The Van Riper Family Tree (1973) – Harold G. Van Riper 2/5



What manner of people were these early Dutch settlers in New
Jersey? They came from the most advanced State in Europe. During
most of the 17th Century, the Dutch Republic was the foremost commercial
and maritime power in Europe and Amsterdam was the financial center
of the continent. The 17th Century also witnessed the ascendancy of the
Dutch as a leading colonial power.

The Dutch boasted the world-renowned painters, Frans Hals and
Rembrandt. In the field of literature and poetry, the Dutch made notable

The Dutch were of Teutonic origin. The predominant language
spoken by the Dutch people was called Nederduitsch. Here is a sample
of their language:

“Niemands tong; nog niemands pen,
Maakt my anders dan ik ben.
Spreck quaad-spreekers: spreek vander end,
Niemand en word van u geschend.”

which, translated into English, reads:

“No one’s tongue, and no one’s pen,
Makes me other than I am.
Speak, evil-speakers, speak without end,
No one heeds a word you say”

Not until after 1750 was there much abatement in the use of the
Dutch language among the Holland Dutch in New Jersey.

The Jersey Dutch were mostly farmers, deeply religious, honest and
conscientious and adding to these qualities those of industry and frugality,
they generally prospered. Some of the traits of these people are indicated
in such sayings as: When soneone talks to you like a “Dutch Uncle”,
it’s for your own good; a “Dutch Treat” smacks of equality as well as
thrift; “Dutch housecleaning” speaks of thoroughness; when one gets his
“Dutch Up” it implies anger, temper and indignation. The Dutchman’s
pipe and breeches might, of course, double as names for flowers of
which the Dutch were inordinately fond.

The established religion of the Holland Dutch was the Calvinistic
religion of the Dutch Reformed Church.

The women were as industrious as the men and so economical were
they of their time that frequently took their spinning wheels with them
when they went to spend a social afternoon with a neighbor. Knitting
was an art much cultivated by the Dutch women who excelled in the
variety and intricacy of the stitches. The Dutch housewives had a
passionate love for cleanliness. In addition to their various work about
the house, they assisted the men in the fields.

The Dutch dwelling houses were built mostly of native stone which
was usually quarried on the property. A gambrel style roof was generally
built. This was a ridged roof having two slopes on each side, with the
lower slope having the steeper pitch. The long lower slope continued in
a gentle, graceful curve to overhang the front and rear of the house
by several feet.

The chimneys of the Dutch were always built on the inside of
the houses at the gable ends.

The kitchen fireplace was often large enough to contain seats on
one side as well as at the back. The fireplaces were frequently framed
with a glazed blue tile, which were imported from Holland and often
depicted Biblical scenes.

The kitchen was also the dining and living room and that was
where the family “lived, moved and had their being”.

The Dutch doors were double, the upper half opening separately.
The upper half of the door was generally panelled in the form of a cross.

The houses, almost without exception, had cellars which were
reached from the outside. Sloping hatches under one of the windows
covered a short flight of stone steps down to the cellar.

Previous to 1743, window sash and glass were not used. Instead,
oiled paper served to admit light.

The garret was generally used for storage purposes and for the
children’s sleeping quarters.

The slaves slept in the cellar, in the garret over the kitchen or in
a separate outbuilding.

The farms had many outbuildings of which the barn, smokehouse
and corn crib were the most important.

The Van Riper-Hopper House located at Wayne, Passaic County,
New Jersey is a good example of Dutch architecture.
This house was built in 1786.

Other examples of Dutch style houses are:

House of Abraham Ackerman, later Brinkerhoff,
184 Essex St., Hackensack,Bergen County, New Jersey
Hopper-Goetschius House, East Saddle River Road,
Upper Saddle River, Bergen County, New Jersey
Terheun Homestead, 450 River Street,
Hackensack, Bergen County,New Jersey
House of Thomas Van Boskerk (Van Buskirk),
East Saddle River Road, Saddle River, Bergen
County, New Jersey
Van Houten House, Franklin Lake Road,
Franklin Lakes Boro, New Jersey
Vreeland House, 125 Lake View Avenue,
Leonia Boro, Bergen County, New Jersey