Tjerck Claessen DeWitt

[?] - February 17, 1700
Grootholt in Zúnderlant [?]
(born in Groot Holum, near Esens, in Ostfriesland, probably written in original record as Emderlant, which was misread when the record was originally transcribed)

Barbara Andrieszen [family name unknown]

1630 [?] - September 6, 1714
Amsterdam [?]

Andries DeWitt

TGE 2. i. Family 2.
1657 - July 22, 1710
Born in Manhattan, New York [?]
Buried in Kingston, New York

Record of Andries' death in family Bible

From the bible that had belonged to Andries DeWitt (courtesy of Matthew Ten Eyck DeWitt Family Collection), the entry describing how Andries died: “On 22 July 1710 before midday at about 10 o’clock Captain Andries DeWitt was struck down in a sad way by the breaking of two beams on his bridge and seriously injured, and after speaking a few words [he] departed this life and on Sunday the 23rd of the same month was buried in the churchyard” (translation by Charles Gehring). See further discussion below.

The record of Andries’ baptism, if it exists, is not known. His mother and father likely were living in Beverwijck (today Albany, New York) when he was born. In the Dutch colonial settlements clustering where today we find the city of Albany (Fort Orange, Beverwijck, Rensselaerswyck), regular written records of church sacraments were apparently not kept until the arrival of Reverend Goddefridus Dellius in 1683. His records, in fact, commence with an introductory note (Reformed Dutch Church of Albany, pp. ix-x) noting that no previous list had been kept. In 1938 a fire destroyed the original Reformed Church records for the years before 1790.

Jennetje Egbertsen

Married March 7, 1682 & Place (recorded in Kingston)
Andries de With, j.m., born in Nieu Jorck, and resid. in Kingston, in the Esopus, and Jannetie Egbertsdr, j.d., born in Nieu Jorck, and resid. in Kingston, in the Esopus. First publication of Banns, 4 March.

January 11, 1664 - November 23, 1733 (per family Bible)

born in New York [Manhattan?], she appears to have a sister Martje (or Maritje; see baptisms in Kingston 28 September 1684, 26 December 1687), also other siblings

Thomas Grier Evans says she was baptized in New York 11 January 1664, daughter of Egbert Meindertse and Jaepe Jans.

burial location

(Captain) Tjerck DeWitt

TGE 15. i. Family 12.
23 January 1683 (per family Bible) - 30 August 1762
baptized Tirck 22 January 1683 [Anjou and TGE say 12 Jan]
parents: Andries de With and Jannetie Egbertz
witnesses: Tirck Claasz de Wit [father’s father], Mathys Matysz [husband of father’s sister]
baptized in Kingston
married 19 June 1708 Ann Pawling [1] (No record in Kingston church; date comes from family Bible. The church recorded no marriages in 1708; someone no doubt was performing them, but the church was struggling to keep a pastor, and records were not being perfectly kept.) Ann (Anna) Pawling’s death is recorded in the family Bible, but the date is not legible. Note in Bible, written probably by Tjerck, says she was born 14 May 1687.
married 17 November 1739 in Kingston Deborah Schoonmaker [2].
(Tjerk de Wit, a widower, and Deborah Vroom, a widow, both residing “under the jurisdiction of Kingstown.” Deborah Schoonmaaker, widow of Jacob Vernoy, residing in Kingston, on 30 September 1723 married Hendrik Vroom, his first marriage.)
(The family Bible records this as October 17, in Tjerck’s handwriting.)
Tjerck de Witt, “born and resid. in Raysester [Rochester],” marries Ariaantjen Dekker in Kingston 8 August 1719; she is also from Rochester. MVDW says this Tjerck (1698-1764) is the son of TCDW’s son Jacob, not son of Andries. Rochester in Ulster County is a town south of Marbletown, not the larger city of the same name on Lake Ontario.
burial location

Jacob DeWitt

TGE 16. ii.
baptized 28 September 1684 - died in infancy
parents: Andries de Wit and Jannetie Egbertz
witnesses: Claas de Wit, Maritie Egbertz
baptized in Kingston
burial location

Barbara DeWitt

TGE 17. iii.
baptized 22 August 1686 - died in infancy
parents: Andries de With, Jannetie Egbertz
witnesses: Cornelis Lambertz, Taidtie de Wit
baptized in Kingston
burial location

