The Children of Gerrit and Zytian

Please note: when I say "nothing more known" I mean nothing more known by me. It is possible the official historians know a lot more. I mostly just followed my direct line, and didn't look for more info about the others.

And by the way - Lieuwarden is the largest town in the Province of Friesland, 70 miles northeast of Amsterdam.

(From La Munyan, p 18-19) "We have a tradition from some of the older members of the family, long since dead, that there were two brothers and a sister who emigrated to New York in the latter part of the 17th century. The sister married a Rittenhouse, and of the brothers, William settled in Pennsylvania and Lewis settled in Delaware. Another account shows that William had a brother Cornelius, who in partnership with William, purchased land in Bebbertown on the Skipjack in 1708."  It was assumed that these three (four) were the children of Gerrit and Sytie, but it seems, based on the baptismal records, that that is an error.
Do you think it is possible that the "older members of the family" confused the generations, and that the two brothers and a sister who emigrated were in fact the parent and uncle and aunt of Gerrit (ie Hendrick Adriaensz, Isaac Adriaensz and Catherina Adriaens)? I need to do more research in the early New Amsterdam records. . . .

1. Willelmyntie (Wilhemina)
The Dewees National Research Team was not able (in 1994 anyway) to find a baptismal record for this child. It is assumed she belongs to this family because (1) family tradition says so, (2) her marriage record gives her name as DeWees and there was no other Dewees family in New York at that time [It was, in fact, Willemyntie’s marriage license that led the Dewees Research Team to discover the marriage license of Gerrit and Sytie.] (3) she named a daughter Seitie (4) her parents and her in-laws were listed next to each other in the 1693 tax list of Germantown, Pa (5) her husband served as her widowed mother’s attorney in 1700.

1662 - parents married, Leeuwarden Reformed Dutch Church
? 1662-3 - Willemyntie born

In a letter to Henry S. Dotterer of Philadelphia, from a gentleman in Lieuwarden occurs this passage: "Born on 13th March 1673. Wilhelmina Pietre de Wees. From Parish Register Lieuwarden Province, Friesland, Holland. [LaMunyan, 13]
Presumably this is not a typographical error, with 1673 instead of 1663 (which would fit nicely with our Gerrit's timeline) since the Dewees Research Team did not find it and they would have been looking closely at the records of 1663. So who is she? A possible niece of Gerrit's?????
NOTE: Daryl Johnson does not resolve this conundrum. He lists Willelmyntie twice: the first he calls Wilhelmina (born1663), and the second Willjmintie Pietre (born 13 March 1672/3). He gives them both the death date of 1737, and it is the second one he lists as married to Rittenhouse.

1663-4 - parents emigrated to New Amsterdam
1689 May 10 - married Nicholas Rittenhouse, New York

Records of the Reformed Church in New York. Original Records page 662. Copy in New York, Gen. and Biog. Records, Vol. X, page 131.
Ingeschreven Getrouwt. den 10 May Ao 1689 den 29 May.
Claus Rittenhuysen J. M. Van Aernheim en Willemytie d'Wees J. D. Van Leinwarden d Eerste woneude en d zuyt river, en twede alhier.
Translation. Marriage Banns Married the 10th of May Year 1689 the 29th of May
Nicholas Rittenhouse young man of Arnheim and Wilhelmina de Wees young woman of Lieuwarden, the first living on the South (Delaware) river, and the second here (New York).

Nicholas was the son of William Rittenhouse (Wilhelm Rittenhausen), who set up the first paper mill in the country - this was extremely important, since you can’t have a free press without the paper to print it on. William Rittenhouse was a from a long line of paper-makers; he originally emigrated to New York but “since there was no printer in that city (imagine that!), and no opportunity therefore for carrying on his business of making paper, in 1688 . . . he came to Germantown. There, in 1690, upon a little stream flowing into the Wissahickon, he erected the first paper mill in America.” (Pennypacker, 162-3)

And, fortunately for the Rittenhouses, Germantown was settled by artisans, many of whom were weavers - (you need rags to make good paper).

