William Janszoon

Managing Real Estate Broker with Fathom Realty PB00068179

Willem Janszoon was born in the Netherlands circa 1570.  Nothing is known about his parents, or early childhood.  The first record of him is when he went to work for the Oude compagnie, the predecessor of the Dutch East India Company in 1598.  He served as a mate aboard the Hollandia being dispatched to the Dutch East Indies in 1601.

By 1603, he was captain in charge of the Duyfken sailing to Java.  When he left Java, he was ordered to search for other outlets of trade.  He sailed to New Guinea and other East and Southlands for trade.  He returned in 1606.  In 1617 he was appointed a member of the Council of the Indies serving as admiral of the Dutch Defense fleet.  He was awarded a gold chain and 1,000 guilders for his part in capturing four ships of the British East India Company near Tiku on West Sumatra. 

In 1628, he sailed for Holland, and that is the last known place where he landed.  Nothing is known about him after that, it is written he died around 1630, but no-one knows.

What you may not know about Willem is that during his exploratory sailing from 1603-1605 he recorded having seen what he thought at the time was an island.  Turns out he was the first European known to have seen the coast of Australia and record it.

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Comments (19)

Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Retired - Franklin, MA
Previously Affiliated with The Todaro Team

Good morning, James Dray 

Dec 06, 2020 03:30 AM
Raymond E. Camp
Howard Hanna Real Estate Services - Ontario, NY
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson Greater Rochester

Good morning James,

I wonder what England would have done with their prisoners if he had landed!

Make yourself an astonishing day.

Dec 06, 2020 04:18 AM
Donald Urschalitz
Lubeck Realty Group - Jupiter, FL
P.A. Realtor ABR RSPS North Palm Beach County

It's amazing to see the life at sea not my cup of tea.

Dec 06, 2020 05:09 AM
Brian England
Vacasa - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

I wonder if every place in the world has already been found or if there are still places out there that nobody knows about?

Dec 06, 2020 05:19 AM
Michael Jacobs

Brian England - well, you are "discovering" the ideal places for people to "nest" in the East Valley, right?  

Dec 06, 2020 05:47 AM
Bob "RealMan" Timm

It would be nice if today's American Socialists would discover their Lala Land instead of trying to create it here Brian England 😉

Dec 06, 2020 03:38 PM
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Good morning James Dray - being an explorer was a dangerous mission in those days.

Dec 06, 2020 05:33 AM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning James. Can't imagine being at sea in those days with the ships they had. Not for me. Enjoy your day!

Dec 06, 2020 05:45 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello James -thanks for this information.  The name Janszoon caught my attention.  I don't recall hearing/seeing it before.  It also made me think of Nina Hollander who I hope is recuperating well from her recent hospital visit.  

Dec 06, 2020 05:50 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker

Michael Jacobs good morning, Michael... thanks for thinking of me. Surgery went well and I spent the next two days sleeping it off. Now starting to hobble around my house and fortunately no real pain at this stage.

Dec 06, 2020 07:07 AM
Michael Jacobs

Nina Hollander - glad to hear and thanks for the medical update. Now, what has been happening on General Hospital??? Inquiring minds want to know what happened later that day. . .  🤓

Dec 06, 2020 07:20 AM
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi James Dray - I always wondered what sailors were thinking back when they thought the world was flat and you could sail off the edge...

Dec 06, 2020 08:04 AM
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


Good to see that your post brought out  Nina Hollander thanks to Michael Jacobs As for Australia, that was quite the find.  A



Dec 06, 2020 09:43 AM
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Hi James- It must have been hard navigating the seas in those days!!!   And I too thought of Nina Hollander and her knee!!!   

Dec 06, 2020 10:36 AM
Rocky Dickerson
Realty One Group - Las Vegas, NV
Superior Service!

Hello James Dray I bet they are glad it wasn't "officially" discovered then. Imagine a country or continent called Janszoonia

Dec 06, 2020 11:07 AM
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

Thank you very much, James, for sharing this story.

Have an outstanding week.

Dec 06, 2020 12:15 PM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Hi James... well it took me a minute or two to understand what was reminding people of me with this post, but I finally got it! :)

Dec 06, 2020 12:25 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS

Hi Nina Hollander 

Glad to hear that things are going well after your surgery! Hope it's a rapid and relatively painless recovery!


Dec 06, 2020 02:12 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi James:

That was certainly a significant discovery. Must have been quite the journey!


Dec 06, 2020 02:11 PM
Bob "RealMan" Timm
Ward County Notary Services - Minot, ND
Owner of Ward Co. Notary Services, retired Realtor

I will bet that there are people in Australia today that wish the world had not discovered them James Dray (especially those who first used it as a penal colony).

Dec 06, 2020 03:42 PM
Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS
Fathom Realty Washington LLC - Tacoma, WA
South Puget Sound Washington Agent/Broker!

Being an explorer back then must've been quite the adventure James Dray 

Dec 06, 2020 06:06 PM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Was this when people thought the Globe was FLAT?? just wondering Endre

Dec 07, 2020 10:24 PM
James Dray

Yes sir, no doubt about it

Dec 08, 2020 07:32 AM
Sam Shueh
(408) 425-1601 - San Jose, CA
mba, cdpe, reopro, pe

He headed for Holland and found Australia?  Well, he accidently made the wrong turn.

Jan 04, 2021 07:18 AM
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA

It took great courage to go to sea in the period in which William Janszoon lived. Ocean voyages, especially those of exploration, would last for years.

Mar 20, 2021 05:02 PM

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