From the Peltz Record

From the Peltz Record, Rev. Philip Peltz, D. D., Reformed Protestant Dutch Church, compiled by his grandson, W. L. L. Peltz, Albany, 1948. Published by the American Historical Company, Inc., New York. Part Two of the Peltz Record includes various family pedigrees—Bridgen, Schoonmaker, Braisted, Rapalye, Mynderse, Persen—as well as more extensive information on John DeWitt (1788-1831). Peltz has done a good job of listing sources.

The following is taken from pages 249-254 of the Peltz Record:



The DeWitt Stem Defoliated

Tjerck Classen De Witt died February 17, 1700; married Barbara Andriessen, died July 6, 1714.

Their son Lucas DeWitt, married December 23, 1695, Antje Delva.

Their son Lucas DeWitt, baptized September 5, 1703; married January 17, 1729, Catrina Roosa.

Their son Capt. John L. DeWitt born April 18, 1731, died May 27, 1803; married Anna Maria De Witt born March 8, 1730, widow of Frederick Winne.

Their son John I. DeWitt, born May 13, 1760; died February 19, 1816; married, July 6, 1783, Mary Braisted, born May 9, 1766, died October 18, 1853.

Their son Rev. John DeWitt, D.D., born December 15, 1788, died October 31, 1831; married (first) Sarah Schoonmaker, born October 29, 1788, died November 11, 1824. Rev. John DeWitt, D.D., married (second) Anna Maria Bridgen, born October 10, 1796, died April 12, 1843.

The children of Dr. DeWitt are listed in this section. In greater detail, there follows another section “John DeWitt Progeny.”

The following is based upon the composition of the late Abraham V. DeWitt, Esq., Counsellor-at-Law, Albany. It appears that in his allusion to the records of the Kingston church, he, a Dutch scholar, followed the original record rather than “Baptismal and Marriage Registers of the Old Dutch Church of Kingston, Ulster County, New York, (formerly named Wiltwyck and often called Esopus) for 150 years from their commencement in 1660,” transcribed and edited by Roswell Randall Hoes, Royal Quarto, 795 pages, De Vinne Press, New York, 1891.

Tjerck Claessen DeWitt

He came to New Netherland from Grootholt in Zunderlant, as is known from the marriage record of the Reformed Dutch Church in New Amsterdam, April 24, 1656;

“Tjerck Claeszen DeWitt, van Grootholt in Zunderlant, en Barber Andrieszen van Amsterdam.”

“Grootholt” signifies Great Wood; Zunderlant is probably Saterland, a district of Westphalia on the southern border of East Friesland.

Tierck is a Frisian form of Theodoric. (See Charlotte Yonge’s “Christian Names.”) Dierck and Dirck are forms of the same name. In the New York Dutch Record of the baptism of at least two of his children, the form Tierck is used. In Dutch, the letters i and j, at least when preceding a vowel, are interchangeable. Tierck Claessen himself wrote it Tierck as appears from signatures in Albany County Clerk’s office; the parties themselves signed the early records of conveyance and other instruments. A signature of Tierck Claessen, in a firm hand, in which some of the characters resemble German script, appears in Book of Deeds No. 2 Page 263, Albany County Clerk’s Office.

Pronunciation of the name is as if written Cherrick; the form “Claeszen,” used in the Dutch Record was the formal spelling. That, as well as Claessen, signifies that Tierck was the son of Claes or Nicholas.

From the marriage and baptismal records of the New York and Kingston churches it seems that Barbara, wife of Tierck had a brother Lucas Andries, and sister Maritje, who married in 1646, in New Amsterdam, Jan Janssen van Breestede.

In accordance with Dutch custom, the first son was named Andries, baptized in New York 1657, for her father; the second was Klaes, baptized 1664, for his father; a younger son Lucas, for her brother.

After his marriage, Tjerck Claessen first lived in New York; in 1657 he removed to Albany where he purchased a house. In 1660 or 1661 he removed to Wiltwyck (Kingston) where, and in neighboring Hurley
Picture of Tjerck’s stone house on facing page has this caption:

DeWitt Homestead

“The house is now owned by the Suydam family. In volume XIII of Documents Relating to Colonial History of the State of New York, page 440, there is a permit given by Governor Francis Lovelace to Tjerck Claessen de Witt for its erection with other farm buildings.”