Klaes DeWitt

TGE 18. iv.
baptized 30 April 1688 - died in infancy
parents: Andries de Witt, Jannetje Ekbers
witnesses: Cornelis Swits, Jannetje de Witt
baptized in Kingston
burial location

Barbara DeWitt

TGE 19. vi. (sic)
October 30, 1689 (Barber, per family Bible) - November 1, 1715 (per family Bible)
baptized 25 May 1690 in Kingston (first baptisms since 20 October 1689)
father: Andries de Wit [wife’s name not given]
witnesses: “The Father,” Rachel Bogardus, Cornelis Bogardus
married Johannes Van Leuven 25 March 1715, “both born in Mormel [Marbletown],” first marriage for both
buried in Marbletown, per family Bible

Jacob DeWitt

TGE 20. vii. Family 13.
December 30, 1691 (per family Bible) - Death Date
Birthplace (baptism not in Kingston church record)
married 1731 (date not given, but between 8 May and 20 May; TGE says May 9) Heyltje Van Kampen (1700-???). He is described as “j.m. [unmarried], born under the jurisdiction of Mormel [Marbletown],” residing “near Mormel”; she is “j.d., born under the jurisdiction of ’Savengonk [Shawangunk],” also residing near Marbletown.
burial location

Maria DeWitt

TGE 21. viii. Family 14.
January 21, 1693 (per family Bible) - May 1, 1762
baptized 3 June 1694
parents: Andries de Wit, Jannetje Meinders (hmm.)
witnesses: Wilhelm de Meyer, Catrina Bayard (hmm.)
(32 children were baptized in Kingston on the same day, including at least two De Witt grandkids, and records may not have been perfectly kept)
baptized in Kingston
married Jan Roosa (Jr., 1692-???) 30 October 1713; first marriage for both; he is "born in Horly [Hurley],” and she (as Marytjen de Wit) is “born in Koksing”  (Coxsink). The Coxing Kill in Ulster County is south of Marbletown and High Falls, roughly west of New Paltz.
burial location

Helena DeWitt

TGE 22. ix.
December 7, 1695 (per family Bible) - Death Date
baptized 25 December 1695
parents: Andries de Wit, Jannetje Egberts
witnesses: Cornelis Kool, Jenneke Lamberts
baptized in Kingston
married Jacob Swits (1693-???) 6 June 1719 in Kingston. (See family Bible record too.) He is “born in Schenegtende [Schenectady]”; she is “born under the jurisdiction of Mormel [Marbletown], and also resid. there.”
burial location
Evans notes (p. 7): “Among her children was Col. Abraham Swits, of Schenectady, who was prominent in the Revolution.” See further notes on Helena’s page.

Andries DeWitt

TGE 23. x.
born 1 April 1697 (per family Bible)
baptized 25 April 1697 - d. 2 July 1701, buried 4 July in Marbletown (per family Bible)
parents: Andries de Wit, Jannetje Egberts
witnesses: Johannes Wyncoop, Cornelia ten Broeck
baptized in Kingston
burial location

Egbert DeWitt

TGE 24. xi. Family 15.
March 18, 1699 (likely, per family Bible) - July 13, 1761
baptized 9 April 1699
parents: Andries de Wit, Jannetje Egberts
witnesses: Franciscus Salesburry, Lydia de Meyer (according to Old Dutch Church records; the family Bible says the witnesses on March 18 were “Jacob and Wijntiei de Witt, widow of Jan de Witt,” but see baptism record of Johannes, below)
baptized in Kingston
married Mary Nottingham 4 November 1726, in Kingston, first time for both, “both resid. in Ulster County” (see family Bible record)
Egbert’s brother Andries marries Mary’s sister Bredjen.
burial location

Evans (p. 7) says he settled at Napanoch, in Warwarsing, Ulster County. See his page for more details.

