the fact that in 1679, 1691, and 1701 he bought lands at Hoorus Hook, Spuyten Duyvil, and on Hellegat Sound. He was chosen magistrate of Harlem in 1675 and 1676, but failed afterward in the realization of his political aspirations, which seem to have been strong. In 1695 he sold his lands at Bedford and in 1766 his farm lands at Harlem. The following spring, stricken in years, he and his wife removed to New Amsterdam (joining the Dutch Church there May 27, 1767), where they died soon after at a ripe old age.
Jan Louwe Bougaerdt was a man of firmness and decision of character; born to command, rather than to follow; hasty in his temper, but prone to justice when cool; a man of his word, who demanded of his neighbor the exercise of the same quality; shrewd in protecting his own interests, but honest in his dealings with his neighbor; a man of sound judgment, keen intelligence, and possessing a large fund of general information; a stern but affectionate and dutiful husband and father, and a devoted Christian, all qualities which, under the trying circumstances in which he was placed, fitted him for the trials of a frontier life. They had nine children of the second generation, to wit: Peter Jansen, Margaretta, Gysbert, Nicholas, Elizabeth, Catharine, Cornelia, Janneke, and Jolin.
Peter Jansen Bogert (2d gen.) born at Schoondewoerdt, Holland, in 1656, married in New York, September 29, 1686, Sophia, a daughter of Judge Matthias Flierboom, of Albany. He, with his sister Margaretta, and his brother Gysbert, removed to Tappan, then a part of Orange County, N. Y. Gysbert and Margaretta’s husband purchased large tracts of land at Tappan, on which they settled. These were of the third generation, to wit: Cornelia, Maria, Elizabeth, Catalyntic, John P., Matthew P., Peter P., and Willemina.
Matthew P. Bogert (3d gen.), baptized at Hackensack in 1702, married, in 1735, Margaretta Tuniscus Talman, and in January, 1740, bought of Bernardus Van Valen 250 acres of woodland south of Closter and extending from the Hudson River to the Tiena Kill Brook. The westerly part of this was soon cleared and stocked and a family mansion erected on the east side of the old road leading to Piermont. Matthew P. Bogert followed agricultural pursuits until his death in 1784. His children of the fourth generation were Peter M., Sophia, Cornelius, Maria, Matthew M., Maria, and Dowe.
Matthew M. Bogert (4th gen.) by will obtained and resided on part of the homestead of his father at Closter until his death. He married, in 1777, Sarah Bogert, a relative of his, who survived him. He served as a private in the New Jersey militia in 1776. He was a farmer and left children of the fifth generation, to wit: Margaretta, Sarah, Maria, Matthew M., Albert M., and Sophia.
Matthew M. Bogert (5th gen.), born November 6, 1779, died March 30, 1871, married May 9, 1801, Willempie Haring, born March 28, 1783, died July 25, 1859. Matthew M. (5) was also a farmer and resided on the homestead occupied by his ancestors at Closter. His children of the sixth generation were Sally, Jane, Margaret, Maria, and Jacob M.
Jacob M. Bogert (6th gen.), born at Closter, N. J., May 15, 1819, died March 18, 1874, married, November 30, 1842, Maria Haring, born in 1823. She survives him and resides in Hackensack. He was a farmer by occupation. Their children of the seventh generation were Henry Ver Valen (deceased), Matthew J., Cornelia, Sarah Jane, Leah, and Huyler.
Matthew J. Bogert (7th gen.), the subject of this sketch, born at Closter, N. J., May 1, 1846, was educated in the public schools at Closter and worked on his father’s farm until 1864, when he became a clerk in the wholesale store of Pangborn & Bronner in New York City. Later he became a bookkeeper in the hardware house of H. Cater & Son. May 22, 1873, he married Miss Mary A. Hopper, daughter of James G. Hopper, of Etna, N. J. In 1874 he embarked in the business of wood-turning in Pearl Street, New York. This he made a success, and with his partner, Abraham J. Hopper, now conducts an extensive business in William Street, New York, with mills at Kingsfield, Me. Mr. Bogert is an active, energetic, and thoroughly practical business man. Though an active Republican, with the exception of being Postmaster at Demarest, N. J., since 1892, he has never held any really political office. He has for several years been a member of the School Board of Harrington Township, and for twelve years has been a Director and Treasurer of the Harrington Building and Loan Association, which he helped to organize. He is prominent and active in religious work. He is now an Elder and has during several years held other offices in the Reformed Church at Closter, and for thirteen years has been Superintendent of the Sunday School of that church. His living children of the eighth generation are Jessie (married in 1900 Frederick W. Mattocks, a New York lawyer), Virgil (now associated with his father in business), and Clarence, who has just entered Princeton University.
Source: Harvey, Cornelius Burnham, Editor; Genealogical History of Hudson and Bergen Counties, New Jersey, New York: The New Jersey Genealogical Publishing Company, 1900.