Cornelia van Varick (1692-1733)
Cornelia van Varick was a Dutch girl who lived in Flatbush, Brooklyn, around 1700. A great deal is known about her household and family because when her widowed mother died, executors compiled an estate inventory that still survives. It lists every item in the family’s home and in the store that Cornelia’s mother, Margrieta, operated from a room in the house. (Visitors can explore the inventory at the History Detectives pavilion.) The inventory provides an unusual window into the life of a wealthy family in Dutch New York. In the Van Varicks’ time, New York was a surprisingly worldly place, connected by trade to far-off corners of the globe. A large interactive map allows children to follow the trade routes that connected Margrieta’s Brooklyn store to London, Amsterdam, the West Indies, Africa, and Asia.