Although Nicholas and Willemyntie were married in the Reformed Dutch Church, William Rittenhouse, the father, was a Mennonite - he was, in fact, the first preacher in the Mennonite Church established in Germantown (~1702). He was also appointed the first Mennonite Bishop in America, but he died before he took up the duties of that office. (1708)

Anyone particularly interested in the Rittenhouses should see the following wonderful website: Our Rittenhouse families by Linton E Love

1690 - daughter Zytian born
1691 - Claes Rittinghuysen takes the Oath of Allegiance (becomes a naturalized citizen) in Germantown
1691 Nov 28 - son William Dewees born
1692 - Nicholas signed a petition for tax relief
1693 - Claws Ruttingheysen on 1st Pennsylvania tax list (Germantown)
1695 - daughter Maria born
1697 March - daughter Catherine born
1698 - daughter Susanna born
1700 April 1 - son Henry born
1702 July 14 - son Matthias born
1708 - Nicholas Rittenhouse took a 2nd Oath of Allegiance
1708 - father William died, Nicholas took over the paper mill
1712 - Nicholas chosen to be a Mennonite minister
1714 - bond between Nicholas and Matthias Van Bebber
       - I think Nicholas borrowed some money from Van Bebber - it was repaid in 1719
1734 - Claes Rightinghous - List of Landholders in Philadelphia County - 30 acres, Roxbury Twp
1734 June 4 - Nicholas Rittenhouse will proved -

Philadelphia County Will Book E page 280 Will # 358
Dated 4 May 1734 Proved 4 June 1734
all moveable goods and chattels to loving wife Willimijn during her lifetime, afterward to be equally divided among children
to eldest son William - land and mill and houses - William to pay £80 to Willimijn over 8 years and to provide her a room in one of the houses [after her death, whatever is left of the £80 to be equally divided among children
to daughters Seikie, Catherine, Mary, Susanna, to sons Henry, Matthias - 1 shilling - they having received their portions during their lifetimes
Execs - wife, brother Gerard Rittinghausen
Witnesses - Jacob Rinker George Haas William Dewees Henry Pastorius

1737 March 6 - Willemintie made her will (from La Munyan):

1737, March 6th. A record concerning the disposition of mother's order, as she is at present sickly in body, and (page 238) her soul commending in the hands of the Almighty Creator in Jesus, Amen.
Firstly: I give to Peggy Ruttynhuysen, my spinning wheel.
Secondly. I give to Marya Ruttynhuysen the looking glass, and to Susanna I give the fire irons, and to Margryta and Anna I give each a chair.
And to Susanna Gorgas I give a sugar bowl and small iron pan.
And Wilhelmina Ruttynhuysen I give the pot hook and gallon can.
And Marya Engel I give an apron and two handkerchiefs.
And to Scyntia Gorgas I give the under feather bed and a pillow and a brass kettle for which she pays six florins.
And to Marya Jansen the upper bed with a cover.
And to Gertrude Engel I give the large and small cushions.
And to Susanna Keilig I give the large and small cushions.
And Henderyck Ruttynhuysen I give the woolen blanket.
And Mathys Ruttynhuysen I give a cloak.
That all these on the above date was undersigned in the presence of us.
her Willemyna X Ruttynhuysen. mark
Witnesses. Willem W. Ruttynhuysen, her Seyten X Gorgas, mark Jan Gorgas.

2. Willem
       born 1664 - baptized 9 November 1664, New York Reformed Dutch Church.
       This child apparently died fairly young because there is another William born 1680.

3. Divertie (female)
       born 1666 - baptized 7 Nov 1666, New York Reformed Dutch Church

4. Lieuwes
       born 1670 ("this child not proven"), moved to Delaware, died 1743.

       Lewis Dewees was by occupation a weaver, and for several years pursued his avocation in Philadelphia, afterwards buying land in Delaware, where he raised a family of children. He died in 1743 after accumulating considerable property. His descendants are scattered throughout the West and Southwest. (LaMunyan 18)

The reasons for thinking he might be a son of Gerrit and Sytie:
       1. He appears to be in the same generation as the children of Gerrit and Sytie
       2. Sytie was the daughter of a Lewis, and according to Dutch naming practices, one of the children should have been named for her father.
       3. No other family of DeWeeses lived in the Greater Philadelphia area at this time
       4. He was listed as a child by LaMunyan, although with the mistaken information that he emigrated with his father and family in 1689.
       5. There is plenty of room for a child or two - children every 2 years or so and then a huge gap between 1666-1672.

