About Harmen Jansen Knickerbocker
Passenger and Immigration Lists Index, 1500s-1900s
about Herman Jansen Knickerbocker
Name: Herman Jansen Knickerbocker
Place: New York, NY
Source Publication Code: 9135
Primary Immigrant: Knickerbocker, Herman Jansen
Annotation: Contains 15 articles taken from The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, 1879-1970. About 5,500 names. Similar lists in Boyer, nos. 0702, 0714, 0717, and 0720.
Source Bibliography: TEPPER, MICHAEL, editor. Immigrants to the Middle Colonies: A Consolidation of Ship Passenger Lists and Associated Data from "The New York Genealogical Biographical Record." Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1978. 178p. Repr. 1979.
From http://www.knic.com/Paul_Kn.htm ...
Their son was Harmen Jansen van Wye (he always spelled it this way). He was born about 1648 and probably came to America in 1674. He called himself "van Wyekycback(e)" and that is the name that he signed on a land contract in 1682. He is the ancestor of all "KNICKERBOCKERS" in North America.
Harmen Jansen KNICKERBOCKER died before 1722 in Dutchess Co., NY.(1) This Knickerbocker genealogy is presented in 1999 to correct errors presented in previous works and to bring the family down to the current generations. The explosive growth of electronic communication has made possible an almost real time collaboration amongst interested family members.
The family owes a tremendous debt to Dr. Van Alstyne, Kathlyne Knickerbocker Viele and Fred Chamberlain for their earlier written works which are used as a starting point for this undertaking.
"Traditions are current in the family concerning its origin and history in Holland, but these the writer, not finding leisure to verify them, has omitted." These words by Dr. Van Alstyne still ring true today. I don't believe any family has more misleading information circulating about its origins than the Knickerbockers. Kathlyne Viele debunks the historical hoax started by two well intentioned but mis-informed family members in the last century. Please review her book "Sketches of Allied Families, Knickerbocker - Viele" for an explanation of the birth of so many of the current and widely circulated fraudulent traditions.
Harmen Jansen Knickerbocker, the immigrant ancestor of the family, came to this country from Holland prior to 1680 and settled at Albany, NY. Occasionally he added both the terminations Van Wie and Van Bommel to his name indicating that he came from these areas of Holland or these represented an earlier family naming connection. There are tantalizing traces of earlier family history in the Albany archives, but time and resources will necessitate these studies to expand the early European family be undertaken by others.
In 1680 Harme Janse van Bommel is witness to a minor legal matter at Albany.
In 1683, Harmen Jansz Knickelbacker and Lysbet Harmensz were members of the Dutch Reformed Church at Albany ( Year Book, 1904, of the Holland Society of New York, p. 5).
On 6 May, 1684, Harmen Jansen Knickerbocker deeded land in Albany to Mews Hogeboom (Book 531, Public Records of Albany Co.). On 2 June, 1688, Peter Schuyler received a grant of land in Dutchess County near Red Hook. In 1689 he sold one- half of one-fourth of the patent to Harme Gansevoort of Albany, the fourth laying north of a line due east from a point on the river opposite the south end of Slipstein Island, the small island north of Cruger's. On 1 May, 1704, Gansevoort sold his moiety to Harme Jans Knickerbocker. In 1722 Schuyler divided the upper fourth of his patent into thirteen lots, seven of which he deeded to Lawrence, Cornelius, Evert and Pieter Knickerbocker of Dutchess County, Anthony Bogardus of Albany, and Jannetje, his wife, Jan Vosburgh of Dutchess County, and Cornelia, his wife, sons and daughters of Harmen Janse Knickerbocker, late of Dutchess County, deceased (Smith's History of Rhinebeck, NY, pp. 23, 80).
In April, 1698, the Earl of Bellomont succeeded Fletcher as Governor; in July he made a journey in great state to Albany and Schenectady, staying two weeks in the former and two days in the latter place, "My Lady" accompanying him. Among the items of expense were "£1 17s. to Harme Janse Knickerbacker for his Waggen and horses to Shinnectady" (Jonathan Pearson's History of the Schenectady Patent, p. 283).
