Part #14 of 15
(so far):
NYCHS presents
excerpts from
The Rikers:
Their Island, Homes, Cemetery and Early Genealogy in Queens County, NY
by permission of its author, an 11th generation Abraham Rijcken vanLent descendant, Edgar Alan Nutt.
He retains & reserves all copyrights. To supplement the book's few images, NYCHS has added others with appropriate identification. Above left: Image of the book's front cover. Above right: Detail from 1852 map on Page 48 (color added).

Below: Excerpts from Page 101 to Page 111 of
Chapter Five: The Riker Genealogy

[Note: The format followed in these Chapter Five excerpt web pages is explained in Part 11's opening Author and Webmaster's notes.

Ryck Lent's marriage to Cornelia Waldron linked the Riker/Lent family with the Waldrons, among the early settlers of what the Dutch immigrants called New Haarlem in remembrance of Haarlem, a major city in north Holland.

In the above detail from an early Dutch settlement map, with an overlay of later city streets in vicinity of the Manhattan approach to the Triborough Bridge (not shown), the Waldrons acreage in New Harlem Village has been highlighted.

Joseph Waldron and his brother with the unusual first name of "Resolved" were of English family origin but were born and raised as Hollanders. They came to New Amsterdam in the mid-1620s.

Both entered the colony's public service. Resolved Waldron was a key aide to Peter Stuyvesant, as well as sheriff for Dutch towns on Long Island, and later under the British, was elected the Constable of New Harlem Village. One of the five Nicoll's patentees, Resolved was also an elder in the Old Dutch Reformed Church, in front of which was the village square -- what is now E. 121st St. between Lexington and Third Aves.

Among the names and places in Harlem and its northern Manhattan vicinity recalling Dutch era roots are -- Amsterdam Ave., Vermilyea Ave., Nagel Ave., Dyckman St., Dyckman Farm- house Museum (right), and a lake in north Central Park named "Harlem Meer" - the latter word meaning in Dutch a small sea (image below).

Hollander and West India Company soldier Jan Nagel married Resolved Waldron's daughter Rebecca, became Dutch Church deacon and served as Harlem constable and commissioner. His widow married Jan Dyckman. Isaac Vermilyea arrived from Holland in 1663. The names Waldron, Dyckman, Nagel and Vermilyea also appear on the old "New Harlem Village" map detail above.

James Riker's Revised History of Harlem: its origin and early annals, a 1904 revision of his quater century earlier history, is recognized as a prime source of information on the subject.

Click map image for more from its source site, the Verveelen-Van Valer Family of New Netherland & New Jersey. Click Dyckman Farmhouse Museum image for more from its source site, Historic House Trust of NYC. Click Harlem Meer image for more from its source site, Central Park Conservancy. The images and caption do NOT appear in Edgar Alan Nutt's 2004 book and were added to the web version by NYCHS.



[Son of Abraham Lent.]

Born circa 1700. Died 1732, Westchester.

Married - Dec. 26, 1722, Cornelia Waldron, of Harlem.


[Daughters] Catharine (Married John Deits); Margareta (Married Theodorus Snediker)


Born July 3, 1714. [Son of Abraham Lent.]

Died Dec. 13, 1779.

Married - Margaret, daughter of Daniel Rapalje. She died Sept. 11, 1794, at age 74.

[Sons] ABRAHAM (born Feb. 15, 1745), DANIEL (born May 31, 1754).

[Daughters] Aletta (born April 24, 1747; Riker Cemetery marker #57; married Nov. 23, 1764, George Rapelye, marker #56);

Following his father Abraham’s 1742 death, and according to the terms of the latter's will, Jacobus made a bid higher than those of his siblings and bought the family homestead on Bowery Bay now known as the Lent-Rapelye House.

He in turn left it to his son Daniel.


Born May 14, 1730. [Son of 3rd generation Abraham Riker.]

Died Nov. 14, 1815; Riker Cemetery marker #27.

Married - May 9, 1755 Elizabeth, daughter of Peter G. & Rensie (Schenck) Wyckoff. She was born Aug. 9, 1731 and died March 5, 1789 (or May 5, 1779).

ABRAHAM (born May 10, 1756); PETER (born May 25, 1760).

Elizabeth (born 1762; died by 1806?; married April 25, 1782, Henry Lent; 4 children).

Andrew was a blacksmith and outlived his wife by at least twenty-five years.

His will was dated May 17, 1806, and was proved on April 19, 1816. In it he left his personalty and Riker’s Island, on which he lived, to his two sons and a lot on New York City’s Cherry Street to three Lent grandchildren.

