Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Famous Dyckmans

This is a story about one of the oldest Dutch families in New York City. The Dyckmans were one of those families and they prospered from farming and tending an apple orchard in a northern area of Manhattan now referred to as Inwood.     
Image source: Dyckman Farmhouse Museum brochure
Before the island became citified, farming was a thriving lifestyle for early colonists. The Dyckman’s made their livestock available to the markets of Lower Manhattan for many years. Here is a time period so far back. Try to imagine Manhattan three to four generations before the American Revolution. People in New York can do this by walking through the rooms of the Dyckman Farmhouse (built by William Dyckman c. 1784) and walking the grounds of the Dyckman homestead which is now a museum located in northern Manhattan. This home was featured in a Bob Vila televised special on the A&E network which I possess in VHS format. The Dyckman House has been an historic landmark since 1967.

Source of two house images: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dyckman_House
Of my four family lines, the ancestor's of my paternal grandmother (Ouida Dykeman Siulinski) heralds the most fame. The line is traced back to a man called Jan Dyckman who emigrated from Westphalia (an area in Germany) c. 1661. Our name spelling changed from Dyckman to Dykeman when a descendent of Jan, Garret Dykeman, moved his family and others to Canada in 1783. To show the link of my grandmother to the Dyckman line, the following images show the references of Ouida’s family in the book, Jan Dyckman and his Descendents. The images show the genealogy page (181) and the index page (187). Ouida (spelled "Weeda" in the book) is in the eighth generation.

A whole chapter in the Jan Dyckman book is devoted to Garret Dykeman, whose family and followers begin the Canadian line of the family. Garret’s marriage to Eunice Hatfield, niece of Capt’ Abraham Hatfield, begins his association with the Loyalists. The Loyalists (also known as Tories) were American colonists who remained loyal to the British monarchy during the American Revolution. When their cause was defeated, about 20% of the Loyalists fled or were driven out of the US to resettle in other parts of the British Empire (source: Wikipedia.org). There have been volumes written about the two sides which brought on the revolution but when it was all over, many losing-side colonists felt safer to pack it up and leave. Thousands of Loyalists boarded ships to Nova Scotia (what now consists of the provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia). Land grants and other supports were offered to help in their resettlement but what they encountered in the new land was a more primitive and desolate landscape then what they had grown used to in America.

Map source: www.treasuredtimbers.com/rivers.html
Fortunately, Garret Dykeman’s group had chosen well. They decided to settle on the St. John River, a fertile area and further north were uplands which supported cattle raising (source: Jan Dyckman book, page 170). The place where he “set down his family” became Jemseg. This is the town of Ouida’s birth.
 
Ouida (Dykeman) Siulinski with sons, Jack and Adam, Jr.

End note: Research for this post came primarily from these two books:
Jan Dyckman and his Descendents by H. Dorothea Romer and Helen B. Hartman
Dutch New York: The Roots of Hudson Valley Culture edited by Roger Panetta.

3 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing & doing all this research Craig. It is fascinating to read and learn about our heritage! - Jill

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  2. Jill Gallant ShawJuly 7, 2010 at 12:45 PM

    Thanks for sharing & doing all this research Craig. It is fascinating to read and learn about our heritage! - Jill

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi Craig: I descend from Moses as well. Just wanted to let you know cousin that they came to NB by ship. The Neptune with company 51 I believe.

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