On 16 March, 1706-7, the brothers, Daniel and David Ketelhuyn "of the city of Albany," bought of Harme Janse Knickerbacker, "late of the county of Albany," for one hundred and eighty-four pounds and ten shillings, "each one equal half of all that certain tract or parcel of land . . . on the west side of Hudson's river above the land commonly called the Half Moon, being about four English miles above the farm or boundary of Gerrit Hendrickse, which said land begins at the kill or creek that runs into Hudson's river between the Wijhe Vlackje and the said Harme Janse's house, and from thence along the river, on the west side of Hudson's river, and strikes from the river westward into the woods on the south and along the north side of the said kill or creek so as the same runs until you come to the high hills, which said hills run along the fly of the Half Moon and stretch as far as Sarachtogue; and on the north side from the northern end of the said Stone Island with a direct west line into the woods till you come to the said high hills aforesaid." On 20 March that year, Daniel Ketelhuyn sold his share in this tract to his brother David, for one hundred and one pounds and five shillings (Deeds, book F, No. 6, PP. 3, 41, in the office of the Clerk of Albany County).
In 1711 Harmen Knickerbocker deeded lands in the south part of Amenia, NY, to Cornelius Knickerbocker (Isaac Huntting's Little Nine Partners, p. 366).
The will of Harmen Jansen Knickerbacker "of Dutchess County, in Province of New York," was made 17 Jan., 1707-8, and recorded in Albany County Wills, Lib. 1, p. 175. In it he mentions wife Elizabeth and "my seven children," namely, Johannes, Lourens, Cornelis, Evert, Peter, Jannetje Lansing, widow of Hendrick Lansing, junior, and Cornelia Knickerbacker; "eldest son Johannes." The will is written in Dutch and mentions real and personal estate. Executors: wife and sons Johannes and Lourens Witnesses: Jan Ploeg and Pieter Pile. In 1723 the widow of Harmon Knickerbacker residing in Dutchess County was taxed five pounds and five pence (Smith's History of Rhinebeck, NY.., p. 45).
He was married to Lysbet Janse BOGAERT about 1681. (1) Lysbet Janse BOGAERT was born in 1659 in Schoonderwoerd, Holland.(1) Lysbet Janse Bogaert, b. in 1659, in Holland, dau. of Jan Laurensen Bogaert and Cornelia Evertse. Jan Laurensen Bogaert with his wife and two children, seven and four years old, came from Schoonderwoerd, a town in South Holland, in the ship Spotted Cow, 16 April, 1663, and it is probable that Lysbet was born there. She died after 1723.(1) Harmen Jansen KNICKERBOCKER and Lysbet Janse BOGAERT had the following children:
child+2 i. Johannes KNICKERBOCKER.
child3 ii. KNICKERBOCKER died in May 1682 in Albany, Albany, NY. In May, 1682 Herman van Bommel paid for the use of the small pall. This indicates the probable burial of a young child at that time.
child+4 iii. Jannetie KNICKERBOCKER.
child+5 iv. Lourens KNICKERBOCKER.
child6 v. Cornelis KNICKERBOCKER was baptized on 2 Sep 1688 in Albany, Albany, NY. (1) He died before 1691 in Albany, Albany, NY. (1)
child+7 vi. Cornelis KNICKERBOCKER.
child+8 vii. Cornelia KNICKERBOCKER.
child+9 viii. Evert KNICKERBOCKER.
child+10 ix. Pieter KNICKERBOCKER. -------------------- Seven Greats Grandfather: Harmen Jansen (Knickerbocker)
Seven Greats Grandmother: Lysbet(h) Janse Bogaert/Bogart
Note about Herman Jansen Van Wye (or Van Wyekycback):
There is no such name as Knickerbacker in Holland and since we have the signature of the ancestor to go by we must bear in mind that he does not call himself Knickerbacker, but "van Wyekycback (e).
Harmen Janse van Bommel (also known as Harmen Jansen van Wye) was born March 8/18, 1648/47, in Bommel, Netherlands. Family tradition reports that he served in the navy of the Netherlands and was severely wounded as a participant with De Ruyter's fleet in the Battle of Solebay, July 25, 1665. Happily for me, he recovered and in 1674, he was commissioned to sail for Fort Orange in the New Netherlands. He thereafter settled at Albany, New York. The first mention of Harmen Janse van Bommell in America appears in the Albany records when he was a witness in a lawsuit April 6, 1680. He is called Van Bommel in the records of the city of Albany, in the Court Minutes and in the Dutch Church register. In 1682, for reasons open to conjecture, he signed a contract with the name "Hermen Jansen van Wyekycback(e)." Somehow, this found its way into the (anglicized) surname "Knickerbocker" and appears as such in most records as the surname of his eight children, including Evert Knickerbocker. Harmen Jansen van Bommel Knickerbacker died April 2, 1721, at Schaghticoke (pronounced skat-e-coke), New York. His grave is in the Witenagemott burial field in Old Schaghticoke.
