PETER WYCKOFF HOUSE Canarsie Lane, West of Ralph Avenue

"You now we live in Governor VAN TWILLER's house," Abraham J. WYCKOFF told VANDERVEER, the miller of Flatlands, in 1899. He was speaking of a dwelling on Canarsie Lane west of Ralph Avenue. On 16 July 1636, Wouter VAN TWILLER, Director-General of New Netherland, bought a large tract of land east of the Hudden van COUWENHAVEN purchase, which was later included in Nieu Amersfoort. The following year, he bought Governor's Island, then called Nut Island, and two islands in the East River. Because the property was in his name and not in the Dutch West India Company's he was recalled to Holland. On Thursday, 11 May 1641,iin Amsterdam he declared that he had caused houses to be built on all his holdings. It is believed that the Canarsie Lane house, or part of it, was one of those buildings. In 1652, the property on which it stood was confiscated by the Dutch West India Company. When New Netherland was ceded to the English, it went to the Duke of York. By the Nicoll Charter of 4 October 1667, it was given to the town of Flatlands. On the 1719 map of the town it is designated as part of the "on thevided land" but written across it is "Laid out for Claes WYCKHOF." Claes WYCKOFF was the son of Pieter CLAESEN, tenant of the house as early as 1652" . Pieter CLAESEN was born about 1625 in Nordingen, East Friesland. He sailed for New Netherland on the vessel Rensselaerwyck and arrived at Fort Orange (Albany) about three o'clock in the morning of 7 April 1657. He worked for the patroon Kiliaen Van RENSSELAER until August 1644, when he rented a farm and went in for farming. He married Grietje, daughter of Cornelis Hendrick VAN NESS, a wealthy brewer of Fort Orange. Before 5 June 1649, he had left Fort Orange. Three years laterr he was living in Amersfoort where he bought his first piece of land on 17 May 1651. On 10 July 1655, he made a contract with Pieter STUYVESANT to superintend a tobacco plantation there. Between 1653 and 1663, he was schepen (magistrate) of the town three times. In February 1664, he was its representative at the Midwoud Convention which met for the purpose of sending delegates to Holland to "lay before the States-General the distressed condition of New Netherland. He was a patentee of Flatlands in 1667 and took the oath of allegiance there in 1687. When England demanded that surnames be used, Pieter CLAESEN took that of WYCKHOF, which, freely translated, means town magistrate. He died 30 June 1694. His eldest son, Nicholas, called Claes, was born at Fort Orange about 1646 and was baptized in New Amsterdam. Claes married Sarah, daughter of Pieter MONTFOORT, about 1671 and went to live in his father's home. He died 24 February 1714-15. Claes' son, Pieter, who was born in. 1675, married Willemtje Janse SCHENCK in 1696 and then went to Jersey to live. On the death of Claes, he returned to Flatlands and occupied the old house on Canarsie Lane. He died in 1759. His son Pieter Jr. (b. 28 March 1704 - d. 14 November 1776) married Sarah, daughter of Jan AERMAN, on 5 August 1725. On 28 February 1737, he bought the Canarsie Lane house from Koert and Petronella VOORHIES. . Peter A. WYCKHOFF, a son born 8 May 1737, was living in it during the Revolution when English soldiers occupied its kitchen and used its southwest room as a lockup. He married Heyltie or Hilletie REMSEN on 17 December 1768. On 8 May 1787, the freeholders of Flatlands for "Fifty Pounds Current money of New York" deeded the property on which the house stood to him. After his death, which occurred on 22 October 1823, his other heirs conveyed it to his son Abraham (b. 12 November 1772 - d. 6 May 1846) who married Deborah STOOTHOFF on 16 April 1796. Deborah died and Abraham then married Ida WILLIAMSON, widow of Matthias JONES. In 1847, by partition of the estate, their son John A. WYCKHOFF (b. 6 September 1817 - d. 14 March 1891) gained title to the property and lived in the house. John A. WYCKOFF married Mary Ann FLETCHER of Kentucky on 6 April 1842. It was their son, Abraham J. (b. 12 April 1844) who stated that the house had belonged to VAN TWILLER. In 1901, the property was sold by the Commissioners in Partition to Francis GROSS who later transferred it to the Brooklyn Realty Company. Recent PHOTO of WYCKOFF HOMESTEAD Next Chapter..Jan MARTENSE-SCHENCK DUTCH Houses..Index Main Return to TOWN Index Main Return to BROOKLYN Index Main