Jannetje Janse Stryker (1642 - 1705)

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Birthplace: Ruinen, De Wolden, Drenthe, Netherlands
Death: Died in Flatbush, Kings, New York, USA
Managed by: Phil Harrigan Sheedy
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About Jannetje Janse Stryker

From: "Genealogical and Personal Memorial of

      Mercer County, New Jersey" Vol I

Pub: 1907 Under the Editorial Supervison of

      FRANCIS BAZLEY LEE

"THE STRYCKER FAMILY is of most remote antiquity. Proof has been brought from Holland of the family having remained on the same estates near the Hague and near Rotterdam for full eight hundred years prior to the coming of the first member to this country in 1652. The follow- ing facts, viz.: the ducal coronet on the crest and the family being traced far back to the latter part of the eighth century, prove that the progemtors were among the great military chieftains of the Nether- lands who were created dukes, counts and barons by Charles the Bald, in order to bring some form of government out of the chaos of those times long before the advent of the Dutch Republic. Many legends are told of this powerful family in those warlike days--one particularly accounting for the three boars' heads upon the shield.

In 1643 the States General of the Netherlands offered a grant of land in New Amsterdam to Jan and Jacobus Strycker provided that they brought out, at their own expense, twelve other families from Holland. This grant, it does not appear, they accepted until eight years after- ward, when they established the American branch of the family in and near New Amsterdam. The old Strycker mansion at Fifty-second street and the Hudson river is the last of the old manor houses of New York city.

There were few offices which these able men did not fill at different times. Jacobus was a great burgher of New Amsterdam in 1653-55-57-58-60, also one of Peter Stuyvesant's council.

Jan Strycker, born in Holland, 1614, reached New Amsterdam from Rouen with his wife, two sons and four daughters, 1652, leaving behind him all the privileges and rights which might be his by descent in the old world. He was a man of ability and education, for his subsequent his- tory proves him to be prominent in the civil and religious community in which he cast his lot. His first wife was Lambertje Seubering. After her death he married Swantje Jans, widow of Cornelis Potter, of Brooklyn. The second wife died in 1686. In March, 1687, he married a third time, Teuntje Teunis, of Flatbush.

Jan Strycker remained in New Amsterdam a little over a year, and in the year 1654 he took the lead in founding a Dutch colony on Long Is- land at what was called Midwout; it was also called Middlewoods. The modern name is Flatbush. On the 11th of December, 1653, while still in New Amsterdam, Jan Strycker joined with others in a petition of the Commonalty of the New Netherlands and a remonstrance against the con- duct of Director Stuyvesant. The petition recited that "they apprehended the establishment of an arbitrary government over them; that it was contrary to the genuine principles of well regulated governments that one or more men should arrogate to themselves the exclusive power to dispose at will of the life and property of any individual; that it was odious to every free-born man, principally to those whom God has placed in a free state of newly settled lands." We humbly submit that "'tis one of our privileges that our consent, or that of our represent- atives, is necessarily required in the enactment of laws and orders." It is remarkable that at this early day this indictment was drawn up, this "bill of rights" was published. But these men came from the blood of the hardy Northmen and imbibed with the free air of America the determination to be truly free themselves.

In the year 1654 Jan Strycker was selected as the chief magistrate of Midwout, and this office he held most of the time for twenty years. The last time we find the notice of his election was at the council of war holden in Fort William Hendrick, August 18, Anno 1673, where the delegates from the respective towns of Midwout, Bruckelen, Amers- fort, Utrecht, Boswyck and Gravesend selected him as "Schepen." He was also one of the embassy from New Amsterdam and the principal Dutch towns to be sent to the Lord Mayors in Holland on account of their annoyance from the English and the Indians; they complain that they "will be driven off their lands unless re-enforced from Fatherland." On April 10, 1664, he took his seat as a representative from Midwout in that great Landtdag, a general assembly called by the burgomasters, which was held at the City Hall in New Amsterdam, to take into consid- eration the precarious condition of the country. He was one of the representatives in the Hempstead convention in 1665, and he appears as a patentee on the celebrated Nichols patent, October 11, 1667, and again on the Dongan patent, November 12, 1685. He was elected captain of the military company at Midwout, October 25, 1673, and his brother Jacobus was given the authority to "administer the oaths and to install him into office." Captain Jan Strycker was named March 26, 1674, as a deputy to represent the town in a conference to be held at New Orange to confer with Governor Colve on the present state of the country.

During the first year of his residence at Midwout he was one of the two commissioners to build the Dutch church there, the first erected on Long Island, and he was for many years an active supporter of the Dominie Johannes Theodorus Polhemus, of the Reformed Church of Holland, in that edifice. After raising a family of eight children, every one of whom lived to adult life and married, seeing his sons settled on valuable plantations and occupying positions of influence in the community, and his daughters marrying into the families of the Brinckerhoffs, the Berriens and the Bergens, living to be over eighty years of age, he died about the year 1697, full of the honors which these new towns could bestow, and with his duties as a civil officer and a free citizen of his adopted country well performed..."

Additional note:

A portrait of Jan Stryker, painted by his brother Jacobus in 1655, is now owned by the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC. It was inscribed "given to Altje by her father Jacobus Gerritsen Stryker, who himself drew this likeness of his brother Jan".

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Jannetje Janse Stryker's Timeline

1642
1642
Ruinen, De Wolden, Drenthe, Netherlands
1652
1652
Age 10
Flatbush, NY
1672
1672
Age 30
Long Island, New York
1675
1675
Age 33
1705
May 29, 1705
Age 63
Flatbush, Kings, New York, USA
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