Albertus Adriaan Mennes Thierens

???? - 3rd Sep 1845

Claimant or beneficiary


Albertus Adriaan Mennes Thierens appears to have been the son or grandson of Anthony Thierens (1733-1785) and Alida Esther Mennes (1734-1770). He was probably born in Essequibo/Demerara, where he spent much of his life. One of his plantations was at Wisselvalligheid. It was a sugar plantation on Leguan Island, which the Thierens family had owned since the early 1800s at least. In 1815 it had 83 enslaved people and produced 220,068 pounds of sugar and 3,142 gallons of rum. By 1832 there were 175 enslaved persons (80 females and 95 males).

On 18 October 1839 he married Jane Margaret Bell in Demerara, and they had one child Cornelia Jenetta Elisabeth Thierens, who was born c. Dec 1840. It seems likely that Albertus left Demerara with his daughter following the death of his wife on 29 October 1842. They moved to Scotland. Albertus died on 3 September 1845, as reported in the local newspapers, and is buried at the Glasgow Necropolis. His daughter was living with her paternal aunt Elizabeth Thierens at 9 Landsdowne Crescent, Glasgow, in the census of 1851, and a visitor (with Elizabeth) at 29 Ann Street, Edinburgh, in the census of 1861. Cornelia married James Arthur Sewell on 25 March 1862 at St Thomas’s Episcopal Church, Edinburgh, but she died in Canada four years later, on 30 July 1866.

Albertus may well have been the father of John Anthony Thierens, a "coloured boy" to whom he bequeathed £500 sterling. Albertus's executors were named as John Anthony's guardians and instructed to have him educated and taught a trade. It's also possible that John Anthony's mother was Ann, a "coloured woman" and wife of George Zimmerman, to whom Albertus bequeathed 1000 dollars. John Anthony was also to be one of the beneficiaries if Albertus's only daughter died before coming of age.


'Grave Matters' Issue 5 (Autumn 2018), unsourced Black History Month article at Matter-5.pdf..

Notice of death, 'At Queen’s Crescent, Glasgow, on the 3rd inst., Albertus Thierens Esq. of Plantation Wisselvaliegheid, Demerary’, Greenock Advertiser 09/09/1845.

1851, 1861 censuses online for Cornelia Theirens (indexed as Sheerens).

Marriage of Cornelia Janetta Elizabeth Thierens of 29 Ann Street, Edinburgh, to James Arthur Sewell of India (gives Cornelia's age as 22 years, and full parents names), GROS Marriages 1862 685/1 67.

The British Guiana Colonists Index ( [accessed 25/11/2019]) gives Thierens's first wife as Elizabeth and his second marriage, to Jane Margaret Bell, at Leguan, Demerara, 18/10/1839.

Death of Cornelia, 1866 in Quebec, age 25 years and seven months, 13/07/1866,, Quebec, Canada, Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1968 [database online].

We are grateful to Peter Wingfield-Digby for his assistance with compiling this entry.

Further Information

Name in compensation records
A. Thierens
Jane Margaret Bell
Cornelia Jeanetta Elisabeth (1840-1866)

PROB 11/2035/71 - precis.

Albertus Adriaan Hennes Thierens of the parish of St Peter, county of Essequibo, colony of British Guiana... this is my last will and testament especially excluding the Weid or Orphan Chamber of this colony from in any way whatsoever interferring with my estate...

To the poor of this colony I leave ten dollars.

To the coloured woman Ann, wife of George Zimmerman I bequeath one thousand dollars.

To the coloured boy John Anthony Thierens I bequeath £500 sterling to be paid over to him on his coming of age. My executors to have him educated and taught a trade.

To my niece Albertina Elizabeth Thierens and my nephew John Cornelius Thierens, children of my deceased brother John Cornelius Thierens I leave £1500 sterling to be paid over to them when they become of age but not before.

To my mother-in-law Margaret Bell residing in Scotland, an annuity of £100 sterling per annum for life.

To the daughter of Sarah Hoopstad named E. E. Hoopstad at present residing in Martinique £200 sterling.

All residue real and personal to my beloved daughter Cornelia Jeanetta Elizabeth Thierens, requesting my executors and guardians to spare no expense in giving her a first rate education and to place her with her Godmother Miss Jeanetta Hunter of Hunterston, Scotland, who I trust will take charge of her and will act the part of a mother towards her. But should it please the Almighty to remove her from this world of sorrow and virissitude before she is of competant age to dispose the property then it to be divided as follows: To the children of my late brother John Cornelius Thierens named Albertina Elizabeth and John Cornelius, one half thereof; the other half to be equally divided amonst Vincent Wexner[?], Christopher Wexner, Cornelia Wexner and George M. Wexner, children of my late sister Elizabeth Wexner and J. E. E. Hoopstad, daughter of Sarah Hoopstad and the coloured boy John Anthony Thierens.

John Downie and Adam Peatson of this colony and George Rainy of the house of Sandback Tinne & Co Liverpool and John Anthony McRae, Writer to the Signet, Edinburgh, to be executors and guardians of my daughter and the coloured boy John Anthony Thierens. Them to apply to the Court of Justice here for the appointment of another guardian in my room over the minor children of my late brother J. C. Theirens.

Signed 03/01/1843.

Sworn in British Guiana 17/10/1845. Proved at London 15/04/1846.

Associated Claims (7)

£219 15s 11d
£5,709 17s 9d
Awardee (Executor or executrix)
£652 1s 3d
Awardee (Executor or executrix)
£100 8s 9d
£109 1s 0d
£36 7s 0d
£8,627 3s 6d
Awardee (Executor or executrix)

Associated Estates (1)

The dates listed below have different categories as denoted by the letters in the brackets following each date. Here is a key to explain those letter codes:

  • SD - Association Start Date
  • SY - Association Start Year
  • EA - Earliest Known Association
  • ED - Association End Date
  • EY - Association End Year
  • LA - Latest Known Association
1832 [EA] - 1834 [LA] → Executor