Worth noting is the number of marriages by 4th & 5th generations of Rikers aka Lents with Rapeljes. The latter line can lay claim its family heritage includes having been New York State's "First Family," thanks to a little baby girl named Sarah mentioned in the historic marker above.

Frenchman Joris Jansen Rapelje and his bride Catalyntje emigrated to New Netherlands in the spring of 1624 from Holland where they had wed in 1623. They settled in what is now Albany where in 1625 they became the proud parents of Sarah Rapelje. Hers is recognized as the first recorded birth of a European emigre child in NYS.

So proclaims the above state historic marker in Albany Plaza, Broadway at State St. It was known as Fort Orange when Sarah was born.

When of age she wed Hans Bergen. Early in their marriage, they made their home in New Amsterdam. The Museum of the City of New York has a walnut chair (left) that reportedly belonged to Sarah Rapalje.

Evenually the couple settled in Newtown, Queens, nearer her father and other kin.

Rapeljes had moved there after establishing a Walloon community in what became the Brooklyn Navy Yard. They were called Walloons (strangers) because their native language, French, was strange to the Dutch ear.

The bay where Rapelje and the other Walloons had farmed in Brooklyn came to be called the Wallabout (18th Century map below). That name derived from the Dutch phrase for Walloons' Bay.

As for 4th and 5th generation Rikers/Lents wed to Rapeljes, they included:

  • Mary Lent 1733 to Jeronimus Rapelje.
  • Jacobus Lent circa 1738/1740 to Margaret Rapalje, and their daughter Aletta 1764 to George Rapelye.
  • Henry Ryker 1760 to Jane Rappleye.
  • Jacobus Riker's 1761 to Anna Catrina Rapelje and their daughter Maria 1780 to Cornelius Rapelye.
  • Daniel Lent 1792 to Rensie Rapelje.

Click Albany historic marker for more from its source site, the Zadock Pratt Museum, Prattsville, NY. Click chair image for more from its source site, Robert E. Sweeney's Sullivan County Settlers. Click Wallabout image for more from its source site, Fort Greene Park Conservancy. The images and caption do NOT appear in Edgar Alan Nutt's 2004 book and were added to the web version by NYCHS.

Executors were his two Daniel Riker nephews plus Cornelius Luyster.


Born 1736. [Son of 3rd generation Abraham Riker.]

Died August 26, 1809 in 73rd year; Riker Cemetery marker #28.

Married - Feb. 20, 1761, Anna Catrina, daughter of John Rapelje.

She was born Aug. 10, 1735 or 1736 and died July 1, 1815, at age 79. Riker Cemetery marker #29.

John Rapelye (Dec. 24, 1766 - Dec. 8, 1796).

Abraham (May 6, 1769 - Oct. 22, 1774);

DANIEL (born March 7, 1771).

Maria ( married possibly Nov. 17, 1780,

Cornelius Rapelye; at least 4 children).

Grace (Aug. 9, 1764 - Oct. 6, 1776).

In the Newtown 1st Reformed Dutch Church baptismal records of sons John R. and Daniel, Jacobus’ surname appears as Rijcker while in that of Abraham the family name appears as Ricker and Rycker.

Following his father Abraham’s Feb. 23, 1770 death, Jacobus on May 1, 1770, bought his father’s homestead farm, in what had been his grand- father’s one-third of the Tuder Patent, from Abraham’s estate and in turn bequeathed it to his son Daniel.


Born 1738 at Newtown. [Son of 3rd generation Abraham Riker.]

Died March 16, 1807, at age 69.

Married - April 26, 1760, Jane, daughter of Daniel & Rensie (Schenck) (Wyckoff) Rapelje, the latter the widow of Peter G.Wyckoff.

Born March 14, 1738, she died July 13, 1803.

Abraham born Dec.27, 1764.


DANIEL born July 17, 1771.

PETER born February 8, 1777.

Rensie (Nancy) born Oct. 23, 1762.

Grace born March 13, 1769 and married Cornelius Herttell March 28, 1795.

Jane born April 3, 1774 and married first Capt. John O’Brian Aug 2, 1793, and later Henry Inman.

Jane Riker, daughter of 4th generation Hendrick Riker, married Capt. John O'Brien on April 3, 1793. Their daughter, Jane Riker O'Brien, married Henry Inman (above) who became a major player on the American art scene. Renowed as a portrait painter, Inman's sitting subjects included President Martin Van Buren and Chief Justice John Marshall.

His miniatures, landscapes, historicals, and genre scenes also drew wide acclaim. Inman was a National Academy of Design founder and vice president, an American Academy academician and a Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts director.

