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Part #3 of 12
(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 second half of
Chapter One: Preliminary Considerations -- Pages 21 through 26.

SURNAME OR NOT

If the name of the father of the brothers Rijcken vanLent were known, or if the relevance to them of the vanLent designation were known as a certainty, then the status of the Rijcken name, whether it was a patronym or a surname, would be resolved. Since neither is the case the status of the Rijcken name can only be a matter of speculation based upon whatever data are available.

In the hallway, Marion Duckworth Smith, left, welcomes Queens Historical Society 2005 tour visitors into her beautifully restored historic home.

Photo by NYCHS during the June 5, 2005 tour given by Marion Smith to benefit the Queens Historical Society. Tour images do not appear in Edgar Alan Nutt's 2004 book and have been added to the web version by NYCHS. Click image to visit the Queens Historical Society web site.

Various Netherlands archives and other records include references to a multitude of Rijcken individuals a very large percentage of whom are associated with dates from the the latter part of the seventeenth century and later. By the end of that century in the Netherlands as well as in colonial America the name is well-established as a surname, hence records from the earlier period are the relevant ones, and they, as noted above, are the rarer ones. Most relevant are those from the time of Abrahamís emigration from his native country and earlier, i.e. from no later than about 1638.

Several writers have stated dogmatically that in Abrahamís case Rijcken was a patronymic name such that his father was Rijck or some other form of the Dutch version of Richard, and the sole bit of supporting evidence that has been cited is the fact that Abraham named his eldest son Ryck. . . .

It is perfectly clear that Rijcken in some instances was a patronym. The earlier discussed case of Ryck Hendrickszen whose son was Hendrick Rycken it a perfect American example of Rycken as a patronym which in snhsequent generations was carried as an established surname. . . .

CONCLUSIONS

It is apparent that in the vartous matters of interest relating to immigrant Abraham Rycken and his immediate preceding and succeeding generations there is little certainty and more is unknown than is known. Nevertheless available evidence together with reasonability allow for some conclusions of varying firmness and consistency, as follow:

  1. The best evidence as to Abrahamís full name is that it was Abraham Rijcken vanLent, whether vanLent was the familyís established surname or whether it was merely descriptive, and while Rijcken was the earliest attested form, of part of the name many other forms of it were used and the prevailing New Amsterdam and early New York form was Rycken.

  2. Although the name of the father of Abraham, Steven, and Jan is not known, the inference, drawn from Abrahamís eldest sonís name, that it was a form of Rijckaert the Dutch version of Richard, is strong. Their father was neither Gysbert Rycken nor Jacob Slmonse deRijck.

  3. The more speculative theory for the father having been such as Ryck is that Abrahamís Rijcken is a patronym and not a surname, but this assumes both that Abraham and his brothers were the first generation to carry the name and that the name was not derived either from a personal description, i.e., deRycke, the wealthy, or from a location, such as Rijckenborgh.

  4. Abraham was one of six immigrant Ryckens (not counting the assumed siblings of Jan Corneliszen deRycke) present in seventeenth century New Netherland but was not demonstrably related to any of the others, including most importantly the Riker family of Staten Island and Essex County New Jersey.

  5. The Lent surname adopted by two of Abrahamís sons was not derived from such as a putative maternal grandfather but rather rrom the VanLent designation for Abraham and two of his brothers, as per his brother Stevenís will.

  6. Whether the Vanlent designation was their proper surname or simply the indication of their place or origin is not known. Steven's residence was in Ďs-Hertogenbosch in North Brabant Province, about twenty miles south-west of the village of Lent in Ociderland Province.
    A Riker photo portrait on the hallway's right wall also greets visitors as they enter the homestead.

    Photo by NYCHS during the June 5, 2005 tour given by Marion Smith to benefit the Queens Historical Society. Tour images do not appear in Edgar Alan Nutt's 2004 book and have been added to the web version by NYCHS. Click image to visit the Queens Historical Society web site.

    The several omissions of the designation in Stevenís will and in his signature suggest that Van Lent identified where they originated and that it was not a surname, while Steven's name in two baptisms (assuming this was the same Steven), Steven vanLent in one instance and Steven Rijken in the other, is equivocal.

