Pieter Claesen Wyckoff (c. 1625 – June 30, 1694) was a farmer and landowner in Kings County, New York. All references to the name Wyckoff, including derivations in spelling, can be traced to his family.

Birth and emigrationEdit

Pieter Claesen was born in the village of Norden in the Holy Roman Empire (present day East Friesland, Germany). Pieter emigrated to America in 1636, as an indentured servant to Killian Van Rensselaer, in Rensselearwyck (now Albany, New York). After Claesen worked off his indenture, he labored as a tenant farmer, leasing land from the Rensselaer patroonship.


He married Grietje Van Ness (c. 1625-c. 1701) around 1645. Their first two children were born in Rensselearwyck but he moved to New Amersfoort (present day Flatlands, Brooklyn).


  • Nicholas Pieterse Wyckoff (1646-1714) who married Sara Monfoort (1656-1704)
  • Margrietje Pieterse Wyckoff (c. 1648-?) who married Matthys Brouwer; Annetje Pieterse Wyckoff (1650-1688) who married Roelof Martensen Schenck (1619-1704); [[Mayken Pieterse Wyckoff (1653-1721) who married Willem Willemsen (c. 1637- c. 1722); Willemptje Pieterse Wyckoff (c. 1654- c. 1693) who married Adrian Pieterse Kenne; Cornelius Pieterse Wyckoff (c. 1656-1746) who married Gertje Charity Van Arsedalen; Hendrick Pieterse Wyckoff (c. 1658-?); Geertje Pieterse Wyckoff (c. 1660-c. 1711) who married Christoffel Janse Romeyn (c. 1641- c. 1748); Garret Pieterse Wyckoff (1662-1701) who married Catherine Johanna Nevius; Marten Pieterse Wyckoff (c. 1663- c. 1699) who married Hanna Willemse (c. 1660- c.1724)
  • Jan Pieterse Wyckoff (1665-c1730) who married Neeltje Williamse Couwenhoven.


There are references indicating that Pieter Claesen signed a contract "to superintend the Bowery and cattle of Peter Stuyvesant in New Amersfoort" in 1655. After the British took over the Dutch colony, Pieter Claesen finally adopted the family name of Wyckoff in 1687. His choice of surname was probably based on the Frisian name of his home, Wykhof, located south of Norden in East Frisland.


He died in 1694 and his body may be buried under the Flatlands Dutch Reformed Church at the juncture of Flatbush Avenue and Kings Highway in Brooklyn.

Notable DescendantsEdit

Pieter was the common ancestor to a number of notable people, including: Lou Henry (wife of Herbert Clark Hoover), John Ellis Wool, Walter Percy Chrysler, William Cornelius Van Horne, Owen Young, the Wright Brothers, Earl Van Dorn, Marvin John Nance, Virginia Apgar, Willis Van Devanter, Benjamin Strong, Willard Frank Libby, Dixie Carter (wife of Hal Holbrook), Chuck Jones, Lee Van Cleef, Frank Wykoff, Georgia O'Keeffe (wife of Alfred Stieglitz), Garry Trudeau (husband of Jane Pauley), and Horatio Seymour. Other notables who married Wyckoff descendants are: Pearl Buck, Robert Ralph Young, Isaac Ferris, Charles S. Fairchild, Roscoe Conkling, Philip Freneau, and Baron Klemens August Freiherr von Ketteler.

Wyckoff Farmhouse MuseumEdit

The original Wyckoff family farmhouse is at 5816 Clarendon Road in Brooklyn. It is the oldest surviving structure in New York City and a National Historic Landmark. The museum's mission is to educate visitors about the diverse peoples of Brooklyn's Colonial farms.