Johannes DeWitt

TGE 25. xii. Family 16.
March 26, 1701 (per family Bible) - July 21, 1776
baptized 13 April 1701 [Anjou says 26 Mar]
parents: Andries de Wit, Jannetje Egberts
witnesses: Jacob de Wit, Wyntje Kierstede
baptized in Kingston
married Mary Brodhead (“Broodhead”) in Kingston 27 June 1724; first time for both; both are living in Marbletown
burial location

Andries DeWitt

TGE 26. xiii. Family 17.
February 20, 1703/4 (per family Bible) - 1764 (per Evans)
baptized 12 March 1704 (family Bible says 20 February, at noon)
parents: Andries de Wit, Jannetje Egberts
witnesses: Joannes Wyncoop, Cornelia Wyncoop
baptized in Kingston
married Bredgen (“Bregjen,” “Bredjen”) Nottingham in Kingston 3 December 1731, first time for both; both “born and resid. under the jurisdiction of Mormel [Marbletown].”
Andries’s brother Egbert marries Bredgen’s sister Mary.
burial location
Evans (p. 7) says “He died at Rochester, Ulster County, in 1764, leaving a large family of children.”

Andries de Witt and Jannetje Heberts sponsor the baptism of Hebert, son of Nelis Lambers and Martje Ekberts, in Marbletown, 26 December 1687.


Thomas Grier Evans in his DeWitt genealogy on p. 5 says “For some years [Andries] lived at Marbletown, Ulster County, on a farm given him by his father, but removed to Kingston previous to 1708.”

Andries died as the result of an accident on a bridge, when two beams fell on him (or more likely collapsed underneath him) and he was mortally injured. If he's not the earliest burial recorded in the graveyard that surrounds Kingston's Old Dutch Reformed Church, he's one of the earliest.

His stone is no longer in the graveyard: It has been taken upstairs into the church history room for safekeeping and display. It should last much longer there than outside, exposed to the elements. There is a rather large DeWitt plot near the entrance to the church offices, with probably more than a dozen DeWitts buried there, but most of the stones have literally lost their faces, so we'll never know which is which. The church keeps some old records of who was buried there, but nobody knows which grave is which unless there's a marker.

When the church was expanded, a number of graves were covered by the new building. Names of the people in those graves are inscribed on the wall inside the church itself.

The description of his death in the family Bible is translated at the top of this page. Charles Gehring put it thus: “On 22 July 1710 before midday at about 10 o’clock Captain Andries DeWitt was struck down in a sad way by the breaking of two beams on his bridge and seriously injured, and after speaking a few words [he] departed this life and on Sunday the 23rd of the same month was buried in the churchyard.”

A translation commonly repeated across many older sources can be found in Thomas Grier Evans’ genealogy of the DeWitts, on p. 5: “Captain Andries DeWitt departed this life in a sorrowful way; through the breaking of two sleepers [beams] he was pressed down and very much bruised; he spoke a few words and died.” This translation, which is found all over, leaves out the key detail that it happened on Andries’ bridge. A bridge over the Rondout? A bridge that led to his farm in Marbletown? A bridge that connected the DeWitt farm on the east bank of the Esopus Creek to fields across the creek? It is called “his” bridge, not a public bridge.

Andries is named in his father’s 1698 will as “my oldest son” [my oudste Soon Andres de Widt]. In the will, Tjerck’s wife, Barbara, is given possession of the entire family estate, as long as she lives, and then, as is one custom among Dutch/Germanic/Frisian families, the eldest son and youngest son split possession of all of the real estate their father leaves behind, paying off the other (in this case) 10 heirs for their shares. This attempts an equitable division of the estate value among all the heirs without splitting properties into ever smaller fractions.

A house identified with Andries De Witt is described in Dutch Houses in the Hudson Valley Before 1776 (see full citation in Sources below), pp. 196-197, with a photo. The location is at “a farm on the west side of the Esopus Creek, three and a half miles south of the bridge that now spans the Esopus at the village of Hurley.” It is easy to find today.

Whether the house standing there today belonged to this Andries is a topic of discussion. The book’s author notes that in the late 1600s “the locality was so far in the wilderness from the small settlements at Hurley and Kingston that any building enterprise would have been of a crude and transient character.” She estimates that the house there today more likely was built by a grandson of this Andries, also named Andries DeWitt (1728-1813), who she says married Blandina Ten Eyck ca. 1753 and moved here.

Actually, Marbletown wasn’t so remote back then. In the late 1600s, when British troops and Dutch farmers struggled to get along in the early colony, the British were instructed to set up their homes further south, in Marbletown, to avoid unnecessary conflicts. Marbletown was notably more British than Kingston. The road from Kingston to Marbletown, through Hurley (where it crossed the Esopus Creek on a bridge at the west end of town), would have been fairly well traveled.

