Witt-Claes Janßen (a.k.a. DeWitt)

Birth Date - d. 10 November 1659

Tiade [Tiarcks] Bremers

born in Ostbense, Ostfriesland, probably ca. 1600-1605
died 21 March 1647

Emmerentje (Rinelt) Claessen DeWitt

born in Ostbense, Ostfriesland
baptized as Rinelt, named possibly for mother’s father’s first wife, Esens, 1 July 1638
witnesses/godparents: Dietrich Boyen (Bürgermeister of Esens); Catharina Maria Taja (wife of Pastor Abraham Tajus); Fenneke Evers (unclear)
Presumed buried in Kingston, New York

Martin Hermanzen Hoffman

born 1624, Revel, Estonia - died 1712, New York
migrated from Sweden to North America in 1657
married (first wife) Lysbeth Hermans, April 21, 1663, in Brooklyn, New York
married (second wife) Emmerentje Claesen De Witte, May 16, 1664, New Amsterdam (probably date banns were posted); she is described as “j.d. van Esens in Embderlt.”

It is interesting that the marriage of Martin and Emmerentje is not recorded in Kingston. By 1664, Kingston has a church; six marriages are recorded there that year. (First recorded marriage in Kingston is in 1660; Domine Hermannus Blom continues to marry couples there for many years, as the name of the place changes from Wildwyck to Kingston.) The location of their marriage suggests that they are living in Manhattan at the time, not in Kingston. One story (source?) has it that she was working in a clothing shop on Broadway when she met him, working in a shop a few doors down. It was not unusual in the early days of the Dutch colony in North America for a couple to post banns in Manhattan, but then be married closer to where they lived (Fort Orange, Brooklyn, Wildwyck).

Marten Hoffman and Amerens Claessen (and Jan Andriesse) are listed as godparents when Tierck Claesse De With and Barber Andriesse baptize their son Jan in Kingston, New York, on 14 February 1666. (Marten Hoffman serves as godfather to another, unrelated child, in Kingston on 7 January 1663.) In 1668, when Tierck and Barbara baptize their daughter Geertruyd (15 October), the three witnesses all appear to be Barbara’s siblings: Jan, Luyckas, and Martie. Amerens/Emmerentje and Martin do not appear elsewhere in the Kingston church records (which include Hurley baptisms and marriages). All of this suggests that they lived elsewhere.


named for [???]
baptized in the Reformed Dutch Church, Manhattan, March 1, 1665. Witnesses: Jerck Claeszen de Witt and Annetje Crosevelt
died date ? location ?
married Hendrik Pruyn; died with no issue


named for [???]
baptized in the Reformed Dutch Church, Manhattan, December 12, 1666
died date ? location ?


named for [???]
b. 1668 (or 167-), Fort Orange (Albany), New York
d. 25 February, 1743/44, Shawangunk, New York
married Hester Bruyn; posted banns 24 March 1703/04 (or 1705/06), Kingston, New York (daughter of Jacobus Bruyn and Gertrude van Esselstein, b. 30 November 1683, in Ulster, New York, or bap. 11 February 1683, in Kingston, New York)
Maria (1707),
Geertruy (1709, m. Nathaniel Du Bois),
Zecheriah (6 December 1713, m. Maria Terwilliger 15 January 1738/39; she was born 28 August, 1720, in Ulster, New York; may well have been a minister in New Paltz, performing marriages there recorded in 1742 and 1749; for more descendants, see extensive notes on Hope Farm page listed in sources below),
Janneke (17--, m. William Rosenkrans),
Margaret (17--, m. Thomas Jansen),
Jacobus (1720, m. Cornelius Bruyn),
Niclaes (1724, died young)

Zacharias became a lawyer and returned in 1704 to Esens, where his mother had come from, to litigate family property settlements left over from the 1660s when his grandfather and an aunt had died. He carried with him powers of attorney to let him represent his mother’s interest as well as those of cousins who had also inherited property rights.
He was granted a patent to a portion of the present Township of Shawangunk, New York, on 28 November 1709. In 1717, in a list of militia officers for Ulster County, one of the names of the officers for New Paltz and Shawangunk is Captain Zach. Hoffman. He appears in the same capacity in 1738.