Two Inman brothers- in- law of Jane Riker O'Brien Inman also had noteable careers. John Inman wrote for and/or edited major literary magazines in New York. Cmdr. William Inman (right) commanded the U.S. Navy's African Squadron that captured ships violating a federal ban against importing slaves. Seized slave ships were impounded and sold at auction. Their captains faced piracy charges. The freed African captives were taken to Monrovia, Liberia, and released.

Two of Jane's sons likewise had noteable careers. Like his father with whom he studied, John O'Brien Inman was a painter of portraits, still lifes, landscapes and everyday scenes. His work did achieve some success and recognition.

Perhaps John O'Brien Inman's best known canvass, part of the Museum of the City of New York collection, is an 1878 vivid multi color oil painting entitled “Moonlight Skating Central Park, the Lake and Terrace “ (sepia detail left).

Unknown until found in the early 1940s, the scene has been praised for its treatment of light in a night setting and for the careful definition of each figure in action making the total scene come to life.

Another Jane Riker O'Brien Inman son, Henry Inman Jr., rose to the brevet rank of captain in the Civil War and brevet lieutenant colonel in the Indian wars.

Back in civilian life and living in Kansas, Henry (right) decided on a writing career but not along the literary lines of his Uncle John.

Ex-Indian fighter Inman used that experience and his association with Buffalo Bill Cody to author wild Western adventure stories, such as Stories of the Old Santa Fé Trail that proved both very polular and profitable for the period.

The Santa Fe trail passed a few miles north of a lake in McPherson County, Kansas, that Major Henry Inman, surveying the region for the Army, first described to the War Dept. It thus came to be designated on maps and dispatches as Lake Inman. In 1889, a town that had been founded two years earlier, adopted Inman as its name.

A booklet published for its 1987 centennial (image below) features his bio with photos. It begins: "Major Henry Inman is of interest to us because Lake Inman and the City of Inman are named in his honor."

Click artist Henry Inman's image for more from its source site, Jim Williams' Inman Compendium. Click Cmdr. William Inman image for more from its source site, USS Constellation Museum. Click the sepia detail to access a web page with a large size image of John O'Brien Inman's vivid multi color Central Park ice skating scene on the site of the University of Rennes 2's William Faulkner Foundation. Click either Westerns writer Henry Inman's image or the Inman, Ks. Centennial logo for more from their source site Jim Williams' Inman Compendium.
The images and caption do NOT appear in Edgar Alan Nutt's 2004 book and were added to the web version by NYCHS.

Henry [Hendrick Riker] may or may not be the Henry Riker who from 1797 to 1800 was a silversmith and jeweler with George Alexander at 350 Pearl Street, Manhattan.

A fourteen inch sterling silver ladle carrying their mark is displayed in the Deerfield Museum in Deerfield, Massachusetts. He is also identified as having been a cabinet maker on Pearl Street.

He also may have been a volunteer fireman: in 1783 a Henry Riker was a foreman with Engine Company No. 8 at the foot of Maiden Lane, and in January of 1788 he was a vice (alternate?) to Oliver Mildeberger on Engine No. 12. Pearl Street and Maiden Lane intersect in what was New Amsterdam.



Born Nov. 25, 1721 at Newtown. [Son of 3rd generation John Riker.]

Died Feb.  9, 1820; Rockleigh, N.J.

Married - 1747 to Elizabeth, daughter Matthys & Sophia (Mabie) Concklin/Conkelin.

Born Oct. 27, 1727 in Hackensack, NJ. she died Oct. 16, 1809 in Rockleigh, NJ.

JOHN born circa 1748.

ABRAHAM born  May 22, 1753.

MATfHIAS (MATTHEUES) born Sept. 10, 1756.

GERARDUS born  April 13, 1758.

JAMES (JACOBUS) born Oct. 5, 1761.

HENRY (HENDERICK) born  July 25, 1764.

PETER (PETRUS) born Sept. 3, 1766.

SAMUEL born  May 19, 1768.

TUNIS (THEUNIS) born  Aug. 10, 1770.

Sophia (Saphia) born  Oct. 20, 1750 and baptized in Tappan R. D. Church. Died Aug. 20, 1838. married John Johnson (Jansen) of Upper Saddle River, NJ. (1 child).

Elizabeth born . Nov. 9, 1751 and married John (Johannis) Nagel  (7 children).

Margaret (Margrietye) born Nov. 24, 1754; died Nov. 18, 1828 and married John Sneden, son of Robert & Mollie Sneden (7 children).

Maria (Polly) born Jan. 29, 1760; died March 7, 1838 and married John Banta in 1780 (7 children).


