It’s been a whirlwind online search session this weekend but I’m confident (about 90% certainty) that I can trace my Dutch family lineage to the first arrival of my Dutch ancestor. Not only that, I came across a listing that supposedly “starts” the first generation of documentation back in Holland around 1535.
There is a bit of background I needed to understand first that enabled me to quickly trace the correct lineage once I applied it to the lists I searched. To explain the way Dutch family names are given to children should make sense when you read them.
The origin of surname: Van Schaick (Schaijk)
Habitational name for someone from Schaijk in North Brabant, an area south of Utrecht. van means: from van Schaick = “from Schaijk”
Surnames were uncommon in the middle ages. Early Dutch settlers had no surnames. Naming children was prefixing the child’s given name to the father’s first name, then adding the letters “se”, “sen”, “sz”, “en” “je”. The meaning is “child of–”
Tracing the direct line of my Van Schaick family tree I found the right ancestor had the middle name of his father with the additional endings. In order to track the next generation with common names, I looked for the child having his father’s first name as his middle name. Add “Van Schaick” — from Schaijk — and I have my family tree!
If you’ve followed my blog since early July, my visit to Albany, New York on July 5th and 6th of 2002 was to verify if I was related somehow to the Van Schaick Island and the Van Schaick Mansion. I met with Walt, the family historian, who determined my great-grandmother’s papers weren’t a match to his family tree. My Van Schaick ancestors were NOT directly related to his side of the family, therefore not connected to the Van Schaick Mansion.
This weekend I’ve been able to document that the first settler of our Dutch lineage to arrive from Holland was Goosen Gerritse(n) Van Schaick. He was born (1616-1676) in Westerbroeck, Utrecht, Holland. He sailed to America in 1633. He settled in Rensselaerwyck and lived in or around Fort Orange.
My great-grandmother, Elsie Ellsworth, was half right on her genealogy comment. She wrote at the bottom of the first page, “My ancesters(sic) imegrated(sic) from Holland in 1614 and settled at Fort Orange, now Albany.” They did NOT arrive in 1614. Those original emigrants were fur traders and established Fort Nassau. Fort Orange was built about two miles up the Hudson River and settled in 1624. Kiliaen Van Rensselaer established his patroonship with a vast land patent and purchased title to the land surrounding Fort Orange from the native Indian tribes in 1630. My ancestor arrived three years later.
There’s a lot of exciting details to share, but that’s a future blog! I’m satisfied that my research has given me definite documentation of each generation that goes back ten generations in America. Plus I have an additional three generations of ancestors in Holland before Goosen Gerritse(n) Van Schaick was born.
Without further delay, here’s my family tree, tracing back through the maternal line and the Dutch side.
In the beginning:
FIRST GENERATION: Teunis van Schaick b. 1535 (estimated) married Gijsbertgen ??
SECOND GENERATION: Goosen Teunize van Schaick b. 1560 (estimated) married N/K
THIRD GENERATION: Gerrit Goosen van Schaick 1590-1630 married Marrigje Barends b. 1590 (estimated) They lived in Westbroeck, Utrecht, Holland
FOURTH GENERATION: *****Goosen Gerritsen van Schaick 1616-1676 Settled at Fort Orange in Rensselaerwyck – 1633 (Known to travel back to Holland several times before his death in 1676). Married Geertje Brantse Peelen van Nieukerke 1623-1656
FIFTH GENERATION: Sybrant Goosense Van Schaick 1653-1686 married Elizabeth van der Poel 1658-1690
SIXTH GENERATION: Gerrit Sybrantse Van Schaick 1685-1750 married Sara Goeway b.1683?? 1685??
SEVENTH GENERATION: Johannes Gerritse Van Schaick 1712-?? married Alida Jacobse Bogart 1713-??
EIGHTH GENERATION: Jacob Johannesse Van Schaick 1740-1795 married Maritje Van Buren 1743-1814 (This Jacob Van Schaick is mentioned on my great-grandmother’s family list as HER great-grandfather).
NINTH GENERATION: William Van Schaick 1785-1870 married Eunice Van Buren 1793? 1795?-1854
TENTH GENERATION: Garrett Van Schaick 1820?-1823? – 1903 married Hannah Watkins 1825-1885
ELEVENTH GENERATION: Elsie Van Schaick 1866-1956 married Frank Ellsworth 1866-1928
TWELFTH GENERATION: Vera Ellsworth 1889-1983 married Warren Zollars 1889-1980
THIRTEENTH GENERATION: Mildred Zollars 1916-1992 married Blanchard Hindman 1901-1983
FOURTEENTH GENERATION: Diana Hindman 1952—-
There it is! I am a 14th generation descendant of Dutch ancestors that have been documented and recorded since the 1500s. I was married and have four children, they are fifteenth generation and their children (my grandchildren) stand at being the sixteenth generation of Dutch descendants from Holland.
I bit the bullet and signed up for access to the records at www.ancestry.com In doing so, I was surprised and delighted to discover that my living cousins are out there and also interested in genealogy research on tracing complete family trees. This weekend I corresponded with several long-lost relatives. Together, we are filling in the blanks of missing information on our common Dutch ancestors.
There is so much more that I know today. I wish I had this knowledge when I traveled on my vacation road trip in July of 2002. I have answers to the questions that followed me on my journey to Albany, New York. Childhood curiousity about the family tree list of my great-grandmother, Elsie Van Schaick Ellsworth, led me to seek out the area settled by our forebear, Goosen Gerritsen Van Schaick, in 1633.
The generations that preceded us are not just some names and dates on a piece of paper. They were born, grew into adulthood, married, had children, raised a family and then died. From this ancestor and his marriages (he married again after Geertje Van Niewkerke died in 1656), his progeny number in the thousands and are scattered all over America.
The arrival of Goosen Gerritsen Van Schaick to Fort Orange, New Netherland in 1633 is a great turning point in American History because it’s the beginning of my family history too. He was just a drop in the vast ocean of westward exploration and settlement of the New World in the 1600s. What Goosen and Geertje began in this country continues today.
I believe that’s why I journeyed to the land around Albany, New York in July of 2002. To actually walk in the area and view the Hudson River that was their highway in those earlier times. To honor the Dutch who first risked everything to come to New Netherland when it was still wilderness and populated by Native American Indian tribes.
I live such an incredible life in America. And it began with Goosen Gerritsen Van Schaick. As far as I know right now, this is the earliest arrival of my family lineage. Someday I’ll trace all lines–the Scot/Irish, the English, and the German sides of my ancestors. Tracing your entire family tree could be a lifetime pursuit. And it turns out everybody is related! At least it seems that way if you dig deep enough and keep working your way back to earlier generations.
I have more interesting details to write about. For now, I’m content to share the direct Dutch line that leads to me. Coming up? Next blog–I plan to take the generations and work my way back in time. And I’m telling the stories of life and death, family tragedies and even a “black sheep” in the Van Schaick family tree. Life was full of sacrifices and suffering. We think we got it rough in our times?
Credit sources: www.ancestry.com
Google Search: Goosen Gerritsen Van Schaick, William Van Schaick, Dutch history NY