       Daryl Harvey Johnson lists him as a child, gives him the dates 1670-1743, and calls him Lewis Lambertus.        He also lists the Lambertus born 1672, but not the one born 1675 (called Lambert, if that makes a difference) - both of them with baptismal records to their credit. It makes a certain amount of sense to conflate Lewis with one of the Lamberts, since Lewis was a weaver, and Lambert was indentured to a weaver, but in that case, he should be the youngest of the Lamberts, no? Twenty-two years old seems a little old to be apprenticed . . . .
       And if he is the same as the youngest Lambert, there is still the child-producing gap between 1666 and 1672.

       The Dewees/Vaughan article says that Lewis was living in Kent County, Delaware as early as 1700. LaMunyan says he was mentioned as living in Philadelphia in 1713, and that he bought land in Delaware in 1727. So there is a lot to clear up about this fellow.

Lewis Dewees, youngest (sic) son of Garrett Hendricks and Zytian Dewees, was born in Holland, and emigrated to this country with his father and family in 1689. In the Kent county, Delaware, records he spells his name with the final "e," Deweese. He is mentioned as living in Philadelphia in 1713.

In the year 1727 he bought land in Delaware of Joseph Pidgeon, who was the agent of the Philadelphia Land Company. This land consisted of a tract of 300 acres on the north side of Fishing Creek, Mispillion Hundred, and it was bought May 24, 1727. He sold this tract to his son, Cornelius Deweese, on May 3, 1739, for 50 pounds. Lewis Deweese was a weaver by trade. Nothing further is said of him in the Court records, neither is any mention made in family records. He died in 1743, his will being proved April 5, 1743. He left four children, who are mentioned in his will: William, Cornelius, Samuel, and Hezekiah. (LaMunyan 210) Daryl Harvey Johnson also gives him a child Jonathan.

The following are copied from the Court Records of Kent county, Delaware
        Lewis Deweese, whose administrator was William Deweese, April 5, 1743.
        Lewis Deweese, weaver, bought of Joseph Pidgeon, May 24, 1727, 300 acres, on the north side of Fishing Creek, Mispillion Hundred.
        Lewis Deweese, weaver, sold same 300 acres, May 8, 1739, to Cornelius Deweese, shoemaker, for 50 pounds.

5. Lambert
       born 1672 - baptized 5 May 1672 New York Reformed Dutch Church
       This child apparently died young, because there was another Lambert born 1675

6. Ariaentie (female)
       born 1673 - baptized 24 Sept 1673, New York Reformed Dutch Church

7. Lambert
       born 1675 - baptized 3 Oct 1675, New York Reformed Dutch Church
       1692 8th Month 18 - Lambert apprenticed to Andrew Souply, a weaver
       1694 9th Month 13 - Lambert mentioned in court record for abusing another citizen
              (Fined 10 shillings, 25 10th Month 1694)

8. Hendrick
       born 1677 - baptized 13 Oct 1677, New York Reformed Dutch Church

9. William
       born 1680 - baptized 30 March 1680, New York Reformed Dutch Church
              LaMunyan mistakenly has him born 1679 in at Lieuwarden, Province of Friesland, Holland, at which time his parents were already in New Amsterdam.
       1692 4th Month 14 - William apprenticed to Aret Klincken
              La Munyan says he was employed as an apprentice in the Rittenhouse paper mill. I don’t know what Aret Klincken did; maybe William was apprenticed to both men, sequentially?
       1708 June 20 - with brother Cornelius, bought 390 acres of land in Bebber's (afterwards Skipjack) Township, which they sold during the succeeding five years. William did not live on this property, but Cornelius did. (LaMunyan 21)
       1710 - built the 2nd paper mill in America on or near the present site of the Monastery of St. Joseph, farther up the stream (the Wissahickon). It has long since fallen into decay, and not a vestige of it remains.
       1710 - married Anna Christina Meels (probably related to the person William’s mother sold the Germantown lot to). Together they had 8 children:
                     Garret, born about 1710 - married Agnes Streeper -
                     Christina Elizabeth, born about 1710,
                            married Johan Henrich Antes (2 Feb 1725) - 10 children
                     Margaret, born about 1712 - married Peter Knorr
                     William, born about 1714, died 1777 - married Rachel Farmer - 8 children
                            It was William’s son William who owned the land at Valley Forge.
                     Henry, born 1716, died 1801 - married Rachel Unknown - 7 children
                     Cornelius, born ?, died ? - married Maria Phillippina Boehm - 2 children
                     Philip, born after 1724, died 1778 - went to South Carolina - 1 son Andrew
       1713 - sold paper mill and 100 acres to Nicholas Rittenhouse

