This article appeared in a series of articles pertaining to the early history of twenty two families of Westchester County, New York. They were published during the summer and fall of 1951 as part of a special feature in the Westchester Group Newspapers and Affiliates. The author was Maureen McKernan. The article on the Storm family was the 15th of the series.
Dirck Storm was a man of letters and wrote a fine hand in a day when even lords often could hardly sign their names.
So it was natural that he should be the man chosen on November 3, 1716, when the Dutch farmers of Philipse Manor who attended the Dutch Church in Sleepy Hollow decided "that the best informed and most competent member be chosen to make up a statement of events that led to the founding of the church."
Because of that decision, historians and genealogists owe a great debt to the Dutch farmer of Sleepy Hollow and his fine penmanship because his records only during the first 150 years of the Old Dutch Church, are of any value since the registrars who followed Dirck Storm for many years were men of little learning.
Dirck Was Town Clerk
This Dirck Storm, who is the ancestor of Americans of that name, also contributed much to Long Island history. He served as Town Clerk, at one time or another before coming to Sleepy Hollow in about 1697, in the Long Island Dutch villages of Brueckelen, Brooklyn, New Lots, Bedford and Flatbush. Many a land title and hundreds of genealogies are based on the clear, fine script of his records.
Dirck Storm came from Leyden, Holland, where his family had been dealers in fine cloth. Family records carry the Storms back to Dederick Storm, who lived in Wyck, near Delft, in 1390. 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 depression hit Protestant Holland after the overthrow of Cromwell in England. With his firm forced out of business Dirck and his wife Marie, turned their faces toward the New World. On Aug. 31, 1662, when Dirck was thirty-two, they set sail for New Amsterdam on the ship De Vos (The Fox) in company with their best friends, the Ackermans. With Dirck and Marie were their three little sons, Gregoris, born 1656; Pieter, born 1658; David, born 1661. A baby girl was born to the Storms on the voyage.
Dabbled in Real Estate
In New Amsterdam Dirck dabbled in real estate, running a tavern on Beaver Street, then secured a position in Breuckelen as Town Clerk and register of the Dutch Church. Before coming to Sleepy Hollow he served variously as Town Clerk and and as teacher in New Lots, Bedford, and Flatbush and tried farming in Bedford and New Lots. In 1691 when the English were organizing county governments he was sent to Tappan as secretary and Clerk of Sessions in Orange County.
About 1693 Dirck and his growing family heeded the call of Frederick Philipse, his old friend in New Amsterdam, to come to Sleepy Hollow where Dirck served Philipse as Tax Collector. Dirck outlived his patron, who died in 1702, by 14 years, dying at the age of eighty-six. He and his wife Marie are recorded as members of Sleepy Hollow Church in 1697, joining soon after the church was built. His book of church records, "Het Notitie Boeck," is one of the nations most valuable historical documents.
Those interested should read "Old Dirck's Book," a family history published in 1949 by the late Raymond W. Storm of Pelham. It is a readable story in which the history of the times forms a background for each period of Dirck's life and gives the genealogy of the Storms who moved to Dutchess County.
Dirck Allen Storm, thirteen, is the ninth generation from Old Dirck. He is the son of George Storm of Pelham, who descends from the Stormville line.
Elizabeth Was Vassar Matron
Elizabeth Borum Storm (1847-1929), for many years the beloved matron of Vassar College, was the widow of Charles Storm of the pre-Revolutionary Storm family farm near Stormville. This branch of the family stems from Thomas Storm, Derick's son who married Christina Van Wart and moved to Dutchess County where he died in 1769.
Dirck 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 sons all were farmers but many of later generations were captains of their own boats in the Hudson River traffic. One of the best known of these was Capt. Jacob Storm, who was born in Irvington in 1801 and is the grandfather of Mrs. Thomas Green and her brother, Harry Storm, retired Naval officer, who lives in Tarrytown now. One of the Tarrytown Wildys was Capt. Jacob's partner and their dock was adjacent to the old mill of the Philipse Castle, at the mouth of the Sleepy Hollow Creek in the Hudson River.
So honest was Capt. Jacob that farmers all the way up to Somers brought their produce to his boats for sale in New York. Captain Jacob lived in the Philipse Manor house which is now a museum. The old mill house was his office.
Son Was County Registrar
Capt. Jacob's oldest son, Capt. John I. Storm, was once Mayor of Peekskill and Registrar of Westchester County. David, Dirck's third son, lived in Yonkers. Nicholas, a grandson, had a farm in Elmsford where the bridge over the Saw Mill River was long known as Storm's Bridge. Several of the third generation moved to Haverstraw.
Peekskill Lents descended from Jacob Lent, are part Storm, for Jacob married Susanna Storm of Sleepy Hollow in 1726. Abraham Lent married Christina Storm in 1781 and Catherine Lent married David Storm in 1716. The family also married into such families as Van Tassel, Wildy, and Van Wart, to name a few of the old clans.
At least two Storm boys were prisoners of the British in the dreaded Sugar House prison in New York during the Revolution.
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