Abel Tasman

Abel Tasman
Abel Tasman - Cuyp (cropped).jpg
Detail from portrait by Jacob Gerritsz. Cuyp, c. 1637
Died10 October 1659(1659-10-10) (aged 55–56)
OccupationNavigator, explorer sea captain
  • Claesgie Heyndrix
  • Jannetje Tjaers = Joanna Tiercx
ChildrenClaesjen Tasman (daughter)

Abel Janszoon Tasman (Dutch: [ˈɑbəl ˈjɑnsoːn ˈtɑsmɑn]; 1603 – 10 October 1659) was a Dutch seafarer, explorer, and merchant, best known for his voyages of 1642 and 1644 in the service of the Dutch East India Company (VOC). He was the first known European explorer to reach the islands of Van Diemen's Land (now Tasmania) and New Zealand, and to sight the Fiji islands.

Origins and early life

Portrait of Abel Tasman, his wife and daughter. Attributed to Jacob Gerritsz Cuyp, 1637 (not authenticated).[1][2]

Tasman originated from Lutjegast, a small village in the province of Groningen, in the north of the Netherlands. The oldest available source mentioning him is dated 27 December 1631 when, as a seafarer living in Amsterdam, the 28-year-old became engaged to marry 21-year-old Jannetje Tjaers, of Palmstraat in the Jordaan district of the city.[3][4]

Routes taken by Tasman in the Australasian region, on his first and second voyages.