On 10 November 1672 (Kingston Papers, pp. 725-726), in Kingston, Andries’s father Tjerck records that he has purchased from “Rigard Caedsie” or perhaps “Caedge” (could this be a Dutch mangling of “Cassidy”?) “a certain parcel of land, 10 acres or ten morgen in extent, bounded toward the northeast by Jan Hendry’s, and the land of Thoomas Quynel to the south, situated across the kil, on the parcel nearest to Marble. And further a house, lot No. 9 at Marbelton . . . with all such right and title as Mr. Caeds has possessed the same.” He pays 126 schepels of wheat. This matches the location of the house in question. ( See 18 April 1674, KP p. 741, where Tjerck sells a 10-morgen Marbletown parcel [No. 14] to Harmon Hekan for 500 schepel of wheat. By description that’s a different parcel, and we believe Tjerck keeps the parcel north of Marbletown on the bank of the kill, to build a house on for Andries. When does he acquire Lot No. 14?)

There were many Andries DeWitts in those days. Of Andries’ eight children who survived infancy, six had sons named Andries, born 1721-1732. Four of those would have been named Andries DeWitt. (The others are Andries Roosa and Andries Swits.)

(Among Andries’ sons, the son named Andries and his brother Egbert both married Nottingham girls, presumably sisters, and their brother Johannes married a Brodhead. This matches a story of boys who grow up a stone’s throw from the British garrison town.)

Marriage records at the time frequently say where each spouse was born, whether they have been married before (and to whom), and where they are living. Of Andries’ eight children who went on to get married, four say they were born in or near Marbletown. One says she was born in Coxing (further south); for the other three a birthplace is not specified (though Johannes is living in Marbletown).

This would suggest that Andries may well have been living on the farm 3 1/2 miles south of Hurley (on the outskirts of Marbletown) at least as early as 1689, when he baptized his daughter Barbara.

The house’s current owner is fascinated with the history of the house and has unearthed various artifacts from its earliest years. At least one carving in one of the stones the house is built from appears to say “K & B 1698.”

The house that stands here today may not be the house Andries occupied on this site originally (assuming he did live here while he raised his family). It seems common enough in the area to start with a house built of wood, then as the farm gets better established to replace it with one built of stone. At any rate, it is well within plausibility that this is the farm where Andries lived with his wife and children.

Church marriage records list names of husband and wife. In a small town with multiple people who have the same name, it’s not always clear from the church record which Andries DeWitt is getting married on a given day. Mary Veldran DeWitt says the Andries who marries Blandina Ten Eyck (in 1754, she says) is the son of Andries’ son Johannes. Andries’ son Andries, by the way, also had a son Andries, who MVDW says married Maria de Puy. See also 17 December 1757, when some Andries de Wit marries Rachel du Bois. The list goes on.

At the September 1705 sessions of the Justices of Ulster County, “Andries De Witt of Kingston, late of Marbletown, yeoman, is indicted for assault, at Rochester [Ulster County], near the house of Gysbert van Garden, upon Alexander Rosenkrans of Rochester” (emphasis added; from “Ulster County Court Records 1693-1775,” National Genealogical Society Quarterly, Vol. 60, No. 4 (December 1972), p. 280, translated and edited by Kenneth Scott, F.A.S.G.).

Alexander Rosenkrans had been indicted for something else at the previous sessions in a separate case. Since the notes from that case have been lost, we cannot know whether it was related. At this sessions, on that case, he pleaded not guilty, but was tried and convicted. His attorney Mr. Cosens then managed to get that conviction overturned on some procedural technicalities, and notably because “most of the jurors . . . ‘did not understand the English language.’” (The list of jurors includes Nicholas Hoffman, a cousin to Andries [Nicholas’s mother is the sister of TCDW], and Bastyaen De Witt, possibly also a relative?)

The outcome of Andries’ case of assault on Mr. Rosenkrans is not in this record. (The next court case recorded here is from 1712. Other local records may well include more details about the accusation and the verdict.) Possibly worth remarking: The constable at the time, Tjerck Mattyse, is Andries’ nephew, son of his sister Tjaatje and Mattys Mattysen Van Keuren.


