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Manuscript Collections


Collection 25

Florence Craig

Collection, 1735-1828, 1862-1865

Processed by

Doris K. Handzo

Edited by

Gregory J. Plunges

Monmouth County Historical Association
70 Court Street
Freehold, New Jersey 07728

April 1981


The manuscripts in the Craig Collection primarily concern the Wyckoff family. There are also documents related to Michael Field of Bound Brook, NJ, William Gordon of Freehold, NJ and the Pittinger and Williamson families of Monmouth County, NJ.

The Wyckoff family had its beginnings in America when Pieter Claesen came to New Amsterdam with his father, Claes Cornelissen, from one of the Dutch islands of East Friesland in 1637. There is no mention at all in Europe of the name Wyckoff and it is believed by the family genealogical experts that the patronymic was used, adding the father's baptismal name to that of the son. The name Wyckoff first appeared in America when Pieter Claesen, for several years a resident of Amersfoort, Long Island, NY, took the oath of allegiance to King Charles II in 1664. He added the surname Wyckoff, or Wijkhof, a combination of two ancient Teutonic words. Wijk (Wyk, Wick, Wik) meant a parish district or town and hof meant court. So, probably to distinguish himself from the other Pieter Claesens, Pieter used this new signature which meant Pieter Claesens of the Town Court. The spelling has varied from time to time, but Wyckoff has been the generally accepted one.

The Wyckoff family moved from Long Island to New Jersey, particularly to Monmouth County, where they were primarily engaged as successful yeoman farmers. Some of them eventually moved to Ohio, where they also engaged in farming. They were active in the Dutch Reformed Church in Freehold, NJ and Middletown, NJ. Several members of the family served in the Continental Army during the Revolution.

The name Garret Wyckoff appears often in this collection. In the Wyckoff genealogy, the name appears very frequently, sometimes two or three times in each generation. It may be necessary, therefore, for the researcher to consult Appendix B to determine which specific "Garret" a particular document refers. The majority of the documents in this collection are those of different Garret Wyckoffs.

The Williamsons were related to the Wyckoffs by marriage, but there is no indication of any such connection to the other families. There appear, however, to have been business dealings among them.


The Florence Craig Collection are composed of a variety of different types of documents. Deeds, wills, inventories of wills, loans, and letters are the main divisions of the collection. It is valuable to genealogical researchers and to anyone tracing land transfers in Monmouth County.

Several members of the Wyckoff family moved to Ohio in the beginning of the nineteenth century and their letters home shed an interesting light on pioneer conditions in the Midwest. They also discuss Indian uprisings, the War of 1812, and General William Henry Harrison. Most of these letters were to Garret Wyckoff (1758/59 May 13 - 1850 May 10).

There are documents related to a military company drilling in Freehold, NJ, but there is no clear indication of the kind of company it was. It was very probably a militia unit. Another document of Civil War origin contains the names and pay of soldiers from Marlboro, NJ in the 14th New Jersey Volunteers. Other manuscripts discuss the sale of slaves. Several signatures of important people in this collection are noted in the series description.

There are miscellaneous references to the Wyckoff family in the Louise Hartshorne collection. References to other names mentioned in this collection can be located in the card catalog of the manuscript collection.

A number of manuscripts originally belonging to this collection cannot now be located. These manuscripts are listed individually in Appendix C.

The arrangement of the collection is described at the beginning of the container list.

PROVENANCE: Acquired in 1966, and 1978, a gift of Mrs. Tunis Craig of Freehold, NJ



Series Description

1. Garret Wyckoff (1704 May 4 - 1770 November 2)
Legal documents. 1735 May 10 - 1770 November 5. 4 items.

Arranged chronologically.

Deeds to Albert Williams, Theunis Vanderveer, John Forman, all to land in Monmouth County, NJ. Also includes an inventory of estate.

2. Garret Wyckoff (1730 October 31 - 1777 April 18)
Legal document. 1777 May 5. 1 item.

Inventory of estate

3. Garret Wyckoff (1758/59 May 13 - 1850 May 10)
1797 October 21 - 1850 June 6. 27 items.
Arranged by document type and then chronologically.