named for her father
b. ca. 1680 (or 1676?) - d. [date]
Birthplace Kingston, New York; settled in Esopus; built Hoffman House (or expanded it) at North Front and Green Streets, still standing, northwesterly corner of old stockade from 1658
married Jannetje Crispell 30 December 1704, Kingston, New York
[see notes below about Hoffman House]


named for her mother (or her sister, killed by Indians in 1663, or her grandmother)
b. 1673 in New York (?) - d. [date]
married Everardus Bogardus: 9 May 1697, Tjaatje Hofmans, j.d., born in N. Jorck, marries Evert Bogardus, j.m., born in Albanien [Albany] 2 November 1660


Tjerck Claessen DeWitt emigrated from near Esens in Ostfriesland (today the northern coast of Germany) in the early or mid-1650s. (See related page of discussion on his origins.) Three siblings, including Ida/Tette joined him over the next few years. Others remained in Ostfriesland, on his family’s farm.

We know that Emmerentje (whose name is spelled various ways) sailed to North America in November 1662, together with her younger brother and an older sister, Tette/Ida, plus that sister’s husband and young daughter.

Sailed to North America in 1662 on De Vos (The Fox), listed in passenger log as Ammereus (probably a misreading of the log: the handwriting probably has an -n- where the transcriber read a -u-), together with her sister Tette (Ida), who had already been to North America, had married Jan Albertsen van Steenwyck there, and returned to East Frisia; and with her brother Jan, 18 and not yet married (he apparently never did get married); possibly with a brother of her sister’s husband, named Hendrick Albertsen;
married Martin Hoffman, from Revel, in Estonia (his second marriage; he had no children with his first wife before she died).

This page is not complete yet; it’s simply here to hold some bookmarks for the time being.

A few links for the time being:

Marten Hoffman power of attorney to collect debts for estate of his sister-in-law, killed in Esopus attack by native tribesmen; identifies Hoffman as co-heir (4/17/1665)

TCDW offers security for Marten Hoffman for 256 guilders (drawn from the estate) for a cow, and for 64 guilders rent for the cow, which Jan Albertsen received while he was alive from Amerens Claesen De Wit, now the wife [Amarens, not the cow] of Marten Hoffman. (3/16/1666)

Final closure and settlement of estate, 1921 guilders, plus odds and ends. 960 guilders to Jan’s peeps; 960 to Ida’s peeps. TCDW and Marten Hoffman are present and named as heirs; MH is identified as husband and guardian of Amarens. (3/13/1666)



I’m just beginning to list sources here. Apologies for not being more complete. I will continue to add to this list as I have time. There are many sources of information on the family named Claessen DeWitt, some better than others.

Printed sources:

Record of baptisms and marriages from Kingston, New York.

Ship Passenger Lists to New Netherland (see http://www.olivetreegenealogy.com/nn/ships/)

Genealogy of The Hoffman Family, Descendants of Martin Hoffman with Biographical Notes, by Eugene Augustus Hoffman and Ms. Elizabeth Dodds, 1899. Published by Dodd, Mead & Company. Found at: New England Historic Genealogical Society (CS/71/H71/1899), 101 Newbury Street, Boston, MA 02116, 617-536-5740.

Online sources:


Tjerck Claessen DeWitt in Court

Record of early marriages in the Dutch Reform Church in Manhattan, available in printed form or online or online in PDF form.

Record of early baptisms in the Dutch Reform Church in Manhattan, available online

English translations of Dutch colonial records, also known as “The Kingston Papers,” available online. These are the Dingman Versteeg translations. The originals are available on microfilm from the Ulster County archivist, who can be found through the same link. A cross-reference indexing the archive pages to the microfilm frames to the pages in the printed translation can be obtained from Donald Lockhart, dlockhart at rcn dot com, who includes an entertaining introduction about the misadventures of the original manuscript records in the 1800s, before they were at last safely ensconced with the Ulster County archives.


The Hoffman House still stands in present-day Kingston, New York, bought by Nicholas Hoffman in 1707 from Edward Whittaker. Today it is a tavern in Old Kingston, which makes it easy to visit and marvel over.

Genealogy of the Hoffman Family online (see full citation above).

Reproduced herein:

Wills of Tjerck Claessen DeWitt and his brother Jan, who died unmarried in Kingston, 1699 (1906 Anjou edition)

Very cursory look at public records from Albany, NY, regarding Tjerck Claessen DeWitt and possible relatives.

The Peltz Record (1948)

The History of Ulster County, New York

The Oberholtzer Genealogy

Last Modified: Monday, August 26, 2013

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