Dirck Storm

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Dirck Gorisszen Storm[1] (1630–1716) was an early colonial American who recorded the first official history of the Dutch community at Sleepy Hollow. His book Het Notite Boeck der Christelyckes Kercke op de Manner of Philips Burgh is a rare document of life in colonial times.[2] Sometimes referred to as Het Notite Boeck, the five-part book is one of the few surviving records of Dutch Colonial American village life in English-occupied New York province.[3]

Birth and early life[edit]

Dirck Storm was born in Utrecht, The Netherlands, in 1630 and his family resided in Leyden, Holland, where they dealt in fine cloth.[4] R. W. Storm states that historical records carry this Storm line back to Dederick Storm, who lived in Wyck, near Delft, in 1390.[4] The family may have been of Viking stock since so many settled in the province of North Brabant when the Vikings overran the Low Countries before the year 1000.

At the age of eighteen Dirck Storm went to Den Bosch to be clerk in his uncle's commercial office. On May 13, 1656 he married, in the church of St. Gertrude in 's-Hertogenbosch, Maria van Montfoort, daughter of Pieter van Montfoort, a Walloon Calvinist. By 1660, Storm was named Town Clerk of Ossch in the Mayorate of 's-Hertogenbosch (Den Bosch). Public service was part of the Storm family history, as Dirck's father was the City Clerk of Leiden and his grandfather was a lawyer in the Court of Justice of Holland, West Friesland and Zealand. When Protestant Holland was hit by a recession after the overthrow of Cromwell in England, Dirck Storm set sail for the New World.

Alternatively, based on records from North Brabant, Storm's ancestors may have been from the Ossch area instead, and he may have been born there.[citation needed] This line of reasoning might still be consistent with his activities immediately prior to his immigration, but calls into question his roots in what is now the province of Zuid Holland.

New Amsterdam[edit]

In the fall of 1662 Storm emigrated, with his wife Maria and three children, ages six, four and one from the Mayory of Den Bosch to New Amsterdam in New Netherland onboard De Vos (The Fox).[4] During the voyage, Maria gave birth to a daughter. The ship landed at the foot of Wall Street in mid-November 1662, in what is now Manhattan.

Town clerk and farmer[edit]

Storm held real estate, owned a tavern on Beaver Street, and dabbled in inn-keeping. Later he was appointed Town Clerk in several communities in Breuckelen (today's Brooklyn); New Utrecht, Bedford, and Flatbush. Many land titles and hundreds of genealogies are based on the community records he kept. He also served as a teacher in some of these communities. He farmed land in Bedford and New Lots, and served as precantor to two of the Dutch churches in Breuckelen. In 1670, he was appointed Secretary of the Colony.

Sleepy Hollow[edit]

In 1691 Storm was sent to Tappan by the British, who were setting up new governments at the time. There, he became the first Secretary and Clerk of the Sessions for Orange County, New York. He was also the Voorleser of the Tappan Church. In 1693, he joined his old friend Frederick Philipse, and acted as tax collector for the vast manor held by Philipse. Storm and his wife were recorded as members of the Old Dutch Church at Sleepy Hollow as early as 1697, soon after the church was constructed.


On November 3, 1715, the church members selected Storm to begin recording the history of the church retroactively from 1697. Historic records show that they decided that Storm was "the best informed and most competent member be chosen to make up a statement of events that led to the founding of the church."[citation needed] Abraham de Revier, Sr. was the first elder of the church and evidently kept a private memorandum book that is now lost to history. However, it was heavily drawn upon by Storm in composing Het Notite Boeck.


Storm was of the yeoman class and under Dutch law, was allowed to buy his farmland in Sleepy Hollow outright from the lord of the Manor, his friend, Frederick Philipse. All his sons were farmers but many descendants were captains of their own boats on the Hudson River. Descendant Capt. Jacob Storm lived in the Philipse Manor house which is now a museum. The old mill house was once his office.


In May or June 1716 Storm died at Tarrytown, New York. He is buried at the Old Dutch Church Burying Ground in Sleepy Hollow, New York.

Dirck Storm is the ancestor of many notable Americans, including the famous clergyman David Storm, deacon and elder of the Old Dutch Church of Sleepy Hollow. Many Americans with the last name "Storm" or "Storms" can trace their ancestry to him.


  1. ^ "Dirck Gorisszen Storm (1630-1716) | FamilySearch". ancestors.familysearch.org. Retrieved 2018-08-04.
  2. ^ McKernan, Maureen (September 11, 1951). "The Storm Family". The Daily Argus. Mount Vernon, N.Y. Retrieved February 12, 2017.
  3. ^ Reproduced as: First Reformed Church (1901). First Record Book of the "Old Dutch Church of Sleepy Hollow," Organized in 1697 and Now the First Reformed Church of Tarrytown, N.Y. North Tarrytown, N.Y.: Yonkers Historical and Library Association.
  4. ^ a b c Storm, R. W. (1949). Old Dirck's Book: A Brief Account of the Life and Times of Dirck Storm of Holland, his Antecedents, and the Family He Founded in America in 1662. unknown, reproduced by photo-lithography].

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