The Van Riper Family Tree (1973) – Harold G. Van Riper 1/5



Juriaen Tomassen was the common ancestor of the Holland Dutch
Family of Van Ripers. Juriaen is an old Dutch name and evidently the
equivalent of the scriptural Uriah. Tomassen came from the Bible name
of Thomas. Juriaen is pronounced Yoo-re-awd. The Dutch had no letter
giving the “J” sound. Their “J” had the sound of “Y”.

Juriaen Tomassen was from Reypen (Ripen or Ryp), a small
town about fourteen (14) miles north of Amsterdam, Holland. So it is
probable that the origin of the name, VanRiper, came from the town of
Ryp in North Holland.

Juriaen Tomassen sailed to this country in the ship De Bonte Coe
(The Spotted Cow) from Amsterdam April 16, 1663. This event took
place about one year before the English supplanted the Dutch in America.

Juriaen Tomassen settled in Bergen (New Jersey City) and in 1664
he became a member of a syndicate which secured the Acquackanonk
patent (deed) in what is now Passaic County, New Jersey. Descendants
of Juriaen Tomassen settled in Passaic and Bergen Counties.

Juriaen Tomassen was recorded as a member of the Bergen Church
in 1667 and on May 25 of that year he married Reycke Hermens. They
had 12 children, seven sons and five daughters. We are concerned only
in the first born son, Thomas Juriaense, from whom our line of VanRipers
is descended.

Juriaen Tomassen’s death is recorded at Bergen as having occurred
September 12,1695.


The line of descent from Juriaen Tomassen to the Jacob and Richard
Van Riper who engaged in the trucking business in Lower Manhattan,
New York City, during the first part of the 1800’s was through his first
son, Thomas Juriaense.

Following the custom of the time, Thomas took as a surname one
constructed from his father’s given name, hence Juriaense. The suffix
“se” is an abbreviation of “sen”, the Dutch word for son and so we have
Thomas, the son of Juriaen.

Thomas was baptized June 10, 1668. He married Jannetje, daughter
of Jan Straet or Straetmaker, June 2, 1691. Thomas was an active and
progressive man and a leader of his people. He was prominent in the
Acquackanonk Church, being chosen a deacon in 1700 and 1705, and
an elder in 1720 and 1724. In 1714, he was one of the committee of five
chosen to apportion the undivided lands of the Acquackanonk patent.
He purchased land fronting on the Passaic River and in company with
six others bought the Stony Road patent of 2800 acres, which embraced
the top and the southwestern slope of Garret mountain from the steep
rocks of Paterson to the headwaters of the Peckamin River. When the
disputed boundary line between Newark and Acquackanonk was adjusted,
April 6, 1719, Thomas was one of the three representatives present from

The children of Thomas Juriaense and Jannetje (Straet) Van Riper,
members of the third generation of the family totaled eleven (11) in
number, of which seven (7) were sons and four (4) daughters. We are
interested in the second son, Jurjaen, as he was in direct line of descent
for our branch of the Van Riper family.

The date of death of Thomas Juriaense and that of his wife, Jannetje
(Straet) Van Riper is not known.

(1693 -1750+)

The next in line of descent and a member of the third generation
of the family was Jurjaen Van Riper, the second son of Thomas and
Jannetje (Straet) Van Riper.

Jurjaen was baptized June 12, 1693 and married June 12, 1714,
Aeltje Simonse VanWinkle. They had ten children, seven sons and three
daughters. We are concerned only in the youngest son, Richard or Dirck,
who was the next descendant in our branch of the Van Riper family.

Jurjaen lived in Acquackanonk, which was first settled by the Dutch
in 1678. The name Acquackanonk in the Indian tongue, according to
William Nelson, meant “near where fishing is done with a bush net”.

Jurjaen was chosen deacon of the Acquackanonk Church in 1724.
At that time, the Rev. Guilliam Bertholf was pastor in charge of not
only the Acquackanonk Church but also of the Hackensack Church. The
Rev. Henricus Coens succeeded Bertholf as pastor of the Acquackanonk
Church in 1725 and he continued his ministry there as well as in the
churches of Belleville, Pompton and Ponds until his death in 1735.

In 1737, Jurjaen and his brother-in-law, Adriaen Post, who had
married Jurjaen’s siter, Martje (Martha) planned to build a mill on an
island bought from the Indian’s near the present West Street bridge in
Paterson, New Jersey. For some reason or other, the mill project did
not materialize. Jurjaen then purchased a tract of 125 acres on the east
side of the Passaic River above Little Falls, which he caused to be
surveyed to him, December 2, 1748. In this new location, he built a dam
and dug a tail-race, but he died before the erection of the mill.


