DE WITT, Nicholas Claes
- Born: Abt 1588, Gootholdt, Westphalia, Prussia
- Marriage: VAN LEUVEN, Taatje (Ta Altie) about 1618
The listed father of Nicholas DeWitt is speculative; this Nicholas is often called Claes Nicholas as "Claes" is part of the name "Nicholas". At least three choices are offered as the father of Claes Nicholas DeWitt or Nicholas Claes DeWitt.
Dr. Nicholas DeWitt was reported to have sailed with Henry Hudson on the Half Moon, to the New World, and up the Hudson River. When he returned to Holland he brought back such wounderful stories of that land of plenty, it prompted three of his children to sail to New Amsterdam to seek the opportunities held there. We know that Emmerentie, Jan Classen, and Tjerck emigrated aprox. 1662.
[Note: it is unlikely that this man was already a physician if he traveled at a very young age with Henry Hudson; documentation is not available]
The name of De Witt or Dewitt is of Dutch origin and means "white." It is found on the ancient European and early American records in the various forms of De Wytte, De Wit, De Witte, Dewitte, De Wette, De Wet, DeWitt, and Dewitt, of which the last two are the most generally accepted forms of the name today in America. In most documents about Holland it is spelled de Witt.
It is said that the DeWitt family was living at Grootholdt, in Zunderlandt (Westphalia), at an extremely early date and was prominent in the official, social and civil life of Holland.
In the Royal Library at The Hague, the "Geschlacten von Dordricht" gives the descent of the DeWitt family form the years 1295 to 1639.
According to Jacob Westfall DeWitt of Pennsylvania, who was historian of the DeWitt Family Historical Society, Jan and Cornelius DeWitt had an uncle, their father's brother, named Dr. Nicholas DeWitt. This Dr. DeWitt accompanied Hendrick Hudson to America on the "Half-Moon" in 1609 ascending the "River of the Mountains," later named the Hudson River, on a voyage of discovery to try and find a passage to the Indies. On his return to Holland, his accounts of the New World so much interested his family that his two sons and daughter was determined to visit and possible settle in his new land.
Nicholas married Taatje (Ta Altie) VAN LEUVEN, daughter of Claess VAN LEUVEN and Unknown, about 1618. (Taatje (Ta Altie) VAN LEUVEN was born in 1592 in Gootholdt, Westphalia, Prussia.)