“Upon ye request of Tjerck Claesen de Witt that he may have liberty to Erect a house & Barne with convenient outhouses for his Cattle upon his Owne Land at Esopus lying betwixt Hurley and Kingston for ye wch (as I am informed) he formerly had a Graunt from my Predecessor Coll. Nicolls, In Confidence whereof he hath Provided all materialls ready for ye same, I have thought fit to likewise graunt his request. And ye said Tierck Claesen hath hereby liberty to Erect a house & barne with Convenient outhousing for his Cattle in ye Land afore mentioned. It appearing not to be any way prjudiciall to the Townes adjacent, but rather in tyme may prove a benefitt & releife to such as shall travaile that way. —Given &c 24th January 1669-70.” (“Olde Ulster,” Kingston January 1912, Page 14—a short-lived publication featuring topics of local interest, a bound set of which is in the State Library, Albany.)

he lived until his death February 17, 1700. March 4, 1689 he was chosen one of the magistrates of Ulster County. He acquired tracts of land in Ulster County and elsewhere. One of his daughters was Gertruy, baptized October 15, 1668, who married March 24, 1688, Hendrick Hendrickse Schoonmaker; a great-great-granddaughter of theirs, Sarah Schoonmaker, married John DeWitt, D.D., born 1788.

Another of his sons was Peek, perhaps named after Admiral Peek, whose daughter Anna Maria married John L. DeWitt, grandson of the above Lucas. Anna Maria was therefore a first cousin of John L’s father, also named Lucas. From this marriage stemmed Rev. John DeWitt who thus derived from three of Tierck Claessen’s children. Barbara, wife of Tierck Claessen died July 6, 1714, leaving many descendants.

Information concerning Tierck Claessen DeWitt appears in Col. Thomas G. Evans’ “The DeWitt Family of Ulster County,” contained in “The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record,” 1886 and 1887, and separately printed; also in a pamphlet “Tjerck Claessen DeWitt and Some of his Descendants,” privately printed by Rev. William Walsh, Newburgh, 1902.

Prof. Pearson’s “Genealogies of the First Settlers of Albany,” contained in Munsell’s “Collections on the History of Albany,” Vol. IV, at page 117 (also separately published) states that in 1661, Tierck Claessen DeWitt “had one brother-in-law, Jan Albertse (Bratt?) in Beverwyck (Albany) and another named Peter Janse in Oosterbemus in East Friesland, Holland. T. C. DeWitt in 1661 had land there inherited from his father from which he was receiving rents.”

Pearson was mistaken in locating East Friesland in Holland. It is in Germany bounded West by the North Sea; its westerly boundary is less than ten miles from Gronigen, the most northerly province of the Netherlands. The West Friesian Islands belong to the Netherlands; the East and North Friesian Islands to Germany. West Friesland is a province of the Netherlands.

A. V. DeWitt, Esq., had (1908) a printed copy of the will of Tierck Claessen DeWitt presented to him by George G. DeWitt, Esq., of the New York bar.

Copies of the Evans and Walsh emissions are (1946) lodged in the library of the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society—122 East Fifty-Eighth Street, New York.

Additional facts as to Tjerck Claessen DeWitt appearing at Page 362, Vol. I., “Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs,” edited by Cutler Reynolds, Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1911, 4 Vols.


Tjerck Claessen DeWitt in 1661 was taxed one hundred and twenty-five guilders, equal to about $50, toward payment of a new church building in Esopus; in 1662 he owned No. 28 of the “New Lots.” His eldest daughter, Taatje, was carried away by the Indians, June 7, 1663, during the destruction of Kingston and Hurley, but was rescued. Governor Lovelace deeded to him “a parcel of bush-land, together with a house, lot, orchard, and calves’ pasture, lying near Kingston, in Esopus,” June 25, 1672; Governor Andros, October 8, 1677, deeded to him about fifty acres of woodland west of the town. He was, February 11, 1679, one of the signers of a renewal of the Nichols treaty with the Esopus Indians. He joined in 1684 in petitioning Governor Thomas Dongan that there might be “liberty by charter to this county (Ulster) to choose our owne officers to every towne court by the major vote of the freeholders.” The petition offended the authorities; the signers were arrested and fined for this display of desire for self-government. The trustees of Kingston conveyed to him one hundred and eighty-nine acres of land, February 13, 1685; June 6, 1685, he claimed two hundred and ninety acres lying upon the north side of Rondout Kill, known as Momboccus, which was granted to him by patent May 14, 1694. By his will, dated March 4, 1698 and recorded in the Ulster County Clerk’s office, he left his property to his wife for life and directed that after her death it be given to his oldest and youngest sons in trust and by them divided into twelve equal shares of which one be given to each of his children or their heirs; to Lucas he gave one-half interest in a sloop he had built the year before; his widow was named executrix.