from LaMunyan 21: William Dewees, paper maker, owned and sold lands, mills and houses, in Crefeld, Germantown, prior to 1725. Where he lived from 1725 to 1730 is not definitely known. He also held many offices under the Proprietary Government such as Constable and Sheriff, as well as some minor positions. He was a zealous and exemplary Church worker, giving his time and his home for the benefit of the Reformed Church, of which he was a member.

       1729 March 26 - purchased land in Crefeld
              William operated a paper-mill; son-in-law Henry Antes operated a flour mill
              William Dewees lived on this tract from the time he took possession until his death in 1745. Here also Henry Antes lived for three or five years, until he removed to the mill he purchased of Hagerman near the branches of the Perkiomen in Hanover township (LaMunyan 29).
       1745 March 3 - died
       1749 - wife Anna died
              Both were buried in the Concord or Upper Burying Ground at Germantown, where also rest the remains of their son Henry and his wife Rachel, along with others of the family.

(This burying-ground, by the way, was set up in about 1724. The early settlers of Germantown were mostly Quakers and Mennonites. When other religions started coming in (about 1700), they wanted their graveyard kept separate. The land was donated by someone, and a subscription was taken up to build a wall. William Dewees was on the first subscription list - along with the Rittenhouses and Herman Kuster.) [Upper and lower public graves, Germantown, Pennsylvania / compiled by John H. Heffner. Topton, Pa. : J.H. Heffner, 1995]

About William's religious life:
The late Henry S. Dotterer, in a paper read before the Montgomery County Historical Society, said:
        Those emigrants who came from Holland and Germany in the early years of the Province were, in a large part, members of the Reformed Church. The name Reformed, as applied to a religious organization, dates from the uprising against the Church of Rome in the Sixteenth century, known as the Reformation. The Protestants, or seceders, in Germany divided into a number of denominations.
        A large body was known as the Reformed, another as the Lutherans. In France 50,000 members of the Reformed Church Huguenots were martyred on St. Bartholomew's night in 1572. Also 500,000 were exiled by the revocation of the Edict of Nantes. The Pennsylvania Reformed Church was in the beginning composed of descendants of these revolters against the Church of Rome. Several colonists belonging to this faith settled along the Wissahickon Creek in what is known as the Whitemarsh country. They formed a religious society as early as 1710. On the 4th of June of that year, the Whitemarsh Reformed Church was organized by Domine Paulus Van Vlecq, who came over from Neshaminy, Bucks County, for that purpose. On the 25th of December, 1710, these officers were installed: Evert Ten Heuven, Senior Elder; Isaac Dilbeck, Junior Elder; William Dewees, Senior Deacon; Jan Aweeg, Junior Deacon. Before the Reformed people of Pennsylvania had begun to have religious services they associated themselves in Falkner Swamp, Skipjack and Whitemarsh, and when they communed it was with the Presbyterians, but this arrangement did not suit some of them, and they desired John Philip Boehm to become their minister.
         Upon his coming to Pennsylvania about 1720, he was invited to lead in their religious gatherings, and to read to them printed sermons. He consented to this, and in 1725 they urged him to become the pastor of the three congregations above mentioned. He hesitated to undertake the responsibility because he was not ordained to the ministry. A committee was appointed who renewed their persuasions, and he yielded. A system of Church government was drawn up and published in the three congregations, and accepted by them, and a formal call was made to Boehm, and accepted by him. The first communion was held at Whitemarsh on the 28th of December, 1725.
        This was the beginning of Boehm's ministry at Whitemarsh. Matters went on smoothly until the year 1727, when objection was made to Boehm because he was not ordained. Application was made to the Low Dutch Reformed ministers at New York, for ordination. In 1728, William Dewees accompanied Mr. Boehm to New York on his mission. The New York Church authorities referred the matter to the higher ecclesiastical officials in Holland for disposition. A lengthy statement of the case was forwarded to the classis of Amsterdam in July, 1728. The signers who represented the Whitemarsh congregation were William Dewees, Isaac Dilbeck, Ludwig Knauss, and Johannes Ravenstock.
        By direction of the Amsterdam classis, Boehm was ordained by the Dutch ministers in New York, on Sunday afternoon, Nov.23, 1729. A commissioner from each of the three Pennsylvania congregations was present, William Dewees representing Whitemarsh. In the year 1739 the officers at Whitemarsh were: William Dewees and Christopher Ottinger, elders; Ludwig Knauss and Philip Sherer, deacons. The Church in Holland desired to know from the several Reformed congregations here the sum each would undertake to contribute toward the support of a pastor. Each congregation was canvassed, and a reply over the signature of the Church officers was made for transmission to Holland. Elders William Dewees and Christopher Ottinger and Deacon Philip Sherer reported on the 16th of March, 1740, as follows: "The congregation of Whitemarsh comprises very few families, and is for this reason willing to unite with the congregation at Germantown; and, should the latter be provided with a regular preacher by the pious Church Fathers, this congregation is willing to add its share to what they contribute, which we, as elders of long standing service, hereby subscribe to."
        In a communication by Pastor Boehm to the Holland Church authorities under date of April 20, 1744, where he speaks of the house of worship, he says, "In the congregation at Whitemarsh, we have as yet nothing at all [in the way of a Church edifice,] but during all this long time, we have made use of the house of Elder William Dewees for holding divine service, without any unwillingness from his honor, or the least expectation of payment. The worthy man cherishes a constant and pious hope that God will yet provide the means [to build a church.]"
        In a letter to the Classis of Amsterdam, Nov. 23, 1746, Pastor Boehm says, "The Whitemarsh congregation, which at all time consisted of but few members, has through the death of the aged and faithful elder, William Dewees, come to a standstill because his house was at all times our church, but since his death it can be so no longer, nor is there opportunity at hand to worship elsewhere, much less the means to build a church."
         quoted in LaMunyan 21-24

