Monday, January 13, 2014

The de Kype Family Story, What Should we Do with it?

The De Kype Family Story, was first published in The Pictorial Field-Book of the Revolution or, Illustrations by Pen and Pencil of the History, Biography, Scenery, Relics, and Traditions of the War of Independence, by Benson J. Lossing, Harper & Brothers, Publishers, New York, 1852, p. 803.

“...Ruloff de Kype was the first of the name found in history. He was a native of Bretagne, and was a warm partisan of the Guises in the civil wars between Protestants and Papists in the sixteenth century.  On the defeat of his party, he fled to the Low Countries.  He afterward joined the army of the Duke of Anjou, and fell in the battle near Jarnac.  He was buried in a church there where an altar-tomb was erected to his memory bearing his coat of arms.  His son Ruloff became a Protestant, and settled in Amsterdam. His grandson, Henry, (born 1576) became an active member of the “Company of Foreign Countries,” which was organized in 1588 for the purpose of exploring a northeast passage to the Indies.  In 1635 he came to America with his family, but soon returned to Holland.  His sons remained, bought large tracts of land, and were active in public affairs. ...”  Hendrick Kype is supposed to have married Margaret de Marneil and came to New Amsterdam with his family in 1635.

The only source listed was Holgate’s American Genealogy, Albany, New York, 1848, page 109.  Holgate provides a less detailed version and does not list any documented sources.

In Contributions To The Genealogy of the Kip Families of New York and New Jersey, by Edwin R. Purple, Privately Printed, New York, 1877, Purple writes that “...and for the reason that no authority for the European pedigree has been given in the publications referred to, it must with such of like character, be regarded with suspicion.”

Frederic Ellsworth Kip in his book History of the Kip Family In America, 1928, indicates that he had extensive searches made in Holland, but he was unable to substantiate this account of the origin of the family.

We do know that Hendrick Henrdricksz and Tryntje Lubberts announced their marriage intentions in Amsterdam on April 20, 1624. He was 24 and from Niewenhuys. She was 25 and from Zwolle. They were married May 5, 1624.

They had a least six children, born in Amsterdam, four of whom came with them to New Netherland between 1637 and 1643.  One child was born in New Netherland. The first use of Kype or Kyp or Kip as his surname appears to be in 1643 when he acquired a plot of land in New Amsterdam. They are our first [Kip/Kipp] ancestors who settled in New Amsterdam.

I recently came across an article in Historic Deerfield, Volume 14, Autumn 2013 with the title We Are Family, Heraldic Decorative Arts in Early America, by Amanda E. Lange. The article discusses the origin of heraldry and coats of arms.  Even in the 1500 and 1600s, people wanted a coat of arms to give them an identity.  The author writes “...Although there is no such thing as a coat of arms to denote a particular family surname, early Americans often used heraldry for exactly that purpose – to define, consolidate, and promote one’s family name.”  There were books of designs for coats of arms available.  One of the Most popular was John Guillam’s Display of Heraldry (London, 1611). 

We have no proof for the de Kype story, so we should be careful about accepting it as the truth.  That does not mean, however, that we should throw it out with the wash water.  There is still research to be done on this family in Europe.  It would appear though that our original family name was some form of Hendricksen.  A Netherlands researchers indicated that this family was not using surnames in 1624. (Cor Snabel –

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