The Old Dutch Church of Sleepy Hollow
"It stands on a knoll, surrounded by locust-trees and lofty elms, from among which its decent whitewashed walls shine modestly forth, like Christian purity beaming through the shades of retirement. A gentle slope descends from it to a silver sheet of water, bordered by high trees, between which, peeps may be caught at the blue hills of the Hudson." - Washington Irving in "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow."
Welcome to the Sleepy Hollow Old Dutch Church page. The Old Dutch Church, which played a prominent role in Irving's Legend of Sleepy Hollow, has also played a prominent role in the Van Tassel family. All North American Van Tassel descendants can trace their lineage back to at least one Van Tassel ancestor who was a member of this church. I hope to continually add more data to these pages as time permits. Feel free to browse and make sure to stop back to check out new additions!
It took months to type these records and prepare them for presentation on this website. Please do not copy them in their entirety and post them on your site. You are welcome to link to them, I just ask you drop me a note and say hello.
I hope you find information on your ancestors among these records. If you would like to help in some way, I suggest two ways to help:
1) If you can type and are somewhat HTML literate. Choose some records published long ago (before 1900) and type them for the web to help others.
2) If you don't have the time to do the above, I suggest making a donation or becoming of a member of The Friends of the Old Dutch Burying Ground. This group does so much in trying to battle the elements of time and preserving the ancient graves of our Dutch forefathers. When you do contact them, make sure to tell them the Van Tassel family sent you!
Historical Background of the Church:
First Record Book of the 'Old Dutch Church of Sleepy Hollow' Organized in 1697 and now The First Reformed Church of Tarrytown, N. Y.
I. -- Table of Order and Subjects.
The Minute-Book of the Christian Church of the Manor of Philipsburgh.
Arranged in eight separate Books, all that precede being summed up in the last in a brief recapitulation. In folios, recorded and carried out for the convenience of the kind reader.
1.--Containing the First Division of the Record, respecting the yearly administration of God's Word and the Holy Sacraments, and the compensation paid for each occasion, with the year and date.
2.--The Second Book notes the names of the members of Jesus Christ [1697-1775], who after a Christian examination and admonition, have united with this church and may enjoy the Lord's Supper.
3.--The Third Book of the Church Record contains the names of the annually elected elders and deacons, with their reception and ordination, the year and date, and also the outgoing elders and deacons after they have served two years.
The Fourth.--Is the Book of the baptized children, and contains the names of the respective parents, their own names, and the names of the witnesses, and in what year and month, etc.
The Sixth Book of Notices.--In it are noted the receipts and expenditures of the deacons, according to the provision in regard to them, that they must present an exhibit of the condition of their accounts.
The Seventh Book of Notices.--In this are recorded the expenditures and receipts of the Poor-chest, and also to whom and for what (money was paid out).
The Eighth Book of Notices--Containing the recapitulation of all foregoing Books.
II.--BRIEF HISTORICAL DATA
Old Dutch Burying Ground of Sleepy Hollow in North Tarrytown, New York
The following is taken from "Two Hundredth Anniversary of the Old Dutch Church at Sleepy Hollow, 1697-1897," printed by The De Vinne Press for the Consistory of the First Reformed Church of Tarrytown, A. D., 1898.
Theodore Roosevelt Address - A message of tolerance, morality and action.
Rev. John Bodine Thompson D.D. Address - Pastor from 1866 to 1869, recollections of the church.
Bicentennial Ode - By Edgar Mayhew Bacon.
Sleepy Hollow - "With deep veneration would he turn down the weeds and brambles that obscured the modest brown gravestones, half sunk in earth, on which were recorded, in Dutch, the names of the patriarchs of ancient days,--the Ackers, the Van Tassels, and the Van Warts." - "The Sketchbook" by Washington Irving.
At Sleepy Hollow - "The parish clerk and his antiquarian brethren have acquired an astonishing power of detecting old Holland names under English disguises"...."for lovers of romance and of Washington Irving the only name of the Rip connection that occurs is Van Tassel." - (Mar. 1901)