Richard or Dirck was the youngest son of Jurjaen and Aeltje
(VanWinkle) Van Riper and was born June 9, 1734. On May 23, 1762,
when twenty-eight years of age, Richard married twenty-three year old
Elisabet Meek (Elizabeth Mead). They had ten children, seven sons and
three daughters. Of these children, our particular interests lie with
Jacob, the second oldest son.

On November 23, 1762, Richard bought a tract of land comprising
145.40 acres in Upper Preakness, New Jersey. There he settled and
lived with his family until his death in 1807.

Richard’s farm was always known as the “Old Van Riper Place”.
It’s location was described as “about a mile to the right from the old
Hamburgh Turnpike at Mrs. Andrew H. Van Riper’s, or about as far
across the flats to the left, from Andrew P. Hopper’s place on Berdan
Avenue (the road from Upper Preakness to Oakland, Bergen County)”.

During the early years of the farm, there was located on the place a
grist mill, saw mill, cider mill, distillery, blacksmith shop and slaves. In
those days, there were slaves on nearly all the Preakness farms.

In connection with the foregoing statement regarding slaves, it is
interesting to note that in 1806, some of the Preakness people petitioned
the State Legislature to repeal the Act of 1804 which provided for the
gradual abolition of slavery. Included in the fifty-four names signing the
petition were Uriah Van Riper, Richard Van Reypen, Richard Van Riper, Jr.
and Jacob Van Riper, all farmers and close relatives of our Jacob who
had previously moved to New York City.

Our Richard or Dirck VanRiper, with rank of captain, commanded a
company of New Jersey militia under Colonel Edward Thomas, whose
regiment consisted of two companies from Bergen, two from Morris and
three from Essex Counities. The regiment was activated July 18, 1776 and
was in service until October 7, 1776. The companies were raised under the
act of July18, 1776. The foregoing military record is from the files in
the Archives and History Bureau, New Jersey State Library, Trenton, New
Jersey. A further verification of Richard’s military record is found on page
43 of the Lineage Book published by the Daughters of the American

Richard Van Riper was one of the leaders in the movement to have
the original Preakness Reformed Church built in 1798. He was one of the
heavy contributors toward the cost of the church building. The acre of
ground comprising the grounds about the existing church building, together
with the old burying ground back of it, was deeded June 7, 1799 to David
Demarest, Samuel Van Saun, Richard Van Riper, Jacob Berdan, Henry
B. Spear and John Van Winkle and “all the rest of the builders of the
Church of Preakness”. Prior to the building of the Preakness Church, the
people of Preakness were probably members of the congregation of the
Dutch Reformed Church at Ponds, Pompton or Totowa.

The Rev. Peter DeWitt was one of the supply ministers at the
Preakness Church during its early years of existence. It should be noted
here that Richard Van Riper’s granddaughter, Elizabeth married Peter
DeWitt, son of the Rev. Peter DeWitt.

The old church was replaced by a new church building in 1852,
using largely the material from the old structure. It was composed princi-
pally of stone, although the facing of the walls was of brick. The new
church was destroyed by fire in 1930. The present brick structure was
built in 1948.

After the death of a grandson, Andrew VanRiper, May 23, 1881,
the old Van Riper farm went out of the possession of the family and the
last known owner was George Roat.

Richard was buried in the old burying ground back of the Preakness
Reformed Church. A brownstone tombstone marks the grave and the
tombstone inscription which is in English reads: “In Memory of Richard
Van Riper who departed this life April 24, 1807, Age 72 years, 10 mos,
24 days.”

Two days before he died, Richard made out his will, dating it April
22, 1807. His estate consisted of the farm, cash on hand, bond and notes,
negro boy, Harry and negro wench, Annick, one span of horses, breeding
mare and wagon. The will provided that Richard’s wife, Elizabeth, was
to manage any part of the farm for her use, during her widowhood. The
eldest son, Uriah, was willed 87.5 acres of land in addition to the piece
of land he then held; son, Jacob, who moved to New York to engage in
the trucking business, was left $150 and son, John was given $75 and a
mare. To his three daughters – Mary (Polly), wife of Garret Leydacker;
Margaret (Peggy), wife of Richard D. Siskoe and Elizabeth (Betsey),
wife of Simeon VanWinkle, Richard gave each $100. Should daughter
Mary (Polly) “happen to die” (Mary died May 1, 1807, eight days after
the date of the will), her share was to be held for her (two children until
they were of age. Son Richard was left the remainder of the lands and
he was to pay the legacy.

After Richard’s wife, Elizabeth, died the residue of the estate was to
be divided equally between Richard’s children.

The Executors of the will were: son, Richard; son-in-law, Simeon
VanWinkle and Cornelius Merseles. Witnesses to the will were: Henry
Cooper, Andrew Cooper and William Row.