Born - Oct. 25, 1736 and baptized in Jamaica, L.I. [Son of 3rd generation John Riker.]

Died - Oct. 6, 1828 in Rockleigh, N.J.

Married - Nov. 1, 1785 Margaret (Margrietye), daughter. of Jacob & Maria (Haring) Blauvelt; in Tappan, NY. Born Feb. 26, 1749, in Newtown, she was first married to Capt. Abraham A. Haring

Jacob, born Aug. 19, 1786 (twin of Gertrude); died May 4, 1867; married March 27, 1810, to Leah, daughter. of Martin Poulas (Powles); lived Closter, NJ; 3 children.

Abraham Blauvelt born Jan. 29, 1789, married Eliza Grade; 3 children.

[Daughter] Gertrude (Geertje), born Aug. 19, 1786 (twin of Jacob); married Feb. 2, 1813 to Michael Hines (Hinds). 1 son.

John in about 1752 built his homestead on the east side of Sneden Landing Road in what is now Closter, New York. Doing this some thirty years before his known niamage, as above, suggests an earlier marriage or perhaps an aborted expected one. Margaret’s first husband reportedly was a patriot officer who was captured by British forces and died in prison. John served both in the French and Indian War and in the Revolution.

Ryker's Ridge (aerial view above), a rural community situated on a ridge overlooking Madison, Indiana, was settled in the early 1800s by Rykers, 4th and 5th generation descendants of the same Abraham Rijcken vanLent whose family gave its name to NY's Rikers Island.

Gerardus Ryker, Jr. and Col. John Ryker, are among family members buried in Ryker's Ridge Cemetery on land set aside by the family as a burial ground. It is situated on a slight rise in a wooded area a short distance to the southwest of the Jefferson Presbyterian Church that itself is on land also donated by the family.

Ryker’s Ridge Baptist Church (left) also was built on land donated by a member of the Ryker family. A history on that congregation's site notes that during pre-Civil War times the church was used as an 'underground railroad' station and that several Rykers were involved in helping runaway slaves find freedom in Canada.

Sons of the American Revolution (logo below left) includes in its Cemetery Project Indiana listing the monument that the Ryker-Riker Historical Society has placed in the Ryker's Ridge cemetery to honor Col. John Ryker and to recall his service as a scout in Ohio and Kentucy in the War for Indepen- dence.

Another Ryker figures into an American Revoluntionary War story -- this involving a September 1781 ambush by Hurons led by a British Army captain.

Sixty or more pioneer settlers were killed in the attack sometimes called "Boone's Defeat" because Daniel Boone was among its few survivors and sometimes called "The Long Run Massacre" because it happened near a stream known as "Long Run."

Gerardus Ryker Sr. was with a 30-man group that went the next day to Long Run to bury the dead and to engage any enemy found along the way. Instead, several pioneers including Gerardus Sr., were killed. Kentucky has erected a monument near the spot. A small plaque (below) in memory of Gerardus Sr. has been placed in that vicinity by the Ryker-Riker Historical Society.

Click the Ryker's Ridge aerial view image, for more from its site source, Ruth Hoggatt's very informative For more on the Ryker's Ridge Baptist Church, click on its image from its heritage web page. Click the Sons of the American Revoluntion logo for an image of the Col. John Ryker monument. The page provides a link to access the Sons of the American Revoluntion Cemetery Project site.

The images & caption do NOT appear in Edgar Alan Nutt's 2004 book and were added to the web version by NYCHS.

Born - Nov. 16, 1740 at Newtown. [Son of 3rd generation John Riker.]

Died - Sept. 15, 1781, Mercer County, KY; buried at Ryker’s Ridge, Madison, IN

Married - Nov. 20, 1762. Rachel, Samuel & Leah Demaree/- Demarest. Born March, 1744, she died 1814. Her second marriage circa 1782 was to John vanCleve in Kentucky (2 children).

Born 1775 at Closter. Killed 1781 in same Indian conflict as Gerardus, Sr.

Born 1762 (or 1770) Closter, NJ. Married June 27, 1788, Polly Gallaway at Tappan R. D. Church.

John (Jan).
Born Jan. 18, 1764, Closter, NJ. He was a Continental pvt. & pensioned at $75. He died Nov. 22, 1848, in Jefferson County, IN; buried at Ryker’s Ridge, Madison, IN. Married first June 16, 1784, to Mary vanCleve in Lincoln, KY (about 10 children); second July 31 1838 to Amelia Littlejobn (perhaps 3 children). Amelia died 1908 Jefferson, IN, and was buried at Ryker’s Ridge.

