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Friday, September 17, 2010

Answering a Question about the Van Slyke Family and their Mohawk Heritage

Diane asked three very interesting questions. I'm going to respond to them all, one at a time. The first one involves our shared ancestor Cornelis Antonissen Van Slyke and his Mohawk wife Ots-Toch.

Am also interested in Och-Toch, the Mohawk wife of Antonissen Van Slyke 1604-1676. I know her father is Jacques Hertel 1603-1651 but was wondering, if any information was ever found on Och-Toch's mother, her grandparents on the Mohawk side?
Diane - I loved reading your questions and am going to spend some time working on your first two about Loyalists. I've chosen your third question to answer because it's about my ancestors too - Cornelis Antonissen Van Slyke (you mistakenly called him "Antonissen") and his Mohawk wife Ots-Toch.

Cornelis Van Slyke's story which is fully documented is of a Dutchman who came to the New World as a carpenter at the age of 30, who became an interpreter for the Mohawk nation,was adopted into the tribe, and who met and married a French-Mohawk woman who never left her native village. Their children, all raised at Canajoharie, one of the Mohawk castles or villages, became well-known and respected in the Dutch community. All except one left the village and married Dutch settlers.

I am going to assume that you don't know about my books on the Van Slyke family. My most recent is The Van Slyke Family in America: A Genealogy of Cornelise Antonissen Van Slyke, 1604-1676 and his Mohawk Wife Ots-Toch, including the story of Jacques Hertel, 1603-1651, Father of Ots-Toch and Interpreter to Samuel de Champlain REVISED EDITION published May 2010. Coil bound 8.5x11. 287 p. ISBN: 978-0-9680744-5-9 Here is a link to an Order Form or Paypal Orders

It will answer all your questions! It's 287 pages are chock full of detail on Jacques Hertel, Cornelis Van Slyke, Ots-Toch and their descendants.

I stress in my book that we do not know with 100% certainty that Cornelis' wife used the name Ots-Toch but it has passed on down via family lore and fairly early writings that this was her name. Nothing is known of her maternal side, although there is some supposition that her mother's father may be known. I am not convinced so do not wish to suggest this theory.


  1. This is my family line, also.

    In 1824, Peter Cornelius Van Slyke donated land to Greene County for the purpose of establishing a new county seat. Van Slyke was born on the Mohawk River in Schenectady County, New York, on April 5, 1766. He migrated to southern Indiana in 1816. Van Slyke was a veteran of the War of 1812 and died on September 25, 1834.

    How is Peter related to Cornelis Van Slyke? I've been to the Van Slyke Cemetery in Bloomfield,'s very interesting.

    M. Beth Finley

  2. Hello M. Beth - Here is his baptism in Schenectady: transcribed by Donald A. Keefer, compiled by Arthur Kelly, Baptism Record Schenectady Reformed Church 1694-1811, Cornelius P. van Sleyk, Catarina Veder - Pieter. Sp. Claas Veder, Catarina Veder.

    Following the lineage back up the generations to Cornelis and Ots-Toch, Pieter's line moves to my direct ancestor Jacques Cornelise Van Slyke (Cornelis and Ots-Toch's son)

    Cornelis Antonissen Van Slyke 1604 - 1676 d in Canajoharie, New York
    +Ots-Toch 1622 - d in New York

    Jacques Cornelise Van Slyke 1640 - 1690 d in Albany New York
    +Margarita (Grietje) Harmense Ryckman 1640 - 1695 d in Albany New York

    Cornelis Van Slyke 1676 -
    +Claartje Janse Bradt 1678 -

    Petrus Van Slyke 1712/13 -
    +Engelina Erichson
    Cornelis Van Slyke 1736 -
    +Catrina Veeder 1744 -

    Pieter Van Slyke 1767 - 1834 d in Greene Co., Indiana