(Picture by Doug Bradley)
DeWitt graves outside the Old Dutch Reformed Church at Kingston, New York.

(Picture by Doug Bradley)
Kingston's Memorial Day 1998 parade passes right by the graves of DeWitts of yore, some of the original Dutch founders of the colony, more than a few decorated with the flags that say they served their country in war.


Information is from Mary Veldran DeWitt’s “The DeWitt Genealogy: Descendants of Tjereck Claessen DeWitt of Ulster County, New York.”

Baptismal and Marriage Registers of the Old Dutch Church of Kingston, Ulster County, New York (formerly named Wiltwyck, and often familiarly called Esopus or ’Sopus), for One Hundred and Fifty Years from their commencement in 1660. Transcribed and edited by Roswell Randall Hoes, Chaplain U.S.N., corresponding secretary of the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society, etc. New York 1891; original publication De Vinne Press, New York; available today from Higginson Book Co., Salem, Mass., 508-745-7170. Detailed information about baptisms has been filled in through the end of 1687, marriages through 1701. More information is available. Records begin 1660. Other baptisms may have taken place in Hurley and other locations nearby; also from time to time itinerant ministers would travel through and perform various rites, not always entered in the books. This is available online at

Thomas Grier Evans, The De Witt Family of Ulster County, New York (reprinted from the New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, October 1886), New York: Trow’s Printing and Bookbinding Co., 201-213 East Twelfth Street, 1886. Available online from Evans’s work, reprinted in 1886 up to the point where it left off in Volume XVIII of the Record, was continued in 1890 (Volume XXI, commencing on p. 185) with additional names and family numbering. The reprinted portion includes names of descendants to the fourth generation; the extension shows their descendants, the fifth generation, with considerable further biographical information on some. This later addition to Evans’s work (he also published details on other families that intermarried with DeWitts in Ulster County, including Crispells, Bruyns, and others) extended into Volume XXII (January 1891, pp. 3-6). (I include here links to some publicly available copies of the individual issue and articles from the Record, but a better way to get access to it and a wealth of other genealogical resources, in addition to supporting genealogical research in general, is to join the NYGBS itself.)

Andries DeWitt Bible (not available in print, but see photos above and on linked page), courtesy of the Matthew Ten Eyck DeWitt Family Collection.

Marbletown, New York, baptism records at

Ulster County, N. Y., Probate Records, In the Office of the Surrogate, and in the County Clerk’s Office at Kingston, N. Y., compiled, abstracted and translation by Gustave Anjou, Ph. D., 1906. Privately published (?) in New York, but available at genealogical libraries (NYPL and others). Subtitle: “A careful abstract and translation of the Dutch and English wills, letters of administration after intestat es, and inventories from 1665, with genealogical and historical notes, and list of Dutch and Frisian baptismal names with their English equivalents.” Introduction by Judge A[lphonso] T[rumpbour] Clearwater, LL.D. This is available in reprinted form. Note that there are two distinct volumes included in this work, sometimes combined into one physical book.

Wills of Tjerck Claessen DeWitt and his brother Jan, who died unmarried in Kingston, 1699 (1906 Anjou edition).

Reynolds, Helen Wilkinson, Dutch Houses in the Hudson Valley Before 1776, with an introduction by Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Chairman of the Holland Society of New York Special Committee on Dutch Houses in the Hudson Valley Before 1776, originally published in 1929, by Payson and Clarke, for the Holland Society; reprinted in a trade paper edition in 1965, unabridged, by Dover Publications, New York.

Albany church records from 1683-1809 were collected by the Holland Society and published between 1904 and 1927, in eight separate Year Books, then republished in book form, with an introduction by Louis Duermeyer (librarian to the Holland Society), in Records of the Reformed Dutch Church of Albany, New York, 1683-1809, Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., Baltimore, 1978, available in a 2003 reprint from (Clearfield Company, Baltimore). The introduction, on pp. ix-x, points out the lack of earlier records: “These records, in fact, commence with an introductory note by Domine Dellius noting that no previous list had been kept.” In 1938, a fire destroyed the original Reformed Church records for the years before 1790.

National Genealogical Society Quarterly, Vol. 60, No. 4 (December 1972) and Vol. 61 (1973), hard to find in print form except in libraries, apparently not on, but available from the NGS online for paid members.

Last Modified: Saturday, July 8, 2023

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