From the Oberholtzer Genealogy

Photocopy with a handwritten note on it from Mary V. DeWitt, dated April 1967. This excerpt is from pages 136 and 137 of the book.

No title page or publisher information was passed along with the text, but the running title at the top of the pages says “Oberholtzer Genealogy” on one side and “De Witt” on the other. The New York Public Library online catalog lists Elisha Scott Loomis’ Some account of Jacob Oberholtzer, who settled, about 1719, in Franconia township, Montgomery county, Pennsylvania, and of some of his descendants in America, published in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1931; the notation in the NYPL catalog says the lettering on the cover reads “Jacob Oberholtzer Genealogy.” Another contender, also at the NYPL, is Abraham James Fretz’s Genealogical record of the descendants of Martin Oberholtzer; together with historical and biographical sketches, published in Milton, New Jersey, by Evergreen News Press in 1903.

Right underneath the title “De Witt” at the top of the page is the notation “See p. 154.” Page 154 was not included in the photocopy.

Nevertheless, what follows is quite interesting. Best of all, the author includes sources:

De Witt

See p. 154

Tjerck Claessen De Witt is first mentioned in the “Trouw Boech,” or Register of marriages of the Reformed (Collegiate) Dutch Church in N. Y. City, where it is recorded that on the 24th day of April, 1656, “Tjerck Claessen De Witt van Groatholdt en Zunderlandt,” m. Apr. 24, 1656, “Barbara Andriessen, van Amsterdam,” Holland.

He was b. at “Groatholdt,” in Zunderland, Westphalia, about 1620, (probably) son of Claes or Nicholas De Witt, and probably his mother’s name was Taatje, as his oldest dau. bears this name, as does also a dau. of his sister. He also had a sister named Taatje, and one named Emmerentie who m. May 16, 1664, Martin Hermanzen Hoffman, of New Amsterdam, and a brother Jan Claessen De Witt, who d. unm. at Kingston, N. Y.

For a short time after his marriage he lived in New Amsterdam, (now N. Y. City), as his first child was born there, but in the spring of 1657, he removed to Albany, N. Y., where he purchased a house and lot. In 1660 he exchanged his Albany property for land in Wiltwyck, (now Kingston), where he moved May 1, 1661. In 1662, he owned No. 28, of the “New Lots,” at Kingston. He was a man of means as he was taxed $50.00, to build a church at Esopus, where he owned land. In June 1663, when Kingston and Hurley were almost entirely destroyed by the Indians, his eldest dau., Taatje, was taken prisoner, but was soon released.

He purchased and owned, as Record of Deeds show, many pieces of land in and about Kingston and Esopus. On Feb. 11, 1679, he was one of the signers of the renewal of the Nicholas treaty with the Esopus Indians. In 1684, he signed “the humble petition of the inhabitants of Esopus, in the County of Ulster” praying that there might be ‘liberty by charter to this county to choose our owne officers to every towne court by the majority vote of the freeholders.” This petition was addressed to Col. Thomas Dougan, Gov-General. It greatly offended the authorities, and the signers were arrested and fined. Thus early in the history of this country arose the question of self-government and the right of suffrage. On Mch. 4, 1689, he was chosen one of the magistrates of Ulster Co., N. Y.

In Sept. 1661 he appears as a plaintiff in an action at law before the Schepens Court at Wiltwyck, (Kingston), and on Oct. 11, the same court ordered the Sheriff, (Roeloff Swartwout), to pay him three and a half schepels of wheat in eight days and seven more in one month.

Because in 1667, he opposed the British occupation of Kingston, he was beaten by Capt. Broadhead without reason and brought to prison, for the reason that he would not “keep Christmas Day on ye day according to ye English observation, but according to ye Dutch.”

Because he refused to pay an Indian wages due, the court banished him and fined him 600 guilders; but the banishment was rescinded, the fine remitted, and he was ordered to pay a reasonable sum to the complaining Indian—about 80 cents.

The records of Ulster Co., N. Y., show that he was well-to-do, that he brought servants with him to Kingston, that he owned Negro slaves, that he posessed two sloops which plied upon the Hudson and along the Atlantic coast, and that he left about $8000.00 in personal property.

It seems, from records, that he was connected with the distinguished De Witt family of Dordrecht, Holland, but the line of connection does not appear. He had a wax seal engraved with the coat of arms borne by Jan De Witt, the Grand Pensionary of Holland.
Handwritten note in margin next to crossed-out text: “I have seen the old record in the County Clerk’s office in Kingston and it is the Dordrect seal. Mary V. DeWitt April 1967.” Note continues on back of page: “Tjerck (Cherrick) (Dirk) DeWitt was a contemporary of John DeWitt, Grand Pensionary of Holland in the time of the Dutch Republic. He was a cousin—it is said—born in Friesland—who later came to Dordrecht and then to New Amsterdam & Ulster Co., NY. We are investigating his exact relationship to John and Cornelius—”
The seal was round, and engraved with a hare and a dog at the top and a dog at the bottom, and there were initials at the top, the first of which looks like a G. Undoubtedly he brought this seal over with him, and it may have belonged to some forefather.

He was a bricklayer and farmer. He left a Will dated Mch. 4, 1698, which is recorded in the Ulster Co. Clerk’s office, at Kingston, Book AA, p. 252, and in the N. Y. Surrogate’s office, Lib. 7, of Wills, p. 601. It names “wife Barbara” executrix.

He d. at Kingston, Feb. 17, 1700, and his wife Barbara d. there July 6, 1714.

For these data, and more, the authorities consulted were: The “De Witt Family of Ulster Co., N. Y.” by Thomas Evans, p. 27; The “N. Y. Gen. and Biog. Records,” Vol. 29, p. 243, and Vol. 17, p. 251; The “Olde Ulster Magazine,” De Witt Family, Vols. I and II; and the Birth Records of the Dutch Church, Kingston, N. Y.

13 children—first one b. N. Y. City, last 11 b. Ulster Co., N.Y.

  1. Andries, b. 1657; m. Mch. 9, 1682, Jannetje Egbertsen, bapt. Jan. 11, 1664.
  2. Taatje, b. Albany, N. Y. a. 1659; m. Capt. Matthys Mathyssen Van Keusen, 1677.
  3. Jannetje, bapt. Feb. 12, 1662; m. Cornelius Switz.
  4. Klaes (Nicholas), bapt. Feb. 17, 1664; d. before 1698.
  5. Jan, bapt. Feb. 14, 1666; Wyntje Kiersted.
  6. Geertruy, bapt. Oct. 15, 1668; m. Mch. 24, 1688, Hendricks Hendricksen Schoonmaker.
  7. Jacob, —; m. Grietje Vernooy.
  8. Rachel Sjircke, —; m. Cornelius Borgardus, b. a. 1664,
    Next to crossed-out text: “No.”
    a desc’t of Wm. Prince of Orange.
  9. Lucas, —; m. Dec. 22, 1695, Annatje Delva.
  10. Peek; m. (1) Jan. 2, 1698, Marytje Janse Vanderberg; (2) 1723, Maria Teunis.
  11. Tjerck, “youngest son,”—no other record.
  12. Marrietje (Mary); m. (1) Nov. 3, 1700, Hendricks Hendricksen [Kortreght]; m. (2) Sept. 6, 1702, Jan Macklin (or Wacklin).
  13. Aagje (Agnes), bapt. Jan. 14, 1684; m. Aug. 23, 1712, Jan Pawling.

Back to Tjerck Claessen DeWitt main page

Back to MrJumbo’s home page