Tjerck Claessen DeWitt married at New Amsterdam April 24, 1656, Barbara Andriessen, who died July 6, 1714. Children: 1. Andries, born in New York City (New Amsterdam), in the early part of 1657 (see forward). 2. Taatje, born at Albany, New York, about 1659, died previous to 1724; was carried off by Esopus Indians at the burning of Kingston in 1663; but was rescued; married, 1677, Matthys Matthyssen Van Keuren, son of Matthys Jansen and Margaret (Hendrickse) Van Keuren, who in 1685 was commissioned captain and served against the French on the northern frontier. 3. Jannetje, baptized February 12, 1662, died in 1744; married Cornelis Swits, born 1651, died 1730, son of Cornelis Claessen and Ariantje (Trommels) Swits. 4. Klaes, baptized February 17, 1664, died previous to 1698. 5. Jan, baptized February 14, 1666, died previous to probating of will, April 12, 1715; married Wyntje, daughter of Dr. Roeloff and Ikee (Aaghe) (Roosa) Kiersted. 6. Geertruy, baptized October 15, 1668; married, March 24, 1688, Hendrick Hendricksen Schoonmaker, baptized May 17, 1665, son of Hendrick Jochemsen and Else (Janse) Schoonmaker. 7. Jacob, married Grietje, daughter of Cornelis C. and Annatje (Cornelissen) Vernooy, and lived at Rochester, Ulster county, New York, where he was “one of the trustees of the place.” 8. Rachel, married Cornelis Bogardus, died October 13, 1707, son of Cornelis and Helena (Teller) Bogardus. 9. Lucas, married December 22, 1695, Annatje, daughter of Anthony and Jannetje (Hillebrants) Delva; was commander and joint owner with his father of the sloop, “St. Barbara,” and died in 1703. 10. Peek, married (first), at Albany, January 2, 1698, Marytje Janse Vanderberg; married (second), December 21, 1723, Maria Teunis; he was first a resident of New York, subsequently buying land in Dutchess county, September 6, 1698, and in 1715 removed to Ulster county. 11. Tjerck. 12. Marritje, married (first), November 3, 1700, Hendrick Hendricksen Kortreght, son of Hendrick Jansen and Catharine Hansen (Weber) Kortreght; married (second), September 6, 1702, Jan Macklin. 13. Aagje, baptized January 14, 1684, married, August 23, 1712, Jan Pawling, son of Henry and Neeltje (Roosa) Pawling.

Of the children of Tjerck Claessen DeWitt, the first was Andries (see below); the sixth was Geertruy who married Hendrick Hendricksen Schoonmaker (see Schoonmaker pedigree); the ninth was Lucas, married Annatje Delva.

Andries DeWitt was great-grandfather of Gen. Simeon DeWitt, distinguished Revolutionary War officer and Surveyor General of the State of New York, whose first wife was the daughter of Richard Varick. General DeWitt, in 1794, at the direction of the Mayor and aldermen of the City of Albany bestowed upon the streets many of their present names especially those of birds—Eagle, Hawk, Swan, Dove, Lark, etc. He was grandfather of Richard Varick DeWitt and his brother and sisters of Albany. (See Washington tablet, exterior First Reformed Church, Kingston.)

The second listing of the children of Tjerck Claessen DeWitt follows more perfectly the record in the Hoes work above mentioned.

A copy of the will of Tjerck Claessen DeWitt dated March 4, 1698, proved December 26, 1709, appears in Vol. 8 (1912) Page 18 of “Olde Ulster” (10 volumes). A set of this useful publication is in the library of the Holland Society—90 West Street, New York City.

Lucas (1) DeWitt

Son of Tierck Claessen and Barbara DeWitt; married December 23, 1695, Antje Delva, a Roman Catholic. The name Delva was also written Delba and Telba. Antje’s parents were, as appears by the Kingston Church, Anthony Delva and Jannetje Hillebrants his wife. Delva seems to have been the correct form; it probably was of Spanish origin.

A bill of sale of the “Sloope St. Barbara,” dated August 26, 1698, executed by Tierck Claessen DeWitt and Lucas DeWitt to Capt. Daniel Hobart of Barbadoes Island, is stated to be of record.

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