About the paper mills:
"In a beautiful and secluded valley in that part of the County of Philadelphia known as Roxborough, there is a rivulet called Paper Mill Run, which empties into the Wissahickon creek about two miles above its junction with the river Schuylkill. This rivulet, after crossing Townshipline Road above the present Rittenhouse Street, passes through a small meadow near the well known McKinney stone quarry. In that meadow on the banks of the rivulet the first paper mill in America was erected in 1690. The founder was a Hollander named William Ryttinghuissen, now anglicized into Rittenhouse. He was born in the Principality of Broich in the year 1644. His ancestors had been engaged for generations in paper making and he had learned the same business.
       "After the death of William Rittenhouse, the business was carried on by Nicholas Rittenhouse, his son, who married Wilhelmina Dewees. The business of paper making was no doubt remunerative, and in the course of a few years the second paper mill in the American colonies was erected by another early settler named William Dewees, a brother-in-law of Nicholas Rittenhouse. This second mill was built in 1710, on the west side of the Wissahickon Creek, in that part of Germantown known in early times as Crefeld, near the line of the present Montgomery County, then called the Manor of Springfield."
        Two poems were published in 1692 and 1696 which establish the fact of the existence of the Rittenhouse paper mill on the Wissahickon, in Roxborough Township, as early, at least, as 1690, forty years in advance of the first mill of the kind in New England, at Milton, Massachusetts.
        (Scharf and Westcott's History of Philadelphia. Vol. I, page 223.) (quoted in LaMunyan 23-4)


