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]

One line of data provides that 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. [A move from the low countries to Brabant before the year 1000 and a move to Brabant from there by Dirck in the 1600s do not support the internal logic of the latter statement.]

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 Oss 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. [Primary sources for all of these ancestral data are needed] When Protestant Holland was hit by a recession after the overthrow of Cromwell in England, Dirck Storm set sail for the New World.

A different line of research is based significantly on records from the Province of Noord Brabant, including records of the town of Oss.[5] It would welcome evidence of primary documents to show ancestry in Utrecht or Zuid Holland, and provides in the meantime that Dirck Storm's ancestors may have been from the Oss area of Noord Brabant (North Brabant), The Netherlands instead, and he may have been born there. There are many source citations for data in this research provided below, including primary sources. The town of Oss (aka Osch) lies in the Eastern part of the Province of Noord Brabant. Oss is a suburb of the city of Den Bosch, separated by hamlets such as Lith and Lithoijen.

Many sources also quoted in the first line of research say that the immigrant Dirck used the patronymic middle name “Gorisz” or variations thereof, short for Goriszoon, meaning “son of Goris”, strongly suggesting his father’s first name was Goris (aka Gregorius) and not Dirk as suggested by some. Primary sources give the place of birth and marriage of one Dirck Goris Storm as Oss and give his wife's name as Maria (or the diminutive Marijke/Mariken/Maritje) Pieters (Peter's) without any reference to a surname Montfoort or alternatively van Cortenbosch. For instance, archives in the Brabants Historisch Informatie Centrum (BHIC) have a record of the marriage at Oss of Derck Goris Storm, born in Oss, Groom on Sunday 20 June 1655 to Marijke Peters, born in Oss, Bride, daughter of Peter Teunissen. Source:Rijksarchief Noord-Brabant, NG (Gereformeerd ) register 34 folio 45 r/v: A, Bron: Oss trouwen, 1651-1661 / 1680-1810. DTB Oss inventarisnummer 29-30, 34 and 36, Retroacta van de Burgerlijke Stand. No primary sources seem to use the surname "van Montfoort" for our Dirck's wife. It would be very helpful to find the church record of the marriage of Dirck Storm, as it should provide some missing ancestral data.

Another BHIC record gives a Baptism on Sunday 24 Apr 1661 at Oss, father Dirck Gorisse Storm, child Peternella, mother Maria Peters. Winess 2, Derken Peter Anthonissen is daughter of Peter Anthonissen. Source: Oss NG dopen, 1651-1661 / 1806-1811(1825) Archief: DTB Oss inventarisnummer 34 en 36 (cite: Plaats: Oss; bron: RANB; gezindte: NG; register: 34; folio: 10 ) Retroacta van de Burgerlijke Stand. This is consistent with a child aged 1 1/4 years when embarked on trip to America. one of three children shown on a passenger list. The parentage of Maria Peters is arguably as found in Archival Records in Den Bosch referring to division in 1660 of an Estate at Lithoijen, apparently of the deceased parents of Dirck’s wife and her sister. Source:‘s Hertogenbosch, Erfdelingen 1629-1709 (| R 1615 | f 163 ) (translated by Cos van Wermeskerken ) provides: "Dirck Goris STORM, husband and guardian of Marike his housewife, daughter of Peter THONISZ by Dircxken his housewife, of the one part; Marcelis Anton HUIJBERTS and Lenart Jacob LENARTS guardians of Eercke (), dependent daughter of Peter THONISZ by Dircxken beforementioned of the other part, will make division to heirs of the goods of their late parents, at Lithoijen." Thonis/Theunis is a common Dutch first name, short for Antoni()s (Anthony). "Thonisz." is Thoniszoon, which like "Anthonissen" means “son of ()Thonis”. Maria Peters or Marike Peter Thonisse would in translation be Maria, daughter of Peter, son of Anthony.

Other records in North Brabant show lands owned or leased in the Lithoyen area by various Dirck Storms, possibly ancestors, as early as 1392. The following sale may well relate to our subject Dirck, recorded in Oss a few years before Dirck Storm's travel to North America: Derrick Goress Storm, as husband of Maryken, sold land on 1 May 1656 to Jan Theunisz living at Heesch, 1 ½ morgen land, situated at Lithoyenbroeck, at a place called Parsyck. [Source: Schepenbanken, Oss, Index schepenprotocol Oss (7365.69), Datering: 1-5-1656, Pagina (Page): 856-856. Plaats: Oss, Toegangsnummer: 7365, Inventarisnummer: 69 -accessed through BHIC, supra, translated by Cos van Wermeskerken] Other transfers occurred as late as 1660 and 1661, found in the same archive using variable spelling versions of Dirck Goris Storm. These are consistent with preparations for emigration.

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] De Vos sailed from Amsterdam after 31 August 1662 and arrived New Amsterdam 14 November 1662 with a total of 54 emigrants.[6] During the voyage, Maria gave birth to a daughter. The ship landed at the foot of Wall Street, 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].
  5. ^ See an excellent review of “Old Dirck’s Book” in NYGBR 80:3 (1949)) and see other critiques such as in The Ancestor of the Storm Family by William J. Hoffman, NYGBR 85:2 (1954).
  6. ^ "Ships Passengers Lists New York and New Jersey August 31, 1662 D'vos (The Fox) The Netherlands to New Amsterdam". immigrantships.net. 17 Feb 2020.

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