Legal documents in this folder include indentures and an inventory of an estate. There are also letters from family members who moved to Ohio. Part of the series contains muster rolls of officers and men in Capt. Garret Wyckoff's company.

4. Williamson Family Papers. 1742 June 26 - 1798 April 6. 8 items.

Arranged chronologically.

Loans and deed for pine land. One loan was made by Rev. Gilbert Tennent to Michael Field, Jerejmiah Field and William Williamson and bears the signature of the Rev. Tennent's brother, the Rev. William Tennent, who was the minister of Old Tennent Church at the time. The proving of the will of William Williamson has the signature of Gov. William Livingston.

5. Michael Field Papers. 1773 March 11 - 1788 December 22, n.d. 4 items.

Arranged chronologically

Miscellaneous letters and one sale of a slave.

6. William Gordon Papers. 1785 December 23 - 1799 February 27. 10 items.

Arranged chronologically.

Deeds and loans mentioning names of Rev. John Woodhull and Michael, David and Lewis Gordon. Account book of Dr. English, listing expenditures of the estate of William Gordon.

7. Pittinger Family Papers. 1750 December 24 - 1811 May 28. 9 items.

Arranged chronologically.

A testimonial to the patriotism of John Pittinger is signed by General David Forman. There are several wills, one of which was signed by Gov. Joseph Bloomfield. Also includes a receipt for payment of printing by Philip Freneau by John Pittinger.

8. Slave Documents.
1822 January 7, 1822 June 12. 2 items.
Arranged chronologically.

The documents concern a female slave named Leah and the adoption of a black child.

9. Miscellaneous Papers.
1796 December 12, n.d. 3 items

A letter in this series is from Fenwick Lyell and has his signature. There are miscellaneous genealogical papers and a pamphlet with the names of married men from Marlboro, NJ who were volunteers in the 14th New Jersey Volunteers.

Container List


1 / 1 / Garret Wyckoff (1704 May 4 - 1770 Nov 2). Legal Documents. 1735 May 10 - 1770 Nov 5. 4 items.

1 / 2 / Garret Wyckoff (1730 Oct. 31 - 1777 Apr. 18). Legal Document. 1777 May 5. 1 item

1 / 3 / Garret Wyckoff (1758/59 May 13 - 1850 May 10). Papers. 1797 Oct 21 - 1850 Jun 6. 27 items

1 / 4 / Williamson Family. Papers. 1742 June 26 - 1798 Apr 6. 8 items

1 / 5 / Michael Field. Papers. 1773 Mar 11 - 1785 Dec 23, n.d. 4 items

1 / 6 / William Gordon. Papers. 1785 Dec 23 - 1799 Feb 27. 10 items

1 / 7 / Pittinger Family. Papers. 1750 Dec 24 - 1811 May 28. 9 items

1 / 8 / Slave Documents. 1822 Jan 7; 1822 Jun 12. 2 items

1 / 9 / Miscellaneous Papers. 1796 Dec 12; 1862 Aug 12; n.d. 3 items


1. Freehold, N.J. Monmouth County Historical Association. Bible Records (Field Bible)

2. Nelson, William, ed. The New Jersey Coast in Three Centuries. New York: Lewis Publishing Co., 1902

3. Symmes, the Rev. Frank R. History of the Old Tennent Church. Cranbury, NJ: George W. Burroughs, 1904

4. The Wyckoff Association in America. The Wyckoff Family in America. Rutland, Vermont: The Tuttle Publishing Co., Inc.

5. Wyckoff, William Le Roy & Herbert James Wyckoff, eds. "The Old World Progenitors of the Wyckoff Family" s.l. : The Editors, n.d.

Appendix B

Wycoff Family Genealogy

This appendix contains Wyckoff family trees. Please see hard copy in the Library for details.


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This page last updated 4 August 2008.

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This website was funded by the Marion Huber Trust

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Monmouth County Historical Association received a general operating grant from the the New Jersey Historical Commission, a division of the Department of State.
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