DETEACHED NOTE
No. 1 --
Jacob Simonsz deRycke

Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, grandson of Emperor Maximilian 1 and of Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain, inherited title to the Netherland provinces when his father Philip 1 of Castille died in 1506 and became King of Spain upon Ferdinandís death in 1516. For the next four decades he was embroiled in a long series of political and religious conflicts with his fortunes of power and control waxing and waning.

Before retiring in 1557 he gave his hereditary title to the Netherlands to his son Philip and abdicated as king of Spain in favor of his son as Philip II who henceforth was considered a foreign overlord by Netherlanders. Resentful at the House of Hapsburgs feudal and absolutist Spanish tyranny and religious persecution, open rebellion commenced in 1568, and in a few years independence from Spain was declared.

The war was finally concluded in 1643 with the Truce of Westphalia, but it was effectively ended with the Twelve Yearsí Truce of 1609, brought about in large part by the exploits against Philipís navy by Dutch admirals with whom Jacob Simonsz deRycke was first a captain and later an admiral himself.

Lent Riker Smith Homestead hallway moments after tour visitors entered one of the rooms off it.

Photo by NYCHS during the June 5, 2005 tour given by Marion Smith to benefit the Queens Historical Society. Tour images do not appear in Edgar Alan Nutt's 2004 book and have been added to the web version by NYCHS. Click image to visit the Queens Historical Society web site.

When the Duke of Alba, the ferocious emissary of King Philip began his bloody reprisals for the incipient uprising of the Netherlanders, a number of Frisians left Friesland and Groningen to join Count Hendrick vanVrederode at Amsterdam.

Several of these in August of 1567 were captured, imprisoned, and executed, while the remainder took to the sea where they harassed Spanish commerce along the coasts of Hofland for several years. . . .

One of the captains involved in this operation [the capture of Briel April 1, 1672] was Jacob Simonsz deRycke. and immediately after he was despatched with two compatriots to England to spread the news of the conquest among the exiles and to request assistance in men and money. The effort was successful, but since they had entered an English harbor contrary to the royal decrees, his ships were seized and he himself was brought before the Queen where he made such a successful defense that Her Majesty told him simply "not to cause any disturbance in her realm, and to depart immediately for home."

Consequently, a few days later deRycke set sail with his three ships and more than five hundred auxiliaries. Off the headland of Dover he fell in with a party of fugitives from the town of Flushing [in the Netherlands] which had just succeeded in expelling their Spanish garrison and were in need of aid in order to preserve their new and hardly won liberty. Assembling a council of war, deRycke and his companions determined to change their destination from Briel to Flushing.

They arrived there on April 10, 1572, just in time to prevent the cityís falling again into the hands of the Spaniards and to hold the place until fresh reinforcements made the independence certain. Leaving Flushing deRycke went to Zuyderhoof where he was informed that the Spaniards were at Zandyk, intending an attempt to retake the town of Veer.

Homestead hallway stairs not used on the tour.

Photo by NYCHS during the June 5, 2005 tour given by Marion Smith to benefit the Queens Historical Society. Tour images do not appear in Edgar Alan Nutt's 2004 book and have been added to the web version by NYCHS. Click image to visit the Queens Historical Society web site.

Attacking and defeating these forces deRycke, then gave such important service in rescuing the city that he was appointed Admiral of Vetr as a reward for his efforts. In this capacity, he rendered invaluable aid in the cause of his countryís freedom.

Having been captured during the unsuccessful expedition upon the city of Tholen, he was one of five prisoners of war for whose ransom William of Orange held as hostage the Spanish general Mondragon whose forces were defeated before Middleburg.

Jacob Slmonsz deRycke held a position of wealth and importance in Amsterdam, where for more than two centuries his forebears had occupied places of public trust and honor. It is therefore not totally surprising that James Riker claimed descent from him for his own sponsor, John L. Riker, who in the middle l800s in common with many prominent men of the day, looked to European ancestors of note to validate their own self-estimations and positions.

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home = NY
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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.