On January 3, 1674/75, in Albany, New York, Harmen Jansen married Lysbeth Janse Bogaert. In 1683, "Harmen Jansz Knickelbacker" and "Lysbet Harmensz" were listed as members of the Dutch Reformed Church at Albany In 1690, he and Lysbeth moved to Schagticoke. She was born in Leerdam, Holland, in 1651 and christened there June 3, 1651, one of the 10 children of Jan Laurens(en) Bogaert and Cornelia Ann Evartse/Evertse. She died in April 15, 1723 at Red Hook, Dutchess County, New York. Harmen and Lysbet had nine children, the eighth of which was Evert Knickerbakker. See below for more regarding ancestors in the Bogaert family.
(Some Thoughts On The Origins Of The Name)
"This was the only answer we could ever get from him; and as my wife, by some of those odd ways in which women find out everything, learned that he was of very great connections, being related to the Knickerbockers of Schagticoke, and cousin-german to the congressman of that name, she did not like to treat him uncivilly."
These words penned by Washington Irving in his famous novel-parody Knickerbocker's History of New York of 1809 launched the Knickerbacker name. A name, until that time, of an obscure clan of Dutchmen in central New York state became the famous Knickerbocker moniker adopted by old gentlemen on beer bottles and major league basketball teams. A name now most famous throughout New York and the United States. The name, spelled with the "O", has become synonymous with everything 17th century New York Dutch.
How bewildering it was growing up always fielding the question "Are you related to the beer company?" and if so, it would seem that we all must be quite rich. I finally decided after all these years to investigate the origins of our seemingly famous family. Cousin Harry "Babe" Pinney and his foray into the Pinney family tree, pushed me into taking a basic genealogy class at The Connecticut Society of Genealogists on Maple Street in East Hartford, CT. My spare time has not been the same since. I've collected several thousand Knickerbockers and I'm trying to make as much sense as possible of these family connections over the last three hundred odd years. The magic of our shared name is that we are related to every other Knickerbocker in the land. Our immigrant ancestor Harmen Jansen invented the name upon arriving on our shores. A few hundred years of "Anglicizing" from the Dutch beginnings gave us the Knickerbacker name known to Washington Irving in the early 1800's.
Katherine Knickerbacker Viele presents the history of our family name and the connections to Irving in her book entitled Sketches of Allied Families Knickerbacker-Viele published in 1916. She presents a far more cognizant explanation than I could ever hope to prepare and I therefore repeat her story here.
The Origins of the Name of Knickerbacker
The name of Knickerbacker is unique. It seems safe to assert that there has never been but one family of that name. It is evident from the testimony that it is constructed out of a combination of a family name and an individual peculiarity. There has never before been offered a rational solution of its meaning.
For several years four others besides myself - all of whom have had experience in the unraveling of the origins of Dutch names have given to this matter a good deal of thought and one theory after another has been run down without arriving at any satisfactory decision. It has been adventured that the name represented part of an old Holland family name, but all the combinations seemed far-fetched; that the ancestor's signature bore traces of lacking a syllable as would be the case perhaps in the writing of an illiterate man; but the syllable omitted could not be determined. It has been thought that the name denoted the occupation of the possessor and the Dutch dictionary has been searched for words whose com-bination would indicate what that was. There seems absolutely nothing to make knickkel-marbles and backer-baker - a baker of marbles, the etymology of the name. The name was never authoritatively written with "el" for the second syllable.
This suggestion is given in the third volume of Munsell's Annals, p. 59; but a note to the preface of the seventh volume says that Knickerbacker "was not the original name." This statement of Munsell as to probable meaning has been widely copied.
It is probable that the name is to be read just as the ancestor wrote it at the foot of the legal document of 1682. The Dutch always signed their family names to legal documents. The late Walter Kenneth Griffin, an excellent genealogist, has well said, "Dutch names may be puzzling but they are logical and consistent."
Hermen Jansen Knickerbacker, as he came to be called, was at first most frequently spoken of as "Hermen Jansen van Bommel." This was the name of the place in Holland that he hailed from. But to his contract with Anthony van Schaick in 1682 he signs himself "Hermen Jansen van Wyekycback(e). Why not take this just as he has written it and give it at least a logical interpretation?