Born Nov. 4, 1767, Closter, NJ. He died Jan. 8, 1839, in Jefferson County, IN; buried at Ryker’s Ridge. Married first to Leah vanCleve; second May 5, 1791 Leah Smock whose burial took place in Ryker’s Ridge. (12 children).

Born 3, 1769, Closter, NJ. Died 1835 near Cannon, Jefferson, IN Married first May 5, 1790 to Barbara Fullenwider in Shelby County, KY. Second to Margaret Holton (or Corrothers?).

Leah (Lea).
Born Nov. 28, 1765, Closter; died Nov. 24, 1844 Jefferson, IN., married first Emmanuel Medak (Meddick?); second May, 1829 to James Crockett.

Born Aug. 6, 1771 Closter. Died Dec. 24, 1791. Married William Robbins.

Born June 19, 1773 Closter. Died Oct. 28, 1861, Wapello County, IA. Married first Jan. 6, 1791, to Henry Hougbland in Jefferson, IN.; second Dec. 31, 1793, to William Robbins in Shelby Co., KY; third Nov. 18, 1797 to Samuel Smock. (11 children.)

Deborah (Debora).
Born Jan.23, 1777 Closter. Died circa 1837; Ripley County, IN. Married June 18, 1793, Mason Watts, Shelby, KY; (14 children)

Born circa 1779 KY or Aug. 4, 1771, Closter, NJ. Married first Dec. 22, 1787, Vincent Robbins, Jefferson County (3 children); second to Hugh Conway 1763-1838 (3 children).

Gerardus is reported as having served in the Revolution as an ensign in 1776 in Goetschius’ Battalion of New Jersey Troops and later in Col. Theunis Dey’s Bergen County Militia.

No source for that report (and particularly his having been a commissioned officer) or any other record of it has been found . . .

Hanover College (above) in Jefferson County, Indiana, along the Ohio, is a long way from Closter, N. J., near the Hudson, where Rachel Ryker was born, or Newtown, Queens, near the east River, where Gerardus Ryker, her father, was born.

The Ryker migration to the Indiana and Kentucky frontiers from the well-settled New York/New Jersey region was part of the larger westward movement of adventurous pioneers in the 18th and 19th Centuries.

Rachell's first husbands -- Henry Hougland of Jefferson, In. whom she wed in Jan. 6, 1791, and William Robbins of Shelby, Ky., whom she wed Dec. 31, 1793 -- were each killed during encounters with native tribal warriors.

At age 26 & alreadly twice-widowed, Rachael was a young mother and more than 3 years older than Samuel Smock of Berkeley Co., Va. when she married him in November 1797 in Shelby, Ky. They had 11 children.

Rachel and Samuel Smock moved their family in 1805, to an area about three miles southwest of present-day Hanover, In. The area became known as Smock's Big Springs. The only other non-native family in the region was that of Mason Watts and his wife, Deborah Ryker Watts, Rachael's sister. Deborah had married Watts in Shelby, Ky. four years before Rachael married Smock.

Smock became Jefferson Countys first judge and postmaster, and a militia lieut. colonel in the War of 1812. A farmer and lawyer, he was a church elder, an Indiana constitution drafter & a founder of Hanover Town and Hanover College (right).

Affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA), the latter is the oldest private college in Indiana, having been set up in 1827.

Rachel's brother John Ryker of Ryker's Ridge near Madison, In. is generally credited as Jefferson County's first permanenet settler of European ancestry. Rachael and Deborah's brother Samuel Ryker also crossed the Ohio from Kentucky and settled near Hanover

Below is a map depicting Hanover and Madison near the Ohio River separating Indiana and Kentucky.

Click college building image for more from its source, Hanover College Assistant Dean Jon Riester's web site. Click camous aerial view for more from its source, the Madison Area Convention and Visitors Bureau web site. Click the map for more from its source, the web site.
The images do NOT appear in Edgar Alan Nutt's 2004 book and were added to the web version by NYCHS.
. . . although both the 1776 dates of the beginning service of both Major John Mauritius Goetschius and Col. Theums Dey and the fact that other close relatives also served under these same officers gives credence to the report, there is some suspicion that it may be the result of confusion with the record of the other Gerardus, the nephew of the present one who is also reported as having taken his family in 1780 to Berkley County in present West Virginia.

If he were an officer, it seems strange that he would have abandoned his command, while if only the report that he was an ensign were incorrect, his migration would have been unexceptional.

The report of his move, however, is confirmed by the approximate year and location of his youngest child’s birth, if they indeed are correct.

Having moved in the company of other Dutch colonists, eventually he and his family continued on and in 1780 were at Floyd’s Station near present Louisville, Kentucky.