In the name of God Amen I William Dewees of the Township of Germantown, in the County of Philadelphia and Province of Pennsylvania, Miller, being weak of body but of perfect and sound Mind and memory thanks be given to God therefor calling unto Mind tile Mortality of my Body and the uncertain State of this Transitory Life do make this my last Will and Testament concerning my Real and personal Estate whereof I am any ways seized or possessed, Imprimis. its my Will that all my debts and funeral charges be first duly paid by my Executors hereafter named.
        Item. I give and bequeath unto my Dear Wife Anna Christina in lieu of her Dower the Sum of Twelve pounds to be paid her yearly, for Ever after my Decease and a feather Bed any she thinks fitt to Chose and the privilege of any Room of my new dwelling house to Live in so long as the said dwelling house shall remain unsold after my decease
.       Item. I give and bequeath unto my daughter Christina the Sum of Seventy pounds to be paid in ffour years after my decease.
        Item. I give and bequeath unto my daughter Margaret the sum of Thirty pounds to be paid to her in ffour years after my decease having heretofore given her Land to the value of fforty pounds.
        Item. I give and bequeath unto my son William the sum of ffive shillings.
        Item. I give and bequeath unto my son Henry the sum of ffive shillings.
        Item. I give and bequeath unto my son Cornelius the sum of One hundred pounds ffifty whereof to be paid in six months and the other ffifty in ffour years after my decease.
        Item. I give and bequeath unto my daughter Mary the sum of Seventy pounds to be paid her in ffour years after my decease.
        Item. I give and bequeath unto my Son Philip the sum of One hundred pounds to be paid him when he shall arrive at the age of Twenty one years.
        Item. I give, devise and bequeath unto my Son Garrett Dewees All that my dwelling House, Grist Mill Land and plantation situate in Germantown aforesaid with the Buildings and appurtenances thereunto belonging To Hold unto him his Heirs and Assigns for ever he paying unto the Legatees above named their respective Legacys at the time appointed for payment thereof and permitting my Wife Anna Christina peaceably to dwell in any Room of the said dwelling House whilst he occupies the same and in case of his or his Heirs Selling or demiseing the same to provide her a comfortable Room elsewhere to dwell in during her life.
        Item. I give and bequeath unto my said Son Garrett all my personal Estate of what kind soever (the Bed above bequeathed to my Wife Excepted) and
        Lastly I do make, ordain and appoint my dear Wife Anna Christina my said Son Garrett and my Son in Law Henry Antes Executors of this my Last Will and I do hereby revoke, disannul and make void all and every other will and Wills Bequest and Legacy's, by me heretofore made bequeathed or given and (do make and declare this only to be my Last Will and Testament.
        In Witness whereof I the said William DeWees have hereunto set my hand and seal this Twenty second day of November in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and forty four.
               William Dewees (Seal)
Signed, sealed, published, pronounced and declared by the said William Dewees for and as his Last Will and Testament in the presence of Richard Bull, John Johnson, Thomas Yorke.
        Philadelphia July 13th, 1745, Then personally appeared John Johnson and Thomas Yorke two of
the Witnesses to the foregoing Will and the said John Johnson on his solemn affirmation according to Law, and the said Thomas Yorke on his oath respectively did declare they saw and heard William Dewees the Testator therein named sign, seal, publish and declare the same Will to be his Last Will and Testament, and that at the doing thereof he was of Sound Mind, Memory and Understanding to the best of their knowledge. Coram. William Plumsted. Reg'r General.
        Be it Remembered that on the thirteenth day of July '745 the Last Will and Testament of William Dewees deceased was proved in due form of Law and Probate and Letters Testamentary were granted to Anna Christina and Garret Dewees two of the Executors therein named (Henry Antes the other Executor therein named being absent) having first sworn well and truly to administer the said Decedent's Estate and bring an Inventory thereof into the Reg'r General's Office at Philadelphia at or before the thirteenth day of August next and rendering a true and just account, calculation or reckoning of the said administration when thereunto Lawfully required. Given under the Seal of the said office. William Plumsted. Reg'r General.
               (LaMunyat 30-32)

10. Lysbeth
       born 1681 - baptized 2 April 1681, New York Reformed Dutch Church
              - parents Gerrit Hendrickszen - Aefje Lievens
              - witnesses Enoch Michielszen, Marritie Cornelis
              - note This may be a different couple, Gerrit Hendrickszen and Aefje Everts, who also had children baptized in 1675 and 1685. However, the original record does read “Lievens” . . .

11. Cornelius
       born 1682 - baptized 20 Dec 1682, New York Dutch Reformed Church
       our next ancestor (see his own page)
       Briefly - he married Margaret Koster or Kuster; they had 6 children; he died in about 1734.

Back to Early Deweeses
Back to Deweese Home Page
Back to Home

Forward to next ancestor Cornelius

Questions, comments, additions, corrections?  Contact me at:

Page last updated 16 Jan 2011