Hermen Jansen came from Bommel, in North Brabant, near which there was then and had been for several centuries a branch of the ancient family of Van Wye in which the names of Hermen and Johannes were very common. As far back as the fourteenth century there was a Hermen Van Wye who was Governor of the Neder-Betuwe, where the fortified town of Bommel was situated.
The family tradition says that Hermen Jansen was in the Dutch navy, and although this has not been proven there is nothing to prevent its having been true. He is said to have been with De Ruyter's fleet in the Battle of Solebay, fought June 7, 1672, and to have been there wounded. I doubt if an unwritten tradition would have done more than have handed down the facts of his fighting and of his wound. Therefore when I found that in the next year (1673) there had been a still more fierce and sanguinary battle fought by the same fleet under the same commanders off the Dutch dunes at a place called Kijk, I could not but note its similarity to the "Kyc" in the ancestor's name, especially when "back" (cheek) gave such an easy reading as--Hermen Jansen van Wye-Kijk- back--Kijk cheek--or cheek marked at Kijk!
In the effort to read the name, the "Wye," which might easily be mistaken for "Nye" (it has been read in both ways by different clerks), was so interpreted and the name became Niekicbacker-Niekerbacker, from which the transition was easy to the final form of Knickerbacker.
The clerk in the first document, that of 1682, writes the name kinne ker backer. Kinneback is jawbone--kinnekycbacker--man with the Kijk-jawbone, falls into line as a suggestion, but as to form it is more far-fetched.
There is no such name as Knickerbacker in Holland and since we have the signature of the ancestor to go by we must bear in mind that he does not call himself Knickerbacker, but "van Wyekycback (e) .
It is from this signature that the origin of the name and of the man must be traced.
Various renderings of the name of Hermen Jansen Knickerbacker:
1680 (April 6) Harme Janse van Bommell (Proceedings of the Comm, 1676, 80 p.500).
1682 (Dec.11) Hermen Jansen van Wyekycback(e); Harme Jansz Kinnekerbacker. (Albany Deeds book III, p. 170. )
1683 Harmen Jansz Knickelbacker (List of Dutch church members).
1684 (May 6) Harmen Jansen Kinnekerbacker (Court Minutes 1680-1685 Debt).
1684 (June 3) Harmen Janssen van Bommel (Court Min-utes; jury trial).
1686 (Jan'y 1) Harme Jansz van Bommel (Dutch Church Register) .
1688 (Sept. 8) Harmen Jansz (Dutch Church Register).
1689 (Sept.) Harme Jansen van Bommel (Munsell's Annals of Albany, VoL II, p. 112, 113).
1692 (Jan'Y 6) Harmen Jansz and Lysbet Jansz (Dutch Church Register).
1695 (July 21 ) Harmen Knickelbacker, Lysbet Bogert (Dutch Church Register).
1696-7 (Feb. 26) Harmen Jansen Knickerbacker Van Wyye (Albany Indexes, Book IV, p. 94).
1698 (March 9) Harme van Bommell, Lysbet Bogert (Albany Dutch Church Register).
1699 (Sept. 3) Hermen Janse, Lysbet Bogert (Albany Dutch Church Register).
1702 (April 19) Harme Knickelbacker, Lysbet Bogert (Albany Dutch Church Register).
1704 (May 1) Harmen Jansen Kinckerbacker (Albany Indexes, Book VI, p. 14).
1706-7 (March 15) Harmen Janssen Nyckbacker (Albany Co. Deeds, VoL VI, p. 39).
1707 (Feb. 26) Heermen Jansen Kynckbacker (Wills, Vol. I., pp. 175, 178, Albany County clerk's office).
(Kathlyne goes on to give an explanation of the connection between Washington Irving and the prominence he provided to the Knickerbocker name.)
Harmen Jansen Knickerbocker (van Wyhe)'s Timeline
March 8, 1647
Albany, Albany, New York, United States
January 3, 1675
Rennsselaer, Rennsselaer, New York
March 6, 1679
Rensselaerwyck, New York
May 3, 1681
Rensselaer, NY, USA
May 3, 1681
Rensselaerwyck, Rensselaer, New York, United States
Rensselaerwyck, New York
September 2, 1688
Rennsselaer, Rennsselaer, New York
January 6, 1692
Rennsselaer, Rennsselaer, New York
July 21, 1694
Bedford, Westchester, New York