Gerardus was in a company led by Capt. John Floyd and was killed in the second engagement of an Indian attack called . . . Long Run Massacre . . . in which about sixty people were killed while only a few excaped, including “Squire” Daniel Boone.

By this action, whether or not by possible service in New Jersey, Gerardus was a Revolutionary War patriot as were also his sons John and Gerardus, Jr.

Two of the listed sons, Jacob and Peter, do not appear in either some family records or the Tappan baptismal records; it is possible that they belong in an undetermined other family unit. . . .

Members of Gerardus’ family subsequently settled in Madison County, Indiana, and their descendants, using the spelling “Ryker”, form a major branch of the Riker family.


Born - 1725 [son of 3rd generation Hendrick Ryer.]

Was a blacksmith; moved to Chatham Square.

Died - Jan. 23, 1806 in his 81st year.

Married Dec. 10, 1747, to Dorothea Remsse, daughter. of Rem & Dorothy (Lott) Remsen.

Born Sept. 13, 1724, she died in 1785. (3 children died in infancy.)

Born 1748. A sea captain. Died possibly in West Indies.

Born 1753; died in infancy

Born 1755.

Born 1758 or 1759; died in infancy.

Born 1760; died April6, 1824 at age 63.

Born 1763.

Born 1768; died Sept. 8, 1827 at age 59.
Berrian Blvd., above, at 45th St., and Berriens Island, right, in a 1852 map detail, derived their names from the Berrien family whose farm in 18th Century Newtown, Queens, included that Bowery Bay island southwest of Rikers Island.

Not only did the Berriens and Rikers have their Newtown farms in close proximity, but they had marriage ties as well.

Tbird generation Andrew Rycker married Jane Berrien, daughter of John and Ruth Berrien of Newtown. Their son, Dr. John Berrien Riker, is the subject of the current section of the main text (left) and of a special detached note by Rikers book author Edgar Alan Nutt. His note on Dr. John Berrien Riker can be accessed by clicking any image in this caption box.

Third generation Abraham Riker's daughter Grace maried Richard Berrien, son of Cornelius Berrien. Fifth generation John Jacobus Riker's daughter Sophia married William Augustus Berrien. Sixth generation John Jay Riker married Eliza, daughter of William and Elizabeth Berrien.

Rikers and Berriens also were related by their family members' marriages with Rapeljes, Brinckerhoffs and Lawrences, among others.

Standing at the corner of Berrian Blvd. and 45th St. (left), looking east, one sees a wooded hill.

On the other side of that small hill is situated the NYC Correction Dept. security check point officers, guard booths and barriers for the Rikers Island bridge.

At the same Berrian Blvd. & 45th St. corner, but looking west, one sees New York City's Bowery Bay Water Pollution Control Plant (right).

The concrete barriers on the roadway help create a work zone for crews engaged in the plant update taking place at the time (summer 2005) that NYCHS photographed the Berrian Blvd. scene for this presentation.

Below is a closeup of a large sign at the Berrian Blvd. and 45th St. sewage treatment facility. It hails the Bowery Bay Water Pollution Control Plant "Intrim Plant Upgrade Phase 1" as part of "Building the Future of the City."

The images and caption do NOT appear in Edgar Alan Nutt's 2004 book and were added to the web version by NYCHS. A special detached note by Rikers book author Edgar Alan Nutt on Dr. John Berrien Riker can be accessed by clicking any image in this caption box.


Born - 1738 (son of 3rd generation Andrew Rycker). Died - Sept. 7, 1794, in his 57th year; Riker Cemetery marker #108.

Married Nov. 19, 1771, Susannah, daughter of Nathaniel & Jannetje (Berrien) Fish, Born Feb. 20, 1754, she died Dec. 6, 1836, in NY in her 83rd year; Riker Cemetery marker #109.

John. Born - Sept. 29, 1772. A merchant ship captain. Died - Nov. 3, 1797, Hamburg, Germany. Riker Cemetery marker #113.

Nathaniel. Born - April 17, 1775. A physician. Died - Aug. 24, 1802, at sea, returning from West Indies. Riker Cemetery marker #113.

Abraham Born - Feb. 2, 178S. A druggist. Died - Feb. 6, 1826. Riker Cemetery marker #112.

Jane. Born - June 24, 1780. Died - Nov. 24, 1857. Riker Cemetery marker #113.

John B. Riker was educated in the then Princeton College and practiced as a physician in Pennington, N.J.

Before the Dec. 26, 1776, Battle of Trenton he guided the colonial troops in addition to providing medical attention.

