THE DE WITT FAMILY HISTORICAL SOCIETY
(In Holland the word DeWitt is literally the "White")
It is the name of a famous Dutch family, who have always been foremost
in the ranks during contests for political and religious liberties,
both in Holland and in America. In past centuries, several illustrious
DeWitt's sacrificed their lives because of their enthusiasm and
formidable work toward establishing and maintaining a republic form
of government, in Holland, and were arrested and fined for the first
advocating of sufferage in America.
WHO ARE YOU? A DE WITT?
By RUBY HASKINS ELLIS (copyright, Philadelphia Ledger)
This surname is a variation of the name "Witt" or "White".
The old Anglo-Saxon form of spelling "hwit". Undoubtedly
the name originated from the Latin Word "Albus" meaning
"white" as the first mention of the name occurs in Doomsday
Book, as Alwin Albus, otherwise "witt". It is thought
that the surname was assumed by some remote ancestor of fairness
of complexion, it being a popular fad to adopt some personal peculiarities
as ones cognomen. The American family was founded of this name by
Tjerck Claessen DeWItt, who came over from Holland in about 1653,
and married Barbara Andriessen. The descendents are now living in
many states other than their native New York. The historian in this
work would also add that the syllable "de" is a title
of honor, prefixed to the name "Witt" as was the custom
in the ancient days, for faithful services in performing good deeds
in honor of their name professionally "dewitt".
DE WITT FAMILY REUNION
You and your friends are invited to attend the next re-union at
Kingston, N. Y., July 4, 1934, by a communication received from
William C. DeWitt of said place as follows: Here is Tjerck Claessen
DeWitt homestead, just as he left it, and his son Andries enlarging
it, also the frame barns remain the same, the same timbers in the
interior showing. Andries was killed by the falling of the sleepers
(or beams) in 1710, and lies under the gravestone, marked with his
name and date, in the old Dutch churchyard here. I propose that
the next reunion be held at the Suydam farm, now occupied by John
and Hery Beatty, and the Suydam and Hasbrook families, the former
Tjerck Claessen DeWitt and Andries DeWitt homestead here. I invite
all the DeWitts to come here, and I will secure a plot on said farm
for parking or opposite, and have the reunion on said farm, so that
all the buildings can be visited inside and out and under the grand
poplars have our reunion, that would be a source of inspiration,
the actual birthplace of our ancestors to carry on. Col. Charles
DeWitt, perhaps the most distinguished of the DeWitts in America,
friend of Washing, lived at Greenskill, lies buried at Hawley, just
a step beyond Tjerck's place. After the historian consulting with
some of the friends, the above date was decided most appropriate,
in honor of our ancestors who fought for independence, and let us
all be present and make this a noted celebration.
At this gathering it is desirable on the part of the acting historian
for the DeWitt family to form a permanent organization under some
suitable name, to be decided upon by all those present, for to compile
the lineage and history of all the DeWitt families, in book form
or just own's own family lineage, typewritten, from our first ancestors
down to the present, giving the vocation, society affiliations,
number, street, town, city and state address, of every one of our
family and friends, in this country. The family at present are more
largely located in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Illinois,
Kansas and South Dakota, around Los Angeles, California, Washington,
D.C. and in fourteen more of the states, and evidently more will
The DeWitt family have an unbroken line of lineage on record at
The Hague, Holland back to 1295, business records back t 1204, and
well educated, college bred (degree) back ti the early fifteen hundreds.
A Dr. DeWitt was with Henry Hudson's exploring expedition sent
out from Holland in 1609, first discovering the New Netherlands
(Hudson Bay, Manhattan Island and the Hudson River). Jacob DeWitt,
Land Advocate of Holland, was over here in 1630. John DeWitt, Jr.
Grand Pensionary of Holland, was over here in 1639. Tjerck Claessen
DeWitt came over here in 1648, married Barbara Andriessen in New
York City in 1656. Pieter Jansen DeWitt came over here in 1652,
married Marritje Willems. Jan (John) DeWitt came over here sometimes
previous to Tjerck and Pieter and settled on Lond Island.
The biography of the many DeWitts will be published along with
the lineage, as well as a few of the prominent as follows:
Jacob DeWitt, college bred (Leyden) several times Burgomaster of
Dort in the early 1600's, was imprisoned for advocating a free republic.
He was pleasing in appearance and a handsome man.
John DeWitt, college bred (Leyden), son of Jacob, was Holland's
greatest statesman, Grand Pensionary of Holland. His physical appearance
is interesting, but he was not a handsome man, and sacrificed his
life for a free republic.
Cornelius DeWitt, college bred (Leyden) brother of John and a close
associate. As a statesman, Burgomaster of Dort, sacrificed his life
with his brother, John for a free republic. Ashrine stands at the
square at the Hague, Holland, in honor and memory of them.
Col. Charles DeWitt lived in Kingston, New York, friend of Washington,
was very active during Revolutionary times.
Col. Cornelius D. DeWitt was on Washington's staff.
Col. Thomas DeWitt (Rev) was on Washington's staff.
Surveyor General Simeon DeWitt, topographical engineer on Washington's
staff all through the war; college bred and a great educator.
Captain Jacob DeWitt, Capt. Lucas DeWitt, and many others of official
and private rank in the war of 1776 (Andries A. DeWitt and seven
Maj. Moses DeWitt, surveyor, lived in Syracuse, New York; of prominence
Gov. DeWitt Clinton, the great statesman and educator.
Col. William Radcliff DeWitt, Col. Abraham DeWitt, Capt. Moses
DeWitt, Capt. Abraham DeWitt and many more of official and private
rank in the war of 1812 (enlisted from Ulster County, New York,
along were 67 DeWitts.)
Many DeWitt were in the Civil, Spanish American and World War.
Four sons of Dorsey DeWitt were across and in active service in
the World War
Rev. John DeWitt, Rev. John DeWitt, Rev. Thomas DeWitt, Rev. John
DeWitt, Rev. John DeWitt, Rev. William Radcliff DeWitt, and other
old-time clergymen with college degrees and great educators.
Mail in your lineage to the historian for the interest of the future
generation. It will be a delightful trip to the next reunion for
those who have never seen the grandeur of the wonderful Hudson River
and the beautiful city of Kingston, N. Y.
Some of the friends could visit on their route High point, N. J.
(near Port Jarvis, on the Delaware River). It is easy of ascent,
and you can view all over the state of New Jersey.
Remember the date, July 4, 1934, Independence day.
Ex-Mayor Jerome DeWitt, Atty., Binghampton, N.Y.
Frederick P. DeWittm, Atty., New York, N.Y.
William C. DeWitt, Kingston, N.Y.
Hon. Asa K. DeWitt, Plymouth, Pa.
Irvin A. DeWitt, Atty., Sunbury, PA.
Miss Rene DeWitt, Saugherties, N.Y.
Frank M. DeWitt, Binghampton, N.Y.
Jacob W. DeWitt, Masonic Homes, Elizabeththwown, Pa. (Acting historian)