On February 18, 1777, he received his commission as a Surgeon in the 4th New Jersey Regiment, and in the spring of 1778 he was at Valley Forge where his brother Abraham died. His service ended with the reduction of his regiment in February, 1779, following which he was listed as a supernumerary.

On October 20, 1779, he was taken prisoner by British troops and subsequently was exchanged in New York City for a Dr. Kellogg of the Queen’s Rangers. During his remaimng years he practiced medicine in New York City.

Daughter Jane’s receipt of a pension benefit is a good example of a Revolutionary War pension following the death of both the veteran and his widow.

On May 19, 1848, Jane applied for a pension as authorized by the July 4, 1836, Act of Congress, on behalf of herself and her mother, on the basis of her father’s service in the Revolution.

It was granted on May 27, 1848, at the yearly rate of $600 for the period beginning March 4, 1831, as long as she (Jane’s mother) remained unmarried and continued to live.

By the time of the award Susannah had died (December 6, 1836), and never received any benefit; in her stead Jane apparenty received the retroactive payment for over five and a half years.


Born - 1740 (son of 3rd generation Andrew Rycker).

Died - May 7, 1778, at Valley Forge. in his 38th year; Rikers Cemetery marker #105.

Married Sept. 2, 1766, Margaret, daughter of 3rd generation Jacob Riker.

Born in 1740, she died Nov. 19, 1835, at age 95, in Orange, NJ.

Before the Reformed Church in America at Owasco Outlet (right) was built circa 1810, open field services were held in the Aurburn, N.Y. area by missionary ministers including Jane Riker's husband, the Rev. Asa Hillyer.

An 1901 Centential publication of the Congregational Church of Homer, N. Y., credits "the Rev. Asa Hillyer, D. D., a Presbyterian missionary, on a tour of investigation," with delivering the first sermon ever preached there. That was in 1796; also in open field.

Pastor in Orange, NJ, more than 30 years, he was a founder and a director of the United foreign missionary society and a trustee of Princeton from 1811 until his death in 1840. The image and caption do NOT appear in Edgar Alan Nutt's 2004 book and were added to the web version by NYCHS. Click the image to access its source, Berry Enterprises' The History of Montgomery Classis, R.C.A. by W.N.P. Dailey, web site.

Their daughter Jane (Jannetie), born 1768, married the Rev. Asa Hillyer June 8, 1791,

Abraham served in the Revolution as a 1st Lt. in the 4th New York and as a Capt. in the 3rd New York & 2nd New York Regiments.

He was present in Quebec at the defeat of Montgomery, and commanded a company of the latter regiment which had heavy casualties in the Battle of Saratoga. His death at Valley Forge was due to spotted fever.


Born - April 8, 1743; (son of 3rd generation Andrew Rycker). Lt. of Light Horse, Kings County Militia, 1776; U.S. Congress, Representative 1804-05 & 1807-09.

Died - May 19, 1823. Riker Cemetery marker #110.

Married Jan. 17, 1769, to Anna, daughter of Joseph & Patricia (Moore) Lawrence. She was born Nov. 27 (or 22), 1749, and died Jan. 5, 1833, at age 83 years. Riker Cemetery marker #110.

Graphic pen sketch (left) of the marble monument that Jane Margaret Riker, wife of Irish patriot Dr. William James MacNeven, had erected in Riker Cemetery. The memorial is counted as Marker # 105.

The inscriptions read:

The grave of ABRAHAM RIKER, son of Abraham & Margaret Riker; born 1655; died Aug. 20, 1746, in the 91st year of his age.

And in Memory of his grandsire GUYSBERT RIKER, a native of Holland, who came to America in 1630, obtained a patent for his lands at Bowery, L.I., bearing date 1632.

In Memory of Capt. ABRAHAM RIKER, son of Andrew and Jane Riker; born 1740. Served his country nobly in the war of the Revolution and died at Valley Forge May 7, 1778, in his 38th year.

The sketch is based on the image of the cenotaph on the web site of the Lent Riker Smith Homestead. Click image for more there.

The above caption and image do NOT appear in Edgar Alan Nutt's 2004 book and have been added to the web version by NYCHS.

Joseph Lawrence. Born March 26, 1770. A sailor, Died July 20, 1796, Kingston, Jamaica; Riker Cemetery marker #105.

ANDREW. Born Sept. 21, 1771.

RICHARD. Born Sept. 9, 1773.

ABRAHAM. Born May 24, 1776.

Samuel. Born March 3, 1780. A lawyer. Died of "consumption" Sept. 17, 1811; Riker Cemetery marker #119. Married possibly Lavinia Smith; or 1810 Margaret E. Montgomery.

JOHN L. Born April 9, 1787.

Patience L. Born May 10, 1778. Died Feb. 22, 1851; Riker Cemetery marker #61. Married 1802 to John Lawrence. [Riker Cemetery markers related to them, their children, their grandchildren and their in-laws Lawrences, Campbells and Churchills -- #59, #60, #61,#62, #63, #64, #65, #66, #67, #68, #69.]

Jane Margaret. Born April 4, 1782. Died March 26, 1868; Riker Cemetery marker #73. Married first 1803 John Tom. Second 1810 Dr. William James MacNeven, [Riker Cemetery markers related to them, and their children -- #71, #75, #76, #71.] According to the September 29, 1879 issue, page 5, of the Brookloyn Daily Eagle, she erected the #105 cenotaph in the Riker Cemetery. the memorial that specified Guysbert Riker as the father of immigrant Abraham.

Anna Elvira. Born May 1, 1785. Died Aug. 2, 1860. She was married April 10, 1827, Dr. Dow Ditmars. [Riker Cemetery markers related to them, their children, and their grandchildren Dow and Ditmars -- #71, #75, #76, #71.] .

Abraham Riker, surviving son of 3rd generation Jacob Riker, married a step- granddaughter of the notorious Capt. Wm. Kidd (right). Licensed as "privateer," Kidd was later charged with unlawful piracy. He was convicted and executed by the Crown.

After a Caribbean privateer expedition, Kidd returned to NY. In the early 1690s, he led the life of a politically connected colonist and married rich Monmouth County widow Sarah Oort. They lived in a big brick house (left) at Pearl & Hanover streets.

In 1695, Capt. Kidd returned to privateering. But some incidents were used by enemies of his London backers to embarrass them, causing withdrawal of support. He returned to NY seeking help. His ex-associate Governor Lord Bellomont had him arrested (right). Kidd was sent in chains to England where he was tried. Modern historians have questioned the fairness of the legal proceedings and the sufficiency of the reputed evidence.

Kidd was hanged May 23rd, 1701, on Execution Dock at Tilbury Point. After dead, his body reportedly was harnessed with iron hoops (left) and remained hanging as a warning to all would-be pirates.

In 1703, Kidd's widow married Christopher Rousby, her 4th & last husband. Their son Henry and his wife had a daughter, Sarah, who married Abraham Riker.

The above caption and images do NOT appear in Edgar Alan Nutt's 2004 book and have been added to the web version by NYCHS. Click the images to access their respective sources: Margaret Odrowaz- Sypniewska's Auch 2000's Scottish Pages, Project Gutenberg eBook's The Story of Manhattan, by Charles Hemstreet, and Beej's Pirate Image Archive on PirateHaven.Org.


Born - 1734 (surviving son of 3rd generation Jacob Riker).

Died - during the Revolution.

Married in 1720 to Sarah, daughter of Henry & Sarah Rousby.

She was born in 1740 and died in 1802 at age 62.

Born in 1780. Went to Philadelphia.

Born 1768, married to John Walgrove; a son, Effingham,

Born 1772; married William Whitehead.

Abraham’s wife, Sarah, was the step-granddaughter of Capt. William Kidd, the British pirate whose notoriety was questionably deserved but who was hung in London on May 23, 1701, after conviction for murder and piracy.

The connection is somewhat tenuous at best.

Her grandmother Sarah’s first marriage was to Wil]iam Cox who died in July, 1689, and by whom she was left “a good rich widow”, and her second of four marriages was to a John Oort.

By license of May 16, 1691, she then married Capt. Kidd, and in 1703 she married Christopher Rousby by whom she bore Henry Rousby whose daughter Sarah married Abraham Riker.

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NYCHS presents excerpts from The Rikers: Their Island, Homes, Cemetery and Early Genealogy in Queens County, NY by permission of its author, an 11th generation Abraham Rijcken vanLent descendant, Edgar Alan Nutt, who retains & reserves all text copyrights.

Rikers Island's role in NY correction history warrants our providing material on its "pre-Correction" background that is so bound up with Rikers family history. Bishop Nutt's book serves as an excellent vehicle for doing that. His approach is not exclusively or narrowly genealogical. More than simply tracing lineage, he places his family history in wider chronological and geographic contexts through which his exhaustive research tracked it, thus reflecting much other history -- of the island, county, city and country.

Strictly genealogical citations, notes, and codes in the printed book have been reduced or dropped in these excerpts. This presentation includes a book print copy information page.

NYCHS retains and reserves all rights to images of photos it took during the June 5, 2005 homestead tour and the September 1998 Samuel Perry Center dedication and their captions as well as captions of inserted images not taken from the printed book.